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Building a responsive and effective service teaching program

Anne Fernandez and Mary Peat
UniServe Science, The University of Sydney
The University of Sydney's Teaching Improvement Fund (TIF) is designed to improve teaching and the student experience by supporting major projects.

The Faculty of Science at the University has a strong commitment to maintaining a high standard of teaching and learning as evidenced by its activities in student transition, in innovative degree programs, and in the recognition of excellence in teaching by awards and teaching development grants. This TIF project was a collaborative activity between four disciplines (Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Statistics, and Physics) in the Faculty of Science and involved a partnership with three other Faculties (Agriculture, Education, and Engineering). The project was centrally managed and evaluated by UniServe Science.

The aim of the project was to improve the first year experience, particularly in client faculties, and to identify teaching development models that could be transferred from discipline to discipline. This included recognising the requirements of professional degree programs and hence providing teaching experiences, both on campus and in flexible mode, that are in the context of the profession. The project has facilitated the development of two models: 1) 'value-adding' to an existing unit of study, and 2) development of small online teaching modules that can be used within a number of units of study and across various degree programs.

To assess the effectiveness of these teaching and learning innovations, in particular the value to the institution, an evaluation model based on Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Evaluation was developed. This paper will discuss the benefits of collaborative developments and how the lessons learned can be used to influence similar developments within a broader context.

Please cite as: Fernandez, A. and Peat, M. (2003). Building a responsive and effective service teaching program. In Partners in Learning. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 11-12 February 2003. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/fernandez-abs.html

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Last revision: 13 Jan 2003. This URL: http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/fernandez-abs.html