Online: November 29 - December 1, 2021
About Teaching Matters
Teaching Matters is an annual conference to showcase learning and teaching innovation at the University of Tasmania. This year we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Teaching Matters, which began in 2002. The conference provides an excellent opportunity to discuss teaching practice, recognise success in learning and teaching, showcase innovation, and engender enthusiasm for excellence in learning and teaching.
In 2021 Teaching Matters will again be delivered virtually, from 10.00am -12.30pm from Monday 29 November to Wednesday 1 December. Some on-campus activities will also occur across those three days.
Learning in 2021: Strengthening Connections
Learning and teaching are about the formation of connections – between learners and ideas, students and teachers, students and the University, amongst teachers, across the curriculum, and into our community. This year we have faced, and continue to face, extraordinary challenges, that have the potential to reshape our approaches to teaching, curriculum, and ways of working; both with our students and with each other. As we look forward to 2021, we have a unique opportunity to embrace the challenges of physical and social isolation, and to build connections that support the learning and wellbeing of students and staff.
At this year’s Teaching Matters, we invite you to consider different kinds of connections, how these have been developed, adjusted and adapted in response to COVID-19, and their various impacts on how students are learning, and how teachers are designing and delivering curriculum. How do we live well, teach well and learn well?
In 2020, digital connections have been more important than ever; a lifeline connecting us in learning and teaching in a disrupted world. Our teachers and our students have achieved the extraordinary this year; using digital tools and technologies to grow learning communities.
What lessons can we learn from our experienced online educators and this year’s emergency of rapid transition to teaching remotely that we can take into the future? What new avenues for inclusion and access have opened up to us and to our students? What added value, innovation and creativity have we discovered in our embrace of digital opportunities? How do we build, maintain and grow meaningful connections remotely? What digital tools can we use to strengthen the connections between students and their learning, students and each other, teachers and students, teachers and peers, into and with our communities and disciplines?
Connecting our students and curriculum to employers, industry, professional bodies and the wider community is essential for us to realise our goal of being a university for Tasmania. These connections can be formed through embedding employability skills in curriculum, experiential learning and placements in our courses, outreach and engagement of students with community, and working meaningfully with employers and professional bodies on graduate employability. Community connections can be nurtured within the curriculum as extension and co-curricular activities.
How can we support an enriched and connected student experience; preparing our future graduates to take their place as participants and shapers of the workforce, professions and community?
Connected to place
The University of Tasmania has committed to making a difference for Tasmania and from Tasmania to the world. This begins with the need for a deepened understanding of lutruwita and respect for the knowledges of the Traditional Owners of this country. Our unique environment and population offers us distinctive opportunities for connection with the natural environment, and for our actions to effect meaningful change. In addressing the challenges faced by Tasmania and Tasmanians, we can offer keys to others in addressing their own.
How do we connect curriculum to place? What does place mean for us across a multi-campus University, and for our students learning in places across Australia? How do we strengthen the indigenisation of our curriculum? How does a sense of place, belonging and responsibility inspire our teaching?
Students are at the centre of our teaching; strengthening connections to their learning, their program of study, to each other and to the University is of vital importance. Student retention matters because the lives of our students are changed by their engagement with learning. We can share our success in engaging (and retaining) students, in the design of our curricula and in supporting student interactions with each other and the University.
A sense of connectedness has also been tested by physical distancing, remote teaching and working off-campus. Adjusting to new ways of working and changed responsibilities within and outside work have placed pressure on our students and colleagues. As we adapt to the new normal, how do we support student and staff wellbeing for learning, foster resilience, and combat isolation with connection?
Keynote speaker - Jason Lodge
Jason Lodge, PhD is Associate Professor of Educational Psychology in the School of Education and Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation at The University of Queensland. He is also Honorary Principal Research Fellow in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne. Jason’s research focusses on the cognitive, metacognitive, social and emotional mechanisms of concept learning and conceptual change. He also conducts research on the translation of the science of learning into practice in educational settings, particularly in digital learning environments and higher education.
Sessions will run from 10.00am-12.30pm each day. More information about the format of Teaching Matters, and speakers, will become available in October.