News from the Students, Learning and Teaching Portfolio

Image of Deputy Vice Chancellor Students Learning and Teaching Professor Anne Cummins.

The second half of the year is always busy with Open Days bringing future students to our campuses. It’s an important time for Universities as we work to engage our visitors, leaving them with a good impression and a resolve to partner with us. I would like to thank all who have been involved in the preparation and delivery of our Open Days.

Teaching Development Grants

Teaching Development Grants provide opportunities for ACU staff to engage in teaching development projects focused on current institutional and faculty priorities. The grants contribute to innovations in learning and teaching and the development of resources and frameworks for good practice.

I would like to congratulate the following staff members who have been awarded 2017 ACU Teaching Development Grants for the projects identified below.

  • Dr Mary Noseda, Faculty of Education and Arts, Melbourne: ‘Self-efficacy in pre-service teachers preparing to teach Religious Education’.
  • Associate Professor Megan Dalton, Faculty of Health Sciences, Brisbane: ‘Decision making by assessors: how to promote improved judgement’.
  • Dr Marcela Danks, Faculty of Health Sciences, Brisbane: ‘Optimising transition to professional practice year in 4th year physiotherapy students’.
  • Associate Professor Gabrielle Drake, Faculty of Health Sciences, Strathfield: ‘Authentic assessment of pre-placement skills in Social Work’.
  • Dr Bronwyn Gordon, Faculty of Health Sciences, North Sydney: ‘Child, Adolescent and Family Nursing in the 2018 nursing curriculum’.
  • Dr Stephen Guinea, Faculty of Health Sciences, Melbourne: ‘Using an electronic medical record for simulation education to enhance learning and teaching for the Health Sciences: A multi-university approach’.
  • Dr John Mahoney, Faculty of Health Sciences, Brisbane: ‘Closing the gap: The effects of good feedback practices on student learning, motivation, and achievement in first year Exercise Science’.
  • Dr Vanessa Rice, Faculty of Health Sciences, Melbourne:  ‘Life Beyond University: Exploring the impact of an authentic assessment on the wellbeing and career longevity of graduate paramedics’.
  • Mrs Christine Sonsearay, Faculty of Health Sciences, Brisbane: ‘Does student participation in an online LEO introductory biomechanics module promote student success in applying key biomechanical concepts in physiotherapy practice?’
  • Dr Annie Venville, Faculty of Health Sciences, Melbourne: ‘Integrating Community Engagement Principles in Health Science Curricula: Enhancing Graduate Employability through Empathy’.

We are pleased to see our colleagues’ initiatives contributing to improving the quality of learning and teaching at ACU with a strong focus on student engagement and success.

The Awards and Grants Committee received 15 competitive proposals, and the committee selected 10 projects for funding. The topics they selected align with the strategic priorities of ACU and cover a wide range of initiatives.

Student Experience Survey

The 2017 Student Experience Survey (SES) concluded on Tuesday 5 September with a response rate of 45.2%, nearly 3% up from last year’s responses, and ACU’s highest response rate to date. The SES is an Australian Government Department of Education and Training initiative which is administered by The Social Research Centre, forming part of the suite of higher education surveys under Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT). The SES takes place in August annually. It provides the University with critical information about students’ satisfaction with their experience at ACU.

OPSM coordinates the survey within ACU and is supported by the student communications efforts of Student Strategies in the Students, Learning and Teaching portfolio. My thanks to the Faculties for their ongoing encouragement to students throughout the survey period to give some time to completing the survey.

Student Elections

September each year signifies the start of Student Elections for the upcoming year. Over the next few weeks students will nominate and vote for the 2018 Student Senator, ACUNSA President and Campus Student Association leaders. All students are invited to nominate for these important representative roles and your assistance in encouraging them to consider student leadership is appreciated.

Each Campus Student Association elects a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer who, with an International student, then make up the ACU National Student Association (ACUNSA), led by the elected ACUNSA President. To be considered for one of these positions and to vote for them, students must first become a member of their Campus Student Association.

The Student Senator is the student member of the University Senate and a director of Australian Catholic University Ltd. The Student Senator does not represent students on the Senate, but rather brings an independent perspective to Senate as a student of the University. The Student Senator contributes to the broad governance of the University and is also a member of Academic Board. Nominees for this position are not required to be members of a Campus Student Association and can be either a postgraduate or undergraduate student.

I would like to encourage you all to help raise awareness of the student elections and encourage students to consider nominating themselves or another capable student.

With best wishes
Professor Anne Cummins
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching)


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