Curtin University has awarded scholarships of $10,000 to key research staff who have developed innovative ways of using new technologies to support teaching across the University.
Known as the eScholars Program, the scholarships support academic staff to focus on new technologies that make learning more flexible, productive and accessible for students, including those in remote areas.
The eScholar projects see staff working with students to design and utilise technological tools to improve learning outcomes, such as using ‘apps’, online tools, shared virtual laboratories, new software and digital recording.
Curtin’s Faculty of Health Sciences e-scholarship recipients will work on a project to raise awareness and understanding of Indigenous Australian culture and history.
Recipients, Director of Interprofessional Practice Margo Brewer, Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery Dr Marion Kickett and Instructional Designer in Teaching and Learning Leah Irving, are excited about their project and its contribution to Curtin’s Reconciliation Action Plan.
Ms Irving explains that the development of cultural understanding was best supported through authentic learning experiences in the form of first-hand narratives from Indigenous people.
“Our eScholar project provides an online interactive learning resource that explores Indigenous culture through personal narratives from Indigenous Elders and other community members and combines them with existing curated resources,” Ms Irving said.
“Students in the first year Indigenous Culture and Health unit, which has over 2,000 students annually, will use the resource and it is hoped that it can be further utilised across all faculties.”
She explains that this project builds on a previous e-Scholar project she worked on with colleague Dr Julie Hoffman, using augmented reality (eg; real imagery with graphics or other elements overlaid to add meaning) and narrated Nyungar place stories to help develop cultural understanding across Curtin’s curriculum.
“These resources are designed to be used in a range of teaching contexts across all disciplines, and will incorporate student contributions and be progressively built upon with additional narratives and a range of online technologies.”
Other winners of the 2013 eScholar Program will implement their projects next year in areas that include using 3D gaming technology for collaborative problem-solving; developing a model for virtual and simulated building design and construction; and using a mobile application to build skill and competency in dietary assessment.
Ms Leah Irving, Instructional Designer, Teaching and Learning, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University
Tel: +61 8 9266 1260, Email: L.Irving@curtin.edu.au