USC examines digital era of learning and teaching

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USC examines digital era of learning and teaching

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Published on 23 August 2013

How are digital technologies affecting the traditional role of universities?

The University of the Sunshine Coast is dedicating its annual Learning and Teaching Week to this hot industry topic, with guest speakers, interactive workshops and showcases of how USC is blending technologies into its academic practices and student experiences.

USC’s 2013 Learning and Teaching Week will start on Monday 26 August with a master class on Blended Learning for academics, run by Mike Keppell of the Australian Digital Futures Institute at the University of Southern Queensland.

An interactive workshop from 1.30pm will use the analogy of the Yellow Brick Road, complete with people in costumes, to investigate the University’s journey to a new future.

On Tuesday morning (27 August), Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Birgit Lohmann will give the opening address after a performance by the USC Singers and USC Theatre.

“Creating a fusion of educational technologies with face-to-face teaching leads to enhanced student engagement and learning,” Professor Lohmann said.

“Blended Learning provides an opportunity to maintain and leverage our existing strengths, while using technology to extend our reach. It demands an agile response to a dynamic world.

“This theme resonates with the priority that Blended Learning has at USC but also taps into the national and international interest in the potential impact of new digital technologies on the traditional role of universities.”

On Wednesday 28 August, a Blended Learning showcase from 9.30am to 1pm will feature “market stalls” of innovative teaching practices and educational technologies in one spot.

Stalls will range from health programs, such as “utilising virtual microscopy to teach haematology”, to creative advertising and disability assistance.

A Canadian professor known for pioneering massive open online courses will give the twilight keynote address on Thursday 29 August.

Professor George Siemens from Athabasca University will discuss ‘Connecting learners: technology, change and higher education’.

“The internet, mobile technologies, and social media have opened new opportunities for educators to connect with learners,” he said.

His address, from 4.30-6.30pm, and Professor Lohmann’s opening address on Tuesday (9.30-11am) will both be open to the public at the Innovation Centre.

Friday 30 August will conclude the week with a workshop and consultations.

— Julie Schomberg

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