Theme: Managing Workloads & Complexity

One of the challenges for anyone in the role of unit coordinator within a university is managing a complex workload where there is always something more to attend to.

Share

A kind of leader role

A first year lecturer in Science with heavy teaching load and ARC research feels like she is sinking at times. Her 1st year unit is large as is the admin load, which removes focus from student learning. There is greater flexibility to improve her 3rd year unit. She seeks advice from supportive colleagues as needed, and enjoys influencing student learning and the challenges of combining research and teaching.
More…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off

Academic life in a regional campus

I have worked in the business school of this small, regional campus for more than five years now, although I do not coordinate a unit in the traditional sense. I see this campus as the ‘campus of second chance’ for … More…

Comments Off

Bridging the university and profession gap

The role of coordinator in this pathology course is enormous and there is never enough time. The unit has multiple components and is difficult but the students love it because everything taught is placed in a clinical context. Organising and preparing well before classes start is helpful in coping. More…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off

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…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off

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…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off

Coordinating large classes

Coordinating two physical science units with student numbers in excess of 550 led this coordinator to feel overwhelmed, despite being supported by 10 sessional staff. As a humanities expert she feels uncertain at times and would appreciate greater clarity about her role. More…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off

Coping with an unhelpful predecessor

This Unit Coordinator recounts the horror of starting in her role without any support and sharing of materials from her predecessor. She offers helpful advice to new coordinators starting out. More…

Related Resources: , , , ,
Comments Off

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…

Related Resources: , , , ,
Comments Off

Fostering a sense of value

A comment on the experience of Unit Coordinators, and their issues, is shared here by a senior Academic Developer who teaches into the GCHE and frequently talks with those working at the coalface. More…

Related Resources: ,
Comments Off

Give and take

With the flexibility and autonomy that the role provides, this coordinator has organised his role so that everyone ‘wins’ – himself, his students and the course. More…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off

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…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off

Leading others in the school

This Unit Coordinator describes her work with numerous part time, experienced teaching staff. She describes her successful strategies to ensure consistency across the teaching units. Her strategy to combine her teaching and research interests is also mentioned.
More…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off

Managing workloads and complexity – Quick Tips

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

Comments Off

Mixed messages

This coordinator constantly seeks to improve his teaching and materials to maximise the students learning experience. He struggles with the teaching/research dilemma and the focus on research outputs required to gain recognition and be valued by the university. The role is a constant juggle. More…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off

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…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off

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…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off

Organised chaos

When she reflects upon her role this coordinator thinks ‘organised chaos’, labour intensity and the variety of abilities and skills she requires to perform all aspects of the role. She sees the time spent with staff as important to develop and support them. As a specialist she feels professionally isolated and worries about the rigour of developing a unit on her own. More…

Related Resources: , , ,
Comments Off

Painting the Sydney Harbour bridge

Experience was obtained by this coordinator during six years at two different universities. He asked lots of questions to survive the early years and has learnt to compartmentalise the various responsibilities since. This has reduced anxiety although a sense of relentlessness and treading water prevail because he lacks the time to reflect, improve and excel. More…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off

Part of an academic’s work

Teaching an on-line unit meant there were no timetabling, coordinator or tutor ‘complications’ experienced by this coordinator. She feels her skills are valued and is part of a supportive team, and views unit coordination as important and an opportunity to show leadership. More…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off

Positively impacting on students

Originally from overseas, this coordinator in building and construction has found it difficult to adjust to the operational anomalies he has encountered. Nevertheless, he gains great satisfaction from the positive impact he has on his students. More…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off

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.
More…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off

Surrendering myself to teaching

This Unit Coordinator is overwhelmed by her workload on her return to her university after an overseas academic contract. She describes her smooth organisation of large classes and working with other academics. More…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off

Taking responsibility for change

After many years experience in other universities this Unit Coordinator describes his surprise on handover arrangements at his new university. Strategies to introduce change and empower staff are described throughout his story. More…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off

The quality illusion

This coordinator feels increased pressure from the expectation to undertake research in addition to his teaching and coordination responsibilities. Added to this is the increase in student numbers and their lowered motivation, while trying to maintain unit quality. Work/life balance is affected. More…

Related Resources: , ,
Comments Off