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This event will be held on the Melbourne campus on 
Tuesday, 5 December 2023.

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Showcase Event Program

CEI Showcase Program - Melbourne Campus (PDF, 169KB)

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

Event Abstracts

Using Monopoly boardgame to teach critical public health
Dr Stephen Fisher

The presentation will show how a modified a well-known game (Monopoly) can be used as an educational simulation to help students understand difficult material, specifically critical theory as it relates to the political economy of health. The dominant capitalist ideology naturalises the value of the free market by widespread acceptance of individualistic meritocracy. Structural understandings of inequality are often too abstract to grasp easily, thus allowing the poor and oppressed to be blamed for their (health) circumstances. The activity is a learning strategy that is designed to involve students actively in analysing our political-economic system, where points made by critical theory are paramount.

Culinary nutrition at ACU: Connecting learners, community and industry through innovative partnerships
Dr Emma Stirling and Assoc Professor Sharon Croxford

There is a growing interest in food and nutrition-related health care provided as health-related culinary interventions, designed and delivered by qualified health professionals independently or as part of interprofessional teams (Asher et al., 2022). This is often described as ‘culinary medicine’ or ‘culinary nutrition’ and is conducted in person or virtually from a teaching kitchen as part of a wider food is medicine movement (Eisenberg, 2020). To meet demands in training, ACU’s Discipline of Nutrition and Dietetics launched undergraduate and interprofessional postgraduate offerings (including microcredentials) in culinary nutrition supported by innovative industry partnerships in 2022. As a case example, the ongoing partnership with Cobram Estate has delivered multiple benefits and high value. This includes ACU’s first industry scholarships for students undertaking coursework, WIL placements, expert guest lectures, national marketing and promotion, CPD activity for the nutrition and dietetics practice community, co-development of rich education materials and extra virgin olive oil product for our three teaching kitchens nationally (note two of these are 3rd party kitchen facilities). This aim of this presentation is to describe the model of education industry engagement established with support of the Dean of Innovation and Industry to inform other disciplines. We will share the learnings we have gained from developing and delivering this transformative approach in education-industry partnerships.

Asher, R. C., Shrewsbury, V. A., Bucher, T., & Collins, C. E. (2022). Culinary medicine and culinary nutrition education for individuals with the capacity to influence health related behaviour change: A scoping review. Journal Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 35(2), 388–395.

Barkoukis, H., Swain, J., Rogers, C., & Harris, S. R. (2019). Culinary Medicine and the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist: Time for a Leadership Role. Journal Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 119(10), 1607–1612.

Eisenberg, D. M., & Imamura, A. (2020). Teaching Kitchens in the Learning and Work Environments: The Future Is Now. Global Advances Health and Medicine, 9.

Fredericks, L., Koch, P. A., Liu, A., Galitzdorfer, L., Costa, A., & Utter, J. (2020). Experiential Features of Culinary Nutrition Education That Drive Behavior Change: Frameworks for Research and Practice. Health Promotion Practice, 21(3), 331–335.

 Weinstein, O., McManus, C. R., Badaracco, C., MacLaren, J., Mason, A., & McWhorter, J. W. (2023). Registered Dietitian Nutritionists Taking the Lead in Teaching Kitchens. Journal Academy Nutrition and Dietetics, S2212-2672(23)01212-1. Advance online publication.

The Research Trust: Building to promote excellence and impact
Dr Jessica Holloway and Dr Steven Lewis

In early 2022, Dr. Jessica Holloway and Dr. Steven Lewis – both Senior Research Fellows from ILSTE – developed and launched the first iteration of the Research Trust at ACU. The initial program was designed as a capacity-building program for early-career researchers from the School of Education, which included 10 ECRs who were competitively recruited based on their research records and capabilities. The program aimed to accomplish three major goals over a three-year period: (i) support ECRs in their development as emerging scholars in their respective fields; (ii) support ECRs in applying for internal and external grant opportunities; and (iii) support ECRs to plan for impact and engagement within and beyond academia.

In 2023, the Research Trust began developing the Research Trust Impact Hub, which is a multi-dimensional community and impact hub that brings together researchers, practitioners and policy advisors for the purposes of research dissemination, engagement and impact. It is both a community of education experts and a repository where translations of research are held. Specifically, the Impact Hub is an online platform that will house cutting edge, evidence-informed resources that are designed specifically for education practitioners for the purposes of improving education and policy, both within and beyond Australia.

This presentation will focus on the development and evolution of the Research Trust. The presenters will illustrate the program’s successes, as well as the challenges faced along the way. They will also speculate on how the program might be useful in other fields across the university.

Pursuing a dual career pathway (sport and studies) at ACU: Are stakeholders aligned in their understanding and support of student-athletes? 
Dr Alyse Wilcox

Every sport season, every year, we hear about retired athletes who have experienced depression, anxiety, substance use, social, family and occupational problems. All too regularly we hear of retired athletes who have died by suicide. Media reports are supported by research that the retired athlete is ‘vulnerable’ to mental health struggles (Rice, 2016). Resources have been identified that could support athletes in the lead up to and during retirement such as positive coach-athlete relationships, financial support, and career planning and education (e.g., Park, Lavelle, & Tod, 2013). Creating an environment that supports these types of resources would be most effective if all stakeholders (e.g., athletes, coaches, sporting organisations, and educational institutions) are aware, engaged and aligned.

As a university we have an opportunity to support the wellbeing of student-athletes through the Elite Athlete and Performer Program (EAPP). The aim of this TDG project was to explore the learning experiences of students in the EAPP and whether there is alignment with how stakeholders (e.g., academic staff, industry) understand the challenges of a dual career pathway. Qualitative and quantitative data were gathered to understand stakeholder perceptions of student-athlete experiences of studying at university. This presentation will describe the project and resultant learnings that the team hope will be used to promote understanding of the factors that facilitate engagement and retention in tertiary studies. This could afford both tertiary and sporting institutions the ability to implement programs to support dual-career athletes, connecting learners (e.g., students), community (e.g., academic staff), and industry (e.g., sporting organisations). Specific strategies that can be implemented by academic staff to support student-athletes in their academic studies will be discussed.

Park., S., Lavallee, D., & Todd, D. (2013. Athletes’ career transition out of sport: A systematic review. Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 6(1), 22-53.

Rice, S.M., Purcell, R., DeSilva, S., Marwen, D., McGorry, P.D., & Parker, A.G. (2016). The mental health of elite athletes: A narrative systematic review. Sports Medicine, 46(9), 1333-1353.

Faculty Health Sciences: Interactive Student Retention Timeline Project
Dr Jodi Sita and Associate Professor Stephen Guinea 

Student retention is a key focus for Australian Higher Education providers, with nearly one in five undergraduates considering discontinuing their studies prematurely (Social Research Centre, 2022). For students discontinuing in this way, significant time and financial investments are potentially lost (Tinto, 2012) and for educational providers, this poses reputational, financial, and other challenges (Haverila, et al., 2020; Universities Australia, 2020). To address this, the Faculty of Health Sciences has taken a proactive approach by developing an interactive Student Retention Timeline, aiming to synchronise retention efforts across the Faculty and University and that can help disciplines have more timely and easy access to this information.

This presentation intends to outline the tool's concept and development and aims to equip attendees with an understanding of how to implement and leverage this tool to enhance student retention strategies in their respective departments. The project highlights the importance of collaboration and coordination across the often-separated university departments to address the complex challenges around student retention. While the tool is rooted in the context of Health Sciences, its approach to consolidating and making retention-related information easily accessible is universally applicable and could be of interest to many across the university.

Haverila, M., Haverila, K., & McLaughlin, C. (2020). Variables Affecting the Retention Intentions of Students in Higher Education Institutions. Journal of International Students, 10(2), 358–382.

Social Research Centre (2022). The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT): Student Experience Survey.

Tinto, V. (2012). Completing college: rethinking institutional action. The University Of Chicago Press.
Universities Australia. (2020). 2020 Higher Education Facts and Figures. Universities Australia.

ACU Thrive: A year in review
Ms Larissa Hutchinson, Ms Mary Huynh and Ms Cally Mills

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.

Post Placement workshops to increase preservice teachers’ self efficacy in professional experience
Dr Kathleen McGuire

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.

Use of concept maps as a conversational framework to enable authentic student agency
Dr Nisha Antony

For disciplinary mastery it is vital to enable authentic learner agency for the acquisition, assimilation and development of critical reflective thinking skills (Schon, 2016). Emotions impact student’s decision-making capacities, engagement with content and peers, as well as their psychological and physical wellbeing (Brackett et al, 2004). Intrinsic and extrinsic cognitive challenges associated with assessment tasks can often impede learning and academic performance in first-year undergraduate studies. This presentation will provide an insight into how to use concept maps for reflective practice in teaching and learning activities, using the Laurillard’s (2012) conversational framework. It will provide an overview of strategies to implement the ACU thrive model to engage student agency to make tacit knowledge explicit, reframing of minds, to align values and interests with learning goals, activities and assessment tasks.

Laurillard, D. (2012). Teaching as a design science: Building pedagogical patterns for learning and technology. Routledge.

Schon, D. A. (2016). The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Arena.

Brackett, M. A., Mayer, J. D., & Warner, R. M. (2004). Emotional intelligence and its relation to everyday behaviour. Personality and Individual Differences, 36(6), 1387–1402.

Student Panel: Student perspectives of learning at ACU
Theophilus Chijoke Odeh, Ricardo Villamizar, Vanrika Heldt, Katrina Brereton, James Norman and Miranda Plowman

A panel of students studying at the Melbourne 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.

Restarting the heart: paramedic student views on integrating gender identity and sexuality in health curricula at ACU
Ms Ashleigh Finn

Stakeholders influence decisions around program content. Mirroring population trends, stakeholders are predominately cisgender and heterosexual. Resulting curriculum is produced though predominantly heteronormative and cisnormative lenses. This may not include perspectives and experiences of LGBTQI+ people. This can mean student clinical practice needs in relation to interactions with the LGBTQI+ community are overlooked. Specific learning needs of LGBTQI+ students may also be neglected. Student views on how LGBTQI+ people and perspectives might be integrated in curriculum, benefits of such inclusion and the risks involved in maintaining the prevailing silence on the needs of this community are important, especially the perspectives of students within the LGBTQI+ community. This study aimed to examine student perspectives on LGBTQI+ content in paramedicine curriculum.

This research reports qualitative data within a broader mixed methods research project exploring LGBTQI+ presence in ACU paramedicine curriculum. An initial survey of students indicated that questions around LGBTQI+ student inclusion in curriculum and student or practitioner safety were questions that required further exploration. From the survey pool of 187 respondents, fourteen students were interviewed.

Students responded to five questions and four key themes were identified through a process of inductive and deductive analyses. These themes were: silence is unsafe, there is a need to ‘normalise’ the LGBTQI+ community through representation in curricula, developing knowledge and skills in communication protocols for engaging respectfully with LGBTQI+ people and community, inclusion of LGBTQI+ content in a safe and open learning context is the responsibility of all teachers.

Leonard, W., Lyons, A., & Bariola, E. (2015). A closer look at private lives 2: Addressing the mental health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Australians.

Group presentations in an asynchronous unit as a scaffolder of the core teaching capabilities
Dr Anna Popova

The aim of the presentation is to showcase an effective use of presentations as assessment in an on-line asynchronous delivery mode. The showcase will unpack the need to improve this type of assessment, the theoretical underpinning of the improvement processes and practical solutions. The alternative approach in question has been developed in the unit that introduces pre-services Early Childhood Teachers to the concepts and skills of working in partnerships with families and other parties in early childhood settings. Pre-service teachers learn about partnerships, relationships, and communication strategies.

Encouraging students to work in teams in an asynchronous unit in a national University is an andragogical and logistical challenge. In this unit, the challenge has been met by grounding the andragogical methods in the socio-cultural activity theory, and mainly the ideas of A. Leontiev (1977/2009). Leontiev’s main concept is an object-motive. The object-motive is a relationship between the cultural-historical activity (in our case teaching and learning) and the person’s interpretation of its significance for their personal/professional development. This implies that pre-service teachers are more likely to be motivated to achieve highly in tasks, if the task is tightly oriented at what is significant for them WITHIN the cultural-historical activity.

Practical implications of this theoretical approach to using presentations as assessment in an asynchronous unit are that students are placed in situations where they are engaged in ‘things to do’ that create personal significance within the teaching/learning cultural-historical activity. The aim is to re-focus students from ‘getting the assignment right’ to being motivated to develop capabilities of working in partnerships and in productive relationships by using effective communication strategies. The showcase will provide examples of how teamwork is scaffolded overtime and how the structure of the assignment prompts students to re-conceptualise the object-motive.

Leontyev, A.N. (1977/2009). Activity and Consciousness, pp. 395-409, The Development of Mind, (Soviet translation) Erythrós Press and Media.

Expanding New Supervisor Capability in Scholarly Teaching and Learning
Dr Jenny Martin, Dr Claire Lynch and Adjunct Professor Sara Bayes

This presentation showcases an inter-faculty TDG. Its aim is twofold: to promote discussion about the needs of pre-HDR research students and their supervisors and to introduce a new online professional development resource currently in development. New supervisors in the pre-HDR space may not have supervised HDR students. Yet little support is offered to improve supervisor capabilities at this level. Indeed, the role of the supervisor of pre-HDR students falls outside of the Higher Education Standards Framework and has generally been overlooked (MacFadyen et al. 2019). This is a problem because providing research supervision is well known as being the most advanced level of teaching (Owens et al., 2019). Further, capable supervisors impact positively on the development of student research skills, highlighting the importance of investment by universities in supervisor training for staff working at this level (Drennan & Clarke 2009, 496). The research framed by ethogenic social psychology (Harré, 1979) sought to identify pre-HDR students’ and supervisors’ perspectives on supervisor capability and its development. Data were generated from recordings of focus group interviews with ACU alumni and new and experienced supervisors from two Faculties and monthly TDG team discussions. Focus group interviews were analyzed using positioning theory. The micro-credential development represents a synthesis of the research findings, literature and ethogenic theory. Audience members will be invited to contribute their own experiences and perspectives related to pre-HDR supervisor development and offer feedback on the micro-credential design with the view of enhancing student experience and supporting scholarship at ACU.

Drennan, J. & Clarke, M. (2009) Coursework master’s programmes: the student’s experience of research and research supervision, Studies in Higher Education, 34(5), 483-500.

Harré, R. (1979). Social Being. Basil Blackwell.

Macfadyen, A., English, C., Kelleher, M., Coates, M., Cameron, C. & Gibson, V. (2019) ‘Am I doing it right?’ Conceptualising the practice of supervising master’s dissertation students, Higher Education Research & Development, 38:5, 985-1000.

 Owens, A, Brien, D. L., McAllister, M., Batty, C., Carson, S, & Tuckett, A. (2019). Researching, Implementing, and Evaluating Industry Focused and Cross-Disciplinary Doctoral Training. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 14, 651–673.

Finding an alternative assessment task to a final exam: A case study
Assoc Professor Helen Aucote

In tertiary education there has been a push to move away from traditional exams and towards authentic assessment tasks. However, for some units, the removal of the exams makes it difficult to ensure that students are assessed on all the content specified by the learning outcomes. Some creative solutions are needed to balance the desired change with the assessment needs. In a third-year, content-dense, theoretical psychology unit, students were given weekly questions to answer throughout the semester. At the end of the semester the responses to just a few of these questions were assessed. What is more, students were only made aware of which questions would be assessed one hour prior to submission. In this presentation the pros, cons, lessons learned, and students’ perspective on this approach will be discussed.

Statutory Checking Requirements for Nursing Students
Ms Lara Demetrios  (Team: Ms Lara Demetrios, Dr Alycia Jacob, Dr Darren Falconer, Ms Suann Hu, Ms Carolyn Ross, Ms Paula Ince, Dr Bill Swannie and Prof Elisabeth Jacob)

Statutory criminal checks, such as Working with Children Checks and NDIS checks, are required for all nursing students undertaking mandatory unpaid clinical placements. Students are required to obtain these checks in their own time, and at their own expense. This can be a challenging administrative and financial burden for students who are dealing with cost-of-living pressures. Our team investigated the statutory checking requirements for nursing students undertaking placement across Australian jurisdictions to understand the differences between states and the complexities, including financial costs, faced by students.

We identified significant differences in the number, type and cost of checking requirements across states, as well as a lack of clarity in the authorising legislation and potential overlaps between checking types. Ensuring that students are able to be compliant on placement requires significant workload for teaching and administrative staff. Understanding the compliance frameworks and highlighting areas to target for improv4ment can help us advocate for the needs of students. We have provided this information to the Victorian Nursing Heads of School and to members of the Victorian and Queensland governments. We will also be looking to publish our findings and engage with media and professional bodies as part of a push towards making positive change in this area.

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (2021) Working with Children checks

Grant-Smith, D., & de Zwaan, L. (2019). Don't spend, eat less, save more: Responses to the financial stress experienced by nursing students during unpaid clinical placements. Nurse education in practice, 35, 1-6.

Supporting students to develop graduate capabilities – how the Academic Skills Unit can work with staff
Mr Guido Ernst

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 Liana Cahill

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.

Developing authentic assessment across the disciplines: a workshop for academic staff
Dr Jodi Sita, Dr Genevieve Morris, Mr Alex Campbell and Assoc Professor Christian Lorenzen  

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).

Neurodiversity in undergraduate nursing students and the ability to translate theory into practice – the challenges of clinical skill acquisition
Dr Clare Cole, Ms Kate Lauricella and Assoc Professor Lisa Kuhn

Traditionally, neurodiversity has been viewed from a neurodeficit perspective. Definitions of neurodiversity incorporate that it is different ways of socialising, communicating, and sensing and alternative acceptable forms of human biology (Nelson, 2021). In higher education, this may result in these students being viewed as having less academic aptitude impacting learning experiences and limiting future opportunities (Farrant et al., 2022; Griffin & Pollak, 2009; Sewell, 2022). Challenges that neurodiverse students face are multi-faceted and appropriate supports are frequently limited in a higher education system designed for the “neurotypical” (Griffin & Pollak, 2009; Hamilton & Petty, 2023; Moore, 2021; Waisman & Simmons, 2018). These challenges can be magnified in many professional disciplines. If embraced, neurodiverse students have tremendous potential to add a unique and important dimension to the workforce and society. Without understanding and support, however, neurodiverse students may be lost to their disciplines because of the challenges inherent in their diagnoses, inadequacies in teaching, and dispassionate pedagogy.

The overall project objective is to understand how neurodiverse students learn and refine clinical skills in nursing practice. With the input of neurodiverse students, we will explore, develop, implement, and evaluate educational strategies to optimise the integration of theory to practice. This presentation is based on preliminary findings of the research that will involve both neurodiverse staff and students. This project will build knowledge around the needs of neurodiverse students to mitigate the challenges they face in their undergraduate study. Alignment with educational best practices, increasing work preparedness, and the translation of theory into practice will be central to this multi-phased project. By partnering with neurodiverse students, we will co-design innovative teaching practices for those who are neurodiverse, promoting innovative, evidence-based teaching materials and assessment practices.

Farrant, F., Owen, E., Hunkins-Beckford, F. L., & Sobilo, M. (2022). Celebrating neurodiversity in Higher Education. Psychologist, 35, 2–3. 3.

Griffin, E., & Pollak, D. (2009). Student experiences of neurodiversity in higher education: insights from the BRAINHE project. Dyslexia, 15(1), 23–41.

Hamilton, L., & Pety, S. (2023). Compassionate pedagogy for neurodiversity in higher education: A conceptual analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 14, 1093290–1093290.

Moore, A. (2021). Diversity in nursing: why it’s time to think neurodiversity. Nursing Standard, 36(1), 67– 69.

Nelson, R. H. (2021). A Critique of the Neurodiversity View. Journal of Applied Philosophy., 38(2), 335–347.

Sewell, A. (2022). Understanding and supporting learners with specific learning difficulties from a neurodiversity perspective: A narrative synthesis. British Journal of Special Education, 49(4), 539–560.

Waisman, T., & Simmons, M. (2018). Autism Spectrum Disorder and the Implications For Higher Education: A Literature Review. Journal of Educational Thought, 51(3), 317- 338

Roundtable on ACUs Professional Learning & Teaching Community - 2024 and beyond

Ms Laurine Hurley, Mr Matt Rose and Assoc Professor Alexandra Logan

Like a Community of Practice (Wenger-Trayner, 2014), the Professional Learning and Teaching Community (PLTC) provides a forum for ACU staff to come together to explore and share their ideas and concerns on common experiences and practices. More than a forum for discussions, another important aim is to make constructive recommendations to the university to improve experiences and outcomes for staff and students. The PLTC sits outside formal University committee structures but through avenue this can provide a forum for a broad range of staff to participate and contribute to the dialogue around learning and teaching issues at ACU.

To date, the PLTC has been instrumental in influencing learning and teaching practices, policies and processes relating to issues from assessment design and moderation to academic wellbeing and managing change. Until 2022, these sessions were run within the Faculty of Health Sciences using the model started in 2019. In 2023, the PLTC moved to open these meetings up to the boarder university community. Following this move, this workshop will run in a round-table format inviting interested staff to discuss how the new university wide PLTC should be shaped in 2024 and beyond.

Wenger-Trayner, E. (2014). Learning in landscapes of practice: Boundaries, identity, and knowledgeability in practice-based learning. London: Routledge.

Page last updated on 29/11/2023

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