2020 AAUT– Meet Deakin’s Wildlife and Conservation Biology degree team

2020 AAUT– Meet Deakin’s Wildlife and Conservation Biology degree team

04

MARCH, 2021

AAUT
Rewards and Recognition

Assoc. Prof. John White, Assoc. Prof. Raylene Cooke and Assoc. Prof. Mike Weston

Pictured left to right: Assoc. Prof. Raylene Cooke, Assoc. Prof. John White and Assoc. Prof. Mike Weston

Assoc. Prof. John White, Assoc. Prof. Raylene Cooke and Assoc. Prof. Mike Weston recently won an Award for Programs that Enhance Learning at the 2020 Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT). The award recognised their work on Deakin’s Wildlife and Conservation Biology degree, which provides students with the opportunity to take part in immersive international experiences and develop skills, experience and attitudes to become highly employable conservation practitioners, ready to tackle the global environmental challenges facing society today and into the future.

We spoke to Assoc. Prof. John White about the AAUT award, Deakin’s Wildlife and Conservation Biology degree and the process of applying.

How does it feel to have your work recognised by the AAUT?

We’re all delighted. It does confirm to us what we’re doing something pretty special. It’s great to have our work recognised nationally.

Tell us about the Deakin’s Wildlife and Conservation biology degree.

Our submission was around the idea of creating globally competent and globally prepared wildlife and conservation biology graduates. Over the last 12 years, we’ve developed a process to prepare graduates, so they have the field skills and the theoretical skills of their area, but are also skilled in intercultural communication, with a much broader depth of understanding of international issues.

In the past, our students were mainly going overseas on exchange to Western countries, where they received a Western experience. We wanted our students to be working in biodiversity hotspots around the world, so we created a global engagement program.

One example is a field program study in Borneo for 16 students a year. We really immerse ourselves in the issues from both the Indigenous perspective, through to the government perspective. We live in Indigenous communities and really get a feel for the complexity of conservation issues in Borneo.

Another example a global environmental placement, where Assoc. Prof. Raylene Cooke and her team send out up to 100 students to locations around the world, from working in a rhino sanctuary in Uganda, through to more basic placements working in conservation in New Zealand for students with less experience.

What was the impact on students?

We’ve managed to build the number of students who actually get an international experience from what was 5% of our graduates to a point now where 79.2% of our graduates in the past 3 years have completed their degree having had an international experience, a level of internationalisation that substantially exceeds the Australian average of 21.9% (AUIDF Learning Abroad benchmarking 2019).

For me, what’s great about running the Borneo unit is that we go there with students, and so we actually get to see their skills grow. Something that becomes apparent very quickly is that students often have strongly entrenched Western viewpoints. They’ve been trained in that way of thinking and they’ve also been trained in certain solutions that work in Australia, or work in Europe, or work in North America. When you go to another place and ask students to immerse and really start to understand what’s going on, it’s very challenging at first. I don’t think students realise how entrenched their worldview is until its challenged by somebody else’s worldview.

What value did you get out of the submission process for AAUT?

Going through the application process was good for us, in a sense that it allowed us to really crystallise a little bit of the logic behind what we do and put a narrative behind it. It was a worthwhile exercise for us to really sit there and consider what we’ve been doing and the strategy behind it, taking the time to write a really clear narrative that showed how we planned the process, what’s changed and adapted.

The process was really well supported by the University. We had a mentor assigned to us who helped with the initial draft, then there was a drafting process where we got feedback. The process confirmed for us that over last 10 years of really hard work, and a lot of time away from home, we have produced something very unique.

What was it like working with our Deakin mentors in developing your submission?

Our mentor had won a team award in the past, so it was good to have somebody that had done it before, who could bring a ‘teacher’ view to the application. They had really valuable feedback as we went through the process.

What advice do you have for Deakin colleagues who might be thinking about nominating for AAUT in 2021?

If you have a good case to put forward for your work – do it. Try going through the University’s initial process of faculty teaching awards as a good way to familiarise yourself with writing these kinds of applications. Take stock of what you’re doing, and if there’s leadership behind the work and there’s a clear narrative behind what you’re doing, go for it.

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Congratulations to Deakin’s 2020 AAUT winners

Congratulations to Deakin’s 2020 AAUT winners

Congratulations to Deakin’s 2020 AAUT winners

25

FEBRUARY, 2021

Recognition and rewards
AAUT

Deakin University has been awarded one program award and two citations at the 2020 Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT). Established in 1997 by the Australian Government, the awards celebrate excellence in higher education and recognise learning and teaching programs or services that have a positive impact on the student experience.

‘Deakin is delighted to congratulate our three award-winning teams,’ said Professor Liz Johnson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Education. ‘It is terrific to see excellence in learning and teaching recognised nationally particularly after the intense effort from all our teaching teams during 2020 to keep our students learning and progressing in their degrees despite the disruption of the global pandemic. It is also pleasing to see success for teaching teams who demonstrate collaboration at its very best.’

The winners

Program Award

Assoc. Prof. John White, Assoc. Prof. Raylene Cooke and Assoc. Prof. Mike Weston received an Award for Programs that Enhance Learning for Deakin’s Wildlife and Conservation Biology degree, which provides students with the opportunity to take part in immersive international experiences and develop skills, experience and attitudes to become highly employable conservation practitioners, ready to tackle the global environmental challenges facing society today and into the future.

Citations

Dr Craig Parker and Assoc. Prof. Harsh Suri received a Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for their work in supporting international students to develop employability skills in the Information Systems programs.

Ms Simone Tyrell, Assoc. Prof. Kerrie Bridson, Dr Leanne Ngo, Ms Kim Phu, Ms Sharon Chua, Dr Micaela Spiers and Assoc. Prof. Michael Volkov received a Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for the development of program wide resources which support business students’ professional literacies.

Learn more about the AAUT

Deakin University provides support to anyone interested in applying for an AAUT award. A range of mentors from around the University, who have previously won an AAUT award, work with applicants to produce high quality submissions. For more on the AAUT process, past winners and how to apply in the future please visit our recognition and rewards page.

Assoc. Prof. John White, Assoc. Prof. Raylene Cooke and Assoc. Prof. Mike Weston

Assoc. Prof. Raylene Cooke, Assoc. Prof. John White  and Assoc. Prof. Mike Weston

Dr Craig Parker and Assoc. Prof. Harsh Suri

Assoc. Prof. Harsh Suri and Dr Craig Parker

Ms Simone Tyrell, Assoc. Prof. Kerrie Bridson, Dr Leanne Ngo, Ms Kim Phu, Ms Sharon Chua, Dr Micaela Spiers and Assoc. Prof. Michael Volkov

Assoc. Prof. Kerrie Bridson, Ms Simone Tyrell, Dr Leanne Ngo, Assoc. Prof. Michael Volkov, Ms Sharon Chua, Ms Kim Phu and Dr Micaela Spiers

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PebblePad Week – Using portfolios for learning and teaching

PebblePad Week – Using portfolios for learning and teaching

PebblePad Week – Using portfolios for learning and teaching

25

FEBRUARY, 2021

Digital Learning
Good Practice
PebblePad
Portfolio

Deakin recently added eportfolio platform PebblePad to our suite of digital tools to support student learning. Portfolios can be used to help students collate and curate evidence of their learning and capabilities, reflect on their learning journey and identify connections between different learning experiences across and beyond their course.

Throughout February, teaching teams along with DLF Pods, faculty Learning Environments teams and the Deakin Library, gathered to learn more about PebblePad, portfolios and how to use these to support student learning.

One of the most popular sessions was a panel discussion in which four academics shared their experiences of using PebblePad to support student learning in different contexts. Dr Wayne Read, from the Faculty of Business and Law’s WIL team, incorporated PebblePad into a project-based Entrepreneurship Experience unit to help students self-assess their skills, set learning goals and reflect on their progress, as well as creating a resource they can use to showcase and promote their project to potential investors.

Dr James Lucas and Joleen Ryan from the Social Work Field Education team in the Faculty of Health shared how they used PebblePad to streamline assessment and administrative tasks associated with student placements, creating a simpler and more integrated experience for students, university staff and placement supervisors.

Finally, Dr Elicia Lanham, Academic Director (Teaching) in the School of IT, discussed a course-wide approach, using portfolios to support IT students to explore career options, identify their skill development needs and reflect on their learning and skill development as they progress through their course.

More information about how Wayne, Elicia, James and Joleen are using PebblePad, including sample workbooks, is available in our new resource, Using Portfolios in learning and teaching. This resource also includes more information about the benefits of portfolios for student learning, and how to get started with PebblePad.

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Using online simulations to support the development of student leadership skills

Using online simulations to support the development of student leadership skills

Using online simulations to support the development of student leadership skills

10

FEBRUARY, 2021

Teaching Online
Good Practice

In their final unit, students in the Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Leadership engage in an intensive five-day simulation of a real-world humanitarian situation which gives them the opportunity to demonstrate leadership behaviours and apply appropriate humanitarian strategies to existing and emerging humanitarian contexts. Students take on roles within the senior leadership team of an NGO while academic staff impersonate characters that NGO members would typically interact with in the course of their work.

Reimagining an intensive unit

In 2020, Associate Professor Phil Connors, a founder of the course, worked with the DLF faculty pod for Arts & Education to reimagine the simulation in an online environment. During the five days of the online simulation, students commenced with a structured small group session, the Action Learning Sets, to explore challenges and identify solutions to a given problem. This would be followed by four to five hours of the actual simulation incorporating a rapid team review (RTR) session facilitated by coaches. The simulation activity was wrapped up on day five with a series of debrief sessions and feedback from peers.

During the simulation period, students and their coaches used Microsoft Teams for meetings, debriefs and peer feedback sessions. Academic staff members shared insights and collaborated throughout the simulation in a private, staff-only, channel within the Microsoft Teams environment. They also recorded their observations of student leadership behaviours directly from within the Microsoft Teams space using a third-party app. Breakout rooms in Zoom were used to carry out an individual assessment activity where students gave a presentation to a high value donor (HVD) on their organisation’s crisis response strategy.

The benefits for students

Simulations bring about multiple benefits to the learners, including the opportunity to apply theory to real-life situations, which improves learning, engagement and enjoyment of the course.  While the main purpose of the simulation was to develop students’ leadership skills, they also had the chance to cultivate a range of other skills such as decision-making, problem-solving and effective communication.

Learn more about delivering online simulations

In this video, Assoc. Prof. Connors talks to Isma Seetal about the unit and the online simulation.  He also gives us a tour of the Microsoft Teams site that was created for the simulation.

 

 

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CloudDeakin user access during T3 examination period

CloudDeakin user access during T3 examination period

CloudDeakin user access during T3 examination period  

05

FEBRUARY, 2021

Teaching Online
Good Practice

 To allow us to protect the integrity of exams, we will be restricting user access to CloudDeakin for the two-week exam period. As per T1 and T2 2020, the below decisions were made and endorsed by the DVCE, PVC T&L and ADTLs in consultation with Faculty T&L support teams. These changes, and the underlying rationale, are outlined below.

Why are we doing this?

A lot of people have various forms of access to CloudDeakin. To help maintain the security of exam replacement tasks, access will be restricted during the exam period. Only Unit Chairs, Associate Deans Teaching and Learning, Associate Heads of School and key CloudDeakin support staff in faculties and eSolutions will have access to CloudDeakin during this period. Students will maintain access to their unit sites but will not be able to view their exam replacement tasks until the scheduled exam timeslot.

Which roles will be affected?

The changes will be implemented slightly differently in each faculty to accommodate faculty processes. The table below shows which roles will be removed from unit sites in each faculty at the start of the exam period and reinstated at the end of the two-week period.

Roles to be removed from unit sites on Monday 8 February
Business and Law Tutor, Marker, Marking Tutor, Auditor (excluding ADTLs), Librarian, Learning Support
SEBE Tutor, Marker, Marking Tutor, Auditor (excluding ADTLs), Librarian, Learning Support
Health Auditor (excluding API team), Librarian, Learning Support, Visitor, Participant
Arts and Education No changes

When will access be removed?

The affected roles will be removed on Monday 8 February by 9am. The roles will be reinstated on Monday 22 February by 9am. Unit chairs and Faculty CloudDeakin support teams will be able to re-enrol staff (e.g. Markers, Tutors, Marking Tutors) in the unit site once the assessment has completed if this access is required before Monday 22 February.

Who to contact for further details?

ArtsEd Digital Learning: artsed-digital-learning@deakin.edu.au

BL Learning Innovations Support: bl-learninginnovations@deakin.edu.au

Health: hedu@deakin.edu.au

SEBE: sebe-clouddeakinsupport@deakin.edu.au

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