Grants to change the face of university teaching and student learning outcomes

[14 June 2013]

A new method of teaching is turning the traditional classroom on its head and is re-imagining engineering education through the flipped classroom to address poor learning outcomes.

Minister for Higher Education and Skills Sharon Bird recently announced Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) totalling $6.4 million to support nine teachers and 38 research teams to develop their techniques for improving teaching and learning across a range of disciplines.

"It's a wonderful thing to have a really good teacher, or a really interesting class that sticks with you. This research will help that happen more often, in more lecture theatres across Australia," Minister Bird said.

Dr Abelardo Pardo is participating in a global partnership with institutions in Australia and the USA in two research projects totalling $428 000 to deliver to Australian university engineering programs a new method of teaching. 

"Educational technology and active learning are two key components of the flipped classroom model. They both influence student learning environment in fundamental ways. The objective is to provide students a truly effective learning experience.", says Dr Pardo.

The flipped classroom model comprises:

  • students interact with various resources outside of the classroom by watching lectures at home at their own pace, communicating with peers and teachers via online discussions, or reading learning material
  • active concept engagement takes place in the classroom through lab work and interactive activities to illustrate concepts 

The traditional one-size-fits-all model of education often results in limited concept engagement and severe learning limitations.

Such radical educational transformations are made possible by the widespread availability of online video and increasing student access to technology. 

Dr Pardo is also co-leader in the research project "Video annotation software to develop student self-regulated learning"  together with A/Prof Shane Dawson from the University of South Australia.

The project aims to investigate the application of the social annotation software, Collaborative Lecture Annotation System for:

1) leveraging the products of lecture-based instruction to engage students in social learning;

2) developing and evaluating self-regulated learning; and

3) establishing learning analytics to support teaching and learning practice.


The Gillard Labor Government has committed $36.8 billion to higher education teaching and learning over the next four financial years.

For more information contact
Abelardo Pardo
T +61 2 9351 4116
W sydney.edu.au/engineering/people/abelardo.pardo.php