How UWA is Growing International Student Numbers Through Data-driven Marketing

Global student mobility has been steadily growing over the past decade, and according to OECD’s recent findings, shows no signs of declining any time soon.

With the OECD’s Education at a Glance 2015 report forecasting international student mobility to nearly double to 8.5 million students by 2025, it comes as no surprise that  international student recruitment has become central to many universities strategic business plans for the future.

And as the competition to win students continues to intensify around the globe, universities are focusing on new and innovative marketing strategies to recruit and retain high quality international students. Now more than ever before, universities are recognising that students are also customers and the need to provide excellence customer experience across the student lifecycle.

According to Kent Anderson, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Community and Engagement), University of Western Australia (UWA), capturing a holistic view of the student lifecycle can have big benefits when it comes to international student recruitment – and the key to achieving it is data.

“One of the driving principals of UWA’s international marketing and recruitment strategy is that all decisions should be data informed. All of our decisions are based on the data we have,” he says.

Over the past two years Kent and his team at UWA have been refining their international student recruitment strategy to ensure improved ROI from their efforts. Through a focus on student insights, digital marketing and a future focused outlook, UWA is aiming to boost international student numbers from 20 per cent  of the student body, to 30 per cent over the coming years.

Ahead of International Student Recruitment and Marketing 2016, Kent shares the core elements of UWA’s international student recruitment and marketing strategy and how they are capturing and using student insights to drive an exceptional student experience, and in turn, boost international student numbers across their campus.

Attracting international students to UWA: the essentials

“The University of Western Australia (UWA) has a long tradition of internationalism and attracting international students, but for the last 15 years we had a capped the total number of international students we could enrol at 15 per cent.

These insights are part on an exclusive article with Kent Anderson, Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Western Australia. Download the report here, to learn more about:

  • Attracting international students
  • Capturing student insights to boost student numbers
  • Engaging students on digital platforms
  • UWA’s proven tips for success

For more information about our International Student Recruitment & Marketing Conference 2016 download the brochure. The event brings together 20 influential speakers from across higher education and explores:

  • Strategies to improve commencement rates
  • Forming key relationships and Maintaining Partnerships
  • Reputation Management and Building a Cohesive Australian Brand
  • Leveraging social media trends to engage international students with Digital Marketing
  • Data Analytics and Data Mapping – evaluating industry data to tap into new markets and drive growth

7 strategies universities can use to DESIGN & DEVELOP INNOVATIVE LEARNING SPACES

Over the past decade there has been a huge shift in approach to the design of learning spaces in higher education. As technology continues to advance with the rapid pace of change, so too are student demands and expectations when it comes to learning.

As a result, universities are looking to new innovative ways of teaching, with a big focus on linking pedagogy to learning space design, and how technology can best be utilised in these spaces to improve student engagement and learning outcomes.

Ahead of New Generation Learning New Zealand 2016, we take a look at 7 key strategies universities and schools across Australia and New Zealand are using to design innovative learning spaces to remain relevant to the digital student.

1 Establish a unique learning environment
Swinburne University of Technology is one university which is seeing its students benefit from a space developed and designed specifically for interactive online learning to drive better student learning outcomes.

Four years ago the University and online employment giant SEEK, established Online Education Services (OES) to create engaging online learning experiences for students.

OES’ first endeavor is Swinburne Online, which provides online degrees and postgraduate qualifications for Swinburne students, transforming teacher led units to suit an online environment.

According to Dr. Jay Cohen, Learning Design Manager, OES, while Swinburne has had a big focus on digital learning delivery in the higher education space for some time now, the key to success has been creating a unique learning environment for students and staff.

“There are a few elements that make our approach unique. The first is our student-centric approach which underpins the support services we provide from orientation to graduation for our students.

“We have a thorough orientation for students, seven-day support services, on-demand assignment assistance and tutoring services as well as a bespoke social network platform called ‘Connect,’ which we use to keep students connected to the broader student and staff community,” he says.

Essentially, OES is taking on-campus content and trying to fit it into an online environment – which Jay says has not come without challenges.

“What we are finding, is that what works on campus may not necessarily work in an online environment.

If you’re building an online learning space from scratch, it is actually a completely different design from a classroom based design.

Feeding classroom based content into an online environment does create challenges, because elements of design that are in the campus don’t rolling over into an online environment.

Designing and building an online learning space is not about transferring what you are doing on campus to online – it doesn’t work that simply.

For example, in a traditional university environment a lecture might run somewhere between 80 and 110 slides per lecture. But we can’t put Power Point slides in an online environment. So we have to think in a completely different way when it comes to designing content, as well as assessments – particularly when it comes to group work.

Group activities or group assessments in a classroom environments means students can go and sit at a table and discuss and collaborate in person. In the online environment, there is no classroom which makes it significantly more difficult to facilitate collaborative learning,” he explains.

In order to overcome such challenges, Jay and his team have focused on integrating new and innovative technologies to provide a more collaborative and innovative learning experience for students.

“We have had to reimagine what it means to collaborate in order to foster an engaged online learning community through the use of video, audio and other technological resources, which has created an interactive environment,” he says.

These insights are part of an exclusive report with seven leading universities from Australia and New Zealand. The report delves into new generation learning spaces and explores blending the vitual with the physical, future-proofing learning spaces, catering to different learning and teaching styles and the use of data analytics in creating personalised learning spaces.

For more information on our New Generation Learning New Zealand 2016 event please download the brochure. The even brings together over 20 speakers and leading innovators and explores key considerations relevant to ensuring a pedagogically receptive and innovative campus for 21st Century learners. 

Driving Operational Efficiency Through Shared Services Transformation at Swinburne University

In this video interview, Joanne Austin, Former Faculty General Manager Business and Law at Swinburne University, explores the core elements of Swinburne University’s services transformation journey to date and the measures other universities can adopt to ensure and enhance operational efficiency.

Interested in learning more? Download the exclusive powerpoint presentation by Joanne Austin from Higher Education Services Transformation 2015 where she explores;

  • Having a clear understanding of shared services and centralised operating models.
  • Integrating technologies to support teaching and enhance the student experience.
  • Exploring and adopting measures to enhance universities operating efficiency.

For more information about our Higher Education Shared Services 2016 event download the brochure. The event will bring together over 20 speakers and innovators and cover topics such as;

  • Selecting the appropriate operating structures to reduce operational costs and enhance value of university support services.
  • Engaging stakeholder throughout the transformation process for continuous improvement and smoother transition.
  • Redesigning administrative functions and structures for higher quality student experience.

Deakin University: Driving change management to enhance blended learning

Insights from the School of Exercise & Nutrition at Deakin University

Much of the published content on blended learning has focused significantly on changes in pedagogy, and how technology is influencing the way teachers deliver content to support student learning outcomes.

This is undoubtedly a crucial part of the effort to ‘blend’ different learning methods to improve the student experience, but what about the cultural and mindset implications of blended learning?

There is an increasing trend in which universities are experiencing difficulty introducing technology and different ways of teaching. Encouraging academics to embrace a blended learning approach in units of study is far easier said than done; not to mention securing buy-in at the executive level.

As a result, building a culture around blended learning has fast become a critical success factor – from being able to demonstrate the value of blended learning on student outcomes to answering the WIIFM (‘What’s-In-it-For-Me) conundrum. And then, of course, nurturing the engagement of all stakeholders along the journey.

While there is no standard framework to build a culture around blended learning, or seamlessly introduce technology and methods of teaching, there are ways that project teams can use existing resources to trial different techniques.

Ahead Blended Learning 2016, Susie MacFarlane, Senior Facilitator, Teaching Excellence and Innovation, shared insight into her team’s efforts to enable a blended learning environment for students at the School of Exercise & Nutrition, Deakin University.



Susie Macfarlane, Senior Facilitator, Teaching Excellence and Innovation

University learning management systems have traditionally been used to host individual files such as study guides and readings, as well as lecture recordings and synchronous classroom recordings.

Often the LMS becomes a resource repository, rather than providing a clear and engaging learning path for students. I work as an educational developer and change agent in a school of more than 60 academics in a very technologically advanced university.

My challenge was – how can we shift our thinking and capacity across the whole school to design clear learning pathways that motivate and assist students to learn? We have developed a learning design process and template to guide our academics in developing a learning path with resources, activities, links to discussion board and formative assessments.

And we are also starting to use eLearning software such as Articulate Storyline, to resource a high quality blended learning experience.

We make available online some of the resources that were originally delivered face to face by the lecturer so the students can access them before or after the classroom or seminar experience.

Therefore, in the classroom we can start to establish more student-centred learning and active learning approaches, such as team based learning, classroom activities, discussion questions and so on.

In this way, some of the information transmission and even active learning processes that don’t require a teacher to be there now occur asynchronously, through online resources students can access when it suits them.

For example, in our food chemistry labs, students print out and bring along the results of their eLearning module they completed prior to entering the lab. In this way, we can guarantee our students are prepared to undertake the lab activities, and they can spend the time more effectively developing their lab skills.

Susie’s insights into changing the mindset round blended learning and capacity are part of an in-depth case study that explored how her team continues to successfully introduce innovative blended learning techniques to support student learning outcomes. 

Read the full case study to learn more about: 

  1. Designing clear learning pathways for student-centred learning
  2. Building a model of organisational change and capacity building
  3. Introducing a new learning approach through strategic change management
  4. Running a subtle pilot project for the new learning approach
  5. Maintaining an integrated team model to improve blended learning

For more information on the Blended Learning Summit, please download the brochure or visit

The Summit will bring together leading educators and learning design specialists to present in-depth case studies, outline key challenges faced, what they have achieved and how they have enhanced the student experience.

How to maximise existing space for student-centred learning: Campus masterplanning at Curtin University

Universities operating in a tight fiscal environment have dominated media headlines in recent times. In spite of the negative vibes attached to this theme, many tertiary establishments are becoming more innovative with their existing assets. One asset in particular has set the tone in the context of campus masterplanning: the learning and teaching space.

The focus on maximising existing space combines academia and design in architecture to enable active student-centred learning.

When universities undertake this journey, they don’t only benefit from a cost savings perspective, they also provide students an experiential offering that supports their learning outcomes. When that occurs, the benefits multiply – from stronger reputations institutionally to continued excellence in educational rankings.

However, with demand changing so quickly, how can universities manage competing priorities and align the use of space with student learning outcomes? How can they unlock the value of existing space beyond financial aspirations?

Ahead of Campus Development 2016, we spoke to Khoa Do, Associate Professor – Architecture & Construction Management, Curtin University, who discussed how existing space can be used to accommodate changing pedagogy, improve student learning outcomes, and measure the effectiveness of learning and teaching spaces.


Listening Diagram for the Curtin General Learning & Teaching Facility, courtesy of Khoa Do & HASSELL

Khoa Do, Associate Professor – Architecture & Construction Management, Curtin University

Adopting an Integrated Design Model (IDM) for space utilisation

My background is in Architecture and the built environment. Having spent a considerable part of my professional career moving between academia and architectural practice, I have developed an interest and expertise in the areas of Architecture of Education and the Pedagogy of Space.

The direct link between pedagogy and space for learning and teaching are intrinsically interconnected and integrated. Good design of learning spaces can positively impact the development of innovative learning and teaching scholarship; good education spaces are transformative environmental conditioning agents for generating innovative learning and teaching practices.

Leading universities are agile and timely in the way they stay abreast of the challenges reshaping the higher education sector. The disruptive environment is been fuelled by a wide range of interconnected factors that include: advancing technologies, preferences for courses catering more towards multi-disciplinary (cheaper, short-intense and high quality), the balancing of face to face versus online delivery, applied research and industry engagements (commercialisation of research) and so on.

Leading universities are responding by putting greater investment in the development of campus spaces aimed at offering more experientially transformative learning environments of both virtual and face to face.

The emphasis for universities is to afford quality learning experiences that go beyond simply the process of acquiring skills and knowledge for the attainment of a degree in the traditional model of learning and teaching.

Staying relevant, ahead of the competition and being at the forefront of what universities do and offer are hallmarks of a progressive and innovative university.

Khoa Do is a featured presenter at the upcoming Campus Development Summit. These insights are part of an exclusive case study on using existing space to accommodate changing pedagogy and support student learning outcomes. He goes on to explore how the Integrated Design Model (IDM) approach investigates design considerations and strategies that enable the explorative process of identifying small scale opportunities across the campus for upgrading, retrofitting and redevelopment.

If you’d like to know more about the Campus Development Summit, download the brochure or visit Khoa will be joined by more than 20  specialists from across Australia, the UK and Singapore at the Summit. They will share key considerations that you need to make to ensure a pedagogically responsive and innovative campus and facility for 21st century learners.



How can universities design assessment and credentials to produce work-ready graduates?

Establishing credentials for students has emerged as a critical way to ensure graduates are work-ready once they finish university. But it’s far easier said than done, especially in light of major changes in pedagogy and student expectations.

How can universities align the approach to building credentials with students’ needs and ensuring employability at the same time?

Ahead of Innovation in Assessment & Credentials 2016, James Arvanitakis, Dean, Graduate Research School Western Sydney University, discusses what factors need to be addressed to establish credentials that are effective and have real value in the student experience.



James Arvanitakis, Dean, Graduate Research School, Western Sydney University

Essentially everything we do should be building up a broad range of employability skills for the students. Universities are really good at producing knowledge and delivering content.

That’s a disciplinary knowledge that we have, and what we need to do is continue doing that to ensure the highest level of scholarship is maintained and attained by the students. That is never negotiable.

But there’s a second dimension, which historically universities haven’t done very well, and that’s related to incorporating a broad range of attributes that students need to develop for proficiencies.

These include learning how to work across cultures, working with teams, knowledge translation, having a sense of agency, and being able to appreciate design and aesthetics, for example.

All of these attributes are important, but it’s the flip side of the coin that universities have struggled with.

And when I developed the Academy program at Western Sydney University, or now that I oversee the Graduate Research School, developing these attributes along with academic excellence are my twin goals.

It goes not only through the curriculum, but through all the investments as well. Within the blended learning environment, it requires very specific strategies in comparison to what you would do face to face, but it doesn’t change the broader philosophy about what you would expect from your students.

For example, with knowledge translation in a blended learning environment, you work with the students to develop public blogs or develop more online resources, and you require your students to work in teams and master online project management software.

The focus should be on assessing how they communicate across those teams, rather than what we usually do, which is what they are doing. You assess the process, not just the outcomes.

James Arvanitakis kindly shared insight into the development of student credentials for the upcoming Innovation in Assessment & Credentials Summit in October. In the article he goes on to explore the approach for building up a broad range of employability skills for students, and incorporating a range of attributes that students need to develop for proficiencies.  Check out the full article to learn more about removing silos and moving towards cross-disciplinary skills.

And if you’d like to know more about the Innovation in Assessment & Credentials Summit, please download the brochure or visit

James will deliver a presentation on educating students in a time of disruption: Becoming innovative and creating an internal shift to drive the future of universities.


How Australian universities are implementing innovative blended learning methods to boost student engagement

Advances in technology have enabled students with greater flexibility in how they learn, which has influenced the need for educators to engage students beyond the traditional classroom environment. And in response to major changes in pedagogy, many universities have directed efforts towards implementing blended learning methods to support student outcomes.

But the focus on blended learning is proving to be multifaceted. Improving student engagement is unquestionably vital in the context of learning outcomes; but so too is engagement between educators and learning designers.

Effective blended learning environments can only be achieved when these stakeholders work closely together, and are able to coordinate against a common objective. While it’s far easier said than done, new approaches are being developed to establish a culture around blended learning.

At the same time, capacity building frameworks are emerging as a tool to facilitate experiences like eLearning and mobile learning (mLearning) – this also extends to supporting students in workplace environments (or workplace learning).

And then, of course, there’s measuring student engagement, which is where the ability to scale feedback takes centre stage to improve blended learning methods. Some universities are using dashboards to monitor engagement; while others are experimenting with newer methods to personalise feedback.

Ahead of Blended Learning 2016, several specialists from Deakin University, Monash University, Charles Sturt University and University of Sydney, share exclusive insight into how they are supporting student learning outcomes by creating effective and adaptable blended learning environments.


Engaging students in enquiry-driven learning at Monash University

Ms Barbara Yazbeck, Research and Learning Skills, Monash University Library

We’ve developed a Blended Learning module for second-year students in the Bachelor of Pharmacy to teach information skills in an Evidence-based Practice.

This represents a key collaboration between the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Monash University Library, recently recognised in a Faculty Teaching Citation and a Vice Chancellor’s Award

The Library has a learning skills program, with learning skill advisors that work with their librarian counterparts and faculty to embed research and learning skills in the curriculum.

And because we take an embedded  approach to skill development, we try to be involved in curriculum as much as possible. In this case, we work with the unit coordinator for Evidence-based Practice.

Two workshops–A and B –are team taught and form a major assessment for this core unit. These workshops are three-hour sessions that require significant resourcing, which can be a challenge, as we’re a small branch here at the Parkville campus.

It’s vital that our teaching is embedded and timetabled into curriculum. In addition, the workshops are team-taught, with a learning skill advisor, a subject librarian, and a faculty instructor involved.


Monash University campus, courtesy of Barbara Yazbeck

And because we take an embedded approach to skill development, we try to be involved in curriculum as much as possible. In this case, we work with the unit coordinator for Evidence-based Practice.

Two workshops–A and B –are team taught and form a major assessment for this core unit. These workshops are three-hour sessions that require significant resourcing, which can be a challenge, as we’re a small branch here at the Parkville campus.

It’s vital that our teaching is embedded and timetabled into curriculum. In addition, the workshops are team-taught, with a learning skill advisor, a subject librarian, and a faculty instructor involved.

We’ve been involved in this unit for more than five years, culminating in the adoption of a blended learning approach three years ago. This initiative was piloted in 2013, and now exists as an online module that we use in a blended workshop model.

These insights by Ms Barbara Yazbeck are part of an eBook in which four learning design specialists, including Ms Yazbeck, discussed how they are creating blended learning environments to support student learning outcomes in response to major pedagogy changes. 

Read the eBook to learn more about how universities are:

  1. Developing a blended learning module for students to gain skills in an Evidence-based Practice
  2. Establishing a culture of enquiry-based learning and practice for students
  3. Using learning analytics to understand student behaviour and provide more relevant resources
  4. Shifting mindsets and capacity to design clear learning pathways that motivate and assist students to learn
  5. Providing academics with choice in the role they play in the blended learning team, and the extent and pace of change and technology uptake

If you’re interested in learning more about the Blended Learning Summit that will be held in October, download the brochure or visit 


Creating active learning environments through campus masterplanning at the Saïd Business School

Against the backdrop of major changes in pedagogy, universities are re-visiting campus masterplans to assess the effectiveness of physical space and learning environments.

But aligning infrastructure re-designs or new-build projects with student learning outcomes can be a complex undertaking. How can universities work to advance the design of learning environments given campus limitations – be it financial or technological?

And how can learning environments facilitate changes in how educators deliver content and interact with students?

Ahead of Campus Development 2016, we spoke to Mat Davies MCIOB, Oxford Saïd Estate Director, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, who shared exclusive insight into how his team is establishing active learning environments by factoring in the end-to-end learning experience into the campus masterplan.



Mat Davies MCIOB Oxford Saïd Estate Director, Saïd Business School University of Oxford

At the Saïd Business School in Oxford, we face many challenges around campus masterplanning, due to the diverse nature of our program portfolio.

We also have a very diverse international student community, with circa 50 nationalities represented each year. The way in which we support these communities is very intense, managing every detail of their Oxford experience from arrival to departure, and increasingly beyond as they become lifelong members of our alumni community.

I’ve been a Director at the Business School for the last 15 years, and the pace of change has just been extraordinary compared to the ten years preceding that – largely led by the pace of development in the technology sector, and the opportunities which this has presented to us.

This development has enabled us to look far beyond the classroom. In both our new-build projects and our redevelopment projects, we have been concentrating not just on the classroom, but also on how we can harness the technological advances to accommodate the changes in learning behaviours outside the classroom in library, breakout, circulation and social spaces.

Only a few years ago small groups would book cellular study spaces, and order portable display equipment to work in groups of six or maybe eight people.

Now, students expect all areas to be technology enabled, giving them much greater choice about how they study, and when, and with whom. As a result, much of the collaborative activity which was tied to a small number of cellular ‘formal’ spaces, is happening much more naturally in social spaces, and even circulation spaces, sharing an ever increasing number of handheld devices with local screens.

These insights were provided by Mat Davies ahead of the upcoming Campus Development Summit in October. He goes on to explain how his team is establishing active learning environments by factoring in the end-to-end learning experience into the campus masterplan. Keep reading the full case study here.

If you’d like to know more about the Campus Development Summit, please download the brochure or visit to know more. 

How MOOCs are enabling exploration of credentials and assessment at University of Adelaide

For some time now, online learning has long been accepted as a tool for enrichment and exploration in higher education, and the emergence of online resources such as virtual discussion boards, wikis and course management systems has paved the way for MOOCs, ultimately changing the way students interact and engage when learning.

In recent years, universities around the world – including Australia – have been rolling out MOOC portfolios. Across the MOOC market, an estimated 35 million students have now enrolled in more than 4000 courses, with more than 500 university providers.

The growth of MOOC platform edX since 2012 to around 30 per cent market share shows just how much prominence and popularity open online learning has gained globally. With more than 90 international partners, edX is the leading non-profit MOOC platform, with members from all over the world – including Australian counterparts the University of Adelaide, the Australian National University (ANU) and the University of Queensland.

In 2014, Adelaide joined edX to form a flagship open digital learning initiative, AdelaideX, which is now providing learners with free access to the university’s expertise across a range of subjects, from computer coding and project management to music and wine-tasting.

“We’re excited to be making MOOCs, because it’s a way for us to enable huge numbers of learners to engage with the high-quality education that the University of Adelaide provides. And using digital channels combined with edX’s reach out to 8 million learners, we’re able to connect with learners in locations where it’s difficult to offer conventional face-to-face provision,” says Dr Katy McDevitt, who leads the AdelaideX initiative.

“Adelaide is a long way for a learner in Mumbai, Paris or Tokyo to travel and many people can’t afford to do so. Now we can enable learners to study with us from right where they are, with no geographical barrier.”

In its continuing journey to enhance student experience, Adelaide is exploring specific requirements related to assessment and credentials in the open learning space – particularly in the context of enabling open learners to build on their informal learning.

This is increasingly sought-after as MOOC learners seek new ways to demonstrate their work-readiness to employers, and Adelaide, like many universities, is exploring options to support learners who want to transition from informal MOOC study into formal education or the workplace.

How can universities implement credentials and conduct formative assessments that align with student learning outcomes? What steps can they take to build a comprehensive strategy to produce work-ready graduates?

Ahead of Innovation in Assessment & Credentials 2016, Dr McDevitt shares exclusive insight into how AdelaideX is enabling exploration of credentials and formative assessments in the open learning space.



Dr Katy McDevitt, Program Manager, AdelaideX, University of Adelaide

There’s a lot happening in the MOOC space, particularly the development of micro-credentials and credentialling partnerships between MOOC-active institutions.

At University of Adelaide, we’re carefully watching how this conversation unfolds among the edX university partner community – a conversation that has both been gaining momentum and raising some fascinating challenges for us, in the course of the year.

I’m interested in how that conversation is going mainly because it seems likely that future MOOC learners may soon come to consider access to a credit pathway out of their informal open study a ‘must have’.

Up to now, the vast majority of MOOC students have been content with what MOOCs offer as a self-contained (and free to study) learning activity, but my sense is that for a proportion of our open learners, this is changing. We’re exploring how to get ready for that, while also continuing to offer learners low-cost MOOC certificates via edX, as we do now.

Need for partnership in exploring future MOOC-based credentials

The first thing to acknowledge is that many – but by no means not all – MOOC learners are looking for credentials or certification. There is already a low-cost certificate which satisfies many – a verified certificate which students pay for up-front, and which is easy to share online and to employers once you pass.

But beyond this, some learners are looking for a way to transfer their learning into formal education or into career progressions.

On the education side of that, a movement towards credit transfer for MOOCs would – I think – depend on a strong shared understanding with other partners about the consistency, in terms of how much credit is applicable to what size and level of study; and which courses and programs align with which. Early days, but it looks possible.

This article is part of an insights series ahead of the Innovation in Assessment & Credentials Summit. Dr Katy McDevitt goes on to discsuss building partnerships to establish MOOC-based credentials & produce work-ready graduates; and factoring in work experience & attributes of MOOC learners to tailor credentials in line with their needs. You can continue reading the full article here.

If you’d like to know more about the Innovation in Assessment & Credentials Summit, download the brochure or visit 

Dr Katy McDevitt will be joined specialists from universities including Western Sydney University, Curtin University, Monash University, Edith Cowan University, Macquarie University, Swinburne University of Technology and more to discuss strategies on:

  • How to redesign curriculum and assessment to embed employability skills and produce work ready graduates
  • How to select the right method of assessment to align with your desired outcomes
  • How to enable students to build bespoke degress to become more work ready

An inside look at how Monash University’s blended learning transformation is improving student outcomes

In Australia, pedagogy changes have taken centre-stage as universities look to transform the student experience. By focusing on their learning outcomes, there’s an opportunity to ensure students reach their goals and enhance the reputation of their wider institutions as hubs of excellence.

But while advances in technology have enabled educators to blend the delivery channels of content and interactions for students, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach universities can take to ensure faculties maintain an effective and flexible blended learning environment.

Which poses the question: How can universities create a coordinated approach that consistently supports student learning outcomes?

At the last Blended Learning Summit, Professor Darrell Evans, Vice-Provost – Learning and Teaching at Monash University, discussed how a unique initiative was taken to place educational designers across the various faculties and work with educators to tailor blended learning methods in line with students’ needs.

“My job is to sell the story of what we want to achieve. We don’t want a ‘one size fits all’ solution, but a framework that allows for the best learning and teaching experience we can give our students. It’s an objective that bears in mind their needs across different courses,” he said.

Ahead of Blended Learning 2016, we take a look at how Monash University has established a long-term strategy through its Better Teaching, Better Learning Agenda, to help educators embrace a wider perspective on curriculum design, and align it with students’ needs to deliver the best possible learning environment.

This article features insights shared by Professor Darrell Evans, who explores how the Agenda addresses factors such as modes of teaching, resources needed to support student learning outcomes, and enhancing units of study to ensure they move towards a coordinated blended learning approach.


Professor Darrell Evans, Vice-Provost – Learning and Teaching, Monash University

Monash is a research-intensive, internationally focused university with many campuses and approximately 65,000 students. Scale is everything in this context – how can we support more than 6,000 educators to provide a blended learning experience for those students?

Not for a second can we allow staff to think that it’s technology for technology’s sake. Instead, it needs to be about the pedagogy behind the change we want to make and how technology can enable it in different ways.

We’ve created what’s called the Better Teaching, Better Learning Agenda, which is about challenging what we do and why we do it.

The Agenda falls into a series of focus areas, including:

  • Modes of teaching;
  • The educators;
  • The space we teach in;
  • How we assess our students;
  • What resources we put in place;
  • When we actually teach;
  • And what the overall content will be.

Our educators are being encouraged to think about their overall curriculum design and what they want their students to achieve at the end of that process. And once those areas are addressed, we examine what can be put in place to create the best possible learning and teaching environment for our students.

A big part of the Better Teaching, Better Learning Agenda is the pre-class activity space – will it be online or videos? Or will it be getting students together before sessions to drive an active learning approach within the overall in-class session?

And we can’t let it end there once these activities are rolled out. Part of our commitment in this Agenda is to assist them in a post-class sense – helping them practically apply some of the knowledge, skills and attributes they’ve acquired.

Obtaining stakeholder buy-in to roll out the Agenda

We secured senior management team buy-in very early in the process of establishing the Agenda. Then gradually, as we ironed out the various issues, a business case was developed that we presented to both senior management and the University Council.


Pharmacy class in session, courtesy of Prof Darrell Evans

This was important because it demonstrated to everyone on the ground that the senior management – including both the Vice Chancellor and the Provost – were very serious about the Agenda. All ten Deans were bought into it and the message cascaded through to the educators themselves.

This article is part of an insights series ahead of the Blended Learning Summit in October. Professor Darrell Evans goes on to discuss how stakeholder buy-in was obtained to roll out a coordinated blended learning approach and support student learning outcomes; as well as using existing resources efficiently to ensure students have excellent experiences in a blended learning environment. To continue reading his insights, please click here

At the upcoming Blended Learning Summit, Monash University will be joined by other leading institutions including the likes of University of NSW, University of Sydney, University of Queensland and more. They will discuss innovative tools and strategies on: 

  • Implementing innovative blended learning methods to improve student engagement and encourage continued learning
  • Promoting a culture of blended learning within the institute and effecting stakeholder mindset transformation
  • Improving communication between educators and technical staff to use resources more effectively

To know more about the Summit, please download the brochure or visit