Ideas anyone? Ideas, rocks and Cathedrals.

Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris

“A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind.” – Antoine St. Exupery

Do you have an idea for enhancing the quality of teaching and the student experience of learning? Perhaps it could turn into something wonderful. What can you do about it?

Well did you know that there is an internal learning and teaching grant program that supports staff on research and development projects addressing teaching and learning initiatives?

Looking at some of the successful grants from last year’s internal learning and teaching grant program provides an indication of the ideas that staff from Macquarie University are thinking about and want to explore.

Exploring different delivery modes

Dr Shane Magee and Associate Professor Anne Cooper from the Faculty of Business and Economics are working on the project titled Designing different modes of delivery across a program. Three units will be piloted to identify the most productive ways to transform the Master of Applied Finance to better meet the needs of different modes and cohorts. Objectives include investigating community-building, integrating research with professional practice and including local alumni as guest presenters.

Flipped classrooms

Dr James Cummings and Dr Jennifer Gippel from the Faculty of Business and Economics are working on the project titled Beyond the Wolf of Wall Street: Embedding ethics into the Investments unit via a blended learning environment. It aims to develop an active learning environment to engage students and embed ethical issues and to assess student awareness of ethical issues at the start and end of the course.

Dr Sandie Suchet-Pearson and Dr Jessica McLean from the Faculty of Science are working on the project titled Engaging students by turning their classrooms upside down. It aims to increase student attendance and engagement through a redesign of the course from a didactical to dialogue and enquiry based format.

Learning analytics

Professor Deborah Richards from the Faculty of Science and Chris Froissard from LTC are working on the project titled Validating the effectiveness of the Moodle Engagement Block and piloting a student alert system to optimise retention. The project looks at learning analytics together with student alerts and how they can be used to improve student outcomes.

Online tool and resources

Dr Fei Liu and Dr Chris McRae from the Faculty of Science are working on the project titled A Laboratory Activity Watcher (LAW) for integrating laboratory learning. It aims to create an online LAW for six test experiments that will replace the current paper-based activities. This will reduce the amount of time students currently spend completing these complex tasks. It will also improve the learning experience by providing access to videos and other media during the process of completing these activities.

Associate Professor Ken Sheedy and John Shannahan from the Faculty of Arts are working on the project titled Harnessing the e-learning potential in the collection of the Australian Centre for Ancient Numismatic Studies. It will develop eight case studies on numismatics. They will include digital representations of coins that come from the collection of the Australian Centre for Ancient Numismatic Studies.

Program Development

Professor Sean Brawley and Associate Professor Aleksandar Pavkovic from the Faculty of Arts are working on the project titled Flipping the Globe: An innovative new approach to International collaboration in the Postgraduate coursework space. It aims to help academic staff at Macquarie University to develop a new 16-unit Masters program using a blended and flipped mode of teaching.

Social media

Dr Alex Woods and Dr Peter Keegan from the Faculty of Arts are working on the project titled Mediating student learning: Archaeology and Social Media in the 21st Century – A case study on AHIS170 Egyptian Archaeology An Introduction. It aims to incorporate social media (WordPress) to create experiential learning activities and a student community of practice.

Dr Victoria Flanagan and Dr Jane Messer from the Faculty of Arts are working on the project titled Going digital: Embedding social media in postgraduate curriculum design. It aims to develop a personal learning environment for students using WordPress. This will allow them to create and curate their own digital portfolio.

So if you have an idea that you envisage could one day become a Cathedral, why not consider the internal learning and teaching grant programs that are on offer at Macquarie University. Here is more information on the current grants programs.

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