Date Tuesday 13 September
Blended learning project
Rita Chiu (PAVE)
PAVE has a long and proud tradition of adopting emerging technologies to improve their students’ experience. The innovation has often been developed in silos and as a result has meant an eclectic approach that has made applying any type of learning or learner analytics challenging. The PAVE strategic plan has an aspirational goal to ensure that 100% of PAVE courses has a blended approach to learning with bare minimum requirements determined to be set as a minimum benchmark. The blended learning project* aims to provide a consistent blended learning hub for all courses that will have varying amounts of data. A basic dashboard that focuses on the active components of the learning will be created to sit within a default Blackboard shell. This project aims to deliver the following:
- Create a consistent navigation model to help students quickly become accustomed to the course regardless of the qualification they are studying. This will reduce cognitive overload when students transition from one qualification level to the next and provides a sense of security.
- Enable teachers to quickly access what they are looking for when teaching, participating in an audit or building a new course. This will ensure that good learning design principles are carried through, regardless of teacher experience and expertise, and will free up time for teachers to concentrate on teaching.
- Provide comparable data to inform course design for a range of teaching staff and administrators.
- Ensure consistency across campuses to support both teachers and students who may transition across campuses, departments and qualification levels.
- Provide a blended framework for conducting professional development which is immediately applicable and transferable to their teaching environment.
This abstract is an outcome of a Learning Futures Seed Project funded by the Learning Transformations Unit
Communication Student Forum case study
Dr Rob Gill (FHAD)
The Communication Student Forum, chaired by Rob Gill, is an annual event that enables graduating students to further develop their employability skills and prepare the students for the professional work environment. The Forum has evolved and grown over the past five years, incorporating many advances and contemporary designs, along with growing student attendance numbers. The Forum is successful because graduating students and industry have this opportunity to come together and share knowledge relating to what are critical skills, challenges, and issues to becoming outstandingly employable! The Forum’s key objective aims to better prepare graduating students for the workforce by enhancing employability skills. Sub-objectives include:
- Improving student understandings of the diverse work environments for professional communication by providing actual (authentic) workplace experiences;
- Expanding students’ networks in industry to heighten their professional profile;
- Refining each graduate’s preparation of their curriculum vitae, interview techniques and electronic profiles; and
- Creating cross-institution student hubs (both face-to-face and online) where students can share their concerns, anxieties and skills regarding moving into the professional workforce.
The Forum has meaningfully advanced Swinburne’s 2020 Plan, particularly in the areas of engaging students through quality, personalised education that can only be achieved beyond the classroom, and by raising Swinburne’s’ profile as a partner of choice for the industries and communities in the professional communication space. The expanded and innovative curriculum delivered through the Forum helps to personalise the learning with the changing needs of the students, as they have opportunities to seek tutelage one-on-one with specialists in the industry.
Reparation: Building patterns of success for marginal students
Bryan Kidd (PAVE)
Domestic students with low Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) scores, and international students with lesser academic skills are given an alternative path into the second year of degree programs via Unilink Diplomas. Most of these students build the skills to successfully complete their undergraduate studies with commendable performance levels. This presentation will discuss authentic assessment techniques and learning interventions used to help these students discover their capacity for academic success. Almost all of these students demonstrate the ability to think effectively, but have developed patterns of behaviour that compromise their ability to study. The design of the Unit ‘Managing Work in the 21st Century’ builds on a decade of innovative authentic assessment that aims to help students repair, discover and recover their ability to succeed. This brief session will introduce the integrated structure of the authentic assessment and associated delivery techniques in this unit that helps students progressively build a set of effective study skills and behaviours.
Linguistic misunderstanding and cultural space in educating non-native English adult learners
Dr ChyeKok Ho (FBL)
In teaching and learning of non-native English-speaking adult learners, it is necessary to accept students as they are and not make false assumptions about their interests, knowledge and competences. In the case of the inaugural cohort of the Master of Human Resource Management (MHRM) course at Swinburne Sarawak, the students are state-government financially sponsored adult learners who are non-native speakers of the English language with Bahasa Melayu as their working language. As education depends crucially on language and culture, several MHRM adult learners have struggled to cope with the technical and scholastic demands made by the language requirement (Bourdieu et al, 1994). In collaboration with the Faculty of Language and Communication, Swinburne Sarawak, a purposive developed intensive English language program of twelve-week duration was embedded into the MHRM curriculum. English language mentoring and coaching were provided by three language lecturers to the MHRM learners. Although the intensive English program required additional investment by the Sarawak state government, 19 of the 20 MHRM scholars opted to undergo the English language program. The verbal and written feedback from the learners on the ‘enhanced’ MHRM course was inspiring. Though their English has not become flawless, the learners felt that linguistic misunderstanding was minimised and cultural distances bridged. In addition, the Intensive English program appears to have removed the fear of using English in public presentations and instilled a confidence in learners in using academic English in the workplace. For the second cohort of 22 state government sponsored learners commencing their studies in April 2016, the Intensive English program is made compulsory for all adult learners and has become a part of the MHRM fabric.
Transforming learning with OER
Robin Wright (Information Resources)
Open Educational Resources (OER) offer the potential for teachers to use digital resources in new, more flexible ways. They allow students to experiment with re-using and communicating material over an increasingly wide range of interactive web platforms in a networked environment. However, it is often difficult to understand the terms and conditions that govern the re-use of OER material found on the internet, or to work out if using or re-mixing material for educational purposes is permitted. Teachers may be unsure if material they create can be shared, or about the role of their employing institution if they wish to make teaching resources freely available for re-use online. The Open Education Licensing (OEL) project (www.oel.edu.au) being conducted by Swinburne and the University of Tasmania (with funding from the Office for Learning and Teaching) is currently developing a practical online open licensing navigational tool, to help teachers and managers in Australian universities make effective decisions around their use of OER in online education. The project surveyed educators, managers and information professionals from across the Australian higher education sector about their understanding and needs around copyright and licensing when using OER. This presentation will provide information on the project’s research findings and include a demonstration of the draft OEL Toolkit being produced. It will also discuss the increasing use of OER in education internationally, definitional issues around ‘openness’ and some thoughts around the future potential for OER in Australia.
OERs as a strategy to enhance students’ engagement
Dr Daniel Eldridge, Dr Huseyin Sumer, Dr François Malherbe & Dr Llew Mann
Students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) foundation units are expected to use extensively recommended textbooks to develop their understanding and mastering of the units. However, these can be prohibitively expensive and may in some cases cause extra financial burden on individuals who may already struggle. The library is only able to make a limited number of copies available, and most particularly for large enrolment units (sometimes only 6 copies for ~200 students). Given the nature of these foundation studies, there are many options available for alternative Open Source textbooks. The main objective is to investigate the use of Open Source textbooks and other Open Educational Resources (OERs) in STEM foundation units as part of a blended learning delivery model, as well as a strategy to enhance students’ engagement. It is anticipated that the project will generate interesting exemplars to communicate to other units about what is possible and available. It would be desirable project is to create a sustainable model for the broad dissemination of open textbooks, mostly to our first year cohorts. As an offshoot of this project, a suggestion would be to have our academics to develop their own textbooks. As most tertiary institutions are gradually moving to more online contents and digital devices, we must also provide basic training to students on how to efficiently use these. It is therefore essential that teachers and students become proficient with digital tools and services, and that they are aware of the various content licences. This proficiency is vital because in the current digital age content cannot be created, reused or shared without employing tools and services.
Date Tuesday 13 September
Time 1.50 pm
How the built environments of Design Factories help facilitate the culture of co-creation, experimentation and innovation that Design Factories advocate for
Dr Anita Kocsis & Alicen Coddington (FHAD)
The built environment is made up of spatial prompts that provide overt and subtle messages to the occupants of the environment about its usage and appropriation. Design Factories which are both working and learning environments situated in universities and research institutions utilize spatial prompts both overtly and subtle to communicate, facilitate and enhance the culture of Design Factories – a culture of co-creation, experimentation and innovation. These spatial prompts are analogue and digital and they are both permanent and temporary. We will discuss the purposes behind the spatial prompts of Design Factories and how they have been specifically implemented to assist in the creation and continual development of a culture of co-creation, experimentation and innovation.
Push notifications, digital badges and leaderboards: Evaluating the impact of Quitch mobile application on learning
Dr Gráinne Oates, Dr Katya Pechenkina, Dan Laurence, Dr Daniel Eldridge & Professor Dan Hunter
This paper reports on the efficacy of a mobile learning intervention that combined ‘push notifications’ and game principles within a timed quiz app. An institutional interdisciplinary case study was conducted which compared rates of student retention and academic performance with their usage of a purpose-designed learning app. Leading up to lectures the app ‘pushed’ daily quizzes to students’ personal mobile devices and then rewarded them with feedback, points, badges and a position on a leaderboard. It was found that since the introduction of the app there was an increase in student retention rate of 12.23%, an increase in academic performance of 7.03% and a significant positive correlation of .40 between students’ scoring highly on the app and achieving higher academic grades. Conclusions are made in regards to what these findings mean for the future research into higher education learning enabled via mobile app technologies. More broadly, we discuss the implications of our findings in regards to the key higher education stakeholders: universities, educators and students.
This abstract is an outcome of a Learning Futures Seed Project funded by the Learning Transformations Unit
The Sociological Imagination Machine (SIM): Using game elements to help learners apply a sociological imagination
David Hall & Dr Hilary Wheaton
Swinburne Online used game elements and a custom built technology to assist first-year Sociology students to understand and utilise the core concept of the sociological imagination. Over a 16-week period, a collaborative team including learning designers, teaching staff, education technologists and a graphic designer, devised and developed a gamified weekly activity for students featuring randomising and role-play mechanics. Technology afforded to online learning was utilised to enhance the interactive experience. Survey results indicated that the use of gamification not only allowed students to practice their sociological imagination but also improved students’ engagement with their class group and assisted them in learning key concepts. This was supported by positive qualitative feedback provided by students. Assessment results also showed an increase in average grades, a decrease and fails and a decrease in attrition. The considered and purpose driven application of game elements has shown to be a valuable tool in online learning.
Blended learning in postgraduate applied statistics programs
Dr Jahar Bhowmik, Denny Meyer & Brian Phillips (FHAD)
The term ‘blended learning’ refers to an approach to curriculum development where some form of an online learning environment supports and enhances the traditional on-campus or face-to-face experience in an integrated manner (Oliver & Trigwell, 2005). Postgraduate applied statistics programs at Swinburne University of Technology adopted the blended learning almost a decade ago. This allows for flexibility in design approaches, and accommodates the range of blended learning capabilities and experience of teachers. Blended learning design adopted in the applied statistics postgraduate programs at Swinburne University of Technology has involved the thoughtful integration of learning and teaching approaches in both on-campus face-to-face and online virtual learning environments by utilising the benefits of each of these environments to enhance the student learning experience. These programs focus on designing learning interactions across formal teaching spaces, informal learning spaces and online learning and teaching spaces. This flexible approach has been well accepted among both online and on-campus students. This paper describes the blended structure adopted in the applied statistics programs at Swinburne and the recent feedback received from students during last period.
Using blended learning to increase access for diverse learners in the Graduate Certificate for Social Impact
Associate Professor Elizabeth Branigan (Learning Transformations Unit)
The empirical concern of this presentation is whether blended learning, which combines face-to-face and online modes of study, offers greater access to learners from diverse geographical locales and marginalized communities across Australia. Literature on the experiences of diverse learners in higher education has shown that they are often viewed by a ‘deficit’ model, which assumes low success rates are due to individual deficiencies rather than problems in the courses they are engaged in. However, the diverse learners that enrol in social impact courses in Australia are often experienced leaders in their communities and social sector organizations. The pedagogical concerns are therefore less about redressing ‘deficiencies’ and more about creating safe, inclusive learning environments that enable access and ease of study. This presentation is based on qualitative evaluation data that explores the initial impact of re-designing a graduate course from face-to-face to blended delivery, with the goal of enhancing learning outcomes for diverse (rural, remote, regional and Aboriginal) adult learners. Students’ reflections on their learning experiences in the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact at Swinburne University are analyzed to explore whether the flexibility of blended learning approaches offered opportunities that engaged more diverse learners. We found that it did – but not among the learning cohorts we targeted or expected.
This abstract is an outcome of a Learning Futures Seed Project funded by the Learning Transformations Unit
What students want - Lecture recordings, rubrics, and exams!
Anthony Osborne (Student)
The Swinburne Student Union is the peak student representative body at Swinburne which covers the three Melbourne campuses as well as online students. Recently the Student Union ran an end-of-semester survey of students on the topics of lecture recording, marking rubrics, and exams.
The presentation will focus on the results of the survey and a discussion around the results with academics and students.
Student off-boarding project
Tyson McNamara (PAVE)
Many of our students completing their course at PAVE are unclear as to what their next best steps are in their careers. The student off boarding online resource offers students an opportunity to reflect on their journey and consider their goals and aspirations. Based on a student’s goals and aspirations, they explore possible study pathways which will help them achieve their goals, or direct them to services which will help support them embark on their career. As part of this project, students will have access to online resources to support their decision making, access to a careers counsellor for either a class-based counselling session or one-on-one interview, and phone support for three months after their exit from their formal qualification. This resource is designed from a student perspective and aims to promote and direct students to services within a specific context. An outcome for Swinburne PAVE with the opportunity to improve student’s retention, improve student graduate employment outcomes and increase students pathwaying to higher education.
Using entrepreneurship exercises as a means of developing an entrepreneurial mindset in the youth of today – fact or fiction?
Dr Naomi Birdthistle (FBL)
Australia is currently at a crossroads. According to Turner (2015, p.ii), Australia has the unprecedented opportunity to transition from an economy based on its natural resources, primary industries and domestically focused businesses to a nation which is based on knowledge intensive businesses, which are high-growth firms and can compete on a global platform in an increasingly technology-driven world. Producing entrepreneurs is seen as an economic priority, and teaching high-impact entrepreneurship has become an important role for universities (Spike Innovation, 2015). Featherstone (2014) states that Australia is being left for dead by other countries that are fostering an enterprise culture among young people and grooming their next generation of entrepreneurs and small business owners through the school system. We are introducing you to YUKKA which is a means of getting 1st year IT students to think entrepreneurially and innovatively and a means by which to develop an entrepreneurial culture amongst the youth of today. We aim to present three exercises that will be used on 1st year students in 2017. The first exercise aims to show students the difference between entrepreneurial thinking versus management thinking through the use of making a quilt and completing a jigsaw puzzle. The second exercise is a means of showing the 1st year students how to spot opportunities and the third exercise, which builds on the second exercise aids in developing the students’ innovative thinking.
Let's do Accounting: Engaging students through immersion of content, tools, and experiences
Dr Angela Tan-Kantor (FBL)
Abstract Objectives: To establish whether the online students gain any benefit of using MyAccounting Lab (MAL) Study Plan, a collection of online homework, tutorial and assessment.
Background: This virtual classroom environment creates online learning experiences that are personalised to individual students’ learning and is continuously adaptive. Practice questions are correlated to the textbook and learning outcomes of the unit. Each question includes guided solution, and other multimedia for extra help at point-of-use. Questions are generated algorithmically to give students the unlimited opportunity for practice. Helpful feedback is provided to students when they entered incorrect answers.
Methodology: MAL Study Plan is incorporated in-line with each textbook chapter and is accessed through blackboard. Between 2013-2016, data were collected anonymously from a group of students who used MAL to study their experiences of using MAL. Surveys were collected to seek students’ feedback and experiences from using this learning tool.
Results: MAL study plan reacts to how individual student is actually performing, offering data-driven guidance that helps each student better absorb the unit material and understand difficult concepts. Data analysed and survey collected highlighted that students benefited from the used of the study plan.
Conclusion: The incorporation of the study plan makes it possible to provide ongoing learning support to each student enrolled in the unit. It accommodates different students learning abilities, helps students learn persistently in a very structured way, steadily build their knowledge and prepare them for the final exam. It is a practical way to incorporate student-centered blended learning.
Terry McEvoy & Rita Chiu (PAVE)
PAVE’s Department of Trades and Engineering Technology (TET) is constantly on the forefront looking for innovative ways to improve student engagement and success. TET is currently looking at ways to improve: 1) administrating training plans, 2) engaging employers; and 3) engaging students to improve student success. The aim of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) project is to develop a delivery and assessment strategy which is accessible via a mobile device by assessors, students, trainers and employers. The delivery strategy for students would include: mobile assessments, ways to capture evidence by using a mobile device and a dashboard to view progress and to access content on the go. The project also aims to improve the trainer/assessor/teacher experience through the use of a mobile enabled training plan. This training plan can be used offline and will be able to be uploaded within a wifi area. The data collected is uploaded and stored in StudentOne and a notification will be sent to the relevant student and their employer. For the first time, TET is looking at building an employer dashboard to engage with employers. This will include the ability to access the progress of their apprentice, and other relevant information. Swinburne will also be able to connect and support the employers through providing news and workshops via pushing notifications to the employer dashboard. This project aims to improve the engagement of students, trainers/teachers/assessors and employers.
YouTube playlists and differentiated learning
Cam Gleeson (PAVE)
In the last couple of years I have been using YouTube Playlists to store and play learning resources in my work as a plumbing teacher. These resources lend themselves easily to connectivity and are easily adaptable for use in Learning Management System (LMS) and are particularly potent for mobile use on the workshop floor. My work, since 2013 has been underpinned by constructivism, this pedagogy has heightened my awareness of neurodiversity which has also lead to an increased awareness of literacy issues in trade teaching. I would appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate how the use of video and playlists has helped to enable my teaching considering these issues. One of the playlists I created is viewable here.
Enhancing employability of STEM graduates beyond the classroom: Authentic international immersion programs
Dr François Malherbe, Associate Professor Sebastian Ng, Dr Yvonne Durandet, Ismat Hijanzin, Dr Scott Rayburg & Dr Llew Mann (FSET)
In the education and training of STEM graduates, one broadly recognised shortfall is the development of professional or ‘soft’ skills competencies, often blamed on a relatively content-heavy curriculum. Indeed, while the mathematical, analytical, computational, and technological abilities of our STEM graduates are generally commended, they often tend to demonstrate deficiencies in other areas key to employability. Employers now are looking for professional skills as well as technical skills. Today’s graduates are expected to possess outstanding communication skills, be able to solve complex problems, gather and evaluate evidence from multiple sources, embrace sustainability, be adaptable to diverse environments (cultural, physical, social), have a holistic view of technological issues and solutions, be able to resolve conflicts, be empathetic, and understand global citizenship. However, there is a prevailing thought that there is very little room to incorporate these components in prescribed curricula. In FSET, we have been developing an approach that encompasses all these skill sets under one banner: a contextual international immersion program. The core of the program is to bring together a group of students from various disciplines to engage in an international education trip that will require them to tackle critical issues in a completely different socio-economical context. The Australian students are paired with overseas peers and work as teams for two weeks to generate genuine project proposals with measurable outcomes. These authentic experiences help to motivate and develop crucial employability skills in our STEM graduates.
Developing innovative and authentic assessment: Special interest Melbourne walking tours
Dr Ryan Jopp (FBL)
As the convenor for TOU20003 Special Interest Tourism, I had been looking for a way to incorporate technology-based innovative assessment that provided students with practical knowledge and skills. I felt strongly that the assessment could be improved, in particular, I wanted an alternative to the traditional PowerPoint presentation. This is where my idea to create a walking tour assessment using Google Maps was first formed. The Walking Tour assessment was designed to enable students to harness their inner creativity, whilst providing a more active learning experience, which is both engaging and entertaining (Burn et al., 2001; New, 2006). Incorporating videos and images to produce more authentic learning opportunities for students helped to facilitate deeper learning of the subject, enhance team work and communication skills, and promote learner autonomy (Greene & Crespi, 2012; UQ, 2016). However, it was critical that the technological component of the assessment was only there to enhance the assessment, and support cognitive outcomes (James, Burke, & Hutchins, 2006). Over the years, I have incorporated many improvements into the design and delivery of this assessment, including workshops, instructional videos, and the incorporation of a Discussion Board which linked directly to Learning Transformations Unit staff. Another critical development was the involvement of Kirsten from Tourism Melbourne in 2014. The involvement of industry anchored the assessment in reality, and provided clarity around the scope and expectations for the assessment. Students also had the opportunity to receive “Certificates of Excellence” signed by myself and Kirsten. Despite the success of the assessment thus far, it is still a work in progress, and the process of improvement continues in 2016.
Providing general feedback in online STEM assessments
Dr Ant Edwards (FSET)
Computer-generated feedback in online STEM assessments traditionally is encountered in two forms. The first is question-by-question feedback, where a student’s errors are identified and worked solutions provided. The second is to provide general feedback based on the total score achieved in the assessment, for example suggesting that those that score 0-50% seek specialist help. New developments in adaptive learning typically expand this capability use via a “big data” approach, for instance structuring question sets based on other students’ past performance on questions. Such developments typically do not enhance feedback. These approaches, while time-efficient to implement and scale, are very different to the type of personalised feedback a student may receive from an experienced educator. For instance, in Swinburne’s Maths and Stats Help (MASH) Centre, tutors may recognise that specific mistakes within a question are symptoms of a general misconception, and therefore offer feedback directed towards this misconception instead of focussing discussion at a per-question (or more general) level.
In this presentation I suggest a new topic-based approach to automated online student feedback based on the Rasch statistical model. With minimal staff input, this approach gives each student personalised feedback on their overall understanding of material and, including any specific areas of weakness. In particular, I report on a Learning Futures Seed Project in which a diagnostic test for incoming Engineering Mathematics students was constructed using this approach with such an approach to feedback. Finally, I will discuss the transferability of this approach to other disciplines.
Engage me so I may learn
Adjunct Professor Nicholas Haritos (FSET)
For the past two to three years, Strucomp has been developing an innovative “hands on” teaching platform that incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) concepts, that’s named TechnoLab™. This platform makes use of versatile Pixi Frames™ that enable a range of Basic Statics, Mechanics and Dynamics experiment kits to be mounted on them. This ability provides an enhanced “hands-on” learning experience, through a “guided” discovery of the lesson features being addressed in this system, and the introduction of a number of innovations not seen in the larger frames from international manufacturers, which suit demonstrations only. The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology (FSET) at Swinburne purchased two prototype Pixi Frames for Flexure experiments at the very early stages of TechnoLab™ product development. FSET also commissioned a special set of Midi Frames (these are approx. A2 in size c.f. the Pixi frames which are approx. A3 in size) of two dynamics experiments, especially modified from the available TechnoLab™ experiment offerings, for use on Open Days 2015 and 2016. FSET are also looking at purchasing classroom sets of Pixi Frames for a bundle chosen from the experiment range available, for their new teaching laboratories. In the past three years of its existence, classroom bundles of 8, 12 and 20 Pixi frames with sub-sets of available experiments, tailored to the needs of the particular institutions have been purchased by: Victoria University, La Trobe University, Melbourne Polytechnic, The University of Melbourne and The University of Adelaide. As well as Swinburne University, enquiries for TechnoLab™ products are currently being made by a number of Universities in Australia, NZ and the UK.
Date Wednesday 14 September
Academic discourse, professional discourse and the question of authentic assessment
Dr Tim Moore (Office of PVC Student Advancement)
The employability agenda, while certainly being a significant development in higher education, does pose a number of dilemmas for university educators. One of these concerns the question of how on our programs, we can both develop students to be academically literate, while at the same time prepare them for the literacy demands they will face subsequently in their working lives; that is, to mediate somehow the differences between academic discourses and professional discourses. An approach proposed to deal with this dilemma has been the idea of ‘authentic assessment’ (Gulikers et al., 2008), the principle of which is to make university assessments mirror as much as possible the communicative practices that characterise the workplace. The purpose of this paper is to raise a few questions about the validity of such an approach. In the raising of these questions, I draw on empirical findings from a study colleagues and I conducted into the nature of workplace writing (Moore et al, 2015), and also from analyses made of these matters in the fields of activity theory and discourse studies. Also pertinent to the discussion are the warnings of sociologist Richard Sennett (2007) about the dangers of what he calls “superficial knowledge”. As it is with many aspects of the employability agenda, I argue that we need to be alert both to what might be gained and what lost when our educational practices are oriented strongly to these extramural contexts.
Using authentic assessment to improve student learning in design education
Lucia Miceli & Lynette Zeeng (FHAD)
Design students need to demonstrate the ability to apply theoretical knowledge to practical application in order to create, develop and produce professional outcomes. Traditionally design teaching, stems from a master apprentice approach where knowledge is demonstrated and then applied. This approach supports the stylistic imitation of contemporary design trends (Heller, 2015) and minimally requires the demonstration of theory to practice. Through observation and reflective practice, we identified that this issue was compounded by two underlying problems in design: 1) teaching has developed from a practice base and lacks solid educational foundation; and 2) assessment is focused on the end product and not the process. To address these two specific problems, we collaborated to develop and implement a staged assessment system that embeds theory and practice at each stage of the design process. Our four stage learning system, Investigate, Apply, Explain and Share (IAES) directly links assessment stages to project milestones. Studio (lab) sessions are designed to complement each IAES stage to facilitate formative and summative feedback. Multiple feedback and assessment points have shown increased opportunities for identification of learning gaps and have led to demonstrated improved understanding. IAES enables students to internally clarify their understanding and externally demonstrate this to their teacher and peers through practice. Improved student results and increased unit satisfaction evidence the deeper understanding fostered through critical connection between theory and practice to occur.
Problems in perceiving a panacea in educational metamedia
Dr Joshua Luke Ameliorate (FHAD)
Digital, blended and metamedia formats of medical and health-based learning have become as ubiquitous to teaching as technology is to our world. However, deployment and integration of alternative educational platforms must, like all teaching approaches, be created and employed in a tailored and contextually appropriate way so as to build meaningful layers upon existing learning mediums. Interventional cohort comparison studies with pre and post testing score assessments, quantitative result analyses, small focus groups and qualitative feedback evaluations were undertaken of third and first year medical and health science students. The interventions comprised of providing a number of online, in class electronic voting, interactive scenario based and custom three dimensional digital resource modules in the teaching of anatomy. Students’ views and scores on online anatomy resources remained largely unchanged with a 90% broad agreement that these forms of learning were no more effective than traditional educational mediums such as lectures, textbooks and tutorials. Deployment and assessment of custom three dimensional digital modules in anatomy demonstrated a 100% agreement amongst students in their improved learning outcomes, with the directed, contextually appropriate and micro learning components of these forms being favoured. In class formative assessments using electronic voting systems were also preferred to online media. In a digitally expanding society, exploration and evaluation of alternative technology oriented forms to teaching should be pursued. Yet the implementation of new medical and health-based educational resources, be they digital or otherwise, should be employed with due discernment.
3D technology for learning and teaching
Dr Ben Williams (FHAD)
“3D” technology – such as virtual reality and 3D printing – is advancing at an incredible rate. In this presentation we discuss a project in progress examining how 3D technology can be used in teaching and learning, and how schools can build capacity in this area. We will explain how 3D technology differs from other media-rich digital technologies and provide an overview of some of the key technologies available. We present a simple typology for understanding 3D systems and their integration into blended learning and give some example applications. We report on work underway integrating 3D teaching into Swinburne units and evaluating the effectiveness of these activities. Based on this experience we propose a list of considerations to review when developing 3D teaching and learning activities, including barriers to entry and unique opportunities presented by this exciting technology.
Using Popplets for formative assessment tool
Dr Katrina Rank (FHAD)
In 2015 the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) implemented a research project that explored the use of accessible media technology for learning in an elite training institution. A major focus of the project was the potential use of iPads to increase student centred movement analysis and reflective skills. The research found that Circus Arts students have the capacity to be highly proficient reflective practitioners, who work hermeneutically in practice environments. It found that students were more interested and engaged in reflective practice when it was highly specific and targeted to their training goals and aspirations. This then lead to a “more creative learning environment that gives a sense of empowerment and autonomy to the individual” (Dale & Pymm, 2009, p. 93). The project also considered how to best assess reflection within a largely practical unit comprised of individualised training components. Using Popplets for reflective analysis and assessment was one answer. This presentation will explore the use of Popplets as a tool for formative assessment and feedback, and contain a discussion on limitations found and improvements that can be made.
Rethinking the ‘flip’: Exploring innovative teaching practices in the university classroom
Dr Katya Pechenkina (Learning Transformations Unit)
This paper discusses preliminary results of a study with 20 teaching academics who use the elements of flipped classroom in their teaching. Grounded in recent literature on blended learning, flipped classroom and innovative teaching, this paper draws on the thematic analysis of rich qualitative interview data to offer new insights into teaching tactics academics devise to boost student engagement, motivation and creativity. The flipped classroom elements taken up by the academics in this study range from the ‘traditional’ flip concept where lectures or segments of lectures are replaced by independent study components (both technology-enabled or not) to a more hybridised teaching tactics allowing for greater personalisation of learning, to a holistic re-think and re-design of students’ learning experiences achieved by introducing multiple elements of the flipped pedagogy. Based on this data, recommendations are offered on how to achieve an impactful flipped design.
Date Wednesday 14 September
Time 1.00 pm
An online Learning and Teaching Induction Program for the Australian sector
Associate Professor Kym Fraser (Learning Transformations Unit)
This presentation seeks input into the development of a national online teaching induction program for the Australian sector. The work is part of an Office for Learning and Teaching Fellowship and is a collaboration between 11 institutions, led by Swinburne University. If you have responsibility for teaching staff who are new to teaching, are new to teaching yourself, or are a professional staff member with teaching responsibilities, I would welcome your input into what you believe the program might usefully provide for staff who are ongoing/sessional/contract, staff based on international campuses, professional staff who teach students and research students.
From roadblocks to rewards: Applying best practice from the Grad Cert in HE
Janne van Wulfften Palthe (GCLT Graduate)
In a Grattan Institute report, Andrew Norton (2013) discussed the need for greater student focused academics in the Higher Education system. The current system was seen as favouring academics who prioritise research over the student experience. This presentation follows the roadblocks experienced by a sessional lecturer in implementing authentic assessment developed as a part of Swinburne’s Curriculum Design and Assessment unit. It discusses the differing approach and concerns of research-orientated academics and the roadblocks encountered in instigating new Teaching and Learning Activities (TLA) and assessment, which had achieved a perfect score in the Swinburne unit. Overcoming roadblocks, new TLA and authentic written/oral assessments were introduced last semester into a marketing unit. The assessment focused on developing skills which students would most likely apply within 18 months of graduation. It centred on the development of an Integrated Marketing Communications plan for a small to medium sized enterprise, the most probable workplace size for new graduates. Sixty percent of the (non-negotiable) final exam directly cascaded from the written/oral assessment and student driven tutorial activities. At the one institution where the authentic curriculum design and assessment was implemented in Semester 1, 2016, the reward has been an increase in the pass rate of 20% compared to 2015. With delivery by same lecturer in both years, the revised TLA and assessment are deemed the most probable cause of this positive results trend.
Norton, A, Sonnemann, J & Cherastidtham, I 2013, Taking university teaching seriously, Grattan Institute, viewed 17 August 2016, <http://grattan.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/191_Taking-Teaching-Seriously.pdf>
Snapshot of academic usage of technology for assignment management
Dr Mark Schier (FHAD)
The extent of the use of technology in teaching management is not completely known, but often extrapolated or inferred by academics’ use of other technologies. This paper explores technology adoption, use and attitudes to use by Australian university academics. We expected that academics would be familiar with general teaching technology tools and have some appreciation of other tools that may assist with their work and allow them to manage their time. We also expected that they would use these to identify and manage assignment work to free up time for other academic activities. To establish their usage of technology, an online anonymous survey collected responses to a series of questions about types and familiarity with technology tools. It also asked for their understanding of an assessment scenario and subsequent use of any time gained through using technology. The results from 75 Australian academics indicated that there was high familiarity and use of standard teaching technology, with a commitment to utilise any time saved for research, scholarship or teaching and learning related activities.
Teaching entry-level database with constructive alignment in blended mode
Dr Irene Moser (FSET)
Fundamentals of Data Management (FDM) is a new subject developed mid-2015. We use pre-recorded information and quizzes instead of lectures, and the tutorials are designed to maximise individual feedback on authentic assessment in a flipped classroom situation. Students choose their intended grade and student advancement on the path to this grade is monitored in a way that is transparent to both student and instructor. The subdivision of material into Pass, Credit, Distinction and High Distinction level ensures that students who pass have mastered the basics. This semester, FDM is taught for the second time with 226 students enrolled. This presentation discusses the experience of the teaching method and some of the adjustments made after the first feedback last year.
A curriculum framework – Solution Focused Nursing
Angela Bradley (FHAD)
Nurses work in complex health care systems, requiring sound clinical reasoning, work place skills and creativity to support and promote individual and community health and wellness. This paper presents an overview of a new Bachelor of Nursing curriculum framework and describes the educational approach to cultivate resilience in the learner. Through a Solution Focused Nursing lens students are supported to reveal dominant discourses and open them up to scrutiny, debate and revision. Constructivist pedagogy designed as an instructional model for situated learning supports the learners to become ‘masters’, independent and skilled registered nurses. Blended learning and teaching strategies, and the stages of cognitive complexity through carefully scaffolded learning and assessment processes will be outlined. Solution focused care-based scenarios are embedded in the curriculum to encourage the development of contextualised clinical reasoning skills and evidence-based practice. The process for how academics and clinical partners will encourage students to actively explore knowledge and guide them through authentic professional learning situations will be through face-to-face and interactive online learning, simulation and placement experiences. A goal of the curriculum is to cultivate resilience of the learner, produce critical thinkers and knowledgeable practitioners who are able to work skilfully, strategically, and respectfully with individuals with an ability to demonstrate professional awareness, optimism, emotional intelligence and vision about nursing and health care.
Aligning learning outcome to student aspirations through blended learning
Ravindra Savangouder (PAVE)
In this presentation on aligning learning outcomes to student aspirations through blended learning, I will be presenting on how I have applied Situated Learning Theory to one of the units I teach within the Associate Degree in Engineering AB-ENG. The unit is EAT20005 – Project Management Practice. AB-ENG is a two-year full-time course at Swinburne University of Technology. Most of the students join this course as a pathway to the Bachelor of Engineering. These students after completion of AB-ENG wish to join Civil, Mechanical or Electronics Engineering in their Bachelor of Engineering. Others who join the workforce after completion of the Associate Degree would find jobs as associate engineers. EAT20005 is a stage 3 (Semester 3) unit. Normally the students would have studied basic engineering units like Engineering Maths, Mechanics of Structures, Materials and Processes, Professional Engineering, Energy and Motion and Electronics Systems in the first two semesters before taking this unit. EAT20005 – Project Management Practice has the following learning outcomes: Define Project, Develop Project Plan, Administer and Monitor Project, Finalise Project, and Review Project. In this presentation I will be explaining how the aspirations of students has been aligned to the Project Management Practice learning outcome and with the use of Blackboard as the learning management system, student groups are led through self-learning guided projects. Also a brief note on use of badges as motivators will be presented.
Mobile device-based activities designed to engage with large classes
Dr John Hopkins (FBL)
Recent changes in university policy have seen a trend for increasing the minimum number of students required for a face-to-face lecture, leading to larger class sizes overall, and diminishing the lecturer’s capacity to interact effectively with the students under existing conditions. The objective of this research was to investigate new scalable technology-based solutions that might reinvigorate face-to-face classroom sessions, in order to make them more interactive, dynamic and engaging, whilst also hopefully improving students’ overall performance. One, three-hour focus group was organised, comprising of a series of three one-hour classroom-based activities, each based around one of three different technologies. Conducting these pilot studies was seen as an important step in measuring the effectiveness of the activities, and the suitability of the technologies, before implementing them ‘for real’ in a live full-scale classroom environment. The findings of the focus group supported a decision to introduce new learning and teaching activities based around the Nearpod and Groupmap technologies, for embedding interactive quizzes, polls, drawing games, memory tests and large brainstorming exercises into lectures, which students can access via their own mobile devices. However, the results also discouraged the deployment of a proposed Flipboard exercise, due to a combination of technical and permission issues arising in the pilot test. As an almost limitless number of different learning activities can be designed around these platforms, the findings from this research should be relevant to teachers across all disciplines and levels.
Enhancers and challenges to impactful mobile learning: Exploring the intricacies of student mobile learning practices and device
David Reid (FBL) and Dr Katya Pechenkina (Learning Transformations)
This paper contributes to the growing body of scholarly inquiry into the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) versus prescribed (minimum standards) technology for learning by reporting on key findings of an institutional mobile learning prescribed technology trial. The study investigated student experiences with and preferences for mobile learning technology, accessible via BYOD or a prescribed approach. The study participants were loaned a tablet and instructed on how to use it for various learning activities throughout a teaching period. A survey and in-depth interviews were used to evaluate the study’s outcomes. It was found that students used their personal and loaned devices simultaneously and in a complementary manner rather than choosing to use one device for all learning activities. As majority of students in this study already owned a personal mobile device and used it for some learning activities, they did not think they acquired any new skills as a result of this project. However, in regards to the loaned tablets use it was found that students felt it had overall improved their digital literacy skills and typing speed and facilitated better multi-tasking and productivity. Based on findings, we offer three key considerations on how to fully leverage mobile learning technology in the classroom.
Key positioning of the Learning and Academic Skills (LAS) Centre drop-in hub: The benefits
Dr Stephen Price, Kathryn Wallace & Dr Elena Verezub (Office of PVC Student Advancement)
Swinburne’s Learning and Academic Skills (LAS) Centre recognises that in the 21st Century student learning spaces extend beyond classrooms and that there is a greater distribution of both physical and virtual spaces students learn through (Keppell, Souter & Riddell, 2012). LAS provides services for all Swinburne University of Technology students to improve literacy, numeracy and academic skills, through workshops and individual consultations. In 2015, a need was identified for a physical drop-in service which could address modern students’ expectations for instant, ‘right now’ LAS assistance which could respond to ‘just-in-time’ study issues. This service also needed to permit the monitoring and provision of feedback to students as they perform actions advisers recommend to them. Location of this service was a key issue if its potential to enhance and add to existing affordances for learning (Steel & Andrews 2012, p. 252) was to be maximised. Consequently, the library was identified as a high profile location with easy access in which students already utilised various resources and spaces, including virtual. The drop-in hub contributes to the construction by students of a sense of a ‘place’ of learning (Harrison & Dourish, 1996, p. 70, cited in Kirkwood et al, 2012, p. 279), and to the formation of a ‘sticky’ campus which is being actively developed at Swinburne University of Technology. This paper outlines features of this service and the relative importance of its space in the overall learning development of some students.
Harrison, S and Dourish, P 1996, Replace-ing space: The roles of place and space in collaborative systems, Paper presented at the ACM conference on computer supported Co-operative Work (CSCA), Boston, MA, cited in Kirkwood et al 2012.
Keppell, M, Souter, K and Riddell, M (eds) 2012, Physical and Virtual Learning spaces in Higher Education: Concepts for the Modern Learning Environment, Information Science Reference, Hershey PA, USA.
Kirkwall, K, Best, G, McCormack, R and Tout, D (2012) Student mentors in Physical and virtual Learning spaces, in Keppell et al.
Steel, C and Andrews, T 2012, Re-Imagining Teaching for Technology-Enriched Learning Spaces: An Academic Development model, in Keppell et al.
Imagineering as an applied teaching tool on IT for social impact study tours
Dr Jason Sargent (FBL)
Picture in your mind a primary school in remote tribal India with few computers, some working, most not, no internet and where touchscreens are a foreign concept. Now imagine the collective roar of 300 students, assembled in a field at the back of such a school, when a drone lifts off and flies just above their heads, doing loops and taking videos and photos of the awe struck audience? Swinburne’s IT for Social Impact India Project students ‘imagineer’ technologies such as drones as a way of creating a passion for IT in remote schools and villages in India. The term ‘imagineering’ was coined by Alcoa; the giant US lightweight metals and advanced manufacturing company. Time Magazine in 1942 described Alcoa’s view of what the term entailed: Imagineering is letting your imagination soar, and then engineering it down to earth. In more recent times, the term was re-conceptualised by Disney’s R&D and theme park designers. The Swinburne IT for Social Impact India Project has adopted the term as it perfectly describes what our students do with technology. This presentation will explore the use of a drone as an applied teaching tool for IT for social impact study tour student participants. Discussion will focus on the way students collaboratively work with local school children and community members to utilise the drone to document from above the changing infrastructure of the remote Indian tribal village of Jamnya so that a case can be presented to local and state governments on the importance of sustaining the tribal village.
Canvas pilot at Swinburne Online
Dr Lucy Elliott (Swinburne Online)
Currently a pilot is running at Swinburne Online to test the Canvas Learning Management System with a small isolated group of students. This presentation will cover an instance of Canvas that has been tailored specifically for an online cohort. As well as presenting the current pilot we will also explore what further opportunities might exist for unit delivery in Canvas. We will also cover initial data on the pilot.
Experience and observation of utilising Blackboard in Design Education
A Lam Kim (FHAD)
It has been a while since the Blackboard was introduced in the field of Education. Although the usage of Blackboard has permeated in the delivery of face-to-face Higher Education classes, it is doubtable in its satisfaction of usability for both design students and tutors. Design academics’ common belief of dissatisfaction with Blackboard in Design Education seemed to be true, as the current usage of the discussion board in Design education was the second lowest. This finding was opposed to some studies, such as Moore, Dickson-Deane and Galyen (2011), which indicated the high uptake of discussion board in Higher Education. In addition to the opposing finding in relation to the usage of the discussion board, my personal experience of embedding and utilising the discussion board in a campus-mode classroom was different to Tham and Werner (2005, p.16) who stated it as a “non-threatening environment” providing gender- and cultural-freedom as well as encouraging non-native students to participate in the discussion. Considering the gap, this presentation consists of data from online questionnaires especially in relation to the usage of Blackboard and discussion boards, and my personal experience and observation as a design tutor involved in the process of engaging with students in the platform.
Teaching arts online
Fiona King (Swinburne Online)
Amazing things happen in an online education setting, especially in the arts. Swinburne Online e-Learning Advisor (eLA) and Unit Coordinator in arts education Fiona King shares an array of activities, scenarios and flipped learning strategies to engage pre-service teachers in arts experiences. Through her role in the online setting, Fiona describes how modelling, open chat collaboration sessions, and strategies to promote a positive environment on the Discussion Board can assist student engagement levels. Arts education units at Swinburne Online include activities which can immerse students in each arts subject area through activities that can be shared via video, discussion, audio recording or the uploading of drawings and designs. Even though students are working online it does not mean they can’t be involved in arts education practices. It is the role of the eLA, however, to ensure that students do engage in these practices in order to build awareness of creativity, and to experience in arts activities to enhance their understanding of arts education from a preservice teacher perspective and as future educators.
A dramaturgical perspective of online university students: A case study of a second year psychology subject
Dawn Gilmore (PhD Candidate)
In studies of online learning, research to date rarely accounts for the learning that occurs in spaces other than the Learning Management System (LMS). Numerous studies only report on the few students who do log in to the LMS. In this study, Goffman’s theory of region behaviour is used to explore where students spend their time doing subject-related tasks. The context for this research is a case study of a second year online psychology subject at an Australian university. Data was collected about students’ front stage setting (the LMS) and backstage setting (students experiences on Facebook). Over a 12-week semester 123 students were observed in the LMS. During the semester, 21 students completed fortnightly questionnaires about where they spent their time and with whom. At the end of the semester, 14 students participated in online interviews. The findings that emerged from the data illustrated how the characteristics of the audience in each setting, as well as the timing of communication and duration of each setting, may have impacted a student’s performance and the occurrence of social learning. This knowledge can help teachers to understand the characteristics of a setting that that might determine where students situate their learning. While this paper uses a dramaturgical perspective of online university students in a second year psychology subject, the students’ experiences can generally be used to understand how LMS’s and social networking tools, like Facebook, support and impede social learning in higher education.
Let me explain/I hear you say: Addressing failure to read from the recommended reading list
Dr Rosemary Fisher & Andrew Rixon (FBL)
Successful entrepreneurs are great learners. They are excellent at acquiring knowledge; often through a process of self education emerging as a consequence of their conscious pursuit of knowledge through reading. When delivered in higher education institutions students have the opportunity to gain practical skills and knowledge in entrepreneurship through experiential learning (Winkel, 2014) whilst increasing their critical and analytic skills development through engagement with recommended reading materials. However, undergraduate students in particular are renowned for not doing the readings which are often preparatory for a class (Michaelson, 2008). These readings are chosen because they set the foundations upon which the experiential activities of the classroom are built; provide a breadth of knowledge and context into which key concepts and theories of a class and subject are embedded; and provide powerful examples of practice. Nonetheless, over time the unprepared and therefore under-informed student is a persistent feature of the higher education landscape, including in entrepreneurship subjects. Peer learning (or collaborative learning) is recognised as an effective pedagogy that delivers both psychological and social benefits to students not the least because it values cooperation over competition and respects diversity (Boud, Cohen & Sampson, 1999). Let Me Explain…. and I Heard You Say … draw upon the recommended reading list and are delivered via the Learning Management System. In a world where students feel the pressures of competing priorities, or shortcomings, or simply lack good learning skills, this simple task has much to offer.
Changing delivery methods for Indigenous remote students
Dr Prabha Prayaga (FHAD) & A/Prof Ellie Rennie (FHAD)
The Indigenous Futures Collaboration is trialling approaches to online education as a pathway to higher education for Indigenous people living in remote areas. The project includes six online certificate-level courses for delivery to remote Indigenous students. All courses were designed to be delivered in a blended form with face-to-face and online components. The level of face-to-face and online components had to be modified to encourage student engagement, retention and completion.
Different blended delivery models emerged from the project. The first was providing regular face-to-face contact with the students through a trainer and learner support worker through all stages of the course. The second delivery model was the assessment model which suited students who were advanced and had extensive exposure to internet and digital technology. The role of the staff in this model was to have in-depth conversations with the students and evaluate evidence of their current experience rather than delivering course materials while students completed other course requirements online. The third delivery model was a combination of online and face-to-face components with varying levels of each component. Two variations of this model emerged after testing.
Funded through the (DoET) 2013 Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPP) round of grants.
Project leaders: Sharon Rice, Ellie Rennie, Christine Hayes
Project Managers: Jillian Slater, Lisa Devlin-Neal, Yee Man Louie
Knowing the immediate and longer term indicators of an effective online learning culture
Eben Quill (Swinburne Online)
Online learning, also known as e-learning and distributed learning, has become wide-spread as a corollary to the introduction of the World Wide Web; although both distance and networked learning, variants of distributed learning, have their antecedents. In the Australian milieu, for many students living in outback settings, the use of radio communications was the means for facilitating distance education; and, the use of campus networks for disseminating course materials, ongoing since the 1980s, represent some of the salient iterations distributed learning has taken. Full integration of the Internet platform in households and workplaces has allowed distributed learning to evolve in reach, interactivity, openness, capacity, and, with the availability of entirely online degrees, expanded opportunities for students now exist. According to Vygotsky (1978), the most effective learning occurs when the learner and the facilitator jointly construct through dialogue (Fosnot, 1996). Quality of collaboration and dialogue are therefore key to fostering student engagement in online learning. Our paper explores the evolving teaching practices, namely, how online facilitators develop rapport with both their peers and students, which underpin the construction of joint dialogue via the discussion boards – the primary interface for learning vis-à-vis the formation of networks, which endure well after the last reflective thoughts have been posted. Huynh (2005) argues that the notion of online and e-learning productivity should also encompass the aspects of reaching common understanding, building team consensus, and achieving critical reflection, self-actualisation, and emancipation from constraints. The authors believe identifying and sharing in student success to be optimal measures for healthy online learning culture. Nurturing authentic online communication, open questioning and transferable knowledge are valuable indicators that effective online teaching and learning are taking place. Understanding that learning is an ongoing, cultural practice, comprising of clear and achievable expectations; surrounded with opportune support is also of interest to the authors.
The ‘glass onion’ experiment
Dr George Banky & Aaron Blicblau (FSET)
The purpose of this work was to assess the affordances of a real-time supervised augmented reality experimental learning (AuREL) proposal for off-campus engineering student experimentation. The data collection involved recordings of first-year electronics laboratory classes where students carried out their experiments, under face-to-face and online real-time supervision, using real components and test instruments. The identification of kikan-shido events in the collected data confirmed statistically insignificant differences between the face-to-face and remotely supervised sessions.
The magic of the QR code
Julia Gardiner (PAVE)
QR (quick response) codes are ubiquitous. Most people have a QR code reader on their phone. It‘s a great web 2.0 tool for use in a learning context too. No longer do you have to fight for access to a computer lab or even for a classroom! Why not have your next lesson in a park or on a train? The possibilities are myriad as long as your learners have access to a phone. You can encode a range of text types – visuals, written and spoken – using pre-existing resources or creating your own. Students too can create their own codes. The codes can be used for a range of activities and interactions both in and outside class, and make it much easier to target the specific needs and learning preferences of your learners by facilitating both remediation and extension, and offering varied activities, simultaneously. QR codes are also useful for providing feedback to students, who in turn could give their feedback to your feedback! QR code readers and QR code creators are free and easy to use. Currently l am using them for assessment feedback and classroom lessons. In the pipeline for this term is students producing coded content for use in the classroom (produsage model of learning); project work – both teacher and student developed; and excursions (structuring an excursion e.g. exploring the NGV or Melbourne Laneways).
Authentic learning experiences in Design Factory Melbourne's Global Program
Dr Christine Thong & John Eggleston (FHAD)
The presentation will discuss an innovative case of authentic learning conducted in Design Factory Melbourne’s Global Program. Design Factory is an open platform concept for interdisciplinary education, research and industrial collaboration bringing together different stakeholders from varied backgrounds across business, engineering and design. Design Factory Melbourne is part of a Design Factory Global Network, enabling international collaboration. Through a suite of units, Swinburne honours and masters students have the opportunity to participate in a year-long global experience, where they build a range of capabilities geared toward employment capability and lifelong learning. To deal with the complex layers of learning objectives & content involved, learning is scaffolded through two minor projects before commencing a major nine-month project commissioned by an industry partner. We will discuss the scaffolding of authentic learning experience created, using Hains-Wesson and Kaider’s high authenticity and high proximity framework. Firstly, a two-week paper robot project prepares students to work in low hierarchy interdisciplinary teams, use design innovation methods, new prototyping techniques, manage small budgets and pitch their ideas. Building on this, a second four-week project set by a Swinburne researcher provides a platform to interact with an external partner, deal with more complex brief constraints, engage research-informed design practice, consider value proposition, user testing and some experience talking to experts across time zones. The final major project brings additional content layers with an industry partner, higher project complexity, larger budgets, self-directed learning and team members working remotely across time zones.
Systemic problem management: Innovations in teaching business strategy
Dr Cristina Neesham (FBL)
Based on over ten years of experience in teaching strategic thinking to Master of Business Administration (MBA) students, and on four iterations of teaching business strategy in the Swinburne MBA Program, the systemic problem management approach documented in this presentation relies on innovations in experiential and interactive teaching and learning. Students are placed in roles and situations that require them to think systemically in order to solve complex problems. They are called to evaluate the aggregated consequences of the actions of individual and social actors operating in a given system in terms of the significance of these actions for the maintenance and development of that system as a whole. The systemic perspective applies at three levels: knowledge, responsibility, and leadership. By taking on the practical and intellectual challenge of managing systemic problems, students (1) develop strategies for acquiring systemic knowledge, i.e. the ability to aggregate local information to allow for higher levels of prediction of system-level outcomes; (2) are engaged in exercising systemic responsibility by using their systemic knowledge and power to influence collective outcomes in ways that benefit the system as a whole; and (3) are stimulated to develop systemic leadership, as first movers in responsible decision making able to secure followership in support of their solutions. Through direct experience of certain complex problem and decision situations, students have the opportunity to observe and understand interdependencies between actor behaviours, group or social norms, and institutionalised rules. This deep learning approach leads to a more intuitive, reflective and humanistic understanding of business strategy.
Developing communities of practice through a learning design program
Dr Thomas Kehoe (LTU)
This presentation discusses preliminary reflections from an attempt to develop academic communities of practice through a structured learning design program. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that when properly fostered, academic communities of practice facilitate improved learning and teaching amongst the community’s members. Such communities are especially useful for promoting the wider adoption of innovative teaching practices such as blended learning and authentic assessment because teachers are more likely to try methods that colleagues attest to. In this presentation we will describe an effort to foster communities of practice in the Faculty of Health, Arts, and Design (FHAD) through the use of a structured learning design process. This was a joint undertaking between FHAD’s Learning Innovation team and the Learning Transformation Unit, which has so far run for three semesters. One of the outcomes was that it was more difficult than expected to get more than one member from a discipline group to participate in/engage with the process. However, when other members did become engaged, these workshops were more successful.
Connecting international and local students’ learning experiences: Wiki-based pedagogy as a digital bridge
Dr Chandana Hewege & Dr Chamila Perera (FBL)
In recent years, we have seen a significant polarisation of students’ learning experiences that tend to vary among local and international students. It appears that these two student cohorts experience the same learning activities in different ways due to their different cultural and social upbringings. Frequently, this creates barriers to effective fact-to-face interactions and collaborative learning among a mix of both local and international students. Informed by Engagement Theory that is built upon the three principles of collaboration, knowledge creation and contribution, we designed a learning activity using a wiki-based pedagogy with a view to bringing this gap. We found a positive relationship between students’ engagement in the wiki-enabled learning and their performance. Particularly, international students who seem to engage in this learning activity more than local students do, perceive it as an effective tool which facilities their collaborative learning and engagement in meaningful discussions. Students reported that they can engage in effective conversations with all the other students in a class overcoming cultural and language barriers. Outcomes of this activity have significant theoretical and practical implications.
Feedback potency for a better learning experience
Dr Amir Abdekhodaee & Kourosh Dini (FSET)
Feedback is an important part of learning environment, so understanding and knowing how to embed it in a learning environment is critical. On the other hand, new information technologies, in particular internet, provide opportunities and challenges in the content and the way that feedback can be provided. In our teaching unit, Engineering Management I, we asked students to write their reports via wiki pages. Using wiki made the process of report writing more transparent. It also helped to divide the task into smaller more manageable sections for students. This approach has renewed our view on feedback. While understanding and practicing good feedback is essential, it is equally important for educators to design assessments so that feedback on those assessment is inherently time dependent, relevant and effective. We term this aspect of assessment feedback potency and report on how the use of wiki could improve feedback potency in teaching a unit.
Towards a plagiarism free learning environment
Dr François Malherbe, Dr Daniel Eldridge, Dr Robert Evans & Dr Llew Mann (FSET)
There is growing concern that the extent of plagiarism in higher education goes largely unreported, and with the proliferation of electronic Tutor-Marked Assignment (eTMA) online, teachers may not be keeping the pace with technological advances. Educators should not accept this as part of modernism, and rely on the moral values of individuals, as these tend to become secondary priorities when other factors get in the way of students’ life: fear of failure, peer pressure, financial burden, visa, etc. Plagiarism should be fought in universities as it seriously undermines the quality of education, and those slipping through the nets can have a negative impact on the image of their alma mater. The priority of this proposal is to educate both staff and students on the dangers of plagiarism. Our objectives are to enhance student responsibility, and, through a series of aids, both face-to-face and online, incentivise them to reflect on the importance of academic integrity. At the moment we are not actively engaging our students with this issue, and, in most cases, we are adopting a punitive process. In FSET, we want to move towards education and prevention rather than detection and punishment. We plan to devise an approach that would avoid overwhelming new students with complicated language or just pointing them towards a URL for self-learning. It does not really work. To address the issue in FSET, we propose a three-pronged approach: 1) educate students, 2) write a guideline for staff, and 3) develop a systematic process for detection.