The 2013 OLT national teaching fellowships included three new projects for science and science education. Our fellows are Chris Creagh, Garry Hoban and Manju Sharma. They would be interested in hearing from you.
Christine Creagh, Murdoch University
Work It Out: Enhancing students’ problem solving skills by modelling how to “Work It Out” in a just-in-time learning environment
Many students arrive at university without the basic skills and background they need to study physics at first year level which has an impact on their success rate in any degree that has first year physics as a core subject. This fellowship will develop an open education online resource that will show experts engaging in physics “Work It Out” activities. This online reference material will be available to students to support their learning by modelling expert practices.
Other training courses use the master – apprentice approach to help overcome gaps in student’s knowledge and attitudes. Physics teaching may use this approach at honours or PhD level but definitely not at the first year level. Taking this approach in first year could help the students be metacognitive about what they are doing and allow them to bootstrap their own learning.
In tutorial settings students will use material developed by this fellowship as reference material for their own demonstration of task solving. Learning about content, skills and modes of communication will be highlighted for the student as the tutor helps them to “unpack” the video material and create a rubric for judging similar presentations, including their own. The process is while not revolutionary is a synthesis of what I have learned about learning over many years.
Garry Hoban, University of Woollongong
Learning, Explaining and Communicating Science with Student-created Digital Media: Partnerships with Science and Science Teacher Education Academics to Support Implementation of Assignments and Research
This fellowship will support Science and Science Teacher Education academics in implementing digital accomplish this I will lead a connected sequence of activities to engage existing and intended users of student-created digital media as well as promoting partnerships between science and science teacher education academics. Deliverables will be new partnerships, a web site with resources to support student-created media assignments, a series of workshops conducted at hub universities, an international edited book and a national symposium. Outcomes will be (i) new users of student-created digital media assignments; (ii) academics addressing new teaching and learning standards and engaging in the scholarship of teaching; and (iii) improving teaching and use of technology as priorities identified by the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Review (2011).
Manjula Sharma, University of Sydney
More active lecture approaches in science and mathematics: Using expert cultural capital to drive change
No feature of science and mathematics education receives more stinging criticism than lectures. Yet, well-conceived lectures enhance a student’s on-campus experience while all lectures maintain an economic attraction for administrators. Lectures, in some form of the other will persist, and we have an obligation to realise their potential.
This Fellowship will identify and disseminate existing good practises and weak practices to be avoided. Together with my own institution I will be developing case studies with University of Western Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, The University of Melbourne, La Trobe University, Monash University, University of Canberra and Australian National University.