Herding cats, losing weight and how to improve learning and teaching

On the 24th of September, 2009 I gave a presentation at CQUniversity entitled “Herding cats, losing weight and how to improve learning and teaching”. The resources that arose from that presentation are included below. At the moment, that includes:


The environment within which Universities operate has changed significantly over recent years. Two of the biggest changes have been a reduction in state funding for universities and, at the same time, an increased need for universities to demonstrate the quality and appropriateness of their services, especially learning and teaching.

Consequently, most universities have developed a range of strategies, policies, structures and systems with the intent of improving and demonstrating the quality of their learning and teaching. This presentation will draw on the metaphors of herding cats and losing weight to examine the underlying assumptions of these attempts, the resulting outcomes, question whether or not they are the best we can hope for, and present some alternatives.

Time and place

Date: Thursday, 24th September 2009
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (GMT+10)
Venues: CQUniversity campuses at Bundaberg : BVC1 (1/g.27)
Gladstone : GISL2 (3/g.27)
Emerald : EVC1 (1/A.205)
Mackay : MVC1 (1/G.11)
Rockhampton: RISL1(33/G.14)

If everything falls into place, there may well be a ustream of the presentation.

Related resources

This blog post outlines some early thinking on the structure and purpose of the presentation.



9 thoughts on “Herding cats, losing weight and how to improve learning and teaching

    1. Perhaps not to that extreme, but the basic approach will be much the same. It’s become the way I give presentations, it’s how I think about giving them.

      There are 48 slides in the presentation so far, more will get added.

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  4. aldreds

    Hi David,

    Congrats on an excellent presentation. I’m sorry that I was not there to hear the Management conversation (LOL).

    Hey, I thought were not going to promote some solutions? Sounds like you offered quite a few.

    The 75% figure is a disgrace, but explainable given the context of your talk.

    Once again, well done.


    1. Thanks Scott.

      It’s somewhat expected of me to offer potential solutions, it’s what I get paid for.

      It would be nice to be allowed to implement some of them.

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