To achieve the University’s vision of being a high value place-based learning institution, distinguished from distance education, it needs to enhance the in-class learning experience. For UQ to move forward with the vision in broad scalable and sustainable fashion a number of service adjustments may be required:

  • Establish and share a sensible attractive vision to be a high value place-based learning institution, distinguished from distance education. A shared vision will unite and motivate staff and clarify other decisions.
  • Set goals by complimenting the minimum presence policy with “best practice guidelines”, combined with progressive year by year targets for incorporation of active learning experiences, setting targets for converting classes to higher value face to face experiences, as done by the University of Adelaide.
  • Provide scalable training for our 3,500 coordinators on how to redesign small portions of their courses to include higher level learning activities in the classroom, like Bloom’s applying, creating, understanding, evaluating, analysing (ITS Teaching and Learning Support in collaboration with ITaLI).
  • Provide design support to help coordinators achieve the best practice goals, through adding five more staff  to the elearning solutions services (Educational designers) to achieve one per faculty permanently, under central management, and then one per school for 2 years, but again working to the best practice guidelines.
  • Create a smart device equity program that gives our students access to the technology required to leverage active learning experiences in the classroom
  • Adjust lecture technology support services to move lower order learning activities online, focused on Bloom’s remembering and understanding, converting traditional classroom lectures to online topic based short videos with quizzes.
  • Commence a methodical program of evaluating and adding:
    • new personalised learning tools that aid raw knowledge acquasition  (e.g. Cerego, Examsoft etc), to help move lower level learning activities online (Bloom’s remembering and understanding) to free up classrooms for higher value interactive experiences;
    • in-class active learning tools and techniques to enhance higher level learning activities like Bloom’s applying, creating, understanding, evaluating, analysing (e.g. ALP, Office365, Wordcloud, Responsware, and many more);
    • administrative efficiency tools like e-exams and better grades management;
    • tranformative strategies like a full year teaching calendar or the residential calendar.

The University’s plan to distinguish itself from distance education by offering high value in-class learning obligates us to enable more personal technologies for students, rather than lecturer focused (lectern based) technology supporting didactic lectures and distance learning. With increasing use of smart devices by students learning-space technology can increasingly be delivered as software to the student’s computer instead of hardware to the learning spaces. This enables:

  • UQ to leverage a very large and rapidly growing market of applications that enhance active learning in the classroom;
  • dramatically faster deployment of new technologies, in months not years;
  • deployment in a way that economically scales to all learning spaces. Reliable availability is critical for giving coordinators the courage to invest precious time with adoption, and critical for UQ to move forward as a whole.