Just when we thought 2020 was an unprecedented year – along came 2021. In what has been a challenging year predominantly due to the ongoing impact of COVID and an extended lockdown, staff across the University have once again proved how resilient and flexible they can be. Staff have continued to collaborate on University-wide initiatives in support of the Operating Plan as well as delivering business as usual activities. We asked our learning and teaching leaders to reflect on 2021 as well as consider what they are looking forward to in 2022.

Here’s what they had to say:

“2021 has been a year of personal consolidation – working from home, settling and centering – as a foundation and springboard for a potentially dynamic year ahead.”

“I think we are at an inflection point from perhaps the toughest time in the University’s history to a time of rebuilding. I’m looking forward to coming together and being on an upward trajectory towards more innovative and collaborative teaching and research.”

Professor Matt Bower

Chair, Senate Learning and Teaching Committee

“My most memorable moment for 2021 was just prior to the recent lockdown, when we had the opportunity to celebrate with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates, their families and communities at our graduation celebration, held in the Arts Precinct. It reminds us why we are here and the important impact that we contribute to, for both our students, and our future societies.”

”I am looking forward to the opportunity for our University community to physically come back together and start to celebrate the important work that has taken place during 2021 related to the aspirations of our Operating Plan – Students First; Coursework Suite and Delivery; Research; Our People; Ways of Working; and Digital Transformation.”

Professor Leanne Holt

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy)

2021 was tough but the bottom of the cycle brings opportunity for great work: we were able to develop and launch new products that have further improved quality and supported our teachers and students.”

“I’m excited about rolling out two new diplomas and a range of innovative projects to better meet our students’ needs.”

Pamela Humphreys

Director, MUIC and ELC

“This year brought a new team and role for me as manager of the Learning Analytics Team. Despite the challenges of working remotely for the last 5 months, the team has bonded well and we have achieved many enhancements to existing tools and processes, as well as introducing new LEU survey instruments, a new Course Review survey, and a new Insights tool for students (MyLearn).”

“Seeing the campus buzzing with students again, being able to catch up with people for lunch or coffee or a drink at the UBar, talking to 3D people rather than their image on screen, eye contact 🙂, being able to identify issues and solve problems by getting into a room with the right people, a whiteboard and everyone talking at once.”

Cathy Rytmeister

Learning Analytics Manager

“I think the way the EGS team has come together, dealt with challenges, explored potential synergies and delivered new initiatives such as Employability Connect has been amazing. This is also true of the L&T leadership team as we have developed a strong bond and respect for each other’s areas of expertise.”

”There has been a huge amount of change to create the EGS team. I’m confident that we have the right people and capabilities to collaborate with colleagues across the University and external employers to deliver excellent employability outcomes for all our students.”

Kylie Ebert

Director, Employability and Graduate Success

“The Office of PVC L&T team, led by a group of amazing individuals have this year gone above and beyond any expectation or aspiration I had of them. The leaders have worked together, supported each other and myself and approached every challenge, task and request thrown at them with such positivity and enthusiasm. On a personal note, I have welcomed a new family member into my life and I am so thrilled that I will get to meet my now 6 month old grandson before the year is over.”

“I don’t think I am too different to others in my excitement of returning to a more socially engaging norm in 2022. I am also looking forward to the fruits of a lot of hard work this year in relation to learning and teaching being delivered in 2022.”

Professor Dominique Parrish

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)

“I home-schooled an obstinate 5 year old and a day-dreaming 7 year old. The fact we all made it through the other side (relatively) unscathed was my biggest achievement this year. That, and the work of the GLP team, Aidan, Kristina, Courtenay, Francis (and new mums Emma and Vivian). Their diligence, ingenuity, kindness and dedication to our mission makes work a genuine pleasure.”

“At GLP, we’ve reflected a lot on the opportunities that students have been missing out on these last couple of years. The opportunity to make new connections, new friends, to feel at home on campus and truly feel they belong to Macquarie. I’m looking forward to rebuilding those blocks with our cohort.”

Anneke Rowe

Global Leadership Program Manager

“The best way to describe 2021 is that it has been a rough ride. For me personally, some highlights have been working with the PVC (P&P) team and many others on the Curriculum Lifecycle Policy Suite – this has been a major project for us at Macquarie, and to have it ready for implementation by the end of such a tumultuous year has been quite a feat. I have really enjoyed working with some amazing colleagues on ASQC, Senate, and within the PIVOT group – there are fabulous ideas and energy flowing despite the challenges and fatigue!”

“I look forward to looking forwards as opposed to us just trying to ‘get through’ the latest upheaval, working together in a truly collaborative way and seeing what we can make happen. I think it was John Templeton who said “By facing our challenges and overcoming them, we grow stronger, wiser, and more compassionate”. I look forward to 2022 showing us that this is what we have gained from the challenges of 2021 – strength, wisdom and compassion.“

Associate Professor Taryn Jones

Chair, Academic Standards and Quality Committee

“On a personal note, I am proud of surviving the combination of working and parenting two children learning from home. During this time, the Learning and Teaching Staff Development team worked well together and I am proud of all that was achieved. This work was a coordinated effort with many colleagues across the university: thank you all.”

“After a rejuvenating break during the summer holidays, I am looking forward to catching up with colleagues on campus. I have missed connecting in person, so invitations for coffee meetings will be welcomed! The Learning and Teaching Staff Development team have exciting plans for 2022 and we will continue the collaborative work we have started this year.”

Associate Professor Agnes Bosanquet

Director, Learning and Teaching Staff Development

“Looking back on the challenges that 2021 has thrown at us, I am simply amazed and grateful for what my team and colleagues have been able to overcome and achieve together. A highlight has been working on the development of the MQ Online Learning Standards and iLearn Template. I love this project as it is a direct result of student feedback.” 

“In 2022, I am looking forward to implementing the iLearn Template and Standards with colleagues and students across the university. The newly restructured teams in the PVC L&T have been connecting throughout 2021, and I am really looking forward to strengthening these connections and continuing to progress with this fantastic team! I also have aspirations of re-joining the MQ gym – I miss the yoga classes!

Amanda Parker

Learning Enhancement Manager

Thank you to everyone who took the time to reflect and send in their responses to these two questions. The TECHE team appreciates all contributions received and we look forward to working with the Macquarie learning and teaching community in the new year. Wishing everyone a happy and safe break over the holidays!

Image credit: Adam Scarf

Posted by Teche Editor

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