The Learning and Teaching Green Paper has sparked much discussion across campus, and in the lead up to the Town Hall Tuesday 9 June, This Week is sharing some of those thought-provoking conversations with you.
Death of the lecture: Have reports been greatly exaggerated?
Dr Mitch Parsell, Associate Dean Learning and Teaching, Faculty of Human Sciences says that students can pick up on the enthusiasm of a fully engaged lecturer:
“But they are not going to travel an hour just for that five minutes of enthusiasm… If all you’re doing in your lecture is delivering information then yes, the lecture is dead… There’s no reason for it and students won’t come anyway, we already know that.”
Dr Parsell believes the Green Paper is attempting to predict the pressures forcing the University in a certain direction, and will ensure we are in a position to be able to respond to those pressures.
“For students who are physically at the University, it would be a shame to get rid of the tutorials and pracs, the things that allow them to engage with material in a more meaningful, applied way,” said Dr Parsell. “It seems really clear students desire more of the information delivered via the internet, but they still appreciate the face-to-face time and the ability to interact with academics in smaller groups.”
The opening argument
By 2017, the Green Paper proposes all iLearn content will be made visible to all staff. Associate Professor Jenny Donald, Associate Dean Learning and Teaching, Faculty of Science and Engineering, says the Department of Biological Sciences has long had its units open to everyone.
“It seemed to us that the best way to actually develop your units is to learn from your peers, and to share ideas and approaches,” said Associate Professor Donald. “I’m now encouraging other departments to make their units widely available, in the hope we will be able to share all of them across the Faculty, to look at and just be inspired by what other people are doing.”
ePortfolios: Why the bad press?
ePortfolios will be an integral component of the new Bachelor of Clinical Sciences next year, and the new Green Paper signals a broader adoption might be on the horizon at Macquarie.
Professor Kristy Forrest, Associate Dean Learning and Teaching, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences says ePortfolios may have received bad press in the past, but that’s only because of what’s been ‘seen’ in the past.
“People get stuck in the mindset that an ePortfolio is just reflective essays, or a student going online and writing about their experiences,” she said. “I see an ePortfolio as a kind of technical support system where you put things, anything, that show that you have done something. Really it’s like a version of your filling cabinet, somewhere to keep your evidence.”
Access a copy of the Green paper and register for the Learning and Teaching Green Paper Town Hall.