University of Canberra/Hothouse

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The University of Canberra Hothouse is a teaching and learning project to support development of innovative teaching methods and projects.
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Hothouse projects on Wikiversity[edit]

  1. Student Authored Open Textbooks (James Neill)
  2. UCNISS Study tours (Leigh Blackall)

About Hothouse[edit]

The hothouse is a component of the wider teaching & learning commons at UC. The concept incorporates leadership, ideas exchange, project incubation, training, support and the resourcing of common and flexible spaces to focus activity. It builds upon the existing faculty partnerships, (FEDD projects) and is coordinated through the Teaching and Learning Centre, (TLC) with funding from the University of Canberra, Strategic Initiative Fund, (SIF).

Two hothouse sessions will take place throughout the year, offering leadership, support and resources for projects that build our capacity to improve teaching and learning. The projects are lead by ‘innovative teaching and learning leaders’ (ITaLL’s) and supported by the TLC staff and a dedicated project officer.

Applications for ITaLL positions will be accepted from suitable applicants and will be judged by the advisory group chaired by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education). Please see the application form and criteria.

Aims of the Hothouse[edit]

  1. To establish a sustainable network of innovative leaders who develop blended educational projects and evaluate best practice.
  2. To extend the capacity of the TLC faculty partnership program, (FEDD) to further support faculty in adopting blended learning in the winter term and beyond.
  3. To build upon the recommendations made in the ‘Report on Online and Blended Learning’. In particular, to guide the university towards achieving the ‘Mode 2’ target of 85% adoption of blended pedagogy by 2012.
  4. To establish the concept of a teaching commons and build a community of practice around blended learning.
  5. To recognise the expertise of our teaching staff and provide an opportunity for them to develop skills and network with other innovators and entrepreneurs.

The Hothouse sessions[edit]

There are two hothouse sessions in 2010 that culminate in a symposium on blended learning in November 2010.

The Winter Term Hothouse, (15th Feb to 10th May, 2010) is focused on supporting faculty who are teaching units in the winter term. It is intended that the ITaLL’s will identify pragmatic and achievable solutions for improving teaching and learning in an intensive mode and disseminate their findings to the university, through workshops, presentations and publication on a teaching model website.

Opportunities will exist for all faculty to drop in and exchange ideas and best practices, search through resources like teaching models, exemplars and case studies or use computing resources in a quiet, focused and supported environment. The hothouse space includes collaborative online workstations, access to wireless, projectors, scholarly resources and a formal training space.

The Blended Learning Hothouse, (Aug to Oct 2010) builds upon the outcomes of the winter term and the contributions of the innovative leaders to create a sustainable practice focused on achieving the 2012 targets established in the ‘Report on Online and Blended Learning. Projects undertaken during the winter term hothouse and the recent experiences of those teaching in the winter term are reflected upon and best practices disseminated with faculty throughout the university in the form of a website showcasing blended models and a blended learning symposium. Exemplary projects will be further developed with the support of TLC and SIF funding.

Innovative Teaching and Learning Leaders (ITaLL’s)[edit]

The search for Innovative Teaching and Learning Leaders begins the hothouse process and provides the opportunity for faculty to contribute their expertise whilst developing their own teaching methodologies. The success of the activity that takes place in the hothouse depends on the innovation of the leaders and their ability to disseminate best practice and build the capacity of those around them. This requires a blend of skills including leadership, innovation and educational development.

To attract participation from faculty the ITaLL’s will receive funding of $5000 subject to submission of an agreed project plan.

Note: All funds must be expended within the agreed timeframe or returned to DVC(E).

The teaching commons[edit]

The concept of a teaching commons lies at the heart of the hothouse programs and as such influences the types of work, interactions and communications that take place.

The hothouse has a physical location, (tba), where participants can focus their attention on projects and interact with each other, fostering a culture of inter-disciplinary development. The environment is flexible to encourage use in a variety of modes and technology-enabled to provide a transparent layer of support as and when required.

Access to the resource will be made available throughout the week with specific times being supported directly by TLC staff.

Types of projects to consider for the winter term hothouse

  • Developing intensive teaching models based on good practice
  • Designing intensive teaching activities
  • Creating a preparatory checklist for intensive sessions
  • Developing syllabus concepts and content
  • Improving interaction and communication between teachers and learners
  • Aligning learning activities and assessment
  • Evaluating a unit/course

Process for Winter Term Hothouse[edit]

  1. The hothouse coordinator and project officer, present information about the hothouse program to the Associate Dean Education, (ADE), for distribution to winter term unit convenors and/or other associated persons. This information includes instructions on how to submit ITaLL applications.
  2. Academic staff member returns the Proposal form to the Associate Dean Education by the date nominated in the attached timetable.
  3. Faculties prioritise the list of applications and send the completed proposal forms to the hothouse coordinator [danny.munnerley@canberra.edu.au]. Sign off by the Dean is essential and can be in electronic form through email. Faculties may submit 2 applications for the winter term hothouse. A call for the 2nd hothouse will go out in June.
  4. Proposals are then considered by the advisory group in terms of their potential to meet the criteria, requirements for support and impact on teaching and learning at UC. (The advisory group may request further information or re-working of a proposal).
  5. ADE’s and applicants will be notified of their success by Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education)
  6. Formal commencement of the hothouse program will begin with a morning workshop to introduce the ITaLL’s and their projects. To be held in the hothouse venue or on location.
  7. ITaLL’s will be required to participate in regular meetings to ensure ongoing progress of their projects.
  8. Deans and ADE’s will be provided regular updates on project progress.
  9. Completion of the hothouse program will include a project report and entry/s into the teaching model website.

Application for Innovative Teaching and Learning Leaders, (ITaLL’s)[edit]

Applications are invited from suitable applicants with an interest in developing innovative teaching and learning strategies for faculties dealing with the demands of the winter term. During 2010 there are two hothouse periods, before and after the winter term and capacity for up to 14 leaders through the strategic initiative fund.

Criteria[edit]

  1. A capacity for leadership development in the area of teaching, learning and assessment
  2. An ability to interpret and identify areas for supporting teaching in the winter term
  3. Knowledge of how to promote deep learning and evaluation processes
  4. Knowledge of available teaching and learning methods and emerging practice
  5. Proven record of achievement in at least one of the following areas: educational design, teaching media, educational technology, teaching awards, teaching grants or curriculum development
  6. Knowledge of University structures and decision making procedures

ITaLL tasks[edit]

  1. Lead a project-focused initiative that identifies and develops best practice in teaching and learning to suit the challenges of the winter term.
  2. Create a plan of action in consultation with the hothouse coordinator and project officer.
  3. Collaborate with other ITaLL’s to discuss process and progress, identifying synergies across the university.
  4. Maintain a reflective journal and participate in evaluation processes through out the project.
  5. Disseminate through workshops, presentations, conference papers and journal articles.
  6. Contribute to the hothouse teaching model website and blended learning symposium in November 2010.

Hothouse links[edit]

  1. Hothouse
  2. Hothouse blog

External links[edit]