How do you measure up?

BLASST

How many sessional staff teach at your university? The majority of teaching across Australian universities is undertaken by sessional staff and it is time to ensure that the contribution of sessional staff is included in key strategic and operational plans for quality learning and teaching. The BLASST (Benchmarking leadership and advancement of standards for sessional teaching) framework is offered to you as an online interactive tool (go to http://blasst.edu.au/bbit-explained.html) to explore, even benchmark, how your department, faculty or institution ‘measures up’ to the national evidenced-based standards. Individual sessional staff can also engage with this online tool. You will be rewarded with a report which signals your standards using a traffic light system, for example green represents you are achieving a high standard.

For more information about the project contact Dr Marina Harvey,   Lecturer in Academic Development, Macquarie University

Kicking off S1 with a smooth start

Image courtesty of Alborzshawn,Flickr

Start the session with a great welcome message as an Announcement that not only introduces you to the students but outlines your expectations and is grounded in online pedagogy:
✔  Social presence (linked to improved retention rates in fully online and blended courses) by introducing yourself and encouraging students to upload a profile picture
✔  Set expectations – contrary to popular belief, because you are teaching an online unit, does not mean that you need to respond 24/7.
✔  Clearly outline expected engagement
✔  Guide students through your unit (why not make a screen capture to create an online orientation to the unit?)
✔  Remind students of their responsibility as an online student by linking to the Netiquette guide

Continue reading Kicking off S1 with a smooth start

Welcoming and student bonding activities for Online Learners

Another academic term has just started at Macquarie University Campus.  First-years are looking around for opportunities to meet new friends, join a social club and attend one of the many induction sessions.  What a great way to start their journey into academia!  But what about our fully online learners? Do they have the same opportunities to ‘bond’? Do they experience the same level of engagement with academia as our campus students?

Continue reading Welcoming and student bonding activities for Online Learners

Masters Thesis Rejected Because It Looked Too ‘Fun’

Kurt Vonnegut - The Shapes of StoriesIn an interview from Open Culture* Kurt Vonnegut in his autobiography Palm Sunday tells how his master’s thesis in anthropology for the University of Chicago “was rejected because it was so simple and looked like too much fun.”

The elegant simplicity and playfulness of Vonnegut’s idea is exactly its enduring appeal. The idea is so simple, in fact, that Vonnegut sums the whole thing up in one elegant sentence: “The fundamental idea is that stories have shapes which can be drawn on graph paper, and that the shape of a given society’s stories is at least as interesting as the shape of its pots or spearheads.”

Kurt Vonnegut went on to become one of the great American writers of the second half of the 20th century – See more here.

by mayaeilam.   Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

2014 Learning and Teaching Grant Opportunities

2013 ISP PosterMacquarie University has a range of learning and teaching grant programs designed to provide academic and professional staff with internal funding to undertake scholarly work related to learning and teaching.

The internal learning and teaching grant opportunities are:

  • Enhancement Program Grants

Continue reading 2014 Learning and Teaching Grant Opportunities

A series on digital media, copyright and creative commons – Part 1: Media.

Where is digital media?

This is an introduction to a series of blog posts focusing on contemporary issues relating to media, copyright law and creative commons. Comments are encouraged by all. 

Photo adapted from mkhmarketing: http://bit.ly/1gjceKu
Photo adapted from mkhmarketing: http://bit.ly/1gjceKu

There is no doubt today’s society and culture is media rich. Videos, music, and interactive multimedia are now available as forms of digital media across the Internet. Continue reading A series on digital media, copyright and creative commons – Part 1: Media.

Calling all Teachers – the “secrets” to effective teaching

Fish TeacherAre you new to teaching, new to Macquarie University or would like to revisit and develop your teaching skills? Then the Foundations in Learning and Teaching (FILT) program will definitely be for you.

Join Dr Trudy Amber from the Faculty of Arts as she takes you through this 5 Module continuous mode program. There are 9 face-to-face teaching sessions with on-going support and reflection between each module, facilitated through iLearn.

This program commences on Wednesday 12 March through to Wednesday 28 May with 9 x 2 hour sessions, 12 noon to 2pm in W6A 107.

For more information on this exciting program or to register, please click here

Macquarie University's Learning and Teaching Community