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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Supporting educational innovation - grants information and workshop

The DVCE, Professor Pip Pattison has announced that funding of approximately $500K is now available to support educational innovation projects in faculties. The purpose of the funding is to support initiatives for quality improvement and innovation in teaching and learning. 

Applications are invited from staff in all faculties for:

  • Small Educational Innovation (SEI) Grants – funding of up to $8,000 is available to support small educational innovation projects.
  • Large Educational Innovation (LEI) Grants – funding of up to $35,000 is available to support large educational innovation projects.

The grants are intended to support faculty or cross faculty activities and applicants must be full time or part time faculty staff. Both the Grant Schemes are intended to support work that involves the creative application of existing approaches and technologies or the development of novel approaches and technologies to one or more units of study in order to improve students’ learning experiences. In both cases, the impact may be in one or a collection of units of study; the difference between the two schemes is intended to reflect the level of support required to achieve the proposed outcomes.

A workshop will be offered by the Education Portfolio on Friday 19 September from 1.30pm – 3.00pm to support intending applicants in developing proposals.   [The workshop on Friday 19 September workshop from 9.30am – 11.00am is already full.]

For details of the scheme, to apply, or to register for the workshop  visit the ITL website. 

Proposals should be aligned with the University of Sydney 2011-2015 Strategic Plan. Proposals developing the following will be prioritised:

  • ‘Engaged enquiry’ as a mode of learning;
  • More effective approaches to feedback and assessment;
  • Deeper learning engagement through effective class and/or peer interaction; and
  • Creative use of existing technologies or approaches or the development of new technologies or approaches to improve the quality and effectiveness of learning experiences and learning outcomes.

The closing date for applications is Friday 14 November 2014. Applicants should contact their Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) for faculty internal submission dates.[close]

The DVCE, Professor Pip Pattison has announced that funding of approximately $500K is now available to support educational innovation projects in faculties. The purpose of the fund...[more]

Students and faculties contributing to 2014 Sydney Teaching Colloquium

You are warmly invited to join your colleagues at the  2014 Sydney Teaching Colloquium, Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 September.  All of the university's 16 faculties will be contributing in some way to the discussions and investigations into whether our assessment is up to standard.

A particular highlight of this year's program is that a number of presentations feature collaborations with students. In addition, our six Student Ambassadors will tell us what the Colloquium, and the discussions, look like from their perspective. Putting their skills as researchers engaged in inquiry to work over the course of the Colloquium, they will carry out short interviews with presenters and senior leaders, gather survey data from students and attendees and gather images of how scholarly communities work together to attend to a complex problem such as assessment standards. Don't be surprised if you get tapped on the shoulder by one of the Ambassadors.

Other highlights include:

  • Our keynotes David Boud and Chris Rust,
  • A symposium about the approaches, examples and challenges of assessing Cultural Competence across the university;
  • Several presentations on the the development and use of Apps: one for academic staff so that they can learn from, and respond to student feedback surveys, and another, aimed at supporting the assessment of students' clinical skills;
  • A presentation inviting us to ask whether assessment is making us unhealthy, and another offering support for the design of inclusive assessments;
  • Reports about the use of student work (exemplars or assignment models) as a strategy for a discussion with students about criteria and standards; and
  • A focus on the assessment and examination of HDR theses
  • A panel discussion in which Deputy Vice-Chancellor  Education, Professor Pip Pattison will challenge a number of the university's teaching excellence award winners with questions about teaching and assessment.

Online registration is open. Help us spread the word by downloading the e-poster and displaying it in your department, or distributing it to your colleagues. Follow the twitter account @SydTeachColloq or use #sydteach14 to contribute to the conversation. Or better yet, tweet some Colloquium related news to your followers.

Join us at the Colloquium. We look forward to your company.
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You are warmly invited to join your colleagues at the  2014 Sydney Teaching Colloquium, Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 September.  All of the university's 16 faculties will...[more]

Significant changes to OLT grants

Information just released on the Innovation and Development Grants for 2015 includes some significant changes.

If you are interested in a larger scale project on one of the prioritiy topics, you should consider putting  in a full application or an EOI in this round.  Those wanting to apply for a Seed grant are invited to submit applications in Round 2, mid 2015.

These changes will be among the information covered in the workshop  being offered by the ITL on:

The 2015 grants rounds will cover only those types of applications below:

Round 1 (closing November 2014) is for Full Proposals and EOIs

Round 2  (closing June 2015) is only for Full proposals from successful Round 1 EOIs and Seed grants 

The new priorities for Full proposals, EOis and Seed grants are

  • Academic standards
  • Assessing equivalence of qualifications and learning outcomes
  • Assessment and promotion of student learning (on selected topics)
  • Curriculum design (on selected topics)
  • Employability skills
  • Improving institutional pathways across higher education
  • Improving access to and outcomes in higher education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • The contemporary PhD

All applications require institutional approval. Information about making an application and sources of advice and support for doing so are available on the ITL website.[close]

Information just released on the Innovation and Development Grants for 2015 includes some significant changes. If you are interested in a larger scale project on one of the priori...[more]

Inclusive Teaching resource and workshops

The Faculty of Health Sciences has launched an online resource  and organised a workshop to support staff to create inclusive learning environments. While the resource and the workshop have a Health Sciences 'flavour', the practical strategies discussed are applicable to other disciplines - so all staff are welcome to make use of the online modules and workshop.

The project team conducted a survey of Faculty of Health Sciences teaching staff about their experiences of creating an inclusive learning environment. The team also surveyed students to understand their backgrounds, the challenges they faced at university and whether they believed their learning environment was inclusive. The survey findings indicated that students who perceived their language proficiency to be below average reported finding university learning more difficult than other students.

The online Inclusive Teaching Resource Package was created in response to the survey feedback. It is organised in four modules around the key challenges teachers identified in supporting students with low English language proficiency. The package has a flexible design so that you can tailor your participation to be relevant to your own learning and teaching goals.

In addition to this online Inclusive Teaching Resource Package, a workshop has been organised for University of Sydney teachers. During the workshop you will be supported to apply the strategies from the online package to your classes. As such, the team requests that workshop attendees complete the modules they think are relevant to their teaching before the workshop. The session is also an opportunity to share common challenges and solutions for creating inclusive learning environments that are not covered in the online modules.

The workshop will be held at the Cumberland campus:

2-4pm, Tuesday 9 September  Register Here

OR repeat session

2-4pm,  Thursday 11 September Register Here

This project was made possible through by a Widening Participation Flagship Project Grant 2013. The grants were funded by the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program, and managed as a partnership between the Social Inclusion Unit and the Institute for Teaching and Learning. Click here if you are interested in joining the Widening Participation Scholars Network.[close]

The Faculty of Health Sciences has launched an online resource  and organised a workshop to support staff to create inclusive learning environments. While the resource and t...[more]

Blended synchronous learning

If you are interested in synchronous blended learning you may like to explore the website for the Blended Synchronous Learning project.  The project was funded by the OTL to focus on three technologies—videoconferencing, web conferencing and 3D virtual worlds—as well as learning designs involving the use of these technologies to simultaneously engage students and teachers in collaborative activities irrespective of their location. An Australia and New Zealand-wide scoping survey was conducted, and seven case studies were followed and investigated through participatory evaluation.

The Blended Synchronous Learning Handbook is now available for download here.The Handbook 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). It 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.

The seven case studies below can be found here:

  • Case 1: Web conferencing to develop investment understanding (collaborative evaluation task)
  • Case 2: Room-based video conferencing to develop understanding of healthcare quality improvement approaches (collaborative evaluation task)
  • Case 3: Web conferencing to develop microscopic tissue analysis and interpretation skills (group questioning)
  • Case 4: Web conferencing for participation in statistics tutorials (collaborative problem solving)
  • Case 5: Virtual worlds to facilitate Chinese language learning (paired role-play)
  • Case 6: Web conferencing to enable presence in sexology (lecture discussions)
  • Case 7: Virtual worlds for teacher education (collaborative evaluation and design)

The BlendSync Final Report and External Evaluation Report are available along with the Handbook from the OLT website.

All  those with an interest in the area are invited to join the Blended Synchronous Learning Collaborator Network to keep abreast of events and updates in the future. Instructions on how to do this can be found here.  Email: info@blendsync.org[close]

If you are interested in synchronous blended learning you may like to explore the website for the Blended Synchronous Learning project.  The project was funded by the OTL to...[more]

Award for Outstanding and Innovative Contributions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy

Applications are now being called for the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding and Innovative Contributions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy. This award seeks to promote, recognise and reward outstanding and innovative contributions to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander strategy at the University of Sydney. Nominees must demonstrate an outstanding contribution to the University’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander strategy. The award is for the sum of $10,000. It is not awarded every year.

The closing date for 2014 is Friday 3 October. Click here for information on eligibility and how to apply. If you have any questions about the award please contact the office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services).

This award is in addition to the Indigenous Education strategic bonus awards offered by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services) as part of the Vice-Chancellor’s outstanding teaching, research higher degree supervision and support for student learning schemes.
 [close]

Applications are now being called for the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding and Innovative Contributions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy. This award...[more]

Symposium on Higher Degree Research student writing

Registration is now open for this one day research symposium on October 3rd here.

The symposium focuses on two primary touch points for developing student writing:

  • The student supervisor relationship, and;
  • Institutionally endorsed spaces from which programmatic and/or centrally delivered writing ‘support’ may be provided by faculty academics, academic developers, and academic language and learning educators.

The symposium, supported by the Association for Academic Language and Learning, will showcase diverse practices from a range of universities for developing HDR student writing. It will provide 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
Inger Mewburn: Director of research training at the ANU
Bill Green: Emeritus Professor of Education at Charles Sturt University in NSW, Australia

More Information is available on the website or email bronwyn.james@sydney.edu.au[close]

Registration is now open for this one day research symposium on October 3rd here. The symposium focuses on two primary touch points for developing student writing: The stu...[more]

Shared mentoring initiatives at Sydney

Mentoring literature often cites a tension between local initiatives that target the needs of specific groups and more efficient centralised programs addressing common concerns across a larger population. For several years, the University of Sydney has had a Mentoring Network consisting of the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, Health Sciences, Science, Sydney Law School and the Business School as a way of connecting, supporting and, perhaps most importantly, debriefing. These faculties have worked together to develop a community of best practice for mentoring programs. Over the last five years this informal network has been meeting before mentor training and after the launch of the faculty programs to discuss what went well, to share information and ideas, and to assess what could be improved.

This connection across some of the University resulted in the presentation of a paper: Same-same but different: integrating central university support and faculty-specific knowledge for mentor training at the International First Year Experience conference in Darwin this year. It compared the programs of the group members, and looked at how sharing experiences had resulted in the development of a common training module for the mentors.

Discussion at the conference led to a number of innovative ideas, including the proposal to look at developing some common online modules for mentors to complete so that students who were participating in more than one program would complete the related sessions only once. This would mean that more time could be allocated for the faculty-specific training that occurs face-to-face.

One of the most important things to come out of the conference was the realisation that, while the network has a diverse group of coordinators with a lot of ideas and willingness to support each other, there are so many more groups and coordinators in the University of Sydney community who could be supported and could contribute to this informal network.

If you are interested in connecting to the group please contact:
Deborah Rodrigo – deborah.rodrigo@sydney.edu.au or Nadia McDonagh – nadia.mcdonagh@sydney.edu.au 
You can also request to join the LinkedIn group.[close]

Mentoring literature often cites a tension between local initiatives that target the needs of specific groups and more efficient centralised programs addressing common concerns acr...[more]

Conferences and resources: international education and educational research

The 28th Australian International Education Conference: Inventing the future is being held in  Brisbane from 7th-10th October. The preliminary program is now available at http://aiec.idp.com, Registrations are open, and if you need to make a case for attending there are some handy hints on the website.

140 records have been added to the IDP Database of Research on International Education for May-July 2014. Browse the new additions here.

New reports, articles, books and theses are listed as discovered at http://twitter.com/IDPDRIE

And if you are interested in the views of an 'international academic' you might like to follow this link for an article on the topic.

AARE and NZARE 2014 national conference: Speaking back through research will be held at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane from Sunday 30 November  to Thursday 4 December.

AARE and NZARE are national associations for fostering educational research in Australia and New Zealand. This conference will facilitate contact between educational researchers and support the development of high quality educational research.[close]

The 28th Australian International Education Conference: Inventing the future is being held in  Brisbane from 7th-10th October. The preliminary program is now available at ht...[more]

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Current Events & Registration

register Sign up for Teaching@Sydney

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2014
closed Principles & Practice of University Teaching & Learning

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2 - 3 October
register Foundations of Research Supervision Forum 21 October
register #edtech talks: Flipped classrooms 31 October
register E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC study group 7 November
register E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC study group 14 November
register E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC study group 21 November
register #edtech talks: An app for university teachers 28 November
register E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC study group 28 November
register E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC study group 5 December
register Principles & Practice of University Teaching & Learning 19 - 20 February

closed Sydney Teaching Colloquium 2014 29 - 30 September
closed OLT Grant applicants workshop 26 September
closed Workshop for Small and Large Educational Innovation Grants - Workshop Three 22 September
closed Inclusive Teaching Workshop presented by Professor Andrew Gonczi 11 September
closed Inclusive Teaching Workshop presented by Professor Andrew Gonczi 9 September
closed Learn how to create apps with Apple and Secret Lab 5 September

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