The FHS Learning and Teaching team would like to welcome:
Helena Williams, Manager, Learning and Teaching, joins us from the Northern Melbourne Institute of Tafe. Helena has expertise in program development, delivery and management; online delivery design, implementation, mentoring and support; and faculty development projects.
Maria Bora, E-Designer, has extensive experience in the design, development and delivery of online courses, tools and resources; the evaluation and implementation of online teaching and learning pedagogies; and curriculum design.
Amanda Kiernan, Senior Project Officer, has been seconded to lead a Shared Services Strategic Funding Initiative developing an efficient, streamlined and consolidated strategy for procurement of assets and consumables, disposal of hazardous waste, and maintenance of specialist learning equipment within the FHS.
Georgia Clarkson, has been seconded as the Academic Lead for the Blended Learning and Flipped Classroom Project. Working with academics from all schools across the faculty, this project aims to promote interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation in learning and teaching.
Retention and Student Success
The Office of the Provost has approved four retention projects including a Chemistry Bridging Course, the creation of Health Workbooks and initiatives in Exercise Science and Psychology.
The Taskforce for Student Achievement and Retention (TSAR) have approved funding for ‘Curriculum approaches that enhance the student experience – strategies for staff engagement and supporting student success’. The Faculty has undertaken significant work in transition pedagogy and retention and this project will build on this further in two ways; first to enhance the student experience by extending the scope and focus of transition pedagogy activity; and second, by building team expertise within the faculty on student experience issues and transition pedagogy.
Another TSAR initiative, Success at ACU, aims to deliver retention support services to our students in collaboration with faculties and student service units. Using demographic and engagement indicators, the Success at ACU team contact undergraduate students to see how they are progressing in their studies and wider engagement with student life, and make appropriate referrals to faculty or other services to support their progress. The Faculty has developed a referral guide, key contacts and a collection of unit outlines to assist with this initiative.
PASS, a voluntary academic assistance program that utilises peer-led group study to help students succeed in traditionally difficult subjects has recommenced in semester 1. In 2015, there will be 14 units available across five schools (Biology, Exercise Science, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Psychology, and Speech Pathology).
Blended Learning and Flipped Classroom Project
The FHS Blended Learning and Flipped Classroom Project has commenced, with the first planning session held on February 17. Fourteen lecturers-in-charge collaborated with Academic Lead, Georgia Clarkson and Educational Designer, Maria Bora to develop units across all schools. The group aims to develop a number of best practice models and to form a cross-faculty community of practice. Members of this community of practice will become blended learning ‘champions’ and are vital in a sustained approach to increasing the uptake of blended approaches to teaching and learning across the faculty.
Awards and Grants
Criteria for FHS Citations for excellence in learning and teaching are being amended so that they more closely reflect OLT and ACU citation criteria.
Competitive funding for enhancement of teaching and learning activities (e.g. Teaching Development Grants, Case Study Funding) have also been amended in that funding granted will need to be expended within the calendar year effective from 2016, with a transition to the new arrangement in 2015.
Case Study Funding is available to improve the quality of case studies used for teaching, and to build capacity across the Faculty with respect to case study development. Teaching teams within the Faculty of Health Sciences are eligible to apply for sums of $4,000 to develop, replace or reinvigorate case studies for use in their unit(s). A call for case study applications for 2015 will be made in the next few weeks.
On behalf of the Learning and Teaching team, I would like to wish you a productive first semester and I look forward to keeping you informed about the various learning and teaching projects within the faculty.