We were delighted to have Professor Mick Healey from the UK visiting Griffith to facilitate two professional learning workshops on Friday 26 July, 2019 as part of this year’s calendar of Celebrating Learning and Teaching events (full program coming soon!).

Mick Healey is an experienced educator and presenter, and since 1995 he has given over 500 educational presentations in more than 25 different countries.

Keep reading for some key takeaways and reflections from our colleagues who attended these workshops.

Designing Active and Inquiry-based Learning Into the Curriculum

By Cecilia Arrigoni

On Active Learning:
In his discussion about active learning, Mick Healey reminded us that active learning “has to be done well” for it to be effective. This means that thought has to be put into the design and inclusion of an active learning activity. He also mentioned that there is plenty of evidence on the benefits of active learning for depth and retention of learning BUT that active learning takes time.

These messages resonated with me because it goes back to ensuring we provide quality learning experiences over quantity – we have to look at content and decide what are the threshold concepts and how do we build learning experiences around these.

On Inquiry based learning:
When it comes to group assessment, Mick mentioned that if a group is working effectively then the sum is greater than the individual parts because students are contributing more and working to the best of their abilities. I thought it would be so exciting to be a teacher witnessing your students achieving this.

On Team based learning:
Mick described an assessment task where students work as a team to answer quiz questions. The catch is the whole team is marked on the response, not the individual. This requires group members to negotiate as a team to reach an agreed answer before submitting their response.  

Sharing Active Learning experiences:
We were also fortunate to hear participants’ experiences of active learning practices in their teaching. These academics have kindly agreed to document and share their active learning strategies which will be available in ExLNT and via the Active Learning Design Tool in the coming weeks.  

Reflections on Developing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

By Dr Jude Williams

I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to talk with colleagues across the University about the work they are doing in this area. It was fascinating to hear our varying interpretations of SoLT and to debate the differences between SoLT and research into learning and teaching in higher education. Not surprisingly, there was much talk around the support for individuals engaged in SoLT.

The commitment of the staff in the room to continue to examine their teaching and to base their practice on evidence from the learning and teaching literature was truly heartening. I do hope we can continue to share our learnings from SoLT.

Many thanks to Gary Tischer for snapping these great photos at the sessions.