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Innovation in Teaching and Learning submissions 2020

Submissions listed alphabetically by university.

Education Innovation Project

Queensland University of Technology

QUT logo

The Education Innovation Project delivered an innovative teaching environment within the Peter Coaldrake Education Precinct, the flagship facility for education excellence at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). The Project offered technology solutions for seamless integration between onsite and remote students, and Creative Inquiry Learning Spaces to support academic staff and students engage in a peer-based learning model through a configuration of personal and room-based technologies new to QUT.   The Project was a successful collaboration between professional staff in Learning Environments and Technology Services (LETS) and Networks team (part of QUT’s Digital Business Solutions), learning designers, and facilities and academic staff; it also used direct student input.  The Project has contributed to a major shift in the way technology is deployed in new learning spaces at QUT and the new spaces have attracted national and international visitors to see QUT’s model for innovative learning space design.

Student Animation Rendering Solution

University of Newcastle

Newcastle uni logo

It is a requirement for students studying ‘Design for 3D’ within the School of Creative Industries to achieve learning outcomes that demonstrate the practical application of rendering multiple frames for a complete animation, incorporating techniques such as 3D modelling, texturing, lighting and object physics. The final assignment requires the student to create a 30-second animation compromising over 700 frames as part of the practical demonstration of the learning outcome. Given the complexity associated with processing each frame individually, students potentially spend weeks in trying to produce the animation on a desktop. In partnership with the School of Creative Industries, the IT Team developed a solution that not only improved the effectiveness of the learning by significantly reducing the time taken to produce the render output but more importantly, a solution that had a positive impact on the student experience and learning.  

myEducation Portfolio

UNSW Sydney

UNSW logo

myEducation Portfolio is derived from a 2017-2018 UNSW Scientia Education Investment Fund project grant awarded to the Scientia Education Academy. This project aims to build on existing literature and evaluation tools to develop measures of educational excellence at UNSW that can be used to provide essential feedback to staff about their teaching performance. These can then be used to evaluate and reward excellence via teaching awards and academic promotion..


The UNSW Makerspace Network 'Making web' application

UNSW Sydney

UNSW logo

UNSW Makerspace network consists of multiple Makerspaces, dozens of Labs, hundreds of machines and thousands of project solutions. UNSW Making ( is an application that enables students and staff to complete safety training and safely use equipment in the UNSW Makerspace Network which consists of various Makerspaces. Safety is paramount in the Makerspaces and the Making application enables students to complete essential safety training and obtain badges in order to gain access to equipment in the Makerspaces. This application is a crucial component of enabling the innovative ways of teaching that are offered to UNSW Students through the UNSW Makerspace Network. Students use the Making application to complete safety training online. On completion of a training component (for example, training in the use of laser cutters), they are awarded a digital badge that allows them to book those machines in the Makerspace that they are trained to safely operate.

Large collaborative learning spaces

University of Technology Sydney


UTS establishes a new benchmark in collaborative classroom design has abandoned lecture theatres and didactic teaching and embraced collaborative learning techniques. Typically, an academic will start each class by addressing the whole group to set the context for the work that is to follow and to assign the tasks to be completed in group work.  Students must be able to hear the class leader and see the learning materials being presented, before splitting into smaller cohorts, with each cohort led by a tutor. UTS Central contains three large collaborative classrooms to facilitate students working in multiple separate groups with their own AV technology, sharing presentations with a teacher and other groups. The technology solution operates in several different modes, but is designed primarily for flipped learning and to enable group collaboration. The delivery of a 200 seat collaborative classroom and two 350 seat spaces has never been attempted in Australia.

Science (Hive) Superlab

University of Technology Sydney


The 'Hive' science superlab has a complex floorplan of student hexagonal pods all within sight of seven teaching stations. The audio solution uses wireless bone-conduction headsets to allow students to hear conversations around them as well as their teacher and to move around the lab, these ‘bone-phones’ reduce overall noise levels. Each teacher station allows the academic to control a group of up to 36 students, but can also control other zones - allowing for a single class of up to 250. Each teacher station has a Wolf Vision camera on an extendable arm; a microscope; a PC; and a laptop input. The teacher can roam freely with a Wi-Fi tablet or laptop and present wirelessly and operate the AV from anywhere in the room. Video content is pushed out on the wireless network to up to 250 Surface Pros and to any of the 32 of the overhead monitors.

VU Block Model Enrolment Enhancements (BMEE) Project

Victoria University

Victoria University logo

Launched in 2018, VU Block Model allows students to study in short bursts called blocks. Each block focuses on one unit (subject) for four weeks. The year comprises ten four-week blocks: two semesters of four blocks each, plus one optional block over winter and two optional blocks over summer. We are the first university in Australia to teach using block mode, however, and this dramatic shift in teaching structure required extensive technical innovation to facilitate it. In 2019 VU IT Services undertook the VU Block Model Enrolment Enhancements (BMEE) project to make essential developments to our students’ MyVU portal and enrolment applications to support study in block mode. This project was able to ensure the best possible use of the University’s resources through efficient staff allocation and offer students simpler progression through their courses – while also promoting a better experience for students through updated messaging and intuitive user interface designs.

Nursing Clinical Skills - Recording and Online Learning

Western Sydney University

Western Sydney University Nursing programs reflects comprehensive, realistic programs, supported by committed staff and excellent digital experiences. Whilst many Universities have clinical simulations where students safely practice real world skills, deriving value from these for remote students, has always been challenging. Costly, bespoke AV solutions are often so complex as to deter usage, and add little ‘in room’ value. Western Sydney University took knowledge and culture from its extensive Zoom uptake, and chose to creatively incorporate this in to the simulation. This provided not only improved in room observations in a constrained space, but also an effective, interactive, off campus demonstration of skills using technology that academics felt comfortable embracing. Now some of the most unusual Zoom Rooms on the planet, the WSU Nursing Simulations improve visibility in room, simplify recording of demonstrations, and enable interactive online teaching of advanced clinical practices – resuscitating patients, inserting cannulas, or correctly administering medicines. Watch the Result.