How can we ensure a logical path through a course made up of many discrete subjects? And how can we cultivate cumulative building of knowledge & skills as our students move through a course? These questions are fundamental to the UTS LX Transformation and, hopefully, their answers can be found in the Whole of Course approach, a process that involves subject coordinators sitting down together in ‘course meetups’ to discuss how their subjects fit together and build on one another.
But what’s it like to actually participate in one of these discussions? I spoke with Dr Moira Scerri, Lecturer in Operations and Supply Chain Management, to find out how she’s found these course meetups and to learn her thoughts about the move from UTSOnline to Canvas.
Collaboration in course meetups
Richard: So Moira, you’ve been in two course meetups, for the Master of Strategic Supply Chain Management and the Master of Management, how have you found the process of talking to your colleagues about these courses and your subjects?
Moira: It’s been really positive. I think the whole idea of bringing people together like this is great.
The subjects that I teach are foundational subjects and what happens is that I’m introducing key concepts that are going to be developed and consolidated in other subjects. So when I think about preparing, developing and assuring certain skills – developing depth of learning – then I think that happens with content that sits in different subjects. And so bringing everyone together, enables us to talk about how that happens.
Let’s take forecasting. I introduce it my subject. But what’s the extra depth that Sanjoy [Paul] gives in his subject? And what’s the extra depth that Marouf [Chowdhury] has included in his subject? We all need to know about that.
And then there’s micro-credentialing. We often think about a micro-credential being within a subject whereas we should think about how we can cut across subjects and have one micro-credential on forecasting, for example, which draws from a whole course.
So it’s that horizontal and vertical perspective that I think is interesting. And we haven’t had the opportunity to be in a room together and work through these ideas. It just hasn’t happened. So having that facilitated, l think has been really good.
Challenges of the process
Richard: What do you think are some of the challenges involved with the Whole of Course approach to the LX Transformation? With sitting down in one room, like we’ve done in the meetups, and discussing a course with other subject coordinators?
Moira: You know, different people have got different perspectives. And so it’s easy sometimes to go off on a tangent, especially if some people aren’t on the same train of thought. So getting that commonality and focus to push through to the end with something that’s difficult, I think that’s a little bit challenging.
But what we did after the Master of Management meetup is Mitchell [Osmond], Wal [Walter Jarvis] and I had a meeting to consolidate some of the thoughts that we had had, but which we didn’t have time to pursue when the bigger group was there.
Now that we’ve done that, and we can articulate it more clearly, we can actually bring that back to the group. We’ve got something that we think we can get some really good feedback on.
Richard: And finally, the whole LXT process revolves around the move from UTSOnline to Canvas. How do you feel about that?
Moira: I love technology so I’m happy to jump in and learn new stuff. And I think that there’s so much more we can do. It’s really going to be a matter of seeing how we can develop skills so that we feel confident about pushing forward rather than just keeping what we have now and moving it to a different platform.
It’s exciting because I think we can create something that’s much more engaging on the Canvas platform. But it’s a learning process, and we’re going to have to work hard to actually go about doing that.
I really want to get an understanding of what’s possible and move on to create something better than what I’ve got now. That’s what I’m looking forward to.
And a little more from Moira
Moira also joined colleagues from law, Evana Wright, and accounting, Atieh Fallahi, to chat to the LX.lab team about what they have gained from the course meetups, and what they hope to achieve in future course team conversations.
Keen to learn more about Canvas and the LXT?
Don’t forget the LX.lab has training sessions throughout the spring semester. And if you’re waiting for your turn to join a course meetup or to get your hands on a Canvas site for your subjects, there are lots of things you can do to prepare.