Tag Archives: Learning and Teaching

Top ten tips if you’re new to teaching (or need a refresher) to the Faculty of Arts

Are you a new convenor in the Faculty of Arts? Are you overwhelmed with the prospect of teaching to students in a new online platform, using the myriad of new educational technologies, complying with the many policies and customs of your department and faculty?

Are you an existing convenor that may be a bit rusty in terms of knowing where things are, what tools are available and what support there is available?

Do not despair, here are the top-ten tips to help ensure your teaching is the best that it can be.

10. Workshops

Do you feel that there are so many great educational tools available but unsure how to use them?

Why not attend on of the many workshops run by the Arts Learning and Teaching support team and the Central support unit LTS. You can see all the workshops and enrol in Upcoming events on Teche.

9. Self-help on iLearn for you and your students

Are you new to iLearn, or are you rusty on just how to use that iLearn activity? What about your students, what if they have questions too?

Did you know that there are Quick Guides available for both staff and students? You can access them in the footer of each iLearn course (there is a lot more information than the Quick Guides in the footer) or by going to iLearn Quick Guides for staff and iLearn Quick Guides for students.

8. Layout of iLearn units in the Arts Faculty

Are you developing a new unit or redesigning an existing one? Is there a recommended approach to developing a unit in iLearn?

The Faculty of Arts iLearn ToolBox provides a wealth of information about how you should develop your iLearn site so that your students have a consistently good learning experience on iLearn.

7. Drop-in clinic

Are you struggling with getting your iLearn site up and running for the start of the session?

Did you know that there are drop-in clinics where you can just turn up and get help from a learning designer on that pesky issue you have, no need to book?

Here are the times for the Central drop-in clinic (10am-2pm):

Monday 13 – Friday 17 February:  C5A 201

Monday 20 – Friday 24 February:  C5A 201

Monday 27 February  – Friday 3 March:  W6B 259

Outside these times the Arts Learning and Teaching support team are available in W6A325 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12-1. No need to book just come and get help.

6. What are the main procedures that I need to comply with?

Are you unclear about what the university requirements around learning and teaching?

There are numerous policies you need to be aware of, you can access them from policy central. Specifically, make sure you are familiar with the assessment policy and also the Schedule 2: Unit Assessment requirements

5. How do I: create a new, or copy, an existing unit guide; create a new or copy, an existing iLearn site?

The one-stop-shop for all of these requirements is the cousin to iLearn, iTeach. For guides on how to use it go to iTeach Quick Guides

4. Resources for (first year) Arts students

Do you believe that first-year students may struggle with adapting to university studies? Do you feel that students need specific information about what a degree in Arts could lead to?

Did you know that there is already a link in your iLearn course called Arts101: How to be a successful student? Why not encourage students to access the link in your first lecture for the session?

Also in the Quicklinks block in your iLearn unit are a number of other useful links for you and your students. For example Campus Wellbeing, Learning skills etc

3. Arts Community of Practice

Do you want to know what is happening in teaching and learning in Arts? Do you want to see what rubrics and sample assessments your colleagues are developing? Are there some examples of good teaching practice in the faculty? For this, and much more go to the Arts Community of Practice.

2. OneHelp

Where can I go if I have a problem such as …?

The answer to this one is simple. OneHelp (for more info) is your one-stop-shop. It’s the university’s ticketing system that allows you to place a request for help on just about anything.

1.  Arts Learning and Teaching support team

“Arts L&T staff” by Chris Froissard ©2017 Macquarie University
“Arts L&T staff” by Chris Froissard ©2017 Macquarie University

I want to develop my teaching so that I use the most effective pedagogy and educational technology for my students. I am teaching a new unit and would like a few ideas on how best to design, develop and administer my iLearn unit. What does research say when it comes to teaching in a blended mode?

For questions around pedagogy, educational technologies (including iLearn) and teaching at the Arts faculty, there is a dedicated team of educational professionals the Arts Learning and Teaching support team. You can either drop by at the drop in clinic times (Tuesday to Thursday 12-1), send us a OneHelp ticket, or contact us directly via telephone (Ext 4097) or email a team member directly.

New Associate Dean Quality and Standards in the Faculty of Arts

Panos Vlachopoulos is the new Associate Dean Quality and Standards in the Faculty of Arts. He began his new role on the 6th of February. He will be based in W6A 237.

I asked Panos to tell us a bit about himself and what would be his focus in the quality and standards role in the faculty.

What will be your focus?

Panos believes that the modern university is a relentlessly measured institution and that measuring the qualities of higher education can then be seen as providing a lens for re-evaluating and exploring the activities of students, organisations and the sector as a whole. He would like to see the discourse and focus shifting from quality as a compliance mechanism to that of enhancement, potentially suggesting new ideas or possibilities that build on the intrinsic qualities of the existing system and enabling a diversity of voices to be valued and incorporated within the quality sense-making activities.

What’s your background?

Panos describes himself as an academic educator with 15 years of experience in learning and teaching in higher education in countries such as UK, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Australia.  In the last 18 months he has been acting as Associate Dean Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences where he contributed his expertise to the development of many new programs in the Faculty.  He is a strong advocate of program level curriculum development and he has developed an expertise in that area.

Panos studied  Philosophy at Aristotle University in Greece, where he specialised in Philosophy of Education and Pedagogy. He then moved to the UK where he obtained a Masters in Communications, Technology and Education (University of Manchester) and a PhD in Online Pedagogy (University of Aberdeen). He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and member of various other professional organisations in Australia and overseas.

His research interests to date include quality of online learning design and learning experience, which he measures using a variation of methodologies (Statistics and Social Network Analysis as well as Qualitative Methods) reflective practice and “phronesis” (professional wisdom)  and program level curriculum design and assessment.

Join me in welcoming Panos to the Faculty of Arts!

The Foundations In Learning and Teaching program to start in February

If you’re interested in finding out more about how students learn in an increasingly complex and technology-driven world, if you’re keen to gain new insights into curriculum design, assessment and pedagogy, and if you’re hoping to build your skills in integrating learning technologies into your teaching, this is the program for you.

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A Magnetic Collaboration between CBMS and the Learning Innovation Hub

It all started with an idea for unique laboratory experiment in Biochemistry and Cell Biology (CBMS337 and CBMS837) unit in the CBMS department. Students would fish one protein from a complex protein soup from a cancer cell to learn about the principles of how antibodies work. Even better than this, the lab would use for the first time cutting-edge magnetic beads to complete the lab on time: the lab would normally take over four hours but it was allocated only three hours.

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F10A and the gang of crying dummies

Universities are big places, comparable to schools but actually, so different. You can complete an entire degree knowing little else about the campus and its daily activities, I certainly did. You can also complete a degree at a parallel time as another student but fail to ever meet them. The thing that comes to mind for comparison is a train, you can enter one carriage, and have no idea what is happening or who else is travelling on another carriage, before you depart into the world. That’s why Teche blog is great for uncovering the amazing ‘happenings’ at Macquarie.

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Student Forum on Learning Technologies

Want to have a say on Macquarie’s Learning Technologies?

The Learning Innovation Hub is developing its strategic plan for the next 5 years and would love your input. We want to know what you think is working, not working and what you would like to see in the future in relation to the technologies through which you learn at Macquarie. This is not about IT concerns, but rather what you would like to see in the learning space, for example:

What extra features would you like see in I-Learn?
How you would like to access lectures and video content?
Do you think learning content and resources are easily accessible?
What do you think about the idea of  “bring your own device”?
Would you like to see more gamification and simulations in learning delivery?
How do you see virtual and augmented reality technologies enhancing learning in the future?
Are you using any technologies outside of the university that you think could have learning applications?

Join us for a Student Forum on Learning Technologies!

TIP – Beginning to Teach Wrap Up Session

Did you register for the Teaching Induction Program (TIP) this year? Did you teach this year for the first time?

This session is designed as a debrief and feedback session for new teaching staff. You don’t have to have registered in or completed TIP – although we are certainly interested in your feedback on this program if you did participate in it.

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A toxic effect of ‘flying solo’ for teaching staff

Are you one of these people who finds themselves saying at a dinner party “At least there is a lot of autonomy in what I do…” when you talk about your teaching??

Think again. Research suggests that working in isolation might actually be harmful for your job satisfaction and well-being, especially if you are an ‘early career’ academic.

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