Zooming in to on-campus studios for practical drama classes

Zooming in to on-campus studios for practical drama classes

Zooming in to on-campus studios for practical drama classes

29

SEPTEMBER, 2021

Teaching & Learning
Teaching online
Innovation

Returning to teach fully on-campus units while still in the precarious state imposed by the pandemic involves creativity and innovation. Particularly when delivering practical learning experiences for pre-service drama teachers in drama education. Deakin’s Dr Jo Raphael, School of Education, embraced the challenges posed by these conditions and experienced some very positive outcomes in her classes.

Most of Dr Raphael’s students were desperate to resume practical on-campus drama classes with their peers. However, the conditions of border restrictions and the need to isolate if experiencing symptoms or waiting for test results, meant some students could be disadvantaged by not attending their on-campus class.

Jo drew upon her experience of teaching practical drama via Zoom honed during periods of lockdown in 2020 and blended strategies with the on-campus face-to-face classes students desired.   

Students unable to attend classes with their peers joined classroom activities via iPads on stands. Once virtually connected in the drama studio, students engaged with their peers in the very physical and dynamic classroom activities characteristic of drama.

 

Four students in animated poses in a drama class in front of zoom projection
Drama students and their teacher in masks in a classroom together. In the background is a projected zoom screen showing other students watching on from their computers

Master of Teaching students Arts Education Curriculum Studies in Drama at Deakin, Trimester 1 2021

 

They were able to work in groups, engage in performance-making tasks and present performances via Zoom, drawing creative inspiration from new possibilities the technology allowed.  

The results were incredibly encouraging. Students zooming in to class appreciated that they did not miss out on practical sessions and reported a positive experience.

‘Jo effectively facilitated an online learning platform for me so I could be immersed in the physical classroom environment from Tasmania. Through Zoom, iPad, laptop, and a projector, she was able to have me in the class participating and engaging with other students. I felt apart of the class cohort, collaborating with them in class activities, including performances, and able to contribute to classroom discussion. I was overwhelmed by the effort put in by Jo, and my fellow students, and the ease in which this environment provided me to learn’. (Student eVALUate comment) 

Students physically on campus commented that the blended initiative was exciting for them  and served as a model of inclusive teaching practice. This is innovative teaching practice pre-service teachers can take into their future teaching careers. 

Attendance for the unit was high, with students able to access class under different circumstances. One student, for example, whose car broke down on the way to class could join via Zoom while she was waiting for roadside assistance.  

COVID-19 has prompted such innovation in learning and teaching, but the approach has enduring appeal and utility.   

 

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Live-caption your Zoom classes for accessibility and greater learning

Live-caption your Zoom classes for accessibility and greater learning

Livecaption your Zoom classes for accessibility and greater learning

27

SEPTEMBER, 2021

Good practice
Teaching & learning online
Accessibility

You might think of captions as necessary for students with a hearing impairment to participate in your online class or seminar. And while that is true, captions serve other purposes too. They make it easier for students to take part in class when there’s background noise (hi housemates, siblings, kids, and pets!), when English is not their first language or when first encountering discipline-specific terms.

Some students, like Deakin Bachelor of Occupational Therapy student, Daniela Skocic find it easier to process and remember information when they hear it and can read it simultaneously. ‘Processing what has been said, while reading it, helps me remember better and make better sense of the information,’ says Dani. Without live-captions, Dani needs to decide whether to attend the class live and benefit from interaction with her classmates, or to watch the recording later when the transcript is available.

A study conducted by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education found that ‘in addition to the expected benefits to disabled and NESB students… lecture captions are also beneficial to students without disabilities, assisting them to absorb and review educational materials.’ Students have also reported that captions make it easier  to access their learning on the go (Tisdell and Loch, 2016).

How to turn on live-captions

To turn on live-captioning in Zoom, use the ‘Live Transcript’ button in the control bar at the bottom of your Zoom window. Then click on the ‘Enable Auto-transcription’ button.

Zoom menu bar

If you’re sharing your screen, you’ll need to click on ‘More’ in the Zoom controls and select ‘Live Transcript’ from the pop-up options.

Zoom dropdown menu to select live caption

In an MS Teams meeting, click on the ‘More options’ icon (three dots) and select ‘Live captioning’. Find out more on the Microsoft Support site.

Note that auto-transcription isn’t always perfect

Auto-transcription uses machine-generated captions, so the captioning is unlikely to be perfect. If you know that one or more of your students will rely solely on the transcripts (e.g. they may have an access plan requiring transcripts), we recommend you contact the Deakin Disability Resource Centre. You can discuss with them alternative highly accurate captioning options. However, if this is not the case, the odd transcription error won’t matter too much most of the time. As long as the message is clear to students.

You can easily make quick corrections to the captions/transcript later. Take a look at Zoom’s simple instructions on editing transcripts.

Learn more about students’ experiences of accessing learning materials

Check out Deakin science student Judzea Gatt’s recent Deakin Life blog post about her accessibility experiences – good and bad – and how she approaches her studies.

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Looking for tools to facilitate active learning online?

Looking for tools to facilitate active learning online?

Looking for tools to facilitate active learning online?

22
SEPTEMBER, 2021
Teaching & Learning
Teaching online
Innovation

Deakin Learning Futures has developed a series of online workshops to explore tools that facilitate active learning online. The Active Learning Toolkit series offers 30-minute sessions across October that will show you how different software can support active learning in your online sessions.

The workshops are facilitated by Senior Education Developers Joan Sutherland and Tara Draper, who are experts in the application of digital technology in online learning. Each workshop will be active and participants will experience the view of a student, supported by digital resources to enable them to get started using the software.

Browse the range of topics and follow the links to register for the sessions that work for you.

Active Learning Toolkit sessions

7 October
12pm
Leveraging Padlet for Active Learning
7 October
2pm
Practical tips for Facilitating Active Online Classrooms
12 October
9.30am
Getting started with MS Teams for Online Teaching
12 October
11.30am
Getting started with Zoom for Online Teaching
14 October
10am
Practical Tips for Facilitating Online Classrooms
14 October
12pm
CloudDeakin and the Zoom Learning Tool Integration
19 October
9.30am
Getting started with Zoom for Online Teaching
19 October
11.30am
Active Learning with Mentimeter
21 October
12pm
Leveraging Padlet for Active Learning
21 October
2pm
Practical Tips for Facilitating Active Online Classrooms
26 October
9.30am
Getting started with MS Teams for Online Teaching
28 October
10am
Practical Tips for Facilitating Active Online Classrooms
28 October
12pm
CloudDeakin and the Zoom Learning Tool Integration

 

 

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Getting started with Students as Partners

Getting started with Students as Partners

Getting started with Students as Partners

13
SEPTEMBER, 2021
Student partners
Teaching & Learning
Team Collaboration
It may be your first time, or it may be your one hundredth, whatever your experience is, it’s always a good idea to reflect before starting a Students as Partners (SaP) project.

There’s a lot of interest in students-as-partners these days – and for good reason. Partnering with students benefits both staff and students. Staff develop greater insight into student needs and experiences while students gain valuable employability skills and create a legacy to support the next generation.

But while the benefits of partnership are well known, getting started can be tricky.

Deakin’s Students as Partners Framework sets out four broad approaches to students-as-partners to help you consider how to approach a new partnership project. For example, maybe your goal is to get as many student ideas as possible to provide feedback on a new policy. You might take a ‘students as sounding boards’ approach and set up an online poll, or virtual discussion board, for students to submit feedback and ideas.

Alternatively, run focus groups with a specific cohort of students to understand their use of various support services. Rather than do this alone, we’d recommend you take a ‘students as influencers’ approach and hire a couple of student partners. Together, you can develop focus group questions, facilitate the session, and analyse the findings.

More information about the four approaches, and examples of how they might work, are available on the Students as Partners SharePoint site.

Graphic of four approaches to students as partners. 1. Students as sounding boards. 2. Students as influencers. 3. Students as decision makers. 4. Students as co-creators

 

Regardless of the approach you decide to take, it’s critical to reflect on two key questions before you begin:

  1. Am I truly open minded about what the outcomes or outputs of this project may be? (i.e. am I ready to share this project with student partners?)
  2. Do I have the time in my workload to support the students successfully in this project?

The questions are important because authentic partnership requires a commitment to the process of exploration and relationship-building with students, both of which can take time.

Finally, it’s important to remember why we engage in partnership in the first place – to respect and appreciate the expertise students have in what it’s like to be a student.

Successful partnership projects are mediated on the idea of reciprocal learning. Staff learning about students’ lived experiences, and students learning from staff about a discipline, project management, or how an organisation works. So before beginning, ask yourself, ‘What am I going to teach or share?’ and ‘What am I going to learn?’

To find out more, contact Dr Mollie Dollinger (mollie.dollinger@deakin.edu.au) to chat all things SaP.

You can hear from Dr Mollie Dollinger first-hand and learn more about getting started with a Students as Partners project on our latest Tales of Teaching Online podcast episode.

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Announcing the 2021 Deakin Learning and Teaching conference

Announcing the 2021 Deakin Learning and Teaching conference

Announcing the 2021 Deakin Learning and Teaching conference

25

AUGUST, 2021

Learning & Teaching 
Best practice
Annual conference

Deakin Learning Futures is excited to announce preparations are well underway for the annual Deakin Learning and Teaching Conference. Taking place on Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 November, the theme for the 2021 event is: Design, Deliver, Enable, Lead. The program will showcase how these four capabilities underpin teaching and learning at Deakin and support the student experience. 

The conference will see the Deakin community come together to share new ideas about learning and teaching practice and reflect and connect about the challenges of recent times. Importantly, the event is also a chance to recognise achievements and acknowledge the valuable contribution of Deakin students as our partners in learning and teaching. 

Call for submissions now open

All Deakin staff engaged in learning and teaching are invited to contribute submissions to the conference. We also encourage collaborative partnerships with students to feature in this year’s program.

The options are open to present ideas in engaging and innovative ways. Presentation proposals can be anything from panels and paper presentations to interactive workshops, audio visual work such as podcasts or videos, or even a quick-fire thesis presentation. Submissions should demonstrate one of the four capabilities that form our conference theme.

Submit your proposal and abstract via the 2021 Learning and Teaching Conference submission form before the closing date Sunday 26 September, 5pm.

Blended conference format

With the challenges of the pandemic still in our midst, the two-day conference will offer a combination of located and remote opportunities for participants and attendees. While the intention is to run a blended event, the conference will run entirely virtual should COVID-19 restrictions apply.

Key dates to remember

The key dates for the 2021 Learning and Teaching conference are:

  • Thursday 26 August – submissions open
  • Sunday 26 September, 5pm – submissions close
  • Tuesday 14 October – registrations open
  • Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 November – conference delivered in blended mode

For further information about the conference, contact tlconf@deakin.edu.au or visit the conference website.

 

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Zoom is now our preferred platform for synchronous online teaching

Zoom is now our preferred platform for synchronous online teaching

Zoom is now our preferred platform for synchronous online teaching

27

JULY, 2021

Digital Learning
Online Teaching

Introducing Zoom in 2020 added another tool to our digital learning environment and prompted us to re-evaluate the platforms we use to create synchronous online classrooms. To provide a simpler and more streamlined learning environment, we recommend Zoom as our preferred platform for synchronous online classrooms and will decommission Blackboard Collaborate Ultra in 2022. We made this decision in collaboration with the Digital Learning Environments and Innovation (DLEI) Strategy and Implementation Groups, which include faculty and divisional representatives. 

Why are we doing this? 

Our digital learning environment is complex and having two platforms that offer similar functionality (Zoom and BbCollaborate Ultra) adds unnecessary complexity and confusion for both staff and students. Recommending Zoom and decommissioning BbCollaborate Ultra reduces some of this complexity and allows us to provide a more consistent experience for students and reduce costs associated with licensing, maintenance, training and support.  

To inform this decision, we spoke to numerous teaching and support staff across the University about their needs and preferences for synchronous online classrooms and compared the functionality of the two platforms. While they have many similar features, Zoom offers some other benefits, including the ability to pre-prepare poll questions, save whiteboard content, and annotate shared content for both host and participants. Zoom supports larger groups and can provide fully interactive meetings for up to 500 participants*, compared to 250 participants in BbCollaborate Ultra.  

*Your Deakin Zoom account allows you to schedule meetings with full interactivity (polling, interactive whiteboards, text chat, breakout rooms and audio- and video-sharing by all participants) for up to 300 participants. If you need to schedule interactive meetings for between 300 and 500 participants, please contact the IT Service Desk to request an upgrade to your license. 

What does this mean for me? 

If you are already using Zoom for your online classes and seminars, you don’t need to take any action. If you are currently using BbCollaborate Ultra, you will need to move your online classes and seminars to Zoom in Trimester 3 this year. Your faculty’s Digital Learning / CloudDeakin Support team will work with you to help facilitate this change. 

We will be decommissioning BbCollaborate Ultra in 2022. Further information about the decommissioning process and how to manage any BbCollaborate Ultra recordings you need to keep will be provided later this year. 

What training and support is available? 

Step-by-step instructions for scheduling and managing Zoom sessions and recordings via the integration with CloudDeakin are available in the CloudDeakin guides. Guidelines for managing your Zoom recordings, including instructions on how to upload recordings to Kaltura if needed, are available on DTeach. More resources and training workshops are available through your faculty’s Digital Learning / CloudDeakin Support team – check out their websites below. 

 Find out more about the Video@Deakin project and the decision to decommission BbCollaborate Ultra on our Sharepoint site

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