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?

Chi Lochi_lo

Chi is a PhD student in the Faculty of Human Sciences studying human communication and teaching linguistics and speech and hearing sciences. He received a TIP Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for his work on three key learning and teaching areas: theory and application, students as individuals, and fun and fascination.

“‘What is the point of this?’ remains a profound educational problem. My philosophy is to ensure that a connection between theory and tangible human outcomes is drawn and reinforced, to instil a sense of purposeful learning. Although there has been an increasing shift towards larger classes and greater use of online technologies to deliver teaching on a larger scale, students remain individuals.”

Chi uses “wonderment” to generate interest and motivate his students. From leveraging technology and social media to contextualise and apply class concepts, Chi also builds group-centric environments where students learn as much from each other as from him.

Anthony Winninganthony_winning

Another TIP Citation recipient was Anthony, a tutor in psychology from the Faculty of Human Sciences, and a current PhD student. Anthony focuses on respect towards students, clear and effective communication, and enabling students to feel supported and encouraged.

“As a tutor, I reminded myself of the times that I struggled, or lacked motivation. This helped me to empathise with students, irrespective of their capabilities or level of application. I feel that good communication is when a listener is able to grasp what you wish to share; therefore I strove to speak in a way that students can follow. I was aware that for myself that large factor limiting my ability to learn was my self-belief. Therefore, I constantly encouraged people to take classes as an opportunity to learn and to grow, not needing to get things right.”

To promote learning for all students, Anthony empathetically builds an inclusive and positive classroom environment where students feel open and comfortable to work with him and each other.

Kate Hardwick

Kate, also a PhD student from the Faculty of Human Sciences, teaches into cognitive science. Her application received Highly Commended status, for her work in creating a positive and nurturing learning environment. She brings in real life examples to stimulate curiosity, uses Socratic questioning to bring out critical thinking skills in her students, and provides timely and effective feedback.

The Tutoring Induction Program

The Tutoring Induction Program (TIP) was redesigned in S2, 2015 to include more collaborative online activities, plenty of practical examples of evidence-based practice, and resources written by our many subject-matter experts. Tutors are saying:

“The TIP program has led me to reflect on my teaching, and in particular about the way I provide… feedback. ”

“Listening to other Tutors, in particular learning about the different systems/approaches that different Department use for teaching and managing students has improved my confidence… Now I know that there is broad range of approaches and teaching styles on campus, so I feel confident trying things and innovating.”

In describing some of the revamped workshops in TIP:

Effective grading and feedback saw me put into practice providing the students with both positive and constructive feedback… I did not have one complaint from my students about harsh marks or remarking. Teaching for diversity and inclusion provided me with insights about class rooms I had never considered. These included ideas such as… certain mental health issues, cultural practices and age differences. Bringing this to the forefront of my mind caused me to show more understanding and empathy for differences.”

With the move of the Learning and Teaching Centre into faculties and the central Learning Innovation Hub, keep an eye on Teche to find out what’s happening with the Tutoring Induction Program. For the interim period, staff interested in TIP are advised to contact their Associate Dean Learning & Teaching in their faculty for more information. Don’t just take it from us:

“It has certainly improved my teaching practice, and made me much more aware of effective teaching techniques, not just in relation to the students, but also for my own wellbeing and efficiency.”