Preparing Academics for Adaptive Teaching

What happens when innovative thinking is applied to teaching methods? The Faculty’s new Williams Centre for Learning Advancement (CLA) aims to show just what that means.

Under the stewardship of Director, Professor Angela Paladino and Dr Angelito Calma, the Williams CLA will focus on advancing the pedagogical capacity of staff at the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE), enabling them to be at the forefront of new teaching methods to suit diverse student needs.

Recognising the rapidly changing needs of students and the pedagogical tools available, the Williams CLA aims to develop the readiness of staff in adapting to new styles of teaching.

One method of teaching which the Williams CLA will support staff to utilise are ‘blended options’ designed to best suit the delivery of specific material while also offering flexible learning opportunities.

Blended learning is offered across a continuum, including a mix of face-to-face and distance teaching using the online environment as a classroom.

"Effective blended learning programs are usually best when they combine a number of modes of teaching and learning including traditional instructor-led learning, and synchronous and asynchronous modes through to experiential learning," says Professor Paladino. "We already see elements of this being implemented across subjects in FBE."

Blended learning has the capacity to achieving learning objects while simultaneously providing engaging experiences for students and staff not previously possible. The Williams CLA will provide important academic support in subject delivery.

The centre was inspired by Professor Ross Williams, who was a faculty leader at the forefront of change management and teaching advancement. The Williams CLA will steer the Faculty through major pedagogical changes, such as incorporating new technology across teaching and learning.

Professor Paladino says that the centre will become the first port of call for all teaching development needs for FBE staff, and provide them with customised solutions as necessary. New staff appointments to support this objective will be created in Semester 2.

“The long-term aim of the centre is to improve the learning experience for all FBE staff and students, and maximise learning outcomes,” she explains.

Services that the Centre will offer include:

  • support for departmental teaching initiatives,
  • the introduction of new staff professional development programs (including for sessional tutors and lecturers);
  • research support services in teaching education
  • collaboration opportunities in discipline-specific teaching education
  • revitalized teaching effectiveness assessment
  • new teaching excellence recognition systems
  • new communication services, including a new website, learning associates and email newsletter updates

Professor Angela Paladino is the Director of the Williams CLA and a Professor of Marketing. She has published her work in journals including the Journal of Product Innovation Management, Marketing Letters, Journal of Marketing Education, Environmental Education Research, Marketing Education Review, Management International Review and The Journal of Business Ethics. Angela has been awarded over 12 international and national teaching awards from organisations including the Academy of Marketing Science. She has been awarded over $35M in competitive funding from national and international agencies including the Australian Research Council. Angela is the Associate Editor of the Journal of Product Innovation Management (JPIM). She is on the editorial review board of JPIM, the Journal of Marketing Education and the Journal for the Advancement of Marketing Education.

Dr. Angelito Calma is a Senior Lecturer in Higher Education and holds a number of qualifications including a Doctor of Education from the University of Melbourne (2009) and a GradDip in Education Studies from the University of Queensland (2001). He held a number of teaching positions overseas (1998-2006), primarily teaching undergraduate business in the following areas: quantitative methods in business, introductory business/management, and business for students in economics, commerce, business, accounting, human resource, finance, and multimedia arts. He is responsible for quality assurance, teaching, research and in staff development programs including the Tutoring in Higher Education program. His interests overlap education and business. He worked previously as Project Manager and Researcher at the Centre for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) at the University of Melbourne and as a Content Manager, Professional Programs & Pathways, CPA Australia (Melbourne).

Ms. Sonia Puglielli is the Office Administrator and Personal Assistant to the Director. She coordinates academic programs, master classes, forums and events, administers the evaluation procedures associated with these programs and events, as well as providing financial and resources support for staff in the Centre. Sonia provides administrative assistance to academic staff, acts as a secretary for staff meetings, assists in the administration of teaching awards, and has an active role in the promotional activities of the Centre. Sonia has served the Faculty of Business and Economics for over thirty years and the Centre since 2002. She has a Certificate of Business Administration. In 2010, she was awarded an Outstanding Professional Staff of the Year Certificate.