The Senate Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC) is one of seven sub-committees appointed by the Academic Senate. The purpose of SLTC is to consider and advise Academic Senate and the wider University on matters specifically relating to learning and teaching, including policies, procedures and quality assurance processes, pedagogical excellence, and student outcomes.
We interviewed Professor Matt Bower, chair of SLTC, to find out more.
- When did you start as Chair of SLTC and what are your impressions so far?
I started the role in September 2021 and have been fascinated to see how much governance work goes on behind the scenes to maintain high standards and keep the University ticking along. SLTC members are without exception enthusiastic about education and have deep insights into what makes learning and teaching work. There are many papers to read for each meeting, but the surrounding discussions are very interesting.
- Why is SLTC important to the University?
SLTC provides advice to Academic Senate about governance of learning and teaching, including strategic directions and policies, and how to promote pedagogical excellence across the University. The decisions made at SLTC can, via Senate, impact on how we undertake teaching and learning at Macquarie, for instance, how we can best support and assess students and advance teaching practices. SLTC is also playing a crucial role in ensuring we have requisite governance oversight of learning and teaching, as part of our TEQSA registration renewal.
- Who attends SLTC meetings and what do you discuss?
SLTC is comprised of key learning and teaching executives from around the University, including the PVC L&T, Associate Deans Curriculum and Learning, an academic from each faculty, two student members (very important), the Chair and Deputy Chair of Senate, and other key learning and teaching personnel. A SLTC meeting typically involves providing feedback on reports from around the University, such as those from the PVC L&T, the Student Outcomes Group, and the Academic Integrity Task Force. We also provide input into policy reviews and can request reports or undertake strategic governance initiatives aimed at ensuring high quality learning and teaching at Macquarie.
- What are you looking forward to working on in SLTC this year?
Two important SLTC projects this year are the Defining Standards Based Assessment at Macquarie University, and Critically Evaluating the Quality and Effectiveness of Educational Innovations and Proposals for Innovations projects. Both will play a significant role in upholding the quality of learning and teaching at Macquarie. But there are other interesting policy and procedure reviews that are coming through this year, including Academic Appeals (currently underway), Learning Technologies, and Peer Assisted Learning & Peer Assisted Study Sessions.
- How can I find out more and get involved?
We plan to have regular TECHE posts throughout the year so that people know what is happening at SLTC. We are planning to introduce all the members of SLTC in the next TECHE post so that people can find out more from Committee members that they know. We really want and need people to provide input into policy and procedure reviews, so keep an eye out for the latest reviews on the Policy Bulletin Board. If you have any concerns, ideas, or would just like to come along to an SLTC meeting then please just email SLTC@mq.edu.au.
Image credit: Adam Scarf