Tag Archives: communication

6 takeaways about improving students’ communication skills

Wouldn’t it be good to get in the same room with people who have spent years thinking about important learning and teaching issues? I had such an opportunity yesterday, when I attended a workshop by OLT (Office of Learning and Teaching) fellows A/Prof. Sophie Arkoudis and Dr Anne Harris looking on a thorny issue of communication skills of our graduates.

Missed it? Not to worry – here are my top 6 takeaways. A 3-hour workshop in 3 minutes! Continue reading 6 takeaways about improving students’ communication skills

5 ways to boost student presentations: lessons learnt from a Startup Pitch competition

A couple of days ago I reflected on what it takes to win a student Startup Pitch competition. I decided to follow-up with 5 practical ideas on what we as educators can learn from such an event: how can we make in-class student presentations more ‘pitch-like’ (i.e. passionate and engaged)?

Continue reading 5 ways to boost student presentations: lessons learnt from a Startup Pitch competition

Keep CARM and Come Along

Conversation-Analytic Role-Play Method (CARM) is an internationally recognised method of professional communication teaching. CARM uses audio and video recordings of real-time, actual encounters to identify conversational problems and roadblocks as well as effective practices for avoiding and resolving them. The Faculty of Medicine and Health Science invites all Macquarie staff to a one day free workshop on CARM conducted by internationally recognised  expert Dr Rein Sikveland, as part of a three day program.

Continue reading Keep CARM and Come Along

Evolving English: Our new English Language Policy

Evolving English: An update on our new English Language Policy

At Macquarie University we are proud of our diverse cultural and language communities. We are also committed to producing graduates who are effective communicators with discipline-specific knowledge and skills. Achieving this requires students to be skilled in using the English Language.

For a native speaker this may seem easy, however English is constantly evolving, and varies in different contexts. For example, language in disciplines and professions can be used in a particular way (such as ‘derivative’ in finance or mathematics), or can be specific to that discipline (jargon).  No matter what their background, all students will encounter unfamiliar language at some point at University, and all students must continually develop their skills to be able to successfully communicate in academic and professional settings.

Comic about language (Creative Commons)

There are a lot of great resources available across the University for students  including self-directed resources, learning skills workshops and programs such as Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) and conversation groups.

One way for students to acquire skills is when they are included within programs. There are many resources for staff in designing materials, in particular two excellent professional development guides  How to Embed Discipline-specific Discourse – Learning Through Communication  and  Developing your students’ English Language proficiency. As language is constantly changing we must ensure we change with it.

In May the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC) set up a working party with representatives from across the University to draft a new English Language policy. The policy will outline expectations of both staff and students in actively developing English language skills including the use of academic and discipline-specific discourse.

To draft the policy the working party has reviewed existing policies, resources available across the University, the  Australian Qualifications Framework and the DEEWR English Language Standards for Higher Education.  Draft copies of the policy, procedure and guideline were distributed last month through Faculty Learning and Teaching Committees for consultation.

The SLTC will meet shortly to discuss comments that have been received so far. If you have any feedback, remember to offer it to your Faculty Learning and Teaching committee or email directly to Antonia Dykes.