2007 projects

Humanities and Social Sciences/Economics and Business

Projects in this round emphasised using eLearning to assist with the integration of programs of study.

eSearch to Research Library Skills Site 1

The existing online library skills web site in the University LMS (which used examples taken from Arts subjects), was extended with examples from the disciplines of Arts, Education and Social Work, Economics and Business, and Law with the purpose of encouraging student engagement, motivating them to use the eSearch to Research website and improving their retention of information.

Aural perception sites

The entire Aural Perception program was given an online presence with sites developed for each of the units. The sites form a focus for the delivery of streamed audio materials, practical work and communication between tutors and students. They also assist the academic program coordinator by streamlining the administration of the program, which employs a large number of tutors.

Music education program 1

A site was created for the professional experience component of the music education program. Development coincided with a period of curriculum review, so there was substantial reworking of materials with the aim of engendering a more explicit link between theory and practice as a response to the results of student evaluation. The completed online unit of study provides enhanced support to students on placement and covers all three placement years, with features including asynchronous discussion activities, a reflective journal activity, annotated plans for music teachers and revision materials.

Social and Collaborative Technologies for Postgraduate Online Coursework

This project explored the educational uses of social and collaborative technologies, particularly those relevant to postgraduate arts programs. The technologies included in the project were blogs, wikis, RSS feeds and social bookmarking. A guide for staff wishing to use these technologies in the LMS was produced, as well as 'seed' materials presented in a staff wiki which explore the technical and pedagogical issues. The wiki is the same one that holds the Humanities and Social Sciences Spotlight case studies and available for access.

Masters of Development Studies

A program unit of study was created in the University LMS for all students enrolled in development studies. It provides students with access to current summary material on relevant topics and to allows them to communicate with the wider group via online discussions. In addition, an online activity was created for one of the core units in the program (DVST6901), which assists students to produce an annotated bibliography.

Contemporary Rhetoricians – ENGL1000 1

The online unit for ENGL1000, a core first year unit attracting large enrolments, was enhanced with materials to assist students with the difficult aspects of rhetoric. These contain contextual links to glossary definitions and include video excerpts. An asynchronous discussion activity was also developed that is appropriate for the large class size. The site structure was made clearer and easier to use and a custom design was developed.

Health Sciences

Oral radiology eLearning project

The purpose of this project was to enhance professional education in oral radiography and improve recognition of normal anatomy, film faults and diagnosis of pathology on intra and extra oral radiographs and digital images and to thus enhance patient care in Dentistry, BOH and other related Health Science faculties.

This purpose was achieved by the development of online resources and activities to complement the Years 1–4 Bachelor of Dentistry (BDent), Bachelor of Oral Health (BOH) and other Health Science programs. A University LMS website was used in conjunction with an image gallery website(hosted by dentistry) to facilitate flexible student access to normal radiographic anatomy, film faults and radiographic diagnosis of pathology resources. Students have year-round access to the resources, including self tests for revision of key concepts.

Paediatric Oral Health & Nutrition Module Version 2

The purpose of this project was to enhance professional education and patient care in oral health settings. Version 1 of this module was introduced into the BDent Programme in July 2006. In this project period, version 1 was reviewed in light of feedback gained from student evaluation and for the second iteration of this unit of study, more extensive use was made of the online tools in the University LMS (group manager, discussion tools, assignment drop box and tests). Students were provided with a structured five stage learning sequence guiding them through the learning activities with clear instructions and templates to use to complete their final assessed project.

Oral health literacy and development of health promotion materials

This project supported a co-teaching agreement between the Faculties of Dentistry and Architecture to provide their students with the authentic learning experience of client and consultant. A University LMS website was created to support this collaboration and was accessed by 144 Dentistry and Architecture students. The University LMS website presents 1st year and 4th year Dentistry and Architecture students with the information required to meet their common learning objective of developing an oral health promotion program. The website includes the selective release of materials to 1st year and 4th year students using group sign up sheets, the provision of guides to assist students with using the required software (InDesign) and a gallery of examples from previous years as a resource for students to study.

Automated learning activity time mapping and monitoring tool

This project transformed existing paper based materials (the Learning Activity Grid project) into a web-based dynamic, interactive study time planning tool for teaching staff, supporting ‘what if’ activity and data collection.

Navigate your Fieldwork Journey: Take control

A University LMS website was developed which is accessible year-round by all students enrolled in entry-level Occupational Therapy programs. This website allows OCCP staff to store all relevant fieldwork website information in an easily accessible central location. Information stored on this website includes website name, contact person and phone number, relevant case load/learning opportunities and recommended pre-reading.

Peer assessment data collection and analysis using the University LMS

The School of Medical Radiation Sciences had an existing method of peer assessment data collection which involved the use of MS FrontPage for data collection and MS Excel for analysis. Data collection and data analysis using the existing tools was difficult. The peer evaluation tool was redesigned as a quiz in the University LMS. This eliminated data capture problems prevalent in the previous web based peer evaluation tool. The tool is also now embedded in the students’ actual UoS (closely linking it to the related assessment) and staff can easily manipulate and analyse data via the downloadable excel spreadsheets.

Online learning modules for rural health curriculum

A University LMS website containing three modules was developed for use by all faculties who (1) place undergraduate or postgraduate students in rural contexts for professional experience (2) want to include a component on rural and remote society in Australia in their curriculum.

The eLearning team worked with a content writer and the academic in charge to develop an appropriate learning design for the modules. Each of the three modules of the website.(Groundwork, Approaches & Practice) contain learning outcomes, discussion, video triggers, readings, case studies, reflective journal, extensive references and assessment activities and detailed PDF instructions for students on how to use the website.

Investigating e-portfolios for use across the Faculties of Health

This projected investigated the use of e-portfolios across a number of sectors including education, the health professions and other relevant professions such as engineering and law. A systematic review and narrative analysis of e-portfolios-in-action was completed with recommendations for portfolio development, piloting, evaluation and utilisation at the University of Sydney.

Delivering an online Interprofessional Learning resource for all health and social care students (IPL)

A cross faculty (Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing & Midwifery, Pharmacy, Social Work & Health Science) University LMS website was developed that provides a common learning resource for all health and social care students and supports interprofessional learning throughout their professional training. The website provides students with a set of IPL activities which they are directed to by their UoS coordinators.

Enhancing clinical skills learning by designing effective online resources

This project reviewed existing clinical skills resources and created an organisational index to assist students with locating information in the Sydney Medical program LMS.

eLearning delivery for the post-registration Bachelor of Nursing program

Educational designers from Sydney eLearning worked with academic staff from the Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery to design blended and fully online UoS to be delivered to offshore students using the University LMS.

Flash-based PBL case/scenario template

This project developed a Flash template comprising a collection of independently configurable and repeatable sub-templates which function as containers for learning content created by an academic, and are imported into and sequenced in a computer-based PBL case/scenario learning activity.

Orientation to Pharmacy Practice

The Orientation to Pharmacy Practice Settings University LMS website uses a variety of media (images, voice recordings etc) to orient students to the pharmacy placement environment prior to their actual placement.

Sciences and Technology

eLearning for extramural practical placements in abattoirs

In order for Veterinary Science graduates to be accredited to practice internationally, students must spend five days in abattoirs supervised by veterinarians who are employed by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service as on-plant veterinarians. This project involves the preparation of four online modules that assist students to maximize their learning experience during the five days abattoirs placement. The design of the online modules incorporated a range of media and facilitated blended learning through face-to-face teaching at Camperdown and Camden, as well as independent student learning.

Fostering skills-based learning in Bioethics: Incorporating inquiry-based learning

As part of postgraduate program in Bioethics, students develop key skills related to bioethics and clinical ethics, including ethical sensitivity, clinical ethical reasoning, argumentation, critical analysis, mediation and communication. This project involved the creation of online inquiry-based resources that facilitated active learning and assessment of student learning of a wide range of issues in bioethics and clinical ethics by students with diverse needs and expertise. This project ran through both semesters in 2007.

eLearning Tools in Mechanics: eMechanics

An elearning tool was developed for Aeromechanic and Civil Engineering students which enables them to better understand mechanics principles, foster their interests and develop an integrated knowledge structure in Engineering. Specifically, the elearning tool contains: mechanics experiments for lectures and individual study; mechanics problem-solving exercises that require students to practise skills in different environments; activities in which students apply mechanics principles to engineering practice; and projects that reinforce the interconnection between several different levels of mechanics units of study within the Faculty of Engineering.

This project developed a University LMS (CE6)website for mechanics experiments for lecturing and student learning. The website is made up of: eSolutions: interactive demonstrations and questions so students can better understand the effect of parameters on mechanical responses; and eExperiments: prototypes of dynamically visualised modules to “animate” mechanics experiments.

A further outcome of the project has been the professional development of the three academics in this project who improved their educational design skills for online learning and teaching.

The development of interactive elearning patient case studies

This project enhanced the Human Nutrition Unit teaching clinic with the development of interactive problem-based elearning patient case studies. These focus on particular clinical diagnostic patient problems with created but similar to real-life patient scenarios supported by clinical patient information, e.g. biomedical results, patient medical history, nutrition history and social history. The elearning case studies focus on teaching patient nutritional assessment, nutritional diagnosis, clinical decision-making and patient education skills, and clinical documentation skills. The aim of the case studies is to facilitate peer learning to encourage students to take a deep approach to learning. This project was a full year project in 2007. The case studies include the use of an interactive activity developed using javascript.

Reading in Biology (Semester 1)

Students often struggle in reading research papers to find specific information, summarise the main idea and understand how the text relates to tables and graphs. Many students have difficulty deciding whether a text is relevant to their unit of study assessment and therefore worth reading. This project involved the development of an online module for all First Year Biology students to help them develop their skills in reading research papers. The online module is integrated into the curriculum and based on course texts, and is used by students outside class.

Reading in Biology: Pilot (Semester 2)

The pilot of an online module was developed for all first year Biology students, to help them develop their skills in reading research papers. The pilot contains the first part of an online tutorial with explanations, examples and practice activities of core academic reading skills that are relevant to reading research papers in Biology.

The online module serves as a model for other Schools in the Faculty of Science who have expressed a need to assist students with their reading skills.

Image manipulation and presentation: Placing scale-bars

The project involved creating a two-part e-learning exercise: a) an interactive tutorial that teaches the principles behind scaling in microscopy (as determined by the magnification of images, calibration of microscopes using objects of known sizes, calculations to obtain pixel numbers and illustration of scale bars in images) and practical knowledge on the construction and use of scale bars; and b) a tool which allows the uploading of images taken by students, placement of scale bars and saving/printing the images for a portfolio.

The tool was developed to outline the principles behind scaling in microscopy as determined by the magnification of the images and calibration of microscopes. This was done by using objects of known sizes and calculations to obtain pixel numbers and the illustration of scale bars in images

Spotlight redevelopment

An additional theme was incorporated during semester 2.

Engineering & Architecture eLearning report

A report was commissioned by the Faculty of Engineering and IT and the Faculty of Architecture to create a snapshot of elearning use across the different schools in the faculties.

PBL in the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (FAFNR)

The project involved online support for the development of PBL (Problem-based Learning) in the faculty.

3D Visualisation in senior chemistry

A range of 3D visualization tools was researched and tested. A preferred software (Jmol) was agreed on as most suitable for the purpose.

VETS Academic Honesty

An additional module was added to the website.