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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Applications for teaching awards now open

Recognition for activities which promote and support excellence in teaching and learning is offered by the Vice Chancellor’s Awards and by the Awards and Citations offered by the Office of Learning and Teaching. These awards which are open to all eligible academic and general staff, cover a range of teaching and learning activities.

The Vice Chancellor’s Awards provide recognition for excellence in four categories. Applications from academic and general staff are welcomed for the Support of the Student Experience and Systems that Achieve Collective Excellence in Learning and Teaching categories, particularly for team initiatives. Individuals or teams who make a significant contribution to teaching in the course of their employment can apply for the Outstanding Teaching Award which includes an Early Career category. Academic staff who have supervised at least three research higher degree students to completion are eligible for the award for Excellence in Research Supervision. The scheme also includes the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services) Indigenous Education Strategic Awards.

The Office of Learning and Teaching Awards cover three categories, Citations, Awards for Teaching Excellence and Awards for Programs which Enhance Learning. Applications are submitted by the University. Please see the ITL website for internal closing dates. The additional category for Teaching Excellence in 2013 is Global citizenship and internationalisation and the 2013 priority area for Program Awards is High impact strategies for progression, retention and attainment.

Assistance with making an application is available from a number of sources. Applicants for Faculty, university or national awards, or those just wanting to know whether to apply, can attend the workshops run by the ITL. Former winners and colleagues within your faculty can provide useful advice and feedback. You can also consult the previous successful applications kept at the ITL reception, Carslaw F07, during business hours and check out the resources available on the ITL website.[close]

Recognition for activities which promote and support excellence in teaching and learning is offered by the Vice Chancellor’s Awards and by the Awards and Citations offered...[more]

Attend a workshop to help you draft your teaching award application

The ITL is offering workshops to support applicants for Awards for Teaching Excellence including the Vice Chancellor’s Awards and those offered by the Office of Learning and Teaching. These awards provide recognition for activities which promote and support excellence in teaching and learning.

Anyone considering applying, or re-applying, for an award, including applicants for faculty awards, is invited to attend the 2013 workshops. All three workshops provide information and support for drafting professional applications to meet the criteria for the awards. The first and second workshops will both focus on providing information. They have been planned for different days to provide opportunities for staff to attend. The third session will provide more targeted support for drafting an application. All sessions will provide time for questions.

Monday 18 February
Overview of awards and criteria
Time: 1.30pm – 3.30pm
Venue: Law School Annex Room 346
Register here

Friday 22 February
Overview of awards and criteria
Time: 1.30pm – 3.30pm
Venue: Law School Annex Room 346
Register here

Friday 8 March
Drafting your application
Time: 10.00am - 12.00pm
Venue: Carslaw Building, Level 3, Room 354
Register here
 

The ITL website resources have been provided as an alternative to the workshops for those who find it difficult to attend or prefer to work independently, but most successful applicants have benefitted from attending one or more workshops.

The application processes for the teaching awards and grants are managed by the ITL. The ITL contact for academic support is Alison Kuiper. For administrative enquiries email the ITL.[close]

The ITL is offering workshops to support applicants for Awards for Teaching Excellence including the Vice Chancellor’s Awards and those offered by the Office of Learning an...[more]

Help our students transition: Participate in the 'Ask Me' campaign

Orientation will be running Monday 25 February to Friday 1 March and once again, the Camperdown/Darlington campus will be visited by over 10,000 new students over the course of this week. This year we are asking staff to actively participate in Orientation through the ‘Ask Me’ campaign, which is an initiative that is designed to heighten the visibility, approachability and accessibility of staff and support available for new students at the University of Sydney.

In 2012, the First Year Working Party identified the first two to six weeks as a crucial period of adjustment and a major contributor to students' ongoing success at university. This period is especially important for students who come from non-traditional backgrounds - such as international students - as the transition is often more challenging because they may not be equipped with the frame of reference, or language skills, required to navigate the new study and physical environment.

We are encouraging all staff across all roles at the university to participate in the ‘Ask Me’ campaign by wearing a bright ‘Ask Me’ badge during Orientation Week and the first few weeks of semester. This initiative is an important step to help all commencing students feel welcome and a part of the diverse University of Sydney community as soon as they set foot on campus.

Along with your badge, you will receive a copy of the Orientation 2013 booklet, which lists all the activities for Orientation Week, and a handy FAQs sheet to help you answer questions with confidence. To find out more and to order badges for yourself or your team, click here.
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Orientation will be running Monday 25 February to Friday 1 March and once again, the Camperdown/Darlington campus will be visited by over 10,000 new students over the course of t...[more]

Teaching insight: First impressions are vital

Fresh, young and excited faces fill the first lectures of the year. Working with first years is always exciting but often many students are overwhelmed by their first year and become disengaged. Building on a theoretical basis that suggests engagement involves cognitive challenge, operative skills and affective enjoyment (Peralta, Callow, Freebody, & Zhang, 2010), consider some of these ideas for your semester 1 planning:

  • First impressions are vital – an encouraging, well organised unit, which makes all the expectations clear makes a huge difference. From explaining how to download unit outlines to where the bookshop is, these experiences can make a big difference to first years.
  • Moving from school, tutorials often seem impersonal. Planning a variety of activities, including interactive discussion and input on how to work in a group, can engage students who may just need a little more insider knowledge to help navigate academic life
  • Organise a short social event in the first few weeks. Even if not all turn up, the knowledge that the coordinator or faculty want to connect with students creates positive perceptions for students
  • Make assessment tasks explicit – setting up your students to succeed sets a tone of support and achievement, rather than competition and isolation. Having a clear rubric, time for questions in tutorials or in online forums supports students to step up to new tasks and challenges with more confidence.

Dr Jon Callow is a Lecturer in English Education K–6, undergraduate and graduate-entry programs, and Program Director, MTeach(Primary).

Peralta, L., Callow, J., Freebody, K., & Zhang, H. (2010). Planning for student engagement in lecture contexts. Synergy, 30, 41-47.[close]

Fresh, young and excited faces fill the first lectures of the year. Working with first years is always exciting but often many students are overwhelmed by their first year and be...[more]

Get your students off to a head start

Help your students to get off to a head start by recommending our Learning Centre courses and programs. These programs include:

Week 0 - Our popular series of orientation lectures, for example:

  • Essay writing
  • ‘So Many Books, so little time …’

Semester program - March 11th to April 19th. Enrolment online from March 4th

  • A great selection of workshops from writing a critical review to discussion skills
  • Useful for beginning students, whether they studying at undergraduate or masters level

Honours program - March 13th to 15th. Enrolment online from March 4th

  • Workshops focus on writing issues and managing the Honours year

Faculty Program

  • Discipline specific academic skills for targeted groups of students. Contact the Learning Centre to find out about these programs.

Elearning Program

  • Write reports in Science and Engineering (WRiSE)
  • Clearer Writing

 For more information and resources to support your students click here.
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Help your students to get off to a head start by recommending our Learning Centre courses and programs. These programs include: Week 0 - Our popular series of orientation...[more]

New to research supervision? Become a registered supervisor by March

If you are keen to start supervising research students, you might find it useful to complete the Foundations for Research Supervision (FRS) program, which is a self-paced program that takes 10-12 hours in total. Doing the program involves completing online modules on topics such as running successful supervisory meetings with your student and understanding the examination process, and then taking part in a face-to-face Supervision Forum, either in your Faculty or through the ITL. The next University-wide Supervision Forum hosted by the ITL will be held on Friday 22nd February - 1pm to 3pm, Camperdown Campus.

To find out more about the FRS Program, which is free of charge for University staff, click here. Once you have completed the required modules you can register for the final component of the Program, the Supervision Forum. To register for the upcoming February Forum, click here. Please note that face-to-face Forums fill quickly.

If you have any questions about the FRS please contact Susan Robinson.
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If you are keen to start supervising research students, you might find it useful to complete the Foundations for Research Supervision (FRS) program, which is a self-paced program...[more]

Thinking of going for promotion this year?

The 2013 academic promotion round is now open. A general information session is scheduled for intending applicants at 1-3pm Thursday 7 February, in the General Lecture Theatre K2.05, Quadrangle, Camperdown Campus.

The deadlines for applications are as follows:

Level B - Thursday 21 March
Level C - Thursday 21 March
Level D - Thursday 4 April
Level E - Thursday 18 April

Following the general information session, the ITL is once again offering to collaborate with Faculty Associate Deans Learning and Teaching, and volunteer Local Promotions Committee (LPC) members to host a one hour session for intending applicants. In the session, ITL staff will focus on preparing the teaching case for promotion, including how to appropriately use student and other sources of feedback data, and how to make a convincing case for outstanding teaching.

Please contact your Faculty's Associate Dean Learning and Teaching to find out more about the session for your Faculty.

For more information and resources on preparing your application click here.[close]

The 2013 academic promotion round is now open. A general information session is scheduled for intending applicants at 1-3pm Thursday 7 February, in the General Lecture Theatre K2...[more]

Do you teach in a 'service' unit of study?

You are invited to the free 2013 IISME Annual Event - Symposium on 'Teaching science in service units of study: Challenges and strategies'. (Convenors: Dr Meloni Muir and Associate Professor Adam Bridgeman.)

Tertiary academics are acutely aware of the challenge of motivating undergraduate students, particularly in large classes, to engage with lecture material. It can be even more challenging when teaching the basic sciences as service units of study, where students may not see the need for or relevance of these units of study to their degree or career aspirations yet are required to successfully complete them. This symposium will bring together academics and students from a range of disciplines to discuss perspectives on teaching in science service units of study with examples of successful strategies for engaging students.

When: 1:15pm for 1:30pm start and concludes at 6pm (includes drinks and canapes), Wednesday 13 February

Where: New Law School Annex Lecture Theatre 101

For more information and to register click here. If you have any queries please contact Alex Yeung.[close]

You are invited to the free 2013 IISME Annual Event - Symposium on 'Teaching science in service units of study: Challenges and strategies'. (Convenors: Dr Meloni Muir and...[more]

HERDSA contributions now due

Contributions for the Higher Education Research & Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) Conference are due on 22 February.

Authors are invited to submit proposals for full refereed papers, showcase presentations and posters. Organisers are especially keen to receive contributions that explore the importance of place in higher education, under the sub-themes of space and places, pedagogy and curriculum, and research and policy.

Papers will be double blind reviewed and accepted papers will be published online on the HERDSA website.

The conference is being held from 1-3 July in the new WG learning precinct at AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand.

Online registration is now open, please visit the conference website for more information and to register.[close]

Contributions for the Higher Education Research & Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) Conference are due on 22 February. Authors are invited to submit proposals for...[more]

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Current Events & Registration

register Sign up for Teaching@Sydney details 2014
register Foundations of Research Supervision Forum details 25 June
register NSW Learning Analytics WG Meeting details 30 June
register Principles & Practice of University Teaching & Learning details 16 - 17 July
register Principles & Practice of University Teaching & Learning details 1 - 2 October

closed Dialogues with Sydney’s Distinguished Teachers details 29 May
closed Information Session for Grants details 20 May
closed #edtech talks: Dr Rosanne Quinnell and Professor Adam Morton details 15 May
closed Curriculum Conversations: Team Based Learning in Practice details 1 May

May 15
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December 14
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