Monday, July 25, 2016

Sydney University Transforming Learning

The University of Sydney 2016–20 Strategic Plan (March 2016, p. 29), has as Strategy 5 "Transform the learning experience", with three initiatives:
  1. "Develop interactive and collaborative learning designs that foster excellence and innovation ... greater use of pre-readings, pre‐recorded videos, and brief, ideally automated, diagnostic assessment of understanding of core concepts and themes. ...
  2. Create contemporary environments that enable
    flexible and interactive learning
    ... Taking advantage of our experience with the award-winning X-lab in the Charles Perkins Centre research and education hub, we will maximize the effectiveness of higher cost, well-equipped teaching spaces such as laboratories and studios by finding
    ways to share space, equip it flexibly and to a high
    standard, and increase usability.
  3. Build a new professional learning and
    support environment
    ...Educational Innovation Team within the Education Portfolio will create a refreshed framework for professional learning. ..."
This appears to indicate that, like other universities, Sydney is moving away from lectures and tutorials/labs, to e-leaning and  flipped classroom teaching. What is not clear is what training the academic staff will be provided in to enable this, or what qualifications they will be required to have. As an example, vocational education sector staff require a minimum of a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. University teaching staff have been typically expected to have a postgraduate certificate in education.

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