Funded Teaching Innovation Grants (TIG)
GRANT TYPE: TEACHING INNOVATION GRANT 2016. PROJECT TITLE: ROBOT TRADERS FOR FLEXEMARKETS. PROJECT LEADER: PROF PETER BOSSAERTS (FIN). ASSOCIATES: DR NITIN YADAV (FIN)
The project involves extending Flexemarkets (an existing web-based trading platform, accessible at tinyurl.com/flexemarketsAUS) to allow order submission and management through robot traders. Flexemarkets is an existing web-based platform that allows execution of custom double-sided markets. In the existing platform, students use a web browser to submit and manage their orders. The new “robot trading” feature will enable students to develop algorithms that will interact with the Flexemarkets platform, and these algorithms will automatically submit and manage orders on the student’s behalf.
This new robot-trading feature in Flexemarkets will be an essential integral part of a new subject “Algorithmic Trading”, FNCE 30010, to be started in semester 2 of 2017. The overarching aim of this subject is to make students familiar with the concepts and technologies used for algorithmic trading, allowing them to develop the skills to conceive robot traders themselves and test them through participation in experimental online markets, using the Flexemarkets platform.
Student tasks will include: (i) trading with pre-programmed robot traders in a heterogeneous market (i.e., human traders vs robot traders); (ii) conceptualization and programming of their own robot traders; (iii) evaluation of robot traders; (iv) participation in a class-wide robot trader online market. These tasks will be a formal part of the course assessment and we expect that the students will be interacting with the Flexemarkets platform over the course of 6 to 8 weeks. The project will provide the following benefits and opportunities. Firstly, the extended platform will enhance the student learning experience by providing hands-on experience and training in robot trading in financial markets. Students will be able to get continuous feedback on their trading through the platform. As they develop their robots, they will continuously get feedback on their performance by testing the robots on the platform (e.g., how do they perform against simple pre-configured robots).
Algorithmic trading plays a crucial role in global financial markets. Therefore, an understanding of robot trading will better equip the Faculty’s students for the job market. This is expected to improve graduate outcomes. In addition, we are not aware of any university curriculum that involves experimental markets with robots. Hence, the project also has a great potential for providing new directions in educational design and innovation. Finally, we expect that the extended Flexemarkets platform will be used in other courses involving financial markets, as well as in research.
GRANT TYPE: TEACHING INNOVATION GRANT 2016. PROJECT TITLE: ENHANCING ACTUARIAL STUDENTS’ STUDY EFFICIENCY AND PRACTICAL WORK. ABILITY THROUGH E-LEARNING. PROJECT LEADER: DR PING CHEN (ECO); PROF MARK JOSHI (ECO).
This project is designed for the capstone subject ACTL30003 Contingencies of the BCom Actuarial Studies major. The subject is core to the traditional side of actuaries studies, combining compound interest and probabilities associated with human life. The major applications are life insurance and defined-benefit superannuation/pension funds. The subject covers most of the technical side of the calculation of life insurance premiums and reserves, and pension fund contribution rates.
Our objective is to enhance actuarial students’ study efficiency and practical work ability. The design of this project aligns to three teaching learning principles: an atmosphere of intellectual excitement (Principle 1), a vibrant and embracing social context (Principle 3) and explicit concern and support for individual development (Principle 5).
This project is expected to enhance students’ study efficiency and practical work ability. The major outcomes are, first, a new lecture slides system would be constructed with detailed mathematical derivations. Students would study the underlining theory in a more efficient way. Second, the four externally delivered lectures in week 11 will be produced in the form of videos and uploaded to LMS. Face-to-face interactive consultation between students and lecturers will be arranged in the lecture room. Further consultation will be conducted through the discussion forum on LMS. Third, from the newly designed group assignment, students will be equipped with improved skills in English writing, oral presentation and computer programming.
We will also produce online resources in the form of video lectures regarding to those with complex mathematical derivations.
The direct evaluation of students’ learning will include a final exam (70%), and a group project with the assessment of a final report (25%) and an oral presentation (5%). Another measure is the outcome of UoM SES survey about the study experience of the subject. In addition, a long term measure of the project would be a follow-up survey on several dimensions, including measures on knowledge acquisition, satisfaction, and intrinsic motivation to learn. Students’ graduation whereabouts would also be recorded and analysed to investigate the effectiveness of actuarial teaching.
The timeline for the project will be: Design industry-aligned assignment in January 2017; Prototype, test and complete video lectures in March 2017; Deliver the new version of subject in semester 2, 2017; Evaluate the project outcome in December 2017.
GRANT TYPE: TEACHING INNOVATION GRANT 2016. PROJECT TITLE: PILOTING THE ENHANCED ‘FLIPPED CLASSROOM’ IN MANAGEMENT 20009. PROJECT LEADER: DR ANDI PEKAREK (MGT). ASSOCIATES: DR CAMILLE DICKSON-DEANE (WCLA); MS VALERIE COTRONEI-BAIRD (WCLA).
This project pilots a ‘flipped classroom’ approach to teaching in MGMT 20009 Managing Employee Relations, an undergraduate breadth subject within the management major of our Bachelor of Commerce. The flipped classroom is a relatively recent pedagogical development typically seen as involving significant changes in how students acquire and apply knowledge to improve learning outcomes. The two key elements underpinning flipped models are, firstly, a shift from traditional lectures to more diverse and self-paced learning technologies such as pre-recorded lecture videos, podcasts, websites, and readings; and secondly, greater emphasis on collaborative, reflective peer-to-peer learning and knowledge application through teacher-supported classroom activities. Essentially, the change in the way students are exposed to, and master, content outside of the classroom means more in-class time can be devoted to active, cooperative and collaborative learning. In turn, research suggests that the flipped approach can result in better student learning and greater student satisfaction.
Central to the project is a change in how foundational knowledge is delivered to place increased emphasis on practical, collaborative learning which occurs in team-based simulations, case study analysis, and class debate and reflection. The project trials a flipped model in 4 of the 12 lectures. In these 4 weeks, a video lecture incorporating interactive ‘knowledge progressors’ replaces part of the traditional face-to-face lecture, thereby enhancing the basic mode of flipped video delivery. This approach will free up class time for students to apply content in collaborative in-class learning activities.
The course will be segmented into two formats to allow for evaluation with a view to publication. Weeks 1-4 and 9-12 will have a more traditional lecture format, while weeks 5-8 will adopt a flipped model. Students will be invited to anonymously compare and contrast their experience of the flipped model with the more traditional lecture format in a two-part survey, thereby providing feedback for the ongoing development of the subject.
The grant awarded will primarily fund a research assistant to help us identify, develop and refine teaching resources for use in the four ‘flipped’ classes; assist us with the production of video lectures; manage the administration of the student survey used to evaluate the teaching innovation; and assist with the analysis of the data towards dissemination via publications. In addition, the grant will fund necessary software and social media resources (Adobe captivate and Vimeo plus).
GRANT TYPE: TEACHING INNOVATION GRANT 2016. PROJECT TITLE: USING ONLINE QUIZZES, POLLS AND SHARING TOOLS TO IMPROVE STUDENT. ENGAGEMENT IN BUSINESS ANALYSIS AND DECISION MAKING SUBJECTS. PROJECT LEADER: DR LUSHENG SHAO (MGT). ASSOCIATES: DR ANGELITO CALMA; DR WILLIAM HO (MGT).
This project aims to develop (1) online quizzes via Qualtrics, (2) quick polls via Zwoor, and (3) group-based in-class activities where student responses are shared online via Dropbox. The project will leverage on existing FBE survey tool Qualtrics, a proven effective polling app Zwoor, a robust file-sharing platform Dropbox, the university’s wireless internet and the ubiquitous devices of students such as smartphones, all with zero cost to students.
The project will be implemented in both MGMT20005 and MGMT90141 subjects in both semesters in 2017. MGMT20005 Business Decision Analysis and MGMT90141 Business Analysis and Decision Making are two business decision analysis subjects that equip students with a variety of quantitative approaches to making managerial decisions. While students enjoy the “seminar” format that includes lecture and tutorial type delivery over a three-hour period, student interaction, participation and engagement can significantly improve by introducing a variety of innovative activities. This is driven by the increasingly diverse students taking these subjects over the past years with marked differences in mathematical preparedness (e.g. arts and engineering students).
Each week, one online quiz with five multiple choice questions, one quick poll with five multiple choice questions and one group collaboration activity will be administered. The three activities in each week will be conducted for five weeks. The three activities will replace 15-20 minutes of lecture time, providing a more hands-on and interactive approach to learning. Each online quiz is designed for mathematical modelling problems (5 mins). Each poll is designed to test understanding of concepts (5 mins). Lastly, each group activity is for model formulation and application where students take pictures of their work and share in Dropbox for everyone to see (5 mins). The primary aim of the three initiatives is to provide real-time feedback, strengthen understanding, and develop confidence among mathematically-challenged students. It will also emphasise individual and group learning and anonymous participation for students who are shy.
The activities are completely voluntary, for formative feedback purposes only, and will not alter the current handbook assessment entries for the two subjects. To evaluate the activities, focus groups will be formed and a questionnaire will be distributed in week 12 to collect feedback about the overall experience of students
GRANT TYPE: TEACHING INNOVATION GRANT 2016. PROJECT TITLE: WHAT PRE-EXISTING KNOWLEDGE ARE STUDENTS BRINGING TO QM2? PROJECT LEADER: DR WASANA KARUNARATHNE (ECO). ASSOCIATES: DR CAMILLE DICKSON-DEANE (WCLA); MS VALERIE COTRONEI-BAIRD (WCLA).
The lecturers of Quantitative Methods II (QM2) have experiences that the students who pursue the subject have perceived gaps in the pre-requisite knowledge required to be successful in the subject. The aim of this pilot study is to investigate whether there is statistical evidence of student’s gaps in prerequisite maths and statistics knowledge required for QM2 and to introduce a web-based personalised learning approach aiming to close such identified gaps. Web-based tools introduced in the project will aid students to close the gap they have before getting introduced to deeper concepts in the classroom. The significance of this study addresses a need whereby students who may not be prepared to pursue a subject will have the opportunity to engage in personalised activities that would provide them with the necessary pre-requisite knowledge. The outcomes of this study will give guidance to the design of instructional strategies that can assist lecturers to reduce student knowledge deficiencies on entering a classroom.
Role of the associate applicants:
Dr. Camille Dickson-Deane - Camille will provide her expertise for the instructional design of the intervention. She will assist and guide the research assistant with the use of the technology to ensure that it is pedagogically designed with the intent of meeting the learning objectives. She will also assist with the data collection and analysis stage of the project.
Ms. Valerie Cotronei-Baird - Valerie will contribute to the project assisting with curriculum design through pedagogical construction of the content ensuring that the questions and pre-assessment tasks are reliable, valid and measurable. She will also guide the project leader to ensure that the project address the University principles outlined in the project. She will also engage in data analysing process.
GRANT TYPE: TEACHING DEVELOPMENT GRANT 2016. PROJECT TITLE: ALUMNI APAC LEADERSHIP PRACTICE VIDEO INTERVIEWS. PROJECT LEADER: DR FRANZ WOHLGEZOGEN (MGT). ASSOCIATES: DR VANESSA POUTHIER (MGT).
To provide this beneficial vicarious learning stimulus, we propose to produce a pilot-set of approximately 6 junior-level (3-6 years past graduation) practitioner video interviews featuring University of Melbourne alumni currently working in Australia and in China. The video interviews will be structured to yield at least 12 case vignettes about typical junior-level leadership challenges in the Asia-Pacific context. These case vignettes can be utilized pre-session, in-session, and post-session for a traditional face-2-face lecture format, and can also be the incorporated into an online, blended, or flipped course setup. Each case vignette focuses on 1) one specific leadership challenge encountered by the interviewee, 2) their response to it, and 3) the lessons learned and development insights gained from it - roughly following the reflection method outlined by Robert J. Thomas’ “Crucibles of Leadership” (HBS Press, 2008).
Providing insights into entry-level leaders' professional experiences in an Asia-Pacific context is particularly relevant for FBE graduate students, since many of them lack substantial work experience, and benefit from a tailored preview of the specific cultural and organizational contexts that they are likely going to encounter as they transition into their professional careers. This will not only bring to life abstract concepts and frameworks students acquire through readings and lectures, but also enhance their familiarity with and confidence in dealing with real world leadership challenges.
Beyond this immediate contribution, the video cases also serve to engage alumni in novel and developmentally meaningful way, and can contribute to public engagement initiatives that stimulate dialogue around leadership development between FBE and its stakeholders.
Three of the video cases will be pilot tested during semester 2 of 2017, one as a pre-session assigned prep material, one as a homework assignment, one as an in-class illustration and discussion starter. To assess the impact of the alumni video case vignettes on students' learning experience, a customized end-of-course feedback questionnaire will feature questions about the video cases, and will prompt students to describe what kind of learning benefits they have derived from these video materials, and in which contexts (in-class, pre-session, post-session) they find them most useful.
GRANT TYPE: TEACHING DEVELOPMENT GRANT 2016. PROJECT TITLE: CUSTOMISED ONLINE PROGRAM OF FINANCIAL STATEMENT DATA ANALYSIS. PROJECT LEADER: MR NOEL BOYS (ACC). ASSOCIATES: DR ALBIE BROOKS (ACC).
This project relates directly to solving a problem relating to the assignment (financial statement ratio analysis) used in the first accounting subject of the BCom (though it will also be transferrable to other subjects). The problem to be addressed by this project is related to customisation and scale. Currently, one set of financial statements is used, resulting in a distinct lack of customisation of the financial information provided to each group. This potentially enables collusion around the financial ratios between groups. This is difficult to monitor, and as a consequence, the extent of individual or group-based learning is problematic.
In addressing this problem, the project is aimed at developing a customised software program. The key features of the program would be:
- Randomly generated set of financial report data customised to each student group.
- Each student group submits their calculations of ratios on-line.
- On-line, automated marking/assessment of each group’s submission of results.
- A series of interpretation questions for students to complete related to their ratio calculations.
- Using the software’s capabilities, generate consistent and accurate [immediate] feedback to students on task performance.
The Department of Accounting has funded a project using similar but limited methodologies for an on-line transaction analysis program. This is due to be piloted in the summer semester of 2017. We have worked closely with our external partner – Oztron Media – in the development of this program. For this current project, we will also engage with Oztron Media to develop the programming, algorithms and interface for the software program.
The approach to be used for the development of this program includes:
- Initial meetings with Oztron Media to clarify objectives; develop step-by-step procedures of the program; and, discuss how the program will be embedded within a useable interface. This will be an iterative process for the duration of the project. Each of these steps will involve interactions between us and Oztron Media.
- Using spreadsheets, develop the financial statements template to be used including key financial statement items and a mechanism for developing the randomised values.
- Identify and construct the financial ratios to be embedded in the program.
- Explore and develop the computations and algorithms required within the program to facilitate the on-line marking and assessment process.
- Test the interface and program with staff prior to any class-based pilot.
- Pilot test in classes. We expect the testing process (stages e and f) to be exhaustive due to the large student numbers and role of the program within the subject delivery.
- Ethics approval will be sought to survey students during pilot testing about their experiences in using the program. This will form an important part of the evaluation of the program.
2015 TIG (not offered in 2015)
- 2014 ($66,064)
Akyol, A., Petry, S., van der Heijden, T. & King, M. E., Enhancing interactive learning in large classes using tablet PCs. 2014 Teaching Innovation Grant, $15,095
Neville, B., Chia, A., Round, H. Developing an Industry-Aligned Curriculum for the MCom: Enhancing Student Job-Readiness for Consulting Careers. 2014 Teaching Innovation Grant, $19,969
Mckeown, W. What Accounting Students can learn from the demise of Nylex, Babcock and Brown and Centro. 2014 Teaching Innovation Grant, $17,500
Yamao, S. & King, M. E. Enhancing Learning Design, Interactivity and Applications of Technology in International Management. 2014 Teaching Innovation Grant, $13,500
- 2013 ($47,432)
Bergey, P., King, M. E., Smith, B., Pesina, J. Enhancing Learning Design, Interactivity and Applications of Technology in Business Analysis and Decision Making. 2013 Teaching Innovation Grant, $19,842
Brooks, A. Performance Management Simulation. 2013 Teaching Innovation Grant, $19,890
Dyki, M. Integrating the real world use of accounting information through provision of online students via the LMS. 2013 Teaching Innovation Grant, $7,700
- 2012 ($49,512)
Paladino, A. Introducing Experiential Learning to Maximise Learning Outcomes. 2012 Teaching Innovation Grant, $10,681.
Cusak, G. Visual Learning Tool: Animation of Accounting Concepts, Recording & Reporting, 2012 Teaching Innovation Grant, $14,140
Lei, J. Live-Case Marketing Research Term-Project 2012 Teaching Innovation Grant, $3,720
Olekalns, N. Curriculum Restructire of Introductory Macroeconomics. 2012 Teaching Innovation Grant, $15,971
Petry, S. Improving student engagement in a large Corporate Finance class using quick polling, 2012 Teaching Innovation Grant, $5,000
Tonkin, T & Hronsky J. Department of Accounting and Business Information Systems. Auditing case study simulation for conceptual understanding.
Koehler, T. Department of Management and Marketing. Intercultural learning and collaboration in global student teams.
Dufresne, D. Centre for Actuarial Studies. Developing and Insurance Model for Actuarial Practice and Control Subjects.
Brooks, A & Hronsky J. Department of Accounting and Business Information Systems and Pesina J, FBE CELT. The digital revolution and the teaching/learning environment.
Dyki, M. Department of Accounting and Business Information Systems. Skill Builder Learning Series.
Canniford, R. Department of Management and Marketing. Creative Writing in Business Education.
Coker, B. Department of Management and Marketing. Development of a smart-phone application to improve lecture communications and feedback: eBeep.