Congratulations to three of our very best sessional staff who have been recognised in the inaugural Tutoring Induction Program Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. How do Chi Lo, Anthony Winning, and Kate Hardwick engage students in their classrooms through innovative and impactful practices? Continue reading Celebrating sessional teaching excellence at Macquarie→
The second national leadership summit on quality learning and teaching with sessional staff was hosted at Macquarie University on Friday 10 April. With representatives from 35 institutions, including the Office for Learning and Teaching and a director from TEQSA, the atmosphere on the day was vibrant. Following the keynotes, Pecha Kuchas introduced the finalists in the National BLASST Good Practice Awards.
Members of the BLASST team recently heard Professor Guy Standing (Professor of Development, University of London) speak at a public lecture hosted by the Centre for Workforce Futures. Promoting a new vocabulary of the “precariat”, Standing extends its original meaning of “temporary or seasonal workers” as he elaborates on labour security.
Sessional academics are part of this precariat, and so they may lack a “secure work-based identity” and suffer from “status discord” (Standing’s words), i.e. having high levels of formal education but accepting jobs on low incomes. Indeed, he spoke of university as a lottery ticket, describing the growth in precariat, or sessional, positions as a new core and a new norm.
Friday 27th Feb, 3pm saw the iLearn Drop-in clinic for Session 1 come to a close.
During the three weeks it ran, we saw a total of 201 staff members come through the doors and a few students too!
We had the usual gamut of questions, from how to set up an iLearn unit for the new session, to creating unit guides, making quizzes, setting up groups and the gradebook. No question too small, question too big.
Recently, I read an article about digital hoarding (can’t remember where though). I have to admit, I save emails I don’t really need to – just in case – and the number of photos I have on my smart phone…. (mainly of my hairy child, Samuel – here’s one for you). It made me think about the number of iLearn units that I have seen with content still labelled Blackboard or Moodle Migration Report from the migration in 2011, and unit guides (hidden of course) from the 1970s. OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a touch, but you get the idea.