Over the next few weeks, my colleague Karina and I will be traversing the length and breadth of our campus, sitting in classes with students and observing real teaching in action!

You can join us by booking in to the Open for Observation program.

Here’s what we are looking forward to

Seeing firsthand how blended classes are operating

Everyone knows there are challenges with teaching online and on-campus students at the same time, but Agi Bodis and Jasna Novak Milic have been doing it for years and have it all down pat.

Rex di Bona’s engineering practical workshop sounds like a fascinating exercise in logistics and herding cats – he’s got a blended class with students from multiple units all working together on an engineering group project – and not only that, but the students are spread across multiple rooms in the building. How does he keep it all under control?

Finding out how (a)live lectures are

Is the lecture dead? We don’t think so, especially considering the opportunities to observe the techniques and strategies staff are using to engage students in large class formats. Wayne Warburton (large UG capstone unit), Josephine Paparo (large live streamed UG lecture), Paul Haynes (PG lecture), Anina Rich (using buzz discussion groups), Mark Butlin (bringing online viewers into a traditional lecture format), and Milton Baar (a lecture providing the foundations for a significant group work project) are all opening the doors to their very live and in-person lectures.

And what exactly is a lectorial? How is it different to a lecture? We’ll be heading to David Osmond’s class to find out.

Singing and dancing with the students

We’re going to get out of our comfort zone in Sarah Powell’s practical class, singing and dancing (probably very badly and out of time) with the other students who are learning how to teach the arts to preschoolers. Definitely a class where you want students to be engaged and participating! How does she do it?

Uncovering how to make challenging subjects engaging

Is it possible to make economics interesting? Prashan Karunaratne is the recipient of many awards including a student nominated teaching award for doing exactly that. We’re going to witness it!

Even though we don’t know anything about computing coding and statistics, we’re off to Lyndal Hendon’s tutorial – not (just) to brush up on our own statistical knowledge, but to see teachers guiding students learning in this area that’s foundational to many disciplines.

Filling condoms with frozen peas is not something you would usually think of as a teaching activity – I wonder what Kelly Gray has up her sleeve for keeping students engaged this session?

We’ll be scrubbing up and gowning up in PPE to attend Ian Johnson’s head, neck and brain anatomy small group class and learning not only about his teaching methods but a whole lot more as well.

Marina Junqueira Santiago will show us how game-based learning and group activities can be employed to help pharmacology students integrate their knowledge of the action of drugs on the human body.

Oh, and what about Andrew Burke’s postgraduate law class – we’ve heard it’s better than watching Law and Order!

Catching learning and teaching on the flip side

We are going to find out how the flipped model of delivery is fostering independent learning across the faculties.

Chavalin Svetanant combines a flipped classroom with a team-based learning approach to teaching Japanese.

Mike Proctor uses quizzes and other exercises during the weekly seminar (run in blended mode) to consolidate key ideas from lectures, learning materials and workshops for Speech Acoustics students.

Shane Magee’s postgraduate finance students are provided with a package of pre-recorded video resources and lecture notes to prepare them for case studies and problem solving in the online workshop.

Jen Ruskin engages students in interactive activities to promote development of professional skills such as communication, teamwork, critical thinking etc, and personal reflection.

Learning more about supporting mastery-based progression

It’ll be interesting to see how David Ingliss supports students on a self-directed learning plan in a workshop where students are potentially working at different levels and on different topics. The idea behind mastery-based progression is that once students achieve a mastery threshold, graded assessments, practical activities and subsequent learning modules are then unlocked.

And we’re waiting until Session 3 for this last one…

Observing Morwenna Kirwan’s session 3 class will be a great opportunity to see how a regular unit is taught intensively, and online.

What is Open for Observation?

A diverse group of dedicated and experienced teaching staff from across the University, together with the Professional Learning and Staff Development Team, are collaborating to provide you with the opportunity to observe teaching – live and in-person, as part of our ‘Open for Observation’ program in Session 2.

  • Attend a real class and observe a Macquarie teacher in action:
  • Observe their teaching approach and techniques;
  • Learn about the tools and technologies they use;
  • Connect with colleagues within and beyond your discipline;
  • Gain a student perspective to inform your own teaching;
  • Talk about teaching – and learning – with other educators from across Macquarie.

Hurry – register to observe now!

Some classes have limited observation spaces or may be closing soon.

If you have any questions about the Open for Observation initiative, please contact professional.learning@mq.edu.au

Banner image: Sirtravelalot on Shutterstock
Man with binoculars image: Mike Laptev on Shutterstock

Posted by Kylie Coaldrake

Learning and Teaching Development Coordinator Office of PVC (Learning and Teaching)

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