Student Voice Series #02 with Rahul Masakorala
SEP, 2019
Teaching & Learning
Students as Partners
Good Practice

Digital Innovation
Rahul Masakorala, a student partner and intern from SEBE, works in Deakin Learning Futures, actively contributing to the Digital Learning Environments projects 3 (Collaboration and Portfolio). His is one of many student voices at the university shaping how projects are developed and strategies implemented.
In 2019, the DLE3 Digital Tools project – as part of the larger DLE-program – significantly contributes to the Deakin LIVE Agenda’s promise to “Provide a brilliant education where students are and where they want to go using elegant and engaging digital tools”.

Deakin’s Digital Learning Environments are diverse and complex. To grow our position as a world leader in premium digital – or CloudFirst – learning, the DLE 3 project aims to deliver the continuous improvement of, and cohesion between, these environments for the 21st century learning.

The DLE3 Project is defined by three project streams: collaboration, self and peer assessment and ePortfolio. Each project stream is built around a pedagogical framework or set of principles that supports the development of skills and capabilities to prepare our graduates for the future world of work and lifelong learning.

Recently the DLE3 Project has welcomed a student partner as part of a DLF internship program to help investigate, analyse, trial and evaluate educational technologies across project streams. Rahul, as a new addition to our team, reflects on his time with us at DLF:

“I am currently in my second year of my game development degree and joined the DLE3 team just a few weeks ago. The student as partners framework has allowed me to provide a student perspective when investigating digital tools in teaching and learning. While the teaching practices play a crucial role in selection of these tools, it is equally important that the tools are user friendly and the student feels they have a reason to use it, aside from being required to. My role working within DLE3 so far has let me bring up issues through trying out these tools for the first time and this feedback has informed the evaluation of digital tools. In addition, as Microsoft Teams and some of the other technologies being tested are present in the units I am undertaking, I can provide not only the ideas and problems faced by myself, but by other students in a way that cannot be represented with a survey.

As part of these evaluations, I have also had to look through the lens of the teachers perspective, which at times can be challenging, but I am beginning to understand some of the concerns and reasons for wanting specific features from a teaching point of view. The experience so far has been a learning one, being able to sit in on meetings with heads of faculty and be given equal opportunity to speak out and voice opinions on the tools being discussed feels less like a “peek behind the curtain” and more like an extension of what I do during my academic activities at university.”

Useful Resources

For more on DLE3 visit our Future State Architecture page here (staff access).

And for more on the Students as Partners initiative here is a publication by our own Deakin colleagues Milburn, L. & Jones, D. 2019

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