Learning and Teaching

Lunchtime seminars

Selected Lunchtime Seminars will be held throughout the year. The aim is to inform Murdoch staff about major projects, future trends and emerging technologies. Informal talks of 20 minutes will be followed by 10 minutes Q&A sessions with selected speakers from Western Australia and beyond.

Student Engagement in online learning

Friday 8 July 2016, 12.00 - 1.30 pm, ECL 1.031

The lunch time forum will focus on the successful engagement of distance students in higher education. Past research suggests that while students enjoy the flexibility of distance learning, distance cohorts have high first year attrition rates. Dr Ella Kahu will draw on findings from her research following a group of first year distance students through their first semester of university, plus her own extensive experience teaching large distance papers. Her presentation will focus on the importance of both flexibility and structure in course design, the need for opportunities for students to make connections with the course content, and the critical importance of understanding the students' emotional experiences.

Maaroof Fakhri will present 'Extending the Laboratory - How Virtual and Physical Reality can blend to engage and retain the next generation of STEM students.
Imagine if your science building had a doorway to the Large Hadron Collider, a nuclear power plant, hospital or even another planet - or could let you swim through the human body. As Virtual Reality technology has accelerated over the past several years with 7 major providers announcing releases in 2016, there presents a unique opportunity to extend the reach of the physical lab space to provide experiences not affordable, inaccessible or simply too dangerous to undertake for students.

Labster creates fully interactive virtual labs for use in education and seeks to augment the campus to give the lab a greater impact within blended curriculum. The simulations combined engaging 3 D scenarios and facilities, use of advanced and often expensive equipment and visualisations of molecular level processes. These virtual labs have been published in Nature Biotechnology and other journals showing improvements in engagement, motivation and learning outcomes for students.

To attend, please register through TCMS (staff only).

Assessment Forum

Thursday 16 June, 12:00 - 1.30 pm, ECL 2.031

Murdoch University is moving towards less assessments. In this Assessment Forum, designed to kick off School based workshops, we will discuss:

  • Are we over-assessing?
  • How can we combat ghost writing?
  • What is the future of assessment in the light of online and peer assessment?

Speakers will include: Associate Professor Jon Yorke (Curtin University), Professor Jan Herrington (Murdoch), Sonia Walker and Dr Joseph Clare (Murdoch).

The event will be chaired by Professor Sara de Freitas, Pro Vice Chancellor Learning and Teaching.

All staff and students are welcome.

To attend, please register through TCMS (staff only). For students, please email Alice Haning to attend.


12 - 12.30 pm: Lunch and networking
12.30 - 12.40 pm: Associate Profesor Jon Yorke: The integrity of assessment: History of assessment looking back from ten + years hence; advances in technology, challenges 5,10 and 15 years out; how is the 'arms race' between assessment and cheating going to evolve?
12.40 - 12.50 pm: Professor Jan Herrington: Authentic assessment
12.50 - 1 pm: Sonia Walker and Dr Joe Clare: Detecting and preventing contract cheating: some preliminary findings
1 - 1.30 pm: Q & A and panel discussion

Policy Forum: Closing the Loop Between Policy and Practice

Thursday 24th March, 12:00-1:30pm, ECL 2.031

The Policy Forum will bring together academic and professional staff from the Higher Education sector to discuss how policy relates to practice.

Universities are increasingly seen by Government as key drivers of economic growth. A key aspect of this is an explicit linking of graduates to employment. As a result, Government (as funders) and students (as consumers) expect universities to demonstrate the quality of their offerings and for those offerings to produce graduates with the skills and flexibility to be ‘work ready’. Government policy, therefore, includes increasing compliance and performance management measures to facilitate effective student choice and demonstrate that social and economic targets are being met at high quality. However, there is often a mismatch between external measures of quality and institutional (and individual) teaching practice. It is therefore important that individual and institutional practice attempts to ‘close the loop’ to government policy to avoid unintended consequences for the university and its students.


Time Event

12 - 12.30pm:

Registration, lunch and networking

12.30 -12.40 pm:

Why should we care about government policy?

Professor Arshad Omari, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), ECU

12.40 – 12.50 pm

What is student engagement and why is the government involved?

Ms Carolyn McInnis, Academic Registrar, MU

12.50 – 1 pm

Response and integration of ideas presented on government policy intrusion in university practice

Mr John Pike, EO, Policy, Planning and Government Relations, MU

1 – 1.30 pm

Q and A and Panel Discussion - Chaired by Prof Sara de Freitas

Panel: Prof Arshad Omari

Ms Carolyn McInnis

Mr John Pike

Prof Benjamin Reilly, Dean of the Sir Walter Murdoch, School of Public Policy and International Affairs, MU

Dr Janice Dudley, (Associate Dean (Accreditation) School of Management and Governance, MU

‘Massive Open Online Courses’ (MOOCs)

Wednesday 24th February, ECL1.031

Blended Learning is going to be a focus for Murdoch University this year with the start of our exciting Transforming Transnational Education (TNE) Delivery project. To start to think more about how Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) could be used most effectively we are joined by Assistant Professor Christian Guetl (Graz University, Austria) and Associate Professor David Gibson and Jacqui Kelly (Curtin University, Australia). The presentations will allow for a deeper understanding about attrition in MOOCs and to find out lessons learnt on how to build a MOOC.

The first Lunchtime seminar: MOOCs will explore a large attrition study undertaken by Assistant Professor Christian Gutl (Graz University) which will explore the main reasons for the high attrition rates. Associate Professor David Gibson and Jacqui Kelly will outline lessons learnt from their experiences of developing MOOCs on different platforms including EdX. The event will be held on Wednesday 24th February 12-1.30pm.


12 - 12.30pm: Lunch and networking with Murdoch Colleagues
12.30 - 1pm: Assistant Professor Christian Gutl: ‘Must we be concerned with the Massive Drop-outs in MOOC? - An Attrition Analysis of Open Courses’
1 - 1.30pm: Associate Professor David Gibson and Professor Vanessa Chang: ‘How to Build a MOOC’