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FOR PRINCIPALS | EDUCATORS | NETWORK ADMINISTRATORS E D U C AT I O N T E C H N O LO GY S O LU T I O N S I S S U E 8 1 D E C / J A N 1 7

SPECIAL UNIVERSITY ISSUE

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CONTENTS ISSUE 81

20

28 REGULARS

FEATURES

8 FROM THE EDITOR

28 COVER STORY

10 CYBER CHAT 12 CALENDAR OF EVENTS 68 TECH STUFF 70 PRODUCT SHOWCASES

50

In this issue’s cover story, Jason Lodge, Senior Lecturer in the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education at University of Melbourne and Shelly Kinash, Director for Advancement of Learning & Teaching at the University of Southern Queensland, look at some of the amazing new research emerging around the brain and how we learn as well as what this means for educators.

20 USING EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY TO SUPPORT STUDENTS AS CITIZEN SCHOLARS Professor James Arvanitakis, Dean of the Graduate Research School at Western Sydney University examines why Universities exist, and how education technology is playing a role in answering that question.

34 DESIGN STRATEGIES THAT WORK TO MAXIMISE E-LEARNING Elizabeth Cook, an Educational Designer at the University of Southern Queensland, looks at the keys 6 key principals that go into creating a successful e-learning experience.

54 WORK-INTEGRATED LEARNING IN SUPPORT OF DIGITAL FUTURES Work-integrated learning (WIL) is all about helping to prepare students for the world of work. Associate Professor Denise Jackson of the

4 | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

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School of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University looks at the ways technology can be intertwined into WIL to make these experiences more accessible for students and to create an enhanced learning experience.

72 USING EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY TO FACILITATE ONLINE PEER LEARNING Professor Jill Lawrence, Associate Dean (Students) in the Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts at USQ, examines the ways in which stories/narrative from actual practice strengthen peer learning for student engagement and quality learning.

16 INTERACTIVE LEARNING Associate Professor Michael Sankey, Director of Learning Transformations at the Western Sydney University, looks at the value of ePortfolios in today’s universities.

24 PLUGGED IN Professor Heidi Blair, Deputy Director of Learning Futures at Griffith University and MadelaineMarie Judd, Griffith Graduate Attributes Project Manager at Griffith University outline seven tips to engage students in graduate attributes through social media.

42

engagement within the university classroom.

42 NEXT STEP Shelly Kinash, Director of Advancement of Learning & Teaching at the University of Southern Queensland look at key commendations and recommendations for technologyenabled higher education.

46 LET’S TALK PEDAGOGY Ken Udas, Susan Brosnan and Bill Wade of the University of Southern Queensland discuss the agile approach used in technology demonstrators while offering examples of agility in action and recommendations for those wishing to influence a culture of innovation within higher education.

50 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Who and what is ASCILITE?

58 TEACHING TOOLS Innovative curriculum and approaches to online learning – how to design for social learning.

60 GET CONNECTED How can digital technologies can be used to share student achievement?

38 OFFICE SPACE Engaging timid students: Backchannel as a tool to provide opportunities for interactivity and

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FROM THE EDITOR www.educationtechnologysolutions.com.au

EDITORIAL

EDITOR John Bigelow EMAIL john@interactivemediasolutions.com.au SUBEDITORS Helen Sist, Ged McMahon

CONTRIBUTORS

GUEST EDITOR Professor Shelley Kinash Dominique Parrish, Chie Adachi, Marcus O’Donnell, Jill Lawrence, Madelaine-Marie Judd, Heidi Blair, Christian Moro, Donna Henson, Shelley Kinash, Ken Udas, Susan Brosnan, Bill Wade, Michael Sankey, Trina Jorre de St Jorre, Denise Jackson, Elizabeth Cook, James Arvanitakis, Jason Lodge, Tess Ariotti

By Professor Shelley Kinash Guest Editorial

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DISCLAIMER

The publisher takes due care in the preparation of this magazine and takes all reasonable precautions and makes all reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy of material contained in this publication, but is not liable for any mistake, misprint or omission. The publisher does not assume any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage which may result from any inaccuracy or omission in this publication, or from the use of information contained herein. The publisher makes no warranty, express or implied with respect to any of the material contained herein. The contents of this magazine may not be reproduced in ANY form in whole OR in part without WRITTEN permission from the publisher. Reproduction includes copying, photocopying, translation or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form.

WRITTEN CORRESPONDENCE TO:

 Level 1, 34 Joseph St, Blackburn, Victoria 3130  1300 300 552  enquiries@interactivemediasolutions.com.au

I

t is my privilege, as Guest Editor of this

21 authors from 10 different Australian universities

special issue to identify the resounding

about vision and current practices in higher education

themes and highlight some of the

technology solutions. It is hoped that readers from

exciting digital innovations described by the

higher education will find inspiration and practical

university-based authors. This special ASCILITE Issue

ideas for their own students and institutions in these

was launched at the 2017 ASCILITE Conference

papers. School-based readers, such as principals

hosted by University of Southern Queensland. As

and teachers, might read these papers as ‘next steps’

described in this issue by the ASCILITE President,

or in other words for the digital contexts that their

Dominique Parrish, The Australasian Society for

school leavers will experience when they transition

Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, also

to university. Making this transition and deciding

known as ASCILITE is a not-for-profit professional

whether and then which university can be a fraught

association leading and advocating for excellence in

time for many Year 12 graduates and their parents. In

the use of digital technologies in tertiary learning and

her paper, titled ‘Online information supporting future

teaching. ASCILITE seeks to promote and recognise

students to decide which university & program’, Asma

exemplary innovation, evidence-based practice and

Qureshi summarises the findings of her ground-

research into the sustainable use of educational

breaking thesis research, studying this terrain. She

technologies to progress pedagogical practice. The

concludes with recommendations to universities

occasion of the 2017 ASCILITE Conference is

regarding their online advertising campaigns.

therefore a prime opportunity to invite academics

8 | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

008-009_ETS81 Editor's Letter.indd 8

This Special Issue features 16 papers written by

Education Technology Solutions

A number of the papers in this special issue

across Australian universities to reflect on our vision

are intentionally broad-based. These papers are not

and practices for enhancing student learning, the

about particular education technologies or specific

overall student experience and graduate outcomes

student matters. Instead, these papers present the

through education technology solutions.

overall vision for higher education and how we

educationtechnologysolutions.com.au

21/11/17 5:45 pm


betterment.’ In his paper titled,

online or in blended modalities. At the

thus increasing their employability

‘Leading academic innovation through

ASCILITE conference, in addition to

and potentially leading to successful

technology’, Jonathan Powles clearly

listening to the presenters and asking

graduate careers. In her paper, titled

states that the pedagogy (and thus the

questions directly to them, attendees

‘Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) in

students’ learning) always comes first

will also be having ‘backchannel’

support of digital futures’, Denise

in our priorities, and the technology

conversations via Twitter. Ideas will be

Jackson takes a different stance to

therefore comes second, in support

discussed, key points highlighted and

many of the other papers in this special

of that learning. In other words,

sometimes counter-arguments raised.

issue. While many of the papers

Jonathan is suggesting that we ‘flip our

In their article, titled ‘Engaging timid

address technology in the context of

thinking’ and Chie Adachi and Marcus

students: Backchannel as a tool to

how universities enhance supports to

O’Donnell suggest that we ‘flip the

provide opportunities for interactivity

students, Denise wrote about how the

whole university.’ In their paper titled,

and engagement within the university

workforce is increasingly digital and

‘Innovative curriculum and approaches

classroom’, Christian Moro and Donna

how it is incumbent upon universities

to online learning – designing for social

Henson shared their experiences

to prepare students accordingly. One

learning’ they remind the readers that

regarding how bringing backchannels

of her insightful quotes is, ‘Whatever

‘innovation is all around us’ but that

into the university classroom increases

drives an individual and whatever

universities are not always so good

student engagement. Many of these

their career aspirations may be, they

at responding in innovative ways. In

backchannel conversations take

need to embrace automation and the

their paper, titled ‘An agile approach to

place between students, without

rapid changes in technology which

testing and demonstrating education

the academic’s intervention. Jill

permeate our work, social and family

technology’ Ken Udas, Susan Brosnan

Lawrence, in her paper ‘Using

lives. If the goal of WIL is to prepare

and Bill Wade describe how they

education technology to facilitate

students and make them career ready,

used creative, flexible strategies to

online peer learning’, urges readers

the WIL experiences must therefore

encourage, welcome and pilot higher

not to discount the educational value

expose students to at least a snapshot

education technology solutions.

of peer-to-peer interaction and shares

of the digital future.’ In their paper,

strategies and experiences for fostering

titled ‘Seven tips to engage students

and recommendations for technology-

and supporting this communication,

in graduate attributes through social

enabled higher education’, I presented

particularly online.

media’, Madelaine-Marie Judd and

In my paper, titled ‘Commendations

three lists of seven – first, what

Elizabeth Cook is an educational

Heidi Blair wrote about the need to

I think makes for great university

designer, supporting academics to

deliver and promote concepts such as

learning, then the exciting practices

optimise learning experiences for

‘graduate attributes’ using terms and

can take action through technology-

I have observed in higher education

online students. In her insightful article,

media that make sense to students.

enhanced learning and teaching. With

technology solutions and, finally,

titled ‘Design strategies that work

On a similar theme, in her paper,

his characteristic insightful leadership,

what I see as problems that have not

to maximise e-Learning’, Elizabeth

titled ‘Digital solutions for supporting

James Arvanitakis inspires readers

yet been solved. In our paper, titled

presents six practical approaches

students’ career identities’, Trina Jorre

with his paper, ‘Using education

‘Surprising research findings about

to improving online learning design.

de St Jorre described the innovative

technology to support students as

the brain and learning’, Jason Lodge

In his paper, titled ‘ePortfolios

supports that Deakin University has put

citizen scholars.’ James wrote, ‘The

and I turned a conversation into this

in today’s universities’, Michael

into place to nurture graduates’ career

Citizen Scholar encapsulates the idea

piece about Jason’s team research

Sankey shared insights into how to

success. I am a big fan of Deakin’s

that universities exist to both promote

into what studies of the brain can tell

use online portfolios as authentic

‘Me In A Minute’ campaign, which

scholarship as well as active and

us about how to advance learning.

assessment that both enables and

Trina describes in her paper. Coming

engaged citizens. That is, universities

Adrian Stagg, in his paper, ‘What Open

demonstrates learning. His paper

full circle, from the first described

need to inculcate a set of skills and

Educational Resources (OER) look

presents an informative state-of-the-

paper to the last, all of the authors in

cultural practices that educate students

like’, clearly depicts, using a number

field scan across 48 Australasian

this special issue are committed to

beyond their disciplinary knowledge.

of contextualised practical examples,

institutions. Increasingly, universities

students and graduates and to higher

This is driven by the idea that

the characteristics and advantages of

are recognising the need for students

education and its life-lifting potential.

universities must maintain a social

OER. Openness, sharing and innovation

to have continued access to their

mission that mobilises knowledge

are our emerging future, but how do

ePortfolios after graduation so that they

ideas regarding how to heighten

for the benefit of society. That is, a

we support our universities and our

can use them for lifelong learning, job

university student learning, the overall

central purpose of higher education

students to get there?

search and career navigation.

student experience, transitions or

is to improve the societies in which

Education technologies and digital

A number of the authors of this

Whether you are looking for new

graduate career outcomes, I am

we live and foster citizens who are

capabilities overall have changed

special issue focussed on how

certain that you will find inspiration

creative, innovate and have the ability

the way in which we interact with

technology and digital communications

in the papers describing education

to critique the structures around

teachers, presenters and fellow

can support university students to

technology solutions in this special

them with the purpose of community

learners whether that be on-campus,

develop professional competencies,

issue. n

educationtechnologysolutions.com.au

008-009_ETS81 Editor's Letter.indd 9

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS | 9

21/11/17 5:45 pm


 | CYBER CHAT

Tech As A Tool For Improving STEM TESS ARIOTTI, HEAD OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, SAMSUNG AUSTRALIA

I

t’s just been shown

students, seven of these children lack

thinking behind their projects and

of maps, following and giving

that Australian primary

the knowledge to navigate the world

the findings. Ultimately, their work

directions, doing jigsaw puzzles and

school students can

around them.2

demonstrated how good technology

even photography can help students

can enable significant, real-world

develop skills that can lead to an

STEM investigations.

improvement in mathematics and help

develop a year’s worth

of mathematics skills in merely three weeks; thanks to a new research

So, what does this latest research tell us and where to next? Over a three-week period, 20

Using the insights from the

prepare them for successful careers in STEM.

program based on technology-enabled

primary schools were involved in a

research and applying the methods

spatial reasoning exercises.

program that replaced mathematics

used in the program, educators

classes – for the purpose of the

are now in a better position to help

and parents need proven methods

Samsung and the University of

study – with a program of activities,

improve the outcomes of STEM

to better teach STEM to our next

Canberra revealed new insights into

enhanced by technology. Designed to

education among primary and high

generation. Looking ahead, teachers,

how we can help accelerate progress

develop spatial reasoning capabilities,

school students. However, this national

researchers and even policy makers

in addressing Australia’s burgeoning

the activities built a capacity to locate,

issue isn’t the sole responsibility of

can take this research and build better,

STEM skill problem; in both primary

orientate and visualise objects;

those working in education. We all

more focused, technology-enabled

and high school settings.

navigate paths; decode information

have a role to play. While teaching is

solutions for improved competence

graphics; and use and draw diagrams.

clearly a significant building block,

in core mathematic skills. However,

Australia’s competency in

Additionally, students in Year 7 to 11

there is a lot parents can do before

to achieve sustainability and make a

mathematics and science recently

from two high schools were involved

children even get to school, developing

broader impact, we should all consider

dropped five places on the world

in the secondary component of the

these core skills from an early age.

how we can place a stronger focus on

stage in five years1 and the impact

program which applied real world and

reaches far beyond the classroom.

inquiry-led learning – with the aid of

children’s spatial reasoning, and

Competence in mathematics has

technology – to see an increase in

therefore mathematical ability, through

been heralded as the most influential

design-thinking. Using smartphones

an array of out-of-school activities.

indicator for success in adult life.

and tablets, students collected,

These are simple, everyday tasks

Educational Research, Trends in

Unfortunately, when looking at a

logged, analysed and presented

that parents can implement at home.

International Mathematics and Science

typically-sized Australian class of 24

data to creatively demonstrate the

For instance, the use and creation

Study (TIMSS), 2016

A recent collaboration between

We’re all conscious that

10 | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

010-015_ETS81 Regulars.indd 10

Parents can enhance their

It’s no secret that our teachers

spatial thinking in both primary and secondary schools. n 1, 2

Australian Council for

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 | EVENTS CALENDAR

BETT Show

is an annual two-day event which

teaching at the coal-face, or are looking

and interactive exhibition seminars

24-27 January 2018

runs in March and will be held

to meet people in specific roles such

and displays (not to mention hours of

Excel London

at the Melbourne Convention &

as Foundation or SEN Coordinators,

networking functions) – meaning that

Bett is the first industry show of the

Exhibition Centre.

the event is structured to appeal to the

you gain the benefits of a bespoke

people you want to speak to.

niche program, focused on YOUR

year in the education technology

It is the sister-event of EduTECH

Perhaps most importantly, National

landscape, bringing together 850

(Australasia and Asia Pacific’s largest

leading companies, 103 exciting new

education event). It consists of one

FutureSchools is affordable… the

edtech start ups and over 34,700

central exhibition and five parallel

organisers know the education sector

attendees (131 countries represented)

conferences designed to tackle five

has limited funds, so they work with

Development points – when

from the global education community,

specific areas of the future school:

industry to subsidise registration costs,

you register, simply tick the box

that come together to celebrate, find

• Future Leadership

making this an accessible investment

indicating that you wish to apply for

inspiration and discuss the future

• Young Learning

in your learning.

CPD/PD Points, and we will post

of education, as well as the role

• Special Needs

technology and innovation plays in

• Teaching about and using emerging

enabling all educators and learners to thrive. For more information visit www. bettshow.com

National FutureSchools Expo & Conference 21-22 March 2018

technologies • STEM, coding, robotics and the new digital curriculum.

you a Certificate of Attendance which you can present to your

very best speakers from Australia and

representative body.

around the world. You can share your

For more information visit

ideas, successes and challenges with

futureschools.com.au

FutureSchools Expo have all been

to discuss, debate and take away

designed to cater for senior leadership

implementable outcomes.

Whether you want to focus your

And of course, earn Professional

event, educators have access to the

over 4,000 attendees in similar roles

K-12 education.

like-minded education professionals.

At the National FutureSchools

The five conferences at the National

working in different roles within

needs, combined with more than 1,500

Just as importantly, you can tailor-

EduTECH Australia 2018 7-8 June 2018

make your own experience and learn

International Convention Centre,

what YOU want to know about – you

Sydney

Melbourne Exhibition & Convention

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 | EVENTS CALENDAR

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| INTERACTIVE LEARNING

ePortfolios

In Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s U

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s Universities

BY ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR MICHAEL SANKEY

A recent sector scan across

multiple tools were being used, usually

system (LMS), three (6 percent) were

the functionality (or otherwise) of

Australasian universities conducted

in different schools or faculties to meet

using the portfolio tool in Bright Space

these tools.

by the Australasian Council on Open,

a particular or perceived need. So,

(D2L) LMS, two were using Google,

Distance and e-Learning (ACODE)

although the institution may have had

one each were using Chalk & Wire and

how higher education is embracing

found a variable uptake of ePortfolio

a centrally supported system, others

Career Hub, and seven (15 percent)

newer forms of technology and how

tools across the university sector.

(departments and often individuals)

had no centrally supported ePortfolio.

the role of the commercial marketplace

Although many universities now have

within the university were bypassing

In nearly all cases, those institutions

is changing. This is seen in the

well-established ePortfolio systems in

this for other (non-supported) solutions.

that had no centrally supported

plethora of social media tools that can

place, and have had for many years,

This is not necessarily a problem, but it

tool were currently trialling some

now slot (although not comfortably)

others are still grappling with, or slowly

does point to the fact that the centralised

different options.

into this virtual learning environment

moving towards, a more consistent

system may not necessarily be fully

approach to providing this institutional

hitting the mark or that the functionality

identify the products used, in many

linkedin.com/in/michaelsankey/) and

service for their students and staff.

of the tool is not understood well

cases this was accompanied by

a range of efficacious self-authoring

It is fair to say that although

enough by the staff and thereby

a disclaimer, such as ‘but we are

website tools sites (such as Wordpress

the students.

trialling X’ or ‘different schools have

[https://michaelsankey.com/], Weebly

different requirements, so we can’t

[https://www.weebly.com/au], and

ePortfolio has been on the higher

Not only did the sector scan

Anecdotally, this is partly to do with

space (such as LinkedIn, https://www.

education agenda for quite a few

Of the 48 institutions, 18 (38

years now, it has not necessarily

percent) were using the Mahara open

get any agreement’. So, although the

Wix [https://www.wix.com/]) making

been adopted as quickly as some

source tool, 10 (21 percent) were

above is simply a product list, there

it possible for students and staff to

may have hoped. In fact, it was the

using Pebble Pad, six (13 percent)

are implications that can be drawn

quickly develop an online presence.

dream of many, including myself,

were using the portfolio tool in their

from this, particularly when looking

As the functionality of these newer

that national projects such as the

Blackboard learning management

at some of the tools being used and

tools improves, some are seeing

Australian ePortfolio Project (http:// www.eportfoliopractice.qut.edu. au/) and, more recently, ePortfolios

ePortfolio Systems 2017: 48 Australasian Universities

Australia (https://eportfoliosaustralia. wordpress.com/) would have had a more profound impact on the uptake

7

of this tool within the sector. In some instances it has, but this dream has not In the ACODE sector scan Australasian universities responded. This represented all major Australian

n Pebble Pad

2

yet been fully realised. conducted in September 2017, 48

n Mahara

n Blackboard

2

18

3

n Google

and New Zealand universities and one from Fiji. The scan asked these institutions to identify which centrally supported ePortfolio tool they were using. This does not mean that this was

n Bright Space

n Other

6

n None

10

the only tool the institution was using; rather, it was the main tool they were using, thereby attracting some broader institutional support. In some instances,

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| INTERACTIVE LEARNING

the potential for them to contribute significantly to learning and teaching. Of course, this only serves to exacerbate

SlideShare

the perceived divide between different

Instagram

academic disciplines requiring different

LinkedIn

functionality and prevents an institutional consensus from being formed (if that is still desirable). We are seeing a shift, or evolution,

Academia.edu

in the ‘first wave’ of ePortfolio systems. This is not unlike the gradual

ResearchGate

ePortfolio

implementation of the LMS or lecture capture systems, as the future of ePortfolio use in higher education is

Uni Profile

tied to the changing nature of teaching.

Etc., etc.

Change is occurring in the practices of

Twitter

instructors and programs, as well as change in the use of new technologies and change in the value of a studentowned portfolio. It is important to

The essential ePortfolio needs to connect to other repositories and key social media sites

note that change is difficult for some, The essential ePortfolio needs to

classroom methodology, where a

This applies equally to the LMS,

learner-centred pedagogy can focus

content management system (CMS)

connect to other repositories and key

I personally used a website that I

on an individual’s learning experiences

and ePortfolio, not to mention staff

social media sites.

developed in html to be (what I now

to encourage independent thought and

and student reward and recognition

call) my ePortfolio (https://eportfolio.

reflective practice, ultimately allowing

systems. But it is particularly important

ePortfolio companies moving forward?

usq.edu.au/user/sankey/home). In those

learners to apply existing knowledge

for the ePortfolio. With the rise of

It means I want to be able to integrate

days, and I am only talking 10 years

to new contexts and adapt this to

digital credentialing, blockchain certs

feeds from all these types of sites

ago, it was the only mechanism I had

new environments. However, this is

and badging, there is an increased

and to allow for my credentials to be

to represent myself professionally to a

not information that may be suitable

awareness of the portability and validity

seamless. I would like to be able to use

wider audience. Today, users want an

for public perusal as it quite often

of one’s online persona and professional

it as my backpack as well. If I were an

ePortfolio to do many more things than

contains sensitive information, such

presence that transcends or extends

institution, I would want to be able to

simply be a series of static webpages,

as reflections and private assessment

past the now obligatory, although

use my site to credential student and

and so it comes back to the definition of

items. On the other hand, ePortfolios

simplistic, LinkedIn profile.

staff learning outcomes, linkable to

what an ePortfolio is.

can facilitate “a shift towards deeper

but necessary. Before we had such systems,

For example, on a personal level,

So, what does this mean for

my student management system and

learning that will link learner autonomy,

all roads lead to Rome (or in this case

staff professional development system.

ePortfolio as being a digital repository

graduate attributes and real-world

my ePortfolio [https://eportfolio.usq.

Why? Because that is going to make the

where evidence of an individual’s

experiences to help students transition

edu.au/user/sankey/home]). My former

ePortfolio usable by most, if not all, the

personal, educational or professional

to the workplace” (Slade & Hallam,

university allows me (as an Alumnus)

disciplines, the careers people, human

pursuits may be stored and showcased

2016). In these cases, it may be in the

to keep my ePortfolio for life if I keep up

resources, professional accrediting

(ePortfolio Hub, 2017), then theoretically

best interest of the student to make

my profile with them (keep my password

bodies and, most importantly, potential

this could be done in many ways

this information viewable to a select

up-to-date), so this has allowed me to

employees. However, at the end of the

and with many tools. However, in the

group of people – potential employees

make my ePortfolio the centre of my

day, it is the student experience that needs

university context, it may be seen to do

for example.

professional profile. So, I link to my

to be front and centre. This is the top-level

ePortfolio from all my other professional

issue for the ePortfolio community and it

If we are to take the definition of an

a bit more than this. An ePortfolio may

This is clearly a dynamic space

also be seen to support a change in the

and, given the need for some level

and social media sites – Twitter,

is directly tied to student success. For if

way many institutions are approaching

of discretion around one’s profile

SlideShare, ResearchGate and so on, but

they succeed, we succeed. n

their learning and teaching or, as Batson

and personal data, looking to the

not Facebook. There is a practical reason

(2011) calls it, a “new epistemology

future there is a need for centralised

for this; it means I do not have to keep

of learning”, which requires a level of

university systems to offer both a level

extensive profiles on all these different

admin@interactivemediasolutions.

institutional commitment to how they

of security and for them to have the

systems. I just need to keep one major

com.au

may house important and sometimes

ability to engage with a whole range of

site up-to-date and do the bare minimum

confidential data.

external, more public systems. These

on the others. But it also means I can

Sankey is the Director, Learning

An example of this is seen in the

may be software as a service (SaaS)

lead people to my full profile that gives

Transformations at the Western

way an ePortfolio can support a flipped

or self-hosted, or simply commercial.

them a fuller picture about who I am.

Sydney University.

18 | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

016-019_ETS81 Interactive Learning.indd 18

For a full list of references, email

Associate Professor Michael

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| FEATURE

USING EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY TO SUPPORT STUDENTS AS

CITIZEN SCHOLARS BY JAMES ARVANITAKIS

Introduction

pressure for universities to reposition

Hornsby, 2015). A key focus has

as active and engaged citizens. That

Over the last decade, the role and

themselves in this way is increasing.

been to respond to the ongoing

is, universities need to inculcate a

purpose of higher education has

But such a request is seen to challenge

structural changes driven by global

set of skills and cultural practices

increasingly come under scrutiny.

the traditional intellectual pursuit

and technological advancements, and

that educate students beyond their

Faced with tight fiscal budgets,

of universities.

changing social, political and economic

disciplinary knowledge. This arguably

governments have often looked to

It is from these multiple

environments with the aim of future-

pushes the debate beyond the

the university sector as a space for

perspectives that universities are

proofing higher education by looking

simple transfer of skills as part of the

potential cost saving. Even as I write

now being forced to reflect on their

beyond the provision of content alone

activities and academic development

this paper, the Australian Federal

role and purpose, and ask, “Why do

and focusing on a new set of graduate

necessary to complete a degree. It

Government is attempting to tighten its

we exist?” Over the last few years,

proficiencies for the century ahead

also goes beyond the soft skills debate

financial investment in higher education

it is this question that has been

(see Figure 1).

that dominates much discussion

by almost $3 billion dollars (Bagshaw,

driving my research, teaching and

2017). While this has been rejected by

community engagement. Working

The Citizen Scholar

the Senate, the Government has made

with collaborators across the world,

The Citizen Scholar encapsulates

it clear that it will continue to look for

we have developed the concept of

the idea that universities exist to

universities must maintain a social

efficiency dividends and its attempts to

the ‘Citizen Scholar’ (Arvanitakis &

both promote scholarship as well

mission that mobilises knowledge for

(Callaghan, 2017). Rather it takes on a broader, more social focus. This is driven by the idea that

restructure the sector will continue. This situation is aggravated by a hostile political environment where governments are very sensitive to criticism. Historically, the intellectual freedom of universities and other civil society bodies that critique and speak on corporate and governmental power has been valued. With a traditional strength of the university community holding powerful interests to account by demanding evidence-based policy, the rise of ‘anti-intellectualism’ encased by political populism now places universities in a precarious position (Davis, 2017). A third trend impacting the university sector is the demand to establish job-ready graduates. This has meant that university curriculum has increasingly been asked to incorporate ‘soft’ or transferable skills. In an overcrowded curriculum, combined with the demise of the Technical and Further Education (TAFE) sector, the

20 | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

020-023_ETS81 Feature 1.indd 20

Figure 1: The Citizen Scholar (sourced from Arvanitakis & Hornsby, 2015)

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the benefit of society. That is, a central purpose of higher education is to improve the societies in which we live and foster citizens who are creative, innovate and have the ability to critique the structures around them with the purpose of community betterment. Inspiration for the Citizen Scholar is derived from Gramscian views on education and intellectuals and Freirean pedagogical aspirations. Italian theorist, Antonio Gramsci, argued that education must be about promoting social change and challenging traditional power relations. Unlike modern day interpretations of the term ‘intellectual’ which suggest elitism and reinforce social hierarchies, Gramsci (1971) believed that anyone could be an intellectual because we all carry, “… some form of intellectual activity…, [and] participates in a particular conception of the world, has a conscious line of moral conduct, and therefore contributes to sustain a conception of the world or to modify it, that is, to bring into being new modes of thought.” Gramsci’s position was that the process of education was not about being ethereal and disconnected, but rather was rooted in “practical life” (Gramsci, 1971). Though the position of universities does not figure prominently in Gramsci’s work, it is implied as the institutions of education and spaces where intellectuals gather. By extending Gramsci’s analysis, the argument is that a key role for universities is the pursuit of social change because they are inherently engaged in communities

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| FEATURE

and have the potential to mobilise new sets of thinking. Despite such noble visions,

Technology and the Citizen Scholar Education technology is an important

modern universities often reproduce

mechanism in achieving these

existing power relations, particularly

goals. Technology, when employed

in a time of neoliberalism driven

correctly, can open pathways that

by differentiated fee payments

both connect and empower students.

and decreasing public funding.

Notably, as established academics

Furthermore, the content driven,

and researchers, many of us already

discipline-specific learning

do this in our intellectual projects. We

environments do not encourage a

tend to be problem-oriented and push

pedagogy that fosters creative thinking

for change in our research. We seek

or even societal action (Friere, 1970).

to challenge existing power structures

A central purpose of higher education is to improve the societies in which we live and foster citizens who are creative, innovate and have the ability to critique the structures around them with the purpose of community betterment.

and influence how society is shaped.

establish student project teams that

and monitored by the people who

vision of a pedagogy is one that

We do not treat knowledge as uniform,

cooperate and share lessons as well

populate the space.

is rooted in the lived experience –

appreciating that context is important,

as learning materials. Students can

something that is increasingly relevant.

and we take evidence seriously in the

become culturally competent not

Political processes have been slow

Friere (Ibid) argues that we need to

knowledge generation process.

through some ‘tick the box’ approach,

to catch up to the online world. For

but by embedding learning across

example, online petitions gather

the curriculum.

hundreds of thousands of signatures,

Echoing Gramsci, Friere’s (1970)

confront inequality through motivating

The challenge is to ensure that

Beyond the social is the political.

students to question, challenge

we follow such a path in our learning

and agitate around existing power

environments. We should not let the

structures. He believed that education

dominant pedagogical model focus

the ‘new literacies’ proficiency. That

voices to be heard? For the Internet

was about addressing the needs of the

on disciplinary content transfer. Nor

is, the use of technology, design

to be a truly democratic space, our

masses and to teach them to make a

should we privilege lecture spaces

and systems thinking, as well as

democratic institutions (including

better society by addressing inequality.

in which individuals stand up at the

understanding how programming

universities) must recognise its real-

But what is additionally inspirational,

front and speak at, rather than with,

languages work should be seen as the

world presence. Genuine interactions

and reinforces the vision for the Citizen

students. Despite this, many of us still

fourth dimension of literacy – taking

online may be different in nature, but are

Scholar, is how Friere identifies that the

do. As such, we must challenge these

us well beyond reading, writing and

no less real.

way we teach needs to connect with

structures and expect more from our

arithmetic. This is fundamental in

problems surrounding us and who

learning environments. To do this, we

both ensuring employability skills,

technology at its core. This is

we teach needs to be diverse, “No

need a pedagogical stance that moves

but also understanding that much of

not technology for technology’s

pedagogy which is truly liberating can

us towards a practice that fosters

contemporary citizenship also happens

sake, however. Rather, the call is

remain distant from the oppressed by

Citizen Scholars of our students.

in an online environment.

for technology that is driven with

treating them as unfortunates and by

Though there many ways we

The second is by operationalising

Despite its many downsides, the

but where are the vehicles for these

The Citizen Scholar has education

pedagogical intent and focuses on

presenting for their emulation models

can interact with technology to

Internet as a space of democratic

developing graduate proficiencies as

from among the oppressors. The

achieve the pedagogical stance of

interaction is incredibly valuable. It

well as engaged and active citizens.

oppressed must be their own example

the Citizen Scholar, here I will focus

must be fostered and should be part

Anything less will not only fail our moral

in the struggle for their redemption”

on two. The first is to ensure that we

of any civics education program

obligation to students, but will leave

(Freire, 1970).

are pedagogically driven rather than

for its speed, its links to such a

open the question, why do universities

technology driven. Technology should

vast array of information, its uptake

exist? n

of both Gramsci (1971) and Friere

be seen as a delivery mechanism of

among young people and its capacity

(1970), we must ensure that our

our pedagogical strategy rather than

to break down social barriers and

learning environments establish a

a strategy in and of itself. If we refer

equalise interactions.

pedagogical frame that integrates a

to some of the graduate proficiencies

sense of moral and ethical purpose

highlighted in Figure 1, we can see that

is not the problem; the challenge is in

to learning; that actively integrates

‘internationalisation’ is fundamental

the approach we take to etiquette. This

Dean of the Graduate Research School

cultural pluralism in developing

in preparing the Citizen Scholar. This

includes ensuring that we provide the

at Western Sydney University. He is also

knowledge and understanding that

involves working across cultures, in

civic skills to interact meaningfully and

a lecturer in Humanities and a member

aspires to liberate the learner from

different cultural context as well as

allow for disagreement through social

of the University’s Institute for Cultural

existing power structures by fostering

cultural competence and ‘cultural

media and other forums as spaces for

and Society. He is a board member of

a desire to challenge and change the

humility’ (Nomikoudis & Starr, 2015).

engagement. Many institutions have

the Public Education Foundation, the

social system in which we live; and

The appropriate employment of

developed ‘netiquette’ guidelines, as

Chair of Diversity Arts Australia, an

If we interpret the messages

This means that the space itself

For a full list of references, email admin@interactivemediasolutions. com.au Professor James Arvanitakis is the

that connects the reality around us and

technology can allow us to ensure

well as the skill to self-police bullies

Academic Fellow at the Australian India

its many problems to the knowledge

that students connect across the

and trolls. This is social etiquette at its

Institute and a Research Fellow at the

generation process.

world and different cultures. We can

egalitarian best in that it was developed

Centre for Policy Development.

22 | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

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| PLUGGED IN

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to engage students in graduate attributes through social media BY MADELAINE-MARIE JUDD AND PROFESSOR HEIDI BLAIR

Graduate attributes (also referred to

significance. To ensure that these

all of the student associations and

Reach out to a broad range of staff

as graduate qualities or capabilities)

resources were meaningful, the

extra-curricular groups that had social

members, including:

can be explicitly linked to a graduate’s

project engaged with students through

media presence. Once you identify the

• Professional staff – this may

future employability. Graduate

facilitating focus groups.

relevant social media sites, study the

include staff from central units

type of language that is deployed when

such as careers and employment

attributes represent the qualities, skills or capabilities that universities

Outcomes of focus groups

talking to students. Some factors to

or student services. Alternatively,

articulate as necessary for graduates

In total, over 130 students participated

consider may include:

administrative staff or project

to successfully navigate the workforce

in these focus groups across

• Do the posts include images

coordinators based within

and to contribute positively to their

two campuses. The aim of these

local and global communities. A

focus groups was to elicit student

common challenge for any university is

perspectives on:

amount of space for you to get

how to meaningfully engage students

• what the attributes meant to them

your point across?

in conversations concerning graduate

• how they heard about the attributes

attributes. This is further problematised

• what support resources they would

for central units that do not have direct

find engaging and meaningful.

or flyers? • What is the character limit or the

• Are there particular groups which students tend to comment, share or like more frequently than others?

faculties can provide insight into their students’ preferred communication channels. • Academic staff – this may include sessionals/tutors, course convenors or program directors. Ask your colleagues and students

contact and communication with

From the facilitation of these focus

Take these considerations into account

what social media platforms are

students. This article provides practical

groups, we discovered seven key

when developing your own social

the most effective to reach out to

tips and lessons learned from a project

strategies (appearing in no particular

media campaign for students.

students and ask for permission to

which developed a range of support

order) that would effectively engage

materials for students relating to a

students in these conversations.

university’s graduate attributes.

access any existing group pages.

2. Leverage existing and develop new networks

During the facilitation of these focus

Reach out to your existing networks

of staff sent out regular emails or

and make a concerted effort to further

Facebook posts to student cohorts.

groups, we discovered that a number

Project overview

1. Research social media platforms

Following the revision of the university

Conduct research on the types of

develop your network with staff

Students overwhelmingly indicated

graduate attributes, in November

social media platforms that are

on the ‘front line’ who have direct

that they were more likely to read or

2016 a learning and teaching unit

available. Examples may include

relationships with students. Seek their

respond to a post by a staff member

commenced a university-wide

Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter

advice and input regarding how to

who they knew. Further, if the staff

graduate attributes project. The aim

or Yammer (to name a few). Research

reach out to the student population.

member recommended the activity

of this project was to develop a range

the organisations or groups that

For example, what type of social

as an opportunity to assist students

of resources for students to assist

specifically target a student audience

media platforms do students use,

in their studies or impact their future

them in understanding more about

and determine the site owner. For

and does the staff member control

employability, students were more

the attributes and to highlight their

example, we conducted an audit on

any of these group conversations?

likely to engage in the activity.

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| PLUGGED IN 3. Create an engaging flyer or document As a means to recruit students for focus groups, we developed a range of engaging flyers. You do not have to be a graphic designer to complete this task; rather, identify websites that provide examples of free brochures or flyers. Ensure that the flyer that you create is consistent with the types of flyers that you have seen on the student social media platforms. Remember to limit the amount of text on the page to ensure that students are not overloaded with too much information and adopt student language. If you know any students, have them review the flyer and provide you with feedback on how it could be improved. Finally, provide a key contact for students who may want to find out more.

4. Utilise your own professional social media pages

when engaging with them through social media platforms. When pitching

7. Do not solely rely on generic emails

Conclusion

Post on your own professional social media pages, including your

opportunities for student engagement,

A common complaint made by a

marketing campaigns and viral

LinkedIn account. This strategy

it is important to cater to a diverse

number of the focus group participants

videos, it can often be difficult for

was successfully implemented in

range of students. Leave your own

was related to generic email

universities to capture student

our project in which we utilised

assumptions at the door and seek to

campaigns. The majority of students

attention with topics such as

our personal LinkedIn accounts

understand what the motivators and

said that they either did not open the

graduate attributes. Students have

to advertise for focus groups.

value propositions are for students.

emails or, in the best-case scenario,

a range of competing demands,

just scanned this type of email.

including family life, work, studies

6. Seek student input

Students explained that they believe

and any extra or co-curricular

To better understand how we could

the bulk of information in such emails

obligations. It can thus be difficult for

5. Determine student motivators

engage additional students in these

does not apply to them. By no means

central units to engage students in

conversations, we asked, “How did

is this tip asserting to avoid utilising

conversations concerning university

During the facilitation of focus groups,

you hear about this focus group?”

all generic emails that your university

graduate attributes or their future

we asked first-year students, “What

This provided a valuable opportunity

may send, but rather to not rely on

employability. Ideally, the seven

would make you engage with graduate

for us to learn what was working

this as the sole source for marketing

tips described in this article have

attributes resources?” Overwhelmingly,

effectively in our recruitment and what

your graduate attributes initiatives.

provided readers with points to

they stated that they were interested

we could do differently in the future.

Draw upon any existing generic email

consider when engaging students in

in how it could assist them with

Predominantly, students said that

accounts as a method in a multi-

conversations relating to university

their studies. This contradicted our

they were more likely to participate in

pronged approach to engage students.

graduate attributes. n

assumption that students would

the conversations if a staff member

be interested in university graduate

or peer with whom they have direct

attributes mainly to enhance their

contact with recommended it as

employability. Second-year and final-

a valuable opportunity for them.

year students meanwhile indicated

When engaging with students, do

that they were interested in the

not forget to ask them what captured

graduate attributes as it related to their

their attention, and if they have

employability and future career.

any alternative ideas to improve

Consequently, we received an increase in student participation.

Thus, it is important to understand what the motivators are for students

26 | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

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communication channels or the marketing of the activity.

ONCE YOU IDENTIFY THE RELEVANT SOCIAL MEDIA SITES, STUDY THE TYPE OF LANGUAGE THAT IS DEPLOYED WHEN TALKING TO STUDENTS.

In an era of competing social

Madelaine-Marie Judd is the Griffith Graduate Attributes Project Manager at Griffith University. Madelaine-Marie can be contacted via email madelainemariej@gmail.com Professor Heidi Blair is the Deputy Director of Learning Futures at Griffith University. Heide can be contacted via email h.blair@griffith.edu.au

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| COVER STORY

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SURPRISING RESEARCH FINDINGS ABOUT THE BRAIN AND LEARNING

BY JASON LODGE AND SHELLEY KINASH

What is education technology? A basic

Lodge, a psychological scientist, and

definition is the tools we use to learn

Shelley Kinash, a learning and teaching

and teach. Using this definition, then

director. Together, they transformed the

the brain is our ultimate educational

interview into an article about the brain

tool. How far have scientists come

and learning.

in understanding our brains and how

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to enable and enhance what goes

What is Learning?

on inside our brains to maximise the

The term learning is used to mean

impact of education? Human brains

both a process (e.g. I am learning

are still, as far as we know, the most

a theory) and an outcome (e.g. for

complicated pieces of machinery in

me, your perspective was a new

the known universe. Brains can do all

learning). Learning is fundamentally

sorts of things that we have absolutely

about development and change.

no idea how to code into a computer

Learning means that we come to know

system or a set of algorithms. This

something that we did not previously

difference is going to become more

understand, to gain a skill that we were

and more important as we discover

not able to do, and/or to adapt and

more about artificial intelligence

take on personal attributes that were

and smart computing, particularly

not previously part of our make-up.

with generations of students who

University learning is about all three

have never known education without

of these types of learning. Learning is

computers. This article was derived

the work of students that is contributed

out of an interview between Jason

to by the work of academics, which

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS | 29

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| COVER STORY

LEARNING MEANS THAT WE COME TO KNOW SOMETHING THAT WE DID NOT PREVIOUSLY UNDERSTAND, TO GAIN A SKILL THAT WE WERE NOT ABLE TO DO AND/OR TO ADAPT AND TAKE ON PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES THAT WERE NOT PREVIOUSLY PART OF OUR MAKE-UP.

A metaphor is like that of driving.

is teaching. While the focus of

the idea of emergence, which argues

somebody who has been diagnosed

universities used to be more on

that our minds and our experience

with dyslexia, versus somebody who

You cannot look inside the car to

teaching, academics now think more

of the world arise out of the brain

has not, revealing what looks like

see the driving. You can look at the

about learning, because if students

in ways that we cannot fully predict

differential heat maps of the brain

speedometer, the engine gauge and

have not developed or changed as a

by looking at the brain itself. The

when the studied people are doing

the indicator lights, but ultimately the

result of completing their studies, then

unanswered question is how do we

different types of tasks. Where this

driving happens outside of the car on

the teaching is not worthwhile.

get from this physical thing to this

science starts to fall down is where

the road and in the interaction with the

very different experience that we have

we try to over-extend what that

other vehicles and other drivers.

in our minds? We still do not have a

actually means. Just because we

satisfying answer.

see a correlation between getting

What is the Relationship between the Brain and Learning?

students to do a task (perhaps if they have dyslexia or not) and what

Educators are desperate to

‘lights up’ in their brain, does not

understand how to teach in ways

necessarily mean that we know what

that will better support students to

At a biological level, our brains are

What does Magnetic Resonance Imaging tell us about the Brain and Learning?

What are the Main Myths that Science has Debunked?

is happening in their minds. There

learn. As such, sometimes we grab

pieces of organic hardware that we

Over the last several decades,

is still a distance that we need to

onto popular ideas about learning that

all have in our heads. Our minds

scientists have developed much

overcome, which is that between the

appear to be based in science and

are the more ethereal part, allowing

more sophisticated ways of being

biological activity and what is actually

later learn that there is no substance

us to consider and partially control

able to image the brain. We can

the mental process itself. We cannot

or evidence for these beliefs.

how that hardware gets used. The

now measure electrical activity and

see the mental process directly. So,

One such myth is that students

cognitive way of thinking about this is

blood flow and create revealing

we are trying to infer that through a

only use 10 percent of their brains.

the difference between the hardware

visualisations of what is happening

biological process of some sort. As

They might be using 10 percent of its

and the software. Considering how

in the brain. For example, functional

we discover really exciting new ways

capacity, or they might be using 10

the mind comes to be, as a result of

magnetic resonance imaging studies

of looking in the brain and seeing

percent for a particular task, but really

processes that happen in the brain, is

are elucidating a lot of things

what is happening, we get excited by

the whole brain is active most of the

something that philosophers to this

about how the brain is processing

this great data and we seem to think

time. The way that the brain works is

day argue about endlessly. One of the

information. For example, scientists

we know what is going on − but it is

that it will re-wire in some way if parts

prominent theories at the moment is

have examined the difference between

still an inference.

of it are not being used meaningfully.

People have been trying to depict the relationship between our brains and learning for centuries, if not millennia.

30 | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

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| COVER STORY

and understandings. Sometimes students thought they had it all figured out and then surprise − it is something different. One of the findings that is being uncovered by neurological research is that surprise

think about how that might play

tends to stick. Over the last 20 years,

out in practice. Research about the

What Findings of Cognitive Research can Educators Apply?

there has been more research focus

positive consequences of the element

on the role of anxiety, confusion and

of surprise in learning gives us a

surprise in learning overall. The more

tangible means of heightening learning,

Educators can apply some findings

distance between the predictions we

which will no doubt be followed by

talk about is the idea of ‘learning

of cognitive research to support their

make about what we think we know,

further research advancements and

styles’. The argument is that we have

students to learn. Compelling evidence

and what the reality is, the more

application advice. n

to treat visual learners differently from

has come from our research on

that productive sense of surprise is

auditory learners and from kinesthetic

confusion. Traditionally, confusion has

generated. So, if we do not think we

learners. We have tested this directly

been seen as a negative student state

know much about something, and we

the Melbourne Centre for the Study

under laboratory conditions and it

that teachers should avoid. However, the

are told something else about it, we

of Higher Education, University of

makes absolutely no sense. People

research that we have been doing has

are not really going to be that surprised

Melbourne and a senior research

can come in declaring themselves as

shown that being confused is actually

because we did not know anything in

fellow in the national Australian

textbook visual learners or auditory

a critical part of coming to understand

the first place. Whereas if we think we

Research Council funded Science

learners. It makes no difference to

a complex concept, particularly if we

know something quite well, and then

of Learning Research Centre. His

their performance on a task. Learners

have a misconception about something.

we find out that we are wrong, the

research focuses on the application

will engage different tools at different

There is something about that sense of

distance between the prediction that

of the learning sciences to higher

times in order to do the task that they

disequilibrium (which is really bringing

we make and what the reality is, is

education and the ways in which

have been asked to do. The onus is

about the confusion), that students

much bigger. There is something about

technology is influencing learning.

on the educator coming up with a

feel between I think I know this, but

that surprise that comes along with

really good authentic kind of task for

now you’re telling me it’s something

the realisation that means that we are

Director, Advancement of Learning &

the student, rather than saying, “Oh,

else, so I’m a bit stuck here. It seems

more likely to remember that and will

Teaching at the University of Southern

I’m going to come up with something

to be an important part of the process

then change the way we think about

Queensland. She has been an academic

for the visual learners, and something

of reaching a point of insight, where

that concept.

for over 25 years. She completed

different for the auditory learners.” The

students think “Oh, I’m really confused.

challenge to educators is to structure

I’m really confused. I’m trying to

what is most surprising is just how

in Educational Technology. She co-

an environment and a setting in ways

understand this.” Then they can have

complicated all of this really is. There

led two National research projects

that give students the best chance

what we call an ‘aha moment’.

is so much out there about learning,

through the Australian Government

and just when we think that we have

Department of Education and Training

Another myth that educators often

of achieving the sorts of learning

Sometimes learners are surprised

For researchers and educators,

Jason Lodge is Senior Lecturer in

Professor Shelley Kinash is the

her PhD at the University of Calgary

outcomes that we are looking for.

at the answer or the thinking about

a handle on what might be going

on Graduate Employability http://

Rather than talking about ‘learning

something, in that the concept is more

on, this whole other area opens up

GraduateEmployability.com and on

design’, we need to talk more about

complex, or fundamentally different,

to us, and we realise that it is much

Postgraduate Student Experience http://

‘design for learning’.

thus confronting their previous beliefs

more complicated and difficult to

PostgraduateStudentExperience.com

32 | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

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| FEATURE

DESIGN STRATEGIES

That Work To Maximise e-Learning

34 | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

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BY ELIZABETH COOK

Always start with a welcome. This

teachers generally do better than those

With technology advancing at a

1. Structure and sequence the

rapid pace, and tools and objects

e-learning environment

establishes a friendly and personable

who do not. Feel free to contact me for

commonplace in people’s lives, most

Ensure that the components of the

e-learning environment. Keep it brief

any specific enquiries, or post general

expect their use of technology to be

e-learning environment are consistently

and greet your students as though

enquiries to the dedicated enquiries

hassle free, highly efficient, purposeful

and logically organised to facilitate,

you were meeting face to face.

forum. Your teaching team will respond

and effective. When technology lets

as much as possible, intuitive use

For example, ‘Hello and welcome

within 48 hours, excluding weekends.

them down, their mood, their capacity

and navigation. This means being

to [course name]. My name is…

We look forward to supporting you.’

to engage and interact and their ability

consistent with language and labelling.

[perhaps include a photograph]. I

to achieve goals can be negatively

I recommend using Bloom’s action

am excited to share with you my

structures built into the LMS. If so,

impacted. Most readers would have

verbs (https://eduscapes.com/tap/

enthusiasm and knowledge of….

make sure that you use the pre-set

experienced clicking back and forth

topic69.htm) to provide explicit

Please watch the brief video about

structure as intended. For example, at

between pages and links in an online

instructions as you scaffold and

this course (accessed via…), which

the University of Southern Queensland

search, only to give up, without the

sequence learning. For example:

includes instructions, expectations

(USQ), we use Moodle 3.2 and

required information and with a tired

for your study, including assessment

encourage all teaching academics to

hand from clicking. At some point in

and personal messages from your

use the following pre-set structure

teaching team. I recommend that you

across all course sites:

maximise your contribution to online

• Getting started

forums (assessed via…). Students

• Forums

who engage with their peers and

• Assessment

time, everyone has been frustrated

 Read,  Listen

by technology that does not work or

 Review,  Reflect

lacks in effective design.

 Respond

Some institutions have pre-set

Think User Experience Educators and educational designers must remember to think of the user (the student) when designing e-learning environments and experiences.

A Positive User Experience Learning itself is not easy. Students appreciate a well-designed learning management system (LMS), and will learn best when the user experience (UX) is positive. An e-learning experience that is intentionally designed to motivate and engage, incorporating regular collaboration and feedback opportunities, will support students to achieve greater gains overall. So, what does a positive UX look like and how can you make it happen? I find it helpful to examine the UX according to six elements – strategies

UX Design Theory, reprinted with permission of John Spencer (https://medium.com/synapse/8-ways-ux-design-theory-transformed-my-

that work to maximise e-learning:

approach-to-course-design-3fb07e0d098b)

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS | 35

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| FEATURE

• Study schedule

transferable (across courses) how-to

development. Avoid using red-green

Use forums to share the career

• Teaching team

videos that will save time in the long

colours that exclude colour-blind

pathways of recent graduates and

• Resources

run and build students’ understanding

individuals and use a variety of modes

examples of discipline-specific job

• Calendar

of the learning environment.

and formats (e.g. visual and audio

opportunities. Active participation

alternatives) to attend to the diverse

in the e-learning environment will

• Participants.

Set clear expectations and be sure

Throughout this article, the term

to share these with your students.

needs of students. Further information

develop key employability skills, such

course is used to refer to a single unit

Detail what the students can expect

on inclusive e-learning design can

as communication and problem-

of study taught across a semester

of you (e.g. communication methods,

be accessed from The Australian

solving skills. (For information and

(what some other universities call

consultations times, response rates

Disability Clearinghouse on Education

resources to support the development

subjects), and the term course site to

and your level of participation in

and Training (https://www.adcet.edu.

of employability skills, see https://

refer to the collection of moderated

forums) and what you expect of

au/). Search for the webinar titled

graduateemployability.com/).

resources, communication and

students (e.g. netiquette and level of

‘Inclusive technologies in the age of

interactive tools used within that

required engagement with content and

Blended Learning.’

single unit.

forums – depth and breadth).

Ensure that you test the

6. Foster engagement and collaboration

Include an orientation activity

functionality of course sites across

Teacher presence is vital. Your

structure is that it creates consistency

(aka ice-breaker) that is age and

multiple devices, especially mobile

students must be aware of your

across course sites, which

level appropriate, facilitates interest

phones, and check that all links and

consistent and personable presence.

subsequently reduces confusion

and interaction and is purposeful

downloads actually work. Be aware of

So, regularly update the course site

and the amount of time spent on

to learning.

the costs associated with e-learning.

to make it dynamic, enticing students

Advise students about large files that

to log in and respond to enquiries in

The advantage of a pre-set

navigation that would be better spent on learning. I have noticed that course

3. Incorporate audio-visual elements

will use a lot of data to download,

a timely manner. Seize opportunities

sites that do not effectively use the

A good e-learning environment is

enabling your students to choose how

to provide feedback (commendations

pre-set structure tend to be more

visually appealing, whilst remaining

and where they download these files.

and specific comments for

cluttered and untidy than those that

minimalistic to avoid overstimulation

do, especially in the course activity

or competition for attention within

5. Make it relevant, current and

thoughts and interests along the way.

section. Course activity is what

the course site. Incorporate images

sustainable

Make it a course expectation that

students see first when they log into

and videos that intentionally support

Only include materials that are

students need to demonstrate these

the course site for the duration of the

learning and engagement and are

current, enduring, easy to update

kinds of online behaviours and make

semester, and is where the learning

of high quality. You risk confusing,

and purposeful for learning. Use

active participation imperative to

occurs. This is prime real estate

distracting and/or disengaging

Open Educational Resources (OERs)

learning success through intentional

for the educator. However, teaching

students if you incorporate any

as much as possible. OERs can

design. For example, construct teams

academics often clutter this section

material that lacks a clear purpose.

be found if you search for Creative

requiring students to work together

Commons in Google or YouTube.

to complete the formative stages of a

font size, font colour and formatting)

Creative Commons licences enable

learning activity and/or assessment

and if you use visual indicators

the legal reuse of a copyright owner’s

task or incorporate peer review.

is clean and clutter-free, minimises

(banners and themes to enhance

material (for more information, see

Students will not engage unless

clicking (e.g. by reducing folders), is

connectedness and establish identity,

http://creativecommons.org.au/). If

they have to – you need to make it

dynamic to attract attention and boost

or icons as signposts to facilitate self-

you wish to reuse material that is not

happen. n

interest (students get a sense of

directed learning) these must also be

under a Creative Commons licence,

growth and movement in their visual

consistently applied.

you must seek permission from the

with orientation-type information that is more suited to Getting started. A good course activity section

Use consistent styling (font type,

space), begins with a brief welcome,

improvement) and share your

Elizabeth Cook is an Educational

owner and include an attribution on

Designer at the University of

provides instruction and promotes

4. Facilitate accessibility, inclusivity

your course site. Equally important

Southern Queensland. In her role,

new and/or important information

and support

is an awareness of institutional

she works with, the School of Arts

directly related to learning.

Model and foster a culture of respect

policies around assessment and

and Communication, College for

and value for socio-cultural diversity

plagiarism. Consistently adhere to all

Indigenous Studies, Education

2. Orient students and set clear

and equality. All materials and

requirements and make these clear

and Research (CISER) and Open

expectations

activities must be accessible by all

and accessible to students.

Access College (OAC). Elizabeth

Provide clear and succinct

students, including students with

instructions that effectively describe

disabling conditions and those who

authentic and relevant by encouraging

quality of learning and teaching

how to navigate to the different parts

have had minimal experience with

engagement with the real world.

across the higher education

of the e-learning environment. Any

education technology.

In recorded lectures, explain how

sector in order to achieve positive

the content specifically relates to

outcomes for students. Her research

icons used should be clearly defined

It is easy to include links to

Make the learning journey

is passionate about improving the

and consistently applied. Consider

internal and external learning

the world of work. Use forums to

is focused on career development

developing a series of reusable,

and technical supports that you

share and debate real-world issues

learning, career education and

sharable (with colleagues) and

identify may support learning and

and solve real-world problems.

graduate employability.

36 | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

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Engaging Timid Students Backchannel As A Tool To Provide Opportunities For Interactivity And Engagement Within The University Classroom BY CHRISTIAN MORO AND DONNA HENSON

example, commenting about relevance

content. Other students can also

and application within their own lives

read the backchannel and answer

important aspects of university

What are Backchannels and How are they Used in University Classrooms?

and applauding, debating or countering

each other’s questions if possible.

learning. As universities heighten

Backchannel is a process whereby

specific points. This can be achieved

This converts the ‘whispers’ heard

the use of technology in teaching,

students are able to communicate

via many applications that allow live

throughout classes, between students,

a rethinking of opportunities for

with the lecturer while the front

commenting, such as through learning

into real-time live discussions, all

student interaction and engagement

channel, the main presentation, is

management systems, blogs, forums,

monitored by the instructor while the

is necessary. Today’s students widely

ongoing. In the past, feedback to the

websites, or even social media such

session is in progress.

communicate through social media,

lecturer came through the students

as Twitter.

which has allowed them to become

nodding their heads, or providing

increasingly comfortable when

“mm-hmhs” (Yngve, 1970); whereas

able to ask questions in class,

A unique advantage to backchannel is

discussing concepts over this space,

modern technology has allowed

although this involves waiting for the

that it provides students who would

including complex topics. This article

students to communicate in a far more

instructor’s acknowledgement and

otherwise hesitate to contribute

presents a brief overview of how

interactive manner and in real time. In

subsequently stopping the class in

to discussion the opportunity to

backchannels can be used in university

this scenario, backchannel involves

order to ask a question and receive

ask and answer questions in real

classes. The authors also share the

students using networked computers

the immediate answer. In contrast,

time. In this respect, backchannel

results of an investigation into the use

and smartphones to provide textual

backchannel allows the same question

encourages interaction on the part

of backchannels in their classrooms.

questions, comments, feedback or

to be asked, and be read by the

of those students who are perhaps

This case study highlights some of the

anecdotes live, for the instructor to

instructor immediately, and then it

shy or more introverted or who are

unique advantages and disadvantages

read and respond where appropriate.

is the instructor’s choice of whether

apprehensive about their ability to

to incorporating this channel of

Student-to-student communication

to answer immediately or weave the

speak in the language of instruction.

communication in the classroom.

is also enabled, with students, for

answer into the subsequent session

Backchannel also bridges the gap in

Student interaction and engagement with peers and academics are

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Traditionally, students are usually

Supporting Student Diversity

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS | 39

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| OFFICE SPACE

50 students. Of these comments, ‘Useful’ Comments

‘Silly’ Comments

72 percent were classified as useful

So, passive transport requires no energy?

Hi.

(that is, questions, comments about

So, does the same amount of Na+ that rushes out, come in as well?

Hello.

the class, answers). There were on

What is the name of the vestibule used in phagocytosis?

Hello World.

per class, and these usually generated

Can you make two macrophages recognise each other as antigens?

:3

discussions immediately in the lesson,

Does the cell purposely pump Na out to allow glucose in?

Much fluidic, such doge.

What is vesicular trafficking?

Can we have a break now?

although this was usually to say

What exactly does permeability mean?

Nice tie.

“hello” or provide a silly comment,

What is the difference between polarity and cell basement?

Is this working?

meaning that although this week had

Can cuboidal cells be pseudostratified?

Did someone say lads?

three to four percent of the comments

Why are stratified squamous cells in the mouth?

Break?

provided were useful (Figure 1).

average nine highly useful comments

or at the start of the subsequent lesson. In week one, every student participated in the backchannel,

100 percent of students involved, only

However, once the students started

Table 1: The first 20 comments provided through the backchannel in a semester one physiology lecture during the second week of the course. The comments have been separated into ‘useful’ or ‘silly’ depending on their content. All comments were provided by different students.

to get the novelty effect out of their system, by week two, although less students provided comments, those received were more useful. As the

many modern university classrooms,

Lessons from Practical Use

when the online backchannel

semester progressed, it seemed that

where older and more confident

Between 2013 and 2016, backchannel

interactions enabled anonymous

only students who had valid comments

students are integrated with younger

software was implemented in a first-

comment. Anonymity maximised the

utilised the backchannel system,

counterparts in the same subjects.

semester health science course to

use and impact of this technology in

meaning that by week seven, nearly

For example, in medicine, traditional

provide students with a direct method

that it further minimised any reluctance

100 percent of comments received

postgraduate courses are being

to communicate to one another and

to participate; however, it also allowed

were useful, generating responses

offered as undergraduate options,

the lecturer. Student perceptions of the

for a wide range of immature and silly

or clarifications from the instructor

effectively creating divides between

technology, lecture interaction and the

comments to be posted during the

(Figure 1).

more experienced postgraduate

overall benefits to students’ content

lecture. Such comments clearly did

In practice, the benefits of the

students and their undergraduate

acquisition were analysed.

not contribute to the overall learning

increased interactivity outweighed the

objectives and could be distracting to

negatives. Backchannel encouraged

others (Table 1).

a heightened level of questioning,

counterparts within the same subjects (Moro & McLean, 2017).

Results revealed that throughout each semester, students became

engagement and interaction within

Of course, in all classes where

increasingly comfortable with using

In summary, there were

backchannel is provided, traditional

the backchannel software. Rates of

13–18 comments in each class,

the lecture context. Although the

learning still takes place and students

participation demonstrably increased

with enrolments of approximately

comments were not necessarily

can always ask and answer questions aloud. Backchannel provides a second, distinct channel of communication

100%

within a class environment. In universities, face-to-face teaching is or replaced by, digital content, such as online courses, applications or modern technology-enhanced options for learning (Moro, Štromberga, et al, 2017). In this context, it seems particularly important to maximise the engagement of all students when on-campus or in the presence of a live instructor. Toward this end, backchannel opens new lines of communication, classroom interactivity and provides

Percentage

increasingly being supplemented with,

50%

Students participating Useful Comment Ratio

0% 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Week

opportunities for participation to all attendees, even in a diverse classroom.

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Figure 1: The percentage of students within the class who provided comments, and the ratio of those comments to useful comments.

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better than if the student had simply

students are new to the university

tutorials works very well! Refer

with gamification and online content

volunteered to speak, the increased

environment (in other tracked

back to some of the common

to assist university students to make

number of interactions demonstrated

classes, participation rates of only

questions or comments made on

the most of their learning away from

that normally more reserved or timid

four to eight percent occurred from

the backchannel at the start of the

the classroom.

students were able to submit their

students in later semesters).

subsequent lesson.

questions without fear of speaking

• Backchannel is the most effective

• Anonymous student responses

Dr Donna Henson BIC (Hons), PhD is an assistant professor of

in front of the cohort. In this respect,

within the first five weeks of a class

appear to work best, although this

Communication and Media at Bond

backchannel presents a prime example

commencing, with particularly high

induces a higher ratio of ‘silly’

University. She teaches primarily in the

of how technology can enhance the

participation and quality comments

comments from students. n

areas of human communication and

traditional lecture-style format and

presented in weeks two and three.

stimulate effective and interactive class participation.

• After week three, participation diminished, although the content provided was generally useful.

Reflections, Practical Strategies and Suggestions for Implementation of Backchannel Software

research methods, with educational For a full list of references, email info@

experience in New Zealand, the US and

interactivemediasolutions.com.au

Australia. Donna has previously been

Christian Moro BSc, BEd,

involved in funded research for the New

MBus, PhD has incorporated a range

Zealand Government Te Manatu Taonga/

to be as distracting to the class as

of technological tools to enhance

Ministry for Culture and Heritage,

initially expected.

student learning, including virtual

investigating broadcasting funding

and augmented reality, within his

levels in Organisation for Economic

that in later offerings, they did not

medical and biomedical classes.

Co-operation and Development (OECD)

circumstances, and the negatives

have the backchannel shown on the

He is a former secondary science

countries. She has also conducted

of high levels of useless comments

lecture screen at all times. Instead,

teacher with educational experience

independent evaluative research for

in the first two weeks of use are

they revealed the backchannel

in Australia and the UK. Christian

the Education Development Office

outweighed by the higher ratio of

screen intermittently, or kept it on a

is the Scientist and Scholar Theme

(EDO), City University of Hong Kong.

useful comments per participant in

separate tablet or computer at the

Lead of the Bond University Medical

More recent research focuses on

the later weeks.

front desk.

Program and his educational interest

narrative identity, autoethnography and

has revolved around maximising the

meaning-making across contexts and in

provision of hands-on activities coupled

response to significant life events.

• Backchannel works well in certain

• Backchannel is particularly effective in first-semester classes, where

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• Backchannel use does not seem

• The authors refined their practice in

• Linking comments to the start of subsequent weeks and to

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| THE NEXT STEP

COMMENDATIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS

FOR TECHNOLOGY-ENABLED HIGHER EDUCATION

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BY SHELLEY KINASH

This week, one of my media staff

University Excellence

invited me in to demonstrate his work

1. Graduate success

on virtual reality in higher education.

These universities acknowledge that

He fitted me with the latest Oculus Rift

the primary reason most students go

headset and controllers. I went for a tour

to university is not for university itself,

of the human body, travelling through

but for what comes after, and thereby

the skin to the muscles, organs and

set students up for graduate success,

bones. Then I visited an office, where I

including in careers.

brought objects to virtual life by using a simulated 3D printer. It was all very cool

2. Knowledge, skills and attributes

and exciting. It reminded me of my stats

Learning is clearly defined and

professor taking me to the computer

supported as positive change

lab and showing email to me and my

and development in a balance of

peers. He said that email was going to

knowledge (both discipline-specific

revolutionise education. I could not see

and overall), skills (both technical

how, but I believed him. Once again,

and super-skills such as problem

I cannot envision just how far virtual

solving) and attributes (meaning that a

reality, in combination with artificial

graduate has become someone more

intelligence, is going to take higher

advanced and mature than if they had

education. What I do know is that we are

not gone to university).

on the cusp of something exciting and I am optimistic about a whole new type of

3. Assessment and feedback

learning for my future grandchildren.

Much of assessment at these

Across nearly 30 years, two

universities is designed as learning

countries and three universities,

opportunities whereby students are

some of the roles I have held include

given rich and compelling assignments

postgraduate student, researcher,

and specific, personalised feedback,

practicum coordinator, tutor, director

as well as iterative chances to adopt,

and professor. In addition, national

adapt and improve.

research grants have allowed me to

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visit most Australian universities. These

4. Student experience, learning and

experiences, over this timeframe,

graduate outcomes

have led me to three groups of seven:

The university embraces each

seven conditions for a university to

student as a whole person and makes

qualify as excellent, seven exemplar

university life about heightened

applications of education technology

opportunities for the overall student

and seven technology-related problems

experience (including social), learning

or challenges.

and graduate outcomes.

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| THE NEXT STEP

5. Passionate staff Staff (including but not limited to academics) are happy and passionate about supporting students, teaching, research, leadership and/or contributing to communities. Furthermore, these staff persons pass that enthusiasm on to students, thereby creating healthy learning cultures. 6. Student diversity All students are respected, believed in, trusted and treated as diverse individuals with multiple life roles and responsibilities within and beyond the university. 7. Learning to think Students are invited, compelled and taught how to think, inquire, learn and to develop and portray their distinct identities and value propositions.

Exemplar Technology Applications Just as there are these seven descriptors that characterise university excellence, there are also seven applications of technology that I have experienced as exemplar. This full set of technologies is not present at

portfolios and databases, has enabled

managed in regard to type, sequence

4. Innovation and invention

all (or most) universities, but large

this personalisation and flexibility.

and content.

Some universities are knowledge

applied at those universities who are

2. Program mapping

3. Data analysis

preparing students for industries with

striving to achieve some or most

While some disciplines and

Netflix makes choosing movies easy,

existing technologies, but they are

of the characteristics of excellence

corresponding industries lend

because algorithms sort and classify

encouraging and fostering innovation,

described above.

themselves to micro-credentialing (e.g.

choices onto the viewer’s personal

including supporting students

ever-shifting digital industries), others

picks based on characteristics of their

to come up with new solutions,

1. Micro-credentialing and badging

are better suited to a fixed, sequential

watch history. Likewise, education uses

thus creating digital futures. Such

Some universities have realised that

offering. This is the case for many

data such as how long students spend

universities do not (over) lecture at

pre-packaged degrees do not work

degrees that lead to membership in

on which online resources to create

students or use rote, standardised

for some students in some contexts

professional associations, such as

a profile and make predictions about

assessment that does not change year

and as development for emerging

engineering and nursing. Technology

future behaviours. Specifically, some

after year. These universities have

careers. These universities use

has enabled careful mapping,

universities now have clear predictors

makerspaces, equipment, tools and

supporting technologies to manage,

benchmarking and refining of programs

indicating which students are likely to

a spirit of creativity, as well as high

document and certify the offering of

versus haphazard collections of

succeed with the standard offerings and

tolerance for trial, error and success.

short modules. Students can complete

courses (individual units of instruction

which are likely to need extra supports

Academics and students partner to

these modules in a personalised

which some universities call subjects).

so that they do not fail or drop-out.

‘give it a go’ researching, inquiring

sequence and timeframe that works

This allows careful learning plans that

Armed with this data, sometimes all a

and experimenting.

for them. Students receive badges for

sequentially progress students through

student needs for a nudge back onto a

each completed module. Completion

being introduced to knowledge, skills

success path is a personal phone call.

5. Visualisation

of a specified number of badges

and attributes, which are further

Hearing the voice of a caring university

Textbooks, photographs and

qualifies students with a degree.

developed and then assured (certified)

staff person can be metaphorical

illustrations do not compare with

Technology, in the form of online

closer to graduation. Furthermore,

chicken soup for a student who

3D printing, virtual reality and

learning management systems, digital

assessment is carefully planned and

previously felt like ‘only a number’.

simulations. Emerging architects can

hubs. Not only are they effectively

numbers of these technologies are

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now construct miniature models and make modifications. Medical students can take a virtual trip through the circulatory system. Space programs are advanced by students simulating flight with no real safety risks. 6. Authoring, profiling and contribution Digital technology enables a myriad

SOME UNIVERSITIES ARE KNOWLEDGE HUBS. NOT ONLY ARE THEY EFFECTIVELY PREPARING STUDENTS FOR INDUSTRIES WITH EXISTING TECHNOLOGIES, BUT THEY ARE ENCOURAGING AND FOSTERING INNOVATION, INCLUDING SUPPORTING STUDENTS TO COME UP WITH NEW SOLUTIONS, THUS CREATING DIGITAL FUTURES.

shop, where they can enter their notes

work allocation models? Innovations

right onto the lecture slides, adding

seldom fit within established

bookmarks to videos and discussing

semesters and grading systems.

answers (where appropriate) with

Academics and professionals working

other students.

within universities have fixed roles and sometimes applied territorialism.

3. Graduation cut-off

In this context and culture, enabling

The next problem is directly related

applications of education technology

to the previous in relation to the LMS.

cannot be used to maximal advantage.

Students from most universities are cut-off from electronic university

7. Patchiness

resources upon graduation and many

The final frequent problem is

students only have access to the

that innovation, using education

LMS course site in the semester of

technology, is usually patchy

enrolment. If universities are truly

across universities. Some faculties

committed to university–industry

and schools are innovating within

connection and lifelong learning, then

specific degrees. Others are

students and graduates should have

not. This makes it particularly

indefinite access to course sites to

challenging, and disappointing, for

build networks. Their CVs are robust

Technology-related Problems and Challenges

use as resources for work-integrated

students who have chosen double

and abundant upon graduation. They

1. Stagnant assessment

application. Furthermore, they should

majors or double degrees. The

have LinkedIn profiles and searchable

For many years, academics have been

have compelling opportunities

positive news is that progressive

personal videos showcasing their

talking about adaptive assessment.

to continue to interact with

application of education technology

unique value propositions.

This assessment would identify and

university academics and student/

raises students’ expectations,

accommodate students’ current

graduate peers.

who then make demands in areas

of ways for students to contribute to the knowledge marketplace. They can build and launch websites, blog, post, comment and curate. Forward-thinking universities create contexts where the term of the degree is equivalent to time in industry. Throughout their studies, learners make real contributions, shape professional reputations and

perceived as under-performing.

7. Expert connections

achievement, aptitude and competency

Some universities have maximised

levels and adapt accordingly. This

4. Course-based LMS

what it means to students to have

would truly personalise learning in that

Another problem with the current

description of education technology

access to the World Wide Web. This

students would be given challenges

administration of the LMS is that

innovation, using the Oculus Rift for

means that students have access to

that they are uniquely ready for. Their

it is administered on a course-by-

application of virtual reality. Coming

additional experts besides the ones

learning would be personalised and

course basis. Studies then become a

full circle, the key recommendation

that their own university has hired as

incremental. This has not successfully

collection of courses as opposed to

is that universities apply these seven

academics. Students have access

transpired in a robust enough manner

an entire sequenced program (where

learning and teaching propositions,

to new discoveries from innovators

to take this beyond trial and small,

appropriate). Students have difficulty

successes and problems to modelling

shortly after they are launched.

specialised application. Instead,

relating and connecting the developed

progressive virtual universities. Such

Students become global citizens as

whole classes are given the same

knowledge, skills and attributes,

experimentation in the virtual field

they are connected with students

assessment and some students are

as well as the relevance of the

can provide concrete guidance for

from across the globe for online

bored while others are overwhelmed.

assessment tasks between courses.

application in real-life universities of

can go for virtual tours and engage in

2. Academic controlled LMS

5. Clunky systems

international work experience without

Learning management systems

Booking a flight and selecting hotel

leaving home.

(LMSs) have been incrementally

deals is now easy through websites

Director, Advancement of Learning

This article started with a

the future. n

discussions and debates. Students

Professor Shelley Kinash is the

improved over the last decade so that

and mobile apps. Student systems

& Teaching at the University of

meets all seven of these visionary

they now include media-rich content

have not reached this level of ease

Southern Queensland. She has

characteristics and all seven of

and compelling communication and

and efficiency. As a result, student

been an academic for over 25

these technology enablers might

interaction tools. They serve as a

time and attention have to be paid to

years. She completed her PhD

currently exist, but I am yet to have

one-stop-shop for students to find out

administrative matters that should not

at the University of Calgary in

seen or heard of it. While there are

what they need to do as assessment,

be unnecessarily drawing time away

Educational Technology. She co-led

lots of universities, including across

and then submit and track their

from studies and overall student life.

two National research projects

Australia, who live up to some of these

grades. However, the unanswered

descriptors, they tend to be inhibited

plea from students is that they also

6. Fixed university systems and

Department of Education and

by some or another set of seven – this

have access to authoring, beyond the

bureaucracy

Training on Graduate Employability

time technology-related problems

minimal opportunities doled out by

Visions of innovation are usually cut

GraduateEmployability.com and on

and challenges that they have not

some academics. Students would like

short by questions such as: what

Postgraduate Student Experience

yet overcome.

to use the LMS as a true one-stop-

about timetabling, room allocation and

PostgraduateStudentExperience.com

I believe that a university that

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through the Australian Government

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| LET’S TALK PEDAGOGY

BY KEN UDAS, SUSAN BROSNAN AND BILL WADE

AN AGILE APPROACH TO

Testing & Demonstrating Education Technology Introduction

demonstrators, was implemented from

our lessons learned and provides

large resource-intensive ‘task force’

Why is it that we tend to over-

2015 in an effort to under-complicate

recommendations for those wishing to

project management approach, while

complicate decision making when it

decision making. This program drew

influence a culture of innovation within

suspecting that there are insufficient

comes to introducing innovative ideas?

upon agile principles and addressed

higher education.

levels of discovery and experimentation

This can be especially true when

all five elements known and evidenced

someone wishes to try out a new and

to have an impact upon diffusion of

emerging educational technology in

leading to change at the learning and teaching level. That is not to say

innovation, namely: relative advantage,

Determination and Agility in Action

their teaching practice. Will it break

compatibility with existing values

As with many universities, the

learning and teaching practices at USQ;

the bank, threaten the stable core or

and practices, simplicity and ease of

University of Southern Queensland

however, these practices are typically

simply put the institution at too much

use, trialability and observable results

(USQ) has adopted organisational

piloted in the grey area of the university

risk? In order to impact organisational

(Rogers, 2003; Robinson, 2009).

practices indicative of traditional

and not readily captured or shared,

culture and maximise the spread of

The following article discusses the

top-down hierarchical decision-making

reducing their potential impact.

innovation at one regional university,

agile approach used in technology

processes. We tend to put a heavy

Recognising the importance of

an explicit diffusion of innovation

demonstrators, offers examples

emphasis on production efficiency

technology in context, the technology

(DOI) approach, known as technology

of agility in action, reflects upon

(doing the same things, better) and a

demonstrator approach has been

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that there are not many innovative

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• evidence-based to support

question that emanated from each

reflection, improvement and

of the projects – how can we deliver

sharing

rich, authentic and timely learning

• self-organising groups to

resources to those who experience

engender conditions respecting

vulnerability due to studying at a

professional agency and self-

distance? Teachers appeared less

determination, and reducing

interested in ‘quality’ in terms of

waste of time, while enabling

beautifully polished learning resources

collaboration across the university

developed by a media team, while

• incremental development to

there was clearly interest in ‘making

naturally support and learn from

things different’ in practice – and

the integration of new knowledge,

quickly. This put a priority on using

changes in scope and cost

simple apps to facilitate learning as it

containment

happens and, of course, these simple

• simplicity and emergence to

resources had to be easy to access

reduce cost, engender flexibility

and use. The projects, for the most

and avoid unnecessary risk

part, existed in ‘playgrounds’ off-site,

mitigation

thereby enabling the team to work

• decentralisation to reduce

outside existing USQ infrastructure

the impulse of command

and allowing team members to

and control cultures and

change direction quickly and easily.

bureaucratic compliance.

To demonstrate an idea, participants were required to

Examples/Cases Demonstrating these Principles

actively participate in determining

The technology demonstrator project

demonstrators were decentralised

commenced at USQ in late 2015, with

by design, tending to work outside

the first outcome being published

existing systems and many business-

in March 2016. By September

as-usual processes. The criteria to

2017, the project achieved over 26

become involved in a demonstrator

demonstrator projects, explored over

reinforced agile principles in that they

60 technologies and worked with over

were simple, emergent and provided

9,000 of USQ’s 27,000 teaching staff

the conditions under which individuals

and students across all except three of

were eager and willing to participate.

USQ’s 12 schools and two colleges.

There was no risk of failure and no

Notably, apart from the project team

need to engage in a long application

salaries, the project spent only

process to participate and secure

$2,836 on testing and exploring over

resources. Purely, there were

86 technologies.

three criteria:

and articulating what they wanted to demonstrate. Technology

designed to ensure that the prime

achieve an academically determined

stakeholders (academic staff)

and driven approach, open principles

determined goals, little to no

be able to articulate the purpose

determine and drive the selection

supporting agile practice were applied

paperwork and timelines were set by

in terms of what they are trying

and decision to demonstrate the

to the project. Agile principles most

the academic, which was essential

to demonstrate, preferably in a

effectiveness of a technical solution

obviously considered were:

to project success. The project

to a teaching and learning challenge.

• participation in the process of

embraced those teachers who had

These projects had no pre-

After all, who is in a better position

solving problems, and the willingness

acknowledged concerns around

to determine the most relevant ideas

to explore and see where it takes

their technical ability or location –

about learning and teaching than

them, understanding that this may

their confidence and participation

not end up a fully supported solution

teachers and learners? This aligns

• Criteria 1: The project lead must

sentence or as a user story. • Criteria 2: The project should not take any more than 90 days (or a traditional academic semester). • Criteria 3: The project should

with a little support was in some

be low barrier, low cost and

• courage to speak one’s mind,

cases overwhelming, incremental

low risk (have no significant

of moving away from ‘doing to’

expose one’s practice and act

and exciting. Simply, there was no

dependencies).

and towards ‘doing with’ staff and

on one’s commitments, and take

complexity designed into anything.

students when it comes to introducing

responsibility for trying, even when

technology in higher education. To

doing so is unpopular

with Jones and Clark’s (2014) notion

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Of the many teachers we supported, there was a clear thematic

The three criteria ensured that the demonstrators had a measurable

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| LET’S TALK PEDAGOGY

quality and adherence to these criteria is what allowed the program of technology demonstrators to eliminate much of the standard compliance overhead. The idea that teachers were saying, “I want to demonstrate that if I do X, learning outcomes will improve,” ensured that we knew what we wanted to try and what we hoped to achieve. In addition, we knew that it would only take a few months, so it needed to be pretty simple and, because there was no third party depending on the demonstrator, there was little risk – everything was a ‘success’ because we learned something from every demonstrator. Lessons Learned on the Value of Agility Openness and agility seem like they should be natural impulses, but they are frequently challenged by organisational dispositions toward secrecy, rigid business processes and formal compliance. As sponsors of the technology demonstrator project, we learned dozens of things every week, which were routinely reflected in our practice immediately; but our biggest lesson was to simply be true to the values and principles of agility. It is absolutely critical not to impose any judgment on pedagogical quality or soundness of the idea. Sometimes it is difficult to let the outcomes of the process inform the teacher, but it is important to

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respect the courage that a prospective technology demonstrator leader exhibits when testing how to improve their own teaching and it is equally important to reinforce the importance of evidence-based decision making. It is easy for passionate teachers with creative ideas and for project support staff to get excited about a technology demonstrator. That being said, it is the support staff that need to artfully exhibit the discipline to observe and enforce the value of simplicity, while also embracing emergence as the technology demonstrator develops. The 90-day limit helps everybody manage the impulse to design complexity into a solution instead of allowing it to emerge. The technology demonstrator support staff, and particularly the coordinator, must respect the principles of agility in practice and exhibit humility. Although the staff may be experts on the techniques used to support a successful project, they cannot assert their biases on pedagogy and other aspects of the learning and teaching process. Recommendations The technology demonstrator program of projects involved dozens of professionals and academic staff and thousands of students, all with unique needs and motivations. Although we could easily generate a significant list of recommendations based on our

experiences, most would be context specific and of questionable value to anybody considering this approach to culture change and technology diffusion. Instead, we will make one fundamental recommendation: Practise the values and principles of agility. Be open, honest, courageous and humble. Let the community know that this is a change initiative, but nothing will change without participation. That is, if we want to be different, we need to do things differently. n For a full list of references, email admin@interactivemediasolutions. com.au Having taught his first online course in 1996, Ken Udas has served in a variety of leadership, management and teaching roles in universities with dedication to high quality, high access and low barrier educational programming including Comenius University, Slovakia, UMUC, the Open Polytechnic of NZ, the State University of NY, PennState World Campus, UMassOnline, and most recently USQ, Australia. Ken is the cofounder of the Educause Constituency Group on Openness, and the Jasig 2-3-98 project that are focused on the emergence and adoption of open and agile technologies, practices, policies, and initiatives, and how they affect the delivery and support of education and maintains active roles in a number of openness advocacy projects.

Susan Brosnan was a Senior Technologies Adviser at the University of Southern Queensland and was the project lead for the Technology Demonstrators Project. Susan has a Research based Masters Degree in Project and Business Management with the focus on her thesis centering on learning technologies and their impacts in learning and teaching within higher education. She has a strong interest in experimenting with digital tools and how they are integrated into learning and teaching. Susan’s strengths lie in the combination of multiple facets of her work, as a project lead, researcher, and cultural change. Her expertise lies at the intersection of the classroom of the future, digital technologies and change. In addition to his role as Manager of Educational Futures at the University of Southern Queensland, Bill Wade is an award-winning and effective business and educational leader in the field of creative arts and industry, teacher education and online education with experience spanning both Canada and Australia and in regional and remote locations. Bill has demonstrated strengths as an academic leader/ scholar (formerly Coordinator, Teacher Education Programs, Head of School, and Associate Dean Teaching and Learning) as well as business/operational (Director, DOME Productions, Campus Manager, SAE).

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| PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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Introducing

ASCILITE

THE SPONSORS OF THIS SPECIAL ISSUE BY DOMINIQUE PARRISH

The Australasian Society for Computers in

ASCILITE was formed in 1985 after its first

Executive Officer (combined role), Treasurer

Learning in Tertiary Education, also known

three conferences in 1983, 1984 and 1985 held

and six non-office bearing committee members

as ASCILITE, is a not-for-profit professional

under the CALITE (Computer Assisted Learning

elected by the membership every two years. The

association leading and advocating for excellence

in Tertiary Education) banner. Since that time,

Executive is also supported by a Secretariat.

in the use of digital technologies in tertiary

ASCILITE has grown into a vibrant professional

learning and teaching. ASCILITE seeks to promote

community of innovators, leaders and scholars

and facilitate initiatives that will positively

and recognise exemplary innovation, evidence-

engaged with the application of technology

progress tertiary education, particularly

based practice and research into the sustainable

to enhance teaching and learning in higher

through technology-enhanced learning (TEL).

use of educational technologies to progress

education. ASCILITE is governed by an Executive

Following is an overview of the member services

pedagogical practice.

that consists of a President, Vice-President/

and initiatives:

ASCILITE seeks to offer member services

Annual Conference

supported the conference and the

informed use of technologies for

members in the exemplary use of,

Held in late November or early

keynote and invited speakers have

teaching and learning in tertiary

and/or research into, technologies

December, the conference is hosted

been a feature on the program,

education. An ASCILITE Life Member

for teaching and learning in tertiary

by a different institution each year. It

delivering contemporary and often

Award is a prestigious award that

education. Fellow Award recipients

provides an opportunity for delegates

topical presentations.

recognises the significant service

undertake several ASCILITE activities

and/or sustained contribution of an

in the year following their award.

to present and attend full or concise papers, experientially focused,

ASCILITE Awards

ASCILITE member to the Society.

A Fellow Award can be awarded to

poster and symposia sessions or

There are three ASCILITE awards

Life Member Awards are the highest

the same person more than once;

workshops which are offered either

that members apply or nominate

recognition of achievement made

however, the award cannot recognise

prior to or after the conference proper.

for: the Innovation Award, a Life

by ASCILITE. This award is made

the same achievement more than

The conference is renowned for its

Member Award or a Fellow Award.

only when an appropriate candidate

once. Student Bursary Awards were

networking and social activities,

The ASCILITE Innovation Award,

meets the criteria. This means that the

introduced in 2017 to support two to

especially the conference dinner

which was introduced in 2011,

award may not be presented every

three full-time PhD/EdD or equivalent

which is always themed to connect

celebrates work undertaken by an

year. The ASCILITE Fellow Award

students to attend the ASCILITE

with the area in which it is being

individual or team of people in support

aims to recognise the outstanding

conference and receive a yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

hosted. Increasingly, sponsors have

of the exemplary and research-

contributions of individual ASCILITE

ASCILITE membership.

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| PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ASCILITE LIVE! Webinars ASCILITE offers a series of interactive webinars each year as a professional development activity and for Communities of Practice outside of the annual ASCILITE conference. ASCILITE LIVE! Webinars are available to both members and non-members. Some of the interesting topics that have been presented in ASCILITE LIVE! Webinars include student relationship engagement systems and empowering teachers to use meaningful data at scale, the role of data in the provision of feedback, writing effective research funding applications, improving student learning outcomes, harnessing the power of immediate feedback and digital learning without connectivity.

Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET) ASCILITE publishes AJET, a refereed academic journal that promotes research and scholarship as well as effective practice on the integration of technology in tertiary education. AJET is indexed in Scopus, Thomson Reuters Web of Science, EDITLib, the ACER Blended Online Learning and Distance Education research bank and EBSCOhost Electronic Journals Service. AJET citation statistics appear within the Thomson Reuters ISI Journal Citation Reports (Social Science Citation Index), the Google Scholar Metrics and the Scopus SCImago journal rankings. AJET is open source and has no publication charges. It has published two to eight issues a year since the first edition in 1985.

Bulletin A fortnightly bulletin is emailed to all current ASCILITE members with a wide variety of news items such as TEL-related conferences, pending events, tertiary education job vacancies, SIG activities and ASCILITE â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;latest newsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Relevant contributions to the bulletin are

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ASCILITE seeks to offer member services and facilitate initiatives that will positively progress tertiary education, particularly through technology-enhanced learning (TEL).

and TEL educational advisors. These

for key stakeholders that would

SIGS offer ASCILITE members the

highlight the strengths and areas for

opportunity to work together to

improvement against each standard.

pursue common interests in research

On overall rating would be assigned

and practice and to create a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;buzzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

which would align to an accreditation

around their interest area, goals

level (e.g. Gold, Platinum, Diamond)

and achievements both within and

that could be benchmarked, used

beyond the ASCILITE community.

in marketing, or for academic

ASCILITE provides funding to

promotion and probation purposes.

SIGs to support engagement and

The Scheme is being designed

dissemination activities for the

through consultation with tertiary

SIG. Current ASCILITE members

education stakeholders across a

can submit a proposal for a new

range of forums. This aspirational

encouraged from both ASCILITE

which can include but is not limited

SIG by describing the engagement

initiative is being implemented

members and non-members.

to Academic practice, Early career

and dissemination activities

across four phases that should see

research, Teaching innovations,

the SIG intends to pursue, to

the Scheme commercially introduced

CMALT Australasia

Learning design, Graphic design

achieve meaningful outcomes and

in 2020.

CMALT Australasia is a certified

or Programming. The Community

active participation.

membership scheme offered in

Mentoring Program offers two

partnership with the Association for

partnering alternatives: for a mentee

Learning Technology (ALT) in the UK.

to work individually with a mentor

Spring into Excellence Research School

The scheme is a form of professional

on a project or for several mentees

In 2017, ASCILITE delivered its

issues, topics, theories and research

accreditation, which enables people

to work collaboratively with a pair

inaugural Spring into Excellence

in regard to the use of digital

whose work involves learning

of mentors on projects related to a

Research School. This initiative

technologies in tertiary learning and

technology to have their experience

negotiated overall theme.

was conceptualised as a means

teaching. A global register of guest

of providing support and guidance

bloggers have contributed to the

and capabilities certified by peers,

TELall Blog ASCILITE disseminates a regular blog to engage those interested in

and to demonstrate that they are

Regional Events

to participants in developing and

TELall Blog with many interesting

taking a committed approach to

ASCILITE sponsors and/or endorses

progressing TEL research projects.

insights and musings being shared

their professional development. The

events and activities that promote

The Research School, which is

and discussed. n

basis of the accreditation process

research, trends and uses of

facilitated by ASCILITE Life and

is a portfolio which contains both

educational technologies in tertiary

Executive members, runs for two

evidence and reflection in relation to

education. There are criteria to

and a half days and has a wide target

Associate Dean of Education at

a number of key criteria. ASCILITE

guide decisions about which

audience from tertiary institutions,

the University of Wollongong,

has been engaged in this scheme

regional events will be sponsored

including but not limited to early to

Dominique Parrish is a highly

since 2011.

by ASCILITE, including there

mid-career researchers, Scholarship

qualified educationalist with over 27

being some form of reciprocity

of Teaching and Learning (SOTL)

years experience in designing and

Community Mentoring Program (CMP)

for ASCILITE, such as potential

enthusiasts, Teaching intensive

implementing programs, solutions

membership recruitment or

academics, those interested

and initiatives to meet organisation,

The ASCILITE CMP seeks to involve

conference attendance.

in applying for TEL research

project, program and curricula

grants or forging TEL research

outcomes and deliverables. She

participants in a professional

In addition to being the

mentoring relationship built

Social Media

collaborations and cross-institutional

has excellent organisational ability

between learners (the mentees)

ASCILITE is active on Facebook,

research projects.

with highly-developed skills in

and experienced practitioners

Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and

(the mentors). Whilst the new

YouTube and both members and non-

learners may be experienced

members are welcome to subscribe,

in some areas of educational technologies, the ASCILITE

prioritising and managing multiple responsibilities and people while

like and join in the conversations and

Technology Enhanced Learning Accreditation Scheme (TELAS)

communication at any time.

ASCILITE has undertaken an

Dominique also displays well-

ambitious endeavour to introduce an

developed skills in assessing,

Australasian accreditation scheme

analysing and developing viable

knowledge, skills or capacities in an

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

that will assess online learning

solutions to meet project needs and

area of developing expertise. This

ASCILITE SIGs have been established

against a suite of standards and

reporting and communicating these

arrangement is formalised through

in the technology-enhanced learning

criteria. The Scheme would see

to key stakeholders. As she has led

a Mentoring Agreement. The focus

(TEL) interest areas of: Transforming

accredited peer reviewers conducting

and managed numerous projects

of the mentoring collaborations

assessment; Learning analytics;

assessments of online learning and

with regional, state, national and

can be across a number of areas,

Learning design; Mobile learning;

developing an evaluation report

international reach and scope.

Community Mentoring Program is a vehicle for enhancement of specific

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meeting numerous deadlines, outcomes and deliverables.

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| FEATURE

WORK-INTEGRATED

LEARNING IN SUPPORT OF DIGITAL FUTURES BY ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR DENISE JACKSON

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Work-integrated learning (WIL) is all

years in capturing data on which

their workplace performance – what

about helping to prepare students

students are based where during their

are they doing well, where are they

for the world of work. It involves

experience and for establishing efficient

struggling and what does this mean

students collaborating with industry

administration processes. What follows

for their future development and career

and community partners as part of

is more a series of recommendations

pathway? Online reflection tools, such

their degree program. It can be an

to align the design and delivery of WIL

as blogs, journals and diaries, can

‘immersed’ experience, where students

for digital futures.

help students consider and record their experiences in a structured

are physically based in the workplace

way. Here, they are connecting their

placements – or a virtual or on-campus

Embed Technology in WIL Learning Design

experience where students are engaged

The three pillars of a quality WIL

practice in the real world. They are

in consulting, projects or simulations in

program are preparation, reflection

developing self-awareness and learning

collaboration with their partners.

and feedback. Technology, particularly

to understand who their ‘professional

given the introduction of the National

self’ may actually be. Reflection

help make students more employable,

Broadband Network (NBN), can

should not be a solitary experience.

but what exactly does that mean? Well,

be intertwined into each of these

Facilitating peer reflection through tools

it is about empowering them to achieve

to make WIL more accessible for

such as wikis and discussion boards

career success. For some, that may

students and to create an enhanced

provides a rich source of learning and,

mean obtaining a certain type of full-

learning experience.

cognisant of ‘a problem shared is a

– such as internships, practicums or

The overarching aim of WIL is to

time job, whereas for others it could

classroom learning with professional

WORK-INTEGRATED LEARNING (WIL) IS ALL ABOUT HELPING TO PREPARE STUDENTS FOR THE WORLD OF WORK. IT INVOLVES STUDENTS COLLABORATING WITH INDUSTRY AND COMMUNITY PARTNERS AS PART OF THEIR DEGREE PROGRAM.

problem halved’, can help students feel less isolated.

mean building a successful business

Preparation

or balancing a number of fulfilling

Students need to be ready for their WIL

contracting roles which give them the

experience, particularly those where

flexibility for their other commitments.

their industry partner expects them

WIL is now a well-recognised

to start completing tasks or working

vehicle for students to practise their

on a project as they commence. This

skills and try out what it is like to

may be overwhelming for some,

operate in a particular profession. This

particularly for international students

is nothing new for certain disciplines,

who may not be familiar with Australian

such as education and nursing, where

workplace culture and could lack

WIL has been interwoven into the

the confidence and communication

curriculum for many years. For others,

skills to speak up if they are not

such as IT, media and business, it is

sure. A good way to prepare

becoming increasingly popular among

students is through online learning

students who realise they need to try

modules, which may be purchased

to make themselves stand out from the

off-the-shelf, streamlined into the

growing pool of graduate recruits.

university’s learning management

arising issues. Such tools are viable

system and contextualised to that

alternatives to site visits when large

students authentic insight into the

particular campus, region and/

numbers of students are dispersed

world of work in the particular industry,

or discipline. Content may include

individually across many partners.

sector or role they are interested

risk management processes, critical

in. Whatever drives individuals and

incident management, occupational

to external or blended mode (a

whatever their career aspirations may

health and safety, professional

combination of face-to-face and

be, they need to embrace automation

conduct and cultural understanding.

online) can help students who are

and the rapid changes in technology

Enriching material with video clips and

unable to travel to a campus due

which permeate work, social and

introducing quizzes for assurance of

to their location, work or caring

family lives. If the goal of WIL is to

understanding can be helpful.

commitments. Recording bite-size

It is important that WIL gives

Feedback Feedback from industry partners is fundamental to student learning during WIL. This should be ongoing and combined with an evaluation at the end. Gathering feedback from partners via online surveys allows for easier completion and aggregation of results for reporting back to accrediting bodies. Using tools such as Zoom and Skype is a great way to connect WIL facilitators with both students and industry partners to keep track of student progress and any

Shifting WIL academic offerings

video clips of important information,

prepare students and make them career ready, the WIL experiences must

Reflection

such as assessment instructions,

therefore expose students to at least a

WIL is not about sending students

and conducting webinars and virtual

snapshot of the digital future.

out to complete a certain number of

meetings may be as effective as on-

So, how can industry and

hours in the workplace – how is that

campus meet-ups. Training for staff,

universities partner to deliver on this

different from a part-time job? It is

and support for students, on web-

authentic experience? Technology

about giving them the opportunity to

based technology should be available

has greatly assisted WIL for many

apply classroom theory and reflect on

for seamless delivery.

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| FEATURE

Give Students Exposure to

Embrace WIL that is Aligned to

which showcases types of innovative

WIL may involve students working

Sustainable Areas

Digital Futures

WIL. In addition to developing skills of

autonomously from their own homes.

There has been much discussion

Despite what many still think,

the future, innovative models can be

This, anecdotally, creates a rich

about professions and roles which

WIL is not all about placements,

more inclusive. They provide a means

learning experience as they become

are extremely vulnerable to high

practicums and internships. There

of accessing WIL for those who are

familiar with web-based technology

levels of automation. Developing

are many innovative models of WIL

unable to complete a required number

and learn to communicate through

student awareness of these potential

where students can get a real taste

of hours in the workplace due to

carefully worded emails, as they are

‘areas of demise’ in Australia’s digital

of digital futures. Virtual WIL, for

difficulties with travel and clothing or

often unable to see and interpret body

future is important. Organising talks

example, may require students to

childcare costs.

language. Again, careful monitoring of

from economists in local chambers

solve problems and manage crises in

of commerce can be a great way

a virtual learning environment which

Introduce Students to the New Ways

of helping students to understand

simulates the real world. This can

of Working

obvious that both educators and

where job growth (and contraction)

develop critical-thinking, problem-

WIL is a useful platform for introducing

industry partners can collaborate

is predicted and where to focus on

solving and decision-making skills

students to contemporary working

to provide a rich source of learning

gaining experience. For an accounting

beyond more traditional models of

practices. Home-based offices, while

for students to help prepare them

student, for example, the WIL

WIL. State-of-the-art facilities on

practical for many businesses, can

for digital futures. Ongoing attention

experience should perhaps not focus

university campuses enable authentic

create risk management concerns

to the design and delivery of WIL,

on payroll or accounts payable, but

simulations and role-plays, such as

for those coordinating WIL. While an

however, is needed so it can adapt

rather developing skills in budgeting,

nursing wards and birthing suites for

on-site risk assessment may assist,

and improve in line with changes

forecasting and risk analysis for

health science students and moot

there may still not be assurance that

in the increasingly digital working

aspects of entrepreneurial projects.

courts for those studying law.

students are getting the interaction

world. n

Technology can help fine tune

networking exposure is needed. From the examples given, it is

with professionals and networking

Teach Students to Transfer

skills particular to a profession, such

exposure they need. Also applicable

Transportability of skills across

as the use of blogging to help aspiring

to small businesses operating from

Jackson is the Work-Integrated

different contexts is critical where

journalists develop certain types of

commercial offices, combining hours

Learning (WIL) Coordinator in the

globalisation and automation mean

communication skills as media shifts

in small and medium-sized enterprises

School of Business and Law at Edith

boundaries for work and collaboration

to the digital world. There are many

with some in a larger business can

Cowan University. Denise is a National

are increasingly disappearing.

examples and these can be accessed

work well. If locating a sizeable

Board Member and WA State Chair

Graduates should no longer expect

via the Australian Collaborative

business is difficult, universities

for Australian Collaborative Education

to secure a place on a structured

Education Network (ACEN) – the

can step in themselves as an

Network (ACEN), the national

graduate program, leading to their

national peak body for WIL – website

industry partner.

association for WIL.

Associate Professor Denise

job for life. Instead, they may work in a number of fixed-term contracts across a range of different sectors and industries. Being able to draw on prior knowledge and skills and apply them in new environments and create new knowledge is more important than ever. WIL provides a unique opportunity for practising (and therefore learning) transfer, particularly through immersed models. WIL coordinators can incorporate some key principles into program design to help develop students’ capacity for transfer. One example is encouraging students to reflect on challenges they faced in applying their knowledge and skills in new settings and identifying strategies going forward. Another is ensuring the professional learning environment incorporates feedback and collaboration to foster the creation of new knowledge.

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| TEACHING TOOLS

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INNOVATIVE CURRICULUM AND APPROACHES TO ONLINE LEARNING DESIGNING FOR SOCIAL LEARNING

BY DR. CHIE ADACHI AND MARCUS O’DONNELL There are many opportunities to

Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX,

the university curriculum for online

in shaping what that person knows

provocatively said, “University teaching

learning, what actually works? What

about the world and how they apply that

do things differently in online courses

hasn’t changed since the Middle

is the litmus test for deciding which

knowledge in daily life. Take language,

that allow educators to really put

Ages.” Those who teach in higher

education technology innovations to

for example – not only do people need

the medieval model of teaching and

education know that the basic model

roll-out? One way to approach these

to learn how to construct sentences

learning well behind them and ensure

of the two-hour lecture – what Agarwal

questions is through designing for

that are grammatically correct (syntax/

that social learning is explicit and

might call medieval – is still widely

social learning, that is, design thinking.

linguistic competence), but they also

intentional throughout. The following

need in-depth knowledge of how to use

section of the article describes four

that places user-centred, exploratory,

their language appropriately in certain

key opportunities enabled by online

iterative development and refection-

contexts (pragmatics/sociolinguistic

learning and an accompanying set

classroom in some areas – putting

in-action at the heart of creating and

competence). This is why people

of teaching tips to maximise social

preparatory material online and using

applying products and services – is

may talk differently, using different

learning in each case.

classes for interaction rather than

now widely used across university

‘codes/registers’, to their friends and

didactic lectures. The question is,

curriculum. Design thinking provides

families at a dinner table compared

how do teachers flip the university? In

a model of learning design and has

to how they talk with colleagues in a

1. Celebrate and share stories

other words, how do educators make

been popularised by academics like

formal work meeting. By critically (and

We are story telling animals – that

innovative, social and natively digital

University College London’s Dianna

often unconsciously) observing how

is how we make sense of the world.

learning experiences the norm and not

Laurillard and Sydney University’s Peter

others around them do things, people

Stories can create emotional and

the exception?

Goodyear. Design thinking also provides

learn what is (not) valued and how to

personal relevance, which effectively

a model for learner experience. It starts

behave accordingly.

contribute to learning critical

used. They also know that innovation is all around. Most universities have flipped the

Inside and outside the university,

Design thinking – an approach

Social learning happens whether

digital technology has changed the

with a conviction that learning happens

way learners learn. Massive Open

in action and, more specifically, that

educators like it or not, even in

Digital technologies enable us to craft

Online Courses (MOOCs), provided

learning happens through conversations

constrained lecture theatres – students

stories with incredibly rich media

free by leading institutions around

that give people the courage to try things

talk before and afterwards, they organise

beyond simple written texts – e.g.

the world, YouTube videos that offer

out. Learning is social and educators

themselves, they swap notes, they

video, audio, image and interactive

private tutorials and micro-credentials

need to design learning with this in mind.

debrief. They sit in claimed spaces, in

learning resources. Free online tools for

particular groupings and communicate

creating interactive presentations (such

that warrant digital certificates in

Since the groundbreaking work

information and complex ideas.

demonstrating achievements on extra-

by Albert Bandura on social learning

through body language. In online

as Prezi and Emaze) and infographics

curricular activities are compelling

in the 1970s, educators know that

learning, with an individual in front

are now readily accessible to all users.

examples of innovation.

people observe and learn through

of a private screen, social learning

Richard Mayer’s decades of research

So, when digital technologies

social interactions with others. Those

experiences need to be designed

on the use of media in learning also

yield so much potential for advancing

around a person have a lot of influence

more deliberately.

reports that people learn better with a

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| TEACHING TOOLS

combination of texts and media rather

to be guided to ‘right answers’ – they

than texts only (which he called the

need to develop their own evaluative

Multimedia Principle). Problem-based

judgement skills so that they can

learning is one well-known technique

judge their own work and that of their

that leverages the power of stories –

colleagues. They will not have tutors

learners engage with carefully designed

to mark their ‘assignments’ in the

scenarios, in other words, stories,

workplace. Cultivating learners’ abilities

applying their knowledge to solve real-

to critically engage and evaluate their

world problems.

own and peers’ work based on agreed criteria or standards is one of the

Design tips for social learning:

most important life skills that higher

• Use case studies that represent

education can nurture. To become 21st

IN ONLINE LEARNING, WITH AN INDIVIDUAL IN FRONT OF A PRIVATE SCREEN, SOCIAL LEARNING EXPERIENCES NEED TO BE DESIGNED MORE DELIBERATELY.

• Clearly state the aims and benefits of the team/group task to learners – What are learners going to achieve in this activity? • Negotiate and clarify how the team/group task is going to happen – What digital tools are used for collaboration, communication and project management? What are the roles and responsibilities of each member?

authentic problems to encourage

century ready, students need to be

learners to hear the perspective

able to navigate complexity, not only

of others and then discuss

through understanding disciplinary-

Design tips for social learning:

learning opportunities (e.g. prior

and collaborate.

related knowledge, but through a finely

• Create # for a course/class

knowledge/experience, gender, age

• Take advantage of various types of

honed ability to work with others.

multimedia that appeal to diverse

• Set up teams/groups that represent a mix of learners for diversity and

(for example, #LNG101) and

and location).

encourage learners to continue

With the proliferation of available digital

learning styles and can be used

Design tips for social learning:

conversations and exchange

tools, educators often simultaneously

to explain traditionally boring/

• Frame teachers as facilitators who

ideas/resources on key concepts

feel both excitement and trepidation

complex key concepts in visually

guide learners through questions

explored in class (e.g. Twitter and

– the sky is the limit, but where do

compelling ways.

and prompts, instead of directly

Instagram).

we start? We suggest that the place

• Invite learners to openly share their stories using both text

feeding answers and information. • Encourage peer learning through

• Design assessment that scaffolds

to start is with design. Good learning

students’ understanding and

and teaching, whether online or on-

and rich media that reflect their

sharing of stories, reflections,

creation of digital identity via social

campus, is purposeful and crafted.

understanding of the topic explored

resources and questions.

media profiles (e.g. LinkedIn).

Good teaching starts with a careful

• Encourage learners to follow and

exploration of who the learners are,

in learning and how to produce and

connect with researchers and

what they need to achieve and how

digest feedback.

practitioners in their field of study

they can achieve it. Digital innovation

via social media (e.g. Google

is not about the latest trending tool.

Scholar and LinkedIn).

It is about the ubiquity of networked

– social learning is not just exchanging words.

2. Promote peer and selfregulated learning

• Talk about the power of feedback

When online learning is designed

3. Get social with social media

through an intentional social lens, the

Social media, which has grown

traditional model of transmission of

communication. Effective digital learning is enacted through designing

exponentially over the past decade,

4. Orchestrate team/ group work

knowledge from teacher to student

can extend conversations and

Contemporary digital tools are

activates networks. Networks connect

becomes redundant because students

learning opportunities beyond the

designed for collaboration. Google

learners to each other, to history and to

are implicitly located at the centre

usual classroom. Most social media

Docs allows multiple writers to

the great span of ideas – to the stories

of learning. In a world where much

platforms have features such as

contribute and track their writing work

that make us human. n

information is now at anyone’s

like, follow, share and reply, which

online. Google Hangouts or Skype

fingertips through a simple Google

recognisably resonate with many

can host online virtual meetings to

search, the role of educator needs to

students’ everyday experiences with

connect and discuss ideas in real time.

within Deakin Learning Futures at

be reconceived. The educator must

social media. Because of the open

Trello invites people to communicate

Deakin University and works on

become a guide, facilitator and curator.

and social nature of social media,

asynchronously and manage their

various innovation projects around

incorporating this approach into

tasks and projects. Orchestrating team

digital learning. Her research

develop expertise carefully over time

education provides authentic learning

or group tasks with specific goals can

interests include self and peer

and in this they will depend on the

experiences, allowing students to

provide a great opportunity for learning

assessment, digital literacy and digital

assistance of more knowledgeable

explore and connect with real-world

directly through interactions with

social learning.

others. But all students must be

networks. In so doing, learners are

others. The trick in online team/group

A/Prof Marcus O’Donnell is

encouraged to engage in the process

also required to apply digital literacy

tasks is to design tasks that genuinely

Director, Digital Learning at Deakin

of learning, not just with content

and develop their digital identities.

allow learners to contribute through

University where he leads a number

knowledge. Skills like critical thinking,

They need to make judgements about

various roles and responsibilities

of ‘cloud-first’ learning redesign

problem solving and teamwork are

what is credible and think about

assigned to them. All of these free

projects. His research interests

constantly at the top of employers’

how to represent themselves as

online tools are ones that students will

includes digital learning innovation,

most sought-after graduate

distinct professionals through their

likely use in their working lives.

contemplative pedagogies and

capabilities. Students need not just

digital profiles.

Design tips for social learning:

student resilience.

Of course, students need to

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for social learning, which, in turn,

Dr Chie Adachi is a Lecturer

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| GET CONNECTED

DIGITAL SOLUTIONS FOR SUPPORTING STUDENTSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; CAREER IDENTITIES

BY TRINA JORRE DE ST JORRE

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Social and professional platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have changed the way in which people connect and share. Through these platforms, people can expand their social and professional networks and share information using diverse multimedia. However, most universities have done very little to capitalise on the connectivity offered by digital technologies and still evidence and communicate student achievement in the same way as they have for centuries â&#x20AC;&#x201C; through marks, grades and academic transcripts.

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| GET CONNECTED

Deakin University has developed

achievement and experiences

two strategies that provide students

to differentiate themselves from

with opportunities to showcase their

other graduates.

achievements through professional

The concept of a career has also

platforms. Both strategies encourage

changed. Individuals now move more

students to create unique digital

frequently between organisations and

artefacts that integrate their academic

roles to accommodate new interests,

achievements with other aspects of

gain better opportunities or out of

their lives and, in doing so, engage

necessity. The jobs that students aim

students in reflection that helps to build

towards at the outset of their degree

their confidence and career identity.

may not be available when they

MOST UNIVERSITIES HAVE DONE VERY LITTLE TO CAPITALISE ON THE CONNECTIVITY OFFERED BY DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES AND STILL EVIDENCE AND COMMUNICATE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN THE SAME WAY AS THEY HAVE FOR CENTURIES.

graduate or may not even exist in the

Why is Career Identity Important?

future, meaning that adaptability is

Graduate opportunities and

graduation and further into the future.

critical to the opportunities they gain at

career pathways are no longer as straightforward as they once were.

What can Universities Do?

The graduate employment market

Universities cannot guarantee

is highly competitive and, where a

employment, but they can support

degree was once a differentiator, it is

the development of studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; career

now a prerequisite for many jobs, so

identity by engaging students in

graduates need to highlight additional

learning and recognising achievement

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that is relevant to employment through:

and will need so that they can take

three of eight of Deakin’s graduate

To ensure Hallmarks signify

1. Focusing on skills, not just

responsibility for their own personal

learning outcomes to focus on and

outstanding achievement as valued

knowledge

and professional development.

evidence in their video: discipline-

and judged in professional life, they

It is clearly no longer sufficient to

Students need to be more than

specific knowledge and capabilities,

are developed by teaching teams in

focus solely on the development of

passive recipients of skills, because

communication, digital literacy,

collaboration with industry partners

discipline-specific knowledge and

as graduates they will need to

critical thinking, problem solving,

and professional bodies, who also

contexts. Universities must ensure

articulate and provide evidence of

self-management, teamwork or

help to assess student achievement.

that graduates also develop a broad

their capabilities to gain opportunities,

global citizenship.

Students are invited to provide evidence

transferable skill set that can be

and to find personalised evidence of

While the strategy was first

of outstanding achievement that fulfils

applied to whatever opportunities

achievement that differentiates them

implemented as an extra-curricular

the standards and criteria associated

they seek or find in the future. For

from their peers.

opportunity, it is now being

with the award and must draw on

incorporated and assessed in

understanding and experience from their

example, communication, teamwork, problem solving and critical thinking

3. Allowing students to demonstrate

courses. To support adoption at scale,

course, as well as from other aspects

are important to gaining opportunities

distinct and personalised

resources have been developed to

of their lives.

in any work or life context.

achievement

assist students to produce their own

It is unique experience and

videos. Students are encouraged to

are provided with a digital credential

2. Encouraging autonomy beyond the

achievement that will differentiate

disseminate their video through digital

that can be easily shared through social

assessment task

graduates from their peers, so

networks, such as LinkedIn, and to

and professional platforms as evidence

Embedding transferable skills into

rather than requiring all students to

embed in digital resumes to market

of their employability. The credentials

the curriculum is important, but

produce homogenised artefacts of

themselves to prospective employers.

utilise digital badging technologies and

students also need to be made aware

their capabilities, students should be

To facilitate this, videos are uploaded

consist of an icon bearing the insignia of

of the capabilities that they have

encouraged to draw on their unique

to the Me in a Minute YouTube channel

Deakin University, linked to information

experience and perspectives and

and each video closes with ‘Connect

verifying the recipient of the award, the

provide personalised evidence of what

with [Student name] on LinkedIn’.

achievement required (including the

they have, know and can do. Learners

Student perceptions of the video strategy have been overwhelmingly

partners involved in developing and

draw on learning and achievement

positive. In addition to valuing

assessing the award and an artefact

from all aspects of their lives and to

the short videos as a medium for

evidencing the students’ work.

evaluate their interests and capabilities

promoting their employability, students

against those needed for different

have reported that the process of

that they value the opportunity to

career opportunities.

pitching was even more valuable

have their skills endorsed, but equally

because it encouraged them to

if not more so, value the confidence

What Might this Look Like in Practice?

reflect on their experiences, skills and

and understanding gained through

capabilities, and through making the

reflecting on their capabilities and

There are many ways in which the

videos, they learned how to articulate

graduate identity.

above principles might be embedded

these clearly and succinctly.

Feedback from students suggests

The strategies described above are just two ways in which digital

Example 2: Employability credentials

technologies can be used to share

developed at Deakin University that give students the opportunity to create

Deakin Hallmarks are university awards

changing and to prepare graduates

unique digital artefacts that can be

that recognise students’ outstanding

for an unknown future, teachers and

easily shared through professional

achievement in capabilities that are

universities need to think creatively

and social networks as evidence of

important in the workplace. They

about how they can innovate to provide

their employability.

were developed as an extra-curricular

students with opportunities to develop

opportunity for students to differentiate

and showcase their career identities. n

However, here are two strategies

062-065_ETS81 Get Connected.indd 65

standards and criteria), the industry

should be encouraged to integrate and

into curriculum or assessment.

educationtechnologysolutions.com.au

Students who achieve the award

student achievement. The world is

Example 1: A simple video strategy

themselves to employers through

Me in a Minute is a very simple video

Deakin’s graduate learning outcomes.

Lecturer in Graduate Employability at

strategy developed to emphasise

Although they are non-credit bearing,

Deakin University. She is interested in

graduate employability to students and

each award is contextualised to a

pedagogies that engage and empower

employers. Students are supported

specific degree program and focuses

students and her research focus is

in the production of a one-minute

on a single graduate learning outcome

on assuring graduate capabilities,

video pitching their knowledge,

considered particularly important

improving employment outcomes and

capabilities and experience to

to the employment of graduates in

incorporating the student voice into

prospective employers. Students select

that course.

curriculum development.

evidencing achievement of one of

Dr Trina Jorre de St Jorre is a

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS | 65

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| SPECIAL FEATURE

Using Education Technology To Facilitate

ONLINE PEER LEARNING BY JILL LAWRENCE

Every semester, when students

Defining Peer Learning

to gain perspective about their study,

are given the course outlines (or

Peer learning is a two-way activity

facilitate their reflective capabilities and

equivalent), the first part they read

between students in which they

augment their personalised problem-

is about the assessment. Students

support, critically review and provide

solving strategies. In other words,

want to know what they will have

feedback on one another’s work.

peer learning helps students consider

their group’s and tutor’s

to produce in the course and how

Opportunities for this kind of learning

themselves and their peers as valuable

responses as well as

they will be graded. Assessment

can emerge wherever students share

members of the learning environment,

responding to other forum

thus becomes a hurdle rather than

their experiences, not only inside but

rather than relying solely on the

a robust, and preferably engaging,

also outside formal learning settings.

academic for guidance, affirmation

opportunity to learn. Furthermore,

Ultimately, peer learning provides

and feedback.

students rely on the academic as the

learners with convenient and informal

sole source of direction, guidance and

opportunities to learn from those who

feedback. Students tend to conceive

• Require students to post their responses to weekly learning activities to their forum group. • Encourage students to read

members’ posts. • Include screenshots of posts and responses in assessment weighting (student engagement is much higher if assessment

are, or have been, in a similar situation,

Strategies to Foster Online Peer Learning

of the learning experience as a one-

assisting them to access support to

1. Integrate peer learning activities

forum posts) and reflections

way interaction from the academic

fortify their studies.

into course design, delivery

on peer learning activities as

and assessment:

assessment tasks.

to the student (and then the other

marks are allocated to group

of using peer learning to put the

Rationale for Peer Learning Activities in a First-year Online Course

meaning back into assessment

To effectively learn in an unfamiliar

and the overall university learning

online university context, first-year

experience. It also describes how

students need to reposition their

assessment (which means that

an experienced student (for

to run and encourage peer learning

expectations and fine tune their learning

students are given feedback

example), reflecting on it, then

through use of education technology.

approaches to meet those required/

and opportunities for correction

identifying specific, practical

Student quotes are provided to

expected by the university. Peer

and rewrites) prior to, and

and problem-solving strategies

consider the application of peer

learning activities can help students

specifically linked to, the

that the other students can

learning and students developing

make these transitions and enhance

final submission for marks

incorporate in their study

understanding of the overall university

their engagement and learning. Such

(summative assessment) – see

routines, before posting to

experience from their point of view.

activities can also inspire students

Figure 1.

their group forum. This activity

These examples come from use of

to value peer learning as a viable,

• Organise students into online

peer learning at University of Southern

user-friendly and accessible study

forum groups (n=20/30),

assessment task with students

Queensland, where approximately 70

approach and engagement strategy.

each supported by an

asked to reflect on the interview

percent of learners study online. Clear

Peer learning helps students to

online tutor whose role is to

instructions are therefore vital to the

become familiar with and expand their

provide individual feedback to

success of peer learning.

sources of support, assisting them

students’ posts.

way for assignment submission). This article presents a case example

• Divide learning activities into weekly modules to

2. Use explicit peer learning activities

give students a clear

to encourage students to learn

navigational pathway.

with/from each other by:

• Build from formative

• conducting an interview with

can be incorporated into an

and the strategies they applied. • incorporating a similar interview strategy, but with

Figure 1: A strategy for integrating peer learning activities into assessment practices

Students work through learning activities linked to assessment

66 | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

066-067_ETS81 Special Feature.indd 66

Students post learning activity responses to their group forum

Students receive feedback from peers and tutors about their responses

Students complete assessment utlising formative feedback received

Students receive markers' feedback on assessment

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21/11/17 2:01 pm


a peer working in students’

were another gentle reminder

understandings. I love reading the

Conclusion

future profession/career/

that so-called barriers are in your

posts. It makes me realise lots

The value of peer learning for student

discipline to enhance their

own mind.

of things. They help me build my

engagement and quality learning is

learning strategies and motivate me

strengthened by stories/narrative from

to do my best.

actual practice. These stories reveal

knowledge of organisational

• A surprising thing that came out of

practices and requisite

the interview was the importance

employment capabilities.

of interaction and cooperation

• I am learning to utilise this social

benefits related to gaining insight into

with other external students. I was

media to my best advantage,

self and others, achieving perspective

on the development of their

made aware of the value that peer

connecting with other students and

and repositioning expectations,

learning and peer learning

support can offer during university

hearing different perspectives and

incorporating personalised problem-

skills over the semester,

studies, that having other people

different interpretations which are

solving strategies and developing

seeking feedback from a

who are going through the same

also helping clear up questions

sources of support. Woven through

peer before posting to the

experience to bounce ideas off of

when it comes to assignments.

these themes are threads related

forum group and discussing

and to offer/receive encouragement

in assessment.

is very helpful.

• asking students to reflect

• M’s number one rule for students

to the communication capabilities

at university is to ‘get involved’.

of seeking help, making social

She states, “See what your campus

contact, participating in groups,

Developing sources of support:

has to offer and just be involved

seeking feedback and saying no.

• Further discussions with Dulcie led

in everything you think will benefit

Peer learning opportunities not only

her to divulge that I should utilise all

you, whether it be helping you in

prompt students to engage in learning

The following quotes from students,

resources available to myself. Due

your career in the future or just in

but also encourage them to reflect

collected through their online posts,

to my introverted personality I am

that very moment physically and

on that learning, thereby enhancing

evaluation surveys and unsolicited

less likely to seek help from others.

emotionally.” At first this statement

their lifelong learning skills and

feedback to academics, cluster

With her advice I have realised my

took me by surprise however really

simultaneously drawing students’

into three themes: insight into self

studying would be made easier if

thinking about it made more sense

attention to the need to develop these

and others, the role of support and

I seek help from sources, such as

the more I thought of it. University

skills as key professional capabilities. n

reflections about the benefits of

my lectures and other students.

is about putting yourself out there

Quotes from Students about their Peer Learning Experiences

peer learning.

• One surprising thing I discovered during my interview is how

Insight into self:

holistic the university environment

• The one surprising thing I found

is. Students are encouraged

and getting the most you can out

Professor Jill Lawrence is

of your campus for yourself and

Associate Dean (Students) in the

your education.

Faculty of Business, Education,

• Reading other peoples’ posts is

Law and Arts at USQ. She teaches

with my interview was that it’s not

to network and expand their

insightful. It is so good that we can

communication to first year students

just me who struggles. It seems

educational experience well beyond

all help each other because in the

in nursing and the sciences as well as

that everyone does even if they

the four walls of the rooms.

future in our nursing roles that is

coordinating post graduate research

• She also said to ‘make friends at

what we will be doing, working in

methodology courses. Her teaching

teams and supporting each other.

has been acknowledged in a national

don’t show it. Makes me feel a little better knowing that I am not alone.

uni, having someone who is going

• Initially, the online components

• I have realised that my expectation

through the same thing can make

of the time required to complete

it easier, someone to talk to when

seemed like another basic course

and in a national teaching award (the

my course work was unrealistic.

things are getting tough’.

that one seems to encounter

Arts and Humanities). Her research

on any study program, and one

includes a range of collaborative

I re-evaluated my timetable

teaching citation (with Eleanor Kiernan)

and shuffled work and family

The value of peer learning:

which I met with frustration. This

projects crossing disciplines,

commitments to be able to allow

• The fact we were expected each

was an inappropriate conception.

programs and institutions in the

sufficient time to complete all the

week to contribute to online

I resented having to respond to

first year experience, cross-cultural

required tasks.

engagement was fantastic; not

online forums, and considered to

communication and professional

only did we get to chat with other

be required to read everyone else’s

capability building.

some of the issues brought up

students, but we also got the

responses (let alone reply to them)

were inspiring and had me thinking

chance to see what other students

an imposition on my valuable

For further reading about peer learning:

of other risk factors when I’m

were thinking and know we weren’t

resource of mental energy. Over

Boud, D., Cohen, R., & Sampson, J.

at work.

alone if we were struggling with

the semester, information on the

(Eds.). (2001). Peer learning in higher

anything. The feedback given by

reasoning behind the extended

education: Learning from and with each

Insight into others’ experiences:

the tutor at the end of each week

engagement has surprised me.

other. London: Kogan Page.

• Highlighted by international

was a massive help in knowing we

I am glad now that I persevered,

students was the extra challenges

were on the right track!

participated in forums and engaged

of peer learning in assisting first year

faced when coming to study in a

• We all learn so much from

• I enjoyed reading the posts as

Lawrence, J. (2017). The power

in the university culture, as I feel an

students’ engagement in successful

new country with a new language

others through their different

internal generation of energy that

learning. STARS Proceedings.

and slang. Their posts nicely

understandings of perceptions

draws me toward my study daily

Retrieved from http://unistars.org/

put things into perspective and

of tasks and different cultural

from these activities.

proceedings/#copyright

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070-078_ETS81 Product Showcase D.indd 70

consider when we are looking at projectors.

• Environmentally friendlier than earlier lamp projectors n

With no phosphor wheel, no For more information visit www.

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There is a new 19” Rack on the block

THE S17 ACOUSTIC CABINET

Cabinet has been redesigned from

* Measured at 100dB source level

Unless otherwise expressly stated, the review of the product or products appearing in this section represent the opinions of the Editor or relevant editorial staff member assigned to this publication and do not represent the views or opinions of Interactive Media Solutions or the advertisers or other contributors to this publication.

The all new S17 Acoustic

acoustically tuned fireproof, sound

• Rated to a static load of 1000kg

absorbing facing. The material is

• Welded enclosure using high

a specially formulated thermoset

strength Galvaneal steel with

base foam. This unique material

pre-treatment and powder coat

allows the noise to enter, and reduces the sound waves into smaller components, then traps the noise inside where it is absorbed

finish is provided as standard. • Enclosures can be bayed together. • Plinth is fitted as standard and

and dissipated by the acoustic,

includes levelling feet and

lightweight, non-combustible foam.

bolt down provisions. Castors

This gives the lining a much superior sound absorption capacity. Another unique feature of the

are optional. • Vertical Rack Mount Rails are finished in black powder coat

the ground up incorporating the

new enclosure are the door &

conforming to IEC60297. There

most advanced methods for sound

side panel seals which are fitted

are four supplied as standard

MFB Products, the leading supplier

reduction. The enclosure now has

with a continuous form in place

of Australian made 19” Rack Mount

better cable management, better

gasketing system that provides an

Enclosures has introduced a new

air flow management, is easier for

impervious seal.

product to their line-up. The all new

installers to fit out, and makes use of

S17 Acoustic Cabinet now has a

the huge range of accessories MFB

Additional features include

larger range of sizes, more options,

has available.

• Front & Rear Doors - optional

and above all – the best acoustic

The acoustic properties

and are fully adjustable. • Two 75 x 200 cable entries are provided at the rear base, one on either side.

Glass

properties of any other Acoustic

come from an advanced non-

19” server rack on the market – a

combustible sound absorption

system exhausting to the rear

reduction of 43dB*

lining consisting of a patented

as standard.

• Roof mount fan extraction

• Doors are fitted with concealed multipoint hinges, and a protected multipoint locking system, lift and swing handle with key lock are also standard. • Custom sizes are also available n

Compulocks CartiPad Solo Modular Charging Cabinet Compulocks CartiPad Solo Modular Charging Cabinet houses up to 16 iPad units and with its modular design can be adjusted for all your mobile computing devices. Without the need for any new cables or power cords, the CartiPad Solo uses the original existing power source of your devices and is ready for use out-of-the-box! • Simultaneously store and charge 16 devices. • Textured powder coat finish. • Modular slotted inserts. • Rubberised anti-slip interior. • Stackable or Wall Mountable. Also available in Cart format – see the details for Cartipad Uno or Cartipad Duo n $1059 (Schools price) www.maximisetechnology.com.au/product/compulockscartipad-solo-modular-charging-cabinet-16-device

educationtechnologysolutions.com.au

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS | 71

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SHOWCASES

NAO ROBOT “NAO is a cute, programmable

humanoid robot that will help you

create unique, interactive classroom

experiences. With about 10,000 robots in more than 70 countries around the world, NAO has truly made a home in education. In line with today’s educational content and challenges: • Ideal platform to introduce STEMrelated subjects such as Maths, Physics, Computer Science and Programming. • Cross-curricular applications that connect theory with practice. • Fully adaptable to current school programs. • Powerful platform to engage students and teachers • Hands-on, project-based learning to encourage teamwork. • Interactive lessons to drive greater participation. • Comprehensive and versatile educational solution. Discover programming with Choregraphe Introduce coding with Choregraphe, our intuitive programming software, using simple drag and drop and algorithmic reasoning. Teach various programming languages with our SDK (Python, C++, Java, Javascript). Explore Mechatronics  with Monitor Demonstrate and explain mechatronics by monitoring the robot’s activity thanks  to our Monitor application.  Enjoy project-based teamwork with NAO modules for Webots™ Encourage students to test their algorithms and projects with this 3D simulator program that places NAO in a virtual world governed by real physics. n www.ald.softbankrobotics.com Phone Number: +86 21 61358998

72 | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

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Unless otherwise expressly stated, the review of the product or products appearing in this section represent the opinions of the Editor or relevant editorial staff member assigned to this publication and do not represent the views or opinions of Interactive Media Solutions or the advertisers or other contributors to this publication.

An easy to use, whole-ofschool tool that transforms the digital learning environment Does your school have an ageing

Critically, Firefly has a modern,

learning management system?

easy to use interface and runs on

Or a digital toolbox overflowing

any device.

with dated applications? Both can

This makes it easy for teachers

up-to-date with assignments and homework. St. Ursula’s College in

a school’s long-term plans. As schools make the transition to Firefly, users spend less time

Toowoomba, and Firbank Grammar

wrestling with old, incompatible

lead to poor educational outcomes

to create and share resources,

School and Billanook College

and inconsistent tools and more

and declining usage as students,

use rubrics to build a learning

in Melbourne (amongst others)

time on what really matters: using

teachers and administrators

conversation, set homework, and

have implemented Firefly with

technology to provide better

struggle with inconsistent

provide students with deeper

positive outcomes.

learning experiences and better

functionality and clunky

feedback by marking up their

interfaces.

work and adding notes and

whole-of-school learning platform

voice comments.

was carefully evaluated, with a

whole-of-school learning platform

particular focus on ease of use as a

is a significant decision. By choosing

criterion for choosing Firefly.

Firefly, they can be confident its

Today, leading schools in Australia are leaving these

Firefly’s simple interface

In each case, the transition to a

outcomes for students. For school leaders, selecting a

problems behind by moving to a

encourages student usage. They

user-friendly, all-in-one solution

find it easier to access resources,

from Firefly Learning.

plan their workloads, access teacher

and the enthusiasm shown by

maximise usage and deliver

feedback, track progress and

teachers, students and parents

significant benefits for the whole

collaborate with other students.

for Firefly, has demonstrated the

school community. n

Firefly is a whole-of-school solution that serves as a platform for all teaching and learning

Similarly, parents find it easy

resources and for all types of

to use Firefly, enabling them

communication between teachers,

to become more involved with

students and parents.

their child’s progress, and to stay

educationtechnologysolutions.com.au

070-078_ETS81 Product Showcase D.indd 73

Since then, the speed of uptake,

ease of use will accelerate uptake,

importance of a simple interface as a success factor. Firefly is a strategic investment – it can become the foundation for

To learn more, book a demo today at fireflylearning.com/australiademo-adv-pd

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS | 73

21/11/17 4:59 pm


SHOWCASES Launches a New Unparalleled Range of Collaborative 4K Interactive Flat Panels

Sydney Australia, 7th August 2017-

interaction that redefines the

BenQ, an internationally renowned

meeting room and classroom.

provider of visual display solutions,

“Not all interactive displays are

Outstanding Image and Design

20-point touch capabilities with

BenQ’s innovative touch-enabled

multiple users to participate. Like

fast, smooth response that allows

today announced the addition of

created equal,” said Andrew Lambkin,

4K displays are perfect for any

operating a tablet or smartphone,

the RP654K, RP704K, RP750K and

Business Development Manager at

business or learning environment.

users can use the screen’s pen

RP860K to its robust Interactive

BenQ Australia. “Today’s evolving

Designed to support engagement

or touch gestures to zoom, click

Flat Panel (IFP) lineup. Engineered

presentation and collaboration

with a truly interactive solution,

and rotate objects, with infrared

to deliver a stunning image, the

needs demand visual tools that make

the 65” RP654K, 70” RP704K,

technology enabling maximum

new family of 4K IFPs features an

participation simple and effective.

75” RP750K and 86” RP860K IFPs

accuracy and easy interaction with

exceptional design, hassle-free

Utilizing our own unique styling and

feature exceptional 4K resolution,

any content. Enhanced touch-

settings, collaboration tools and

web-based tools, BenQ IFPs make

long-lasting brightness for

screen capabilities like handwriting

innovative technologies with health

teaching and collaboration fun and

maximum visibility anywhere in

recognition and onboard speakers,

benefits in mind to enable engaging

productive right out of the box.”

the room, convenient pen tray and

which deliver an impressive

74 | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

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educationtechnologysolutions.com.au

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Unless otherwise expressly stated, the review of the product or products appearing in this section represent the opinions of the Editor or relevant editorial staff member assigned to this publication and do not represent the views or opinions of Interactive Media Solutions or the advertisers or other contributors to this publication.

spanning digital projectors, monitors, interactive large-format displays, audio products, cloud consumer products, mobile communications and lifestyle lighting. Because it matters. About BenQ Group The BenQ Group is a $22+ billion powerhouse comprised of nearly 20 independent companies operating in over 30 countries across numerous industries with a combined workforce of over 100,000 employees. Each Group member is a recognized leader in its own field, contributing to the BenQ 32 watts of sound, make the

Available with DisplayNote, a

a hassle-free and high-tech

Group’s vast resources, broad R&D,

smallest idea come to life and be

cross-platform solution that

collaboration experience. For

and distinct strategic strengths. By

easily heard.

facilitates real-time collaboration

administrators, the BenQ Multiple

leveraging each company’s vertical

across multiple computing and

Display Administrator software

specialization to create true scale

Health Matters

smart devices, the RP Series 4K

adds remote monitoring and

across horizontal markets, the BenQ

The BenQ IFPs also boast new

touch-enabled displays permit

control of all displays, in addition

Group controls a highly efficient

cutting-edge technologies that

participants to stream content and

to administering instant equipment

value chain with the unrivaled

provide a healthier experience

collaborate. The IFPs also come

performance and providing status

ability to deliver critical components

for participants. For instance, the

equipped with a built-in Android™

alerts for IT staff, eliminating the

and world-class solutions in the

screen’s tempered glass is covered

operating system that’s packed

burden on resources and time

following industries: TFT-LCD,

with a bacteria-resistant, non-

with a suite of apps and games,

when displays are deployed across

green energy, fine chemicals and

toxic nano-ionic silver coating to

such as a WPS Office document

a network.

advanced materials, lighting, IC

help reduce the spread of germs.

reader, built-in web browser

The display is also enhanced

and an EZWrite instant digital

RP Series 4K Interactive Flat Panels,

system integration, branded

with BenQ’s exclusive Eye-Care

blackboard annotation tool and

please visit: business-display.benq.

business, and service. The Group

features, including anti-glare

media player app. Moreover, its

com/en-ap/findproduct/ifp.html

is committed to profitable and

glass to minimize light reflections

touch-enabled on-screen display

and improve readability, as well

menu is extremely user-friendly.

About BenQ Corporation

its long-standing vision of Bringing

as Low Blue Light and Flicker-

Compatible with Windows, Mac,

Founded on the corporate vision

Enjoyment ‘N’ Quality to Life.

Free technologies to help reduce

Linux and Chrome, without having

of “Bringing Enjoyment ‘N’ Quality

eye fatigue during long hours of

to install any software, each IFP

to Life”, BenQ Corporation is a

The BenQ Group companies

viewing. All BenQ IFPs sport a

is built to work seamlessly with

world-leading human technology

are: BenQ Corporation, AU

rounded-edge design that increases

a wide range of computing and

and solutions provider aiming to

Optronics Corporation (world’s top

ergonomic comfort.

mobile devices.

elevate and enrich every aspect

manufacturer of large-size TFT-LCD

of consumers’ lives. To realize this

panels), Qisda Corporation, Darfon

vision, the company focuses on the

Electronics Corporation, BenQ ESCO

Developed by BenQ, InstaQShare

Hassle-Free Setup and Management

aspects that matter most to people

Corp., BenQ Materials Corp., BenQ

is an app that can connect up to 16

In classrooms and meeting

today – lifestyle, business, healthcare

Guru Corp., BenQ Medical Center,

participants and provides seamless

rooms, the IFPs’ Near Field

and education – with the hope of

BenQ Medical Technology Corp.,

wireless streaming and mirroring

Communication (NFC) pen makes

providing people with the means to

BenQ AB DentCare Corp., Daxin

of all digital content from devices

setting up different colors and

live better, increase efficiency, feel

Materials Corp., Dazzo Technology

including smartphones, tablets and

sizes of text simple and quick.

healthier and enhance learning. Such

Corp., Darwin Precisions Corp.,

laptops, empowering contributors

The “BenQ Suggest” function

means include a delightful broad

Lextar Electronics Corp., LILY

to enrich their sessions with a

recommends useful apps and

portfolio of people-driven products

Medical Corp. and Raydium

variety of multimedia resources.

simplifies downloads, ensuring

and embedded technologies

Semiconductor Corp. n

Collaboration Tools

educationtechnologysolutions.com.au

070-078_ETS81 Product Showcase D.indd 75

To find out more about BenQ’s

design, precision components,

sustainable businesses that share

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS | 75

21/11/17 4:59 pm


SHOWCASES

Epson EB-710Ui Versatile ultra-short throw laser display for classroom collaboration

Take classroom collaboration

technology, the EB-710Ui provides

to another level with the Epson

up to 20,000 hours of virtually

resolution (1920 x 1200) and

and microphone input; or, use

EB-710Ui laser ultra–short throw

maintenance-free operation.

16:10 format

external speakers, even in

projector. Designed for today’s

• Amazing Images – WUXGA

• Simultaneously Display and

Student – built-in 16 W speaker

Standby Mode

BYOD classroom, this projector

KEY FEATURES

Control Multiple Device Screens

1 Colour Brightness (Colour

displays 100" images at native

• 3 x Brighter Colours and

– wirelessly share content from

Light Output) in brightest mode,

WUXGA Full HD resolution. Offering

Reliable Performance1 – 3LCD,

up to four devices, including

measured by a third-party lab in

3x Higher Colour Brightness1

3-Chip Technology. Look for

Chromebooks, with Moderator

accordance with IDMS 15.4. Colour

than competitive models, Epson®

both high colour brightness and

software

Brightness will vary depending on

3LCD projectors ensure bright,

high white brightness

• Manage Your Display and Send

usage conditions. Top-selling 3LCD

• Break Through Laser Technology

Announcements Remotely –

projectors versus top-selling 1-chip

wireless functionality (module

– provides up to 20,000 hours

easy network connectivity;

DLP projectors based on PMA

sold separately) and advanced

of virtually maintenance free

software included

Research sales data for Dec. 2015

connectivity, so teachers can share

operation, with the added

content from multiple devices,

benefits of higher image

HDMI® supports multiple high-

contrast and instant ON/OFF

definition A/V devices, with

www.epson.com.au/products/

MHL® support

projector/EB-710Ui.asp

vivid images. It also features

including Chromebooks – up to four at once with Moderator software. Featuring breakthrough laser

76 | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

070-078_ETS81 Product Showcase D.indd 76

• Bright Images – 4,000 lumens colour/white brightness

• Versatile Connectivity – 3x

• Powerful Sound to Engage Every

through Nov. 2016. n

02 8899 3666

educationtechnologysolutions.com.au

21/11/17 4:59 pm


S50

Mobile iPad Charging Station

The iPad Charging Station is designed for education environments that organize large numbers of iPads and require support tools necessary for efficiency. They provide a practical, functional storage solution.

Holds up to 30 iPads

Sync & charge

simultaneously

AUSTRALIAN MADE MAKES AUSTRALIA

VIC (03) 9801 1044 / sales@mfb.com.au

070-078_ETS81 Product Showcase D.indd 77

NSW (02) 9749 1922 / sydney@mfb.com.au

www.mfb.com.au

21/11/17 4:59 pm


FOR PRINCIPALS | EDUCATORS | NETWORK ADMINISTRATORS

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Education Technology Solutions Issue #81  
Education Technology Solutions Issue #81  

Education Technology Solutions (ETS) is Australia’s leading education technology publication. Created to inspire and encourage the use of te...