Teaching and Learning Open Forum 2009



Keynote Speaker Abstracts

1 "Engaging the Emerging Learner in the 21st Century"

Keynote Address I: Professor Beverley Oliver

Student engagement has become a ‘hot topic’ in higher education in recent years. If engagement is a key to better learning outcomes, what does it mean and how can universities and their teaching academics meet the needs of the emerging ‘Net Generation’ learner in the twenty-first century? This keynote presentation will have an international focus and will provide a synopsis of the current thinking on the nature of appropriate graduate outcomes, the literature on student engagement, and recent US and Australian studies testing assumptions about the ‘Net Generation’ and their ownership and use of convergent technologies. It will also provide an update on teaching and learning innovations currently being implemented by universities and individual teaching staff to engage and challenge students with diverse characteristics and learning needs.


2 “Engaging Learners”

 Keynote Address II: Professor Joan Gribble

Engaging learners in the classroom setting is a complex process which the reflective practitioner constantly ponders. In this presentation, three questions are posed for the purpose of critiquing teaching and learning in a tertiary classroom setting. These questions are constantly at the forefront of the reflective practitioner’s mind. First, the epistemological question is considered. How does the practitioner know that students know? The consideration of what defines the significant knowledge to be learnt, how this knowledge is expounded in the classroom, and the forms of assessment which genuinely test student understanding of the knowledge are the essence of such considerations. The second question which is examined, an ontological one, is concerned with enabling students to distinguish theory from practice, practical ideas from ideals, and relationships from interrelationships. The question here is: How does the practitioner enable students to position new knowledge within their existing worldview? It is imperative that the practitioner finds ways to ensure that what is taught in a classroom setting bears some relationship to what the learner already knows.

The third and important methodological question to be taken into account in the presentation is: How best does the practitioner make judgments about students as learners and what they take away from the learning experiences in classrooms? The practitioner must be able to discern that students are intrinsically motivated as learners and enable them to use cognitive processes - creating, problem solving, reasoning, decision making and evaluating - to engage in the learning process. Further, it is imperative that the practitioner enable students to become responsible for their own learning. The presentation will conclude with a set of criteria which can be used by the reflective practitioner to guide their thoughtful and fruitful approach to classroom teaching in a higher education context.


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Teaching and Learning Open Forum 2009 | Curtin University, Sarawak, Malaysia . All rights reserved. ISBN: 978-983-44482-1-9