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24 November 2021

Congratulations to the VC Award winners for Teaching Team of the Year

Congratulations to the team from the Psychology Honours course for taking out the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Team of the Year. Their winning submission was ‘Using Design Thinking and Self-Regulated Learning to Transform Australia’s largest multi-modal Psychology Honours course from Traditional to Flexible Learning.’

In Australia, the Psychology Honours program is a highly competitive, pre-professional training course that forms a mandatory part of the single pathway to registration as a practising Psychologist. Psychology Honours is an intensive, one-year training program involving a major research dissertation and pre-professional coursework. Despite perceived barriers to flexible online delivery for Psychology Honours courses, consistently low levels of student satisfaction with the course and exponential increases in student enrolments prompted the team to implement a large-scale transformation of Deakin’s Psychology Honours suite of courses. The changes focused on supporting diverse student needs, improving the student experience, and promoting opportunities for employment and postgraduate pathways.

The course team has delivered a sustainable premium learning experience through exemplary evaluative practice and innovative digital delivery for the past three years. Using Design Thinking principles, the learner is placed at the heart of course design, delivery, and support. Learner achievement is assured through partnerships with industry, authentic learning experiences and assessment, as well as effective feedback to ensure that graduates are ‘work ready’. Learners are supported to apply their growing skills to a range of real-world practical contexts, harnessing innovative learning design that builds in opportunities for individualised skill development.

The positive outcomes of the changes to the course were benefits to both colleagues and students. The innovative learning design framework received widespread recognition among peers, including the uptake of the learning design in other courses. The transformation of the program has also received significant student recognition, reflected in a 162% increase in course applications since 2017, and improved student satisfaction across the course.  Overall, the focus on high-quality learning experiences contributed to higher enrolments to the course and better outcomes for students.

The team behind the winning submission for Teaching Team of the Year are Associate Professor Jaclyn Broadbent, Dr Elizabeth Westrupp, Dr Nicholas Ryan, Associate Professor Christian Hyde, Dr Nicolas Kambouropoulos, Asssociate Professor Jarrad Lum and Mx Nicolas Bennett.

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