Our first virtual Learning and Teaching Conference

Our first virtual Learning and Teaching Conference

Our first virtual Learning and Teaching Conference



Digital Innovation
Good Practice
Teaching Online

The 2020 Learning and Teaching Virtual Conference ran from 16 to 20 November with the theme, ‘Critical conversations, challenges and celebrations’.

For the first time ever, this year’s conference was delivered entirely online, through Zoom sessions, virtual tours of learning spaces and an MS Teams channel that staff could use to connect. Those that attended could also access virtual posters, videos, podcasts and a Padlet wall for shared reflections.

With over 300 registrations, this was one of the biggest learning and teaching conferences that Deakin has ever held. Each of the sessions was highly attended by both Deakin staff and students.

The conference opened with a keynote address from Professor Liz Johnson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education, sharing the pillars of the Education and Employability plan – What will I learn? How will I learn? How will I be supported? There was also a reminder that students are at the heart of everything we do.

Student led sessions

This year’s conference saw more Deakin student participation than ever before. Students shared their experiences of learning from home, inclusive design, authenticity, starting first-year during COVID-19, peer support and the Deakin Launch Network.

Touring virtual learning spaces

Attendees had the chance to experience other units and learning environments through virtual tours.

Amanda Edgar, Ryan Wood-Bradley and James Armitage presented a tour of the virtual optometry clinic. The tour showcased how H5P, facilitators and problem based learning came together to support first year optometry students to develop complex clinical skills such as communication, clinical decision making, teamwork, patient centred care and evidence-based practice.

There were also presentations and papers exploring online tours of construction management sites, simulations in midwifery, the virtual architecture design studio, and virtual tele-health.

Learning through narrative and storytelling

Many of the sessions explored the theme of narrative and storytelling and how it can raise the level of student engagement in teaching and learning. Dr Kerri Morgan’s session ‘Choose your own adventure – exploring mathematics another way ‘explored how gamification could be used to support students, who traverse a setting of Ancient civilisations on a quest to find a number of mathematical artefacts.

The human library

Attendees could also borrow from the human library, a collection of Deakin experts who were on loan for a one-on-one conversations during the conference. The ‘human books’ available in the library covered a diverse range of learning and teaching subjects, such as cheating and assessment security, managing online communities, leadership in learning and teaching and the importance of equity during COVID-19. The human library was very successful, with limited availability filling up within 24 hours of opening.

Access recordings and resources

Deakin staff members can view recordings of sessions and access virtual posters, videos and podcasts on the 2020 Learning and Teaching Virtual Conference webpage as they are uploaded across the rest of this week. To access recordings, visit the conference program and select a session.

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Announcing our new DeakinHE Fellows

Announcing our new DeakinHE Fellows



Teaching & Learning
HEA Fellowships
DeakinHe Fellows

We’re excited to announce the first round of fellows conferred by the DeakinHE Fellowship program. This first round of four senior fellows and one fellow is only the beginning, with 130 staff seeking fellowships in 2020.

DeakinHE Fellowship is an HEA accredited program that provides learning and teaching professionals the opportunity for formal recognition of practice, impact and leadership.

We spoke to two of the new Deakin HEA Senior Fellows about why they applied and what they got from the experience.

Headshot of Chrstine Contessotto

Dr Christine Contessotto, SFHEA

Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning
Faculty of Business and Law

I value teaching and try to create a safe, authentic and innovative learning space for students. I felt a successful application would provide an opportunity to gain recognition for my teaching and learning leadership and practices both within Deakin and externally. Deakin’s provision of ongoing mentoring, workshops and support throughout the process also encouraged me to apply.

I found the reflection of my practice across the Professional Standards Framework to be extremely valuable. Often, I am so busy ‘doing’ that I don’t stop to reflect. The application forced me to identify the important triggers which have led to my current teaching philosophy and practices, and to provide evidence of my achievements.

I found the reflection of my teaching career to be affirming. As part of the experience I benefitted from engagement with the recent education literature and from taking the time to consider further enhancements to my teaching. In addition, I met other academics in Deakin with a strong interest in teaching and learning and gained insights from our interactions. The experience has enhanced my skills as a professional educator.

Headshot of Meghan Kelly

Associate Professor Meghan Kelly, SFHEA

Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning
Faculty of Arts and Education

I applied for the fellowship because I was appointed to the role of Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning and it seemed insane and somewhat contradictory that I was asking others to consider applying for their Fellowship when I had not applied myself. I decided to prioritize the application, which I was convinced would be a long and daunting process. Instead I found it offered me an opportunity to be reflective, to learn to narrate my contribution to teaching practices and to connect with others to have discussions about what they were doing in their teaching.

The experience has given me a better understanding of how to define my role in teaching and provided me with an opportunity to reflect on why I focused on teaching and learning in my academic career.

The feedback from the program mentor was excellent and helped me to prepare an application that was thorough, and the comments from the referees were humbling and helped me appreciate the work I do and the impact it has on others. Writing this submission was rewarding and I now have documented evidence I can use for promotions and applications for other roles.

Learn more about DeakinHE Fellowships

Expressions of interest for the next round of DeakinHE Fellowships will open in February 2021. To learn more about the Fellowship program, categories and timeline, visit the DeakinHE Fellowship webpage and register to receive an invitation to the information sessions for 2021.

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Developing digital literacy in work integrated learning with Dr Bahareh Nakisa

Developing digital literacy in work integrated learning with Dr Bahareh Nakisa

Developing digital literacy in work integrated learning with Dr Bahareh Nakisa
Digital Learning
Teaching & Learning
Learning Innovations
Team Collaboration
Good Practice

We spoke to Dr Bahareh Nakisa, Lecturer in Applied Artificial Intelligence, about integrating Microsoft Office and Azure Cloud services into work integrated learning tasks.

When Dr Bahareh Nakisa was designing the SIT788 – Engineering AI Solutions unit as part of the Master of Applied Artificial Intelligence course, she drew on her practical experience working in industry and chose to integrate Microsoft Azure Cloud services and Microsoft Office 365 in the learning tasks. This allowed students to build Applications (Apps) and collaborate effectively.

In a shifting job market, it’s more important than ever for students to develop their digital skills. A quick scan of job advertisements shows that positions across various sectors call for proficiency in the use of the Microsoft Office suite, which is fully supported by Deakin.

As part of SIT788 – Engineering AI Solutions, students learn how to use Computer Vision, a Microsoft Azure Artificial Intelligence service that allows them to embed specific features into their webcams, such as the ability to recognise faces, gender, age, and emotions.

Bahareh also uses Microsoft Teams, an industry-leading collaboration tool, to extend classroom discussions about Artificial intelligence techniques. The integration of Microsoft Office skills within the curriculum, which aligns with Deakin’s graduate learning outcome of digital literacy, supports the development of our learners’ employability skillsets as they step into a competitive job market.

In this video, Bahareh tells us about her experience in cultivating digital literacy skills using Microsoft Azure Cloud services.


Tools for learning and teaching

Learning activities using tools such as Microsoft Teams do not only make for a good resume and better employability, they can also nurture essential transferrable skills such as creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking, which are central to student success. Students can let their creativity bloom using Sway (Web Authoring tool), collaborate using Microsoft Teams and OneNote (Digital Notebook), manage projects using Planner (project management tool), and learn socially through yammer (social networking service) communities, amongst others.

Above all, Microsoft Office tools integrate seamlessly into and complement one another.  This typology of our Digital Learning Environment outlines the range of digital tools available at Deakin and their pedagogical uses.

Microsoft and Linkedin Learning offer a wealth of resources in the form of instructional videos and other resources that can help you tailor your learning pathway. Deakin staff are able to access Linkedin Learning for free using the Deakin single sign-on.

If you are already harnessing Microsoft Office 365 for digital learning and would like to share your experience, please contact our Senior Education Developer, Dr Isma Seetal, who is exploring the issues of digital collaboration for learning and teaching at Deakin.

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