Teaching Scholars Development Program

In 2017 the Teaching Scholars Development Program identified and provided individual, long-term professional development support to academic staff who are committed to becoming leaders in teaching and learning.

Purpose of the program
The Program is intended to form a cross-disciplinary and cross-College community of practice where innovations in teaching and learning can be discussed, explored and tested.

Level B Academic continuing and contract staff. Five Teaching Scholars from each College (Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce and Science, Engineering and Health) were identified from the 2016 application round.

Development opportunity
The Teaching Scholars Development Program supports those with aspirations to be a teaching leader and helps set Scholars up for academic promotion.

Participants engage with an Academic Adviser and are supported to create an individualised learning plan that will result in the accumulation of evidence necessary to an academic promotion application.

Focus and activities
The focus of the Program is leadership development. Activities include:

  • Practice-based support: Self-paced online module
  • Peer support: embedded in module and workshop delivery
  • Formal learning (workshop participation can lead to credit in GCHE subjects).

How it works
Each participant devises an individualised professional development plan in consultation with the APVC (Coursework), the Director of Teaching and Learning in their School and a member of the Learning Futures team. The plan includes participation in activities such as seminars, mentoring, regular communications and other La Trobe professional development opportunities.

Each Teaching Scholar is supported to:

  1. construct their own individual development plan;
  2. engage in a suite of professional development activities to develop their leadership in learning and teaching;
  3. identify and engage with appropriate mentors;
  4. meet regularly as a local community of practice of teaching scholars;
  5. progress activity in the scholarship of teaching and learning within their School and across La Trobe University; and
  6. prepare themselves for academic promotion.

In addition, Teaching Scholars are encouraged to engage with discipline based teaching and learning initiatives and with teaching and learning activities that are offered on a state and/or national basis. Funding to support these activities may be available through the La Trobe Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Fund (Professional Development Grants) or through the Future Teaching Leader’s School or College.

Program duration
Identified Teaching Scholars who actively participate in the program and associated professional development activities may remain in the program for a duration of up to three years provided their participation meets a satisfactory standard.

The 2017 Teaching Scholars Cohort have the opportunity to participate in the program together for three years, starting Semester 1, 2017.

Selection criteria
Successful applicant to the Program were able to demonstrate the following, as appropriate to their current level of appointment.

  1. Innovative and dynamic teaching and learning practices that lead to improved student learning outcomes;
  2. Attainment of excellent student satisfaction ratings from student feedback surveys; and
  3. Evidence of active engagement with the scholarship of teaching and learning and/or evidenced based teaching and/or educational research for example, success in obtaining OLT grant funding, publications in learning and teaching journals

Applicants were asked to nominate a supervisor, manager or colleague with whom they had worked directly. References spoke to the applicant’s level of aspiration, experience with coordination (subject or course) and engagement with teaching and learning thus far, and the applicant’s qualities, attributes and skills related to leadership. Support for the application was also required at School level.

To find out more about the 2017 Teaching Scholars, please see below.

2017 Teaching Scholars

Ms Sinead Barry

Big ideas for improving patient care: a student led conference

'Big Ideas for improving patient care' is a collaborative multidisciplinary health student and health professional led conference. The 'Big Ideas' conference was designed to provide an innovative and creative learning experience for students, health professionals and members of the community outside of the traditional learning environment. The conference has been designed to support creative learning and professional development by showcasing ideas on how current and future health professionals could improve the quality of patient care. This multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to sharing ideas provides a platform for students and health professionals to illustrate their broad and innovative thinking whilst capturing the imagination of audience members. Having the conference hosted at The Royal Melbourne Hospital supports a creative platform for students to showcase their innovations specific to their discipline whilst fostering a supportive environment to collaborate with health care professionals in a professional setting.  The 'Big Ideas' conference, designed by Dr Louise Ward and Sinead Barry is a partnership project between La Trobe University and The Royal Melbourne Hospital. The project has been supported by a number of La Trobe University multidisciplinary leads to showcase a holistic approach to patient care from a variety of disciplines. Evaluation of the 'Big Ideas conference will seek to review the learning experience from both the presenter and audience member perspective. A key project goal will be to use the evaluative data to support a university SOTL application in 2017.

Mr Lucas Bester

Connecting landscapes: re-imagining places through authentic learning

This project provides a compelling opportunity to co-ordinate and develop a university recognised place-based subject. This second semester subject will have a five-day face-to-face intensive of field work experiences, as well as blended and cross college/discipline/community focus in which I am eager to engage and extend myself.The aims of the project are to encourage authentic learning experiences through the use of community and professional partnerships, as well as studying real-life examples of re-imagining glocal places in the box-ironbark region of Victoria.

Mr Christopher Bruce

Implementing innovative educational solutions through a mix of traditional classroom teaching and synchronous online learning

This research seeks to evaluate the benefits of blended learning in a Bachelor of Applied Science and Master of Occupational Therapy Practice subject at La Trobe University. The subject design involves weekly online tutorials using Zoom. Online meetings are conducted in combination with webinars and face-to-face teaching. As well as synchronous online learning, students are also provided with asynchronous online learning materials in the form of podcasts, recorded lectures, quizzes, readings etc. Students collaborate online using Microsoft OneNote, a digital notebook app, available as part of Office 365. The aim of this study is to evaluate learner and educator perceptions of the experience of participating in the subject.

Dr Colleen Holt

Seizing the challenge: developing an employability-focused curriculum to support an industry innovation challenge

In 2017, La Trobe University students are participating in the Price Waterhouse Coopers Industry Innovation Challenge. The challenge involves a week-long placement with Price Waterhouse Coopers, where students work in multi-disciplinary teams to devise a real-world solution to an industry challenge. In 2017 the challenge focuses on alternative energy technology. In keeping with La Trobe’s strategic aim of embedding employability within the curriculum, this project sees the creation of a third year elective subject SHE3INC 'Industry Innovation Challenge'. SHE3INC embeds employability within the curriculum by allowing students to obtain 15 credit points for participating in the Industry Innovation Challenge and completing associated coursework. The employability-focused curriculum includes activities and assessments relating to personal branding, digital identity, professionalism and interfaces with the Career Ready Advantage. Student and industry partner feedback will be collected to gauge the success of the subject and to inform future iterations of the challenge.

Dr Brianna Julien

Evaluation of an open-access university e-textbook for human physiology

How to do science: a guide to researching human physiology has been written for students of the life sciences who are actively engaged in the scientific process. This e-textbook provides support for students when implementing all stages of the scientific method, from design of an experiment, through to statistical analysis of results and presentation of scientific findings. This project will evaluate the effectiveness and acceptance of the e-textbook; collect evidence of changed practice, and of student perceptions of the value of open-access study resources; compare these to traditional printed resources used in the past; and investigate ease of use of the books and the interactivity they provide through embedding of multi-media elements. The project will also seek student views on how well the textbooks have helped students with their studies and success in their course.

Dr Judy Louie

Using storytelling and problem solving to stimulate students' interests in their first year accounting subject

Often, students perceive accounting subjects as dry and boring. The aim of the project is to motivate students to link real life complex business issues with accounting concepts, initially by reflecting on scenario-based stories during the workshops, and then by empowering them to create and evolve their own stories and scenarios as critical thinkers.  The real world business storied accounts will require students to exercise their problem-solving capacities by finding an optimum solution to help a business to thrive.  This approach will not only animate accounting teaching and learning, but will also build a sound accounting foundation for first year students, motivating them to apply their accounting knowledge in the business world.

Dr Terri Meehan-Andrews

Using learning analytics to determine the impact of student engagement in the online learning environment in a first year physiology subject

How do we know we are really engaging students in the online learning environment? We can ask! But do students only tell us what they know we want to hear? Using learning analytics through LMS and Echo we can analyse what students are actually doing within the learning environment and compare this with learning outcomes and satisfaction with the subject. The insights we glean from learning data analytics can help guide development of resources and materials that are evidence-based to inspire our students to reflect on their learning in the online environment.

Dr Rebecca Miles

Digging deeper in professional practice: Inquiry-based digital learning design in pre-service teacher education

The focus of this project is to develop a suite of two professional experience subjects for Master of Teaching (Secondary) students, who are undertaking them through online/blended mode. In 2016 an LMS template was developed for implementation in the School of Education, which was framed around an inquiry approach to online/blended learning. This framework guides curriculum development through the verbs: Orientate, Participate, Dig Deeper, Apply, and Reflect. In the development of these two professional experience subjects, I have utilised this inquiry model alongside several learning theories, to capitalise on the possibilities provided through predominantly online delivery to develop student applications of understanding in professional learning cases (Shulman, 2012). In doing so, I will make use of focused synchronous and asynchronous mechanisms to develop student knowledge and understanding of professional issues, utilise case study to apply understanding, develop feedback and feedforward mechanisms in online learning that are responsive to student learning, in ways that support student experience during school-based professional learning. This will contribute to improving pre-service teachers’ capacity in teaching as well as their learning experience and development of professional and practice knowledge.

Ms Cheryl Neilson

Students as partners: an innovative approach to blended curriculum design for advanced clinical practice in occupational therapy

In undertaking the design process for the new Masters of Occupational Therapy final year blended Advanced Clinical Practice subject, students will be sought as partners in its co-design. This capstone clinical practice subject focuses on complex cases and contemporary practice issues, thus we are interested in gaining an understanding of what the students feel will assist in preparedness for practice as an occupational therapist and an evidence based practitioner. The final year student and new graduate experience which includes their participation in the previous iteration of this subject, as well as their clinical placement and new graduate experience, will inform core concepts and content within the blended curriculum design.

Dr Juliane Roemhild

Critical pleasures - reading beyond the paradigm of deconstruction

This project seeks to engage students in 'Narrative Analysis' with the current interest in alternative critical paradigms other than Deconstruction. It is particularly inspired by the work of Rita Felski, who suggests ways of reading that bridge scholarly critique and non-academic reading practices (identification, enchantment, knowledge etc.) in the uses of literature and has questioned the implicit negativity of deconstructive principles the limits of critique (the reader as psychoanalyst and detective, etc.). I am particularly interested in encouraging students to explore how a shift in paradigm might practically affect their reading and their critical practice. In a broader sense, this project is situated within my own interest of the 'eudaimonic turn' in literary studies and how reading can contribute to our emotional and intellectual growth and flourishing.