Category Archives: Academic Practice

Technology, timetabling and Taylorism

meeting…is this the future of the unit convenor role? 

Community of Practice meetings are a chance to take “time out” and consider the changing nature of the unit convenor role in the contemporary context. The use of technology, in both teaching and administration, is obviously a major factor in changing the nature of practice, as is the rapid expansion of student numbers over the last quarter-century, along with the internationalisation of the student cohort and the shift in students’ attitude to education. Regulation and cultures of measurement are increasingly invading the classroom, the curriculum and the everyday practice of teaching and teachers. Continue reading Technology, timetabling and Taylorism

Posters in Parliament: Celebrating Undergraduate Research

poster parliament nominees
Macquarie nominees Chi Yhun Lo and Caroline Valim

Ever thought of presenting your research in Parliament? What if you had the chance to tell the leaders of our country about your research?

On Monday 22nd September 2014, in Parliament House Canberra, 38 students from 16 different universities across Australia did that. They casually chatted to The Hon. Robert French AC (Chief Justice, Federal Court of Australia), Mr John Alexander OAM MP (Member for Bennelong, NSW) and the likes about their research. Luckily, the threatening lockdown of Parliament House that Monday morning did not stop us. Just three hours before the exhibition began we received an invitation by the ABC 666 Canberra Drive radio programme to interview some of our presenters.

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Using Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) to connect with students

“After my class I was walking with some of my students back to my office. On my way there they were telling me how they had understood the model that I showed them in class when Mary, a PAL leader, had explained it to them. Perhaps it was because Mary explained it better than me, or perhaps it is because it would have been the third time the student had heard an explanation about the model, or maybe it was just the PAL classroom environment that had helped. Something there helped! Knowing this I thought it would be a good idea to then have the PAL leaders explain the model, I would film this and then make it available on iLearn. I then made an announcement to all my students telling them that I had made this video available. I am hoping that the explanation in the video would have helped them understand this concept”. (Dr. Mauricio Marrone, Unit Convenor, Accounting Information System”).

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Digital design partnerships at Learning and Teaching Week

Each session educational developers and designers from the Learning and Teaching Centre team up with academic teaching staff who have plans to enhance the learning experience of their students through implementing curriculum change. Learning and Teaching Week was the perfect opportunity to showcase some of these partnership projects from all faculties.

Prof Cath Dean and Sherrie Love showcased their online community unit which supports their Physiotherapy students while they complete their work placements in organisations across Sydney. The community building unit uses iLearn forums and databases to facilitate student generated content in a constructive and positive online environment.

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10 things Merit Scholars want their lecturers to know about engagement

An undisputed highlight of this year’s Learning and Teaching Week was students Daniel Sturman, Rochelle Martin, Cindy Huang and Timothy Zhang taking the stage for the Merit Scholars Panel (chaired by Georgia Scapens).  Taking their cue from a recent ‘social investigation’ of student engagement at Macquarie, the four Merit Scholars spoke persuasively and candidly about what worked for them – and what didn’t.

Here are some of their most memorable insights for Macquarie academics:

Continue reading 10 things Merit Scholars want their lecturers to know about engagement

A Recipe for Success: Uncle Bob Verity’s Rice ‘n’ Peas

As a tribute to the Macquarie University Learning and Teaching Week (which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed) and its theme of Less is More, I give you an example of something for which only more will do.

Uncle Bob

My family hail from the West Indies, or should I say much more precisely that we are proud Jamaicans.

This level of geographic specificity is important. It may look, from the outside, as if those of us from the islands of the Greater and Lesser Antilles are cut from a common cultural stock. However, for us the differences between Jamaicans, Barbadians and Trinidadians are as profound as those that separate the Scottish and the English.

Indeed it sometimes seems to me that, beyond our geographic proximity, we have only ever been bound together by three great cultural institutions – our once celebrated cricket team, the University of the West Indies, and our love of creole food. I’ll tell you a little about the last of these later on, and with luck I’ll get you cooking like a true Jamaican.

Continue reading A Recipe for Success: Uncle Bob Verity’s Rice ‘n’ Peas

Reflection For Learning Summit

Reflection as Art‘Reflection for learning: a summit on contemplative practices for higher education’ was held on the 21st of August at Macquarie University.

Hosted by Dr Marina Harvey from the Learning and Teaching Centre, the summit brought together practitioners and researchers in the field of contemplative education and reflective practices in Higher Education. Some of our guests travelled interstate and included representatives from five Australian universities (including Macquarie).

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Using Google Drive for Collaboration

Jorge Reyna

by Jorge Reyna, Educational Designer working with the Faculty of Science at Macquarie University


Why is collaboration important for learning?
Collaboration can be defined as a coordinated, synchronous activity that is the result of an ongoing attempt to construct and maintain a shared conception of a problem (Alluri & Balasubramanian, 2006). It has also been identified as a necessary component of active learning. The benefits of collaboration include development of critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and discussion and consideration of ideas. Additionally, collaboration can help to understand cultural diversity and improve working with others. Social constructivist theory emphasises the importance of collaboration in the learning process. Learning is social and requires participation in a social process of knowledge construction (Kieser and Golden 2009).

Continue reading Using Google Drive for Collaboration