Tag Archives: student engagement

Exchange: Session 3 Tips

The November 11th iLearn Exchange looked at intensive or compressed curriculum and stimulated some great discussion. Dr Peter Keegan outlined the approach Ancient History has taken in Session 3 units. Ms Scarlet An talked about the FBE ‘KickStart‘ initiative and working with convenors on developing intensive units. Thank you, Peter and Scarlet!

Dr Peter Keegan, Ancient History

The unit that Peter used as an illustration is a ‘Planet’ unit that is 1st year or level 1. In session 3, it has between 250-300 students. One convenor manages and marks the unit.

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Reminder to post a reminder

Recently, I was talking with a colleague about reminders.   Reminding ourselves to do something, reminding students when a task is due and generally how we now rely on ourselves less and less to remember dates, events, appointments and of course when something is due.  The prevalence of technology as our personal assistant means our brain is less exercised in this area and you know what they say ‘use it or lose it’.  OK, that might be extreme and the previous sentence is grounded in no research or study whatsoever, it just seems logical to assume.

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PACE Collaborates at ACEN 2014

It was all about ‘Work Integrated Learning: Building Capacity’ at ACEN, Australia’s recent national conference, held on the Gold Coast from 29 September -3 October 2014.  Macquarie  University fielded a team of PACE researchers and practitioners across a range of disciplines.  Our Faculty of Business and Economics (FOBE) representatives for PACE included Dr Leanne Carter (Director), Diana Caruso (Manager), Ashleigh Cassilles (Senior Administrator) and Chris Bilsland (adjunct unit convenor and PhD research candidate).

Job And Education Computer Keys Showing Choice Of Working Or Studying

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Turn ideas into reality…

Throughout the year, your teaching will have stirred your students’ creative juices – and provoked ideas for new products, services or applications… so what now? How can you support your students to take that next step?

Macquarie is holding its inaugural Macquarie University Business Model Competition. Tell your students about it and encourage them to submit their ideas – the best entries will have the chance to compete at the 2015 International Business Model Competition at Stanford University!

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KickStart – the next phase

Launched in 2014, the KickStart project has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 12 months. Brainchild of Prof Leigh Wood, Associate Dean L&T (FBE) and project managed by Dr Yvonne Breyer, L&T Director (FBE) the project started off with a two pronged objective: firstly, to allow students to get a feel for what they will be studying for the next 13 weeks; and secondly, to build connections between their prior knowledge and the course content, allowing them to contextualise the learning outcomes. The KickStart motto is: Plan – Prepare – Participate.

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Using Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) to connect with students

“After my class I was walking with some of my students back to my office. On my way there they were telling me how they had understood the model that I showed them in class when Mary, a PAL leader, had explained it to them. Perhaps it was because Mary explained it better than me, or perhaps it is because it would have been the third time the student had heard an explanation about the model, or maybe it was just the PAL classroom environment that had helped. Something there helped! Knowing this I thought it would be a good idea to then have the PAL leaders explain the model, I would film this and then make it available on iLearn. I then made an announcement to all my students telling them that I had made this video available. I am hoping that the explanation in the video would have helped them understand this concept”. (Dr. Mauricio Marrone, Unit Convenor, Accounting Information System”).

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10 things Merit Scholars want their lecturers to know about engagement

An undisputed highlight of this year’s Learning and Teaching Week was students Daniel Sturman, Rochelle Martin, Cindy Huang and Timothy Zhang taking the stage for the Merit Scholars Panel (chaired by Georgia Scapens).  Taking their cue from a recent ‘social investigation’ of student engagement at Macquarie, the four Merit Scholars spoke persuasively and candidly about what worked for them – and what didn’t.

Here are some of their most memorable insights for Macquarie academics:

Continue reading 10 things Merit Scholars want their lecturers to know about engagement

Building Connections: KickStart at #mqltweek

Have you heard about KickStart, the new program developed by FBE and rolling out in trials across the University? During Learning & Teaching Week 2014, Yvonne Breyer and Mauricio Marrone will be walking you through the project, discussing their efforts to engage students right from the beginning of their course and give them the best possible start.

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Increasing student engagement: The Student Voice

Why do some of our most exciting learning and teaching initiatives fail to gain traction, despite the thorough research, creative design and best efforts of talented people? It could be because we often forget to include the students in the planning process. This blog post by Sherman Young  proposes that we acknowledge our students as partners and co-creators of their own learning in order to increase engagement.

To get the ball rolling we recruited four Merit Scholars, each from a very different discipline and background, and sent them on a social investigation to gather thoughts about student engagement at Macquarie. They came back with an enormous bank of ideas, examples, and challenges from students relating to their experience at Macquarie, and the following themes resonated throughout:

Availability. The very best learning experiences these students have had stem from a single teacher being available to their students, maintaining an approachable nature and adopting an accessible style of communication and discourse. The prevailing sentiment was that the availability of these teachers seemed driven by a genuine passion for learning and teaching.

Communication.  The students unanimously agreed that the driest of subjects can be brought alive by a good lecturer, and it doesn’t have to involve cutting edge learning technologies or soaring levels of creativity. In fact, the students said that they would trade in all the extra stuff for a teacher with great presentation skills and a penchant for the material.

Connection to the outside world. This presented itself in a few different forms – students value industry connections, tangible job opportunities, and PACE units – but most simply, they value the sense that we’re learning with purpose here at Macquarie.

We will be exploring each of these themes, and others, at a panel discussion during L&T Week and will welcome questions and debate.  We invite you to come along and gain some honest, candid insight into the student experience at Macquarie. Registrations are essential – more details are available using the link below.

Tuesday 23 September, 2.15pm-3.15pm: “The Student Voice”


Some thoughts on student engagement from Sherman Young

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.

Sherman will be presenting a Learning and Teaching Strategy Update on 22 September at Learning and Teaching Week #mqltweek : register here