John Cowan was the first Professor of Engineering Education in the UK, at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, where his educationally-oriented research and development concentrated on student-centered learning and the learning experience. On moving to the Open University in Scotland as Director in 1987, he encouraged innovative curriculum development and campaigned nationally for rigorous formative evaluation in higher education. When he retired from his tutoring duties in the autumn of 2011, he had been teaching, conducting, and publishing accounts of action research studies of his practices since 1952.
As we head towards the end of another jam-packed year at Macquarie, PACE is on the look out for a new cohort of amazing experiences to recognise with the annual Professor Judyth Sachs PACE Prizes.
UPDATE: Deadline extended to Sunday 1 March 2015
If you’re involved with running a People or Planet unit this year, here’s an opportunity to connect with colleagues doing the same.
Join the People and Planet Knowledge Network to meet up and share thoughts and experiences with colleagues from across the University, whilst reviewing and building teaching and learning skills.
First get-together of the People and Planet Network for the year:
Let’s Reflect: How reflection can enhance skill development
Tuesday, 15 April, 12noon-1pm
In October 2013 I engaged in a discussion with fellow online learning scholars in the Association of Learning Technology Mail-list (UK). We discussed various issues related to MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and their perceived and actual value for enhancing learning in Universities. Perhaps the most well thought out contribution was made by Professor Diana Laurillard from the Institute of Education, University of London. She wrote: Continue reading Panos reflects on MOOCs
It’s difficult to determine a clear “standard” for TEDS results, since we know that they are affected by a range of contextual variables that relate to the learning and teaching environment.
Over the years, analysis of TEDS data has demonstrated persistent and consistent differences according to:
• discipline area (Faculty – this is more a reflection of student cohort differences than variation in teaching or curriculum quality);
• class level (100, 200, 300-500, 800-900-level, with 600- 700 level yet to be examined); and
• class size (this tends to have more impact on teaching than unit evaluation results, but is evident in both).
Interpreting Your TEDS Results – in Context
Without a measure of the variation attributable to each of these factors, it’s hard for an individual teacher or unit
convenor to “place” their own TEDS results in the context of their own teaching environment. However, help is at hand!
Now that we have been running the revised TEDS surveys for several semesters, we have sufficient data to provide descriptive statistics for groups of evaluations within the same context, at least to Faculty by Unit Level refinement in
most Faculties. These statistics, based on the distribution of mean (average) scores rather than individual scores in Faculty/Unit Level category, will enable you to see where your results are placed in relation to others who teach in the same context.
Where to Access
Guidance for interpreting your results in relation to the data summaries, and the summary tables themselves, are available NOW for LEU surveys only at http://staff.mq.edu.au/teaching/evaluation/surveys/compare_leu/.
The TEDS team are working on the LET tables and will inform all staff when these are ready to be accessed.
The flipped classroom is a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and problem-solving elements of a course are reversed.
The shift is from a teacher-centered classroom to a student-centered learning environment. To hear how your colleagues have been implementing this delivery model into their teaching, please visit this new resource on the LTC website.
A corresponding workshop will be run in October. Click here to register.
Dr Monique Crane, Lecturer in Organisational Psychology was the academic lead on a Faculty Partnership Project in Session 1 this year that aimed to redesign PSY 963 Coaching and Positive Psychology in a way that was both engaging and academically challenging for students. The LTC project team worked with Monique to rejuvenate the curriculum for blended delivery, introducing a number of tools and techniques that included collaborative authorship tasks and video scenarios.
Prezi for Collaborative Authorship
With collaborative authorship teaching tasks, PSY 963 students literally contribute to the workshop material, creating a mixture of expert content and student-generated content for the unit.
Collaborative authorship is a strategy that makes use of participatory technologies in the classroom as a way of developing student-centred learning opportunities and increasing student engagement. Monique reported that such participatory technologies allow “students to collaboratively develop an outcome related to the workshop content through the use of an online medium such as Prezi or a Wiki. This process can be moderated and guided by the chair in real time. At the end of this process, all students have access to their collaboratively authored resources that will assist in guiding their future practice.”
Monique is now a collaborator on a project funded by a grant from the Innovation and Scholarship Program (with the LTC’s Oliver Coady) to extend the work from the Faculty Partnership project in examining the role of collaborative authorship in the classroom to improve student engagement and skill transfer.
Authentic Video Scenarios
Macquarie’s Human Resources Department collaborated with Monique and the LTC project team in the production of video scenarios for PSY 963 which demonstrate a coach implementing a strategy with clients in different situations. Rather than actors, the videos star professional coaching experts based here at Macquarie who also helped script the videos. These videos are not only core resources for the unit itself but can also be used in other professional development settings, as well as a teaching resource in the classroom or online.
Monique says she values the insights gained from her experience working with the LTC project team and is now implementing the new teaching strategies she has learned across all her units. “The LTC has expertise in the area of adult learning and this means that they are able to provide insight into new teaching methods and content delivery. Students are exposed to innovative teaching techniques too.”
Changes in technology, student expectations and economic pressures mean that we face challenges in the ways in which we organise and offer curricula. One of the alternative ways in which teaching and learning can be organised is through delivering in a compressed time frame.
Teaching successfully in a shortened time poses different challenges from delivering units in traditional semester time frames. The Session 3 Project being undertaken in the LTC is investigating the challenges and opportunities of compressed teaching. The project aims to provide resources which will help those designing and delivering units in compressed mode. There are some exciting innovations around the university. Some of these are through providing students with the opportunity to expand their experiences of learning through the new challenges that become possible when face to face and online learning are combined.
A series of workshops is being offered in September, a Roundtable has been organised for Learning and Teaching Week and we will continue to add to the resources that are available on the Session 3 Web page.
FLaMe is a professional development program that introduces Macquarie staff to some of the key principles and techniques for successfully blending online and face-to-face teaching. Participants are supported to redesign a current iLearn unit or create a new one for blended delivery.
Dr Albert Atkin participated in the FLaMe program earlier this year. “Even though I have quite a lot of teaching experience, the FLaMe course was very enlightening for me and I have been able to put much of what I learned there to use. More importantly, I think it has improved my teaching, and I am confident that it has made the learning experience for my students much better. The resources and techniques for developing an online community, for instance, have been especially important for how I want to teach. I have already made use of many of the course’s insights and I am exploring ideas about synchronous virtual classroom space even further.”
“It helps that the teaching team are so knowledgeable and open, and the learning environment so relaxed and collegial too. Really, a great course and I got so much from it, and I’d recommend it to anyone”.
Enrol now for FLaMe, beginning 23rd September – more details and to register