One of my first tasks in 2007 as Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning (T&L) is to convene the first meeting of the new Teaching and Learning Committee.
The new composition of the T&L committee comprises fourteen positions. Membership includes:
Associate Dean Teaching and Learning - Phil Hancock
Undergraduate Program Director - Trish Todd
Postgraduate Program Director - David Plowman
MBA Program Director - Barb Gordon Wood
Sub Dean - Paul Lloyd
Instructional Designer - Eileen Thompson
Three staff representatives from the UWA Business School- to be decided
Three staff representatives nominated by the Dean - to be decided
President of ECOMS - Hayley Parker
Postgraduate student representative from the GMA - to be advised
While there is a formal membership for voting purposes, all staff are welcome to attend any of the T&L meetings. The agenda of the committee will be available on the web site and my intention is to structure the agenda items so that matters relating primarily to undergraduate courses will be dealt with as a block as will be the case with any matters primarily related to postgraduate courses. Items of a general nature will also be grouped together.
With increased resources allocated to teaching and learning and the creation of the Business School, an opportunity presents to reflect on the role of the Teaching and Learning Committee. Vice Chancellor Professor Alan Robson has stated that if a student only leaves UWA with a degree then we have not totally succeeded in our role, as the UWA experience should be much more then just acquiring a degree.
‘The student experience' and ‘engaging students' are terms that are now part of the language at UWA. Elements of student engagement were identified by Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education) Professor Don Markwell in a teaching and learning forum we attended in January at UWA.
In his keynote address Professor Markwell identified that happy students have improved participation in class, higher study rates, feel more in-touch with their degree on a personal level, are more inclined to conduct informal interaction with peers and staff, and participate in extra curricular activities.
One challenge for the new T&L committee will be to foster initiatives that encourage student engagement and hence improve the student experience. I look forward to working with the new T&L committee to consider and initiate strategies based on our Operational Priorities Plan so we can enhance this experience.
Over the year, other roles of the committee will include advising the Dean and Faculty on curriculum design and delivery, assessment strategies, resourcing issues and methods of encouraging high quality teaching. The committee will implement new internal T&L grants, oversee assessment and scaling policies, and will also advise me on matters of teaching and learning that are of significance to, or brought to their attention by faculty.
In 2006 the University T&L Committee resolved that the current UWA Excellence in Teaching Awards will be transferred to faculties from 2007. Therefore, one of the important tasks for the new committee will be to develop and implement guidelines for our Faculty-based teaching awards along similar lines to the UWA awards.
The number of specific awards has not yet been determined, but there will be separate awards for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. The winners of the faculty based awards will then be potential nominees for the national Carrick Learning and Teaching Awards.
I look forward to a new and exciting period for teaching and learning at the UWA Business School and working with both staff and students.
Associate Professor Phil Hancock