Teaching@Sydney

Welcome to Teaching@Sydney. Stay informed about teaching and learning news and events with this monthly bulletin produced by the Institute for Teaching and Learning.

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Towards a distinctive Sydney education: Join the conversation

In October, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Pip Pattison published a discussion paper, Towards a distinctive Sydney education. The paper is in two parts, each of which proposes a set of recommendations for consideration and asks a series of related questions.

The first part addresses the character and impact of a Sydney education, and makes recommendations relating to our curriculum and profile of degree offerings, and how we could promote depth of learning within our courses by developing experiential learning (eg research projects, workplace projects or interdisciplinary projects).

The second part of the paper proposes some broad parameters for the University’s approach to education and the educational environment needed to support it. It includes recommendations relating to how we use enquiry-based, practice-based and collaborative educational designs, benefit from formal and informal student feedback, develop a culture of innovation, openness and experimentation in our approach to teaching, and optimise a digital environment that supports our educational goals.

Professor Pattison will lead a series of discussion forums in faculties, professional service units and relevant Senior Executive Group and Academic Board committees throughout October and November. Feedback obtained through these various consultation mechanisms will inform the development of an educational vision for the University, to be submitted for approval to the Senior Executive Group in early 2015.

If you would like to contribute to the discussion, join the conversation and submit your comments and suggestions by 28 November.[close]

In October, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Pip Pattison published a discussion paper, Towards a distinctive Sydney education. The paper is in two parts, each of w...[more]

Consultation on changes to some student survey systems

The University is renewing its suite of student teaching and learning feedback surveys.  The current revisions are in response to recent changes in the Australian government’s survey system, and to support new strategies the University is developing to further enhance the quality of teaching and learning at Sydney.

The main changes will be a wider use of some existing national surveys and to the Unit of Study Evaluation (USE) system.  All surveys will move to fully online mode, be aligned to enhance usefulness and support important elements of the new education strategy. Further information on the changes is available here.

An important first stage of this work is consultation with the University community on the proposed survey changes. Faculties have been invited to discuss the proposed changes and to provide feedback to the DVC (Education) by 28 November via their SEG Education committee representative.[close]

The University is renewing its suite of student teaching and learning feedback surveys.  The current revisions are in response to recent changes in the Australian government&r...[more]

#edtech Network

Are you interested in using technology to improve your students' learning? Join this Network which brings members of the university community together to hear about the latest edtech developments, and to share their ideas, experiments and successes in using technology in their teaching. The Network meets for the #edtech talks. The University will be looking to the members of the Network as a source of expertise, ideas and advice in relation to developing new resources and strategies. Join the network here and help shape how Sydney uses technology for teaching.

Student negotiated assessment
The next talk in the #edtech series is James Humberstone on 'Student-negotiated assessment' on Friday 7th November at 1pm. James, an Apple Distinguished Educator and the 2014 recipient of the Co-op Teaching Award, will talk about how he changed the technology in music education course to engage in the current discourse on the good and the bad in technology in education, and more importantly how the assessment became project-based, student negotiated and supported through the lecture content to aim for an “ethic of excellence”. Register here.

MOOC study group on e-learning
Also on Friday 7th November is the first MOOC study group. If you're interested in learning more about e-learning and MOOCs, join a study group for those enrolled in the University of Edinburgh's E-learning and digital cultures MOOC. The group will meet weekly for an hour on Fridays during the five weeks of the MOOC, from 3rd November to 7 December. Register here.

Professor Simon Bates of the University of British Columbia launched the Education Portfolio's #edtech talks series with his seminar 'If you don’t lecture, what do you do? Active learning inside the classroom'. Around eighty colleagues attended the talk, but if you missed it you can catch up via the recording.

To find out more about flipped classes, take a look at the ITL's new Teaching Insight, which was developed in collaboration with colleagues across the university.[close]

Are you interested in using technology to improve your students' learning? Join this Network which brings members of the university community together to hear about the latest...[more]

Science and Technologies of Learning (STL) Research Fest

Tomorrow (6 November) is the STL Research Fest - an exciting annual event showcasing the efforts of researchers and practitioners interested in learning and knowledge technology research. The Fest will be opened by Professor Pip Pattison, our DVC Education, and will close with an invited lecture from Professor Simon Buckingham-Shum, Professor of Learning Informatics and Director of the Connected Intelligence Centre at UTS.

Date: Thursday 6 November, 2014
Time: All day
Venue: Education Building (A35), Camperdown campus

You can expect the usual mix of presentations, posters and keynotes as well as a chance to catch up with colleagues over lunch. Follow the STL blog to be kept up to date with the latest program information.[close]

Tomorrow (6 November) is the STL Research Fest - an exciting annual event showcasing the efforts of researchers and practitioners interested in learning and knowledge technology re...[more]

Presentation on definitions of student success

Student Support Services and CAPS invites you to an interactive presentation from Dr Tricia Seifert, University of Toronto on Definitions of Student Success: findings from the international student success study. The session will present Canadian research on the top definitions of student success from a range of stakeholders - academics, faculty staff, professionals and students. The presentation will cover implications of findings showing that there is more to success than retention and graduation, and outline efforts to align university-wide practices to student success outcomes. Visit this website for additional information about the study.

Date: Monday 1st December, 2014
Time: 1.00pm - 4.00pm
Venue: Veterinary Science Conference Centre B22, Camperdown campus

To secure your place at the presentation, please email Lauris de Clifford or phone (02) 8627 8453.

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Student Support Services and CAPS invites you to an interactive presentation from Dr Tricia Seifert, University of Toronto on Definitions of Student Success: findings from the inte...[more]

Don't miss out! Applications for the Graduate Certificate are closing

Are you thinking of doing the Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies (Higher Education) in 2015?

If so, then you need to start your application to the Faculty of Education and Social Work now. Applications close on the last working day of November.

The Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies (Higher Education) is a postgraduate award course offered through the Faculty of Education and Social Work and taught by the Institute for Teaching and Learning. It is an advanced program of study building on candidates' university teaching experience.

The course is primarily designed to introduce university teachers to current principles, practices, debates and research in higher education. Candidates are encouraged to develop scholarly, research-led approaches to teaching while engaging in activities and tasks aimed at cultivating critical reflection about higher education.

All intending participants in the program must be currently engaged in university teaching. Course fees for the Graduate Certificate are waived by the University for University of Sydney staff, provided staff have permanent residency/citizenship status.

To begin your application, click here. If you would like to discuss the course's suitability for your needs then please contact the coordinator Dr Graham Hendry  or phone 9351 4820.[close]

Are you thinking of doing the Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies (Higher Education) in 2015? If so, then you need to start your application to the Faculty of Education an...[more]

Becoming a university teacher and the role of the PhD: an OLT discussion paper

The Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) recently released the third discussion paper from Professor Belinda Probert - this time - on the role of the PhD in becoming a university teacher. The paper interrogates whether the traditional PhD in Australia - with its emphasis on new disciplinary knowledge, the thesis, and the production of independent researcher as the foundation for future academic work and practice - remains an adequate preparation for the complexities of university teaching. The paper hints at what university teaching in the future academy is likely to entail: more students, more diverse and under-prepared students, the need for flexible curriculum design and learning arrangements, increasing external regulation and outcome standards, team-teaching, unbundling of teaching roles and responsibilities etc. Probert suggests there is not only more to be done to orient and support doctoral students to the future scene of university teaching, but that a radical re-think of the PhD is now warranted.

The paper cites research from a range of sources: disciplinary investigations in biology, literature, and modern languages), major national surveys of Australian research students, data about the experiences of academic employment from casual and sessional staff, and findings from similar studies in the US, UK and NZ.

In response, the OLT has extended its program priorities to include grants on The Contemporary PhD. Visit the ITL's grants website for further information.

Download the full report here.

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The Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) recently released the third discussion paper from Professor Belinda Probert - this time - on the role of the PhD in becoming a university...[more]

Symposium on Higher Degree Research Student Writing

The symposium, attracting over 100 participants from across Australia, was held on October 3rd 2014 at the University of Sydney, supported by the Association for Academic Language and Learning. It showcased diverse practices from a range of universities for developing HDR student writing, and provided opportunities for supervisors, students, deans and directors of graduate research, academic developers and academic language and learning educators to discuss what works – and what might work better in the contexts of their institutions.

Keynote speakers, Bill Green and Inger Mewburn addressed different aspects of the HDR student journey. Bill emphasised writing as a ‘practice of being’ and the challenges associated with research students expanding their identify through their writing. Inger urged the audience to take on the ‘Wild West’ of self-help education on the web by using their wisdom and insights into the HDR journey to design appropriate and relevant resources to support student writing and model and guide students, both in using these resources but also in knowing their limitations.

 

 

The symposium also launched Writing Groups for Doctoral Education and Beyond: Innovations in Practice and Theory edited by Claire Aitchison and Cally Guerin and provided a forum for participants to develop research groups around a number of themes. One group has already produced a research proposal for a national scoping study on HDR supervision training and support focused on student writing. For more information contact Dr Bronwyn James.

The resources from the Symposium (for e.g., presenters’ abstracts and powerpoint slides, and storified tweets from the day) can be found can be found at the Learning Centre website.[close]

The symposium, attracting over 100 participants from across Australia, was held on October 3rd 2014 at the University of Sydney, supported by the Association for Academic Language...[more]

The Sydney Health Care Team Challenge - Winners for 2014

The Sydney Health Care Team (HCT) Challenge has been running at the university since 2010. The Challenge engages students from different health faculties in an innovative and interprofessional learning experience. They collaborate as a team to design an interprofessional health care team plan for a case, with input from academic mentors. Teams of students develop and submit a video highlighting the interprofessional aspects of the case, along with a written abstract of a case management plan.

Team ILFF won this year’s Challenge. The winning team’s video was showcased at the Sydney Teaching Colloquium and the team members were presented with certificates.

Click here to view the video

Overall, there were 13 teams (and 77 students) who joined the 2014 Health Care Team Challenge. The case management plan involved the rehabilitation of an 18 year old patient 'John' - a pedestrian - who had sustained a traumatic brain injury after being struck by a motor vehicle. Teams were given free rein on how they conveyed an interprofessional patient focused approach to care. The judges met after the final submissions to review the abstracts and videos, and provided feedback to all teams via video.

After the challenge, many of the students offered feedback on how the challenge allowed them to exercise their creativity, meet new friends, learn about and prepare them for their future career, as well as develop a better understanding of what other interprofessional health care teams do. Some of the team members have also offered to mentor future students who participate in the challenges.

Further information about the HCT challenge is available here.[close]

The Sydney Health Care Team (HCT) Challenge has been running at the university since 2010. The Challenge engages students from different health faculties in an innovative and inter...[more]

How to positively influence student motivation and self-regulation

A highly regarded meta-analysis of 109 educational research studies has found that university students’ achievement is most closely related to: high school achievement, performance on university entrance exams, current motivation, and current self-regulated learning knowledge and skills (Richardson, Abraham, & Bond, 2012).

This research indicates that student success in their university studies depends not only on their past experiences and successes, it also depends on their current self-regulation and motivation whilst studying with us at the University of Sydney. And the good news for teachers is that we can create learning environments that support both of these.

First of all, let’s consider self-regulated learning (SRL). According to Pintrich (2000), SRL “is an active, constructive process whereby learners set goals for their learning and then attempt to monitor, regulate, and control their cognition, motivation, and behaviour, guided and constrained by their goals and the contextual features in the environment” (p. 453). Some practical teaching and curriculum design ideas for improving student SRL (Bartimote-Aufflick, Brew, & Ainley, 2010) include:

  • Explicit instruction and discussion of both learning strategies and regulation skills as part of the regular curriculum;
  • Modeling your strategies and skills with students;
  • Providing opportunities for students to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses, and learn from recent experiences;
  • Providing students with opportunities to interact with someone else that can help scaffold or model learning – this may be a teacher or a fellow student, and could involve pedagogical strategies like reciprocal peer teaching, computer-mediated learning environments, collaborative learning, etc;
  • Engaging students in inquiry work, including project work; and
  • Providing students opportunities to engage in self and peer critique, as a way of monitoring their own learning and standards.

Now, let’s consider motivation. In the Richardson et al. meta-analysis the strongest correlate amongst all 50 psychosocial factors considered was self-efficacy, which is a motivation factor. Self-efficacy beliefs and expectations (Bandura, 1977, 1997) refer to a person’s perception that he or she has the skill and capability to undertake a particular action or task.

Recently a few of us from various disciplines across the University worked together to review the self-efficacy literature (Bartimote-Aufflick, Bridgeman, Walker, Sharma, & Smith, in press) with the aim of identifying some evidence-based strategies university teachers could use to improve their students’ self-efficacy.  These include:

  1. Using multimedia (e.g. a video) to support students’ learning, but guide students’ use of it via classroom interaction rather than leaving students to view resources independently (see Govaere, de Kruif, & Valcke, 2012);
  2. Designing and presenting e-learning materials in a knowledge/concept map format, rather than typical browsing structures (see Shaw, 2010);
  3. Modelling solving problems to students (and/or get students engaged in peer teaching), but realize it is more effective if coping strategies are modelled, i.e. making errors and correcting them, rather than completing problems flawlessly (see Zimmerman & Kitsantas, 2002); and
  4. Employing pedagogical strategies that support students’ psychological needs e.g. sharing personal stories, assignment topic choice, facilitating application of content and highlighting relevance by making connections between study and professional work, proving feedback on submissions, setting challenging but achievable tasks, being available to provide guidance, providing early low-risk opportunities for successful task completions, providing opportunities to work with peers (see Papastergiou, 2010).

For feedback and/or discussion, contact Kathryn Bartimote-Aufflick.

References
Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191-215.
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman.
Bartimote-Aufflick, K., Brew, A., & Ainley, M. (2010). University teachers engaged in critical self-regulation: How may they influence their students? In A. Efklides & P. Misailidi (Eds.), Trends and prospects in metacognition research (pp. 427-444). USA: Springer.
Bartimote-Aufflick, K., Bridgeman, A., Walker, R., Sharma, M., & Smith, L. (in press). The study, evaluation, and improvement of university student self-efficacy. Studies in Higher Education.
Govaere, J., de Kruif, A., & Valcke, M. (2012). Differential impact of unguided versus guided use of a multimedia introduction to equine obstetrics in veterinary education. Computers and Education, 58, 1076-1084.
Papastergiou, M. (2010). Enhancing physical education and sport science students’ self-efficacy and attitudes regarding information and communication technologies through a computer literacy course. Computers and Education, 54, 298-308.
Pintrich, P. R. (2000). The role of goal orientation in self-regulated learning. In M. Boekaerts, P. R. Pintrich & M. Zeidner (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation (pp. 451-502). San Diego, CA: Academic.
Richardson, M., Abraham, C., & Bond, R. (2012). Psychological correlates of university students' academic performance: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 138(2), 353-387.
Shaw, R.-S. (2010). A study of learning performance of e-learning materials design with knowledge maps. Computers and Education, 54, 253-264.
Zimmerman, B. J., & Kitsantas, A. (2002). Acquiring writing revision and self-regulatory skill through observation and emulation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94(4), 660-668.

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A highly regarded meta-analysis of 109 educational research studies has found that university students’ achievement is most closely related to: high school achievement, perfo...[more]

Students as partners in learning and teaching

Are you interested in involving students as partners in learning and teaching? A new report published by the UK's Higher Education Academy draws together extensive UK and international scholarship and research to propose a new conceptual model for exploring the variety of understandings about 'students as partners' in learning and teaching.

The authors define partnership in learning and teaching as

a way of staff and students learning and working together to foster engaged student learning and engaging learning and teaching enhancement. This way of working requires active engagement and responsibility of all involved...listening to students does not in and of itself constitute partnership.

Written by Mick Healey, Abbi Flint and Kathy Harrington, the report:

  • examines the motivations and rationales for staff and students engaging in partnership;
  • offers a pedagogical case for partnership;
  • identifies examples of strategic and sustainable practices of engaging students as partners in learning and teaching;
  • outlines how the development of partnership learning communities may guide and sustain practice in this area;
  • identifies tensions and challenges to partnership;
  • provides links to useful websites and resources;
  • offers suggestions to individuals and institutions for addressing challenges and future work.

The full copy can be downloaded here.

If you're interested in this topic, the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning has a lively 'Students as Co-Inquirers' Special Interest Group, which can be joined by emailing the co-chairs.
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Are you interested in involving students as partners in learning and teaching? A new report published by the UK's Higher Education Academy draws together extensive UK and inter...[more]

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Current Events & Registration

register Sign up for Teaching@Sydney details 2014
register #edtech talks: E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC study group details 5 December
register Foundations of Research Supervision Forum details 9 December
register Principles & Practice of University Teaching & Learning details 26 - 27 February
register Principles & Practice of University Teaching & Learning details 16 - 17 July

closed #edtech talks: An app for university teachers details 28 November
closed #edtech talks: E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC study group details 28 November
closed #edtech talks: E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC study group details 21 November
closed #edtech talks: E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC study group details 14 November
closed #edtech talks: E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC study group details 7 November
closed #edtech talks: Student-negotiated assessment details 7 November
closed #edtech talks: Fostering student engagement and participation using online tools in and out of class details 31 October

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