All posts by Danny Liu

Danny is a teacher, researcher, coder, scientist, and designer with a touch of Grumpy Cat (which he would much rather brand as realism). Currently a 'senior lecturer in academic development and leadership' at the University of Sydney and a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Computing at Macquarie, he has convened, taught, mentored staff in, and redeveloped a number of large units, and has won a few national awards for this. Danny is passionate about student engagement, infusing technology in learning & teaching, the first year experience, learning analytics, and really anything where students are the focus.

Six small practical changes in your teaching that can have big impact

Are you scared off by the breadth and depth of changes to your teaching that are often suggested by well-meaning colleagues? There are many things that you can do to improve student experience and learning, but they don’t all need to take hours to design and implement. Here are six practical and eminently achievable suggestions for small changes that can have big impact.

Continue reading Six small practical changes in your teaching that can have big impact

A Nobel laureate walks into a classroom…

Nobel physics laureate Carl Wieman knows a thing or two about science. Thankfully for us in higher education, he is also passionate about good learning and teaching. This makes his recent comments that current teaching methods are archaic and “medieval in the sense that it’s somebody up there dispensing information” even more cause for concern. Here are his five main points from a recent talk, and some practical ways we can apply it in our teaching.

Continue reading A Nobel laureate walks into a classroom…

Celebrating sessional teaching excellence at Macquarie

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

Inspiring Teachers – Ian Solomonides

Teachers have the amazing privilege and weighty responsibility of inspiring learners to be the next generation of thinkers and doers. We hope that the stories in our new ‘Inspiring Teachers’ video series will inspire teachers to keep inspiring students. To kick it off, Associate Professor Ian Solomonides shares his journey as a simultaneous learner and teacher, his conceptions of what makes a good teacher, plus some sage advice for all teachers.

Continue reading Inspiring Teachers – Ian Solomonides

Students: tell us what effective teaching means to you

Macquarie students – what does effective teaching mean to you? What makes a great teacher? What do you want to get out of uni? How would you like to have more input into improving teaching here at Macquarie?

To have your say, join a research study run by a few of your fellow students, supported by Macquarie staff, to look into these questions and more. For more information and to sign up, visit

Learning analytics – where would you like to go?

Hailed as a “game changer” for 21st century education, learning analytics is a buzzword often used but not widely understood. It even appears a few times in the draft Learning and Teaching Strategy. But what is it, what’s being done about it, and how can you feed into the discussion? We want to hear from you – join us at the learning analytics symposium during Learning and Teaching Week.

Continue reading Learning analytics – where would you like to go?

Seeking all students: have your say in your learning

What data and information about your learning can help you to succeed academically? What will improve your engagement at Macquarie University? If you could design an app or website to help you with your learning at Macquarie, what would it show you and what would you like it to do? This is your opportunity to tell us what information you want.

Continue reading Seeking all students: have your say in your learning

Avoiding Death by PowerPoint – using PowerPoint

The past few months have seen a resurgence of calls to ban PowerPoint in lectures. Apparently, PowerPoint is toxic for education, and  makes students stupider and professors more boring. Being a fan of PowerPoint, and less so of the traditional lecture, you can imagine my delight to read Jared Horvath and Jason Lodge’s recent sensible article that it’s not PowerPoint’s fault – you’re just using it wrong.  Since lectures and, let’s face it, PowerPoint, aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, how can we avoid death by PowerPoint and make them work together?

Continue reading Avoiding Death by PowerPoint – using PowerPoint