I’ve observed in several previous posts that the unit convenor role is vitally important to the quality of our teaching and curriculum and yet poorly recognised and often under-valued, and largely seen as an administrative service role. I’ve argued that unit administration, while necessary, is not where convenors have the greatest opportunity to contribute to excellence in teaching and curriculum at Macquarie. Unit convenors are also in a position to provide vital leadership with respect to curriculum and teaching, the latter especially so in large units with many tutors.
Learning & Teaching Exchange – What is KickStart and how can it work for me?
All staff from across the university are invited!
Join us on Tuesday, 6th October for Learning & Teaching Exchange, the newly revamped iLearn Exchange which will now more have a broader focus on sharing innovations and best practices in learning and teaching at Macquarie.
Students created and maintained their own “Dig Diary” WordPress blog for weekly critical reflection of video lectures/readings/activities. The blogs were provided to the students via the Mq WordPress multisite.
Enhanced student engagement (as long as it counts!): Students felt most engaged in the trial “when commenting on other people’s blog posts and responding to the comments on my ones” and there would not have been “any interaction within the blog posts if it wasn’t a requirement”.
WordPress Blog Set up: Students found locating and setting up their WordPress blog to be “thoroughly confusing!” and required pre-semester set-up as well as “clearly outlined expectations when preparing the blog: Do I need to ‘decorate’ it? Is the language academic or colloquial? How to phrase responses without the risk of mis-interpretation? e.g. tone.”
Privacy concerns: Students found engaging via a WordPress blog and Twitter “intimidating as I had never used them before” were not sure “learning should take place on a public forum such as Twitter”, preferring “convener moderated blogging within iLearn.”
Twitter was a fail, professional networks are key!
Students were “not sure why Twitter was utilised at all” and did not feel comfortable “asking questions” on Twitter.
An introduction to relevant professional networks such as LinkedIn or Academia.edu to engage with key academics/industry partners is preferred.
Accessibility and revision tool: Students found the ability to “re-watch the video clips as much as I wanted” helpful.
Lacked authenticity:“I personally found the video clips boring as there was no interaction with lecturers” and were very formal in comparison to live F2F lectures where anecdotal evidence or informal commentary is provided by teaching staff.
Social media offers a new pathway for enhancing a more customised, or personal, approach to student engagement.
Digital by design requires clear instruction and teacher presence to provide a personalised learning experience.
Design for digital uses available digital tools to increase student engagement and agency in participative and collaborative learning.
This project is funded by a Learning and Teaching Delivery Grant for 2015 entitled “Mediating Student Learning: Archaeology and Social Media in the 21st century – A Case Study on AHIS170: Egyptian Archaeology. An Introduction”. The grant isheld by Dr Alexandra Woods and Dr Peter Keegan in collaboration with Ollie Coady (LTC), Dr Panos Vlachopoulos (LTC), Michael Rampe (LTC) and Dr Eve Guerry, Suzanne Eiselle-Evans and Ellen Ryan (all Ancient History).
Recently, I participated in the Advanced Professional Development Program for International Academic Staff (APDP) currently happening on campus. With this program, the Learning and Teaching Centre (the program’s host and developer) has reached beyond campus walls, inviting academics from China to observe and explore the workings of the University through attending workshops and presentations (many developed and delivered by LTC staff) and visiting lectures and tutorials on campus.
Learning & Teaching Exchange and Faculty of Arts present Peer Review Process
Join us on Tuesday, 8th September for Learning & Teaching Exchange, the newly revamped iLearn Exchange which will now more have a broader focus on sharing innovations and best practices in learning and teaching at Macquarie.
In semester 1 this year I introduced a new piece of assessment into my 200-level Modern History unit – what I called a reading blog. It was weighted at 20% and students had to complete the blog every week, bar week 1. They were required to read two articles on a particular theme and then complete the blog. In the blog they were required to answer a question which I had set (sometimes they could choose between two questions) in no more than 200 words. In addition, they had to pose a question to their peers. My questions were generic and designed to enable the students to use both readings in their responses. This activity was in preparation for a weekly seminar.