The Southern Cross Model: Exploring Immersive and Engaging Learning

Thank you for your contributions!

2022 Scholarship of Learning and Teaching Symposium

The 2022 Scholarship of Learning and Teaching Symposium has now concluded. Thank you to all colleagues for your contributions and our discussions. All 2022 SoLT Symposium contribution details are available here. The Symposium recordings will be available soon and progressively uploaded. 

Symposium Awards

Award recipients for 2022 are:

Best contribution award – decided by Steering Group: (two for 2022)

  • Inclusive learning in the SC Model: The importance of embedding Indigenous knowledge in the curriculum
    Dr Johanna Nieuwoudt, SCU College

  • Developing a Teaching Presence rubric
    Dr Patrick Gillett from Faculty of Business, Law and Arts, Tina van Eyk from Centre for Teaching and Learning, Kylie Day from Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, Dr Carolyn Seton from Faculty of Science and Engineering, and Patrick Bruck from Faculty of Education

Highly commendable award – decided by Steering Group:

  • Accessibility in the Southern Cross Model
    Shelley Odewahn from Student Care and Support, Toni Ledgerwood from Centre for Teaching and Learning, Associate Professor Adele Wessell from Faculty of Business, Law and Arts, and Dr Mieke Witsel from Centre for Teaching and Learning

Most thought-provoking contribution – decided by popular vote:

  • Mathematical synergies toward numeracy and the implications for the SC Model
    Dr Christos Markopoulos, Dr Lewes Peddell and Patrick Bruck from Faculty of Education

Pre-recorded video contributions – decided by popular vote:

  • Maximising teacher-student partnerships under the SC Model: Student ratings of audio and written feedback
    Dr John Haw, Dr Sharen Nisbet, Dr Patrick Gillett, and Rita Duval from Faculty of Business, Law and Arts

MS Teams Greenhouse contribution

  • Dr Elizabeth Emmanuel - Faculty of Health

2022 Scholarship of Learning and Teaching Symposium Theme

The theme this year was:

The Southern Cross Model: Exploring Immersive and Engaging Learning

Southern Cross University (SCU) has developed a distinctive academic model, one that offers deeper, more focused, and more engaging learning and teaching experiences. This academic model puts learning at the heart of our teaching practice by promoting guided and active learning experiences for our students across locations, courses, and levels of offering.

Historically, university learning has taken place through a semester or trimester model where full-time students complete four units or subjects concurrently over 12-15 weeks. In contrast, immersive scheduling models (Richmond et al., 2015; Turner et al., 2021) engage students in shorter periods of study and involve students ‘immersing’ themselves in just one or two units at a time. In a variation on other immersive models, the Southern Cross (SC) Model allows students to study up to two units at a time over 6-week teaching terms. The model is a radical intervention aimed at raising student success and retention and delivering a more engaging study experience for diverse student cohorts. 

2022 will be the first full year of course awards being offered within the SC Model, with the majority of courses delivered in the 6-week study period format. In 2023, we will see all students studying within this academic model.

Symposium Program - Tuesday 8, Wednesday 9, and Thursday 10 November

The Symposium event was delivered online over three consecutive days.

The MS Teams SoLT Symposium space was used again to facilitate a community of practice presence before, during, and after the Symposium. This space encourages the sharing of teaching practices and expertise. 

To further continue the conversations, view the Talking Teaching webinar: No student left behind - Accessibility in the Southern Cross Model held on Wednesday 23 November.

Day/Time (NSW) Activity
Tuesday 8 November
 
10:15am to 12pm
Opening Plenary
 

Welcome to Country:   

Uncle Herb Roberts

 

Symposium Welcome and Opening: 
Professor Tyrone Carlin, Vice Chancellor

(view recording from 03:14 min)

 

The Southern Cross Model:   
Professor Erica Wilson, Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Innovation) and Professor Thomas Roche, Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Quality)

(view recording from 14:45 min)

 

Yoga at Your Desk Wellness break opportunity - video appears after short advertisement

 

(view recording from 40:30 min)

 

Presentation:
Associate Deans (Education)

(view recording from 48:45 min)

12:30pm to 1:15pm

Roundtable discussion: - view recording
Accessibility in the Southern Cross Model, Shelley Odewahn from Student Care and Support, Toni Ledgerwood from Centre for Teaching and Learning, Associate Professor Adele Wessell from Faculty of Business, Law and Arts, and Dr Mieke Witsel from Centre for Teaching and Learning

1:45pm to 2:45pm

Parallel sessions (with recording links)

Breakout Room 1: (access the Parallel sessions link above to view contributions and recordings)

  • Authentic assessment design: Exploring the challenges and opportunities through examples in pathway programs, Dr Kerrie Stimpson, Associate Professor Suzi Syme and Dr Rikki Quinn from SCU College
  • Rescued by VoiceThread, Dr Patrick Gillett, Faculty of Business, Law and Arts
  • Online quizzes: Techniques for authentic assessment, Associate Professor Steve Purcell, Faculty of Science and Engineering and Dr Kayleen Wood, Faculty of Business, Law and Arts  

Breakout Room 2: (access the Parallel sessions link above to view contributions and recordings)

  • Unit warm-up: Jump start into tertiary studies, Dr Jenelle Benson, Centre for Teaching and Learning and Dr Elizabeth Emmanuel, Faculty of Health
  • Addressing academic integrity through embedded interventions for novice mathematics students, Dr Michael Brickhill, SCU College
  • Inclusive learning in the SC Model: The importance of embedding Indigenous knowledge in the curriculum, Dr Johanna Nieuwoudt, SCU College

Breakout Room 3: (access the Parallel sessions link above to view contributions and recordings)

  • Mathematical synergies toward numeracy and the implications for the SC Model, Dr Christos Markopoulos, Dr Lewes Peddell and Patrick Bruck from Faculty of Education
  • Southern Cross Model: Opportunities and challenges, Dr Ali Reza Alaei and Dr Reza Ghanbarzadeh from Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • Enhancing student engagement through an authentic micro-learning low-stakes peer-led portfolio assessment, Jeanti St Clair, Faculty of Business, Law and Arts and Marlon Jones, Centre for Teaching and Learning
Wednesday 9 November
 
10:15am to 11:05am

SCU colleague Keynote presentation: Contribution  View recording
Institutional transformation and onboarding to implement the Southern Cross Model: Shared experiences in creating immersive and engaging learning, Professor Fiona Naumann and Associate Professor Matthew Leach from Faculty of Health

** In this keynote you will also hear from the Vice Chancellor.

11:05am to 11:25am

Summary of Roundtable discussion

(view recording from 53:24 min)

12pm to 1pm

Parallel sessions

Breakout Room 1:

  • Embedding support for diploma-level students to become independent learners, Dr Michael Brickhill and Ros Walpole from SCU College
  • Using learning analytics to measure a sense of belonging of learners in higher education, Ram Ramanathan, The Hotel School
  • Rethinking assessment design to make students work-ready in the context of the SC Model, Peter Murphy, Faculty of Education and Dr Anuradha Khara, Centre for Teaching and Learning

Breakout Room 2:

  • AI vs AI: Is the game over or just starting? Dr Vinh Bui, Dr Ali Reza Alaei, and Associate Professor Raina Mason from Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • Maximising teacher-student partnerships under the SC Model: Student ratings of audio and written feedback, Dr John Haw, Dr Sharen Nisbet, Dr Patrick Gillett, and Rita Duval from Faculty of Business, Law and Arts
  • We hear you: Acknowledging academics’ emotional response to educational change, Dr Mieke Witsel, Shelley Barfoot, Dr Lachlan Forsyth, Chris King, Tim Magoffin, Michelle Metanoia, and Tina van Eyk from Centre for Teaching and Learning

Breakout Room 3:

  • Internship portfolio assessment: Fostering professional identity formation through real-world learning, Dr Julia Caldicott, Faculty of Business, Law and Arts
  • Methods and extent to which students' learning experiences develop and enhance their professional identity, The Yen Cao, The Hotel School
1:30pm to 2:30pm

Technology Q&A presentations

Technology presentations from the Centre for Teaching and Learning team:

Room 1: 

  • Engage your class with Whiteboards – Shelley Barfoot, Michelle Metanoia and Tim Magoffin
  • Making videos to enhance your teaching – Chris King and Michelle Metanoia

Room 2:

  • Utilising H5Ps to suit your student learning needs – Emile Goddard
  • Preventing a Grade Centre disaster – Shelley Barfoot
Thursday 10 November
 

10:15am to 11:05am

SCU colleague Keynote presentation: Contribution   View recording
Developing a Teaching Presence rubric, Dr Patrick Gillett from Faculty of Business, Law and Arts, Tina van Eyk from Centre for Teaching and Learning, Kylie Day from Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, Dr Carolyn Seton from Faculty of Science and Engineering, and Patrick Bruck from Faculty of Education

11:30am to 12:30pm

Parallel sessions

Breakout Room 1:

  • Co-designing an educational support intervention for international students in a tertiary health education Southern Cross Model (SCM): A multimethod design, Dr Elizabeth Emmanuel, Dr Ya-Ling Huang, and Professor Fiona Naumann from Faculty of Health
  • Online and face-to-face learning for health students: A comparison of staff and student experiences to optimise university teaching and learning, Dr Ya-Ling Huang, Dr Gopi McLeod and Associate Professor Paul Orrock with students Julia, Stephanie, Sandra, Anna, Shannon and Bridget from Faculty of Health
  • Working with vivas, Kerrie King and John Laing from The Hotel School

Breakout Room 2:

  • Facilitating the transition to a student-centred classroom for international students in the EAP program, Annie Long and Ros Walpole from SCU College
  • Encouraging deeper learning through the integration of an OER to whole-of-course design, Dr Nicola Whiteing, Professor Jennene Greenhill, Lucy Shinners, Dr Elizabeth Emmanuel, and Nicole Graham from Faculty of Health, and Tanya St Clair Honey from University Library

Breakout Room 3:

  • Using VoiceThread for assessment and collaboration: A Practical Guide, Dr Diarmuid Hurley and Dr Nasim Salehi from Faculty of Health
  • Using student-generated ideas to facilitate effective learning outcomes in a communicative and engaging manner, Neil McRudden, SCU College
  • Curriculum change as transformative learning: Academics reflect on student engagement in the Southern Cross Model, Dr Liz Goode from Academic Portfolio Office/SCU College, Dr Sharen Nisbet and Dr John Haw from Faculty of Business, Law and Arts, Dr Johanna Nieuwoudt from SCU College, and Robert Rollin from Faculty of Science and Engineering
1:30pm to 2:15pm

Focusing on Active Learning panel:

Moderator: Associate Professor Elspeth Frew - Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management, La Trobe University

Panel members: Dr Kayleen Wood from Faculty of Business, Law and Arts, Patrick Bruck from Faculty of Education, Associate Professor Gail Moloney from Faculty of Health, Professor Anja Scheffers from Faculty of Science and Engineering, and Dr Kerrie Stimpson from SCU College.

2:15pm to 2:45pm

Closing Plenary

 

Symposium Sub-themes

The five sub-themes related to the 2022 Symposium theme guided our discussions throughout the Symposium:

1.    Facilitating the learning partnership between academics and students (collaboration)

  • How have we or can we facilitate an adult learning partnership between academics and students? Share your partnership experiences.
  • What andragogic approaches are or can be effective to encourage adult learners to take responsibility for their learning?
  • What techniques can help to build confidence in students to take ownership of their learning?
  • How have we or can we build trustful and respectful teacher-student relationships to alleviate students’ anxiety and stress, and improve student outcomes?
  • What strategies have or may contribute to improving students' sense of belonging to the University community?

2.    Providing active learning experiences for the real-world

  • How have we designed or could we design active learning experiences for the SC Model? How have active learning experiences changed?
  • What activities or resources were used or could be used to encourage active and real-world learning?
  • What strategies have or can enhance in-depth learning and decrease the risk of surface learning?
  • How did we and can we ensure students have accessibility, and can participate and collaborate in active learning interactions in the same way?
  • How can learning activities support assessment preparation and address learning outcomes both in class and via self-access modules?
  • In which ways and to what extent do the learning experiences of students enhance the development of their professional identity?

3.    Creating authentic and real-world assessments

  • How have you or will you shift away from traditional assessments and final exams to include more authentic assessment experiences? Share your experiences of changing your assessments into the SC Model.
  • What are your experiences in implementing the new Assessment Moderation Guidelines?
  • How have we or can we create assessments for students to become work-ready?
  • What assessment types are important to facilitate real-world experiences? How did or can technology assist evidence-based and practical task assessments?
  • Share examples of moving towards high quality assessment rather than volume of assessment. What challenges and opportunities did you experience?
  • What strategies have or can enhance connections with the discipline community outside of SCU?

4.    Encouraging student connections and peer learning

  • How did you or will you encourage students from diverse backgrounds to share their perspectives and connect with peers in the SC Model? Share your strategies and experiences.
  • What methods, applications and current technologies, available to SCU and external partners, have we used or can use to connect and interact with students in different time zones, spaces, and places?
  • How did or can technology assist with promoting the student voice for example in an online workshop?
  • What support techniques were used or could help to promote equity, inclusion and diversity for students to feel connected and engender a sense of belonging in our teaching and learning spaces?

5.    Transformative learning

  • Transformative learning involves “the process of becoming critically aware of how and why our assumptions have come to constrain the way we perceive, understand, and feel about the world” (Mezirow, 1991, p. 167). How does this apply to your practice?
  • How has or can the SC Model help to transcend education beyond the transfer of knowledge?
  • How has or will your unit design and teaching transform some or all of the following for your students: cultural understanding, their sense of improved professional development; enhanced academic development; strengthening their personal growth?

Mezirow, J. (1991). Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning. Jossey-Bass. 
        
Richmond, A. S., Murphy, B. C., Curl, L. S., & Broussard, K. A. (2015). The effect of immersion scheduling on academic performance and students’ ratings of instructors. Teaching of Psychology, 42(1), 26–33. https://doi.org/10.1177/0098628314562675

Roche, T., Wilson, E., Goode, E. (2022). Why the Southern Cross Model? How one University’s Curriculum was Transformed. Southern Cross University Scholarship of Learning and Teaching Paper No. 3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4029237 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4029237

Turner, R., Webb, O. J., & Cotton, D. R. E. (2021). Introducing immersive scheduling in a UK university: Potential implications for student attainment. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 45(10), 1371–1384. https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2021.1873252

Symposium Steering Group

The Symposium Steering Group provided guidance to the Centre for Teaching and Learning team in organising this event and reviewed contributions.

The 2022 Steering Group members from across SCU:

Faculty of Business, Law and Arts - Dr Kayleen Wood, Lecturer
Faculty of Education - Dr Christos Markopoulos, Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Health, National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine - Associate Professor Matthew Leach, Deputy Director, Education
Faculty of Health, Nursing - Dr Elizabeth Emmanuel, Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Science and Engineering - Dr Reza Ghanbarzadeh, Lecturer
Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples - Rachel Lynwood, Lecturer
SCU College - Dr Johanna Nieuwoudt, Lecturer
Centre for Teaching and Learning - Dr Mieke Witsel, Senior Lecturer
Centre for Teaching and Learning - Tina van Eyk, Steering Group Chair and Coordinator
Centre for Teaching & Learning - Dr Lachlan Forsyth, Director.

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