VALA2020 SC6 Cain

Transition, Transformation and Partnerships: Collaborating for student success

VALA2020 SC6
Wednesday 12 February 2020, 2:45 – 3:50

Kat Cain
  • Deakin University
Dr. Francesca Bussey
  • Deakin University
Naomi Nirupa David
  • Deakin University
Dr Natalie Robertson
  • Deakin University

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Transitioning into university can be challenging because success is predicated on the capacity to adapt – to a new culture, to new people and to critical new skills needed for academic achievement. This can be made more difficult still, where students have significant family and work commitments, and/or varied experiences of education. Where learning is predominantly online, the challenges can seem insurmountable.

A Transition and Transformation project team at Deakin are piloting a scaffolded series of digital interventions and corresponding pedagogies into the core curriculum of an early years Bachelor of Education course. The work is grounded in building a sense of connection and belonging in students, whilst simultaneously developing key literacies and threshold concepts so that they serve as learning opportunities, rather than roadblocks to understanding.

Drawing on longitudinal studies at the local and international level, interventions have focused on three distinct areas:

• Digital and academic literacies: Embedding practical skills to support assessment

• Threshold concepts: Unpacking difficult but crucial discipline-specific concepts

• Belonging: Building cohort cohesion and teacher presence through Cloud Practice and Cloud Conferences.

This course-wide approach is a complex long-term project with multiple stakeholders, technologies and outcome requirements. For deep learning outcomes to be possible, a holistic approach to intentional curriculum design is required. Core to the current and ongoing success of this pilot has been a collaborative six-way divisional partnership using the combined skills of academic developers, librarians, academics, learning advisors, learning designers, and digital developers. In addition to an expanded and integrated provision of academic resources, a community of practice has emerged from this project. Through merging relationships in different areas of expertise, the project team have experienced personal transformational learning as practitioners that has significantly developed their ability to design for students.

This session will explore the complexities of this collaborative approach, observed outcomes, and processes underpinning resource design.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.