Faculty Learning Symposium
21 September 2013

Associate Professor Rob Phillips

Associate Professor Rob Phillips, School of Education, Murdoch University

Associate Professor Rob Phillips has worked in higher education learning and teaching across disciplines since 1992. His expertise includes educational design, e-learning, distance education, educational policy development and academic staff development. He has provided professional development and mentoring for academic staff in the scholarship of learning and teaching, and has chaired university committees on Awards and Citations, Learning and Teaching Spaces and Open Education.

His research interests include evaluation research in e-learning; learning analytics; making creative and innovative use of technology; university policy issues; and project management in educational innovations. Rob has 130 publications, including 60 refereed papers. He has been principal author of two internationally published books “Developer’s guide to interactive multimedia” and “Evaluating e-learning: Guiding research and practice”.

He was a member of the management committee of the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology until 2012, and is a member of the Editorial Board of Research in Learning Technology. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Learning Analytics.

He is a life member and past-president (1996-2000) of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ascilite), and a Fellow of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia. Rob received a Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council in 2007. He was an executive member of the Australasian Council on Open, Distance and E-learning (ACODE) from 2004-2006 and in 2012.

Topic: Designing Effective Tertiary Learning Environments

Associate Professor Rob Phillips will encourage participants to reflect on the nature of learning by considering the interactions between teachers, learners and educational designers and learning environments, processes and outcomes, and other concepts outlined in his recent book “Evaluating e-learning: Guiding research and practice”. He will also address the characteristics of students entering university via alternative pathways, and how best to teach them so they can graduate as competent professionals.

Drawing these ideas together, the presentation will provide guidance on how to design appropriate learning environments and how to engage students through authentic tasks and innovative use of technology. Rob will demonstrate this through examples from his own practice and that of his colleagues.


Professor Kevin Ashford-Rowe

Professor Kevin Ashford-Rowe, Director, Centre for Learning & Teaching, Australian Catholic University

Professor Ashford-Rowe is the Director, Learning and Teaching at the Australian Catholic University (ACU), which is a national university operating from six campuses across Australia. In this role, he supports the academic teaching community in the continual improvement of the student experience by means of enhanced teaching and assessment practice via better pedagogy and increased use of information and communication technology.

He leads the ACU Learning and Teaching Centre, which works with the academic staff at the University to support their professional development needs in relation to learning and teaching in a higher education context. It has a strong policy development role within the University. The Centre also provides a comprehensive workshop program reflecting University strategy. In particular, it focuses on induction for new and sessional staff, assessment, e-learning, the Graduate Attributes and the First Year Experience. It also offers a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (GCHE), training for postgraduate supervision, administers the evaluation of teaching and courses program and coordinates teaching grants and awards schemes.

He conducts research and has presented and published in the fields of authentic assessment, physical learning and teaching space, and educational technology. He is a member of the University's Academic Board, the Courses and Quality Assurance Committee, the University Learning and Teaching Committee and chairs the Assessment Committee. He is a member of the Executive of the Australasian Council on Open, Distance and eLearning, is on the Australian Government Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Register of Experts specialising in the areas of Learning Technologies, IT/Systems Administration, Academic Assessment and Moderation Methodologies and, Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. He is also on the Australian Government Office of Learning and Teaching Register of Assessors.

Topic: Why Authentic Learning and Assessment

This presentation will consider the role and value of ‘authenticity’ as a factor in the design and development of fair, valid, reliable, transparent and relevant 21st Century learning, teaching and assessment experiences. It will seek to describe both the broader Higher Education context and detail some of the factors important in identifying how authenticity might be applied.


Dr Cheah Horn Mun

Dr Cheah Horn Mun, Director, Educational Technology, Ministry of Education, Singapore

Dr Cheah Horn Mun is currently the Director for the Educational Technology Division of the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Singapore. His main responsibilities are to plan and co-direct the implementation of the 3rd IT Master-plan for Education. Prior to joining MOE, he was in charge of all initial teacher preparation programmes as the Dean of Foundation Programs at the National Institute of Education. This entails providing leadership in the curriculum development and delivery of the programmes. Dr Cheah received a BA in Physics from Pembroke College in 1988 and an MPhil & PhD for research work on High Temperature Superconductivity from Cambridge University in 1991. Among his educational and research interests are the effective integration of IT into education and curriculum development. He has also led consulting teams on ICT policy and computer science syllabus development in Bhutan and independent school policy formulation in Qatar. He is a member of the Horizon K12 Advisory Board, sits on the Executive Board of the ATC21S project, and is an International advisory panel member of the NEXT-TELL project.

Topic: Have Teaching and Learning Interactions Fundamentally Shifted?

When it comes to education, each significant technological adoption - Radio in the 30s, TV in the 60s, and more recently, the Internet in the 90s - has inevitably led to predictions of the demise of ‘learning as we know it’. While Radio and TV essentially lack sufficient interactivity to make a significant dent in teaching and learning interactions, the Internet, in particular Web 2.0 (and Web 3.0) tools, have fundamentally redefined human interactions. As a result of the substantial interactivities brought about by these ICT tools, pedagogical practices that were nearly impossible to realistically implement can now be actualised;for example the use of wikis to support a collaborative constructivist approach to learning. This injection of new pedagogical possibilities is to be largely celebrated, for it can potentially bring about deep and meaningful learning for the students. On the whole, the pedagogical explorations since the introduction of ICT have been both exciting and stimulating. Nevertheless, it is important, even crucial, to get a reasonable sense of not just what these technologies can do, but the impact they can have on learning behaviours: for as recent brain science research suggests, there could be changes on the neurological and physiological levels.

This presentation aims to share some perspectives on the changing behaviours of the young so as to provide some basis for formulating pedagogical responses to their learning needs. It will look at what a ‘Millennial Generation’ constitutes as well as challenges brought about by potential neurological changes. The presentation also hopes to round off by sharing some recent developments in the use of ICT to assess 21st Century skills.


Mr Cedric Chew

Mr Cedric Chew, Teaching Excellence Award Recipient 2013, School of Business, SIM University

Mr Cedric Chew is an Associate Faculty member at the School of Business at UniSIM. He has been teaching part-time at the University since 2008. He teaches Business Strategy and Business Management courses and has mentored MBA students in the formulation of business plans. He received a Teaching Merit award in 2012 and a Teaching Excellence award in 2013. He has a Bachelor of Accountancy degree, Graduate Diploma in Marketing, and an MBA with specialisation in HRM and Consulting. He has 23 years of varied professional experience in a mix of private and public sector companies in different industries. His areas of specialisation and consulting practice are in Strategy Development, Business Excellence and Organisational Development.

Topic: Applying Authentic Learning in a Business Strategy Course

A key goal of teaching is guiding students along their learning journey and building their expertise in a subject area. Well-designed and well-planned authentic learning activities make the acquisition of knowledge meaningful, as students are encouraged to explore, discuss, and meaningfully construct concepts in a context that involves real-world problems and projects relevant to them. In his presentation, Cedric outlines how he has incorporated authentic learning elements into a course he teaches on business strategy.