Keynote and Guest Speakers
Dr Mitch Parsell - Macquarie University
Mitch is a leader in learning and teaching in higher education. He is an Australian Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) National Teaching Fellow and an Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Citation winner. Dr Parsell’s OLT Fellowship resulted in the publication of the Standards for Online Education with 170 named collaborators. He is the joint editor, with Judyth Sachs, of Peer Review of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: International Perspectives.
Mitch has chaired a number of external reviews including Humanities Education at the University of Pretoria and Education at The Australian School of Advanced Medicine. He has previously held consultancies for the New South Wales Institute of Teachers and THINK Education Group.
Mitch is presently Associate Dean Learning and Teaching of the Faculty of Human Sciences at Macquarie University, Sydney, and Chair of the University’s Senate Learning and Teaching Committee.
Abstract - Peer Review of Teaching: why? what? who? and how?
Peer review of teaching can take many different forms, of which classroom observation is probably the most well-known one. But, teaching goes beyond classroom performance and also encompasses online teaching and teaching-related activities, such as revision of teaching materials, development of units, writing of assessment tasks, mapping of programs to graduate capabilities, and all other aspects of teaching that impact the student learning experience.
In this interactive session, we will explore different types and approaches to peer review through the lens of the PEER Model. The PEER Model consists of three interrelated layers, namely communication, the process of peer review and its institutional context. It depicts peer review processes that are informed by communication and embedded into the institutional context.
We will explore these layers using concrete examples from Macquarie University and The University of New South Wales.
Peer review schemes at other institutions: What can we learn?
Session: 11.15 am-12.15 pm
Taking control of the student experience or (T-CoSE)
Dr Steve Drew - Tasmanian Institute for Learning and Teaching, University of Tasmania
Abstract - This session describes how a simple peer review initiative at the ‘unit level’ in the School of Information & Community Technology (ICT) at Griffith University - T-CoSE - led to improvements and transformations in students’ learning experience. Adapted from Angela Carbone’s Peer Assisted Teaching Scheme (PATS), T-CoSE is a process in which peers pair up to discuss pertinent issues in each other’s unit level student feedback, develop a list of challenges to be addressed, plan an intervention, engage students in feedback, and then close the loop with students. Come along to this session to learn about the process and how it has reinvigorated the way staff see and experience teaching.
- Presentation (PDF, 714.23 KB) (opens in a new window)
- Constructive conversations about teaching and course enhancement (PDF, 427.58 KB) (opens in a new window)
- Student focus questions (PDF, 269.75 KB) (opens in a new window)
- Student experience issues (PDF, 327.44 KB) (opens in a new window)
- Student experience activity sheet (PDF, 304.37 KB) (opens in a new window)
Open Door Week
Dr Danny Liu - Educational Innovation, The University of Sydney
Abstract - The University of Sydney’s Open Door Week (formerly Week 4 Open Door) is designed to foster a community where ideas and practices around teaching are openly shared. By opening the doors to classes across the University, this event aims to create opportunities to see how people create engaging class environments, organise classes, integrate research into teaching and employ a vast suite of different approaches and techniques to achieve excellent learning outcomes. Alongside watching the ‘tricks’ used by good teachers and seeing how students’ engagement varies over a class period, the Open Door Week event will allow educators to see exactly how innovative approaches work in practice and increases the chances for fruitful discussions.
Peer reviewing summative peer review: What is your verdict?
Christa Jacenyik-Trawöger - Learning and Teaching, University of New South Wales
Abstract - Academic career progression is closely linked with summative evaluation of research. Every year, academics invest considerable time and effort in applications for grants, awards and promotion. Submitting articles or book proposals to publishers for review is considered routine academic work. Peer review of teaching, on the other hand, has not yet reached the same level of acceptance. And while formative, collegial forms of peer review are increasingly regarded as a mutually beneficial process for those engaged in it (Gosling, 2005), summative peer review is still controversial. Its association with accountability processes and personnel decisions can trigger strong emotional responses, such as fear and suspicion of managerialism (Harris, 2008) and can be experienced as a threat to academic autonomy (Spencer, 2014). Yet, summative peer review is a powerful tool for raising the profile of teaching in higher education. Indeed, a reasonable case can be made for supposing that only the evaluation by peers will elevate teaching to the status of a scholarly activity, similar to research (Hutchings, 1996). Perhaps even more importantly, unless academics themselves take charge of evaluating the quality of university teaching, others will do so to them (Hutchings, 1996).
UNSW has in 2018 introduced summative peer review of teaching as part of its 2025 Strategic Plan. As a result, evidence of summative peer review is required with applications for academic promotion or internal Awards for Teaching Excellence. This session introduces you to the UNSW’s Summative Peer Review of Teaching initiative and will invite you to become reviewer of summative peer review.
Learning conversations to support professional learning about peer review
Associate Professor Gail Wilson Emeritus Faculty, Southern Cross University
Abstract - Peer review of teaching and learning is acknowledged as a powerful professional learning tool that can be utilised to assist staff to develop and enhance their skills in relation to teaching and learning in a range of learning contexts – blended, fully online or face-to-face. Peer review can be particularly powerful in recognising and addressing specific areas for professional learning about one’s teaching practice. However, staff can find such approaches judgmental and focused on metrics and often show reluctance to participate in such activities. There is also a view that once a development task such as peer review becomes formalised, the meaning of development is changed, lessening the benefits of engagement in the process.
This session reports briefly on a funded Australian Government Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) project in two universities – Southern Cross University and the University of Queensland - that piloted a reciprocal, “conversational” approach to peer review. This approach encourages the development of an ongoing dialogue around teaching and learning that goes beyond an exchange of facts and ideas and creates an opportunity for mutual and reciprocal learning – a collaborative as opposed to a developmental model of peer learning. Learning from this project was disseminated widely throughout Southern Cross University and informs the current development of a sector-wide resource for the external referencing of assessment standards required by the Higher Education Standards Framework (HESF). The major focus of the session is on the conversational approach to peer feedback that can be successfully deployed as part of an institutional professional learning strategy for staff in the peer review process. This approach is applicable to a variety of teaching and learning contexts - institutional and national teaching awards; Advance Higher Education (HEA) Fellowships; teaching and learning grants; and the internal/external referencing of assessment standards.
Showcasing peer review at Western
Session: 12.15 pm -1.15 pm
Implementing a pilot peer observation of teaching at The College
Ms Maria Charalambous and Dr Carissa Hanes - The College
|Maria is an acting Learning and Teaching Coordinator for Academic English, and has been teaching English in various contexts in Australia and abroad for over eleven years. Her areas of interest include student-centred teaching approaches and supporting teachers and students through community building. Maria is also passionate about peer observations, as she has experienced the reciprocal and wide-reaching benefits of taking part in such programs.|
|Carissa has been teaching in the health and medical sciences since 2012. Her undergraduate training was in pharmacy and she worked in clinical pharmacy for 7-years prior to completing her Ph.D. in 2015. Her Ph.D. was in health services research, focusing on sleep health in primary care. Carissa has been involved in implementing a peer observation pilot program within the Academic Pathways Program at The College.|
Our Education Journey
Dr Glenda McDonald, Pam McCrorie, Leanne Hunt, Sally Fitzpatrick and Dr Ruth Sheridan (Fernandes)
|Glenda is a lecturer and researcher at the School of Nursing & Midwifery, Western Sydney University. She was conferred with a PhD in 2010, from an investigation of the workplace adversity experienced by nurses and midwives and the implementation of an educational intervention to enhance their personal resilience. She recently undertook the co-created curriculum development and unit coordination of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health unit in the B Nursing/B Midwifery programs. Glenda is the School Liaison for the 80+ Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students and is passionate about fostering collaboration with Aboriginal community and industry partners. Her recent research program explores resilience amongst vulnerable populations within the health system, such as mental health service clients and mental health professionals. Her other research interests include the resilience of nursing and midwifery students via the development of cultural safety in university and clinical settings.|
|Pam is a nurse and midwife and holds a Master of Medical Science and is currently a PhD student working in the area of curriculum development and educational psychology. She has extensive experience teaching in higher education. Pam is also an experienced teacher in Indigenous cultures and health, and has spent the last ten years working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues. She has been one of a team of contributors to the Unit design and the development of learning materials for students and tutor guides to support staff teaching in an interprofessional Indigenous Cultures and Health Behaviours unit at Curtin University and a similar unit in the nursing department at the University of Western Sydney.|
Leanne is a lecturer at Western Sydney University and a Registered Nurse at Liverpool Hospital Intensive Care Unit. She has completed a PhD by publication at the University of Technology Sydney. The PhD research is titled "The nurses' role in intra abdominal pressure monitoring in the critical care
setting" reflecting Leanne's interest in critical care.|
Leanne also has an interest in Australian Aboriginal health and has 4 publications focussing on Aboriginal Australians. Leanne collaborates with a multidisciplinary research team to improve the health outcomes of Australian Aboriginals through improvement of student nurses' understanding of the issues surrounding Aboriginal Australians.
|Sally is a Research Fellow at the Translational Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, and a team investigator in the Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Stream of Maridulu Budyari Gumal – SPHERE, as well as the Lowitja Institute funded Career Pathways Project. Sally’s research is focussed on the student experience of Aboriginal health and wellbeing coursework and its potential impact on practice, including her own as a fifth generation Australian born. Sally is currently completing a multiple methods study with a particular focus on student empowerment in fulfilment of a professional doctorate in UNSW Sydney’s Future Health Leaders Program. Sally has held numerous leadership roles in community organisations and has two decades’ experience working alongside First Peoples in their struggle for social justice.|
Ruth is a research fellow in Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing at THRI, Western Sydney University. She is a Biripi woman (Taree, NSW) and has lived and worked in Western Sydney for the past ten years.
Ruth graduated with a PhD in 2011, summa cum laude (ACU) with a dissertation on the history and literature of religions. She has a research interest in contemporary Aboriginal spiritualities and how they intersect with healing and wellbeing, as well as the ethics and methodologies of Aboriginal research.
Abstract - Nurses and midwives are now required by their Codes of Conduct to understand and practise culturally competent and safe care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Accredited undergraduate programs must support novice development of these attributes as “normal” and “expected” practice. However, the mandatory inclusion of requisite knowledge and skills in undergraduate nursing programs is relatively recent and undergraduate student resistance to such learning has been well described. A discrete unit of study was developed and implemented during the second year of B Nursing and B Midwifery and delivered in 2018 to a culturally diverse group of Australian and international students. An interdisciplinary collaboration between representatives of the university Elders Advisory Group, the Aboriginal engagement portfolio, learning and teaching scholars, and School of Nursing and Midwifery lecturers co-created unit content drawing from extensive community and teaching experience. Team teaching of tutorial groups supported mentoring of less experienced tutors, with all tutors invited to a professional development day held in partnership with CATSINaM and the Aboriginal engagement portfolio.
PCAL Support vUWS site: Technology Enhanced Literacy Support (TELS) initiative
Suzanne D'Souza, Dr Mais Fatayer and Dr Paul Glew
|Suzanne is a Professional Communication and Academic Literacy Skills Advisor with the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Western Sydney University. Suzanne is keenly interested in the academic writing process and is actively involved with designing literacy strategies and resources to strengthen students’ writing. Her proficiency with online learning platforms is demonstrated in the range of digitalised modalities she uses to teach academic literacy. Her experience as an English as a foreign language (EFL) tutor in the Middle East has enhanced her sensitivity to the learning needs of students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Suzanne addresses these identified learning needs by using theoretically informed, practical teaching strategies to maximise learning outcomes. Suzanne is also a doctoral candidate researching the hybrid writing practices of nursing students and their implications for written communicative competence.|
|Mais is a blended learning designer in the Digital Futures team, Office of Pro-Vice Chancellor for learning and teaching. Since 2008, Mais has worked in a variety of higher education settings as tutor, unit coordinator and learning designer. She completed her PhD in 2016 in the area of educational technology with focus on Open Educational Resources in learning and teaching. Following on from her doctoral work, Mais has utilised her experience in teaching and research in transforming the adoption of educational technology at the school of nursing and midwifery at Western Sydney University. Working with academics, professional staff and directors of academic programs on advancing blended learning in nursing and midwifery education, Mais led many initiatives for educational professional development, participated in multidisciplinary research and designed innovative and award winning learning and teaching solutions.|
|Paul is a senior lecturer and literacy coordinator at the School of Nursing and Midwifery. He has worked as a clinical nurse educator, director of studies for international education programs, and international English language examiner. He has taught and coordinated academic programs in Australia and New Zealand for tertiary preparation courses, undergraduate nursing programs, and postgraduate Master of Arts in TESOL units. During his research on English language education, clinical nursing communication, and academic literacy in nursing, he has received early career researcher funding, presented at seventeen national and international conferences, and has eighteen peer reviewed publications in nursing and English language journals. In 2017, he was an editor and chapter author for the Fundamentals of Nursing and Midwifery textbook. In 2012, he was a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award in Teaching for the Academic Literacy Strategies team at the School of Nursing and Midwifery.|
Abstract - Professional Communication and Academic Literacy (PCAL) support is an embedded academic literacy support program within the School of Nursing and Midwifery (SoNM). The PCAL vUWS site is an initiative that engaged nursing academics, literacy advisors, blended learning designers and the literacy coordinator. Collaborative development of the vUWS site has enhanced the academic literacy skills of undergraduate and postgraduate nursing and midwifery students through a range of consultation modes. Specifically, in 2017 a Technology Enhanced Literacy Support (TELS) initiative was hosted on the PCAL vUWS site to provide students with greater access to academic literacy support. TELS is a flexible, open online learning environment, where students and literacy tutors come together as a learning community to address the academic literacy and language needed for specific nursing assessments. The PCAL vUWS site with the TELS initiative is an innovative exemplar of a communal learning and collegial teaching practice within the SoNM.
- Presentation (PDF, 4520.97 KB) (opens in a new window)
What happens when two Early Career Researchers (ECR) do peer review
Dr. Jessica Richards, School of Business
Abstract - Peer review is considered a pathway to reflect on and enhance the quality of our teaching practice and curriculum design. This presentation will explore the motivations behind the practice of peer review undertaken collaboratively by two ECR academics in the School of Business. It discusses the trajectory of the peer review process from the beginning stages of the process and consultation period, through to being both reviewed and a reviewer. Peer review between two ECR academics ( as opposed to a senior academic and ECR) contains elements of cyclical learning and reflection that is considered to add unique benefits to the process, including sharing experimental and innovative teaching strategies, Additionally, this approach to peer review promotes social and scholarly links with others at a similar career stage.
- Presentation (PDF, 533.51 KB) (opens in a new window)
Session: 2.00 pm
A workshop to support academic staff undertaking external peer review of assessment at distance or online
|Associate Professor Gail Wilson is a member of Southern Cross University's Emeritus Faculty. She served as Director, Centre for Teaching and Learning, Southern Cross University from 2013-2017. Gail is an editor for the UK journal Research in Learning Technology (RLT). She is also a member of ASCILITE, HERDSA, ODLAA and ISSOTL. Gail held a position on the HERDSA Executive from 2005 - 2011 and continues to serve on the HERDSA Guides Committee. She is currently leading a CAULLT-funded project to develop a peer review of assessment resource to support the use of the Peer Review of Assessment Portal. Her research is focused on online professional learning for teachers in higher education; resource-based learning; and peer review in the context of online and blended learning environments using a conversational approach to giving and receiving feedback between staff. She is keenly interested in teachers as designers, and ways in which learning design principles and good practice can be shared with academics and benchmarking of professional learning programs for staff.|
Associate Professor Simon Bedford's passion for curriculum transformation comes from his life-long belief in supporting students to create their own roadmap through programmes of study that too often contain knowledge that is large and nebulous but, has to be learned in order for students to be successful
in their chosen discipline area. Simon engaged in collaborative curriculum design and development practice during his time at The University of Bath (UK) as a Director of Teaching where he encouraged the adoption of a holistic programme approach to student learning with constructive alignment at its
foundation. As Director of Internships and study abroad partnerships he was able to lead a curriculum embedded approach to work integrated learning (WIL) and personal and professional development (PDP) that students require to become the professionals of the future. This is also where his interest in
assessment and feedback quality assurance was sown during his work on the new framework for assessment policy (NFA). This work continued at the University of Wollongong (AUS) where he has led on key teaching and assessment policy review, its successful deployment into teaching practice, and evidencing
that impact on the student learning experience using synchronous Learning Analytics and post-declaration data for QA. He has helped to drive several national projects including Institutional External Referencing of Assessment Standards (ERoS), OLT Inter-institutional collaboration through delivering
formative assessment in large STEM classes, and OLT Assessing Assessments against threshold learning outcomes. Simon is leader of the HERDSA group looking at assessment quality and is working with CAULT on a national peer review of assessments project. He was recently recognised for his achievements
with a AAUT award. |
Simon now leads the Learning Transformations team contribution to WSU 21C Curriculum project and the collaborative design of new staff development programs to support the design and delivery of that curriculum within new learning spaces.
Abstract - In 2017 the Council of Australasian University Leaders in Learning and Teaching (CAULLT, formerly CADAD), awarded a grant to develop a resource to support the development of academic staff undertaking peer review of assessment across the higher education sector in Australasia. While several Office of Learning and Teaching projects on peer review of assessment and associated processes have been conducted, there is a need for an online resource to support the key steps in the peer review of assessment between institutions, especially as most are done at distance or online and not face to face. Evidence for this came from feedback from 600 participants at the Higher Education Services (HES) workshops in all States and Territories in 2016 which recommended a resource on peer review of assessment be developed for the higher education sector. The peer review activity at this workshop has been designed to support the key steps in the peer review of assessment used within the Peer Review Portal released in the sector in early 2017.
This workshop is primarily aimed at university academic staff (course and unit/subject leaders) undertaking or intending to work in the area of peer review of assessment – particularly those who will be taking part in cross-institutional external referencing and giving feedback to colleagues based at other institutions. In addition, this workshop will be useful for those supporting this process -academic developers, staff in quality units and faculty/school course managers.
- Presentation (PDF, 198.42 KB) (opens in a new window)
Peer review in the Innovative Research Universities network - Assoc. Prof Amani Bell
Abstract - This session explores the peer review processes in the IRU, including showcasing some examples of how it has improved practice. The primary form of peer review of learning and teaching is the academic calibration project (opens in a new window), where educators within the IRU review and provide feedback on unit outlines, learning outcomes, rubrics and samples of students’ assessments. It is a collegial and constructive process that encourages reflective practice. There are also more informal peer review initiatives within the IRU network, including sharing of data and policies, and benchmarking of professional learning programs for staff.
- Presentation (PDF, 5494.45 KB) (opens in a new window)
Eight Steps to Improve Your vUWS site
|Lynnae Venaruzzo has over 15 years of experience in applying design thinking approaches to solve complex challenges in technology-enabled-learning environments and delivering solutions that transform academic practice. She has a passion for fostering a positive team culture and inspiring teams to deliver results that are sustainable, scalable and empathetically designed. In her current role as Director, Digital Futures, Lynnae leads a team of Learner/User Experience (LX/UX) Designers, Learning Science Analysts (specialists in cognitive science), and Educational Technologists collaborate with academic staff to design, using evidence-based approaches, technology-enabled-learning environments and digital content that enhances the student learning experience. Lynnae is a certified peer reviewer in Quality Matters, and is Chair of the University’s Learning and Teaching Technology Advisory group which reports to Senate Education Committee.|
|Daniel Collins has over 10 years experience designing scalable, innovative learning assets and resources across different disciplines and modes of delivery, both blended and online, in higher education. As a Learner/User Experience Designer in the Digital Futures Team he is regularly involved in creating exciting, immersive and adaptive experiences that teach and entertain. Daniel is also a Certified Peer Reviewer for Quality Matters at Western, collaborating with staff on a Western-centric rubric and institution wide implementation.|
Abstract: Quality can mean different things to different people. How do you recognise quality when you see it? How do you easily address it? And why should you bother? Bring your device to find out how you can improve your vUWS site in eight easy steps. Come early to grab your seat and a goodie bag.
Peer review of flipped classroom approach
Abstract - Are you involved in flipped classrooms? Have you considered peer view? What you like to know more? In this workshop, you will be introduced to a toolkit developed by Learning Transformations. With this toolkit, you will be able to apply a structured approach designed to foster collegiality and facilitate community sharing in the context of flipped classroom design and delivery at Western. It is designed to capture experience and evidence for reflection, curriculum decision-making and teaching enhancement. The power of this approach is to identify and focus on critical elements that underpin continuous improvement in flipped classroom practice.
- Presentation (PDF, 137.35 KB) (opens in a new window)
Evidencing learning and teaching standards at WSU
Session: 3.15 pm-3.45 pm
Presenters and Abstract
Associate Professor Simon Bedford - Director and Dr Carol Russell - Senior Lecturer, Learning Transformations
Abstract - This session will gather together key themes developed throughout the showcase to demonstrate why evidencing teaching and learning standards is important for individuals, schools and the institution as a whole. Then what methods currently exist to gather such evidence including how collegial peer review could fit into this in a formative and summative way. We will explore the validity and strength of such evidence including a review on the bias analysis in SFU/SFT data. Finally, through a series of examples we will explore how this evidence can be presented for various audiences, including promotion panels, so that clear judgements can be made on the standard of the evidence presented. The session will end with an opportunity for the audience to provide feedback and commentary from their view point on how evidencing Learning and Teaching Standards at Western currently is achieved and can be enhanced.
- Presentation (PDF, 929.89 KB) (opens in a new window)