Meet the Team: Robert Parker

RobertWhat do you do at the LTC?
I am an Educational Developer in the Educational Development and Design
section. I am assigned to the Faculty of Science and its Learning and TeachingCommittee. I collaborate with academic staff to think about their teaching and knowledge work, this includes: class performance, instructional design, curriculum development, applying learning technologies and constructing learner environments. This year I have worked with Greg Downey (Anthropology) and Lesley Hughes (Climate Change) to develop MOOCS in collaboration withOUA. More recently I’ve been working with Sherman Young in the Faculty of Arts and Department of Ancient History to develop a new undergraduate program, the Bachelor of Archaeology.

What is the most interesting part of your job?
I enjoy working with academic staff and learning about their research interests, teaching practice and what motivates them. The challenge is to build good professional relationships, create confidence and transform this into practical and personalised solutions for academics. I have been fortunate to receive grant funding to design and develop educational software for game-based learning.

What did you do before you joined us?
I worked at UNSW in a variety of positions that included lecturing and tutoring, elearning designer, digital media producer, software developer and systems analyst. I took time out, to work pro bono with not-for-profit organisations, Amnesty International, National Parks Association and the Richmond Fellowship. I’ve also worked as an ICT consultant to government, industry and not-for-profits
as a business analyst, software consultant and developer, researcher and tender writer. I trained as a cabinetmaker while I was at high school and university, managed a joinery and built several houses.

How did you come to be working with us?
I wanted a change from working in a school within a faculty, to a university-wide unit, when an opportunity opened at Macquarie to work in the LTC.

What do you do when you’re not working at the LTC?
Listen to live music, attend art and performance events. Hang out with family, friends and strong black coffee. Go bush walking and camping. Slide down a glassy wave or float over a rocky reef.

What’s the most adventurous or dangerous thing you have ever done?
I walked through desert country in South Australia across Lake Torrens along Moralana Creek up to Wilpena Pound, in late spring. The days were so hot, I had to dig a deep pit into the dry creek bed and lie in it, but the nights were crisp and full of life.

What would you like to do next?
I would like to collaboratively design and build a sustainable collective housing project with a couple of dozen people in their third age who want to be cooccupants. It might just make inner city life sustainable and enjoyable.

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