End the year with MPLF and set yourself up for flexible teaching in 2021

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

Launched last year, the Modular Professional Learning Framework, or MPLF, offers University of Sydney educators bite-sized professional learning for evidence-based educational innovation and excellence.

Newly-refreshed sessions for eight of the modules will be offered between 23 November – 9 December 2020 covering topics such as teaching online, designing for blended and online learning, assessment and feedback, and inclusivity and diversity. These 2-hour sessions will be delivered via Zoom, offering touchpoints for Sydney educators to connect with colleagues over activities, discussion and reflection on teaching, after a year like no other in higher education.

Below we offer three reasons to begin or continue your MPLF journey over the coming months.

Prepare for flexible teaching in 2021

Next year, most units will need to provide a mixture of face-to-face and remote learning options for students, as they are doing in semester 2 of 2020. Teaching flexibly requires careful design and forethought to ensure both students and teaching teams have the tools they need for success in each mode of delivery.

The MPLF is here to support you in the design of meaningful online learning activities, communities and assessment. Completing one or some of the MPLF modules this year gives you the chance to begin the new year with an informed approach to the teaching, coordination, design or support of mixed-mode units. At 2 hours in duration each, the modules fast-track your upskilling in key areas of learning and teaching and are designed to be accessible training for the time-poor.

Thinking about the different things to take into account in designing lectures for online delivery, including chunking, multimodal and cognitive load theories – very useful and practical.

MPLF modules have been adapted to suit the needs of the complex and uncertain teaching environment of 2020-2021. Indeed, you are welcome back to modules you have already completed as a way to refresh your skills and knowledge against a backdrop of rapid changes to the way we teach. Taught online with a mix of asynchronous and synchronous activities, MPLF modules are designed to model blended and online teaching practices that you may find useful for your own teaching.

Share practice with educators across the University

MPLF sessions afford opportunities for staff across the University to meet, share ideas and learn from educators from all over the University. Now fully online, the MPLF also enables staff who are not based on the main campus to access professional learning and connect with their peers.

The modules are open to all staff and attract people who teach or support learning in many contexts, including lecturers, unit coordinators, educational designers, education-focussed academics, clinical educators, tutors, and staff involved in training.

It’s very supportive and collegial and it really gives a great opportunity to not only learn from people who really know what they’re talking about with learning and teaching but also to network with other colleagues around learning and teaching issues.

Sessions are interactive and involve discussion and small group tasks. You’ll be guided through activities to workshop issues in your own learning and teaching context and get feedback from educators from other faculties, schools or work areas, enabling the cross-pollination of ideas.

Reflect on your teaching experience

The MPLF offers a structured way to reflect on what you currently do as an educator, why you do it and how you know it’s working. Taking some time to reflect on our experiences as educators, including major changes to the learning and teaching context in 2020, helps us to examine these experiences, learn from them and move forward.

Activities that prompt reflection on different aspects of learning and teaching are threaded through the modules, often as preparation tasks before the Zoom session. Post-session tasks usually involve a quick reflection on your learning and making a plan for how you will apply new knowledge gained from the module to your teaching. Finally, ‘Module 19 Reflective account of practice’, can be taken as a capstone module at the end of a learning pathway and used to apply for internationally-recognised Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy UK.

Register for sessions

The modules listed below have upcoming sessions in late November and early December 2020:

Register for sessions via the MPLF Canvas site, with the flexibility to sign up for one or more modules based on your needs.

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