Category Archives: Academic Practice

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).

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Connection and clarity: how do we enhance teaching presence in online units?

Can studying online be an ideal learning experience? Macquarie graduate and staff member Lara Hardy looks at what teaching staff can do to help students feel connected.

Having studied as an undergraduate and postgraduate student on campus, by distance, and as an internal student taking some external units (whilst also undertaking prac), it is always interesting to compare different modes of study and teaching strategies and to ask, how do students learn best? Can they achieve their ideal learning experiences studying online?

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Intensive Mode Delivery: Where to Start?

Jorge Reyna

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

 

What is intensive mode delivery?
Intensive mode refers to various alternatives to semester delivery of units; wherein teaching and learning occurs over a shorter timeframe than a semester. Intensive units provide greater access and opportunity to students who require greater flexibility in order to balance family, work and study (Curtis, 2000). Recent research has found that students regard intensive units as a short-cut and do less work than they would in a semester’s unit (Welsh, 2012). A secondary concern students pointed is fatigue toward the end of the unit. It is well-known that fatigue undermines learning and performance (Kahol et al, 2008). These issues pointed the need to ensure that the intensive mode delivery is not undermining student learning opportunities and outcomes.

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John Dumay’s Eleven Tips for Researching, Writing and Publishing

‘Publish or Perish.’ It’s a familiar refrain to any academic for whom research output is not just an important vocational responsibility, but a key metric of professional performance. Thus it was that two-dozen researchers from all stages of their careers joined Associate Professor John Dumay in a workshop run in the lead up to Learning and Teaching Week on developing academic research, writing and publishing strategies. Phil Betts looks at some of the top tips offered in the workshop to help optimize your chances of a successful publication.
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Photography as a Reflective Tool in Science Education

ltc_staff_pics_jorgereyna

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

Photography is more than a creative process

Photography is an exploration of light, colour, shape, texture, space, etc.  Composing images allows us to visualise possibilities, implications, applications and consequences. It fosters creativity and gives us the opportunity to have a closer look at objects, which we might otherwise not notice. It can also give us the opportunity to think deeply, hypothese, construct, deconstruct and reformulate ideas. Photography as a research tool has been under-appreciated and marginally used in the field of education and even less so in adult education (Taylor, 2002).

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Help! My student can’t write!

Writing matters and HDR supervision

By Claire Aitchison, Senior Lecturer, Learning and Teaching Centre

Frustrated_man_at_a_deskIt’s likely, that, at some time or another, you’ve heard an academic colleague express this sentiment. People hold very strong feelings about writing – and one person’s views are not necessarily shared by others. For example, what is considered convoluted and overly referenced in one discipline, may be considered quite normal in another.

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Is there a short cut to academic success?

Of course not. Your students have to work hard for their marks. However, there are ways for them to take better control of their studies.

Learning Skills workshops start in Week 1 of Session 2 and offer students a chance to develop their study strategies.

The upcoming Session 2 general workshops cover Study Essentials, Assignment Writing, Incorporating Sources, and Academic Language (including grammar and vocabulary). There is also a series of workshops for postgraduate coursework students. There’s no need for students to register for the workshops. They can just show up on the day.

So before your students get stuck or off track on their assignments, why not let them know how they can get into the driver’s seat?