“Flipping” the traditional Chemistry lecture

There is lots of talk about the “flipped classroom” across the higher education sector, but what is it like in the teaching context? This video showcases an introductory chemistry course in which the traditional lecture was transformed into an opportunity for active learning. Watch and listen to both lecturer and students feedback on this model for teaching and learning.

Video: Case Western Reserve University

Moodle Conference – 3 & 4 Nov in Canberra

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 11.07.46 amMoodleposium is on again this year in Canberra. The scope of Moodleposium has expanded to consider all aspects of technology enabled teaching and learning; not just Moodle use. The organisers of Moodleposium welcome papers relating to technology assisted teaching and learning, andragogy and management.

This year Moodleposium is hosted by UNSW Canberra and the Australian Defence College, at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. The venue has recently been renovated by the Academy, and features state-of-the-art technology. The Academy is located close to Canberra airport and the city centre.

Registrations and the submission of abstracts for presentations are now being accepted .

To learn more go to http://moodleposium.net.au/

Learn more about teaching online #MOOC

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 9.39.05 amHave you ever wanted to understand more about how to design your course to make better use of educational technology – whether fully online or in blended contexts? Would you like to learn from a team at UNSW who have extensive practical experience with online technologies? This course is designed to help you develop a working understanding of successful online teaching strategies that you can apply in your own practice.

Integrating online technologies into your teaching can be a challenging prospect, and it can be difficult to know how to approach it effectively for the benefit of both students and yourself. No one knows your own content and teaching strengths better than you, and the “one size fits all” formula doesn’t always suit everyone. No matter what type of technology you are interested in exploring or your level of experience, this course will help you draw on your teaching strengths and find the approach that is right for you, your students and your educational context. To allow both for breadth in personalization and depth in key areas that interest you, this course will guide you through your journey of understanding how online technologies can enhance your course design.

Learning to Teach Online (LTTO) MOOC is designed to help existing educators establish or improve their own online or blended teaching practices. The target audience is primarily teachers in higher education, K-12, community college, and vocational or private education.

Find out a more and enrol at https://www.coursera.org/course/ltto

MOOCs – a research initiative

MOOC research initiativeThere has been an explosion of interest in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) both nationally and internationally. What sits beyond the hype? “To date, the impact of MOOCs has been largely disseminated through press releases and university reports. The peer-reviewed research on MOOCs has been minimal. The proliferation of MOOCs in higher education requires a concerted and urgent research agenda.” (1)

A MOOC Research Initiative (and website) has been set with support of the Gates Foundation to address the research gap. Visit the site to find out more about the emerging research.



1. http://www.moocresearch.com/

What is on the horizon for media in higher education?

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 9.34.46 amIn the next twelve months “Bring your own device“, the “flipped Classroom“, mobile and online learning are predicated to be the most significant technological developments for learning and teaching; badges, gamification, learning analytics and open content will closely follow, if the report from a group of industry experts is correct.

Each year the Horizon Consortium release the Horizon Report which assists educators plan for future directions in learning. Staff and Faculties are predicted to encounter ongoing challenges including increasing the digital capacity of staff, scaling up teaching innovations and keeping learning relevant to students. You can read more details in the links below.

Flipped Classroom Image source: http://www.slu.edu/cttl/resources/teaching-tips-and-resources/flipped-classroom-resources

2014 Horizon rRport comparison

View the reports here

Below is a video overview on the Horizon Report 2014


Some quizzes are more equal than others

quiz iconWe build randomised quizzes to improve assessment but did you know that some strategies could reduce learning equity?

The randomisation of quiz questions within a question set (or category) is used by many academics to individualise the quiz for each student; each login can generate a unique quiz. This reduces the opportunity for students to cheat by sharing answers.

The randomisation of questions may reduce equity if not done well. For example within a set of questions one student may receive 5 multiple choice questions, while peers receives 5 short answer questions of equal mark value. One student may have more demanding questions for the same mark value, which is unfair.

How to improve the equity of quizzes

When randomising questions each student should receive questions that are of equal value and cognitive load. Subcategories can be used to group similar questions, thus when randomised all students will receive a quiz of equal challenge.

TIP: Group questions of similar complexity into sub-categories, for example:

  • Category heading: Week 5 quiz
  • Sub category: Multiple choice
  • Sub category: True false
  • Sub category: Short answer

Alternatively build sub-categories containing different types of questions but modify the marking value of each question type to reflect the complexity. For example, a multiple-choice question may be awarded 1 point for a correct answer, while a short answer question may be worth 2 or more.

Building the quiz

When the quiz is created, you can select the number of questions from each category that you wish to categorise eg five questions out of ten. If you include all questions in a category they will be randomised for each student.

Want to know more?

Would you like to discuss an innovative teaching idea or strategy, particularly in relation to technology? Feel free contact your UOW Educational Designer to arrange a discussion. Click here for information about Educational Designers

Image source: http://www.clker.com/clipart-quiz-2.html

Create a graphical banner to your Moodle site

Create a visual presence for the learning space using a banner image. Here is a guide that can assist you in adding the image and making it scalable across browsers and mobile devices.

Create a Moodle banner

Firstly you will need to create the image in image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop Elements or a free tool called GIMP <http://www.gimp.org/>. Set the dimensions to 1000px 160px

Download this PDF Guide for details

The Educational Design Team

Our mission statement

The role of the Educational Design Unit (EDU) is to collaborate in the development, enhancement and sharing of good practice in educational design.

Educational design applies to all aspects of university teaching, from the effective use of campus spaces, educational technologies and rich media content, to the design of curriculum and the use of assessment.

We support academics to explore teaching innovation and strategies that maximise student learning at UOW, particularly those involving the new UOW learning platform.

Good educational design is continuously enhanced by feedback from formal and informal evaluation. We support academics to reflect on educational design issues in the light of feedback they have received, and on the university’s structural monitoring and assessment of student learning.

Visit the official site:  https://www.uow.edu.au/dvce/ltc/educationaldesign/index.html

Our approach

In the collaborative process, the integration of research, design, and reflection skills are central. We also engage with and facilitate achievement of key teaching and learning projects that support the University’s strategic priorities.

The Educational Design Unit

  • Leads staff professional development in the good design of flexible, learner-centred environments
  • Promotes and showcases good design in learning and teaching at UOW
  • Supports academic staff in evaluating and reflecting on student and institutional feedback on design in learning environments
  • Advises on the appropriate use of new technologies in teaching, curriculum, learning and innovative assessment design
  • Provides curriculum and subject design services informed by up-to-date scholarly research

Each Educational Designer is a member of a Learning, Teaching and Curriculum faculty team.

Our Contact Details:

Wendy Meyers 4221 3965 wendy_meyers@uow.edu.au Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts (LHA)
Chris Brewer 4221 5089 chris_brewer@uow.edu.au Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health (SMAH)
Colin Salter 42213317 csalter@uow.edu.au Faculty of Social Sciences (SOC)
Lesley Knapp 4221 4799 lesley@uow.edu.au Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences  (EIS)
Sandra Humphrey 4221 5325 sandrah@uow.edu.au Faculty of Business (BUS)

Moodle drop in session Thursday, 10th April (re-posted)

The Educational Design Unit (EDU) will facilitate Moodle drop-in sessions during the months of March and April. The sessions will begin with a brief discussion on a topic and the rest of the session is for you to build your Moodle site with our support.

The topics and dates are:
Communicating with students in Moodle:  10 March 2014, 12.30pm – 2.00pm in Bld 41:102 [concluded]
Using Turnitin beyond punitive: 25 March 2014, 10.00am – 11.30am in Bld 41:103
Quizzes for engagement: 10 April 2014, 3.30pm – 4.30pm in Bld 41:105

Download a flyer for the sessions