USP holds Vice-Chancellor’s Forum on Learning & Teaching
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Associate Professor Michael Sankey, Director Learning, Environment and Media at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ)gives his presentation at the Forum.
The University of the South Pacific (USP) hosted the 2016 Vice-Chancellor’s Forum on Learning & Teaching at the Laucala Campus on 1 September.
In officially opening it, Professor Richard Coll, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Learning, Teaching and Student Services (LTSS) for USP said the Forum is an ongoing regular event in the University’s academic calendar.
“It is about sharing our ideas on teaching excellence and thinking innovatively for the future, so the programme has been designed around that theme,” he stated.
Professor Coll said Learning and Teaching is at the heart of any educational institution and it is one of USP’s core focus.
He mentioned that USP’s brand is strongly labeled by the quality of its graduates which is in turn, strongly influenced by the quality of the Learning and Teaching that goes on in Laucala and all of the other USP campuses in the region.
The University he said, is making a lot of effort to ensure that its teaching is of quality and many are aware of the very strong drive for external accreditation and review of its programmes.
“USP has a very strong focus on accreditation both through the Fiji Higher Education Commission (FHEC) and international accredited bodies like the Association of Master of Business Administration (AMBA) and the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ).
“So there is a big focus on quality and student validation. At institutional level, USP is embarking on an ambitious accreditation from WASC, an American-based NGO that accredits institutions at institution level,” he explained.
Keynote Speaker Associate Professor Michael Sankey, Director Learning, Environment and Media at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), talked about their USQ's approach to Learning and Teaching.
Professor Sankey, who specialises in elearning pedagogies, learning technologies, multimodal design, visual and multiliteracies, encouraged teaching staff to use social media to their advantage in their learning environment.
He said instead of restricting students, they should be encouraged to use social media and this should be brought into the learning environment as an exciting way of interacting with each other.
Professor Sankey’s presentation looked at some interesting, low barrier, technology enhanced pedagogies that have been seen to enhance student learning at a range of institutions.
His presentation also suggested that “if we can nail down many of the fundamentals around providing Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), then an institution has a much greater chance of being able to hammer home some of the innovation they would ultimately like to see in place”.
“Not surprisingly, this approach calls on a number of recognised quality instruments that can be aligned with the potential plans and directions of the institution,” he noted.
At the Forum, three USP staff were awarded Teaching Excellence Awards: Yoko Kanemasu for the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) Teaching Excellence Award; Robert Nicole for the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) Teaching Excellence Award and Nathan Wales for the Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) Teaching Excellence Award.
Mr Nicole also scooped the overall Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award.
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