Welcome to the 2021 Academic Year!
The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), Professor Dominique Parrish outlines learning and teaching priorities for the year ahead.
The start of a new session is always an exciting time of year as we welcome a new cohort of students to the campus which reminds us of our central purpose of Students First. This session is even more exciting as the Central Courtyard precinct provides new learning spaces for staff and students. Given the circumstances of last year, I am hopeful that 2021 will see us transition to working with the pandemic successfully and finding the right balance between online and face to face activities. There are a number of key strategic priorities in learning and teaching being driven by the Operating Plan and Learning and Teaching Strategic Framework. I outline some of these below for you:
- The new Central Courtyard precinct will re-invigorate the campus and includes new active learning spaces that academic staff can utilise to deliver their teaching. This new precinct will become a great place for staff and students to meet and I am excited about this development being opened in time for Session 1.
- Our learning and teaching staff development team have finalised a series of programs and workshops to support and assist our learning and teaching staff to develop the capabilities to deliver engaging learning experiences. Further information about these opportunities can be found in this TECHE article.
- The employability of our students will continue to be a key priority as work continues on developing, in collaboration with stakeholders, an employability strategy, framework and associated implementation plan.
- Our institution-wide ePortfolio tool – Portfolium will be rolled out to all students and staff this year. Extensive training has been undertaken with subject matter experts, resource materials for both staff and students produced and a support model implemented.
- We will progress, promote and support an institution-wide approach to Micro-credentials which builds on and complements the work being undertaken through the operating plan priorities.
- The important work of the Academic Integrity Taskforce will continue this year as we finalise the Staff Academic Integrity module (SAIM), Sessional Staff Academic Integrity module (SSAIM) and implement the Academic Integrity Value Proposition statement that was finalised in conjunction with students and group marketing last year.
- I am excited about progressing technology-enhanced learning in response to student feedback and insights gleaned in 2020.
- Assessment modernisation is another key priority which will involve collaboration with stakeholders from across the University. This will be further investigated once the revised Assessment policy has been endorsed in early 2021.
I look forward to collaborating with staff in faculties, central units and students on progressing these initiatives at Macquarie. Further updates on all the above activities will be published in the recently updated TEACH website, This Week and in articles via this blog. I wish you all the best for a successful academic year ahead.