Digital Innovation Series
01 CloudFirst
MARCH, 2019
Digital Innovation
Teaching & Learning
Judy Currey, Director of Active Learning and Professor of Nursing in the Faculty of Health.
At Deakin, all students’ learning experiences begin online. In CloudFirst, learning is reimagined and designed for the 21st century. The CloudFirst CoDesign project upholds our promise to provide students with a brilliant education by purposefully designing online learning materials, and enhancing student interactions with peers and teachers to improve learning. Educational designers and digital resource developers from Deakin Learning Futures collaborate with faculty teaching and support staff to redesign, refresh and align existing unit content, considering disciplinary and educational contexts. Online learning experiences enable students to acquire knowledge and interact with peers; these are complemented by active and collaborative seminars, either online or on campus, in which teachers guide students to apply their knowledge and skills.
Rene Hahn, Senior Educational Designer, CloudFirst CoDesign Project.
I am a Senior Educational Designer in the CloudFirst project. It is my role to work with academics and other specialist staff to develop online units that are designed for premium online learning experiences. This CloudFirst approach is in contrast to retrofitting content developed for, and presented in, face to face lectures, and then put online for reference. The CloudFirst project aims to provide a learning environment that supports active learning, engages students and gives opportunities for students to collaborate, question, test their understandings – really, all of the best practice learning strategies that have traditionally only been possible in a face-to-face learning environment.
“CloudFirst approach is important to my work as an educational designer because it acknowledges that learning online is not just an educational afterthought”
For his MBA course, Colin had completed the highlevel planning, looking at the unit learning outcomes and GLOs, and developing a learning journey that built understanding of the fundamental theories and concepts. The challenge that we worked on together was to ensure that students working through the unit online have everything they need to succeed. We used the CloudFirst template to develop content, opportunities for collaboration, and clear scaffolding for assignments. My role was to ensure that the language was clear, that there was no ambiguity in the way ideas were presented, and to take advantage of the opportunities that online environments provide.  Colin and I worked collaboratively to refine the topics.

CloudFirst approach is important to my work as an educational designer because it acknowledges that learning online is not just an educational afterthought. CloudFirst demands that the educational experience of cloud students is considered and planned for explicitly. I like that CloudFirst asks academics to rethink their approach – this benefits cloud students and the broader student body. CloudFirst aims to ensure that units utilise all of the tools and strategies that are best for online and located learning.

Useful Resources for the CloudFirst Project

CloudFirst 101 Course

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