2018 Australasian Academic Development Good Practice Finalists and Award Winners
Advancing Academic Development, Bond University, Nov. 2018.
University of Wollongong
Presentation by Jade Kennedy and Alisa Percy
Panel Award and Peer Choice Award Winner
Jindaola is a unique educational development program for embedding Indigenous Knowledges and perspectives into curricula. Designed and led by a local Aboriginal Knowledge Holder, this program uses an Aboriginal methodology for doing business and maintaining knowledge integrity to take interdisciplinary groups on an experience and journey on Country to decolonise their thinking.
In practice, Jindaola’s competitively funded interdisciplinary groups engage in five formal gatherings and fortnightly informal gatherings over 18 months. The groups are supported to map and reflect on how Aboriginal Knowledges and practice already exist within their disciplinary landscapes. Participants, in dialogue with Aboriginal community, then begin to build knowledge-based relationships between their own expertise and the relevant Aboriginal Knowledges.
Contemporary University Teaching MOOC
Swinburne and partner Universities
Presentation by Kym Fraser
Since 2001, 25% of Australian universities have provided one day or less of teaching induction to new staff (Fraser et. al. 2017). To remedy this, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) was developed to introduce key topics such as active learning, teaching your first class, and giving feedback, along with specialty modules such as sessional teaching and teaching mathematics.
Design principles include accessibility, flexibility, active learning, personalised engagement, and immediate applicability to professional practice. Modules are developed by experts, founded on evidence base scholarship, and expert peer reviewed for quality assurance. The MOOC was launched in 2018 with 1027 staff from 27 countries enrolling in its first semester.
Teaching in an Australian Context
Presentation by Michelle Fox
Finalist with Distinction
Transnational academic mobility presents unique challenges for international academics adapting to Western teaching contexts, including realignment to student-centred pedagogies [Pherali 2012]. Teaching in an Australian Context draws on sector-leading academic development practices [Hamilton, 2018], scholarship on international student transitions [Biggs 2003; Nelson 2011] and creative reflection [Kettle 2017; Schön 1983] to enable international academics to transition and thrive.
Curriculum is scaffolded, experiential and applied, with participants co-creating multimodal (written, visual, video) resources to support peers and enrich the future curriculum through ‘reciprocal learning’ [Hamilton & Fox 2018]. Through reflective, strengths-based peer interaction, participants recognise the value of diversity, find a voice, and gain confidence in their capacity to succeed.
Building Blocks for First Year Student Success
Presentation by Trish McCluskey
In 2017 Victoria University embarked upon a radical and comprehensive change to the design and delivery of first year course offerings. Now known as the VU Block Model, this new paradigm delivers single units of study sequentially over four week periods, as opposed to the traditional model of four units studied concurrently over a 12 week semester. The Connected Learning Team and Educational Developers supported 80 academic staff in an innovative learning and teaching ‘HIVE’ space, which was crucial to disrupting academics' usual routine, time, place and ways of working. They collaborated across disciplines and re-profiled the curriculum of 160 first year units into immersive, engaging and blended units using a consistent outcomes based, backwards design framework (Biggs and Tang, 2011) and authentic, regular formative assessment. Student intake increased by 200 EFT; retention improved by 5.7%, pass rates increased by 9%, with overall higher grades and improved student evaluation participation and feedback.
Peer Professional Learning Program for Awards
University of Tasmania
Presentation by Melody West
The Awards, Grants and Fellowships team in the Tasmanian Institute of Learning and Teaching (TILT) facilitates the Peer Professional Learning Program (PPLP) for Awards, which supports applicants of UTAS and national teaching awards through a communities of practice approach (Cox, 2004; Wenger, 1998), supported by the UTAS peer learning framework. This peer-led group mentoring program values the wealth of experience and expertise of our teachers. As it assists the development and provides a unique opportunity for participants to engage in deep reflection about teaching philosophies and practice, within collaborative multi-disciplinary contexts.
PPLP for Awards enhances the quality of teaching award applications, is self-sustaining, and raises the profile of teaching excellence across the institution. 53 of 61 (87%) participants have been recognised by UTAS awards and 29 of 31 (94%) participants by national awards (2012-2018). The model has been shared across teaching excellence networks nationally and internationally (Jones, Skalicky, et al., 2012).
Bachelor of Nursing Course Transformation
Presentation by Sharon Altena
The Bachelor of Nursing Course Transformation took a whole-of-course approach to drive real, sustainable changes to teaching practices. A learning designer worked with the course team over 18 months, guided by Kouzes and Posner’s Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership Model and the Jisc Digital Capability Framework. Academic development involved collectively creating a compelling vision. Unifying the course team behind it, deep relationships and trust developed. Traditional, teacher-centred, didactic, siloed curriculum was transformed into student-centred, technology enriched, active, inquiry-based learning, within a holistic curriculum. Positive impacts on the learning of 3000 students, included increased student engagement, satisfaction, and sustained attendance throughout the semester. This approach has been extended to post-graduate programs, and laid the foundation for whole-of-university Course Design Studios at QUT.
A University Program of Professional Development for Casual Academics
University of Technology Sydney
Presentation by Nicola Parker
Since 2008, the IML team at UTS has offered paid professional development for casual academics, which includes workshops and a Casual Academic Conference. Six hours of workshops focus on active and collaborative learning, assessment and marking, facilitating online learning, and career development. The conference includes a DVC presentation and questions, workshops, technology showcase and plenary session with a keynote or panel of award winning casuals showcasing good practice. Resources, include a Survival Guide for new academics and a Successful Student Transition guide for first years. Opportunity is afforded for a specific teaching and learning award and learning and teaching grants. The centralised program has reached over 2000 casuals, and receives very positive feedback on benefits for teaching.
* At UTS ‘sessional’ employment defines a staff member with a hour-based teaching contract involving more than one session.
Foundations of University Learning and Teaching
Presentation by Sarah Long
The Foundations of University Learning and Teaching (FULT) program provides personalised, authentic learning experiences (Doyle, 2011; Monks & Schmidt, 2011) while fostering meaningful relationships and interactions with others. Twelve academics per semester complete 100 hours of engagement across 10-weeks. The program provides a foundation in adult learning with quality, technology enriched learning experiences (Jarvis, 2010; Knowles, et al, 2005). FULT participants also receive intensive individual training with peer observation of teaching (Bell, 2012), reflective practice, and feedback acting as a catalyst for professional development and goal setting (Daniels et al, 2013).
The FULT program averages satisfaction of 4.96 (5 point Linkert scale) across five dimensions of the ‘teacher as student’ experience at Bond University. Alumni have received internal and external recognition of exceptional learning and teaching, provide inter-faculty mentoring and on-going professional development of FULT graduates, and promote the pursuit of teaching excellence across the University.
Course Design Studios
Presentation by Trish Maynard
At QUT, centralised learning and teaching support has transformed to extend the reach of course-based academic development. In May 2017, two Course Design Studios were piloted as a strategic approach to more effectively support an end-to-end process of whole-of-course design in seven flagship courses. Academic development drives the project’s objectives to develop the capabilities of course teams to design and implement quality curriculum and learner experiences; to apply technologies to create innovative and sustainable learning environments; and to review and refine learning design for continuous improvement.
Engagement strategies are tailored in partnership with course leaders and include design consultations, design intensive workshops, peer review and evaluation, technology support, Students as Partners initiatives, and capability building. The Course Design Studios invert the traditional service model from being reactive to individual needs, to proactive and responsive course visions and outcomes (Gibbs, 2013).
Education Focussed Career Support
University of New South Wales
Presentation by Vanessa Fredericks
Education-Focussed (EF) Career Support provides a pathway for talented academics (across all nine Faculties) who excel at teaching, and are current or future leaders in the educational sphere. It includes reflective practice and leadership as they prepare Fellowship applications for the Higher Education Academy (HEA). In line with an increasing focus on professionalisation as a means of supporting and evidencing quality learning and teaching (Thornton, 2014), the HEA Fellowship scheme provides an opportunity for EFs to gain international recognition.
Networking and Community of Practice (CoP)-type activities are held in collaboration with Australia’s leading HEA expert. A schedule of writing and feedback sessions supports EFs to develop applications. This unique form of shared professional development (Harvey & Fredericks, 2017) promotes a sense of community and a scholarly approach to enhancing learning and teaching practice (MacDonald, 2012). As of 2018, 15 EFs have submitted HEA applications (14 for Senior Fellow, and 1 for Principal Fellow).