It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was celebrating an extra two days of mathematics in Harvard Square, after a raging blizzard cancelled my flight out of Boston. Alas, that was over 3 months ago, and since then the business of Senate has advanced at a cracking pace.
James Hamilton, LTC’s Head of Learning Technologies, on how a virtual Learning Commons could connect Macquarie with local and global communities of content creation. And why attribution is the new citation…
In alignment with the release of the L&T Strategic Framework Green Paper, the priority areas for Strategic Priority grants have been refined to:
After many months of discussion and consultation, we’re delighted to announce that the L&T Strategic Framework Green Paper has just been published to the DVC-A website:
Some of you may be wondering what’s happening in the world of Learning and Teaching Strategy.
As you’re no doubt aware, Macquarie is undergoing a period of organisational renewal, under the banner of A Framing of Futures. During this process, the University is casting its eyes towards the future, challenging each of us with the question: who do we want to be?
Under the auspices of this lofty inquiry, DVC (Academic ) Professor John Simons and PVC (Learning, Teaching and Diversity) Professor Sherman Young took to the stage to open Learning & Teaching Week 2014, in their much anticipated update on the development of a new Learning & Teaching Plan.
For many of us, one of the great opportunities of academic work is the ability to pursue an exciting research agenda, whilst sharing what we learn with our students. The challenging counterpoint to that opportunity is aligning and balancing our research with our teaching responsibilities.
One of the key components of a learning and teaching framework is how we think about student engagement.
The most recent examinations period has seen Faculties reporting some issues in this area – with concerns about indicators such as lecture attendance and assignment submission.
Already in train are a number of projects looking at student engagement in learning and teaching (as well as the broader student experience) but I think we need to make a coherent statement about how we wish to engage with students at Macquarie. Following some broader consultation, and drawing on literature and experience such as this, this and this, I’d like to suggest that we consider that we adopt, and build on the following principle:
Students are partners and co-creators of their learning.
- Our students will be partners, change agents and leaders in their learning; across the formal and informal activities of the University;
- Our approach will focus on active learning, emphasising collaboration and the co-creation of knowledge;
- Our students, staff, alumni and industry and community partners will be connected to unlock their potential.
Again, any comments are welcome.
A Framing of Futures situates Macquarie as a University of service and engagement
We serve and engage our students and staff through transformative learning and life experiences
We serve and engage the world through discovery, dissemination of knowledge and ideas, innovation and deep partnerships
This is followed by statements on our Vision and Values, all of which speak to the highest order thinking for the institution.
The vision declares our aspirations, identifying Macquarie to be a destination of choice; deeply connected with stakeholders; ranked highly in research and known as custodians of the campus.
Building on those foundations, we need to draw out a more specific vision for learning and teaching.
We need to synthesise the declared purpose, vision and values and set out a high level vision for learning and teaching at Macquarie so that we might then develop a framework and strategy. In short, before we work through our strategies and goals, we need to agree on what some call ‘the vision thing.’
We know that a culture of transformative learning in a research enriched environment is a priority, where: ‘Learning and teaching is at the centre of our purpose … ‘ and that experiences that change the lives of our students include PACE, infusing cutting-edge technology, and promoting enquiry-driven learning.
These goals provide us with distinctive projects and help us to formulate a vision for learning and teaching.
But we need to further explore the questions of ‘Why, what, and how do we teach?’ and more particularly ‘How does this distinguish Macquarie?’
The idea of transformative learning is central to those questions and their answers and that idea – and others – demands further examination. In order to provoke that examination, I offer here a suggested Vision for Learning and Teaching – my synthesis of our values and goals, which is designed to provide a starting point for reflection and conversation.
We aspire to be a University that empowers its students with the capacity and desire to change their worlds.
I look forward to receiving your feedback and commentary.