Save the Date for IETC AU2014

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Have you ever wondered about how you could better use technology to enhance learning in the classroom?  What are the potential affordances of technology to create inclusive environments?

The second annual Illawarra Educational Technology conference is being held on 3rd October 2014. The focus for this year is Laying the Learning Foundations: Representing Relationships.

The conference brings together Illawarra educators in a conversation about technology enhanced learning. The key focus for IETC 2014 is on how to design inclusive learning environments and build relationships between individuals and the community.

IETC is designed for education professionals in all sectors: from early years, schools, universities, VET providers, NGOs and industry. It provides an opportunity to network, showcase ideas, and explore regional challenges. It is supported by HEPPP funding, LTC at the University of Wollongong, TAFE Illawarra and corporate sponsors.

Date:                     3rd October 2014

Location:              TAFE Illawarra, Wollongong Campus

Cost:                      Free – Full catering provided

Places are limited. For full details and registration go to

Event: Curate, credential and carry forward digital learning evidence

On September 2, the University of Wollongong will be host to a seminar titled Curate, credential and carry forward digital learning evidence: The potential of open badges in higher education.

This seminar is open to all University of Wollongong and NSW and ACT Higher education providers to openly discuss their ideas, views, aspirations and concerns about micro credentialing in the form of open badging. The 3 hour seminar includes the opportunity to hear from and speak to 3 thought leaders and practitioners in the field of Open Badges in Higher Education.

This OLT strategic project at Deakin University partners Curtin University, HASTAC, The CRA, AAEEBL, Mozilla, Telstra, Cisco and Education Services Australia (ESA) to network and advise Australian higher education providers how to (1) deploy tools that enable all students to curate rich evidence of learning; (2) credential learning outcomes using digital badging; and (3) explore and disseminate pathways, alliances and business models to remain competitive in a disrupted environment.

Register for the event via Eventbrite —

More details available on the event flyer.

Are you looking for online training in Moodle?

Some academic and professional staff at UOW have asked about online training options for Moodle. Our Uni subscribe to where you will find an excellent number of online training resources on Moodle and other software used across the uni.

Try here-

Moodle 2.5 on

To find these and other useful training resources go to the Library Home page and navigate to databases, select “L” then search for

Once there you will be required to set up your own Lynda account.

When in Lynda run a search for Moodle. The university is currently using Moodle 2.5 version and in November 2014 will be upgrading to Moodle 2.7, so look for these options or ones specific to the tool your interested in using.

An assessment alternative – digital storytelling

If you are considering innovative assessment ideas, you may like to consider getting your students to create a digital story as a response to an assessment question. Digital stories provide the opportunity for individuals or small groups to research and present ideas on a topic in a contemporary format.

Digital storytelling usually involves short videos,  two to three minutes in length. A digital story can be made from a range of audio and visual elements. The backbone of a digital story is a written script, approximately 250 words long. The script is converted to an audio voice over and combined with visuals such as photos, drawings, diagrams, video, and animation to create a digital story.

For more information about digital storytelling, explore a LibGuide produced by the Faculty of Commerce,

“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

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

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.



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:

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

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