Awards 2006The annual ascilite awards, comprising 'ascilites' and the President's Award, are designed to reward leaders in the use of electronic technologies in teaching and learning in tertiary education. Each year at the ascilite conference these awards recognise exemplary product design and development in this area.
All entries are judged on their merits in terms of the above over-arching goal and the following criteria:
- Appropriateness for the target audience.
- Appropriateness and effectiveness of the design from a learning-technology perspective. (For example, interface design, navigation, usability, exploitation of the affordances offered by various media.)
- 'Fit of the project' to its specified goals. (Technical and pedagogical.)
- Creativity/Innovation in its application of technology/pedagogical approach.
- Appropriateness and effectiveness of the Learning Design.
- Impact on Teaching Practice. (Likelihood and ease of adoption by or transference to other practitioners/teaching and learning environments.)
- Substantive evidence of educational effectiveness. (Evaluation.)
- Overall quality.
As in past years the standard of entries has been very high. In 2006, 4 were listed as finalists.
Use the links to see further details on each of these.
Virtual Plant Pathology Laboratory (University of Queensland)
Contact: Victor Galea (email@example.com)
Database Concepts (Charles Darwin University)
Contact: Barbara White (Barbara.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lectopia (University of Western Australia)
Contact: Michael Fardon (email@example.com)
Quick Skills Modules (Murdoch University)
Contact: Lorraine Marshall (L.Marshall@murdoch.edu.au)
Virtual Plant Pathology Laboratory
ascilite Award Winner and overall winner "President's Award" for Excellence
The Virtual Plant Pathology Lab CD-ROM is an interactive learning tool developed by the University of Queensland to support both distance and on-campus students. It aims to assist students in deconstructing and understanding the complex process of plant disease diagnosis and case management. This resource is part of a blended learning package which can be used across multiple courses in the plant pathology field. It provides pedagogical scaffolding tools such as a diagnostic pathways flowchart and a case management form to support students in understanding the most appropriate way to approach the problem case.
Laboratory research skills are demonstrated in this resource, along with information searching skills and resources. The software itself uses dynamic menus, vivid photographic images, video footage and audible navigation cues to engage students in the process of exploring each case. Cases are systematically investigated using appropriate scientific methods, analysis and decision points; and outcomes are clearly justified to model good process. The cases are based on interesting storylines which enhances the authenticity of the interactive learning experience.
This learning tool can be used to engage students in on-line discussion forums where case studies can be interrogated and diagnostic process analysed. It is also an excellent revision tool and an ideal support for teaching in laboratory classes. The positive learning and professional development benefits of this resource have been validated by both student users and peers (professionals) using evaluative tools.
ascilite Award Winner
Database Concepts is an innovative web based learning resource designed to enable second year Information Technology students to develop the concepts, skills and processes required to create relational databases.
An experiential, active approach is used to relate theoretical knowledge to real-life applications and situations. Students learn through engaging with 'real-world' situations in all their messiness and evaluating competing solutions.
Used in an equally innovative learning space, a wireless enabled mobile classroom that readily enables social interaction and collaboration, students are able to interact with each other, learning facilitators and lecturers and the resources to develop a range of skills and concepts.
Providing a model of best professional practice for the Information Technology students that are the primary audience, the web site has been developed to meet W3C standards with a focus on usability, and dynamic, accessible interactive content.
ascilite Award Winner
The virtual chemistry laboratory has been developed to help undergraduate chemistry students at Charles Sturt University (CSU) become familiar with the laboratory, apparatus and procedures prior to their first laboratory session.
A need was recognised for a resource that helps students to feel more confident and less anxious as they approach their laboratory sessions.
It is an accurate 3D model of the Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga undergraduate teaching laboratory and provides an environment where students can freely explore, collect and assemble items of apparatus, and find out information about laboratory procedures and apparatus.
Paid work looms large in the life of today's university students. This is particularly the case for Open Universities Australia (OUA) students, many of whom are time poor and lack the skills for tertiary learning. One of the challenges facing distance education providers is to help students manage their over-commitment and develop appropriate learning skills. The Quick Skills modules, informed by national and OUA specific studies, face this challenge by the innovative application of a project management framework to the development of study and life management skills. In addition, the modules cover a range of topics including setting goals and objectives, managing risks, knowing study resources, managing time and tasks and evaluating study.
The Quick Skills modules were conceptualised and written by Lorraine Marshall and developed in the Teaching and Learning Centre at Murdoch University . They are addressed primarily to beginning OUA students, particularly those studying via distance education and are available on a 24 x 7 basis. Although presented sequentially, the modules can be taken in any order or individually according to student need and interest. They can be used independent from or as adjunct to units of study or with guided tutor support either face-to-face or online. Each module takes 2 to 3 hours to complete. Hence, their title Quick Skills.
Over 600 OUA students have used the modules and they are proving to have a positive impact on the retention of those OUA students who use them. The Quick Skills modules are designed as a stand-alone resource and use a range of teaching techniques with interactive multimedia and graphic design features.