International conference on enhancing teaching and learning to be held from 25 to 26 November


Enhancing Learning: Teaching and Learning Conference to be held in Miri on 25 and 26 November.

Miri – 17 November 2011 – The ‘Enhancing Learning: Teaching and Learning International Conference 2011’ will be held from 25 to 26 November 2011 at the campus of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) and at the Parkcity Everly Hotel in Miri.

The conference, to be attended by academics and researchers from the higher education sectors in some six countries, is jointly organised by the Teaching and Learning Committee at Curtin Sarawak and the Office of Assessment, Teaching and Learning, at Curtin University’s main campus in Perth, Australia.

It will be launched by Datuk Dr. Lee Kim Shin, Sarawak Assistant Minister for Communications and Sports, who is also the chairman of Curtin Sarawak’s management board in the university’s Harry Perkins Lecture Theatre.

The conference has attracted a significant number of submissions, both in refereed and non-refereed categories from academicians from public and private universities in Malaysia, as well as Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei. To date, about 65 papers have been accepted by the reviewers.

The conference will cover a broad range of topics, including curriculum development, innovative teaching methods, learning styles, first-year experiences, assessment and feedback, technology in teaching, work-integrated learning and internationalisation.

The conference features three prominent keynote speakers – Professor Lynne Hunt, Professor Emeritus, University of Southern Queensland and Adjunct Professor, University of Western Australia; Professor Margaret Mazzolini, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chair, Academic Senate, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne; and Professor Zainal Ahmad of the Graduate Business School at UNITEN in Kuala Lumpur.

Professor Hunt’s keynote address entitled ‘There’s still an act of teaching – many of them’ will assert the centrality of university teaching in facilitating student learning, explore approaches to teaching, and provide critiques of each before identifying what good teachers do. According to Professor Hunt, good teaching is an outcome of teachers’ decision-making and positions them to think about what they will do next to enhance student learning.

Professor Mazzolini will talk about ‘The impact of branch campuses on our understanding of internationalisation of the curriculum’ and how internationalisation of the curriculum is a contested concept. She contends that widely quoted definitions of internationalisation of the curriculum can bear further inspection when applied to curricula which is both delivered and experienced across multiple campuses and in different cultural settings. Her address will outline progress in exploring these issues within the offshore campus context, as one aspect of a two-year collaborative project between the Australian and Malaysian campuses of Swinburne University of Technology and Curtin University.

Professor Zainal’s keynote topic, meanwhile, will be on ‘The National Academic Award (AAN): Enhancing Teaching and Learning in Malaysia’. He will share his experiences as a past winner of the AAN, the highest accolade for Malaysian academicians conferred by the government through the Ministry of Higher Education, and as a talent seeker responsible for evaluating teaching and learning innovations. He will also address the need to engage learners through innovative teaching and learning in tertiary education.

Dr Beena Giridharan, the organising chair of the conference, commented that the conference will also be beneficial to teachers in secondary schools as many papers will focus on how to engage students in learning in the general sense despite most presenters being from the higher education sector.

“We hope that the conference will provide a wonderful opportunity for academics and educators to share ideas, discuss issues, and reflect on the myriad aspects of what constitutes excellence in teaching in higher education”, she said.

“With a representation of eminent scholars from Australia and Malaysia being among the keynote speakers, participants can look forward to innovative discussions and deliberations on teaching and learning,” Dr Beena added.

Those interested to participate in the conference can register at the registration desks at Curtin Sarawak on 25 November 2011 and at Parkcity Everly Hotel on 26 November 2011. More information on the conference can be obtained by contacting the conference secretariat at +60 85 443 858, or by e-mail to [email protected]

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