Sharing experiences of teaching first years

Taking time out of their busy first week of class schedules, over 40 ANU staff came together for a First Year Convener and Teacher lunch. The event was organised by the fledgling Orientation and Transition Community of Practice and recognises the crucial role that first year teachers play in the success of ANU students. 

As Dr Lucy Neave, Associate Dean, Student Experience and Integrity, CASS and first year lecturer noted, “the last few years have been challenging for teaching, especially in terms of sharing ideas with teaching colleagues. The lunch for first year conveners provided an ideal opportunity to re-imagine what we can do as academics to support students commencing their studies at the ANU”.

The event provided a networking opportunity as well as information on current university initiatives and support services – including Course Welcome Videos, StudentFirst, Academic Integrity and Teaching Spaces At-Elbow Support – for the teachers.

Timelapse of the lunch

Guest speaker for the event was Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education & Digital), Professor Maryanne Dever, who talked to the gathering about current strategic initiatives in learning and teaching. She stressed the importance of first year for establishing students’ expectations of classroom learning and for shaping how they engage with the university in subsequent years. The idea of ANU adopting an ungraded or pass/fail first year was floated with the group. Professor Dever noted afterwards, “two people have approached me offering to pilot ungraded courses. This is very exciting”. This sharing of knowledge will assist ANU to reach our goal of making the teaching and learning at ANU world leading.

One of the co-organisers, Sarah Walker, Manager, Engagement and Success, University Experience shared that, the value of this event was that it provided an opportunity for academics across a variety of disciplines to meet each other and to start to form networks which will help not just with the initiatives of the Orientation and Transition Community of Practice, but with building community among staff and creating connections across our incredibly large campus community“.

For more information and to be involved in future events please join the Community of Practice.

August 2022

Belinda Bergin, Education Support Officer, Learning Environments, Centre for Learning and Teaching