Learning and Teaching

Innovating our learning and teaching

Innovating our learning and teachingThe journey for learning and teaching at South Street began long before the University’s inception. Among the Noongar people, the area around what is now the South Street campus was traditionally considered an ancient ‘place of learning’. An intrinsic attachment to land and country brought Noongar women and men here to reflect upon and share their stories and experiences.

Forty years ago when a committed group of academics set out to educate their inaugural generation of ‘first in family’ graduates, they were determined to integrate learning from different disciplines and provide open access to higher education. They created unique and memorable learning experiences, inspiring and transforming the lives of students.

Those original pioneers set the tone for Murdoch as a place of higher education devoted to developing questioning and critical alumni with the capacity to change the world. These educational pioneers set us on our journey: opening access to four generations of learners dedicated to solving real world problems and making the world a better place.

The first cohort of 714 students commenced at the South Street Campus 40 years ago. Today student numbers have topped 24,000 across all our sites including sizeable learner populations in Singapore and Dubai.

Murdoch enrolments have grown considerably since 1975 reflecting widening participation in higher education, distance education and more recently the uncapping of domestic student places and the addition of international students, transnational education and online modes of learning (see Figure 1).

Learning and Teaching Innovation

Murdoch University has been an Australian leader in delivering high quality learning and teaching, having one of the first dedicated learning and teaching units in Australia, maintaining five star student satisfaction figures in the Good Universities Guide for 13 years between 1997 and 2009, as well as possessing a well-developed distance education capacity since 1975.

We are committed to focusing upon high quality learning and teaching over the next five years

Murdoch will continue to offer students not only a testing ground for their own learning and ideas, but also real world learning experiences on our rich and diverse campus facilities.

Our campus on South Street is the largest campus in Australia - 2.27 square kilometres - and sits in bushland and wetlands. Our campuses include the veterinary farms and animal paddocks. Learning spaces and facilities include: science labs, simulated nursing wards and legal court, theatre stage, sound and television studio stages, pet clinic, seminar rooms chiropractic clinic, counselling clinic, lecture theatres and informal outdoor learning spaces such as the Chinese Garden and Peace Pavilion. Other facilities include a sports pavilion, cricket grounds and tennis courts, exercise science lab and facilities.

At the heart of a Murdoch education is the commitment to our graduates becoming well educated and critical members of the Australian and international community. Our students have become the scientists, professionals and creatives in an international community of 65,000 alumni.

We are proud that 83 per cent of our graduates proceed straight into work or further study7. They are motivated, intelligent, resilient and adaptable individuals prepared with skills and knowledge to transform their own and others’ lives for the better. Our Murdoch ethos has instilled these characteristics and this distinctive approach will evolve so that we may empower students with an appreciation of 21st century life, the skills required and the grand challenges to be faced.

We are committed to supporting our learning and teaching community to educate another 40 years and more of learners, building upon this tradition of principle, experimentation, creativity, innovation and leadership.

We are committed to extending our world standard translational research through an evolving curriculum delivered by learning and teaching practitioners inspired by world scale problems.

Over the next five years, the University will be:

  • stepping up a program of renewal of our physical and virtual learning spaces
  • innovating our learning and teaching practices
  • prioritising the professional development of our academic staff
  • improving the capacity of the institution to support the critical work of curriculum, assessment and instructional design
  • alleviating the administrative burden of our business processes impacting staff and students; and
  • sense checking our policy, quality and assessment frameworks.

We will improve our capability to recognise and support innovation in learning and teaching. We will achieve this through the coordinated adoption of more cohesive and holistic processes, systems and support to underpin our core business of delivering high quality learning and teaching.

7 Source: Murdoch Australian Graduate Studies Final Tables A and B: 2012