Theme: Leading Learning

Stories from Australian academics in unit coordinator roles that touch on the theme of leadership within a learning institution such as a university.

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Building rapport

Each semester this coordinator focuses on getting to know his students as quickly as possible. He feels this develops a comfortable rapport that enhances student learning. He uses the services offered to staff and students to advantage and remains focused on his purpose to improve student learning. More…

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Caring about outcomes

This Associate Dean improved his efficiency and developed lists of tasks and deadlines to reduce his stress and workload. He values his sessional staff and actively supports them. He works hard and sets an example for his team, with whom he is open in his approach. More…

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Consumed by the role

This Unit Coordinator and sub dean took an active interest in her university’s policies and became sought after for her expertise. She learnt from a good leader how to be one and grew in confidence and creativity. More…

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Doing what is important

This experienced Unit Coordinator of architecture does little research but rather, focuses on nurturing this students’ creativity. He gets good feedback from his students so is left alone and can pretty much please him self. More…

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Exerting a positive influence

Exerting a positive influence on future doctors is very rewarding to this Unit Coordinator who regards himself as a leader. He views leadership as a role, not a position and something you are do rather than being assigned. More…

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Going for promotion

To gain a promotion this coordinator has been told to demonstrate to the promotions committee how her teaching, research and unit coordination have impacted on her students’ learning and the university community. Demonstrating the impact of research is easy; the others are more difficult. More…

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Leading learning – Quick Tips

    Below are some quick tips for the challenges associated with the theme Leading learning.  The tips are itemised in dot form and are unashamedly simplistic, but are included to meet the just in time needs of busy academics.  There … More…

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Leading not managing

After many years this Unit Coordinator remains convinced that teaching is undervalued and unsupported in her university. Alone she introduced innovation into her units and sees herself as a leader in her discipline. More…

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Leading the unit coordinators

This Head of School has extensive coordination experience in the sciences and understands the role well. He demonstrates his value of the team and provides extra support for new coordinators and those with large classes. The enjoyment ‘edge’ of the job has been removed by weekend work needed to stay on top of his responsibilities. More…

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Lecturer by choice, not by chance

Initially, my university role involved teaching only, although I quickly found myself also managing other activities and staff.  Since starting here I have been well supported by my Head of School.  There are some boring administrative aspects to the role, … More…

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Making a difference

After documenting teaching behaviours and strategies that she appreciated as a student this Unit Coordinator shared her information with colleagues. Using innovative approaches in her lessons resulted in her receiving teaching awards and promotion to lead teaching and learning in her university school. More…

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Micromanaging unit coordinators

Limited induction provided for new academics has led this coordinator to assist them. Her own learning was by trial and error. The T & L centre assists with policies. She feels valued but has issue with the limited recognition of time spent on unit coordination. There are workload discrepancies, which are not seen as fair. More…

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No-one dies here

As a clinician and leader in a previous role, this Unit Coordinator applies the skills learnt then to this role. She provides practical and useful advice. More…

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Only here for the students

This Unit Coordinator describes her heavy teaching workload and the poor administration support she receives. Despite this she enjoys her time teaching and has received outside recognition for her efforts. She also describes her strategy to publish her work. More…

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Prioritising my responsibilities

Despite five years experience as a unit coordinator this coordinator thinks it gets busier. With experience it becomes easier because you know what to do and how to do it but every year there are challenges. This year, for example, the electronic communications system was changed so she needed to learn the new system.
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Reflections from an Engineer

Engineers find it difficult to relate to traditional teaching theories which are embedded in the humanities. This Unit Coordinator spent years reading and now understands the literature. Experience has taught him a great deal about the university culture. More…

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Relationships are the ‘heart’ of universities

I have lectured in this regional campus since it opened more than 20 years ago. I commenced as a sessional staff member and watched the campus grow and evolve. My concern of late is the poor attention paid to relationship … More…

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Supporting unit coordinators

As Head of a new clinical school, there was nothing in place and progress was made difficult for unit coordinators who were professional clinicians rather than academics. He sees his role as supportive and clearly outlines his expectations with new staff. He operates in a ‘fluid’ environment and relies heavily on the goodwill of staff, while also relying on the T & L team and student services for advice and practical assistance. More…

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Taking responsibility

Employed to implement a teaching strategy across the faculty for 1st year students, this academic was asked to coordinate a unit. With no meaningful induction she faced a steep learning curve about unit coordination and the university and asked lots of questions to survive. She sees herself as ‘teacher leader’. More…

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Working at the cutting edge

While strong support for teaching and learning is now offered at this Unit Coordinator’s university it was not the case when he first arrived. Over time technology and collegiate networks have strengthened to better support all teaching staff. More…

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