VicTeach events 2016


Inaugural VicTeach writing retreat–Karori Campus

VicTeach symposium from the First Year Experience Hub

Student feedback tells us that the transition to university is often an uncertain one. With an eye on the better retention and achievement of first year students, university staff have a critical role to play in the first year transition.

Learn more about this from an internationally recognised researcher in the field, Professor Sally Kift, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at James Cook University and President of the Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows.

The day long symposium:

  • Explored First Year Curriculum principles.
  • Suggest actions and practical strategies.
  • Offered an opportunity to share and work alongside other Victoria University of Wellington staff to find effective ways to make a difference to the learning success of our students.

17 March

VicTeach kick-off celebration

This was an informal, social get together, and an opportunity to:

  • Celebrate three years of VicTeach.
  • Hear about what we have achieved and discuss plans for 2016.
  • Meet people from other parts of the university who are also interested in teaching and share teaching successes and challenges.
  • Connect with a VicTeach Hub—hubs focus on a particular teaching theme of interest to members. Current hub themes are: the first year experience, active leaning, graduate attributes, large class teaching, modern learning environments, culturally responsive pedagogy, pedagogy for a digital world, and the post-graduate experience.

27 May

Lectures. So what?

Have you noticed that the numbers of students attending lectures has decreased? Are lectures compulsory in your course? Do you include activities that earn marks in lectures to encourage students to attend? Do you think students should attend lectures at all?

Amanda Gilbert from the Centre for Academic Development has been researching students' attendance at lectures over the past few years and has found decreases across all years and disciplines. Her studies of students' attitudes to lectures suggest that students from different disciplines value lectures differently but most commonly miss them in order to complete other work.

The session begun with a short presentation about this research and then continued with focused small group discussion on the implications of students' non-attendance at lectures.

21 June

Expectations of first-year students

Following on from the First Year Experience symposium held earlier this year this session explored the following :

  • What are our expectations for students coming to University? How realistic are these expectations?
  • What do students expect when they come to University? How do we manage these expectations in our course organisation?
  • An opportunity to talk and learn from with others involved in teaching first year courses here at Victoria University of Wellington including a discussion with people teaching in the secondary sector.

29 July

7 x 7 format: Teaching sharing session

28 September

Experiential learning

How can we incorporate experiential learning (learning through experience) into our teaching? What issues/areas of interest are there on the campus/in New Zealand or globally that students could investigate/research? Can we set up experiential learning projects for our students with topics suggested by staff from other schools/CSUs/stakeholders/potential employers around issues related to the community/workplace/society? Could this experiential learning form part of your course assessment? If you are not involved directly with teaching, could you provide a topic for research that could help you in your role? Does experiential learning form the basis of “authentic assessment”? What help would you need to incorporate experiential learning in your teaching? What help could you offer?

The session began with interviews about experiential learning in two courses taught at Victoria University of Wellington:

  • Richard Norman (School of Management): discussed experiential learning in a 300-level capstone course.
  • Wokje Abrahamse (Environmental Studies, School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences): discussed experiential learning in a post-graduate course.

Then two students gave their perspectives on these courses:

  • Kate Hansen: Summer Scholar for an independent report on Richard’s course.
  • Leanne Jenkins: Post-graduate student in Wokje’s course.

This was followed by a brainstorming workshop where participants were invited to discuss experiential learning, authentic assessment, and the opportunities and challenges they present.

19 October

First-year students' transition to university: What can staff do?

28 October

Graduate attributes and links to employment

23 November

Ways to improve your academic resilience

If the campus had to close tomorrow, for several weeks, how would your teaching and research be affected?

In this VicTeach workshop, Jacqueline Dohaney led a discussion about the basics of preparing your teaching and research activities for major disruptions, like an earthquake or pandemic.

Participants received advice on taking tangible steps towards improving their resilience and we worked together collectively to propose solutions to improve our institution’s resilience, as a whole.