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Higher Ed Heroes

Author: Seb Kaempf and Al Stark

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In ‘HigherEd Heroes’, we talk to some of the best teachers about ‘what works’ in their university classrooms in a down-to-earth, jargon-free, and non-technical manner. Our objective is to communicate practical advice from the bottom-up to a broad range of teachers about new ideas they may want to integrate into their classrooms and to stimulate open conversations about their everyday practice. Each episode explores what excites students to learn, what keeps them coming back for lectures, and what makes teaching fun for both teachers and students. We hope that you engage in these conversations and (like us) find something in them which inspires you to make small changes that may reward you and your students in big ways.‘ Higher Ed Heroes’ is convened by The University of Queensland's Dr Seb Kaempf and Dr Al Stark and produced by Anthony Frangi. If you want to listen to the podcast, get more information, or get in touch, please visit:
22 Episodes
In this episode, we talk to Associate Professor Phil Orchard (University of Wollongong), who has designed his courses around simulations and role plays. Why are these so central to Phil's teaching, how do they differ and how can we effectively use different formats in our classroom?
In this episode, Al and Seb talk to two experienced and excellent tutors, Dr Federica Caso and Robert Arcidiacono, about all things tutoring: how to be an effective tutor, how to guide, how to handle respond to challenging situations, and how to bring a tutorial/seminar alive. 
In the first episode in 2021, Al and Seb talk to Dr Tom Chodor (Monash University) about the ways he has experimented with and ultimately refined different techniques to ensure that students actually do the readings before rocking up for class. 
In this episode, Seb and Al discuss with Associate Professor Matt McDonald (The University of Queensland) everything simulations and role play: different ways they can be employed; how to mark them; and how they can enable students to learn if done well. 
In this episode, Al and Seb talk to Associate Professor Sarah Percy (The University of Queensland) and Professor David J Hornsby (Carleton University) about about the art of the lecture. In particular, they discuss the tricks and techniques they employ to grab and hold the attention of students in large lectures. 
In this episode, we are talking to Prof. Lydia Kavanagh (School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, UQ) who decided to get rid of exams in her courses and who instead offers learning exercises where students collaborate on solving practical, open-ended, real-world problems.  
In this episode, we talk to Dr Kim de Rijke (Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, The University of Queensland) on how he makes his students learn through research activities that focus on the social impact of real world development projects. 
In this episode, Al and Seb talk to Prof Blake McKimmie (School of Psychology, University of Queensland) on how he revamped his courses around the way students learn. They also talk about the crime drama series Blake produced and which is used week by week to help students navigate through their course. 
In this episode, Seb and Al talk to Dr Jacqui Bond (School of Pharmacy; The University of Queensland): how teaching is not just about cognition but also - and crucially emotions; how integrating and addressing the emotions of learning enable students to have a more holistic experience.  
In this episode, Seb and Al talk to Professor James Arvanitakis (Western Sydney University): how he sees his role as a teacher as someone who wants to take his students on a journey and how he designs his classroom as a safe space as well as a brave space.  
In this episode, Al and Seb introduce the second podcast season and reflect upon what they have been doing in the classroom both during COVID and outside their current existence as zoom/online teachers.
In this episode, Seb and Al talk to Dr Mary Broughton (School of Music) about her students collaborating with the curator of one of the museums in Brisbane to pitch their own ideas for a public exhibition on the psychology of music. The conversation centers around how through this exercise students are offered a more complex and deeper learning experience.
In this episode, Al and Seb talk to Dr Ryan Williams (School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at The University of Queensland) about making students aware of how the their studies are being embodied and lived in their every environments and spaces.  
In this episode, Al and Seb talk to Dr Lynda Shevellar (Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences at the University of Queensland) about to get students who don't feel comfortable speaking to use their bodies to participate in the uni classroom.
In this episode, Seb and Al talk to Dr Simone Smala, Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education at The University of Queensland, about how taking her students out of the classroom and into different institutions and museums helps them understand different forms of learning. 
In this episode, Seb and Al talk to Associate Professor Andrew Phillips (School of Political Science and International Studies, UQ) about the value and merit of the traditional, old-style lecture for student learning. They talk about what makes a great lecture stand out, the importance of a narrative arch and storytelling.
In this episode, Al and Seb talk to Cameron Parsell, an Associate Professor in the School of Social Sciences at The University of Queensland, about how he not only brings practitioners into his classroom but fully involves them in assignments and making them work with students. 
Seb and Al talk to Dr Nic Carah about his experience and practice of involving students in the design and redesign of his courses, and how it has lead him to change his own teaching practices. Nic is Senior Lecturer in the School of Communications and Art, UQ.  
In this episode, Al and Seb talk to Elske van de Fliert, the Director of the Centre for Communication and Social Change at The University of Queensland, about how her students use Lego as a means to develop ideas and stories, and thereby learn.  
In this episode, Al and Seb talk to Associate Professor Gerhard Hoffstaedter (School of Social Science at The University of Queensland) about the ways in which his students collaborate in lectures, oftentimes even taking the lead during his lectures. In particular, Gerhard points to how the techniques he uses (including Pecha Kucha) open up new possibilities for students to learn.
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