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USC celebrates teaching innovations

Whether it’s immersing design and paramedic science students in virtual realities, using Facebook to engage creative writers or simplifying biological psychology through water balloon displays, the University of the Sunshine Coast is celebrating the many innovative ways it encourages learning.

USC’s 2015 Learning and Teaching Week, from today until Friday 18 September, is based on the theme, ‘Teaching Visions, See teaching in new ways’.

The week has been organised by USC’s Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching (C-SALT) as a showcase of innovative teaching methods.

Convenor Caroline Cottman said a highlight this year would be a Visualisation Colloquium on Wednesday in new high-tech facilities on campus.

It aims to establish an Australian community of academics and specialists who are effectively using 3D and immersive visualisation in learning and teaching.

“The key provocateur will be Nathan Bailey, who is Chief Simplifier at a Melbourne-based ICT company called Simplify Solutions,” Ms Cottman said.

“If that isn’t a new age job title, then what is? As universities prepare graduates for jobs that have not yet been invented, what exactly does a Simplifier do?”

Workshops on Wednesday will include the five key entrepreneurial principles for teaching students how to find a job – or create their own job – in the age of digital disruption; and the benefits of immersing students in virtual environments to learn design and paramedic science.

Diverse presentations during the week will range from Tuesday afternoon’s ‘Using Facebook: the parallel classroom’ by Creative Writing academics to Thursday morning’s ‘Ballooning Brain Cells’ by Psychology academics who use the novelty of water balloons to teach the complexities of brain cells.

Prizes for best presentations will be awarded on Thursday.

For details about the week email

— Julie Schomberg

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