Checklist: Learning, teaching & research

Checklist: Learning, teaching & research

Learning and Teaching

ACTION: The Department integrates links to transformational learning when planning the strategic direction and priorities for the following year

Why do it?

Consider cross-departmental links of your department's operations and activities; what opportunities will be offered to staff and students to support them in achieving their aspirations; models for promoting enquiry-driven learning; preparing students for productive professional and personal lives; imbuing all staff with a culture of transformative learning to expand their horizons and nurture their capabilities. For example: links to curriculum, learning and teaching opportunities, utilising the campus as a living laboratory, cross-departmental collaboration on projects, service and support to academic departments.

Resources

Our University: A Framing of Futures

What is transformational learning?

Case Study

ACTION: The Department participates in mapping sustainability connections at the program level

Why do it?

Macquarie Sustainability is tasked with articulating sustainability in the curriculum, making implicit connections explicit and mapping these connections at a program level. This aligns with expectations of the Learning and Teaching Framework:

2.4 AN UNDERSTANDING OF LEARNED EXPERTISE IN BROADER CONTEXTS 

Embed key literacies in transferable skills, internationalisation and intercultural considerations, sustainability, and Indigenous perspectives.

To arrange a meeting to discuss how your Department can get involved, please contact sara.rickards@mq.edu.au

Resources

Learning and Teaching Strategic Framework

EfS Initiative

Case Study

3

ACTION: The Department offers short course/lectures/symposiums/workshops/conferences on sustainability topics

Why do it

Exposure to knowledge and learning enhances the capacity for people to engage in thoughtful, topical debate, growing their ability to actively participate in realising a better world. Opportunities provided beyond the internal community increases our connectivity, and assists us to deliver on our responsibility of a place of learning. If you are unsure if your offerings relate to sustainability, check the EfS framework or contact sara.rickards@mq.edu.au

Resources

EfS Framework

Case Study

4

ACTION: The Department provides and/or promotes to students the opportunity to engage in sustainability related activities outside of the classroom

Why do it?

Students who are actively engaged with the sustainability agenda as part of their student experience (through both curriculum and extra-curriculum based activities) are more likely to emerge as graduates who are equipped with the skills, knowledge and experience that make positive contributions in their professional and personal lives. Examples include the Global Leadership Program, seminars and forums, student groups.

Resources

Global Leadership Program

Case Study

5

ACTION: Your Department is actively utilising opportunities to use the campus as a living laboratory

Why do it?

The Living Laboratory concept involves using our campus environment as a source of knowledge for learning, teaching and research. Practical application of knowledge through utilising surrounding environment is a powerful learning opportunity for all involved.

Resources

Macquarie University Arboretum

Case Study

Biological Sciences uses various areas of the campus as a living lab, for undergraduate teaching. The Frank Mercer Biological Sciences garden is a teaching garden featuring specify groups of plants from around the world. First year classes BIOL114 (Evolution and Biodiversity) and BIOL 115 (Thread of Life) use the garden during tutorials to learn about the  evolution of pants from algae through to flowering plants. Third year students in BIOL 347 (Plants and Ecosystems) visit the ecology reserve, an area of native bushland that is part of the campus but adjoins Lane Cove National Park, to learn about how plants and animals exist together in functional systems, under different climatic conditions.

A Living Laboratory example for a professional department is Campus Life's community garden, from which many of the herbs used by Chef and his team are used for cooking fresh, delicious food.

6

ACTION: FSQC processes include consideration of sustainability literacy (in accordance with the EfS Framework) in the approval and review of units.

Why do it?

Macquarie Sustainability is tasked with articulating sustainability in the curriculum, making implicit connections explicit and mapping these connections at a program level. This aligns with expectations of the Learning and Teaching Strategic Framework. Ensuring that quality assurance processes include consideration of sustainability literacy into appropriate units enables the ongoing commitment to sustainability in the curriculum to be maintained. To arrange a meeting to discuss further or for assistance with this action, please contact sara.rickards@mq.edu.au

Resources

Learning and Teaching Strategic Framework

EfS Framework

Case Study

Research

ACTION: The Department supports one or more Research Centres that conduct research relevant to sustainability

Why do it?

Supporting a Research Centre can take the form of promoting research outcomes, right through to collaborating on projects. If needing assistance to ascertain whether a Centre is conducting relevant research, the EfS Framework can provide detailed guidance. Otherwise please feel free to contact sara.rickards@mq.edu.au

Resources

EfS Framework

Case Study

ACTION: The Department integrates links to the Future Shaping Research Priorities when planning the strategic direction for the next year

Why do it?

Not only do the defined research priorities align superbly with the principles behind sustainability, but it is important for Departments to be across their capacity to deliver against these.

Consider cross-departmental links of your department's operations and activities. This involves taking into account the impact and benefits to the wider university. For example: research outcomes, utilising the campus as a living laboratory, cross-departmental collaboration on projects, productive research partnerships external to the University; service and support to academic departments.

Resources

Research Framework

Research connections to sustainability

Case Study

ACTION: The Department has mapped alignment to the themes and streams of the Future Shaping Research Priorities

Why do it?

Ensuring that the understanding of connectivity to our future shaping research priorities is accompanied by actual mapping provides a deeper level of understanding and assurance. Ideally the mapping should be available for staff, students and the general public to view if desired.

Resources

Research Framework

Case Study

ACTION: The Department considers sustainability impacts and practices when undertaking research

Why do it?

Research can have direct sustainability impacts in relation to procurement and resource use. Consider paper and chemical use and disposal, equipment purchased, transport/travel and other practices that could impact sustainability.

Resources

S-Lab Good Practice Guide

Case Study

ACTION: Department labs have established/utilise green lab guidelines which are followed

Why do it?

Laboratory operation has many significant environmental impacts ranging from energy and resource consumption to chemical and equipment use and disposal. Experience shows that many of these impacts could be reduced or avoided in cost-effective ways without compromising research, safety or teaching - indeed, they can often be enhanced.

Resources

S-Lab Good Practice Guide

Case Study

Good Campus, a UK based association, has plenty of great case studies of green labs in practice.

ACTION: The Department has training for lab users which incorporates green lab principles, practices and objectives

Why do it?

In order to effecitively execute green lab principles, lab users should be involved in training to ensure requirements are clear. Ideally, all lab users would be captured during induction processes, with follow up or refresher training conducted after two years.

Resources

Case Study

Student Engagement

ACTION: The Department supports a network of students actively working on initiatives related to environmental or social sustainability

Why do it?

Students are a source of inspiration, passion and enthusiasm and have a great ability to bring about change. Whether you are an academic or professional Department, supporting students to achieve positive societal outcomes can be rewarding for all involved. Support may be in the form of funding, in-kind support, expertise, knowledge, or just provision of space.

Resources

Case Study

ACTION: The Department has student representation in decision making processes where possible, and particularly in situations where outcomes have a direct impact on students themselves.

Why do it?

As students are the primary reason for which we exist, student representation is integral to ensure we are delivering upon their expectation. Therefore, ensuring the 'student voice' is captured and responded to is essential. Ideally departments should have clear communication links with students, that takes part in a meaningful two-way dialogue.

Resources

Case Study

ACTION: The Department regularly hosts students as volunteers and/or interns to broaden their experience and understanding 

Why do it?

Each of us has a vast amount of knowledge and experience gained from our role. Collectively as a Department, sharing that knowledge and experience can provide a student or students with a fantastic advantage when entering the workforce. It is often difficult for students to be able to apply their study learnings, and gain relevant skills and experience, therefore our ability to provide volunteer and internship opportunities is critical. Not only this, it is rewarding for all involved. PACE and GLP students are always looking for opportunities to work with departments on campus.

Resources

PACE

Global Leadership Program

Case Study

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