Learning and Teaching Investment Fund 2012

Summary of projects

Project title

Equal Local: future-proofing RMIT’s global reach by promoting equivalence in onshore and offshore learning

Project leaders

  • Dr Kristen Sharp
  • Mr Terry Johal
  • Ms Angela Clarke

Project team

  • Richard Streitmatter, RMIT Vietnam
  • Don Gordon, RMIT Vietnam
  • Terry Batt, Hong Kong Art School
  • Tin Ming, Hong Kong Art School
  • Jody Fenn, EduTAG
  • Darren Smith, EduTAG
  • Iain McKay, EduTAG
  • Opie Sayner Hassall, EduTAG
  • Emily Glenn, EduTAG
  • Shayna Quinn, School of Media & Communciation
  • Bronwyn Clarke, School of Media & Communication
  • Anne Lennox, RMIT Copyright Management Service
  • Christopher McCarty, School of Art

Project summary

Transnational teaching is a growing field and there is an increasing need for Australian academics to grapple with the complexities of maintaining quality educational outcomes regardless of location of delivery. The Equal Local LTIF project contributes to the continuous improvement of equivalence and comparability of courses offered transnationally through RMIT partnerships and RMIT Vietnam.

The aims of this project were to:

  • adapt and apply the ‘Equivalence and Comparability Model’ developed by Palaskas and Gopal from the College of Business to a Design and Social Context (DSC)
  • address pressing issues of equivalence and adaptability between onshore and offshore programs in two large DSC history and theory courses
  • produce professional development materials to help on/offshore teaching staff design and implement adaptable curriculum materials
  • collect data from staff and students to inform and enhance new curriculum design
  • work collaboratively with on/offshore staff to design and deliver new curriculum materials
  • develop two case studies

Taking a team-based approach, staff from Melbourne, Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong worked collaboratively to develop and pilot new adaptable curriculum materials for two large Design and Social Context (DSC) history/theory courses. The knowledge and experience acquired from a review of the literature and the curriculum development process was then used to develop the following key project outcomes:

  • Guiding principles for course adaptability
  • An adaptable curriculum design framework
  • An adaptable curriculum design implementation process
  • Two case studies that have applied the, principles, framework and implementation process

The project outcomes utilise graphic diagrams to communicate the complex factors impacting on transnational education. They provide a user-friendly set of professional development resources for on/offshore course teams to support future development of adaptable curriculum materials.  The two detailed case studies provide examples of how the principles, framework and process can be applied in specific contexts. The project outcomes will be made available on the RMIT website in 2013 for further piloting to ensure their transferability across a range of educational contexts.


University wide Outcomes

  • Guiding Principles for Course Adaptability
  • An Adaptable Curriculum Design Framework  
  • An Adaptable Curriculum Implementation Process
  • An Adaptable Curriculum Context Map
  • Two Case Studies
  • Three Dissemination Presentations
  • An LTIF Project Report
  • A collaborative scholarly paper - currently being written and will be submitted to the following journal:  The Journal of Studies in International Education
  • A conference presentation has been prepared and will be submitted to Australian International Education Conference http://www.aiec.idp.com/home.aspx

Discipline Specific Outcomes

  • School of Art. A series of online learning activities developed in collaboration with EduTAG, 4 online lecturettes and a revised adaptable delivery model for all locations
  • School of Media & Communication. A series of adaptable learning activities, a revised delivery model for all locations, a series of online lecturettes.

Download Full Report [PDF, 3.19 MB]