Overview - University of Wollongong Teaching & Learning Journal

Abstract

This issue of Overview begins with a personal view of teaching history, by John McQuilton of the Department of History and Politics. A winner of the ViceChancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence, John explains how he sees the development of students' critical and analytical skills as well as the ability to use primary and secondary sources as crucial elements in undergraduate education. Brian Martin gives an unusual view of tutorials in the social sciences: far from lamenting that some students don't contribute, he sees it as his responsibility to structure the tutorial so that all students participate. He shares his ideas on getting students to debate, discuss, analyse and critique: plenty of food for thought here if your tutorials are getting stagnant! We include some vigorous debate on student evaluation of teaching: Mary Day expresses her concern about the use of quantitative measures as indicators of the quality of such a complex activity as teaching. The Editor has asked John Panter and Sylvia Huntley-Moore to respond to the points raised by Mary and their rejoinder is included in this issue. Ian McGrath of the Theatre Strand, School of Creative Arts, waxes lyrical over the role of the lecturer in motivating his or her students. He brings his theatrical expertise to focus on how a lecturer can learn some of the actor's methods of reaching out to and inspiring an audience. This year's successful applicants for Teaching Development Grants describe their projects, and there are two articles on the subject Introduction to Tertiary Teaching, one from the perspective of those who teach it, and one by Sharon Beder who successfully completed the course in Autumn session. While Overview publishes mainly articles from local contributors, the editorial committee could not resist including Earl Bardsley's well-argued piece Why all the lecturing - and scribbling - must stop. Why is lecturing still the dominant method of teaching at university when all the research suggests that it is not the most successful route to effective learning?

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