Sydney Teaching Colloquium on Blended Learning – Day 1


Yesterday, Wednesday 2nd October, was the first day of the University of Sydney’s annual Teaching Colloquium. This year the theme is ‘Blended Learning for Engaged Enquiry’ . Here are a few of my impressions.

During the keynote address by Professor Pip Pattison I made a note to look up these reports on MOOCs: More than MOOCs by Austrade and Maturing of the MOOC, a literature review commissioned by the UK government. Pip also mentioned a recent paper that shows that non-tenure track academics are better teachers than those with tenure. In a group activity after the keynote, our table discussed possible outcome measures for blended learning, and came up with the following:

  • student assessment outcomes and quality
  • participation and engagement – students will participate if they see the value in doing so
  • ‘mastery’ – connects to intrinsic motivation
  • meaningful collaboration between students
  • students report that they are motivated to engage in the unit of the study (this data could be collected at the beginning, middle and end of the unit)

For the rest of the day we heard from Faculty leaders and academics on what they are doing in the blended learning space. There are some fantastic initiatives, and there were also thought-provoking questions and comments from both the live audience and those on Twitter. Here are some of my favourite tweets from Day 1:

This is turning into a bit of a Storify, so I’ll stop there! But perhaps this gives a small taste of the conversations that were going on, both in the room and on the Twitter back channel.

To conclude day 1, we heard from the Vice Chancellor (who had something perplexing to say about distancing assessment from teaching, but more on that another time) and then we celebrated our award winning teachers. Those who stayed for the team trivia had lots of fun, with the trophy going the Engineering and IT team ‘The Turing Testers’.

Off to Day 2 now, more later.

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