Find a list of current and past funding recipients.
Professional Development for Teaching Excellence
Dr Wasana Karunarathne (Teaching Specialist in the Department of Economics at the University of Melbourne)
The primary goal of this project is to get exposure to research led innovative designs and best practices in curriculum and assessment designs to promote effective and independent learning encompassing diversity, equity, and inclusiveness. Designing curriculums and assessment and teaching in general for highly diverse students has been one of the major challenges that I have been increasingly facing in my teaching career. Through discussions and observing teaching of professor Matt Diemer at the University of Michigan and Dr. Dirt Mateer of the University of Arizona, I am expecting to gain valuable experience that I can directly apply in my teaching.
The secondary goal of the project is to get some exposure to research initiatives and practices in teaching and learning. During this visit, I will be able to attend in research meetings conducted by professor Diemer and Dr Mateer. Additionally, I will also be able to attend multiple instructional events such as conferences and workshops that are related to teaching and learning and in SoTL. I will therefore benefit professionally from the teaching and research experience and the contacts I will develop by visiting these highly innovative Universities in teaching and learning.
During this visit, I will also be able to share my experience of teaching large classes.
I hope that this educational exchange will benefit myself and both the University of Michigan and the University of Melbourne.
Strengthening the research-teaching nexus for Master of Management (Finance) students
Dr Andrea Lu (chief investigator), Maurice McCourt and Yoon Kang Lee.
The grant will be spent towards a project that incorporate Department of Finance's research portfolio into the teaching for the Master of Management (Finance) program. Through creating individual researcher's portfolios, in the form of a 3-minute video, and playing them in MM(Fin)'s core subject FNCE90060 in the week of which the relevant topic is covered, we aim to enhance students’ learning experience by building the connection between the department’s outstanding research expertise and teaching and help students to better achieve their learning goals. Despite the Department of Finance's excellent performance in research and in teaching, there has historically been an insufficient level of nexus between the two. This problem of disconnectedness is common across many departments within the FBE. A better synergy should be formed between research and teaching to better leverage the department’s and the university’s research reputation on enhancing our graduate students’ learning experience. The project consists of four parts: the creation of the research portfolio videos, delivery of the videos in class, running a research summary writing competition, and questionnaire-based student feedback. We aim to create 6 research portfolio videos each featuring academic researcher in the Department of Finance that specializes in the research area that is covered in the scope of FNCE90060, which is the core finance subject that is compulsory for all MM(Fin) students. The list of topics includes investment, capital budgeting, corporate finance, capital structure, asset pricing models, derivatives, and market microstructure. In each video, using a format of a Q&A, the academic researcher will tell the students about 1) who they are? 2) What is their area of research? 3) What is their most interesting finding and why is it important? And 4) How a student could apply this research of finance to their future career. The answers will be drafted to be suitable for MM(Fin) students’ level of understanding and relevant to their current curriculum. Following the creation of these videos, these videos will be delivered to the FNCE90060 class in Semester 1 and 2, 2020 in the weeks of which the relevant topic is covered. The playing of the videos will be accompanied by a lecturer-led discussion that enhances students’ learning. At the end of the semester, there will be a written evaluation asking students for feedback on the delivery. In addition, students will have the opportunity to participate in a research summary writing competition of which students participate by submitting a 1000 words short essay summarizing the recent development of a research topic covered in FNCE90060 and discuss its practical use. The winner of the competition will be awarded the MM(Fin) Research Award with a certificate.
Employability and Blended Learning
Dr Zhen Shi (Lecturer, Department of Finance, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Melbourne) & Dr Valeria Cotronei-Baird (Learning & Teaching Specialist, WCLA, Faculty of Business & Economics, University of Melbourne)
We greatly appreciate funding approval by WCLA, FBE, and support from the Department of Finance.
The development of graduate employability skills is an important graduate outcome (Oliver & Jorre de St Jorre, 2018). Employability skills training align with both industry expectations and the priorities of the University of Melbourne. This project will respond to this priority by developing teaching and learning tools and strategies to enhance students’ employability outcomes in two ways.
Firstly, we will introduce a case competition in FNCE90062 Capstone in Finance where experts from the finance industry will be invited to serve as judges/referees of students’ presentation.
Secondly, we will develop a blended learning approach to improve students’ communication and teamwork skills (two key employability skills). The blended learning model will combine an online pre-class boardroom presentation/discussion video and active in-class discussions as a strategy to integrate employability skills development in teaching and assessment practice.
To develop the new teaching and learning strategies, the project consists of two phases.
Phase 1 includes (1) writing new cases of recent merge and acquisitions involving Australian companies, (2) inviting and coordinating with industry experts to serve as judges/referees in the case competition, (3) record a boardroom presentation and debate video, (4) develop assessment rubrics to provide formative feedback on students’ achievement of the identified employability skills (communication and teamwork skills) and (5) evaluating the impact on teaching and learning by investigating student satisfaction and learning outcomes.
Phase 2 of this project involves shifting some lectures to blended learning model. The first five weeks of this subject will involve traditional classroom teaching and learning. During these five weeks we will teach students (1) integrating knowledge from sub-divisions of finance and (2) data analysis skills. During weeks six to eleven, we will use role play and apply flipped classroom model to improve students’ communication and teamwork skills. To achieve this shift, we will record a 20-minute role-play boardroom presentation and debate video. The video will be uploaded online for students to watch prior to the lectures. It will be then be followed by an active in-class discussion. In addition, during these weeks, students will form groups and prepare for the case competition in Week 12. In the final week of the semester, student teams will compete in a case competition. In the case competition, each student team will be required to write a report, deliver a 10 minutes presentation and answer questions raised by judges/referees following their presentation.
Developing Accounting Students’ Evaluative Judgement on Teamwork Skills in a Non-Placement Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Environment
Dr Sarah Yang Spencer
It is found from a student focus group study that the learning impact on employability could have been more effective, had the students been motivated by the gaps in their skills rather than by the assessment ‘carrot’. To achieve that, students must develop their understanding of the skills based on their own direct and authentic evaluative experience, not by the evaluative judgements made by the teachers. This project builds on the work from Tai, Ajjawi, Boud, Dawson & Panadero (2016) who find that evaluative judgement promotes holistic and explicit understanding of quality, and it is a pre-condition for the development of expertise and a valuable capability for graduates. It aims to “employ evaluative judgement explicitly and systematically as an integrative and organising framework” to construct relevant learning objectives, activities and assessment to develop students’ teamwork skills. The project will be trialled in ACCT90009 Strategic Cost Management for Semester 2, 2019 and Semester 1, 2020 (with approximately 400-450 students) as the subject is piloting a non-placement WIL program. The project team will adopt several proven pedagogical strategies to enhance students’ evaluative judgement on teamwork skills. This project aligns with the Faculty’s priority towards learning and teaching in many areas, particularly curriculum-based initiatives that target student employability and assist students in monitoring their skill development. This project will also contribute to the currently limited literature devoted to non-placement authentic WIL. Most importantly, it helps develop students’ life-long learning skills and increase their success as set out by the University’s Green paper.
Moving WIL training online
The aim of this project is to develop a series of online training modules for the post graduate Work-Integrated-Learning (WIL) subjects: BUSA90473 Business Practicum (BP) and BUSA90485 Global Business Practicum (GBP). Expected outcomes of WIL subjects include providing students with an introduction to the world of work, combine theory and practice in a real-world environment, and an opportunity for soft-skill development.
Previously students were required to attend two-full days of weekend seminars, these seminars were compulsory. The seminars provide students with a toolkit of essential knowledge to equip and assist them in navigating the work placement component of the subject. They seminars are a hurdle requirement and are held at the end of the exam period when students are often physically and mentally exhausted from intense exam preparation. If students are ill during the training period, the current format allows no opportunity to attend any makeup classes. During semester one, 2019, a pilot video seminar was developed to trial and evaluate if moving the predeparture training online would provide adequate training and alleviate identified obstacles to completion. This pilot covered introductory materials and was used for the training for the GBP and BP subjects to held in July 2019. This proposal aims to move all pre-placement training online and to reintroduce a post-placement debrief via online delivery.
Moving pre-departure seminars online will enable students to complete the required training over a period of months rather than two days. This then reduces the likelihood of students not being able to complete the seminars if they fall ill or the seminar timing clashes with other personal or professional activities. Placing seminar materials online also allows students to review the content at a time that is convenient for them and as often as they feel is necessary. Academic time, and the associated costs, will also be reduced. Once the online videos and supplementary materials are produced, they will be able to be used for a number of semesters negating the need to source and pay for available academics to deliver specific content. University resources such as access to teaching spaces will also be reduced.
Moving to an online delivery will also allow for new materials and topics to be developed for students. These materials include on-location filming of cultural awareness and business etiquette. These video materials will be developed in conjunction with local experts from Universities and Industry.
Improving Group Assessment Feedback
Matt Dyki & Ms Maggie Singorahardjo
In this project, we will test software that provides the benefits of using a standard back of feedback comments (e.g. QuickMarks available within Turnitin) while having the ease marking (particularly for group assignments) within the native grading tool available within an LMS.
Currently through both Blackboard and Canvas staff have a choice of two main ways to submit assignments, Turnitin or via the built-in assignment tool of the respective LMS.
One advantage of Turnitin is the use of Quickmarks aids the marker in providing detailed, relevant and appropriate feedback to students, which enables students to act on and further develop their skills. One significant advantage is that Quickmarks can be shared across a marking team, helping to ensure consistent feedback across all markers and speeding up the marking process.
The downside of Turnitin is that it does not allow group submission of assignments, putting the onus on either the student who submitted the assignment to share a PDF copy of the marked-up assignment with their group or teaching staff to do so. Furthermore, the PDF copy of the assignment has Quickmarks at the end of the PDF, with a reference back to where they are in the text, in contrast, the student who submitted the assignment can access any Quickmarks at the relevant point where it is most powerful.
Built-in assignment tools with Blackboard and Canvas allow group submission, enabling all students to receive the feedback directly but do readily allow the use of standard feedback comment bank.
This project will purchase an Institution+ licence to Annotate Pro. This software is a Chrome toolbar extension that replicates the features of Turnitin Quickmarks and also integrates with Canvas SpeedGrader. In using Annotate Pro, we hope to receive both the benefits of using a standard comment bank and the ease of using the native grading tool (speed and group assignments).
The version of Annotate Pro we are evaluating allows formal sharing of comments (i.e. Coordinators pushing standard comments out to all markers) and analytics further enhancing the benefits of using a standard comment bank.
With Canvas set to become the prime LMS of the university this project provides feedback on a potential add on that can be purchased by departments, faculty or even a campus-wide licence and help determine if such a purchase would be worth the investment.
Pioneering Digital Capstone Excellence
Franz Wohlgezogen & Tom Whitford (Department of Management & Marketing, Faculty of Business & Economics, University of Melbourne)
Well-designed Capstone experiences provide students a unique sense of practical skill development, awareness of industry context, and the need for contextual adaptation and translation. As a result, they can serve as a key for students to unlock the benefits for their professional development and their career.
This project seeks to enhance FBE’s capability for designing and deploying best-in-class Capstone subject experiences. We aim to develop new understanding of contemporary methods of Capstone learning design, particularly:
- blended delivery formats for Capstone subjects, and
- work-integrated / internship-integrated models for Capstone learning experiences.
Our proposal is thus aligned with FBE’s renewed emphasis on practical relevance, work readiness, and work-integrated learning (WIL) in its postgraduate and post-experience programs.
The project takes an evidence-based approach to developing the capstone experience: based on a review of published studies and on interviews of capstone subject coordinators and designers, we will develop and evaluate a digitally scaffolded capstone experience for a post-experience learner cohort. We also aim to capture video footage of participants reflecting on their capstone experience, to be used as a resource for subsequent participant cohorts.
Lessons for all: Exploring Universal Design for Learning within the Faculty of Business and Economics
Ms Miriam Edwards, FBE, & Dr Shiralee Poed, MGSE
Academic Adjustment Plans (AAPs) consider the unique needs of individual students with disability and then offer strategies to succeed. AAPs may recommend such things as audio-books for students with vision impairment, or captioning of videos for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. When a student is registered with Student Equity and Disability Support (SEDS) and they have an AAP it is noted in the lecturer’s class list, but the nature of the student’s needs is not. The onus is on the student to share that information if, and when they feel it necessary. This may catch lecturers unprepared, as learning materials, teaching activities and assessments tend to be designed for a ‘typical’ student – those with no disability. The aim of this project is to provide FBE academics with tools and strategies designed to support the learning of students with disability. The project will not only inform FBE lecturers about accessibility; further, it will assist staff to implement adjustments initially designed for students with disability but also shown to be beneficial for a wide range of learners. By doing so, the project aims to assist lecturers to develop more inclusive learning materials and activities.
This project also acknowledges the role of lecturers. It supports the notion of empowering them to become inclusive educators. The current lack of training to equip lecturers to teach students with disability is recognised internationally (see, for example, Cunninghame, Costello, & Trinidad, 2016). Key findings from the Final report on the 2015 review of the Disability Standards for Education 2005 are consistent with these claims, reporting Australian educators are aware of disability standards, but unclear as to how they should be implemented within their teaching practice (Australia Government, Department of Education and Training, 2015, p. v). By producing an Inclusive Teaching Online Toolbox and print guide for FBE academics, a conversation around accessibility may begin.
To develop this toolkit, initially the nature of AAPs requested by FBE students will be considered to determine whether an inclusive curriculum design; based on principles of universal design, would have eliminated the need for that adjustment. These adjustments will be further analysed to consider the benefit they might offer for students without disability.
This project aligns closely to two of the University’s strategic objectives:
- Student-centred forms of learning and assessment, and
- Rethinking approaches to curriculum structure and to improve teaching (including large cohorts)
- Australian Government Department of Education and Training (2015). Final report on the 2015 review of the disability standards for education 2005. Retrieved from https://docs.education.gov.au/documents/final-report-2015-review-disability-standards-education-2005
- Cunninghame, I., Costello, D., & Trinidad, S. (2016). Issues and trends for students with disability: Review of NCSEHE funded research. Retrieved from https://www.ncsehe.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Issues-and-Trends-for-Students-with-Disability-Review-of-NCSEHE-Funded-Research.pdf
Student Diversity, Inclusion and Sensemaking Learning Initiatives for Curriculum Enrichment of Principles of Marketing Subject
Kanika Meshram, Management & Marketing
Aim: The objective of this project is to understand the extend of diversity, sensemaking skills and feeling of inclusion amongst principle of marketing students and its implications for curriculum enrichment. There are persistent signs that the department of management and marketing is metaphorically speaking, the melting pot of knowledge. Particularly for breath subjects such as, Principles of Marketing (MKTG10001) that attracts students from diverse educational and cultural backgrounds due to large student cohort (i.e. n=650 student enrolments each semester). Given these diverse student community, it is but natural to witness innumerable tensions and contradictions arising from differences in students’ learning or sensemaking of marketing concepts and feeling of inclusion in the course. If we gloss over these challenges, the metaphorical ‘melting pot’ representing our student community, may shadow our strategic goal to inspire student-centred teaching practices. Hence, this project aims to understand:
- To what extent do Principles of Marketing students display diversity in learning styles, learning approaches, emotional intelligence and cultural intelligence?
- How do diverse student groups make sense of marketing concepts and material taught in the class?
Method: This project will be conducted in the MKTG10001 Principles of Marketing subject. Participants are to be recruited through the for-credit subject pool for students enrolled into the Principles of Marketing subject. We adopt two sequential studies; Survey Design-Study 1 and Qualitative-Study 2. Study 1 will collect data through a structured questionnaire administered via survey monkey. Study 2 will explore how diverse student groups make sense of marketing concepts taught in the course. Therefore, we adopt focus group interview and thematic analysis.
Expected Outcomes: This project leads to three learning innovations: A) An inclusive curriculum that is accessible, relevant and engaging to all students of principles of marketing subject. B) An interactive learning tool based upon the bin-packing approach which seeks to put n items (students) with individual “weights” based up their learning diversity, sensemaking skills and feeling of inclusion in the subject. These learning tools can be used for forming teams, tutorial activities, develop intercultural training and teaching material. C) A framework of students’ sensemaking capabilities that can be used for teaching innovation and connect with diverse audience.
Flipped assessment: Student written case studies supported by peer feedback
Liliana Bove, Management & Marketing
We greatly appreciate funding approval by WCLA, FBE, and support from the Department of Management and Marketing.
This innovative assessment builds upon and improves the widely used case method for group assessment tasks. A flipped case assessment requires student teams to work collaboratively to write a case study and associated case assessment questions. Successful completion of this task demonstrates deep knowledge of theoretical material learnt in the subject coursework, as well as broad knowledge of learning and assessment strategies. Students develop effective teamwork practices, research skills, self-regulated learning process behaviours, and application of subject content through peer-based critical reflection and debate. In effect, we create an ecosystem of effective teamwork and learning strategies through an assessment with high task relevance, supported by subject expert feedback, and peer feedback.
Funds from this grant will be used to investigate the theoretical and pedagogical foundations of this novel approach to assessment, and how it promotes student motivation in learning and learning outcomes. We use self-regulated learning (SRL) as a theoretical framework to demonstrate the efficacy of a flipped assessment task. Funding will enable research assistance services in developing a literature review of relevant higher education theory positioned initially within the management and marketing education space, although we expect results to be applicable to most higher education contexts where case based learning and assessment is used. The study design will triangulate student performance (learning outcomes), student experience, through a combination of surveys, interviews, and document analysis, and self-regulated learning behaviours.
We anticipate findings from this project will include empirical support for relationships between original student written cases and student performance and student satisfaction. We seek to extend the higher education literature on SRL through an assessment task design that promotes student SRL behaviours which are known to enhance student motivation and learning outcomes. We expect to demonstrate links between novel teaching delivery and assessment design and enhanced teamwork experience and classroom learning experience. We aim to promote discussion around the relationship between student experience and subject satisfaction, including ways in which enhancing SRL and student autonomy improves students' perceptions of learning outcomes and experience.
Applied outcomes of this study include promoting increased student collaboration and peer feedback through innovative task design and instructional methods, which may help to enhance professional development of teaching and learning across the Faculty and the wider University.
29 August 2018
Digital Playground for Foundations of Fintech – Project Summary
Peter Bossaerts Felix Fattinger Carsten Murawski Nitin Yadav
For the new 3rd year subject “Foundations of Fintech”, this project will develop content as well as the necessary software tools for three inquiry-based assessments. In particular, the successful implementation of these assessments requires the following:
1. Digital currencies: Building software tools that enable students to study in depth the mechanisms of encryption, verification, and fraud identification as used in digital currencies and payments processing.
2. Credit scoring: Constructing a dataset of consumer characteristics together with an accompanying interface that allows students to implement different machine learning algorithms to compute credit scores.
3. Stock prices and social media: Constructing a comprehensive and validated dataset of corporate social media activity, e.g., Twitter feeds, to study the effects of social media activity on stock prices.
A major challenge in developing the subject will be bridging the subject’s limited knowledge in coding and statistics (machine learning) and the subject’s learning objectives. To make it possible for students to reach the learning objectives, we will develop tools and interfaces that build on software that our students are familiar with, e.g., statistical packages such as R, and that can be used without advanced programming knowledge.
This project is aimed at developing an interactive learning activity built around real stock market information. For this purpose, we will develop an online platform for students to engage with Australian stock market information. This platform will be used throughout the semester of Financial Statement Analysis (FSA - ACCT90002) and will require students’ contributions in terms of content and analysis. The platform will access and display real stock prices and accounting data in a timely fashion. This will allow students to assess and discuss market reactions to news events and connect that to material covered in class.
The tool will function as such. Students in FSA are given access to the online platform (a website). The activity coordinators will select stocks to form a “portfolio” for the class to follow throughout the semester. These stocks and the platform will be introduced in the first lecture of the subject. On the platform, students will see the current prices of the selected stocks, as well as other related information. The platform will also provide access to accounting information (e.g. financial and corporate announcements). Finally, there will be a forum where students, as well as the moderator and subject coordinator, can discuss the portfolio stocks. These could be exploratory posts, such as asking why a particular stock has increased by 5% on a given day, or more in-depth, such as discussing the fundamental drivers behind the company. To date, no such activity or platform is available in FBE or other leading Australian institutions.
Ultimately, the aims of the project are to increase student awareness of current events, enhance employability, increase integrated learning capabilities, and encourage peer learning.
FBE Teaching Development Grant 2018 - Enhancing the provision of student feedback using technology and improving student feedback literacy
Dr Sarah Yang Spencer, Dr Linda Corrin (WCLA), Mr Matt Dyki (Acc), Ms Maggie Singorahardjo (Acc) and Ms Demi Wang (Acc)
Feedback is a critical pedagogical practice in higher education and has been identified as the most powerful single influence on student achievement. While aware of the benefits of feedback, academics are constrained by the large class size, limited staff resources, and consequently, the reduced availability to offer more tailored and personalised feedback. Concurrently, students are often dissatisfied with the feedback they receive and raise usability issues, such as timeliness, depth, specificity, and lacking forward guidance. Hence, there is a need for academics to deliver effective feedback to students, particularly in the aspects of clarity, timing, and usefulness, while also managing the workload within allocated resources. This project aims to explore the potential of using a technology-enabled feedback tool, OnTask, which collect data about students’ activities throughout the semester and enable the instructors to design personalised feedback to students with actionable suggestions. The tool has been developed with reference to research in learning analytics, which focuses on how to effectively work with student data to deliver meaningful feedback that can be acted upon by students. The OnTask tool will be trialled in 2 accounting subjects (with approximately 500 - 1000 students) during the first semester of the 2019 academic year (this will include ACCT10002 and ACCT20007). While trialling OnTask, this project also focuses on the process to enhance student feedback literacy to maximise the uptake of feedback. This project will apply Carless and Boud’s Student Feedback Literacy framework (2018) to support, encourage and coach students to engage with the feedback more proactively and develop their life-long learning strategies.
The outcomes of this project can guide academics to provide effective feedback at scale without significantly increasing workload. Students will benefit from receiving feedback in a timely, personalised way, improve their feedback literacy and develop their self-regulated learning strategies. The feedback provided to students will focus both on assessment tasks, as well as engagement with learning activities throughout the semester. This is particularly important for accounting education, as we strive to develop not just students’ technical knowledge, but also the skills and self-regulation to become capable accounting professionals.
Introducing the Economist's Toolkit: Economics Summer Math Intensive 2017; Professor David Dickson (Economics), A/Prof Jenny Lye (Economics), Mr Daniel Tiong (Economics)
This initiative aims to introduce incoming Honours and Masters students in Economics to the mathematical techniques used in both research and coursework over an intensive two-week period. It is offered prior to the start of Semester 1, beginning in 2018. Where applicable, the relevance of such techniques to economics are highlighted. In particular, heavy emphasis is placed on how to use such methods rather than the technical background behind those methods
Flipping a Large Class; Dr Gregory Artemov (Economics)
The project aim is to develop the most appropriate strategy to flip a large advanced (3rd year) class in the Faculty of Business and Economics. ECON30010 Microeconomics subject will be utilised for that purpose by posting a recording of an extended version of lectures as well as handouts about a week before the lecture. During the actual lecture, I plan to briefly review all the material in the lecture (about 25 min of teaching time), while spending considerably more time on some particular places that are more likely to cause student confusion.
Flipping teaching in Sports Economics; Professor Jeff Borland (Economics)
This project will produce new teaching materials to enable the classroom to be ‘flipped’ in Sports Economics (ECON20011; a second year elective subject). It is planned that the online lecture content for each week will include a mix of videos; written content; links to readings and videos (for example, presentations from conferences such as the MIT Sports Analytics conference); and short tasks based around the content presented for that week. The weekly workshop will focus on applications of the lecture content.
Applying a Threshold Concept Approach to the Design and Teaching of International Human Resources and Management; Dr Jennifer Gao (Management and Marketing)
For this project, we will redesign MGMT90027 to address and test students’ knowledge on threshold concepts in a number of stages. We will create curriculum and seminar contents that aim to introduce threshold concepts and other troublesome knowledge (such as paradoxes or false dichotomies in international human resources). These threshold concepts will be introduced in the first few seminars, and will be revisited throughout the remainder of the semester as we progress through other international HRM themes and functional areas. All assessments will require students to review business cases and international human resource practices in light of these threshold concepts.
Visualising learning analytics data to provide feedback to teachers in business education; Dr Linda Corrin (WCLA), Dr Franz Wohlgezogen (Management) and Ms Sarah Taylor (Accounting)
In business education, students are increasingly required to access and interact with online resources and activities through learning management systems (LMS). In doing so, they leave a digital trace which can be useful to teachers in understanding how learning resources and activities are being used. This project aims to identify common learning designs used in the field of business education to inform the design and development of meaningful visualisations for teachers. The outcome of the project will be a suite of useful visualisations/reports that can be used by teachers in the faculty to support learning design decisions and the provision of feedback to students.
Engaging Students with Experiential Learning and Gamification; Mr Matt Dyki (Accounting) and Professor Michael Davern (Accounting)
ControlSim is a proposed web-delivered training simulator that will provide a game like environment for students to develop skills in the design of accounting/business processes, the identification of risks in those processes and the selection of appropriate controls to mitigate those risks. The simulation will be dynamic and interactive with students able to select, remove or adjust controls and simulate the process to see impacts on the informational and operational goals of the process (e.g. information reliability, process efficiency and cost).
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.
TIG not offered
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