Funding backs leading UTS research in learning and teaching

Picture by Anna Zhu

Picture by Anna Zhu

In summary: 
  • UTS staff have been awarded more than $1million in competitive funding by the Office for Learning and Teaching
  • The 2016 fellowships and grants awarded to UTS will support research in student engagement and learning, interprofessional education and academic workforce development

UTS will lead nationally significant research in higher education learning and teaching in several key areas with the announcement of the 2016 fellowships and grants by the Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT).

UTS staff have been awarded more than $1million in competitive OLT funding, which will support research in student engagement and learning, interprofessional education and academic workforce development.

UTS Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) Professor Shirley Alexander said the research backed by the OLT would benefit the sector as a whole and UTS in particular.

"The work being funded by the OLT is all in line with our strategy for enhancing the quality of the university's teaching and reflects what we need to be doing into the future to stay on that course," Professor Alexander said.

"It is a shame that this will be the last funding round for the OLT, but we hope there will be recognition that the work it has done in supporting the quality of Australian higher education should be maintained in some form."

In yesterday's announcement Professor Sally Varnham was awarded a National Senior Teaching Fellowship directed to creating a framework for student partnership in university decision-making and governance.

Professor Varnham said the fellowship will build on previous OLT-funded work to develop a model for genuine student engagement in university governance that recognises the importance of the student voice.

"International research has shown how student partnership through engagement is now firmly embedded in higher education sectors elsewhere and evidence shows clear benefits for universities and their students in enhancing the quality of teaching and learning and the educational experience of students," Professor Varnham said.

"The next stage will involve sector-wide collaboration to develop a national framework for student engagement involving student leaders, student engagement staff, senior academics, vice-chancellors, and policy makers."

The full list of UTS fellowships and grants is:

National Senior Teaching Fellowship
Professor Sally Varnham, Faculty of Law, creating a national framework for student partnership in university decision-making and governance

National Teaching Fellowship
Dr Anne Gardner, Faculty of Engineering and IT, professional identity and agency: changing the way STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students think about their learning and development

Strategic Priority Commissioned Work
Priority area: The future of the academic workforce
Associate Professor James Goodman, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), scholarly teaching fellows as a new category of employment in Australian universities: impacts and prospects for teaching and learning

Innovation and Development Grants
Associate Professor Roger Dunston, FASS, building a sustainable national approach for the development and governance of interprofessional education

UTS is a partner in two other successful grants:

Strategic Priority Commissioned Work
Priority area: Personalised learning in a massified higher education system
Scaling the provision of personalised learning support actions for large student cohorts. The University of Sydney (lead) with Professor Simon Buckingham-Shum, Director of the UTS Connected Intelligence Centre as a partner

Priority area: assessment and promotion of student learning
Owning the rubric: student engagement in rubric design, use and moderation.
Avondale College of Higher education (lead) with Dr Sue Joseph, FASS, as a partner.

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Education