Professor Sally Kift
Sally Kift is a Professor of Law at QUT. From 2001-2006, she served as Assistant Dean, Teaching & Learning in the QUT Law Faculty, following which she was seconded to the QUT Chancellery as the institution's Director, First Year Experience Project (until December 2007). She has published widely on legal education, criminal law and student transition, and has received numerous national and international invitations to speak on issues relating to transition and the first year experience, on curriculum design to embed and assess graduate attributes, and on the current state of legal education.
Sally was a recipient of a National Teaching Award in 2003, winning the Australian Award for University Teaching (AAUT) in Economics, Business, Law and Related Studies. Amongst other things, that award acknowledged her work in first year curriculum design, support for sessional teaching staff, enhancing the student experience, and the development of graduate attributes in core curriculum. In 2006, Sally was awarded one of three inaugural national Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Senior Fellowships for a project entitled, Articulating a transition pedagogy to scaffold and to enhance the first year learning experience in Australian higher education. In 2007, Sally led a Law Faculty Project Team to the award of a further ALTC (Carrick Institute) National Teaching Award (Programs that Enhance Learning) for Law's Assessment and Feedback practices.
Public lecture - The First Year Student Experience: From Theory to Practice through Policy
Supporting and enhancing the diversity of our students' first year experience (FYE) requires that all of our institutional aspects – our philosophies, strategies and structures, our polices, processes and practices, and particularly our first year learning and teaching approaches and related support delivery – are integrated, coordinated and intentional in aid of early student learning, engagement and success. While this might seem trite, as observed in 2005 when reviewing a decade of Australian research into our students' FYE, "first year support efforts have tended to be piecemeal in the main, developed and sustained by individuals or small groups who champion the cause of first year transition. We have now reached the stage where universities must recognise the need for institution-wide approaches to enhancing the first year experience" (Krause et al, 2005, at 8.8.6).
The presentation seeks to address the substantial challenge - How do we translate our considerable research and theorising around effective first year practice into successful institutional action that can be implemented fully, well and sustainably (Tinto, 2006-7)? It asks – how do we enact a holistic, systematically-managed, vision for the FYE that is truly student-focussed and is indeed greater than the sum of its many individual parts? Drawing on the recent experience of a coherent push to enact an institutional priority around undergraduate first year at QUT, it was suggested that mediating the FYE through the curriculum is a key strategy, if delivered in conjunction with a determined effort to transcend the silos of academic, administrative and support programs. Some policy initiatives in support of these approaches were also discussed.
Krause, K., Hartley, R., James, R., & McInnis, C. (2005). The First Year Experience in Australian Universities: Findings from a decade of national studies. Canberra: DEST. Retrieved March 24, 2008 from http://www.cshe.unimelb.edu.au/pdfs/FYEReport05KLK.pdf
Tinto, V. (2006-2007). Research and practice of student retention: What next? Journal of College Student Retention, 8(1), 1-19.
View the presentation and powerpoint slides* (65mins)
Assoc Professor Janet Taylor interviews Professor Sally Kift to discuss first year curriculum.
Why focus on the first year of university?
What is your model for effecive practice?
What an institution can do to implement the model?
What can a staff member on the ground do to implement the model?
What is the one thing we should consider to improve the success of first year students?
See the interview* (18 mins)
FYE Curriculum Design Symposium
Professor Kift is hosting the FYE Curriculum Design Symposiumis on 5-6 February 2009. Invited speakers include Professor Vincent Tinto.
First Year in Higher Education Conference 2008
Professor Kift gave a keynote address at the 11th Pacific Rim First Year in Higher Education Conference 2008.
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