Who is MUIC?
Did you know that hundreds of students complete their foundation and diploma studies through the Macquarie University International College (MUIC) and progress to their undergraduate studies each session? In Session 1, 2018, alone around 450 students articulated into Bachelor degrees! Fun fact: MUIC is one of the few pathway colleges owned by a university and is conveniently located on campus (at 10 Macquarie Walk, formerly known as E3A). MUIC also recently integrated with the English Language Centre (ELC). So we are now MUIC-ELC.
Pathway programs help bridge the gap between secondary school education and university studies. MUIC pathway options are Foundation (4 terms), Intensive (2 terms), and 4 types of Diploma Programs (5 terms each).
Additional elements and unique aspects of MUIC’s offerings:
- The College runs 6 terms per year (6 weeks of teaching plus an exam week, followed by a break week), which is known as the Intensive Mode Delivery (IMD) model.
- Students focus on two units (subjects) per term.
- Students experience personalised support in small class settings (max 25).
- Once successfully completed, students articulate from their MUIC program to an undergraduate degree.
- MUIC students are Macquarie students from day 1.
MUIC was established three years ago and has been growing stronger ever since, thanks to dedicated staff who are invested in providing quality education and enabling international and (and an increasing number of) domestic students to succeed in university study.
ThinkTank with Learning Innovation Hub
MUIC is about to embark on a Curriculum ReDesign Project to ensure we provide the best fit for pathway students and the Intensive Mode Delivery (IMD). Learning and Teaching leaders across the various faculties have expressed strong support for this project. At the start of this project MUIC didn’t have in-house Learning Designers, so called upon the Learning Innovation Hub (specifically Dr. Olga Kozar and myself) to facilitate an 8-week ThinkTank series for MUIC’s senior academic team, to
- help develop a Learning and Teaching Philosophy
- agree on design and teaching principles, and
- experience an in-house developed curriculum design methodology (DDI) (Design, Develop, Implement) (more on this in an upcoming post!).
The MUIC team agreed that this process was very valuable, as it allocated time and space to stop and think about the MUIC student experience, suitable pedagogies for the IMD, and learning and teaching best practice. Importantly, it helped the team grow together and get to know each other’s strengths, expertise and unique value contribution.
I think it should be compulsory for program teams to do either a ThinkTank series or a full DDI series. All teaching staff need to be allocated the time to discuss important issues of learning and teaching in their area, and to be encouraged to reflect more on what they are doing and why.
Curriculum Project Team
Six weeks ago, MUIC hired two Learning Designers (myself and Dimity Wehr) to lead and facilitate curriculum redesign in collaboration with the MUIC Academic Language & Learning team, senior academic team, teaching staff and students. My colleague Dimity moved from Curtin University in Perth to work at MUIC and brings a vast amount of experience in curriculum design and development. She is also a devoted yogi, coffee and chai aficionado! We clicked instantly.
We join the Curriculum Redesign Project team which comprises of: (see photo below from left to right) Dr Pamela Humphreys (Lead, Curriculum Project, Director ELC and Deputy Director MUIC), Joshua Dymock (Manager, Academic Language and Learning), Mirjana Jovancevic (Associate Director – MUIC Programs), Dimity Wear (Learning Designer), myself Lilia Mantai, and Daniel Lombardo (Academic Numeracy Coordinator, not in the photo). We all look forward to the exciting times ahead!
The redesign aims to improve the staff and student experience in MUIC’s pathway programs and better prepare students for their future studies in their Macquarie degrees. We are in the process of recruiting Curriculum Designers to work with us and will embark on our first DDI process of the Foundation Program in a few weeks. We are taking a collaborative program-based approach to scaffolding and embedding academic literacies, authentic assessments, formative feedback and other core principles from the newly-formulated MUIC Learning and Teaching Philosophy such as active learning and critical reflection.
Look out for more curriculum redesign and innovation updates from MUIC!