Tell us about a memorable learning and teaching initiative you’ve worked on at UTS so far.
One of my favourite things that I have worked on is the technology showcase sessions. I love the buzz in the room and looking at the intent concentration in people’s faces. And feedback, there is always plenty of that. People often tell us how useful the session was and what they are going to try and implement back in their classroom.
The other memorable initiative has been the growth and development of the IML learning technologist team. From a few fledgling members who started work at UTS just before I did, the team has grown and developed into a productive, supportive group of 12. They will undoubtedly continue to blossom and I will still be interacting with them I’m sure, from across the Alumni Green.
This isn’t your first experience working with the Faculty of Science, can you tell us a bit about your previous work?
When I first joined UTS in 2014 I was assigned as the IML liaison to the Faculty of Science. During my time there I got to know many of the fine academics and their scientific approaches to T&L. I did a lot of work with staff toward gaining learning.futures certification; some work on academic integrity; and much work with Yvonne Davila and Jorge Reyna developing and testing the Flipped Teacher and Flipped Learner Framework. I then had a short stint as the academic liaison to FEIT, putting my electrical engineering background and knowledge a little more into practice. I realise that engineers, IT professionals and scientists are very similar in their approaches. Evidence and practice are the tenets of STEM and the elements that fire my passion for teaching and learning.
What kind of learning and teaching news should we expect from Science in the near future?
Science has been doing really well with learning.futures, with all first and second year subjects submitted for peer review and 95% of them now certified. There are already a lot of good practices around flipped, active and collaborative learning happing across the faculty. There is a new strategic plan just recently announced and within that there are some new initiatives and projects around curriculum renewal and new learning and teaching spaces which will lead to interesting times ahead. I’m looking forward to working on how to best utilise the new lab spaces being built and how to encourage more online collaboration activities.
What will you be doing in your new role?
In my new role I’m looking forward to working closely with academics on innovative new approaches to learning and teaching. Helping to design new courses, implement new technologies and evaluate practices. There is a great L&T team in Science under the Associate Dean Peter Meier, so I’m really looking forward to joining them. And research. There is a strong interest in pedagogies for teaching and learning in science and I’m hoping to spend more time building on research I have been doing in flipped learning in STEM disciplines.
What will you miss about IML?
The cake of course. And the variety (of work, not cake!) Working in a central team means we get involved with all manner of interesting projects and people. Prof. Shirley Alexander is an inspirational leader and is always leading the charge for innovation. I love that. But I don’t see my connections ending. Just taking part with a different hat on now. And finally my manager Jo McKenzie, the Director of IML, the most resilient, caring, intelligent role model one could wish for.