Inclusive Education the CloudFirst Way

Inclusive Education the CloudFirst Way

Inclusive Education the CloudFirst Way


NOV, 2019

Teaching & Learning
Good Practice
Inclusive Education
Digital Innovation


Inclusivity is at the heart of Deakin’s values: we embrace difference and nurture a connected, safe and respectful community.1 Creating inclusive learning experiences for students is key, and the best way to achieve this is to consider inclusivity from the beginning of the design phase.  CloudFirst Learning Design offers one way to design for inclusivity. Deakin’s Inclusive Education Principles can be mapped to CloudFirst Learning Design, so staff are guided to consider key inclusivity elements from the start.

Many of the inclusive techniques used in CloudFirst Learning Design are simple and what we would expect of a ‘best practice’ design.

For example:

  • Clearly identify learning aims
  • Scaffold content, activities and assessments
  • Provide captions, transcripts and consistent heading levels
  • Design self-check opportunities complete with explanatory feedback
  • Build in opportunities for peer learning and social connections
  • Guide students through clearly-signposted learning pathways with study support resources embedded at key times.

Other creative techniques include, creating personas that represent the diversity of our student cohort, providing options in assessment tasks that give students genuine opportunities to demonstrate their learning in different ways, and representing content in multiple mediums such as imagery, video and audio.

Above: Inclusive Education Principles mapped against CloudFirst learning design.
These examples and other practical strategies were discussed at Deakin’s Inclusive Education Community of Practice August event, demonstrating that at Deakin, best practice is inclusive practice in learning design. You can view the presentation and other Inclusive Education resources at the CoP event page, or, if you would like to know more about CloudFirst Learning Design, please contact Darci Taylor.

1Deakin University. (2019). Values. Retrieved from:

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DLF Lunchtime Series #7 – How to build learner autonomy through branching narratives

DLF Lunchtime Series #7 – How to build learner autonomy through branching narratives

DLF Lunchtime Series #7:
How to build learner autonomy through branching narratives


OCT, 2019

Lunchtime Series
Teaching & Learning
Branching Narratives

Above: Danielle Teychanne

Presented by Danielle Teychenné, Interactive Media Developer in the Health Pod of Deakin Learning Futures, on the 29th October.

A step by step approach to building branching narratives for teaching and learning

Made popular by ‘Choose your own adventure’ books and digital games, a “Choice-Based Narrative is a story that allows for choices to arise at designated junctures within an experience” (Velissaris, 2017, p.16) and are a powerful tool for teaching and learning. 

These interactive experiences can foster student agency, problem solving and critical thinking; illustrating potential consequences that one’s decisions have on any given situation. With unlimited replayability, branching narratives afford students a safe environment for failure in which they can develop vulnerability that is critical for deep learning. 


Above from left to right: Julia Savage introduces Danielle’s Session; the audience engaged in activities; Danielle presenting.

Branching narratives can also offer students a perspective that is vastly different from their own, allowing the player to step into the shoes of a character –  which can promote empathy and understanding. With new generations of school leavers entering university, “storytelling is important to Gen Z. They care about seamless experiences and ongoing relationships — not transactions” (EY, 2016, p.). In our digital age, these narratives can provide a fun and enjoyable learning experience for students in which they are actively engaged. 

 With HTML authoring tools (such as H5P and Twine) it is now easier than ever to create and publish highly interactive experiences for student learning.  

 This workshop presented a step by step process of brainstorming and drafting a branching narrative, including vital story elements such as main message, character development (including motivations, backstory etc), conflict, twists and decision points. 

 Danielle will be hosting this workshop at Deakin Downtown on February 26, 2020.


EY, 2017, From innovation to expectation — how M&E leaders are responding to Gen Z, EY, available here

Velissaris, N.: Making a choice: The Melete Effect and establishing a poetics for choice-based narratives. Ph.D. thesis (2017), available here

Useful Resources

Attached are Danielle’s slides and how to guide.

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DLF Lunchtime Series #6 – WIL at the Course Level

DLF Lunchtime Series #6 – WIL at the Course Level

DLF Lunchtime Series #6
WIL at the Course Level


OCT, 2019

Academic Integrity
Teaching & Learning
Teaching Capabilities
Lunchtime Series

Presented by Friedrika Kaider, Lecturer in the Arts & Education Pod, and, Lisa Milne, Lecturer in the Teaching Capability Team, of Deakin Learning Futures.

How can course directors and curriculum developers plan work-integrated learning strategically across the length of a degree?

In this presentation, Friederika and Lisa focussed on an authentic assessment framework that can guide the implementation of WIL at a course level. The framework demonstrates a progressive implementation approach from introductory WIL assessment (low proximity to a workplace) through to highly authentic assessment with high proximity to a workplace. An important discussion about the WIL needs of international students in post-graduate courses was facilitated in this interactive presentation.

Contact Friedrika Kaider or Lisa Milne for more information. The presentation is available via this PowerPoint


Useful Resources

The WIL at Course Level Powerpoint

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The Architecture of Resilience Studio – with Akari Nakai Kidd and Daniel Gibbs

The Architecture of Resilience Studio – with Akari Nakai Kidd and Daniel Gibbs

The Architecture of Resilience Studio with Akari Nakai Kidd & Daniel Gibbs
OCT, 2019
Teaching & Learning
Good Practice
Faculty Award
Award Series
Akari Nakai Kidd is a Lecturer in the School of Architecture and Built Environment (ABE), in the Faculty of Science Engineering and Built-Environment, and Daniel Gibbs is a casual academic and practising architect.
Recently the duo won a SEBE Teaching and Learning Award Citation for their effective team teaching approach and critical practice. The Arichitecture of Resilience Studio engages students to critically and responsibly address global scale built environment issues, and to reassess the roles and responsibilities of architects in continually evolving, diverse and ecologically fragile environments.

Akari and Daniel (and a couple of passionate students) shared their thoughts on their practice. Watch the video below:

Another recent article from the School of Architecture and Built Environment explores Susan Ang’s Intercultural Dialogue through Design project here.
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WIL at the FreelanicingHUB with Jamie Mustard

WIL at the FreelanicingHUB with Jamie Mustard

Experiential Learning at the FreelanceHUB with Jamie Mustard.
OCT, 2019
Teaching & Learning


Jamie Mustard is the Director of DeakinTalent’s Freelancing HUB situated in the Graduate Employment Division.
The freelancing hub is a DeakinTALENT initiative designed to simulate real-world start-up environments. Students are brought together from different disciplines to generate new campaigns, ideas and strategies for a number of real-world clients who they regularly meet with and present findings to. In addition to the many typical skills students walk away with from their term at the freelance hub is the work experience associated with this consultancy styled professional context.
Left: Jamie greets staff, students and clients to the FreelanceHUB client presentation day.

Right: Students gather Downtown for their client presentations.

The program is an incredible opportunity for students to develop foundational skills crucial for the workforce. For students who have never worked in a Australian professional setting the HUB helps them establish an understanding of basic office collegiality and etiquette – for example, showing up at 9AM in work attire, negotiating and managing expectations as part of a team, or how to navigate roles and responsibilities while interfacing with other employees, project managers and clients.
Left: Students pass over their outputs to clients and recieve feedback.

Right: Students offering a token of appreciation to their clients.

The professional journey for student candidates begins as soon as they submit their applications. They are treated as prospective employees and are interviewed for roles in the various project teams. Both successful and unsuccessful applicants are provided feedback to help them improve and prepare for future applications. While there are a number of similar opportunities for work-integrated-learning embedded in the faculties, the FreelancingHUB offers a unique cross-disciplinary space for students to safely experiment with their professional practice while broadening their ability to work reflexively and with diversity.

Student reflections highlight the authentic and enjoyable nature of working in the FreelanceHUB:

“The most important part of the FreelancingHUB is working with a mixed disciplinary group of students, it really taught me what it was like to be in a professional work environment. We were so glad our work was able to make a positive change for the client.”

Matt Kloszynski, Bachelor of Media and Communications (Marketing)

“Having previously never worked with a client before, I have been challenged in ways that have enriched my studies and pushed me to work at gaining independence in a professional work environment.”

Sarah Young, Bachelor of Creative Arts (Animation and Motion Capture)

“I loved meeting new people, being challenged across the duration of the placement, meeting client needs and changing perspectives and research appropriately, as well as working as part of a likeminded team who produced something to be really proud of in the end!”

Rebecca, Bachelor of Creative Arts (Animation and Motion Capture)

For more on the FreelancingHUB:

Contact the FreelancingHUB or visit their website

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Inclusive Education Series: Teaching LGBTIQ+ students

Inclusive Education Series: Teaching LGBTIQ+ students

Inclusive Education Series: Teaching LGBTIQ+ students
OCT, 2019

Teaching & Learning
Good Practice
Inclusive Ed
Teaching LGBTQI+

Dr Janet Watson, Inclusive Education Project, Deakin Learning Futures and also LGBTIQ+ researcher and author.
The latest addition to the ICCB website is a rich set of resources to support Teaching LGBTIQ+ students. Conservative estimates from recent Australian research suggests that at least 11% of Australians may be of diverse sexual orientation, sex or gender identity, with higher rates in younger age groups. This means a significant number of LGBTIQ+ students may be enrolled at Deakin. It is therefore important for staff to be aware of the challenges facing these students and what you can do to be more inclusive.

What are the key concerns for students?

Despite advances in social and human rights for LGBTIQ+ people, discrimination, prejudice, exclusion and oppression continue to plague many aspects of their daily lives. This significantly impacts their mental health and may lead to depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide or suicidal thoughts. Invisibility in university student data and lack of curricula representation further compounds discriminatory and exclusionary experiences for LGBTIQ+ students.

What obstacles do staff face?

Staff often lack the confidence, knowledge and deeper understanding about LGBTIQ+ people and their language and experiences rather than being intentionally homo/bi/trans-phobic.  Not wanting to ‘get it wrong’ leads to saying nothing, which may further exclude LGBTIQ+ students from teaching and learning environments. 

What can staff do?

  • cultivate respectful learning environments
  • understand LGBTIQ+ terminology
  • use inclusive language, such as non-gendered pronoun usage
  • challenge discriminatory or abusive language and behaviour
  • facilitate open and safe classroom discussions about sex, gender and sexuality (where relevant to unit content)
  • represent LGBTIQ+ content in the curriculum and teaching LGBTIQ+ issues (where relevant)
  • avoid content that is negative, pathologises, victimises or sensationalises LGBTIQ+ people and their concerns and experiences
  • set flexible assessments (unit design permitting) that enables students to explore topics of personal interest
  • be a visible role model to students, whether as an LGBTIQ+ staff member or ally

For a guide on how to implement these inclusive teaching strategies refer to Teaching LGBTIQ+ students.  Included here is a comprehensive glossary and further information, resources and supports services.

Deakin case study: Introducing trans* identities to Health students

This short video by Dr Julie Peters—renowned transgender writer, activist and scholar—produced for HSH313 Contemporary Health Issues students, introduces and contextualises a contemporary LGBTIQ+ health issue within course learning outcomes and health profession standards. This was designed to both reinforce student code of conduct and anticipate possible student distress.

 A transcript can be downloaded here: A topic for HSH313 by Julie Peters (DOCX 23KB)  
[1] LGBTIQ+ denotes: lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, intersex, queer, and plus (which refers to those who identify or self-describe in other ways, and also includes allies).

Some Useful Resources

Teaching LGBTQI+ Students on ICCB  

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