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This event will be held on the Brisbane campus on 
Tuesday, 28 November 2023.

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Showcase Event Program

CEI Showcase Program - Brisbane Campus (PDF, 159KB)

Read the Presentation and Workshop Abstracts below for further information about the sessions.

Event Abstracts

Learning by drawing: the power of drawing for teaching biological concepts to first year university students in health sciences
Dr Francesca Fernandez

Human Biology is usually the main foundation subject for undergraduate health sciences disciplines including nursing, biomedical science, exercise science and physiotherapy. Learning in science heavily relies on content knowledge and understanding, in compliance with diverse accreditation body regulations. A common issue across universities is to be able to deliver appropriately heavy content while accommodating the needs of a diverse student cohort who have variable backgrounds and maturity. Using scaffolding of the curriculum according to its complexity is also needed to keep student engagement with their learning (Bloom, 1956; Sturges and Maurier, 2013). Learning by drawing framework consists of providing live drawings which progress in complexity according to Bloom taxonomy (Bloom, 1956), and promoting visual model-based reasoning in biology to enhance student learning (Quilin et. al., 2015; Tippett et al., 2016).

Here we have assessed the engagement of large first-year student cohorts with online lecture content by employing two different teaching approaches. The first teaching method consisted of the lecturer talking over power-point slides with content (picture and text). While the second approach involved a video of the same lecturer delivering the same content while drawing.

The learning by drawing approach has led to a significant increase of student engagement with the online teaching material compared to the content delivered by the same lecturer when talking over the slides with similar content. Consequently, it is important to further review and reflect on the online curriculum delivery to improve student engagement especially for large cohort or digitally delivered courses.

This presentation will demonstrate the importance of using learning to explain and consolidate concepts which can be difficult to understand. Research has also shown that that learning by drawing results in better recall knowledge due to how the information is encoded in memory.

Bloom BS, Krathwohl DR, Masia BB.(1956) Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals. New York: McKay.
Quillin, Kim, and Stephen Thomas (2015). Drawing-to-Learn: A Framework for Using Drawings to Promote Model-Based Reasoning in Biology." CBE-Life Sciences Education, edited by Mary Lee Ledbetter, vol. 14, no. 1, p. es2.
Sturges, D., & Maurier, T. (2013). Allied health students' perceptions of class difficulty: The case of undergraduate human anatomy and physiology classes. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice, 11(4).
Tippett, Christine D (2016). What Recent Research on Diagrams Suggests about Learning with Rather than Learning from Visual Representations in Science. International Journal of Science Education, vol. 38, no. 5, pp. 725-46

ACU Thrive: A year in review
Ms Melanie Shackel and Dr John Mahoney

In 2023, ACU piloted a first-year undergraduate teaching model founded on transition pedagogy (Kift, 2015) across four large courses: Physiotherapy, Nursing, Nursing/Paramedicine, and Education. This initiative was titled ACU Thrive. As the dust settles on the academic year, it’s timely to review ACU Thrive. This presentation will overview why ACU Thrive was initiated, the work that was involved, and the preliminary outcomes of Semester 1 and 2 for 2023.

Academics directly involved in the delivery of ACU Thrive will present about their experiences, as well as share broader outcomes related to the initiatives. These outcomes will include SELT data, LEO engagement data, Echo360 data, success rates, and retention rates. Commentary will be offered about the successes of the work, as well as the opportunities for future innovation and improvement. The presentation is an opportunity for the ACU community to hear more about ACU Thrive, as well as receive first-hand anecdotes from those who were involved.

Kift, S. (2015). A decade of transition pedagogy: A quantum leap in conceptualising the first year experience. HERDSA Review of Higher Education, 2(1), 51-86.

Building Campus Life and Student Engagement – a culture by design, not default
Mr Alastair Tomkins

Campus culture in a post-Covid world is different. [As an academic have you made comment to colleagues on this topic?] Many of the aspects of (pre-Covid) campus life which were taken for granted are barely visible including student volunteering, student groups and in-person social activity for undergraduates. There is some overseas research which confirms the benefits of active participation in campus groups/leadership by students (Yang & Chau, 2011) whilst other research describes a reduced sense of belonging for students forced into online learning (Tang et al, 2023). Recent Australian studies described better mental health outcomes for students who belonged to multiple groups (Dingle et al, 2022). Using an approach based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it is possible to re-shape campus life, guided by the mantra “a culture by design, not default”.

This presentation outlines the psychological science which underpins the work of ACU Student Life on campus and how events/programs are designed to meet a range of student needs. It is also a chance for academics to learn about the positive impact of student-led learning in the student faculty societies, and for bigger discussion around the topics of campus culture and student engagement on campus for all ACU stakeholders.

Dingle, G., Han, R., & Carlyle, M. (2022). Loneliness, Belonging, and Mental Health in Australian University Students Pre- and Post-COVID-19. Behaviour Change, 39(3), 146-156.
Tang, C., Thyer, L., Bye, R. et al. (2023). Impact of online learning on sense of belonging among first year clinical health students during COVID-19: student and academic perspectives. BMC Med Educ 23, 100.
Yang, M., & Chau, A. (2011). Social involvement and development as a response to the campus student culture. Asia Pacific Educ. Rev. 12, 393–402.

Quality Simulation Assurance Framework (QSAFe) for the enhancement of simulation-based health curriculum
Ms Mel Barlow

The aim of the project is to deliver a Quality Simulation Assurance Framework (QSAFe) which comprises of an audit tool aligning simulation activities to healthcare simulation standards of best practice (HSSOBP) (Watts et al., 2021), national professional and accreditation standards and First Nations perspectives. Particularly, there are no Australian or New Zealand (NZ) tools aligning simulation pedagogy with national health accreditation standards or First Nations perspectives.

This multi-phase project is being undertaken by a small group of Australian and NZ simulation providers working at different higher education and health service organisations. QSAFe development has occurred through robust analysis of the literature and through a modified nominal group technique with in-depth qualitative analysis. The QSAFe will be piloted in late 2023, early 2024 initially in nursing, across Australian metropolitan and regional areas, with the aim to pilot in NZ and other health disciplines later in 2024.

QSAFe will ensure curriculum and industry simulation activities are culturally appropriate and aligned to recognised professional and simulation standards to assist simulation facilitators of differing levels of expertise to design and implement quality simulation-based experiences. Developing QSAFe is an imperative next step in advancing simulation-based learning in Australian and NZ health curricula, addressing program accreditors concerns regarding the inconsistent quality of simulation, and enhancing the learner experience.

The purpose of the presentation is to report the results of the initial scoping reviews highlighting the national and global need for not only assurance of simulation quality, but also the need to help tangibly include First Nations perspectives in simulation-based health curriculum.

Watts, P. I., Rossler, K., Bowler, F., Miller, C., Charnetski, M., Decker, S., Molloy, M. A., Persico, L., McMahon, E., & McDermott, D. (2021). Onward and upward: introducing the healthcare simulation standards of best PracticeTM. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 58, 1-4.

IPE ‘Ward for a Day’ Simulation Project

Ms Robyn Dickie and Dr Nick Flynn

Students experience challenges transitioning from their single discipline focus, to working collaboratively (Bogossian et al., 2023). This is particularly apparent in hospital wards, where students are expected to come prepared with such skills. The ward-for-a-day simulation, extending work by Davies et al., (2020), was designed to enable students to prepare for this environment through practise of interprofessional collaboration and communication skills.

Going beyond School boundaries, we have been able to work together to facilitate an experience for students who have not had this kind of opportunity before now. A team from disciplines nursing, speech pathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and social work worked collaboratively to conceptualise, develop and deliver a simulated ward experience that met learning objectives related to interprofessional practice. Interprofessional experiences of this scale had not previously been undertaken at ACU and are rare due to the logistical complexities in delivering such experiences (Bogossian et al., 2023). 

The IPE ‘Ward for a Day’ is an innovative, large scale interprofessional event across 6 campuses involving 5 disciplines. It has resulted in the development of extensive and detailed materials that supported delivery of the immersive and authentic simulation experience. In line with simulation best practice (INASCL Standards Committee et al., 2021), resources included scheduling materials, student-facing materials, such as the client scenarios, as well as materials to support staff facilitating the simulation including debriefing training sessions.

Student-facing resources included 13 multidisciplinary patient/case scenarios that included all associated detailed clinical information; a LEO site to support preparation and activities; videos from each discipline introducing their role on the ward; online materials that simulate a hospital ‘intranet’ site.  

Bogossian, F., New, K., George, K., Barr, N., Dodd, N., Hamilton, A. L., ... & Taylor, J. (2023). The implementation of interprofessional education: a scoping review. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 28(1), 243-277.

Davies, H., Schultz, R., Sundin, D., & Jacob, E. (2020). ‘Ward for the day’: A case study of extended immersive ward-based simulation. Nurse Education Today, 90, 104430.

INACSL Standards Committee, Watts, P.I., McDermott, D.S., Alinier, G., Charnetski, M., & Nawathe, P.A. (2021, September). Healthcare Simulation Standards of Best PracticeTM Simulation Design. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 58, 14-21.

Post Placement workshops to increase preservice teachers’ self efficacy in professional experience
Dr Melissa Cain and Ms Katie Wilson

The Post Placement Workshop (PPW) project is an innovative initiative responding to pre-service teachers’ (PSTs) self-identified needs via meaningful deconstruction of their professional placement experiences. In response to current stressors on Australian education systems such as an acute teacher shortage (Caudal, 2022) and significant numbers of early career teachers leaving the profession (Hogan et al., 2021), this presentation details the value and need for post placement workshops in Initial Teacher Education (ITE).

The project builds on previous research around post-placement interventions in the Health Sciences (Billett, 2019). The PPW project is supported by an ACU Teaching Development grant. It connects ITE PSTs with new graduates and experienced educators with a focus on addressing PSTs’ self-efficacy, resilience, and teacher identity. The purpose of the PPWs is to identify current issues that impact PSTs on placements and provide them with a realistic appreciation of the standards required in their respective industries (Jackson, 2015). Through professional conversations and active learning processes, PSTs receive advice for negotiating unanticipated situations, strategies for identifying strengths and goals, and scaffolding purposeful reflection on a range of self and peer experiences.

Results indicate that PPWs evidence a range of tangible and meaningful impacts on end users. The translation of findings is applicable to all disciplines that incorporate WIL placements (Cain et al., 2019). The presenters will provide an overview of the project and key elements in successfully delivering PPWs both in person and in hybrid mode using ACU’s Hyflex technology. They will present a summary of the data collected to date through pre-and post- surveys and interviews and present a conceptual framework which explains how PPWs promote mutually beneficial collaborations with key end-users and a Mission-aligned contribution to society.

Billett, S. Augmenting post-practicum experiences: Purposes and practices. In S. Billett, J. Newton, G. Rogers, & C. Noble (2019). Augmenting health and social care students’ clinical learning experiences outcomes and processes, 3-26. Springer International Publishing.
Cain, M., Le, A. H., & Billett, S. (2019). Sharing stories and building resilience: Student preferences and processes of post practicum interventions. In Billett, S., Newton, J., Rogers, G., & Noble, C. (Eds.). Augmenting health and social care students’ clinical learning experiences: Processes and outcomes. Springer, pp. 27-53.
Caudal, S. (2022). Australian secondary schools and the teacher crisis: Understanding teacher shortages and attrition. Education and Society 40(2), 23–39.
Hogan, J. P., & White, P. (2021). A self-study exploration of early career teacher burnout and the adaptive strategies of experienced teachers. The Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 46(5), 18-39.
Jackson, D. (2015). Employability skill development in work-integrated learning: Barriers and best practice. Studies in Higher Education 40(2), 350-367.

Student Panel: Student perspectives of learning at ACU
Dylan Crouch, Merianne Kellermeier, Angela Pannekoek, Bridget Quinn, Elly McKenzie and Alexander Goodwin

A panel of students studying at the Brisbane campus, representing a range of disciplines at various points of their academic journey will participate in a session facilitated by the MC. Each student will speak to the reasons for their program selection, their professional goals and aspirations, their experience at ACU, what has and has not worked well for them on their learning journey, and suggestions for what could be done to improve the learning experience.  To conclude, there will be a Q&A session in which showcase attendees are encouraged to participate.

Connecting pre-service teachers with the profession through SimLab
Professor Tracey Muir

SimLab is an immersive platform that gives Pre-service Teachers (PSTs) the opportunity to experience, practice and improve their teaching and communication techniques in a simulated environment. Mixed-reality simulated teaching environments have been shown to help prepare PSTs for real life classroom contexts and have been recognised as effective in assisting PSTs to translate theory into practice (Ledger et al. 2019; Scarparolo & Mayne, 2022). During a simulation, the PST is presented with a scenario which plays out through real-time interactions with one or more student 'avatars' who are controlled by professional actors. Simulations facilitate experiential learning and allow students to experience challenging situations in a secure environment. SimLab is particularly relevant to PSTs as it provides them with opportunities to deescalate situations that they are likely to experience on placement or when they begin teaching.

In semesters 1 and 2, the SimLab experience was offered to cohorts of Education PSTs studying in New South Wales. This presentation will provide details of the scenarios encountered by the PSTs, and the student avatars who presented realistic opportunities for the PSTs to practice their managing difficult behaviour approaches. We will also provide insights into the PSTs’ perceptions of how valuable they found the sessions, what they learned from the experience, and suggestions on how to integrate the experience into courses in the future.

This presentation also has relevance and implications for other discipline areas, including medical and health professional courses, management training and legal professional simulation. and practice-based courses, where creating a positive environment and encouraging experimentation are promoted.

Ledger, S., Ersozlu, Z. & Fischetti, J. (2019). Preservice teachers’ confidence and preferred teaching strategies using TeachLiVE virtual learning environment: A two-step cluster analysis. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 15(3), 1-17.
Scarparolo, G., & Mayne, F. (2022). Mixed-reality simulations as a tool to enhance parent-teacher conferencing in initial teacher education. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 38 (5), 72-86.

Decolonising the Law Curriculum
Dr Joe Compana

Embedding Indigenous Knowings and Perspectives in the curriculum of university contexts is an ongoing and iterative project with twofold aims of improving opportunities and outcomes for Indigenous Australians and educating all students and staff to develop their cultural capability and contribute towards social justice. Decolonising curriculum requires critical listening and engagement of Indigenous and decolonial scholarship (Galloway, 2018; Russ-Smith 2019).

This presentation outlines the eight key themes found as a part of a literature review and Teaching Development Grant project and seeks to highlight the wider transformative and relational process of decolonising curriculum. The presenters will reflect on how the process of the literature review itself called for decolonial transformation of educators, not just curriculum, to offer other educators an insight into the process of decolonising curriculum across the academy and how this can be embedded into teaching and learning practice.

Galloway, K. (2018). Indigenous Contexts in the Law Curriculum : Process and Structure. Legal education review, 28(2), 1.
Russ-Smith, J. (2019). Indigenous social work and a Wiradyuri framework to practice, in B Bennett and S Green Our Voices: Aboriginal Social Work (2nd Edition). London: Red Globe Press: 103-116.

Developing authentic assessment across the disciplines: a workshop for academic staff
Dr Colette Alexander

Decades ago, Wiggins (1990) defined authentic assessment as those tasks that are similar to workplace tasks, are led by students allowing (co-) creation, and produce outcomes that are a result of problem solving. Wiggins (1990) also emphasised that the learning process of completing an authentic assessment is of equal value to the assessed product, enabling assessment for as well as of learning. This approach has long been supported by constructivist theorists (Biggs & Tang, 2011; Sadler, 1989) and recently enshrined in new Assessment Policy at ACU. Yet, more traditional forms of assessment tasks, such as tests, exams and essays, continue to feature strongly in universities. Simper ( 2022) argue that changing assessment practices at an institution involves a change in assessment culture achieved through a combination of policy levers and agency for change. Such an approach is required to disrupt entrenched micro-cultures of assessment in disciplines, compliance-driven approaches to assessment and also academic resistance to change (Simper et al., 2022).

Australian Catholic University has also recently implemented new Graduate Attributes and Capabilities. As academic staff work to review their curricula to map new Graduate Attributes and a new Assessment Policy to their teaching, learning and assessment structures and practices, an opportunity exists to reconsider assessment in terms of authenticity of tasks across disciplines and student cohorts. This opportunity is also timely in the context of the rapid proliferation of generative AI tools. This workshop aims to present principles and strategies for authentic assessment task design and implementation, engaging attendees with redesign options in their field. The intended outcome is to foster a collaborative environment for academics to explore and integrate authentic assessment approaches in alignment with ACU’s new Graduate Attributes and Assessment Policies, thereby enhancing the learning experiences and outcomes for ACU students across different disciplines.

Biggs, J. B., & Tang, C. S.-K. (2011). Teaching for Quality Learning at (4th ed.). Maidenhead, UK: Society For Research Into Higher Education & Open University Press.
Sadler, D. R. (1989). Formative assessment and the design of instructional systems. Instructional Science, 18(2), 119–144.
Simper, N., Mårtensson, K., Berry, A., & Maynard, N. (2021). Assessment cultures in higher education: reducing barriers and enabling change. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 47(7), 1016–1029.
Wiggins, G. (1990). The Case for Authentic Assessment. Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation, 2(1).

Supporting students to develop graduate capabilities – how the Academic Skills Unit can work with staff
Ms Stella Link

ACU is introducing new graduate attributes. The development of these graduate attributes is underpinned by twelve graduate capabilities that demonstrate students’ skills and their ability to achieve the graduate attributes. The Academic Skills Unit (ASU) is at the nexus of facilitating skills development and building students' graduate capabilities. ASU aims to develop students’ skills through workshops, consultations and resources. In this interactive workshop we will map these skills against the graduate capabilities. The session will then explore how staff can collaborate with the ASU on how the development of the graduate capabilities can be scaffolded so that students can demonstrate their achievement of the graduate attributes.

Playing by the rules - rubric design principles

Ms Melanie Shackel and Dr John Mahoney

Rubrics in higher education refer to a set of criteria or standards used to evaluate student learning or performance. The goal of using rubrics in higher education is to provide students with clear expectations and feedback on their learning, and to help educators make more objective and consistent evaluations of student performance (Brookhart & Chen, 2015; Reddy & Andrade, 2010). Allowing staff and students as learners to connect, a well-designed, evidence-based rubric enables both staff and students to ‘play by the rules of the game’ and should be an integral element of assessment design. 

By the end of this 40-minute workshop, based on the evidence in the INSPIRE toolkit, you will be able to:

  • Understand what a ‘good’ rubric looks like and how it can improve student learning and motivation.
  • Critique an existing rubric and subsequently develop an improved rubric for an assessment of choice (participants will be encouraged to bring an existing rubric to critique in the workshop session).
  • Discuss how students can co-create their own rules of the game and a gain a better understanding of the expectations of the assessment and clarity regarding terms and phrases.

Brookhart, S. M., & Chen, F. (2015). The quality and effectiveness of descriptive rubrics. Educational Review, 67(3), 343–368.
Reddy, Y. M., & Andrade, H. (2010). A review of rubric use in higher education. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 35(4), 435–448.

Page last updated on 22/11/2023

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