At the upcoming 2018 UTS Teaching & Learning Forum, on Monday 12 November, over 70 UTS academics and staff will deliver 48 presentations and posters on their innovations in learning and teaching. The day is a chance for the community to get together to learn, share ideas and seek advice from colleagues. 

We chat with two of this year’s presenters — casual academic and recently appointed Learning Design and Technology Specialist at the LX.lab, Alex Belli; and Senior Lecturer Amanda White — about what to expect from their presentations, and their recommended resources and technologies. 



Pictured: Alex Belli

Topic: ‘Beyond the #YOLO: Understanding Millennials in the
Presenters: Alex Belli & Atieh Fallahi

What is your presentation about? 

My talk is about millennials, myths and truths about them and how to better engage them in the classroom.

Why did you volunteer to present at the forum? 

My general impression is that millennials are seen in a negative light, so I thought this was a good opportunity to share some knowledge about my generation that older educators may be unaware of. In addition, as an early career academic currently looking for job opportunities, I thought it would be a way to embellish my CV.

What are you hoping colleagues will take away from your presentation? 

I really hope that my talk will shed a new light on millennials and that educators will start seeing them more as an opportunity rather than a threat. Specifically, my colleague Atieh and I will be discussing some of the strategies we implemented in our classes and how they worked for us. Why should people make the time to attend our presentation? As they say “it takes one (millennial) to know one (millennial)”, and it is two of us present. We can definitely give some valuable insights into educating them.

How does your approach benefit your students? 

My strategies have generated great enthusiasm and engagement in the classroom, and especially a lot of interest in my subjects among my students. An example: one of my former students has recently completed an honours degree, which he decided to take after I taught him marketing research methods.

Name two resources you’d recommend your colleagues take a look at? 

I have recently found out about Zeetings, which is an online platform that allows to create an online slide presentation and integrate polls. It is super cool and definitely adds value to the in-class experience. The second one is Zoom, which is a sort of “Skype” that allows video conferencing – I’ve recently used it for a live stream of a tutorial and it was a massive success among my students (and it was fun to use from my perspective).

What two technologies do you most use to innovate your teaching? 

I used Mentimeter for online polls and students generally like it! However, funnily enough, I don’t use many techs in teaching: I prefer the good old marker and whiteboard because it gets students to pay extra attention in class!



Pictured: Amanda White

Topic: ‘What do you do when no one turns up to your lectures?’
Presenter: Amanda White

In a line, what is your presentation about?

What to do when your lecture attendance drops off.

Why did you volunteer to present at the forum? 

I am an education-focused academic at UTS – I love the scholarship of teaching and learning and sharing practices with others – whether that be through the LX.lab, First Year Experience Forum, the Futures Blog or other events.

What are you hoping colleagues will take away from your presentation? 

To give students more choice in how they learn.

How does your approach benefit your students? 

Students are raving about our new lecture model.

Name two resources you’d recommend your colleagues take a look at? 

I recommend creating their own content – small concept videos – using Explain Everything or the Kaltura media system within UTSOnline for storage of video and within-video quizzing (even on YouTube clips)

What two techs do you most use to innovate your teaching? 

I use the Learning Catalytics system to facilitate peer instruction/team-based learning, and my iPad. 


See these presentations and many more at the upcoming UTS Teaching and Learning Forum, Monday 12 November. Open to all staff, including casuals.

Feature image by rawpixel.

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