Overview - University of Wollongong Teaching & Learning Journal


The increasing emphasis on quality and effectiveness of teaching in the past few years together with a climate of reduced resources, has heightened the need for innovation in academic life. In this edition five of the eight articles are reports by staff on their own teaching innovations. Penelope Watson reports on a student-centred learning project using selfmanaging teams in the Faculty of Law. The project was successfully trialed this year in the compulsory subject of Torts and met or exceeded the objectives in terms of student learning outcomes. Don Lewis reports on a project where materials previously developed for PAGE were used in on-campus teaching. Brian Martin reports on an activity in which he invited second year students to participate in a research project and coauthor publications. Fazel Naghdy deals with a different approach in his article on the use of problem based learning to meet the needs of a diverse group of students in advanced robotics. Parviz Doulai discusses his project which uses the World Wide Web and computer simulations. He mentions the development time required as well as the benefits to the effectiveness of teaching. Each of these reports contains ideas and approaches that may be adopted and adapted for other subjects or departments. The other three articles are included not only as provokers of thought but also as sources of practical assistance to staff. In their article John Goldring, Ainslie Lamb and Linda Tapsell describe a workshop on problem-based and experiential learning and remind the reader that although quite a lot of this is already happening at Wollongong, many academic staff were not sure what it was all about. Robert Cannon (the only author not from Wollongong) suggests a new approach to time management that shifts the focus from time and things to relationships and results. The last paper, written by myself, proposes a model of teaching and learning activities which can be of practical assistance to staff in the reappraisal or development of subjects or in the conversion of subjects for flexible delivery. I hope you find this edition both enjoyable and helpful and I look forward to your comments and contributions.