In January I started lecturing in horticulture at the Burnley Campus of the University of Melbourne. Burnley was originally founded as an independent college for horticulture in 1891. It was formally amalgamated with the University of Melbourne in its centenary year, 1991 and is now a campus of the University, part of the Department of Resource Management and Geography in the School of Land and Environment. I'm teaching students in the Associate Degree in Environmental Horticulture, a two-year course that has its origins as one of the original diplomas of the old Burnley College.
One of the subjects I co-ordinate is Information Literacy for Horticulture which covers academic writing, library searching and communications, amongst other topics. As part of this subject students are required to develop a blog and make at least six posts on various themes that relate to plants and people. They're encouraged to post on their experience of their own street or suburb, the quality of landscapes around them and how they might be improved. They're also asked to reflect on what brought them to being interested in plants in the first place and to post on a few technical issues that they have researched. Above all, my aim in this assignment is to get students to practise writing, and in the shared forum of a blog.
I'm looking forward to reading their work and will link to the most interesting posts via this blog.