What happened at Week 4 // Open Door?

Run from 27 until 31 March, Week 4 // Open Door is a University-wide event designed to enable all staff to see how others teach and to observe how innovative approaches work in practice.

With 95 classes offered in the program, the event showcased a wide range of disciplines, class types and teaching techniques.

Held across five campuses, the ‘open door’ classes allowed staff to sit with students and watch how they reacted, learned and engaged with the various approaches to teaching.

“This week was an opportunity for staff to open up their classrooms for other staff to watch, and for the observers to see what students are seeing,” said Professor Adam Bridgeman, Director of Educational Innovation in the Education Portfolio.

“We hold Week 4 // Open Door to enable our teachers to learn tricks and get tips from other teachers to take back into their own classrooms.”

“It was fantastic to see so many classes open this week and so many people attending. I’d really like to thank all those who put themselves forward and participated,” said Professor Bridgeman.

Marie Chellos, from the Conservatorium of Music, who attended Dr Rowena Cowley’s third-year pedagogy voice class at the Conservatorium, said: “I came out of interest, because I know this lecturer is a fantastic teacher, so I wanted to see her style. She was very informative, engaging and inspiring.”

So what happened? We went to three classes to see what Week 4 // Open Door was all about.

Dr Adrian George engages his first-year chemistry lecture students in Week 4 // Open Door.

Dr Adrian George
School of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

Dr Adrian George ran an engaging first-year chemistry lecture for Bachelor of Pharmacy students, focusing on acids and bases.

Using a variety of methods, Dr George kept his students’ attention by breaking up the lecture with chemistry demonstrations (bright colours and humour!), and worksheet problems that they solved together on screen.

Getting laughs out of a morning chemistry lecture is no easy task, and Dr George’s warm, amusing and informative tone was obviously appreciated by his students.

Dr Rowena Cowley leads a stretching exercise with her third-year pedagogy voice class at the Conservatorium of Music.

Dr Rowena Cowley
Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Dr Rowena Cowley shared her vast experience in teaching singing with her third-year pedagogy voice class, focusing on posture, anatomy and breathing.

Making her class interactive, Dr Cowley used discussions, demonstrations and physical activities to engage her students, bringing the information to life with active student participation.

Obviously well-liked and respected, Dr Cowley brought to her class her warmth, knowledge and impressive ability to address each student by name.

Dr Zoe Alderton gave an insightful analysis of how pathos is used in persuading an audience in her second year writing hub class in Week 4 // Open Door.

Dr Frances Di Lauro
Director of the Writing Hub, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Dr Frances Di Lauro developed an interesting and stimulating Writing Hub class for second-year students on argumentation: theory and practice. It was taught by tutor Zoe Alderton.

Using class discussion, a multimedia presentation (Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2U video clip – awesome!) and worksheets, Dr Alderton gave an insightful analysis of how pathos is used in persuading an audience.

Bringing rhetorical analysis to life with a pop music classic is an exciting way to connect with students.

This post has been re-blogged with permission from Staff News.

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