Teaching Forum 2017

What:Teaching Forum 2017: Think BIG, Start small
When:April 28, 9.00am – 1.00pm
Where:OGGB5, Level 0, the University of Auckland Business School, 12 Grafton Road, Auckland

Innovative teaching can sometimes feel like too big a problem to tackle easily. In this year’s Teaching Forum, colleagues from the University of Auckland will be discussing learning and teaching initiatives that reveal how small changes in teaching can make a big difference to students’ experience and learning.

In addition, Teaching Forum’s morning tea is a great chance for attendees to network and catch up with each other.

9.10amWelcomeProfessor Jayne Godfrey
9.15amThinking big... starting smallDr Tessa Owens
9.30amThe end of the vanity event - using innovative and interactive events to enhance student learningDr Rhiannon Llyod
10amAvoiding the yawn - Re-energising the class with learning session activitiesAnnette Lazonby
10.30amPre-lecture Canvas quizzes to improve student engagement and lecture attendanceDr Tanya Evans
11amMorning tea
11.30amProviding a roadmap to learning destinationsNadia Dabee and Dr Nabeel Albashiry
12pmLittle things to liven up a law lectureRob Batty
12.30pmEverybody loves video! Introducing a Canvas guide to successful video assignmentsLyn Collie and Andrew Eberhard

9.00am: Registration

9.10: Welcome
Professor Jayne Godfrey, Dean of the University of Auckland Business School

9.15am: Thinking BIG … Starting small
Starting small is a safe and successful strategy for all types of growth. The process of becoming an expert in any field, whether in your discipline or in learning and teaching, can be a long and rocky road. Once small innovations are tried, tested and trusted we can move on with confidence to projects that are more ambitious.

Our intention at this event is to provide a forum at which practical ideas and strategies are shared. Our belief is that through enabling and motivating student learning in small ways we can strive towards a transformative higher education for all our students.

Dr Tessa Owens works in the Business School’s Innovative Learning & Teaching team. She supports all types of learning and teaching professional development within the School. Tessa previously worked as Academic Director at Manukau Institute of Technology and as Director for the Centre for Pedagogy and Principal Lecturer at Liverpool Hope University in the UK.

9.30am: The end of the vanity event: Using innovative and interactive events to enhance student learning
This session describes and evaluates the use of an inter-departmental event which was designed to encourage students to identify problems in their own thinking, and to work with peers and academics to generate solutions. The event was run in addition to class time and brought students together with academics from across international business, management and marketing disciplines. Overall the session was a huge success and provided significant value for the students, whilst at the same time raising the profile of the course.

The event was designed and organised by the Course Director of a consultancy project paper which places students in NZ companies. Each student undertakes a unique project, and all students must be guided through a 10 week research process in order to deliver an academic research report at the end of the course. The event was scheduled mid-course and was specifically focused on helping students with their theoretical application and literature review.

Dr Rhiannon LLoyd is a Professional Teaching Fellow who teaches management and international business courses within MIB and the Graduate School of Management within the Business School. She has been working at University of Auckland for just over two years and has been involved with the GSM’s consultancy project course for the past two iterations. She is originally from the UK and undertook her PhD research at Cardiff University.

10.00am: Avoiding the yawn: Re-energising the class with learning session activities
Many lecturers notice a progressive “slump” occurring over a 50-minute class. Students enter with good energy, which visibly dissipates during the lecture. Economics is no different, and suffers an additional problem: most assessment in Economics is applied, whereas most lectures are descriptive. Economics uses the tool of mathematics to model its problems, and assessments frequently involve applying mathematical techniques to these problems so as to gain a solution. Few people “read” mathematics, so watching a problem being solved on slides is not very effective, and watching the problem being solved by the instructor is only a marginal improvement.

By having regular Learning Session Activities, interspersed within the lecture, students were able to actively participate in the class every 15 to 20 minutes. This gave students the opportunity to immediately put the concepts and techniques into practice and to reenergise themselves by thinking through and discussing the activities with each other.

Annette Lazonby is the Coordinator of the Stage One courses with the Economics Department of the Business School. She teaches primarily on the Econ101 course. Her interests include equity and intergenerational distribution of resources.

10.30am: Pre-lecture Canvas quizzes to improve student engagement and lecture attendance
Using ideas from a framework of “Just-In-Time-Teaching”, a bank of multi-choice questions was developed and delivered via on-line quizzes preceding every lecture in a large mathematics course – MATHS 208. The implementation of this new resource enabled teachers to access data prior to every lecture informing them about overall student learning of the material from the previous lecture and afforded opportunity to adjust their lecturing – content-wise and time spent on revision. As part of my CLeaR fellowship I aimed to research the impact this had on the student experience by establishing evidence of enhanced learning.

The data collected was validated using a triangulation approach, including an end of semester survey and focus groups interviews. I will report on the insights gained from student feedback about the effect of these quizzes on their attendance, understanding of the material and participation in lectures. The analysis revealed differences in student attendance patterns when matched against grades from previous mathematics courses. In particular we found that:

  • 20% of students with C-, C or C+ grades from previous maths course reported that quizzes made them attend more lectures
  • 36% of students with B-, B or B+ grades from previous maths course reported that quizzes made them attend more lectures
  • 23% of students with A-, A or A+ grades from previous maths course reported that quizzes made them attend more lectures

(collaborators: Dr Barbara Kensington-Miller and Dr Julia Novak)

Dr Tanya Evans is a Professional Teaching Fellow in the Department of Mathematics where she currently coordinates and teaches the largest stage II course offered by the department – MATHS 208 and also teaches STATS 370/722 (Financial Mathematics). Tanya brings a multinational perspective to her position having enjoyed a diverse range of educational experiences. After finishing her undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Education in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tanya was awarded a postgraduate fellowship at Rice University in Texas, USA. She completed her PhD in Pure Mathematics at Rice in 2003, specialising in Low-Dimensional Topology. In 2003 Tanya moved to New Zealand where her main focus shifted towards teaching and learning practices. She is particularly interested in the professional development of teaching staff and was one of the founding members of the Peer Review and Observation group in her department. She also manages an intra departmental professional development project – DATUM – in which colleagues have the opportunity both to observe others teach and examine and discuss their own lecturing practice. Since 2016 Tanya serves as a New Zealand Executive Committee member of HERDSA (Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia). She is also a member of the International Steering Committee of the DELTA conferences on the teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics and statistics.

11.00am: Morning Tea

11.30am: Providing a road-map to learning destinations
We sought to improve the clarity around course rules and expectations for Comlaw 201 (Commercial Contracts) to make it easier for students to progress through the course. To achieve better clarity and establish a sense of direction, we set up a new homepage, a ‘Getting Started’ module, and a ‘Week Overview’ page. The session will demonstrate these tweaks and the feedback we collected from the students.

Nadia Dabee is a Professional Teaching Fellow in the Commercial Law Department where she coordinates Comlaw 201 (Commercial Contracts) and Comlaw 203 (Company Law). She teaches on both courses as well as on Comlaw 314 (Employment Law). Her motivation is to make learning and teaching more student-focused.

Dr Nabeel Albashiry is a learning designer in the Innovative Learning and Teaching unit at the Business School. His doctoral topic was Curriculum Leadership and Collaboration. His role involves providing support to staff around reviewing and (re)designing quality courses. He also contributes to the continuous improvement and delivery of the Business School learning and teaching strategy.

12.00pm: Little things to liven up a law lecture
To the outsider, and some of our business students, commercial law may appear to be dreadfully dull (it’s not of course!). Such a belief can create apprehension about a commercial law subject, which in turn may affect a student’s intrinsic motivation to engage in “deeper” learning. This session will share three of four little things I have implemented in my teaching that I believe have: helped pique student interest in legal topics; better engage students in their learning; and cemented learning about important legal issues our students will face in their future business careers.

Rob Batty is a Senior Lecturer in the Commercial Law Department. He teaches a range of commercial law subjects at an undergraduate level. Most recently, he has taught on Stage Three subjects: Marketing Law, Employment Law and Intellectual Property Law.

12.30pm: Everybody loves video! Introducing a Canvas guide to successful video assignments
There is increasing interest in running video assignments in universities, reflecting a desire to enhance things like student engagement, soft-skill development and media literacies. However, there are certain challenges – unfamiliar assessment design requirements, patchy pre-existing student skills and problems wrangling technology being three of the biggest. The Multimedia Guide to Running Successful Video Assignments is a LEG-funded resource aimed at helping staff plan and run effective assignments. It also offers a full suite of student resources which can be imported into any Canvas course from the Canvas commons. The student resources section of the guide is currently being piloted with the INFOSYS 110 video assignment. This session will showcase the guide and share preliminary experiences from the pilot.

Lyn Collie currently creates learning media and communications around learning and teaching as Digital Media Producer in Innovative Learning and Teaching at the University of Auckland Business School. She is an award-winning independent documentary producer, and taught digital media production at the Business School for six years. Lyn has a Master of Creative and Performing Arts in Documentary Directing. She finds working with Andrew Eberhard ‘interesting’.

Andrew Eberhard finds it highly amusing to knock on doors then run away. He’s a multiple award winning Professional Teaching Fellow in the Information Systems and Operations Management Department of the Business School.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *