Topic: Large classes

Stories from Australian academics in unit coordination roles that touch on the topic of managing units & classes with large enrollments.

Learning to teach by osmosis

This Unit Coordinator learnt the role by being immersed in it, and to teach by osmosis and stumbling across approaches that worked. He advises tutors to provide an environment that enables students to develop their own mastery. 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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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…

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Teaching online

This Unit Coordinator describes strategies to engage and challenge his students both in class and for on-line teaching. More…

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Seeking a tree change

After a career in business this Unit Coordinator made the shift into academia. His interest in teaching and learning is strong as is his interest in student welfare. More…

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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…

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Three performances a week

This coordinator in business suggests teaching something you enjoy, including the research, reading and scholarship to help make the job easier. He also suggests that passion and enthusiasm are key to engaging students. More…

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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…

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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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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…

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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.
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