Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) Report

Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) Report

Welcome to Semester 1, 2016

On behalf of the Learning and Teaching team, I hope that the semester has started well. 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.

ADLT staff working at Rome Centre

Prof Karen Willis and Dr Annie Venville worked out of the ACU Rome Centre in January/February for two purposes: first, delivering the unit HLSC120, Society, Culture and Health in intensive mode; and second, to scope professional practice and community engagement opportunities in Rome.

Society, Culture and Health (HLSC120)

Twenty-five students enrolled in the unit which ran over two weeks. Students participated in classroom activities from 9am - 1pm most days, with community activities organised most afternoons. For one of their assessment items, students undertook structured observations of health and health related behaviours in community and health settings. They were also able to participate in community based activities. Some of these activities included:

  • a visit to Sant 'Egidio Centre for Gypsies clinic and the Centre for Immigrants
  • participating in the food distribution activity organised by Sant 'Egidio – opportunities were scheduled twice during the two weeks
  • volunteer work with the Sant 'Egidio community in their pharmacy (packaging medication to send to Africa)
  • other activities included attendance at the Papal address on Wednesday morning of Week 2 at the Vatican.

While assessment for this unit is not finalised, the students have performed well overall, have responded positively to the evaluation of the unit conducted via the LEO site, and appeared extremely engaged with the content of the unit.

Professional practice and community engagement opportunities in Rome

While in Rome we identified potential community engagement and professional practice experiences available for students attending the Rome campus. Local hospitals, community health and ambulance services present placement opportunities for some of our students.

Community engagement opportunities are available with church based support services committed to providing holistic care and support to members of vulnerable and marginalised groups. Key contacts have been established and further work is being done to scope these opportunities. It is important to note that our students may be challenged by the community engagement and placement experiences on offer and appropriate supports must be in place to support and enhance their learning.

Further discussions will take place with Schools about the potential of Rome based professional practice and community engagement activities.

Indigenous Perspectives in Curriculum Working Group

The Faculty Indigenous Perspectives in Curriculum Working Group has now been established. This working group will report to the Faculty Learning and Teaching Standing Committee and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education and Student Engagement Committee.

Indigenous academics, Dr Bindi Bennett, Doseena Fergie and Machellee Kosiak are developing a work plan of activity to advance the Faculty priority of enhancing Indigenous perspectives in curriculum. One of their first tasks is to collate relevant curriculum documents, so we can create shared resources. We would be very appreciative if you can send any relevant document (eg unit outlines, lecture slides, other resources) to A Teamspace site will be dedicated to the sharing of these resources.

Case Study Funding

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 2016 will be made in the next few weeks.

Learning and Teaching Quality Assurance Plan

The Faculty of Health Sciences Learning and Teaching Quality Assurance Plan (FHS L&T QA Plan) was endorsed at the Faculty Executive Planning Days in December 2015. The plan articulates a consistent faculty wide approach to quality assurance (QA) in learning and teaching particularly in relation to moderation and unit evaluation. The FHS L&T QA Plan outlines the Faculty’s learning and teaching QA role responsibilities, data collection methods and procedures, including reporting requirements and includes standardised reporting forms. The FHS L&T QA Plan and all associated QA forms are now available for download on the Learning and Teaching Team Space site.

2016 Seminar Series and other workshops

Our 2016 Learning and Teaching Seminar Series are currently being finalised – we have a great line up of presenters, and hope this year’s topics will provide you with relevant and up-to-date information in the area of learning and teaching. Details of the Semester 1 Series (commencing on 13 April) will be available within the next week.

The Faculty of Law and Business hosted Transparent Pedagogies workshops on 7, 8 and 9 March at Melbourne, Brisbane and North Sydney campuses. Sessional teaching staff are encouraged to attend this workshop via registering with Office of Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching.

On 1 January, 2016 revisions to the Assessment Policy and Procedures took effect at ACU. Changes to the Policy have brought the University more in line with an outcome focused approach which is a requirement in the sector. The Learning and Teaching Centre has scheduled a series of information sessions from March to May. Please register via Staff Connect.

Academic Board has also endorsed the ACU Teaching Criteria and Standards Framework, which provides important information about what constitutes quality teaching in Higher Education at every promotional level. It is envisaged the Framework will be used by staff for promotion, PRP, grant applications and in any context when evidence of quality teaching is required. Workshops about implementation of the Framework will be held at most campuses from March to May. Please register via Staff Connect.

FHS staff workload allocation – A19 and D15

A19 provides workload allocation for staff undertaking a Teaching and Scholarship of Teaching Project. A19 workload allocations are provided to support staff who are engaging in projects that meet the ACU definition of Scholarship of Teaching. We are also developing D15 Workload Allocation Guidelines and welcome any advice and feedback.

Please don’t hesitate to contact our office if you have queries about learning and teaching in the Faculty.

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