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Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor – Education News

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.


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