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.

Subscribe to our RSS feed    

#edtech talks: Active Learning Online and In Class

The #edtech talks continue again this year 12.00noon–1.00pm the third Friday of every month. Mark your diary so you don't miss them.

Following the first session this year with Professor Peter Bol from Harvard, the next talk will be on 20th March 12.00–1.00pm. Following their sessions at the Sydney Teaching Colloquium which were very well received, Adam Bridgeman (Faculty of Science) and Sandra Peter (Sydney Business School) will address the topic of Active Learning Online and In Class. Adam writes:

The importance of technology for teaching and support is a fact of life in most disciplines in most institutions and is absolutely key for the sustaining large cohorts.

Adam will talk about Guided Inquiry in First Year Chemistry while Sandra will discuss Blended Learning in Business. They will explain what they do in their classes which engages students and how this is achievable for other teachers at Sydney.  
 

Register
 

And the following session to mark in your diary (same time, same place), Friday 17 April, will feature talks by Abelardo Pardo ( Engineering and IT) and Melanie Nyguen (Health Sciences).

The #edtechtalks are part of the Sydney Teaching Seminars.[close]

The #edtech talks continue again this year 12.00noon–1.00pm the third Friday of every month. Mark your diary so you don't miss them. Following the first session this yea...[more]

New unit of study survey (USS) to allow greater customisation

From March 2015, the new unit of study survey (USS) will replace the unit of study evaluation (USE). This is a major component of the University's revision of the suite of student experience surveys being led by DVC Education, Professor Pip Pattison. The USS will be fully online, and all units of study offered across the University will be surveyed each time they run. Information on the new survey, including the core items endorsed by SEG, is available on the ITL Surveys website

A key feature of the new USS system is flexibility for faculties to tailor versions of the USS to suit a variety of curriculum settings. In the first iteration, faculties can develop up to four versions of the USS, by adding faculty-specific items to the core items. Some of the ways faculties are considering using alternate USS versions are to use different surveys: for PG or UG level units, for units within a particular degree program, for workplace/clinical placement units, for units taught online or at a distance, for units with a practical/laboratory component, and for honours units. 

Queries regarding the ordering process for the USS should be directed to your faculty administrator. General queries regarding the new USS can be sent to itl.surveys@sydney.edu.au, or your faculty’s representative on the SEG Education Committee[close]

From March 2015, the new unit of study survey (USS) will replace the unit of study evaluation (USE). This is a major component of the University's revision of the suite of...[more]

Dialogues with Sydney's Distinguished Teachers

This new series of lunchtime talks showcases Sydney’s distinguished university teachers whose teaching has been recognized through a University or the Australian Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) award. Bring your lunch, and find out what inspires them, what they do, why and how they do it, what evidence means to them, and why they believe teaching matters.

These talks are part of the Sydney Teaching Seminars.

The venue for this series is Teaching and Learning Seminar Room 250, Level 2 South, Fisher Library. You can also follow along on twitter #stsdialogues.
 

Upcoming events

Friday 27 March
1-2pm

Melanie Nguyen and Ruth Barcan

Dr Melanie Nguyen works in the Discipline of Behavioural & Social Science s in Health, Faculty of Health Sciences. She was the recipient of a 2011 Faculty Early Career Teacher Award, and a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Teaching (Early Career) in 2013. In 2014, Mel was part of the team that received a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Support of the Student Experience (for Belong@FHS: Peer Mentoring across the Faculty of Health Sciences).
Read more about Mel…

Associate Professor Ruth Barcan is Chair, Department of Gender and Cultural Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. In 2011, she received the Faculty’s Excellence in Teaching (Design & Practice) Award, and in 2014, was one of three recipients of the Vice-Chancellors Award for Outstanding Teaching.
Read more about Ruth…

To register click here[close]

This new series of lunchtime talks showcases Sydney’s distinguished university teachers whose teaching has been recognized through a University or the Australian Office for L...[more]

Call for VC's award applications

Professor Pip Pattison has announced that the Vice-Chancellor is calling for applications for the 2015 Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Learning and Teaching. The purpose of these awards is to promote, recognise and reward teaching excellence, and the systems that support teaching excellence. Award winners receive $10,000. Applications are warmly invited. To learn how winning an award can boost your career read what Professor Michelle Lincoln has to say.

There are four categories of awards:

The Education Portfolio will be running workshops for prospective applicants. Anyone considering applying for these awards should register and attend. The workshop on Wednesday 25 March 2015 9.30-11.30am is for those interested in preparing an application for a VC's Outstanding Teaching or Research Higher Degree Supervision Award. Those who want to apply for  an award for Systems that Achieve Collective Excellence or Support of the Student Experience should register for the workshop on Tuesday 14th April 2015 9.30-11.30am.

Attending workshops is highly recommended as the criteria, which are based on the OLT Awards criteria, have changed this year. If you wish for individual support for your application, it is expected that you will first have attended a workshop. Further information, including other sources of support is available on the webpages.

Applications close: 5pm Monday 4 May 2015[close]

Professor Pip Pattison has announced that the Vice-Chancellor is calling for applications for the 2015 Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Learning and Teaching. The purpose of these...[more]

OLT Award and Grant workshops

OLT (Office for Learning and Teaching) Awards are highly prestigious. They offer recognition of quality teaching practice and outstanding contributions to student learning as well as $25,000 to each successful individual or team.  Read what a member of a Sydney successful team for an OLT Citation says about making an application and the rewards that have come as a result.

The Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning recognise programs and services that demonstrate effectiveness through rigorous evaluation that will set benchmarks for similar activities in other institutions. There are six Program Award categories: Widening participation; Educational partnerships and collaborations with other organisations; Innovation and flexibility in curricula, learning and teaching; Postgraduate education; Student experiences and services supporting learning, development and growth in higher education; and Global citizenship and internationalisation. There are many programs around the university which have enhanced student learning. If you are involved in a program that fits one of these categories do consider the possibility of applying. Contact Alison Kuiper if you want to disucss the possibility, or better, attend the worskshop.

The Awards for Teaching Excellence recognise teachers, including individuals and teams, renowned for excellence in teaching. Both individual and team applications are welcome. There are seven disciplinary categories and a priority area which this year is High impact intervention for progression, retention and attainment. There have been some changes to the criteria. If you have been received a University Outstanding Teaching Award, you should consider applying.The OLT stresses the advantages in making an application and building on it to success, perhaps over several years.

For information on these awards, check the ITL webpage. You are strongly advised to attend the workshop on Tuesday 10 March, 9.30-11.40 am whether you have decided to apply or are considering doing so in the future.   

Applicants for these Awards or Citation may also wish to join the OLT Teleconference on Thursday 19 March to find out what the assessors are looking for and what makes a good nomination?

  • Overview of the OLT programmes
  • Workshop on how to write good award nominations
  • Panel session for sharing from award recipients and assessors
  • Roundtable discussion on effective support for award nominees and building award networks

RSVP via this link.
Registration closes two working days prior to the workshop.

If you would like to join the teleconference with those meeting in the ITL (Room 250) at this time, register here as well so we know you are coming.

...........................................

Information about Round 2 of the 2015 OLT Grants program is now available, including registration for the workshop on Friday 13 March, 12.30-2.30pm.  The workshop is for those considering applying for a Seed grant. Successful applicants Dr Carl Schneider and Dr Rebekah Moles will attend to talk about their experiences in developing an application.

In this round, only applications for SEED grants and successful EOIs from the first round will be eligible for consideration.The results of the EOIs submitted in the first round have yet to be announced by the OLT.  A workshop for those who have been invited to put in a full application will be held once the announcement has been made.

The 2016 round of grants is expected to be announced in August. If you are interested in an applying this round for a Seed grant or making an application in a later round, you should read the following item about a successful application.

Information about 2015 extension grants is now online, including application instructions and application form. In 2015 there will be one round of extension grants. The due date for applications is Monday 31 August 2015.[close]

OLT (Office for Learning and Teaching) Awards are highly prestigious. They offer recognition of quality teaching practice and outstanding contributions to student learning as well...[more]

Making a successful OLT grant application: Just AskCharlie

What does it take to make a successful application for an OLT grant? Now that OLT Grants are Category One the competition is intense. The AskCharlie project which was funded in 2013 has just been successfully completed. As the project team reports:

"Our team was led by Martin Tomitsch (Architecture, Design and Planning), and included Jen Scott Curwood (Education and Social Work), Kate Thomson (Health Sciences) and Graham Hendry (ITL). The project began with Martin and Graham reflecting on the OLT grant priorities. The OLT was seeking applications for projects that could (among other things) build the capacity of academics, and/or use mobile solutions to support learning and teaching.

We knew that in most Australian universities one process traditionally associated with building academics’ capacity was providing student evaluation of teaching (SET) results to help academics improve their teaching. But, surprisingly, other than anecdotes there was little evidence that academics use their SET results for this purpose. We knew of at least one exception: a study in the 1980s in Australia found that when academics were required to take time to consider their SET results with the help of a colleague, they were much more likely to improve their teaching. This gave us an idea: could a less labour-intensive ‘mobile solution’, that is, a personalised app be used to help academics in considering their SET results in the same way as if they were considering them with a colleague?

Martin and Graham invited colleagues Kate Thomson, who had just completed her doctorate on how university teachers use everyday conversations to improve their teaching, and Jen Scott Curwood, an expert in technology design-based research to join the project team. With our combined expertise we put together our application, which included visual mockups of the proposed app, won the grant, and AskCharlie was born."

This account highlights a number of the features which are needed for a successful application. These are also evident in other successful University of Sydney successful proposals for OTL grants.

Start by:

  1. Identifying a project that fits one of the OLT priorities
  2. Identifying a project that will contribute to learning and teaching, not just at this university.
  3. Research the topic thoroughly, especially previous OLT projects.
  4. Build a team which incorporates the range of expertise you need. If you are applying for a full project, you will need team members from other universities.

Once you’ve done those steps, there’s more, especially establishing a time frame, and a credible budget. For a successful OLT project evidence of dissemination has become increasingly important so this has to be considered from the beginning. Making an application and completing the grant is not an easy process but as the AskCharlie team and other successful applicants will tell you, it’s an involving and rewarding professional activity.[close]

What does it take to make a successful application for an OLT grant? Now that OLT Grants are Category One the competition is intense. The AskCharlie project which was funded in 201...[more]

Innovative Teaching Strategies to engage international students

A seminar hosted by the Learning Centre on Friday March 20th, 3-5pm will present Innovative Teaching Strategies to engage international students, the result of an Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) project.

Project leaders Christine Daymon and Lindy Norris (Murdoch University) will present findings and innovative teaching strategies that are based on extensive ethnographic research into teaching and learning in communication, media and management in China, which is the largest recruitment market for international students. They will consider the impact of China’s academic culture on Chinese students’ performance when they transition into Australian postgraduate study. A particular focus will be on language learning and academic writing. There will be the opportunity to try out some discipline-specific teaching strategies and resources that can be used in seminars and tutorials to support students in postgraduate learning.

Register by March 13th by emailing the Learning Centre: karlo.jurasovic@sydney.edu.au
 [close]

A seminar hosted by the Learning Centre on Friday March 20th, 3-5pm will present Innovative Teaching Strategies to engage international students, the result of an Office for Learni...[more]

The Blended Synchronous Learning Handbook

According to the authors of this handbook: Twenty-first century university students find it increasingly difficult to commit to regular face-to- face classes, yet real-time interaction and collaboration are often essential to achieving successful learning outcomes.  This conviction was the starting point for the OLT project on Blended Synchronous Learning which explores solutions to connect twenty-first century students with twenty-first century higher education.

The Blended Synchronous Learning Handbook by Matt Bower, Gregor Kennedy, Barney Dalgarno, Mark J. W. Lee and Jacqueline Kenney is the main outcome of the project. It includes a Blended Synchronous Learning Design Framework that offers pedagogical, technological and logistical recommendations for teachers attempting to design and implement blended synchronous learning lessons (see Chapter 14). The Handbook also includes a Rich-Media Synchronous Technology Capabilities Framework to support the selection of technologies for different types of learning activities (see Chapter 4), as well as a review of relevant literature, a summary of the Blended Synchronous Learning Scoping Study results, detailed reports of each of the seven case studies, and a cross case analysis.

If you would like a printed version of the Blended Synchronous Learning Handbook, it is available at-cost from Amazon for approximately $16US. The digital version is freely available here
 [close]

According to the authors of this handbook: Twenty-first century university students find it increasingly difficult to commit to regular face-to- face classes, yet real-time interac...[more]

53 Powerful Ideas All Teachers Should Know About

Following last month's edition of Teaching@Sydney, there was considerable interest in Graham Gibbs's blog about powerful teaching ideas. In this March edition, we have chosen the second of Gibbs's powerful ideas: There is often a gap between teachers' thinking and practice (PDF).

Enjoy!

Graham Gibbs is one of the UK's most well known advocates of improving university learning and teaching. With his colleagues (Habeshaw & Habeshaw), he was responsible for the very popular '53 Interesting Ideas' books series that have supported countless teachers (new and experienced) navigate their way through tricky classroom and curriculum dilemmas. Gibbs's new blog 53 Powerful Ideas all Teachers Should Know About offers a research summary of key issues.[close]

Following last month's edition of Teaching@Sydney, there was considerable interest in Graham Gibbs's blog about powerful teaching ideas. In this March edition, we have chos...[more]

Providing quality feedback on student writing

Feeling under pressure to provide timely, quality feedback on student writing? This handbook is designed to help markers in their provision of feedback to students. While it was originally prepared for use in science units, the advice in the handbook will also be useful across disciplines. Download the Handbook for giving feedback on student writing in the sciences from the Learning Centre homepage.
 [close]

Feeling under pressure to provide timely, quality feedback on student writing? This handbook is designed to help markers in their provision of feedback to students. While it was or...[more]

show all


Current Events & Registration

register Sign up for Teaching@Sydney details 2014
register University forum on lecture recording details 8 April
register Foundations of Research Supervision Forum details 10 April
register Preparing an application for an award for Systems that Achieve Collective Excellence or Support of the Student Experience details 14 April
register #edtech talks: Dr Abelardo Pardo & Dr Melanie Nguyen details 17 April
register Principles & Practice of University Teaching & Learning details 16 - 17 July

closed Dialogues with Sydney’s Distinguished Teachers details 27 March
closed Preparing an application for a VC's Outstanding Teaching or Research Higher Degree Supervision Award details 25 March
closed #edtech talks: Active Learning Online and In Class - Professor Adam Bridgeman & Dr Sandra Peter details 20 March
closed Join an OLT Awards Teleconference details 19 March
closed OLT Grants Workshop details 13 March
closed OLT Awards Workshop details 10 March

March 15
February 15
December 14
November 14
October 14
September 14
August 14
July 14
June 14
May 14
April 14