Students the winners in teaching revolution
A revolution in academic culture is being spearheaded by the University of Adelaide's Centre for Learning and Professional Development.
"Even before the course has turned out its first graduate, we are seeing the course affecting the lecture and tutorial rooms at University of Adelaide, as academics integrate the new techniques they are learning into their teaching work," said Dr John Willison, Lecturer in the Graduate Certificate in Education (Higher Education).
"The course takes academics on a journey from being experts in their discipline, to becoming experts in the education of their discipline.
"We also put a very real emphasis on our students taking leadership roles back in their school or department, to help ensure that what has been learnt is carried back into the courses for the benefit of all University of Adelaide students. We help to develop leadership skills and this forms part of the assessment for the course."
Lynn Rogers, who in 1995 was the first teacher in science at Adelaide to be recognised with a Stephen Cole the Elder Prize, is about to complete the course in teaching and learning.
Ms Rogers teaches first and second-year Science and Medical students and her workload is dedicated full-time to teaching. She has been teaching at the University of Adelaide for 18 years.
"Through the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, I have seen my teaching change from being reflective to being interactive and that is benefiting the way my students think about learning as an active process," she said.
"They are changing from being recipients of facts to being independent and lifelong learners.
"When I first heard about the Graduate Certificate, I plunged in feet-first. I've loved every minute of it and will continue after I have finished my studies, by participating in an informal network of teachers who have done the course, or who are interested in sharing their teaching experiences.
"Teaching is really my passion. I think teaching and research go together, but teaching comes first - otherwise we wouldn't be here."
To add to the opportunities at the University of Adelaide to develop teaching excellence, there is the new Graduate Certificate in Online Learning (Higher Education), commencing Semester 1, 2006. This program will be conducted in an online environment and encourage the integration of face-to-face teaching with online modes.
To learn more about teaching at the University of Adelaide, visit the CLPD website.
Story by Lisa Reid