5th ACU Learning and Teaching Conference 2018 – Overview of the day
A message from the Director of the Learning and Teaching Centre, Professor Kevin Ashford-Rowe.
On Friday 27 July, ACU’s MacKillop Campus in North Sydney welcomed more than 300 of ACU’s academic teachers, faculty, school and discipline leaders in learning and teaching, and many of those who support them. Together, we spent a day of deep reflection, community engagement and keen observation: exploring excellence in learning and teaching at ACU.
In a day of many highlights, keynote speaker Associate Professor Jason Lodge (University of Queensland) challenged us with the topic: ‘Learning means thinking; Teaching means thinking about thinking; Let’s think differently!’.
Jason’s engaging, thought provoking and research-grounded approach stimulated much debate, both during and after his presentation and throughout the day. In basing his approach in the science of how our students are responding to contemporary (and traditional) approaches to their learning, he provided both inspiration and ideas as to how we might best use a range of approaches, including those that are enhanced by technology.
Without doubt, a large component of the success of the day itself was built on the excellent program of presentations that showcased the many ways in which our excellent teachers are delivering ‘excellent teaching’ at ACU. In fact, on the back of our keynote, our colleagues were well and truly primed to focus on the ways in which their colleagues were meeting the current challenges of excellence in teaching. Throughout the day ACU academic posters and Learning for Life technology showcases were displayed in the main foyer and provided stimulating information for conference attendees.
Thanks to all the staff who attended the conference and engaged actively to create an exciting buzz around teaching and learning. The success of the conference depended on the considerable efforts of the Learning and Teaching Centre staff, as well as staff from the Students, Learning and Teaching Portfolio, Information Technology, Marketing and External Relations and Properties and Facilities.
The conference was closed by Professor Anne Cummins, our outgoing Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching). Anne kindly provided us with her reflections on ACU past, present and future. She urged us to continue to understand the challenges ahead and maintain our focus upon what makes us a unique learning proposition for our current and future students. Anne’s comments were greeted by a sustained and standing ovation. This was a great tribute to an inspirational leader who has successfully led the learning, teaching and student conversations at ACU for many years.