Lessons for and from Down Under: issues in enhancing learning and teaching in Australian universities in the 21st Century

Danaher, Patrick Alan (2004) Lessons for and from Down Under: issues in enhancing learning and teaching in Australian universities in the 21st Century. In: Presentations at the Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, Milton Keynes, at the Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching, The University of Kent, Canterbury and at the School of Education, The University of Nottingham, UK, 23, 27 and 29 September 2004, Milton Keynes, Canterbury, Nottingham, United Kingdom. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

One current signifier of the contemporary phenomena of late capitalism and globalisation is the challenges and opportunities engaging universities in Western nations. At the same time, the forms taken by those challenges and opportunities, and the drivers that frame their enactments, display distinctly regional, national and local touches and traces. This situation suggests that British and Australian universities have much to learn from one another. Even if the journey being travelled is similar, the itineraries can vary, affording the prospect of the mutually beneficial communication of “Interesting detour over here”, “Avoid that section of road like the plague” and “Let’s meet for some refreshments when we get to that point”. This paper examines five issues currently confronting British and Australian universities alike that encapsulate many of the challenges and opportunities that can provide the basis for such mutually beneficial dialogue and reflection: • The commercialisation and internationalisation of university teaching and learning; • Changes and constants in students’ attrition and retention; • Changes and constants in academics’ working lives and identities; • The application and impact of online learning management systems in and on universities; • The promotion of the scholarship of university teaching and learning. The paper illustrates this examination by referring to two not necessarily consonant sites of policy formation about universities: • The Australian Government (through initiatives such as the Australian Universities Quality Agency, the Learning and Teaching Performance Fund and the National Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education); • Central Queensland University (through providing higher education to regional Central Queensland campuses, international students on Australian metropolitan campuses and international students in overseas centres). The paper presents the argument that universities in the early 21st century – whether in Australia or Britain – must engage proactively with globalised forces and government policies; that they need to develop and extend mutually respectful reciprocity with their multiple communities; and that they should reenergise and regenerate knowledge production and dissemination around ethically responsive and socially attentive scholarships. These are potentially effective strategies for enhancing university teaching and learning. They can also provide the agenda for ongoing and useful conversations and collaborations between Australian and British universities.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Paper presented at the Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, Milton Keynes, at the Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching, The University of Kent, Canterbury and at the School of Education, The University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. No copyright restricitons.
Depositing User: Assoc Prof Patrick Danaher
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:54
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:41
Uncontrolled Keywords: 21st century, Australia, Central Queensland University, learning, teaching
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160506 Education Policy
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/1949

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