Reconnect at ASCILITE 2022

The annual ASCILITE conference is happening at the University of Sydney on Gadigal land, exploring the theme: Reconnecting relationships through technology. This will be an important opportunity for the higher education sector to come together around innovation, practice and research in educational technology. We acknowledge the conference organising committee for their hard work bringing together a rich program around a timely theme.

A taste of the conference

To get you excited for what’s to come, we’re spotlighting some upcoming presentations by members and collaborators of the Co-Design Research Group (CDRG). You can check out the full program here.

The Practical Connection

Louise Luff, Janine Coupe and Mark Waddington

From the rapid adoption of online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic, learning communities have become abstract, disconnected, and failed to provide effective social interaction and connection opportunities (Martin, 2020). Mindful of the related impact on students’ intrinsic motivation and learning, a first-year accounting unit was reimagined and reinvented with a practical connection student centred teaching approach. A student-centred learning environment focused on students understanding the relationship of accounting information and its users, the business world and skilful accounting professionals. Teaching materials, assessment tasks and learning management system (LMS) were transformed to greatly enrich meaningful student connection, motivation, and deeper learning (Turner & Baskerville, 2013). This presentation will showcase aspects of the unit’s practical connection approach, specifically highlighting innovative use of technology enhanced learning in the unit to support student development and student voice through peer learning.

Online assessment in Australian University Business Schools: a snapshot of usage and challenges

Andrew Cram, Lynne Harris, Corina Raduescu, Elaine Huber, Sandris Zeivots, Andrew Brodzeli, Sue Wright and Amanda White

Whilst most institutions have been using online assessment submission for many decades, the move to fully online delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic meant more traditional forms of assessment also had to move online. In this national study we captured a snapshot of online assessment usage across business disciplines from 97 survey participants from universities in Australia and identified the challenges reported by participants. We found the three most predominant forms of online assessments are written reports and essays, online exams/quizzes and live or recorded presentations. We categorised the reported challenges into 13 groups, and they include academic integrity; additional time and effort for teachers; technology access and service consistency; student preferences and expectations; and changes to feedback. We conclude with a discussion on these challenges. This study contributes not only a better understanding of the usage of online assessment in Australian business education, but also provides a benchmark with which to track and evaluate future shifts in assessment practice. 

In the business of connecting: Nudging students

Lynn C. Gribble and Elaine Huber

We have long been leveraging the use of technologies to help build and sustain connections in the online environment. The pandemic opened our eyes to the value of these connections and the ability to better use technologies to facilitate them. Now we must question what more we can do. Creating communities through safe environments, building trust, showing students our ‘human’ sides through rapport building and teacher presence which may have previously been hidden in plain sight when operating in a face-to-face mode are a good start. By breaking down traditional barriers brought about through power relationships, the foundations of a quality learning experience are both created and maintained.

Using case scenarios and personal narrative from two metropolitan university business schools, we explore techniques that have been used to build connections during lockdowns and begin to reconnect as we emerge from the pandemic. We found that nudging our students through initial uncomfortableness really helped them feel part of a community of learners, one which we also belonged.

Creative practices: thinking and thriving together

Carmen Vallis and Wendy Taleo

In this concise paper, the authors provide a forum for thinking about creative and collaborative inquiry in research-informed practice. Higher educators may benefit from creative academic and professional development, beyond traditional programs in contemporary, technology-enhanced learning. Creative practice may take many forms. An educational developer and an educational technologist reflect on their practice through the forms of vignette and poetry, to exemplify how narrative can reveal insights that may otherwise have remained hidden. In telling our stories, we encourage other academics and professionals to use creative and collaborative ways to reconnect and thrive. Further research on creative practice may lead to more fictional, interdisciplinary ways of connecting and continuing professional development.

Join us at the ASCILITE conference

If you haven’t registered, there is still time to sign up. We look forward to seeing you there!

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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