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Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor – Education News

February DVCA Update

By Jill Downie 2 March 2017 Teaching & Learning No Comments »

Welcome to 2017!

What a great start to the academic year with the campus looking absolutely amazing to welcome our new students. Heartfelt congratulations and thanks to everyone who plays a role in this very special week.

Last week the Academic Portfolio Leadership Group met for its first ‘together day’ of the year. These days are an opportunity for the leadership team down to manager level to come together to hear about and discuss important strategic issues, and for planning, team building and fun. I’ll give you a short summary here and the slides have been circulated to my directors who will share and discuss with their teams.

We started the day with a great Q&A session with the Vice-Chancellor. Debbie spent a few minutes talking about the strategic priorities this year and then took questions from our team. There was great engagement and everyone greatly appreciated the time Debbie was able to spend with us.

I then led a brief discussion on some of the strategic projects and issues on our plate:

  • A significant amount of work is currently happening across the University to bring the Dubai Campus and partnership to life, and this will help realise strategic opportunities for Curtin in the future. The foundation program is planned to commence in May this year and our first undergraduate intake will be in early 2018.
  • Planning for the Midland Campus is progressing well and the plans for the building look beautiful. This will open in 2019.
  • All of you will have seen the transformation occurring to develop Curtin Connect here on campus. Planned to officially open in June this year, benefits from bringing student services and support teams together area already starting to emerge. Your creativity and resilience in working in temporary spaces during the busiest part of your year is appreciated!
  • A project to review and optimise processes relating to the timetable, room allocations and utilisation of space is underway, being led by Debra Farrelly. Debra has previously worked at Charles Darwin University and the University of New South Wales in executive roles in Corporate Services and Student Services.
  • The Faculty Structures Review is underway and staff are encouraged to submit their views on faculty structures as outlined in the recently released Issues Paper.

Marion Kickett and Simon Forrest then gave the team an overview of the findings and outcomes of the recent Strengthening Indigenous Outcomes Health Check. As many of you will appreciate there has been a significant focus in recent years on Strengthening Indigenous Outcomes for staff and students at Curtin and it was pleasing to here this has been acknowledged in the Health Check.

Following this we spent some time workshopping a couple of the key priorities – the Distinctive Curtin Student Experience – led by Michelle Rogers, and the review of Graduate Capabilities – led by Julianne Reid. In both cases this is just the start of a consultation process which will extend into the year but there was some really great ideas shared.

Over lunch we had an inspirational and entertaining speech from Mr Graham Collins, who has worked as an exam supervisor at Curtin for many years. He was recognized by Darren Gibbs as espousing the Curtin Values and Darren asked if Graham could address our team. Graham is a wonderful example of the Curtin Values and is an energetic and highly engaged senior citizen.

In the afternoon, some of my executive colleagues joined us – Ian Callahan, Seth Kunin, Ty Hayes, Garry Allison and John Cordery. They each summarised the key priorities in their areas and we were able to discuss some of the implications for the Areas in the portfolio.

We ended the day with some fun. A talented group of staff from the Careers and Leadership teams in Support Services facilitated a team building exercise which was a great learning experience and a heap of fun. My sincere thanks and congratulations to Kirsten Barker, Kathryn Clements, Stuart Hunter, Julian Harris, Sasha Hilton and Natasha Curran who were incredibly professional and good at their jobs.

We have another busy year ahead – what’s new! I look forward to working with you all to achieve more great things for our wonderful students and for Curtin!

October DVCA Portfolio Update

By Jill Downie 7 November 2016 Teaching & Learning No Comments »

As we look back at just a few achievements of the past month, I am again reminded of what a highly resourceful and dedicated team we have in the Academic Portfolio.


Firstly, congratulations to Curtin Learning and Teaching’s Director Digital Learning and Design Vanessa Chang and Director Learning Futures David Gibson who have been recognised for their achievements through their promotion to the position of full Professor. This is a huge achievement and I am sure you will join me in personally congratulating them both.


More congratulations are in order with several individuals and teams being recognised for their achievements both in industry-based awards and through nominations for our internal Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Awards.

Among them is Associate Professor Nicoleta Maynard from the Faculty of Science and Engineering who has been awarded the 2015 Caltex Teaching Award, in recognition of her work to foster links between academia and industry, develop a community of teaching practice, provide educational leadership, and implement innovations in curricula, assessments and learning resources.

Two staff members received 2016 Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. Dr Rachel Sheffield was recognised for creating and sustaining interactive, community-focused learning design and spaces to support the development of teachers’ and student teachers’ professional identity in science education. Dr Jonathan Paxman was recognised for approaches to research-integrated teaching, support for student activities, and outreach that builds the confidence, motivation and identities of citizens and engineers of the future.


Nominations for the VCs Excellence Awards for Professional Staff include teams working on the Innovative Schools Consortium, the Academic Integrity Program and a cross departmental team from EESJ, student engagement and marketing for the Humans of Curtin campaign.

Student Services’ Louise Wight and Charles Flodin from EESJ were nominated for the leadership award while the Library’s Amanda Bellenger and Support Services’ Maureen Meredith have received nominations for the service awards. Team service nominations were received for CurtinX, several Student Services teams, and UniPASS. I am very proud of all of you. See more on the VCs Excellence Awards for Professional Staff webpage.

Academic Portfolio Leadership Meeting

The Academic Portfolio Leadership team met on 12 October for an afternoon of strategic discussion, planning and professional development. For the first time, the meeting involved the third tier of management within the Portfolio – down to Manager level, and I think this was a valuable session for all involved.

We spent time talking about strategic initiatives and achievements at the University level, noting great successes within our own Portfolio; we discussed the new Strategic Plan and draft enabling plans and workshopped the start of our Portfolio level plan. We then spent valuable time on our Culture, brainstorming the five great things about working at Curtin, as well as the five things that still need work. Finally, led by Donna Trebilcock from the Support Services Digital Services Student Experience team, we undertook “Introduction to thought leadership through social media”. This was a great, hands-on professional development session which we all thoroughly enjoyed. My huge thanks to Donna for taking this on!

The slide pack from the afternoon is available from your manager. The notes from both the Portfolio Planning and the Culture discussions will also soon be distributed through your managers.

Digital Screens Strategy

Rollout of the Curtin Digital Screens Strategy is soon to begin with networking of the campus digital screens underway. Working closely with CITS-AV, a comprehensive audit of all screen equipment has been completed along with a detailed investigation into stakeholder requirements and content workflow planning. The Digital Screens Strategy is intended to ensure content is easily distributed, relevant and engaging. Look out for ongoing improvements.

2016 Australian University Games

Curtin Stadium hosted the very successful 2016 Australian University Games with our Curtin team of 368 students competing across 29 different sports, against 7000 students Australia-wide, to place ninth out of a field of 41 universities. Curtin Stadium was supported by five Physiotherapy students, seven volunteers and coaches and 10 staff. Congratulations to all involved!  The Digital Services Student Experience team provided photo and video coverage of the Games which was used on social media and will be compiled into a video for use at the upcoming Sports Awards breakfast on 4 November. To find out more visit Australian University Games results for Curtin.

Curtin Stadium student placements

The Stadium is a significant industry supporter of our Exercise Physiology students with 42 practicum and work integrated learning placements provided to students so far this year. Of these, 22 students conducted 140 practicum hours in the Participate Achieve Encourage Develop Succeed (PAEDS) children’s physical activity program during term three and four of the school calendar. Three of these students have also been offered employment. See CurtinLife for more information.

John Curtin Weekend

Another successful John Curtin Weekend has come to an end with four hundred Curtin Volunteers! from Perth and 320 volunteers from Curtin’s Miri, Sarawak and Singapore campuses, completing a community project over six consecutive weeks in one of 40 different regional towns and metropolitan sites. Volunteers assisted communities with events, beautification initiatives, and environmental restoration. John Curtin Weekend has been running since 1999 and is a wonderful opportunity for our student volunteers to give back to the community, display leadership and meet new people.

Connect Four

The Digital Student Experience and START teams worked together to develop a Facebook Live pilot called “Connect Four”. Taking place each Wednesday for the first four weeks of semester 2, a panel of subject matter experts addressed common concerns on topics ranging from enrolment, to financial advice and study skills. This initiative was designed to assist all students, including online students who may not be able to access on-campus support services. Follow-up evaluation and a Facebook Live “best practice” guide was developed as an outcome of the pilot and will be made available to any Curtin teams wishing to trial this method of social media engagement through their own channels. Donna Trebilcock and Amy Cleasby were also invited to speak about the pilot at the recent ANZSSA ISANA conference in Perth, which received a great deal of interest from our other university colleagues.

Mental Health Week 10-15 October 2016

A student health promotion report is being prepared following this year’s Mental Health Week activities to help plan future events. Curtin supported this year’s theme ‘Act-Belong-Commit – Together we can save lives’ with a number of activities to provide information, encourage conversation, and promote help-seeking behaviour and engagement with services available on campus. Digital Services Student Experience team assisted the Mental Health at Curtin Committee establish a Facebook event, hosted by Curtin Current Students. A website hosted information about all on-campus events as well as links to information and services.

Inside Curtin final Episode for 2016

Don’t forgot to check out the final episode of Inside Curtin for 2016 where we meet some of our very talented fashion design students as they work on a truly innovative project, check out all the fun and excitement of Curtin’s Open Day, find out about ideas to bring more Indigenous culture to the University grounds, and see world-leading student-designed fashion up on the catwalk. View the full episode online, or at Westfarmers Court daily at 10am and 1pm.

Subscribe to the Inside Curtin web series for updates on new stories. This week:

September DVCA Portfolio Update

By Jill Downie 22 September 2016 Teaching & Learning No Comments »

The Challenge platform

Curtin’s game-inspired e-learning system for self-paced individual and team learning is expanding from informal into formal learning programs. Already Challenge has supported over 8500 students in more than 59,000 learning activities, through 9500 careers learning modules. The effectiveness of Challenge is demonstrated through examples such as, more than 14,000 people have viewed and used the ‘resume building’ module at a cost of $0.50 per person compared to $14 per person in a face-to-face workshop.

Challenge is now integrated with Blackboard. This milestone is a significant achievement for the Challenge (Digital Futures) project which makes low-cost semi-automated delivery of content available to unit coordinators to re-use and reconfigure existing modules. The Learning Futures team plans to release team capabilities and simple authoring of new modules later this year. The Challenge team at Curtin Learning and Teaching, led by Leah Irving, will work with the Leadership Centre to conduct pilots of the new functionality for semester two, including the sports leadership co-curricular program and the Miri Leadership course delivery.

Learning Analytics

A team of data experts is now working in strategic business areas at Curtin challenged with building the university’s international reputation, developing innovative digital learning and creating a distinctive student experience.

The program goals support Curtin’s strategic mission: “To change minds, lives and the world through leadership, innovation and excellence in teaching and research.”

Change happens very quickly in this area and to help keep our academic and professional staff informed, the analytics team will provide general information and updates on the digital pages of the Curtin Learning and Teaching website. Achievements, milestones and other details will be posted via Curtin Weekly.

For those interested in ‘listening in’ on the conversation, a Community of Practice is being set up on Yammer. Membership is restricted to those working in the field, but posts will be available to be viewed by all staff.

First Year Storytelling

PR and transmedia students from Curtin Business School are leading a campaign to shape the future experience of new-to-Curtin students with work they completed in semester one to be incorporated into our 2017 Orientation program.

Bridget Tombleson’s PR and Transmedia Storytelling class worked on strategies to address feelings of isolation and disconnection that were common themes in stories told as part of the First Year Experience Transmedia Research Work undertaken in late 2015-2016.

The student work has been reviewed and some of the best ideas will come to fruition in welcoming our new cohort. This is just one initiative to come out of the First Year Experience Belong Program, led by Nicc Ryan. Become part of the conversation on Yammer. Join here.

Library personalities on social media

The Library has reviewed its approach to social media and relaunched its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels with some outstanding results.

All three channels were given a ‘personality’ makeover before debuting their new style.

The personality behind the Library’s Facebook page is Ashley, a 23-year-old Curtin Postgraduate student who works as a Library Student Assistant and shares a house with their three house mates. Often Ashley chooses to study at the Library to escape the chaos at home. Ashley is very knowledgeable about things at the Library after studying at Curtin for so long. Ashley enjoys helping other students and sharing knowledge about the Library. As Ashley spends much time at the Library, it is important that the facilities are up kept and rules followed. Ashley is described by friends as an extrovert with a great sense of humour and enjoys going to the Tav and attending events held at Uni.

Paul is the personality behind the Library’s Twitter account. He is a middle aged Librarian who lives with his wife and two children who go to University. Paul has social media accounts of his own, he reads the newspaper daily and stays on top of issues that affect university mature aged students such as fee increases, university/library reputation. He focuses less on the day-to-day activities in the Library in favour of larger projects and world news. As Paul has children of his own he is not completely out of touch with the client group but is interested in learning their opinions on matters. Paul likes to share interesting stories from the Library or events such as anniversaries or upcoming events.

Bentlee is the voice of the Library’s Instagram account. She is an   undergrad student who is the envy of all her friends. She always has the best food, finds the best computer at the Library, has the most stylish study equipment and everything seems to go right for her. She is always interested in the new and exciting things going on around the university and likes to be the first to know or experience them. Bentlee likes to share all her experiences with others through her Instagram account. She lets the pictures she posts tell the story. Bentlee is majoring in Architecture and loves taking beautiful pictures of the world surrounding her. Bentlee loves when pictures she takes are received well by her followers and interacts with them accordingly.

Just 10 weeks later, all three channels have surpassed their stretch targets with 606 new followers on Twitter, 173 new followers on Facebook and 1169 followers on the Library’s Instagram account, which was recently launched on 15 August, 2016.

Careers team

Walt Disney was on campus in late August beginning its search for a new 2017 Australian intern. More than 50 students attended the information session organised by our Careers and Employment Centre.  For those students looking to venture out on their own post-graduation, the team also hosted a conference titled Independent by Choice. This new event attracted hundreds of students and included presentations by both industry and Curtin staff, including Student Services Curtin Connect lead Ben Oxford.

The team also hosted a number of other organisations including some from China and Singapore.

This year’s Work Ready Careers Fair, held in August, went live on Facebook with employability workshops broadcast in real time, for the first time.

A suite of collaborative resources are also available for staff, including the Developing Graduate Employability website, launched as part of the Graduate Employability Showcase.  More information is available by calling (08) 9266 7802 or by emailing

Student experience and the University enabling plan

My team and I continue to work with colleagues in other portfolios to develop the learning and student experience component of the University’s enabling plan. I have found the process to be very inspiring and have appreciated the input of some great minds around the University.

Digital Services Strategy

Student engagement insights will become increasingly important as tools for improving our connection and effectiveness with student needs. Teams across my portfolio and Curtin are connecting our analytics resources to create a holistic view of our impact throughout the student lifecycle. In the coming months we’ll be piloting dashboards for student engagement across key digital assets to inform how we can better improve our content and services.

Digital Futures – Implementation of AKARI Curriculum Management System

Implementation of the AKARI Curriculum Management System Release 1 within the Digital Futures program is progressing well. A huge amount of work is going into the planning and implementation of this system which will provide a single accessible repository for approved study package information at Curtin. In the short term it will allow us to automate University study package approval processes and workflows and ultimately will provide a flexible system for staff to view curriculum materials. Presentations are underway to Faculty learning and teaching committees ahead of the first release of the system, which will be replace paper-based manual processes.

My thanks and congratulations to the project team, led by Associate Professor Vanessa Chang and Project Manager Ruchika Goyal and others in Student Services, Curtin Learning and Teaching and the Digital Futures team.

Inside Curtin

The latest episode of Inside Curtin will be screening at Wesfarmers Court daily at 10am and 1pm throughout September. In it, the Fremantle Dockers take our international students through the moves of AFL, VC Professor Deborah Terry, Director Student Services Michelle Rogers and guild members talk about safety on campus, and the Hockeyroos get help from Curtin students and academics. Finally a group of students give their thoughts on how to improve the learning experience at Curtin.

Episode 7 will be available from early October.

Inside Curtin episodes can be viewed here and individual stories are available on the Inside Curtin playlist.

August DVCA Portfolio Update

By Jill Downie 29 August 2016 Teaching & Learning No Comments »

There are many great things to share in our portfolio. All areas continue to be very busy, achieving amazing things and I am very proud and grateful to you all.

My Curtin Heroes

I have recognised many Heroes in the last few months, celebrating with morning tea and a small token of my appreciation. In my mind, a Curtin Hero is someone who goes above and beyond their normal job to achieve something great for Curtin, a student or a fellow staff member. I value all Curtin staff very highly and know you all do the best job you possibly can to help our students achieve their best. It is important to take some time out to acknowledge and celebrate our colleagues who have been noticed by their managers or peers as doing something particularly special in their jobs.

A list of people, with a short description of their Heroism is here.

Portfolio Meetings

Regular meetings of the Academic Portfolio Leadership team are continuing, and proving very valuable in helping to build a strong and unified culture within our portfolio.

In June the group, which consists of my Directors and their first tier management team, discussed the retention strategy for the University, providing valuable input into the retention plan. We also heard about the move to Curtin Connect – the new state-of-the-art student precinct and inquiry centre in building 101/102. This will be operational in the new-year.

Our most recent gathering was a cultural immersion experience in the Swan Valley, led by Elder-in-Residence Associate Professor Simon Forrest. This was a wonderful experience for all those who attended and in particular those staff unfamiliar with the stories of the Noongar warrior and leader Yagan. I would encourage all staff who have not yet completed the Ways of Working (WOW) and other cultural awareness programs to make this a priority for the second half of 2016.

Our next leadership meeting will be held in September and will include a one-hour workshop on engaging with social media.  This is an important strategy to help spread the word using our own personal and professional networks about Curtin’s achievements and leadership in higher education.

You all would have received a calendar item for a joint portfolio get together on 31 August in Building 410. This is an opportunity for you to meet with colleagues in the Corporate Services area and to have a close up inspection of our wonderful new Medical School and learning and teaching building. A second joint portfolio event is planned for 12 October. These meetings provide an excellent opportunity to get to know our colleagues in Corporate Services and to identify potential for cross unit cooperation, so please endeavour to keep these dates free.

Senior Leaders Conference – Strategic Planning

The University Senior Leaders met for two days earlier in August for our annual Senior Leaders Conference. On the first day we heard from inspirational keynote speakers – Elena Douglas, CEO and founder of Knowledge Society; Paul Kelly, Editor-at-Large at The Australian; and Martin Stewart-Weeks, higher education expert and advisor. The rest of the time was largely focused on continued development of Curtin’s new strategic plan, as well as plans for Curtin’s renewed focus on advancement and philanthropy.

The draft Strategic Plan will be released to staff soon. In the meantime, development of the enabling plan initiatives has started. I am working with the Office of Strategy and Planning to bring together a small representative group from across the University to work on Learning and Student Experience Enabling Plan. My executive colleagues are doing the same in the other themes of the strategic plan.

Portfolio Culture Update

I was very pleased to welcome Raelene Tifflin to a meeting with my Directors to discuss our efforts to strengthen the culture in our Portfolio. As you will recall, Raelene is the inaugural lead of the Culture and Values Team (CVT). The role of the CVT is to facilitate and improve communication between portfolio staff and leadership in support of a strengthened portfolio and organisational culture. The CVT will achieve this by encouraging connections in communication and function between portfolio staff and leadership.

We had a great discussion and my Directors and I were grateful to hear Raelene’s feedback which was based on conversations she and other members of the CVT have had together and with individuals across the portfolio.  I value the CVT immensely and believe it has an important role in two-way communication. I look forward to meeting with Raelene again. Raelene will also be attending management team meetings across the portfolio to raise awareness of the team members.

Digital Futures – Implementation of AKARI Curriculum Management System

Implementation of the AKARI Curriculum Management System Release 1 within the Digital Futures program is progressing well. A huge amount of work is going into the planning and implementation of this system which will provide a single accessible repository for approved study package information at Curtin. In the short term it will allow us to automate University study package approval processes and workflows and ultimately will provide a flexible system for staff to view curriculum materials.

Presentations are currently being given to Faculty Learning and Teaching committees ahead of the first release of the system later this year. By all reports people are looking forward to having the system in place which will replace paper based manual processes. This will be a major development for the University.

My thanks go to the project team being led by Associate Professor Vanessa Chang and Project Manager Ruchika Goyal and others involved in Student Services, Curtin Learning and Teaching and the Digital Futures team.

Academic Board Monitoring Meeting – Learning and Student Experience

My thanks and congratulations to all those involved in presenting and preparing presentations for the 29 July Academic Board Monitoring Meeting, which focused on learning and student experience outcomes. More than 120 staff attended the meeting in the new Building 410 including the Vice-Chancellor and other executive members. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. If you were unable to attend, the full session is available on iLecture. Presentations include:

  • Key results on our university KPIs
  • Academic Integrity Program
  • Supporting student learning – aspiration, inclusion, success
    • EESJ and the AHEAD program
    • The Digital experience
    • Library support
  • Key outcomes in Curriculum developments and partnerships

Inside Curtin

The next episode of Inside Curtin will be screening at Wesfarmers Court daily at 10am and 1pm from 26 August. In it, Vice Chancellor Professor Debbie Terry talks to Curtin Student Guild leaders about being safe on campus and the services available 24 hours a day to anyone in need of help. There’s also a lovely piece with Dockers players giving our international students an introduction to AFL, and a piece with Associate Professor Simon Forest on the Indigenous Cultural Capabilities Framework and the on-country courses for staff and students. It also includes a chat between Provost John Cordery and Guild Education representative Sarah Franz on the student experience at Curtin.

Inside Curtin episodes can be viewed here and individual stories are available on the Curtin you tube channel, Inside Curtin playlist.

June DVCA Portfolio Update

By Jill Downie 10 August 2016 Teaching & Learning No Comments »

Digital futures brings personalised learning

We’ve had some major success in achieving our goals to personalise the Curtin experience for our on-campus and online students. Key strategic areas across the university now have a new breed of scientist on their team whose highly valued skill is the ability to make sense of the millions of contacts our students make with Curtin-connected digital systems, software, internet and social media networks. The distributed analytics team is working across Marketing, Careers, Business Intelligence and Learning and Teaching.

Their expertise will provide the statistical evidence to inform decision making around the development of new courses and other products as well as potential new markets. This will support our work in developing MOOCs, opportunities for the edX and Challenge Platforms, as well as demand for micro-credentialing. It will also help us manage communication with students, make recommendations based on our knowledge of their strengths and areas of interest, and provide important data to inform our commitment to Assurance of Learning.

Supporting this work is the Student Profile Dashboard, developed and funded by the Client Relationship Management analytics projects. The dashboard will be owned by the START team and updated eight times a year to help staff offer personalised, informed advice. When a student contacts the START team, the dashboard will populate with information drawn from various sources, creating a personalised student profile.

Stories from our students on their first year experience at Curtin

The final report on our First Year storytelling project is now complete and available to all staff. Personal recollections of Curtin students’ first year experience combined with interviews and data profiling has been distilled into a recommendation report for the First Year Experience – Inclusion, Diversity and Storytelling project. The document is confidential and while it is available to all staff, it must not be distributed externally.

The recommendations have informed the creation of an extended Orientation and Transition program to be piloted in Semester 2, 2016. The program, titled Belong, will enhance a range of existing engagement initiatives by injecting a transmedia storytelling approach. It will be a collaboration between staff from across portfolios and faculties and be distributed to first year students through multiple channels such as video, social media, website, print, product, event, email, SMS and phone call.

The program will also include professional development workshops to develop transmedia awareness and skills training for professional and academic staff.

Find out more and/or register for skills training at Curtin’s Transmedia storytelling – first year student experience Yammer group or contact Nicc Ryan.

Jon Sanders solo sailor

Congratulations to our university librarian Catherine Clark and her team on their social media campaign, Triple Solo Sailor, which recreates Jon Sanders’ world-record breaking solo triple circumnavigation of the globe, 30 years after he first set sail.

The campaign is based around a daily blog featuring logbook data, pictures and footage taken on the original voyage by Jon Sanders and held in Curtin’s Project Endeavour Collection. People from all around the world are able to follow Sanders’ journey from Fremantle Port, Western Australia, for the 658 days it took him to complete the record breaking journey. Listen to Catherine’s interview on 6PR and follow the Triple Solo Sailor blog.

Hockey Australia student videos

Five film and television students have captured the spirit of our Olympic hockey team in four short videos that follow the Hockeyroo and Kookaburra captains on the field and at home during the lead up to the 2016 international event.

The Work Integrated Learning opportunity was made possible through our partnership with Hockey Australia, which operates from the Curtin Hocky Stadium. The students, Zoe Beeson, Rebecca Rando, Monique Hammond, Belinda Thomas and Lauren Mazzucato worked under the direction of media and creative arts lecturer Richard Seale, to a genuine client brief. The films will be screened in Inside Curtin at Wesfarmers Court.

Welcome to Sir Charles Court Award winners

Curtin recently hosted a welcome lunch for recipients of the inaugural Sir Charles Court Leadership Awards, providing an opportunity for the new-to-Curtin students to meet each other and find out about the University’s co-curricular programs. In semester one, seven students received the award, which recognises alumni of the Sir Charles Court Young Leaders Program, who enrol at Curtin.

Leaders program wraps up

Curtin’s Leaders Program workshops concluded this semester with a record number of students taking part. Guest speakers included a spoken word artist, a local government councillor and the CEO and founder of a youth focussed not-for-profit organisation. We’re looking forward to another round of engaging workshops in Semester 2!

Leadership Academy Graduates

This semester’s JCLA participants have graduated from the program, having achieved outstanding results for their community partners:

  • Fundraised over $180,000 in conjunction with community partners
  • Reached over 13,000 people through events and online engagement
  • Developed marketing materials including flyers, promotional videos and articles
  • Presented over 200 mobile phone app ideas.


A graduation ceremony was held on Friday 3 June with the Vice-Chancellor and the founding members of the JCLA program in attendance to help celebrate the students’ achievements. The CLC has helped 14 Curtin students receive scholarships to attend the LEAP Program, held at UCLA in July.

Over 500 young leaders from around the world will attend the program, designed to develop the leadership tools fundamental to creating success in life.

Students will be housed in the UCLA dormitories and attend a week of development activities, including mentor workshops, tours and presentations from high-profile speakers.

Reconciliation Week

Congratulations to everyone involved in this year’s Reconciliation events, held from 26 May to 3 June. This year Curtin took a very collaborative approach to acknowledging Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week (NRW) with representatives from CAS, the DVCA portfolio, Place Activation, the Student Guild and Reconciliation WA working together to coordinate a number of activities.

It was truly heartening to see over 80 people in attendance for the Sorry Day ceremony and to hear staff and students share personal stories and experiences of reconciliation in the local and broader community. I was very pleased to help officiate the launch of the Indigenous Cultural Capabilities Framework (ICCF) along with Elder-In-Residence Simon Forrest. The ICCF offers staff and students opportunities to engage in Indigenous cultural training and immersion experiences, and demonstrates Curtin’s ongoing commitment to supporting Indigenous culture.

In addition there were a range of other activities held across campus throughout the week including a keynote speech from James Back (Reconciliation WA), musical performances, and TedX talk screenings. Thank you to everyone involved in making NRW such a success. View video on the ICCF.

Student Service Centre: 1300 222 888

Students will find it much easier to navigate phone access to the Student Services Centre with the activation of a single 1300 number providing a gateway to all areas of student services. The new number is 1300 222 888 and incorporates IVR (Ie/ press 02 for enrolments) to direct queries.

The Curtin Student Services number has favourable meaning in Asian cultures with the lucky and prosperous number 08 featured and 02 which translates to ‘easy’.

A copy of a flyer promoting the new number for staff and students is available from


The number can be expanded in the future to include other areas of the University such as Future students.

The new UCCX Cisco Contact Centre Management (Telephone Traffic) system is also now in place and will allow us to monitor how well we are managing student phone inquiries.


This is just one of the new systems in place to help us offer a more responsive, agile and personalised service. Telephone Call Recording will also begin this week to assist in coaching. A new multimedia customer centre will be in place from August and will include the Cisco UCCX) and student facing KPI’s as well as email and face-to-face inquiries.

May DVCA Portfolio Update

By 227660i 26 May 2016 Teaching & Learning No Comments »

OLT Fellowships

Curtin teaching academics are winning accolades nationwide with two of our staff announced as recipients of the prestigious Office for Learning and Teaching Fellowship. Curtin Academy Fellows, John Curtin Distinguished Professor Dawn Bennett and Associate Professor Lisa Tee will begin their OLT Fellowship later this year after a formal presentation ceremony in late July.

Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Awards

The news follows the celebration of our internal 2015 Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching presented at the closing ceremony of 2016 Festival of Learning.

View the presentation video. Congratulations to our OLT Fellowship recipients, award winners and worthy staff who submitted entries. Best of luck for the 2016 OLT Citations and Teaching Awards.

Festival of Learning

Our third annual Festival of Learning was held in the first week of May and began in the Engineering Pavilion with a “Tech Tasters” expo of 3-d printing, virtual reality goggles, and maker space creativity, among others. Over three days, staff attended a total of 37 presentations, workshops and activities. View our highlights video

Discussions are already being held to revamp the Festival in 2017, with the aim of building the profile of the conference and our presenters both internally and with key external audiences. A survey form has been released for general feedback but if you would like to be part of the “think tank” building the 2017 Festival please contact Sharon Iannello.

Executive Conversations

Curtin’s Bentley campus has come to life over the past three years with entertainment, activities and services that have many students choosing to spend more and more time here. This focus on the student experience, both in and out of the class room, prompted Student Guild President Jake Wittey and his colleagues to ask our Senior Executive Team about their own experiences at University and where they see the future for Curtin and the student experience. A snapshot of each conversation was captured on video and can be viewed here.

Inside Curtin

A brand new episode of Inside Curtin is screening now at Wesfarmers court and is available on You Tube and the Learning for Tomorrow website. Featured this month is a visit to campus by giant human body parts, news on our plans to improve the digital services, upcoming overseas exchange opportunities available for students, and the Fremantle Dockers and other Curtin sponsorship partners.

Workforce of The Future

Pricewaterhouse Coopers Partner and former academic Dr Simon Avenell was at Curtin earlier this month to discuss the “Australian Higher Education Workforce of the Future” report which explores the rapidly changing nature of relationships between institutions, students, competitors, industries and broader communities.  If universities of the future are to become digitally enabled, multicultural, flexible, collaborative, highly efficient and competitive in attracting students, then their workforces also need to evolve, according to the report. If you were unable to attend the presentation I encourage you to watch the i-lecture. The report is also available for download.

Student services introduces cashless payments

Congratulations to the Fee and Student Service Centre teams who have been working closely with Financial Services to move to a cashless operating environment. From 30 May 2016  all student tuition and incidental payments will be completed electronically using Curtin’s preferred payment method Curtin ePay. One of the major aims of the initiative was the injection of greater flexibility in making payments to the University as the online facility allows users to perform their transactions anywhere and at any time.   This has been a massive undertaking and is a huge achievement for the teams involved.

Curtin Stadium makes it practical for exercise science students

Well done to the Curtin Stadium for again supporting our students in their practicum placement. The Stadium will this year host 20 third year Exercise, Sport and Rehabilitation Science students as part of the Bachelor of Science, under the wing of the Accredited Exercise Physiologists in the Fitness Centre. Curtin Stadium takes two students in 10 week blocks each to allow them to complete their 140 hours, and takes up to 5 blocks per year.

April DVCA Portfolio Update

By 227660i 3 May 2016 Teaching & Learning No Comments »

Orientation success

It has been another busy start to the year with our students now in full study mode in the lead up to first semester assessments. I’d like to acknowledge the work of our Student Services and Support Services teams who did an amazing job welcoming our new and returning students and sorting through the myriad of questions and queries that come with enrolment, orientations and the new semester. Read more

Inside Curtin

View the highlights of Orientation Week in the April episode of Inside Curtin where we talk to Amy Cleasby, Manager, Student Engagement & Retention, about the links between Orientation and retention. Other stories on Inside Curtin include our new partnership with Hockey Australia, an update on Greater Curtin and construction works on campus as well as Curtin’s space activation program.
The May episode of Inside Curtin screens from next week in Wesfarmers Court at 10am and 1pm daily. Subscribe to the Learning for Tomorrow you tube channel to be among the first to few each new episode.

Festival of Learning on this week

Join me in the Engineering Pavilion, building 215, on Wednesday 4 May at 9am as we officially launch the 2016 Festival of Learning. There will be a range of interesting technologies on show including the new Virtual Reality Samsun Goggles, as well as a pop up maker space. Make sure you come and join in!
The Festival runs over three days and culminates in the presentation of the Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Awards on Friday afternoon at 3pm in the John Curtin Gallery. Our guest speaker, Wayne Macintosh, Director of the Open Education Resource Foundation and the UNESCO/ICDE Chair in OER presents the first session at 11am in Building 105.107 (Library building). See the full program. I hope to see you at the opening and closing events and many sessions in between.

Academic Portfolio Culture and Values Team

A Culture and Values Team has been established within the Academic Portfolio as part of our commitment to a positive and effective organisational culture. The team led by Raelene Tifflin of Curtin Learning and Teaching will provide an important two-way communication and engagement mechanism. Members include Marie Clarke from the University Library, Amanda Willis and Mel Henry from Ethics, Equity and Social Justice and Dr Liz Henry from Student Services. Representatives from Centre for Aboriginal Studies, Support Services and the Office of the Academic Registrar are being finalised. More information will follow once the team is up and running, but please feel free to make contact with any of the members.

Academic Portfolio Leadership Group Meeting

Curtin’s Chief Strategy Officer, Marco Schultheis and his team presented on the framework and development process for the new Strategic Plan when the Portfolio Leadership Group met on 15 April. This was also the first in a planned series of engagement exercises to obtain stakeholder input on Curtin’s future positioning, opportunities and challenges, and potential strategic response.

The Portfolio Leadership team also discussed the University Retention Strategy and the Digital Learning at Curtin Strategy, with each area identifying a number of actions they would take to support improved retention across the University. A number of proposed focus areas were also identified which will be discussed SET before being shared more broadly.

Assessment Quality Panel Process Improvements

Well done to Connie Price, Jon Yorke and other members of their team for their work on enhancements to the Assessment Quality Panel (AQP) processes and reports through the Transforming Curtin IT Assessment Ecosystem project. These improvements will make the AQP process easier for unit coordinators to complete, resulting in more timely reports which are of a higher quality. Connie has run induction sessions for AQP members covering the enhanced processes and the first round of reports out of this new process is expected at ULTC in May.

July DVCE Portfolio Update

By 227660i 22 July 2015 Teaching & Learning No Comments »

Another busy month for the Education portfolio and our project teams working on improving the Curtin student experience. Some of the highlights from July include:

  • A student competition to design a “spirit trap” EcoPod for the Bentley campus
  • NAIDOC week tribute at the Stadium
  • Latest episodes of Inside Curtin screening now
  • New vacancies in student services
  • More than 3000 learners signed on for the Business of mining MOOC
  • A campus wide call to make poppies for the Remembrance Day exhibition in John Curtin Gallery

Read more about what has been going on here.

Inside Curtin 2015 Episode 6

By 227660i 2 July 2015 Teaching & Learning No Comments »

In this episode we attend Curtin’s official signing ceremony as we become a member of the prestigious edx group. We celebrate our Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander culture and students at the Yokai Festival; discover a fantastic program that helps our students earn money while they study; and delve into the exciting world of multimodal research.

DVC Education Portfolio Update

By Jill Downie 2 April 2015 Teaching & Learning No Comments »

Festival Roundup

The 2015 Festival of Learning was a huge success with more than 130 activities held over five days across the Bentley campus. The week opened with a sausage sizzle in Wesfarmers Court and finished with the presentation of the Curtin Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching at the John Curtin Gallery on the Friday afternoon. In between staff and students met in both formal and informal settings to discuss the Curtin learning experience, and share ideas and experiences. View the Festival highlights here. Read more…

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