Conference Day One: Thursday, 20 October 2016


08:30 AM - 08:40 AM Conference Opening – Remarks from the Conference Chairperson

Combined Morning Plenary with Innovation in Assessment & Credentialing

08:40 AM - 09:40 AM KEYNOTE PANEL DISCUSSION: The Future of Teaching and Learning: Assessing and Innovating with the Curriculum, Learning Spaces and Blended Learning to Remain Competitive

Panos Vlachopoulos, Senior Teaching Fellow in Learning Innovation - Faculty of Medicine ad Heal, Macquarie University James Arvanitakis, Dean Graduate School, Western Sydney University
The development and design of learning spaces, becoming innovative in teaching and learning through a blended curriculum, and producing work ready graduates are closely interlinked and all critical elements that will determine the competitiveness of a university. Traditional tertiary structures and accreditation criteria are posing a threat to the adaptability and flexibility of the tertiary sector in meeting student and employer demands. This panel discussion will set the tone for the next two days, assessing the status-quo, what needs to change, and how to get there.
  • Preparing for tomorrow’s learner: the best way to become agile and implement flexible processes to keep up with a rapidly transforming environment
  • Tertiary disruption - mapping the threats to the tertiary sector and overcoming these disruptors
  • Internal shifts - best practice for innovation and change internally to overcome barriers
  • Developing a collaborative approach within the Australian tertiary sector
  • Envisioning success and reaping the benefits – future of the Australia’s tertiary sector


Panos Vlachopoulos

Senior Teaching Fellow in Learning Innovation - Faculty of Medicine ad Heal
Macquarie University

James Arvanitakis

Dean Graduate School
Western Sydney University

09:40 AM - 10:30 AM Educating Students in a Time of Disruption: Becoming Innovative and Creating an Internal Shift to Drive the Future of Universities

James Arvanitakis, Dean Graduate School, Western Sydney University
With an estimated seven career changes in today’s students’ lifetime, the age of the ‘four year career’ is forcing universities and other education institutions to adapt, diversify and respond. Educators need to prepare students for such an environment by becoming flexible and keep up with demand for multi-disciplinary and modal thinking in a rapidly transforming employment market. While innovations within the education industry have included Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), creative blended learning environments and industry/university partnerships, a university looks today similar to what it did a generation ago. The question is, ‘what is next?’ How do we prepare for the impact of a major disruption as an ‘Uber’ university?
This opening presentation will set the scene by:
  • Looking to the future of education: embracing change to improve the learning experience
  • Discuss the balance between delivery of disciplinary content and developing new graduate attributes: incorporating skills into a blended curriculum
  • Creating the internal shift to encourage and develop a flexible and innovate curriculum
  • Redefining the roles of a next generation university – what does an Uber University look like?
  • Using Blended Learning as a driver of change


James Arvanitakis

Dean Graduate School
Western Sydney University

10:30 AM - 10:50 AM Speed Networking

10:50 AM - 11:20 AM MORNING TEA

11:20 AM - 12:00 PM Designing Connected Learning Experiences using Blended Learning Approaches

Panos Vlachopoulos, Senior Teaching Fellow in Learning Innovation - Faculty of Medicine ad Heal, Macquarie University
One of the biggest challenges that higher education institutions face currently is designing programs which can develop students’ academic attributes and employability skills. Getting the balance right is not an easy task and often the employability agenda appears to be an add-on to a program as opposed to an integrated component. Most of the universities are working with industry partners in order to provide students with exposure to the outside world. This is usually happening through placement opportunities, and the involvement of career services. How can individual students can become active agents in the process of shaping and further developing their skills? How can online technologies and access to digital informal learning opportunities assist with becoming lifelong learners? Dr Panos Vlachopoulos will elaborate Macquarie University’s experience in program-based design with the accelerated undergraduate clinical curriculum which places a strong emphasis on the development of lifelong learning skills using blended learning approaches
  • Blended learning methods through a culture of collaboration
  • Blending real world technology in with university curriculum
  • Creating a capability framework for students that builds on digital skills


Panos Vlachopoulos

Senior Teaching Fellow in Learning Innovation - Faculty of Medicine ad Heal
Macquarie University

12:00 PM - 12:40 PM Designing Blended Learning for Enhanced Graduate Employability

Ron Kordyban, Blended Learning Coordinator, Bond University
In Australia, less than 70% of undergraduates are employed full-time four months after graduating. In recent national research, only 14% of postgraduates and the staff who support them expressed optimism about graduate employment. Furthermore, 61% of postgraduates and staff believe that Australian universities need to improve postgraduate employability supports. Research shows that employability supports that are embedded across the university in curriculum, assessment and learning activities can have high impact on improving employability. Blended learning provides the optimal pedagogical platform to provide access to employability resources to all students and to personalise supports. The key question is, what blended learning approaches, content, interactions and communications will enhance graduate employability? This presentation will inform strategic and practical responses to this question by:
  • Releasing key findings from national research on graduate employability
  • Providing specific case examples of blended learning which has positively influenced graduate employability
  • Applying the principles of Universal Design for Learning to enhancing blended learning for improved graduate outcomes
  • Linking to tools and resources for ongoing development of blended learning for employability


Ron Kordyban

Blended Learning Coordinator
Bond University

12:40 PM - 1:40 PM LUNCH BREAK

1:40 PM - 2:20 PM Unpacking Terminology to Change Teaching Practice in Blended Learning

Gina Saliba, Blended Learning Advisor, Western Sydney University Lynnae Venaruzzo, Blended Learning Manager, Western Sydney University
Defined and agreed terminology in blended learning is a crucial factor in achieving institutional change. In 2012, Western Sydney University embarked on a Blended Learning Strategy which involved ‘blending’ over 1,000 undergraduate units over a three year period, rethinking learning spaces as well as supporting academic development to enable innovative curriculum renewal. During the implementation of this bold strategy there were discussions around various terminologies and what became apparent was the need for an agreed and unified understanding of key terminology, at all levels of the institution to enable the change in teaching practice. This session will look at:
  • Common terminology around blended learning and learning spaces
  • Strategies to change teaching practice through professional development
  • Exploring a case study around new learning spaces and curriculum transformation


Gina Saliba

Blended Learning Advisor
Western Sydney University

Lynnae Venaruzzo

Blended Learning Manager
Western Sydney University
Blended learning involves thoughtful and innovative integration of face-to-face learning experiences with online learning experiences. Its design is focused on interaction between students, teachers and resources that assist students to achieve intended learning outcomes. In this panel discussion, participants will discuss what is required for an innovative assessment method which will enable continued student learning.
  • Methods for deciding which tools will support students in achieving desired outcomes
  • Balance between long assignments, and how often students are assessed
  • Feedback and formative assessment for helping students improve learning


Bob Fox

Pro Vice Chancellor (Education) Portfolio
University of New South Wales

Mike Keppell

Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning Transformations
Swinburne University of Technology

Vinh Tran

Subject Coordinator & Business & Learning Technology Coordinator
UTS INsearch

3:00 PM - 3:40 PM INTERACTIVE SESSION: The Future of the Lecture: Abolition or Paradigm Shift?

Chris Thompson, Associate Dean (Education) & Senior Lecturer, Monash University
The challenge faced by ‘the lecture’ of the future is its balance between imparting knowledge and facilitating active learning. In this interactive session, Dr Chris Thompson will facilitate discussion on how this current shift in culture is impacting on student learning.
  • Does the traditional, didactic lecture still have a place in higher education?
  • How a lecture in 2020 look different might compared to 20 years earlier?
  • Is ‘flipped learning’ the right model for large undergraduate cohorts?


Chris Thompson

Associate Dean (Education) & Senior Lecturer
Monash University


4:10 PM - 5:40 PM Combined Plenary Session – Hackathon: Disruption in the Academy

Jan Golembiewski, Adjunct Professor - Design and Health Industry Engagement and Research, Queensland University of Technology
Until now, the biggest challenge in university education was the Enlightenment, when in the late 17th Century, academics were forced to put away their treatises on religious doctrine and adapt to the scientific method. But now we’re seeing far greater disruptive forces, led by the democratisation of knowledge, by demands for workready graduates and by a wave of near total transparency: now anyone can look into your classrooms and see that university isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. This interactive workshop will involve the whole audience and will look at the big decisions that will affect universities over the next century and what we can do to prepare. This future-facing session will challenge the status quo by asking us to examine our approach to education delivery, our assumptions and our solutions against what we already know to be the future of higher education, and what we can expect over the horizon.

Jan Golembiewski

Adjunct Professor - Design and Health Industry Engagement and Research
Queensland University of Technology

5:40 PM - 5:50 PM Conference Closing – Remarks from the Conference Chairperson