The business of learning and teaching: being great humans

Day one of the Business School Learning and Teaching forum began with a warm and insightful welcome from Yvonne Weldon, Chairperson from the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council. Her welcome reminded us that our event must be “for the people, with the people’.

Then Professor Greg Whitwell, Dean, set the stage by celebrating the massive effort and energy in learning and teaching innovations in 2021. But how do we realise the ambitious goal of transforming learning? What have we learned from emergency remote teaching? Now how do we keep the momentum going?

In the first keynote, Professor Steven Warburton had some answers. He shared the University of New England framework for digital transformation. Design sprints, team-based working, and a service delivery approach lead the way at UNE. Despite a recent tornado!

Overall, we saw lots of great examples of teaching and learning that is not remote. Here’s a sample of a few of day one’s sessions. All sessions have been recorded so you can catch-up later.

Online concept mapping

Cameron Esslemont asked if our staff and students can embrace a paradigm shift in assessment frameworks. We think yes. He demonstrated an online concept mapping-based assessment tool: serolearn.com. It’s used in an accounting subject as a visual form of formative assessment and to help teachers understand their students’ learning process. See Hay (2008) for more info on developing dialogical concept mapping as e-learning technology.

Active learning

Many of the sessions were about student engagement and collaboration. Amer Khan took us through how he designed interactive workshops online. He designed a learning sequence with templates in online collaborative visualisation tool mural.co. Amer designed templates so that students both engage with information and apply a business model to business scenarios. Here students practice making decisions as a group and justify their business decisions. Students learn critical thinking in group decisions.

Students as partners

Another session had the imaginative title ‘No $#%& cheat learn play: the rules of the game’. Maria Ishkova, Michael Fernando & Andria Bingham tricked us into doing the macarena online when we thought we were stretching, and made us all smile. In their work and organisational subjects, students are engaged with peer feedback and reflection and become a part of a learning community. Students are assessed for learning, reducing academic integrity issues. Lockdown did not dampen their spirits.

Sustainable teaching with video

Betina Szkudlarek showcased how mini video cases support problem-based learning in large classes. Creating videos may be easier than you think. And it’s a practical way to expose students to real-life work scenarios learning to real-world experiences (Villarroel et al. 2020). Students can be introduced to industry scenarios via videos. Betina asks students to explore challenges in expert videos. In groups, students then discuss how they’d face such challenges. Through role-play and critical questions, students are given a taste of leadership. Then students learn from industry experts what actually happened, warts and all.

We rounded off the day with a panel discussion around reimagining learning & teaching in Business Education. Learning through diversity, dealing with uncertainty and ambiguity surfaced as strong themes. Technology can enable learning but shouldn’t drive it. Earlier in the day, Michael Fernando summed it up well:

We saw students not just being great academically, but being great humans

Carmen Vallis
Lecturer (Educational Development) at Business Co-Design

Carmen is an educational designer, academic, and writer based on Wangal land in Sydney, Australia. Find her where creativity, digital and learning design intersect. In her spare time, she lurks at twitter.com/cjvallis.

Published by Carmen Vallis

Carmen is an educational designer, academic, and writer based on Wangal land in Sydney, Australia. Find her where creativity, digital and learning design intersect. In her spare time, she lurks at twitter.com/cjvallis.

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