Learning and Teaching

Changing minds and lives

Changing Minds and LivesMurdoch University has a long and proud history of delivering high quality learning and teaching to meet the changing and diversified needs of our students. This strategy marks a critical watershed at the University’s 40th anniversary, as it places a new understanding about the ways in which students learn at the centre of our educational and academic planning for the next five years.

We have inspiring staff and highly motivated students that together form a unique community. In building on our successes in learning and teaching, we must focus on recognising and deepening learning at every level and in every aspect of the University’s activity. We must recognise our outstanding practice, and engage in systematic renewal and reconstruction to meet the needs of students who learn with us now and in the future.

In a global and competitive environment, we must ensure that we have a clear plan for renewing our infrastructure, and the means to provide timely support and development for our teaching practitioners. Building upon advances in learning, we will work from the principle of ‘diverse learning environments’2 to invigorate the campus experience and capitalise on opportunities for:

  • blending modes of learning
  • flipping the classroom3
  • enabling mobile access to learning environments
  • deploying analytics and adaptive technologies4
  • promoting activity led5, real world and authentic learning6 methods and
  • opening access to wider communities of learning through pathways programs.

We are committed to advancing our national and international reputation with a research-led curriculum and exemplary teaching practice. We are committed to learning and teaching research and providing recognition for scholarly teaching practice in our Schools and disciplines. We aim to be nationally recognised for our learning and teaching innovation by 2017 and at an international level by 2018.

Academic excellence informs everything we do at Murdoch. Working together in our communities of practice, we will foster ways to share excellence through learning stories, exemplars, pilots, best practices and evidence-based approaches. We will ensure that pedagogic and technical advances are extended into our everyday practice and informed by leading academic research. We will ensure that students and staff have access to training and learning support that fully meets their needs. We will ensure that due recognition is provided for the efforts of our learning and teaching leaders and practitioners, supporting career progression and collegiality.

In 2014 a Conversation about the future of learning and teaching at Murdoch engaged practitioners, experts and students. As part of this University wide conversation, staff and students have shared their stories, through a year-long process of staff consultation and engagement events. The process has allowed us to identify key priorities, bring a community together around the learning and teaching strategy and begin a serious Conversation about issues of concern and focus for our future planning.

A University wide Learning Futures Survey, a three-day Conversation about learning and teaching, World Café Workshops, student focus groups, strategy workshops with senior leaders and review of OECD learning futures provided a wide evidence base. Challenges and issues have been highlighted and will be addressed through the Murdoch community, which includes: Schools, the Professional Services, local industry, community partners and the student body.

This strategy, Changing Minds and Lives, provides a road map that will take us through the next five years of renewal, revival and regeneration as a university internationally recognised for our translational research and student focused learning and teaching.

Our Murdoch ethos recognises that students are at the centre of a wider university community and environment supported by a spirit of inquiry, equity and resilience. Together our community of the brightest minds are solving real world challenges, responding to community needs and educating highly skilled graduates who go on to work in Australia and internationally. We will continue to inspire the next generation of graduates, by changing minds and lives every day.

2 Gale, T (2009) ‘Towards a southern theory of higher education’ Townsville: Pacific Rim First Year in Higher Education Conference. Retrieved on 21 January 2015 from http://fyhe.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Trevor_Gale_paper.pdf

3 Love, B et al (2014) ‘Student learning and perceptions in a flipped linear algebra course’ London: International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 317 - 324

4 de Freitas, S. (2014) Education in Computer Generated Environments. London & New York: Routledge

5 Boaler, J (2009) The Elephant in the Classroom London: Souvenir Press

6 Herrington, J and Herrington, T (2006) Authentic Learning Environments in Higher Education Hershey, PA, USA: Information Science Publishing