The Inspired Learning Summit
18 October 2019
UNSW Sydney
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Online registration has now closed. Guests who missed the deadline are welcome to register at the welcome desk on the day.

The Inspired Learning Summit 2019

Overcoming Educational Challenges

The annual Inspired Learning Summit (ILS) celebrates educational innovations and partnerships that enhance educators’ teaching and enrich students’ learning at UNSW. ILS 2019 will explore practical ways of overcoming key challenges in education.

The Summit also marks Year Three of the UNSW 2025 Inspired Learning Initiative (ILI). While showcasing some of the ILI work, the event will also delve into problem-solving with accessible and readily achievable design, development and delivery solutions for common obstacles in education.

Based within the Portfolio of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Education, the ILI is a strategic investment delivering the distinctive UNSW Scientia Education Experience.

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A peek into the Summit

Keynote Speaker

Image - Dr Holi Birman

Dr Holi Birman

Academic Language and Learning Facilitator, UNSW

With a background in Sociology and relational dynamics, Dr Holi Birman is committed to fostering a strong sense of community in both face-to-face and digital learning environments. She works with tertiary students from diverse backgrounds, particularly in her role teaching, facilitating and consulting at the Learning Centre (SACS). She lectures, tutors and runs seminars for several UNSW Enabling Programs and has also taught across a range of disciplines in the School of Social Sciences (FASS).

Holi’s passion is to draw out students’ creativity and curiosity by demonstrating that having both fun and a sense of purpose are important ways of learning. She draws on a variety of mediums to make learning relevant to students’ everyday lives and experiences.

Panel Discussion Speakers

Dr Holi Birman

Academic Language and Learning Facilitator

Arts and Social Sciences

Ms Margaret Connor

Digital Learning Manager, Business Digital Learning


Dr Arash Khatamianfar

Lecturer in Systems and Control, School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications


Associate Professor Cathy Sherry

UNSW Scientia Education Fellow


Professor Gary Velan

Senior Vice-Dean (Education) and Co-Director, UNSW Scientia Education Academy



08:00 AM - 09:00 AM Registration and arrival coffee and tea
09:00 AM - 09:30 AM
Welcome to Country by Aunty Maxine Ryan
Opening by Professor Alex Steel, Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education)
09:30AM – 10:10AM
Keynote presentation
Juggling hats and screens: learning to teach in a mobile environment
Dr Holi Birman, Sessional academic and learning advisor involved in taking a holistic approach to teaching diversity in face-to-face and digital learning environments.
10:10AM – 10:30AM Morning tea
10:30AM – 12:30PM
How academics resolve challenges in education
During this session, academics from various faculties will present on the common challenges they faced in their courses. They will discuss how the ILI Digital Uplift enabled them to resolve these challenges through the development of new learning resources and activities, and how it changed their approach to teaching. These academics will also outline how the knowledge they gained and the training they received can be applied to other courses outside of the ILI Digital Uplift.
Dr Jodi Brooks
Arts & Social Sciences
GIF Guides and Moodle Media Galleries

Scaffolding the process and techniques of GIF-making as utilised within film studies

Drawing on students’ experiences of cinema is a key means for developing understanding of film debates. Our students come from diverse backgrounds and have different experiences of and investments in cinema and popular culture. Creating spaces in which these different investments, experiences and interests in cinema can be shared can play a dynamic role in student learning. The challenge was to teach 2nd-year film studies students a digital literacy skill that would enrich peer learning, support their understanding of film studies concepts and be a valuable employment skill. To this end, the DU team researched different techniques of GIF-making. This animation file format allows for hands-on exploration of film study concepts and is also very popular and widespread in online journalism and media production. Together with the course authority, the DU team scaffolded the GIF-making process into three sets of instructions with increasing levels of complexity as students come to the course with various levels of skill in media production. This way, students could ease into the process and refine their skills at their own pace. At the end of the course the students had produced GIFs as a means for applying and testing key debates and had created their own Moodle media galleries to share work in progress. These learning activities can be readily applied to diverse courses.

PVCE Educational Developer Partner: Dr Emily Chandler

Dr Steve Davis
Project Planning and Control: Using pre-lecture activities and post-lecture resources to support effective face-to-face and online learning

Increasing student engagement with effective online resources (using H5P, Lightboard videos and more)

Project Planning and Control (CVEN9702) is a large postgraduate course in which students learn how to ensure that projects occur on time and under budget using various tools and methods. The course is taught face-to-face, but it also includes a sizable distance-education cohort. The challenges identified at the start of the Digital Uplift of this course included how to design effective online resources and activities that would enable the lecturer to spend more time during face-to-face classes conducting more personalised discussions and which would allow online students to effectively engage with the course content. To that end, we developed a series of comprehensive online pre-lecture formative activities in H5P to introduce students to key concepts and test their understanding, thus ensuring they came to class well-prepared. We also developed a number of online post-lecture problem-solving resources in the form of Lightboard videos to reinforce these same concepts. While teaching the uplifted version of the course for the first time in the second term of 2019, the lecturer observed an increase in student engagement and satisfaction.

PVCE Educational Developer Partner: Dr James Vassie and Dr Qingyang Lei

Mr Adam Craig
Addressing key challenges in the fully online Bachelor of International Public Health

Engaging audiences and creating authentic communities of learning online while maintaining quality teaching outcomes

Two years ago, UNSW launched its first fully online undergraduate degree, the Bachelor of International Public Health (BIPH). The 3-year program, delivered in partnership with Arizona State University, has had many wins but also raised unique teaching challenges, including how we - as academics and designers familiar to face-to-face modes of delivery – engage our audiences, create authentic ‘communities of learning’ and ensure teaching quality and outcomes are maintained. This presentation will discuss key teaching and learning experiences arising from the BIPH experience, and relate these to online education more broadly.

PVCE Educational Developer Partner: Dr Amanda Yeung

Professor Linda Corkery
Built Environment
Living Architecture: Green Roofs and Green Walls

Providing students with access to spaces and voices that would otherwise be difficult for them to access

‘Living Architecture: Green Roofs and Green Walls’ is a summer course offered to students form a number of faculties that provides an introduction to the use of greenery to increase the environmental performance of buildings and their surrounds. In previous years, this course was taught face-to-face in an intensive mode, but following a Digital Uplift it was taught for the first time as a mostly online course over the 2018/2019 summer period. This presentation will discuss how the Digital Uplift was used to tackle the educational challenges of moving course content online, and of providing students with access to spaces and voices in the living architecture field that would otherwise be difficult for them to access.

PVCE Educational Developer Partner: Mr Shaun Lehmann

Professor Christopher Jackson
Engaging students in learning: Exploring Sydney’s entrepreneurial ecosystem

Field-based group task tackling the inherent industry focus challenge

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (COMM1040) aims to expose students to the fundamentals of global entrepreneurship ecosystems and the practical aspects of identifying, evaluating, and developing business opportunities. The inherent industry focus in the course presented a unique educational challenge. To address this issue in 2019, we developed a significant task to guide students on a journey into Sydney’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Called the “Great Sydney Treasure Hunt”, groups of students visited the actual locations of business start-ups and financial centres. At each location, they could view interviews from entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. We wanted the students to see, hear and even smell what it was like to be part of the Sydney ecosystem. The course ran for the first time in term 3 2019 and the results reveal a significant degree of positive engagement amongst the student cohort.

PVCE Educational Developer Partner: Mr Martin Parisio

Dr Carlo Caponecchia
Talk to me: Using podcasts to foster engagement in online courses.

Podcasts as a medium through which to teach students the nuanced aspects of Workplace Safety

It is expected that the future employment of all our students will include management of risks to the safety of workers, customers, passengers, and clients, as well as other stakeholders and the systems with which they interact. These responsibilities are not always well-recognised or seen as important and dynamic aspects of work across the community. Part of our challenge in AVIA3013/GENS5013: Workplace Safety was to encourage students to consider the wider implications of the content in order to promote interest and participation in course materials. We chose to respond to this challenge by developing podcasts related to the course content, which delivered material relevant to a range of course topics. Podcasts were chosen due to the popularity of the medium and the potential advantages in being able to engage with course materials as part of everyday life.

PVCE Educational Developer Partner: Dr Vanessa Huron

Dr Diana Perche
Nura Gili
Contemporary Issues in Indigenous Politics

Providing students with a new and more personal level of insight into what can be a very complex subject matter, by respectfully obtaining first-hand accounts from Indigenous Australians and Politicians

‘Contemporary Issues in Indigenous Politics’ examines contemporary debates in Australian Indigenous affairs, placing an emphasis on the political contexts within which these debates take place. In the past, students have primarily learned about the political system and how issues of interest move through this system from the outside looking in, through reading commentaries and studying publicly available debates and speeches. As a part of the Digital Uplift of this course, we decided to reverse this pattern through obtaining student-oriented interviews from important figures in Indigenous politics, including three federal politicians. These first-hand accounts of how matters of importance to Indigenous Australians move through the political system will provide students with a new and more personal level of insight into what can be a very complex subject matter.

PVCE Educational Developer Partner: Mr Shaun Lehmann

12:30PM – 01:30PM
Digital poster presentations
The digital poster series will focus on innovative solutions to teaching problems regularly encountered by staff at UNSW. The posters demonstrate the worthwhile partnerships that were forged through numerous digital uplift projects over the last year. They also show how knowledge and resources that were developed have the capacity to influence greater cultural change.
01:30PM – 02:30PM
Problem solving seminars
The seminars are interactive sessions where ILI Educational Developers will lead discussions on the use of freely available digital tools to tackle two common educational challenges:
  • When to move content online (60 minutes) – Tyree Room
    Facilitators: Dr Vanessa Huron, Dr Ava Parsemain and Dr Emily Chandler
  • How to reduce marking load (60 minutes) – Galleries Room
    Facilitators: Mr Shaun Lehmann, Dr Jasper Hsieh, Dr Felipe Crisostomo, and Dr Qinyang Lei
In these sessions attendees are encouraged to discuss their own courses and teaching challenges, and will have an opportunity to identify potential solutions both from each other, and from the attending Educational Developers.
To make the most of this session, please bring a laptop or other device suitable for accessing Moodle.
02:30PM – 03:15PM
Panel discussion: Sustainability of online resources

The panel will address common challenges relating to “Sustainability of Online Resources” and is comprised of learning and teaching staff from across the university. Questions to the panel are sourced from Summit attendees at registration in order to tackle sustainability issues most pertinent to the UNSW community.

Panel members:
  • Dr Holi Birman, Arts and Social Sciences
  • Ms Margaret Connor, Business
  • Dr Arash Khatamianfar, Engineering
  • Associate Professor Cathy Sherry, Law
  • Professor Gary Velan, Medicine
Dr Jacinta Kelly, Senior Manager (Acting), Educational Design and Development
03:15PM – 03:30PM
Kirishanth (Krish) Sivanathan, Senior Manager (Acting), Educational Design and Development
03:30 PM Event is followed by networking drinks and nibbles

The Inspired Learning Summit is brought to you by the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education), UNSW Sydney.


John Niland Scientia Building (G19), UNSW Sydney.