This article is co-authored by Franziska Trede and Alisa Percy

Happy New Year from the Teaching and Curriculum Team, IML! We hope you had a restful break after what can only be described as an intense year for students and teachers. 

We are pleased to provide you with an important update to the way we are supporting you in 2021. 

We’ve changed our name

First, the name change. You might remember us as the Learning and Teaching Team in IML, but we begin 2021 by changing our name to the Teaching and Curriculum Team (TACT) to highlight our distinctive work at the intersection of curriculum design and teaching practice. 

Hot Topics on teaching and curriculum themes

Second, we are excited to let you know that we are organising our practices this year around five hot topics that are important teaching and curriculum themes. The hot topics themes have emerged in UTS from a range of sources, including student learning experiences, Student Feedback Surveys, consultations and webinars, the Learning and Teaching Forum, the First and Further Year Experience Program, DVC (E&S) keynotes, Learning.Futures2.0, UTS BluePrint and UTS strategic projects, as well as the recent literature on COVID-19 and its impact on higher education learning and teaching. 

The five hot topics are:

  • Student engagement and belonging (February/March)
  • Student agency and teamwork (April/May)
  • Blended learning (May/June)
  • Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and industry engagement (July/August)
  • Feedback and assessment (September/October)

These teaching and curriculum themes all intersect and contribute in an interdependent way to the quality of our students’ academic learning experience. Each theme also connects the social, technical, cultural, situated and professional concepts of learning:

  • Student engagement and belonging focuses attention on the way we design and facilitate inclusive environments, valuing diversity, kindness and respect.
  • Student agency and teamwork amplifies the importance of active, participatory and networked learning.
  • Blended learning highlights our own agency as educators in the choices we make about the time and place of our students’ experiences of learning within our subjects and courses.
  • Work Integrated Learning embraces engagement with industry, community and other sectors to help students try out their professional identity and voice.
  • Last but not least, feedback and assessment are further explored as the critical drivers of learning, engagement and success. 

Purposefully considering these topics enhances collaborative teaching and learning practices. The topics are applicable at module, subject or course levels.

Hot Topics Program: getting involved

The Hot Topics Program is a professional development and engagement opportunity to enhance courses and provide longer-term support through community building and sustained critical dialogues. Each Hot Topic spans several weeks to cover breadth and depth. There will be showcases, keynotes, workshops, Q and A, panel sessions and dedicated sessions diving deeper into specific aspects of a topic. The webinars and forums will draw upon experiences from guest speakers and panellists (including students and industry partners) and enable participation from attendees. 

These events will be advertised on the LX at UTS site, and are connected through an informal MS Teams space where we continue a networked, collective critical dialogue. There is also a shared space for resources, favourite papers, blogs and website links. To become part of the Hot Topics MS Teams space please self-join here. All are welcome to join – please spread the word through your networks!

If you have an idea for a session or want to contribute to a topic please contact IML_OPS@uts.edu.au. We welcome opportunities to collaborate.

We look forward to working with you in 2021!

Franziska Trede, Alisa Percy, Kathy Egea, Dimity Wehr and Ann Wilson

References

Carvahlo, L, Goodyear, P. and de Laat, M. (2017). Place-based spaces and networked learning. New York. Routledge.

Lave, J. (2019). Learning in everyday life: Access, participation, and changing practice, Afterword A.M.R. Gomes. Cambridge: Cambridge University  

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