Issue 16
Monday, 25 September 2017
Charles Darwin University
From left: Nijel Ratonel, Zachary Watt, Holly Burgoyne, Meagan Gaskett and Louise King. Photo: Julianne Osborne
From left: Nijel Ratonel, Zachary Watt, Holly Burgoyne, Meagan Gaskett and Louise King. Photo: Julianne Osborne

Team creates award-winning health course

By Leanne Miles

A team dedicated to improving learning outcomes for health students has won the Catalyst Award for Leading Change, at the recent Blackboard Teaching and Learning Conference.

The VET Online Project Diploma of Nursing Team created an innovative course that not only engaged students but also gained overwhelmingly positive feedback and academic success.

Senior Learnline VET developer and trainer Zachary Watt said the team worked to develop and deliver 28 units on Learnline – CDU’s online teaching platform - over 18 months, expanding the development of engaging and interactive learning materials.

Mr Watt said the team had used Blackboard Collaborate for online video tutorials and also recently introduced VoiceThread for media-based learning activities and assessments.

“This has provided students with the flexibility to engage and collaborate online with their lecturers and peers using video, imagery and text,” he said.

“We are also collaborating with CDU’s Innovative Media Production Studio to develop the ‘Quizzical’ web-based app and continuing our trial with Laerdal vSim clinical skills simulations.”

Diploma of Nursing lecturer Meagan Gaskett said the activities were designed to improve the student experience by enabling lecturers to include course activities and assessments, that replicated real-life scenarios and authentic tasks in an online environment.

“Repetition and re-enforcement of learning via educational technologies such as Quizzing and Laerdal vSim clinical skills simulations have resulted in improved student learning and retention, allowing students to complete tasks much more efficiently," she said.

The Blackboard award recognises the team’s innovation in developing practices and technologies that have had a measurable effect on learning outcomes, student performance and academic progression.

The team, which includes Zachary Watt, Ann Bolton, Nijel Ratonel, Sue Tucker, Louise King, Holly Burgoyne, Meagan Gaskett and Kobi Schutz, is looking to expand course access to international students.

The VET Online Project’s Diploma of Nursing was the first enrolled nursing course in Australia to be approved for online learning by Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council.