Second year engineering student Alice Naughton in the ‘flipped classroom.’
Second year engineering student Alice Naughton in the ‘flipped classroom.’
28 August 2013

Innovative methods for teaching University of Queensland first-year engineering programs have attracted funding in the latest round of Commonwealth Government Office for Learning and Teaching grants.

The ‘Radical transformation: re-imagining engineering education through flipping the classroom in a global learning partnership’ project, led by Associate Professor Carl Reidsema, secured $220,000.

Three other research-based projects originating from The University of Queensland were also recognised and rewarded.

Associate Professor Reidsema said the funding would help his team investigate national and international flipped classroom exemplars.

“The ‘flipped classroom’ model of teaching allows class time to be spent on hands-on active learning while the student’s homework becomes the traditional lecture viewed outside of class on a vodcast,” Associate Professor Reidsema said.

“UQ is the lead institution on this project, and our partners include Australia’s RMIT and University of Sydney, as well as Purdue University, Stanford University and the University of Pittsburgh in the USA.”

Dr Matthew Hillier’s ‘Process and platform for e-exams in supervised bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments’ project was awarded $50,000.

“This project aims to help educators and students prepare effectively for e-exams,” Dr Hillier said.

“We will also use the funding to build a pilot or working prototype of an e-exam platform to be used in supervised BYOD settings.

“The platform will include computer-marked questions and secure electronic reticulation of student responses.”

A $43,000 grant went to ‘Improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students begins at the cultural interface in the classroom’, led by Dr Kerryn McCluskey.

The grant will be used to develop, pilot and evaluate a teaching resource that builds teacher preparation and student awareness of issues faced by Indigenous students in schools.

“Our project will enable tutors, pre-service teachers and graduates to effectively cater for Indigenous school students to improve learning outcomes and access to tertiary education,” Dr McCluskey said.

Associate Professor Elizabeth Mackinlay’s team will use its $44,000 grant to develop a pilot mentoring program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander pre-service teachers.

“‘Becoming, belonging and being in the profession’ will evaluate the use and effectiveness of mentoring as a positive intervention for building and sustaining self-confidence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student teachers,” Associate Professor Mackinlay said.

The Office for Learning and Teaching promotes and supports change in higher education institutions with grants for academics and professional staff to explore, develop and implement innovative learning and teaching programs and to develop leadership capabilities.

Trent Leggatt, UQ Faculty of Engineering, Architecture & Information Technology, 334 69976.