Friday, November 16, 2012

e-Learning at ANU

ANU Sciences Teaching Building
ANU Sciences Teaching Building
Greetings from the new new Sciences Teaching Building at the Australian National University in Canberra, where I am attending a Science Teaching and Learning Colloquium on Research Led Education. The event is being held in one of the 150 seat flexible learning spaces. 
The keynote is from Associate Professor Adam Bridgeman, University of Sydney, on the ‘Sydney Scientist’ project.
The ‘Sydney Scientist’ project involves a collaboration between the Faculty of Science, the Library and the Learning Centre at The University of Sydney. The project seeks to renew the BSc curriculum through the embedding of graduate attributes and academic skills across first year units. The project simultaneously aims to enhance the transition of students into the culture of the Faculty through the ‘First Year Science eCommunity’.
Professor Bridgeman described how the sciences program was modified to remove "core" units and  make use of online systems for carefully designing units and ensuring each student gets the required skills. The students document their work with an eportfolio.
Coincidentally, yesterday I visited the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) to have my teaching experience assessed for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)  in a Graduate Certificate iV in Teaching and Assessment. The process described by Professor Bridgeman for University of Sydney is very much like the systematic process which CIT and the vocational sector in Australia has been using for decades.

Previously I have proposed using such a system at ANU, but this was seen by many of my colleagues as trivializing education with a vocational model, not suited to a leading research university. So since last November I have been looking at the educational theory behind such an approach. This would seem to be the right time to propose: "On-line Professional Education For Australian Research-Intensive Universities in the Asian Century".

No comments: