Festival of Learning and Teaching 2020

For the first time the Festival of Learning and Teaching was held fully online.

The Festival theme, Looking Back, Looking Forward’, offered a great mix of provocative keynotes from leading sector voices and stimulating presentations, workshops and panels delivered by University staff and students.

The Festival was delivered in two distinct parts.

  • Day one focused on ‘Celebrating our success: what have we learned?’ and
  • Day two focused on ‘Looking forward: where next?’
FoLT Online Panel in 2020

Day two - final panel session "Future Making in a post-COVID world – thriving in a time of disruption"

The 2020 Festival of Learning and Teaching was a celebration of our experiences as both teachers and learners at the University of Adelaide. 

A number of themes were featured, including: well-being; belonging; reflection; creativity; innovation, and academic integrity.

On Day one, our keynote, Professor Dominique Parrish from Macquarie University, set the scene by posing the question: Online learning: Is it really that hard to deliver what students want? The morning then continued with a rich mix of Pecha Kucha sessions and interactive workshops.

Day two was kicked off by Professor William Locke from the University of Melbourne, whose keynote explored The pandemic, the recovery and the longer term implications for learning and teaching in an Australian research university - followed by interactive workshops, pecha kuchas and a closing panel session.

View the full 2020 festival program.

Access recordings from the Festival

  • Day 1 | Keynote: Professor Dominique Parrish

    Online learning: Is it really that hard to deliver what students want?

    In a progressively competitive Australian higher education environment, with rapidly shifting student demands and industry expectations as well as educational disruption progressively evolving, current university learning and teaching models are being tested. One of the key drivers of this challenge is that students are increasingly demonstrating consumer-like behaviour and insisting on more value from their education institution. In response to these challenges, higher education providers are continually seeking ways in which they can reform the design and delivery of learning and teaching.

    In response to the COVID-19 disruption, Macquarie University conducted an extensive student investigation to identify strategies to enhance online learning and respond to the aftermath of the pandemic in a way that would re-engage and retain students.

    This presentation will share insights that have been gleaned from the investigation and discuss how online learning could be designed and delivered to meet future student needs. The insights will also be presented in consideration of the work that has been undertaken by ASCILITE to develop a set of National Standards for Quality Online Learning (TELAS).

    Professor Dominique Parrish, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) Macquarie University

    About the speaker

    Professor Dominique Parrish is the current Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) at Macquarie University.  She has more than 30 years’ experience in designing and implementing education programs in the school education, tertiary and private sectors.

    Her research interests include technology-enhanced learning, learning-oriented assessment, student experience and engagement, and leadership and emotional intelligence. She is the current President of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education and until recently was a Senior Editor of the Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice.

  • Day 2 | Keynote: Professor William Locke

    The pandemic, the recovery and the longer term implications for learning and teaching in an Australian research university

    We know there are differences between remote teaching in an emergency and carefully planned online learning.  We also know that we are going to have to teach some students on campus and others remotely for some time to come.  This is not blended learning as we know it.  So we need to think about hybrid forms of teaching and distributed learning communities that do not privilege those students we interact with face to face.  At the same time, most universities are facing a serious shortfall in their income, especially those that have become dependent on fees from international students. Some universities are likely to lose further from the Government’s ‘Job-ready Graduates’ fees and funding package and the greater competition for students that will likely ensue. 

    So, in reinventing our approaches to education in the short and medium term, we are going to have to think carefully about efficiency and productivity as well as ensuring student learning and success. 

    This will have implications for who our educators are and whether we can offer them employment security, job satisfaction, career progression and a positive work-life balance.  In Go8 universities, it also raises new questions about the relationship between teaching and research, who does what and how their contribution is recognised and rewarded. Some of these are new challenges; some are old chestnuts viewed afresh through a Covid-tinted lens.  

     However, the crises caused by the pandemic should encourage us to look beyond new business models to the longer term and rethink what we teach and what students learn, as well as how we teach and assess this.  In short, it is an opportunity to reconsider the purposes of education and the pedagogies better suited to unpredictable times of rapid change and greater risk – but also of new opportunities and huge possibility.

    Professor William Locke, University of Melbourne

    About the speaker

    Professor William Locke is Director of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne (MCSHE).

    Prior to this, he was Director of the Centre for Higher Education Studies (CHES) and the MBA HE Management programme at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London. He was also Deputy Director of the ESRC/OFSRE Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), and remains an International Co-Investigator with the Centre. 

    He is Founding Joint Editor of the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) journal Policy Reviews in Higher EducationWilliam was formerly Head of Learning and Teaching policy at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Assistant Director of the Open University Centre for Higher Education Research and Information (CHERI) and Deputy Director of Policy Development at Universities UK. 

    His research interests include the governance and management of HEIs; the changing academic profession; the teaching-research nexus; HE policy and policy-making; the impact of marketisation (including league tables and other forms of ranking) on HEIs and systems; and international higher education. 

    He has a wide range of other publications and has given keynote presentations at international conferences in North America, Australia, China, Japan and throughout Europe.

  • Pecha Kucha presentations

    Access is restricted to staff and students at the University of Adelaide who have been enrolled into the MyUni course.  Please contact the Teaching Excellence team should you have any difficulties with your access.

  • Panel discussion

    Future Making in a post-COVID world – thriving in a time of disruption


    • Professor Jennie Shaw, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic), University of Adelaide;
    • Craig McCallum, Executive Director, Education Transformation, University of Adelaide
    • Justyna Jochym, CEO, Festivals Adelaide
    • Oscar Ong, Student Representative Council President
    • Olivia Pineau, Student Course Ambassador

    Panel discussion recording:

    Access is restricted to staff and students at the University of Adelaide who have been enrolled into the MyUni course.  Please contact the Teaching Excellence team should you have any difficulties with your access.

Photo competition

Where were you while you were watching the 2020 Festival of Learning and Teaching? 

A big thank you to all who submitted an entry to our photo competition.

  1. Brigitta Colman
    "I joined from Home with my special mug for such chilly Winter mornings to be joining together with a hot warm drink."
  2. Baohai Xie
    "This is me participating in a workshop from my sitting room amongst my daughters's drawings and minecraft villages from 9:00 - 11:35 am on 21/7."

From left to right:

  1. Elizabeth Beckett
    "Quick snapshot of my FoLT conference environment – my attic! Significant items to be noted:  Little Miss Book boxset monitor riser; space heater directed towards face (…not looking forward to utilities bill this quarter!; coffee cup (only daily exercise was refilling this whilst listening to music from the Elder Conservatorium!)"
  2. Travis Cox
    "This is the first FOLT I’ve had the chance to attend while also able to walk around. I charged my phone from a battery pack between sessions and racked up 15 km in laps around my neighbourhood on Thursday morning while participating!"
  3. Kym Schutz
  4. Mahmud Masum

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Past events

2018 Festival of Learning and Teaching

Held on the 20th of July 2018, the theme for the eighth Festival of Learning and Teaching was 'What Works? Perspectives on Feedback and Assessment'.  

The Keynote was presented by Professor Elizabeth Molloy, Melbourne Medical School, The University of Melbourne.

2018 photo gallery