Learning and Teaching Investment Fund 2012

Summary of projects

Project title

Building National and International Markets through Online development - Diploma of Community Development and Diploma of Interpreting

Project leader

Anthony Graham

Project team

  • David McElgunn
  • Anne Fitzpatrick
  • Julian Silverman
  • Sedat Mulayim
  • Miranda Lai

Project summary

The Project was very successful with the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies (GUSS) now delivering 1 online program in 2013 and significantly closer to delivery in 1 other.

The School move to more flexible online delivery has been slow yet acknowledged as an important part of the direction of an integrated tertiary School like GUSS. With government tightening of fund allocation, diversifying activity beyond metropolitan and state borders appears to be an obvious step to addressed falling state government funding.

2012 LTIF Funds have been used to support the initial set-up and creation of 2 online programs: the Diploma of Interpreting Online program and the Diploma of Community Development through OUA.

The Diploma of Community Development continues to be developed with structural frameworks being finalised and continued work on content still in process. Given the nature of OUA expectations on design work on this program is continuing to ensure it is presentable to OUA standards.

The School has begun a pilot online delivery program for the Diploma of Interpreting. This pilot program offered to Dari interpreting students in Shepparton, is the first such offering of interpreting anywhere in Australia. It is also the first program ever to be offered offsite in an emerging language. This program which runs mostly online also has a remote videolink with students in Shepparton allowing students the opportunity to engage in a mixed mode model. As the pilot continues the result will be the opportunity to offer 100% online in the next 12-18 months. This could expand to multiple languages and broaden out nationally and even internationally in the coming years.

LTIF funds have made a significant contribution to the following work.

  • engage staff to start the work on the planning, design and development of a study guide and a dialogue and terminology book
  • complete blackboard shells and clustering for related courses
  • design and prepare the structure for online delivery
  • converted old video files to produce audio files for practice
  • produce audio files
  • produce videos for introduction of each unit on Blackboard
  • engage staff to produce professional quality videos for ethics and professional issues in-house. This helped save significant funds for the program and university.
  • engage staff to design and produce and test assessment tools for each unit, eg, quiz, e-journal, discussion board questions

This is a very exciting new space for the University as there is no other provider worldwide able to offer online interpreter training. While this is now being delivered the Diploma of Community Development needs further work. It is however continuing to develop as a result of much needed funds

Outcomes

The impact of the project on the future development of the School cannot be underestimated. The move toward more flexible delivery options is a way of addressing the heavy reform agenda currently hitting the TAFE sector. With falling government funding and tighter compliance requirements the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies recognises the need to move beyond state borders to attract broader opportunities Australia wide. One effective way to achieve this is through flexible online delivery. By achieving this we are able to attract interstate students to RMIT and present better viability in how we deliver our programs.

More specifically the outcomes of the project were:

  • Design the online learning platform and interface for Blackboard
  • Develop new learning resources and materials for use in the program
  • Customisation of existing resources suitable for online delivery
  • Customisation of assessment tasks and activities to ensure suitability for online delivery

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