"Our vision for blended learning builds on our reputation for outstanding teaching by utilising the right technologies to create high quality learning experiences in physical and virtual learning spaces, making curriculum more accessible and learning more engaging." — USC Blended Learning Strategy 2017-2020.
In 2014 USC introduced its first Blended Learning Strategy as a whole of University initiative. We are now implementing the next version, the Blended Learning Strategy 2017-2020. This builds on the achievements and learnings of the first version to continuously improve our teaching and learning. The Blended Learning Strategy is framed within the four overarching Curriculum Design principles [staff login required] that the University has adopted to guide the development and production of all learning activities at USC.
Each School has academic staff taking on the role of Blended Learning Academic Lead along with their academic work. Each School has also produced a Blended Learning Action Plan with specific activities and outcomes listed.
Support for teaching staff
The Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching (C-SALT) helps academic staff implement blended learning strategies into their courses and programs to enhance the student experience and the quality of learning and teaching.
Our services include:
Program and course design/redesign
We can assist teaching staff to redesign their courses or programs to make use of blended learning strategies and approaches.
Learning technology advice and evaluation
We can provide advice on existing learning technologies at USC or can evaluate other technologies on your behalf.
Learning and teaching grant application support
We can support teaching staff to brainstorm, critique, evaluate and prepare project proposals and grant applications and to assist with project management and review.
Training and professional development
Blended learning staff work with other C-SALT staff to present training and professional learning activities for staff throughout the year.
Learning systems functional analysis and support
We are also responsible for the functional analysis and second tier support of systems of University learning systems such as Blackboard, Mediasite and PebblePad.
Help and resources
Blended Learning can greatly enhance the student learning environment and benefit the achievement of learning outcomes.
We promote a pedagogy-first approach, rather than a technology first approach. This allows academics to effectively select the best technologies for the job and to sequence them sensibly. Employing technology in ways that are consistent with the Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Teaching (Chickering and Gamson, 1987) also ensure the potential of the technology is fully realised.
Resources for USC staff
There are a number of resources available on MyUSC, the University's staff intranet, starting with the Blended Learning site [staff login required].
The University uses a number of systems to support learning and teaching. These systems provide access to a wide range of resources for students and staff at any time and from anywhere.
Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS)
The Blackboard (Bb) Learning Management System is the main web system used for learning and teaching. All courses have a presence on Blackboard and each course site typically contains learning resources, assessment activities, collaboration tools, access to the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra virtual classroom and lecture recordings.
Blackboard also provides access to SafeAssign — a global database of academic papers that checks a student's work for originality and is used to monitor for plagiarism.
Mediasite Lecture Recording
Lectures in large spaces are often recorded and the recordings, consisting of Powerpoint slides, audio and often an image of the presenter are made available through Blackboard course sites where students can view them at any time.
USC uses the PebblePad ePortfolio system. This is being progressively rolled out across courses, with the greatest concentration presently in vocationally oriented courses such as Occupational Therapy, Nursing and Education where there is scope for students to build portfolios recording their development and acquisition of skills and knowledge. These portfolios can be maintained once students graduate to enable continuing professional development to be captured and evidenced.
There is a range of other software tools available to USC staff to enable them to produce learning resources on their desktop. More information on what is available can be accessed through the MyUSC Educational Technologies website (staff login required).
The Educational Technologies and Environments (ETE) Support Team are the first point of call for help & assistance with Blackboard and other major educational technologies.
Tel: +61 7 5459 4555
Office: E2.29, Sippy Downs campus
Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching (C-SALT)
Office: E2.29, Sippy Downs campus