Leaders and aspiring leaders of learning and teaching at Macquarie regularly come together in monthly ‘Community of Practice’ (CoP) meetings to share ideas, find solutions to common and not so common teaching issues, and shape how we lead learning and teaching collectively and collaboratively across the university.

What is the teaching and leadership community of practice?

This community of practice was established in November 2020 and has grown to over 80 members of teaching-focused staff including professional staff in teaching support, teaching and research academics and sessional staff.

Here are some of the ways this community of practice has supported teaching this year:

Evidencing teaching achievements: Many staff want to evidence their good teaching practice. This prompted what has turned out to be an ongoing discussion in the T&L CoP about all the ways academics and teachers could evidence their teaching practice and achievements, which led to this article: 15 ways to evidence your teaching achievements at university.

Defining the critical role of leaders of learning and teaching at Macquarie:

This is what members said about the importance and purpose of the teaching and leadership job family role (see image on right):

Targeted professional development for those in teaching and leadership: A PLaCE persona was established to identify professional development resources to support those in the teaching and leadership job family. (Check out all the personas that link to different teaching, learning support, and leadership roles at Macquarie here.

Tips for online teaching: Members shared strategies, ideas, and tips on what works for them when teaching online – which were collated and shared with the wider learning and teaching community in this TECHE article: Tried and tested tips.

Contributing to the critical conversation around peer review of teaching: Robust discussion within this community of practice contributed to informing the way forward for an MQ approach to formal peer review of teaching: Summative peer review – the way forward.

Promoting kindness as foundational to teaching: CoP members Dr Charlotte Overgaard and Dr Jacqueline Mackaway suggested ways to activate kindness in teaching in this article Kindness as push-back and designing for care.

Addressing student wellbeing: Dr Phil Chappell explained the systematic approach taken by Department of Linguistics to use the course review process to maximise the wellbeing of their students.

Evaluating the new courtyard teaching spaces: Members contributed their insights into teaching in the new 1CC spaces as part of the overall feedback and evaluation process.

Learning and Teaching awards: We were fortunate to have some Faculty L&T award winners in our midst (Agi Bodis, Alissa Beath and Marina Junqueira Santiago) who shared details of their award applications. Several CoP members also featured in the list of highly commended finalists for VC’s L&T awards.

Grants in learning and teaching: In response to member requests and contributions, a list of funding and grant opportunities in higher education learning and teaching was collated. (Unfortunately it’s slim pickings for such opportunities across the sector at the moment!)

Observation of teaching: T&L CoP members were instrumental in getting this open classroom pilot off the ground and in opening their own (virtual) classroom doors for observation. Stay tuned for more opportunities to observe teaching in action in 2022.

What does leadership of learning and teaching look like: A CoP highlight was a panel featuring current leaders in learning and teaching at MQ: Professor Dominique Parrish (PVC L&T), Professor Matt Bower (Chair of SLTC etc) and A/Prof Wylie Bradford (Council member, etc) discussing their career trajectories and providing advice to emerging leaders. View the recording here.

Emotionally intelligent leadership in higher education:

PVC L&T Professor Dominique Parrish attended our final meeting to present her research findings on the characteristics most valued for emotionally intelligent leadership. To view the presentation recording, click on the image on the right, or view the slides here.

Click this image to view the recording of the Emotionally Intelligent Leadership presentation.

And that’s not all: Members bring questions and raise issues during meetings and then contribute solutions and tips. Other topics addressed in 2021 included professional networks for learning, engaging students, teaching online, facilitating peer marking, active learning, academic integrity, teaching large classes and assessment, just to name a few. This is why you too should be part of these conversations!

Topics on our agenda for 2022

We’ll start off with:

  • Developing a teaching philosophy
  • Support for the scholarship of learning and teaching to facilitate staff to undertake research into educational practice.
  • Reflective practice
  • Evidencing teaching quality
  • Unit learning outcomes and grading

If you’re in a teaching-focused role, or just interested in supporting and leading teaching, then why not join us?

Today was my first meeting with this group and WOW. What a great hour. You and the team gave me more ideas on a scholarship platform than I have ever had. I enjoyed every second of it. And even more so, it was a great community – friendly and supportive.

T&L CoP member

Be part of this community to support good practice in learning and teaching across Macquarie. We meet monthly via Zoom.

QUESTIONS? professional.learning@mq.edu.au

Banner image: Photo by Juliana Malta on Unsplash
To do list: Photo by Thomas Bormans on Unsplash

Posted by L&T Development

The Learning and Teaching Staff Development team works with staff across the University to ensure they are supported to facilitate quality learning for students. This includes offering professional development, contributing to curriculum and assessment design, recognising and rewarding good practice, supporting peer review of teaching, and leading scholarly reflection. Email professional.learning@mq.edu.au with questions or requests.

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