The third transformation of Glyn Davis’ imperium at the University of Melbourne is taking shape, with the release of recommendations for a new approach to teaching. It follows the transformation of courses through the Melbourne model and the remake of administration via the Business Improvement Programme.
The Flexible Academic Programming project started in February 2016 (CMM February 24 2016) and now project coordinator PVC Gregor Kennedy reports 12 recommendations to the university community:
1 cut lectures to 45% of undergraduate contact time by 2020.
2. “review and renew” u/g subjects with 300 plus enrolments “to provide students with active, interactive and engaging learning environments”
3. for subjects with 500 or more students use video instead of lectures to cover “foundational concepts
4. more diverse approaches to assessment, starting in first year subjects.
5. in the starting two weeks of UG’s first year run an intensive programme “to support transition, cohort formation and connection”
6. more intensive subjects:” for UG and PG students
7. “wholly online subjects” in campus-based programmes
8. increase “number and range” of courses available over summer
9. a student preference-based class allocation process by 2020 “to improve the student experience and reduce student complaints through improved class management and allocation”
10. a single centralised system recording all teaching spaces across the university which are included in the university timetabling system
11. develop “flexible learning spaces” for 30-90 student groups
12. provide clearer, systematic and recognised opportunities” for teaching and academic specialists “to foster their contribution to quality improvements and leadership in teaching and learning.”
Individually most of the proposals are no big deal but overall the plan is cleverly-constructed to transform teaching. As a learned reader puts it, VC Glyn Davis “found the university analogue and will leave it digital.”