Getting the student experience right is the biggest challenge that faces any university.
Together, we're designing connected, creative and innovative learning experiences that will provide students with a more valuable experience and a strong sense of belonging.
These experiences blend digital and physical spaces to integrate learning both online and offline, and on and off campus. Discover more about the connected experiences projects currently underway at Macquarie.
Technologies and spaces projects
By adopting new technology and spaces, we're enhancing the learning experience for our students. Some of the current projects in this space include:
Active learning spaces
Two new bookable learning spaces with breakout spaces are available for both collaborative and general teaching and learning.
14 Sir Christopher Ondaatje Ave, Room 163 can fit up to 84 students and has movable desks and AV equipment based around groups of six students.
21 Wally's Walk (W2.4A) Room 2.300 can fit up to 60 students and has fixed table furniture and AV equipment based around groups of eight students.
12 Second Way, Room 435 can fit up to 48 students and has mobile furniture and AV equipment based around groups of six students.
12 Second Way, Room 430, can fit up to 64 students and has mobile furniture and AV equipment based around groups of eight students.
These spaces are intended as prototypes for further reflection and discussion on the types of space capabilities we need in the future.
Learning Technology Proof of Concept projects
The Learning Innovation Hub constantly tests new products and services to solve existing “pain points” in learning and teaching and to allow for more engaging and effective education in the future. These proof of concept projects are University wide and range over several service areas. Keep up to date with the latest projects on Teche.
New staff and student portals
Working across portfolios and offices, significant work has been undertaken to:
- completely refresh the content
- encourage greater collaboration and share experiences between portfolios and business units
- improve staff and student access to relevant and up-to-date information.
Blended learning projects
Online and blended learning will enhance traditional learning practices and ensure that students can learn at anytime, anywhere. Some of the current projects in this space include:
Flipped classroom model
Commonly, flipped classrooms provide students with online access to pre-recorded lectures outside of class time. Teachers then use classroom time to work through that information via a range of strategies including problem solving and discussion.
Each of the faculties has experienced learning and teaching teams to assist in developing academic staff digital and online delivery capacity. Speak to your Associate Dean Learning and Teaching to connect to qualified staff in your faculty.
We meet the challenges of the 21st century by making sure students interact with big ideas and acquire the tools to connect knowledge across disciplines.
Enabling this aspiration, Macquarie has developed The Big History: Connecting Knowledge MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) available through the COURSERA® platform.
A related bonus points scheme rewards Macquarie students for participation and completion of the MOOC.
Our students currently have to use pen and paper in high-stakes final exams, which may disadvantage those students who are used to typing.
Using bootable USB drives, the project team has developed an examination platform that allows students to use their own devices for final exams.
This project received National Government funding: 2016–2018 to carry out pilot testing with the long-term aim of securely and sustainably leveraging BYO laptops for high stakes, face-to-face examinations.
Learning analytics projects
We want every student to succeed. Supporting this objective, Macquarie academic and professional staff are undertaking a range of analytics projects (systems and reports) that both identify students who need more support and enable early intervention strategies.
Macquarie continues to trial iLearn analytics plugins to identify students at risk of not completing a unit.
The plugins aim to:
- track which students are becoming disengaged (based on indicators such as late assessments, logins, marks in the grade book and forum posts)
- send targeted messages and alerts to encourage students to engage in the unit and access the various support services and resources available.
Macquarie’s new Academic Progression Policy took effect from Session 1, 2017.
This new policy has been designed to support students through their studies. Following the release of results at the end of sessions 1, 2 and 3, students will receive advice on their academic standing level and what to do if they need to improve their performance.
The policy applies to all domestic and international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled in standard teaching periods (session 1, session 2, and session 3).
Student experiences projects
We're constantly reviewing and revising programs to ensure the best student experience. Some of the current projects in this space include:
O-week is a celebration for students as they enter their new, or recommence their student journey at Macquarie.
It's also a great opportunity for students to get familiar with all of the support and opportunities available to them. Learn more about O Week and how we showcase our fun, vibrant and friendly community.
KickStart helps students familiarise themselves with teaching staff and the unit content before session even starts.
KickStart is a package of resources and activities delivered through iLearn, which is specific to studying to a unit.
Each package usually includes welcome videos from the Unit Convenor, insights from industry experts and tips from previous students on how to succeed in the unit.
If you would like to implement KickStart for your unit, please contact your your Associate Dean Learning and Teaching.
Week 1 tutorials
Week 1 tutorials is an early engagement initiative that provides a face-to-face opportunity for cohort building with dedicated time for students and tutors to get to know each other.
Sessions may also introduce key unit content (that departments amend to their own requirements).
The initiative addresses the ‘gap’ students often experience between orientation and the commencement of their academic learning journey. The aim is to increase a sense of belonging that in turn, has benefits for both retention and success.
101 units provide a consistent platform (look, feel and experience) for each faculty to communicate faculty- and department-specific information to their students.
Like KickStart, 101 units are hosted in iLearn in effort to minimise the number of platforms student need to move through.
The aim is to enable student independence, self-service and direction as part a broader approach for improving the student experience.
The MAC101 iLearn unit, a cross-faculty and cross-institution creation, was launched in Session 1, 2017. All first year students will be enrolled in the unit automatically, however students at all stages of their degree can self-enrol in the unit.
Recognising that the student experience can be greatly improved if we reduce the ‘stages’ of referral to the many support services across campus, a whole-of-university committee has been established to:
- set service standards
- align systems
- align processes
A focus for the group is consistency, timeliness and quality of service between major physical and online sites:
- Student Connect (MUSE)
- The Library
- Faculty and College service centres
- Support service areas such as Wellbeing