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Innovation in Teaching and Learning submissions 2021

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Note: Submissions where the nominees are not aware of the nomination are not listed.

Virtual Radioactivity Application in Virtual reality

University of Newcastle

A key learning area for first year Physics students is to understand radiation and it’s interaction with matter. This has
presented a challenge as training needs to occur under well controlled conditions in a physical lab environment with
small amounts of radioactive substances, offering limited flexibility in availability, design and long measurement
times. The training was tedious, not engaging and resulted in anxiety for students. The Virtual Radioactivity
application was created to address these challenges and existing limitations.

The Virtual Reality (VR) based teaching application allows students to experiment with radiation, take measurements
and visualise sub-atomic particles. Students can choose multiple radiation sources, different barriers, interact with
the virtual environment and take measurements all in a safe environment. The application has been actively rolled out
into 1st and 2nd year physics labs with >250 students, with interest in further expanding the application in the

Location Explorer and Response Tool Authoring Applications

Griffith University


The target audience identified for the Location Explorer tool and the Response Tool Application is both academic/course convenors and students. Academic/Course convenors utilise these tools to quickly and easy build guided learning experiences and create complex dynamic questions and question sets designed to engage learners. Student’s utilise these tools to build their own assessment artefacts and be constructors of their own learning. Both tools have been designed to be easily used by beginner to imtermediate users thus maximising the user base. Both tools utilise a consistent user experience and design language to ensure ease of use, familiarity and quick uptake.

Implementing Supervised Online Exams to support staff and students affected by the COVID-19 travel restrictions

Deakin University

Deakin University

The Deakin Online Exams project had been investigating possible solutions for online assessment and examination capabilities since April 2019. This included analysing, trialling and piloting various vendor solutions for supervised online exams and online assessments. In April 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic travel and gathering restrictions accelerated the need for Deakin to support its students with a fully online teaching and learning experience, which included online examinations. The project, in collaboration with operational assessment teams, support areas and academic teaching staff, commenced an initiative to develop and implement a tactical solution for supervised online exams. The team leveraged the learnings from the previous analysis, trials and pilots, extending this work to incorporate operational processes and procedures. Over the course of three teaching periods in 2020, approximately 6,800 exam and assessment sittings were delivered wholly online with supervision options, allowing Deakin to continue to support its students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students with a hearing impairment learn like never before at the University of Canberra.

University of Canberra


Assisting students with a hearing impairment was of critical importance to the audio visual (AV) team members at UC. Unsatisfied that AI generated captioning often didn’t recognise names or was confused by an accent, and didn’t meet international standards for accessibility, this is when the team had a lightbulb moment to use freely available video conferencing software like Skype and Zoom with a variety of discreet wireless USB microphones. Combining this with captioning software provided by a captioning service reduces the cost of a live captioner, doesn’t attract attention and allows for captioning in any classroom or field excursions promoting better learning outcomes for all students.

Swinburne Virtual Student Labs

Swinburne University of Technology


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic student classes needed to be moved on-line very quickly. Faced with budgetary constraints and not knowing when classes would return to a consistent delivery modality, the Swinburne SOE team quickly mobilised and enhanced existing infrastructure to virtualise physical computer labs for on-line learning. Teachers required a solution that provided the remote delivery of classes due to COVID restrictions imposed on all Victorian’s. The solution needed to effectively provide 200-800 students daily access to a reliable solution to complete their 2020 classes. The impact of not providing a solution would delay classes, impact graduations and enrolments for the following year.

Microsoft Teams for Education

Central Queensland University


CQUniversity prides itself on providing accessible education and equal-opportunity employment possibilities for students across Australia and overseas. In 2019 CQUniversity, realising the future of work and study, embarked on an ambitious, transformational project to change how staff and students interact online: Microsoft Teams for Education was embedded within the University’s digital learning environment and integrated with the Learning Management System (Moodle), providing a real-time collaborative virtual platform upon which a new paradigm of social learning communities could be fostered. This new capability has provided academic staff with creative freedom to rapidly and easily contextualise and adapt their delivery style in real-time to optimise the learning and teaching experience. It has also more importantly empowered our students to communicate and collaborate in new and innovative ways, that has contributed to their student success and enhanced their work-readiness in an evolving virtual and collaborative workforce.

ACU Innovations in Teaching and Learning

Australian Catholic University

ACU logo

ACU’s promise to students is simple – a highly practical learning experience that provides a competitive edge when entering the workforce. To continue to deliver on this promise in an online and mixed-mode environment, ACU has expanded its capacity for student engagement, participation, and real-time feedback regardless of student location (online or on-campus). This expansion includes:

a) Establishing 55 x B-Line medical simulation labs on all ACU campuses to deliver high quality healthcare training and education to students.

b) The innovative use of Microsoft Teams to facilitate collaborative student learning (70 academics, 2 153 students and counting).

c) Establishing a new highly connected campus at Blacktown, Sydney, where there are 6 ‘active learning’ spaces that facilitate both HyFlex* learning and student collaboration in a post-COVID normal environment.