Karin is a Senior Lecturer, Education Focussed Champion and Scientia Education Academy Fellow at UNSW Sydney with a background in Architecture and Design. Her expertise focuses on innovative teaching practice and curriculum development, particularly through the integration of research informed technology that responds to rapidly changing contemporary learning and work environments.
Karin has worked and studied in London, Cape Town and Sydney. She has developed award winning Professional Development programs such as the Learning to Teach Online Project, created Art & Design focused Open Educational Resources (OER) and initiatives, has led several competitive grants, and project managed multi-institutional projects such as OnTask.
Evolving leadership, administration, professional development, and culture to establish a substantial, scalable, blended learning strategy at UNSW Art & Design
Introduction and Aims: The UNSW Inspired Learning Initiative (ILI) has been an important catalyst for kick-starting Blended Learning and the wider discussion about digital uplift at UNSW Art & Design. However future funding is limited, and as such ILI will only impact a maximum of 40 courses and falls short of addressing cultural change and the associated implications of blended learning on other operational areas of the Faculty.
This SEIF2 project aims to complement and extend upon ILI by developing a cohesive Blended Learning Strategy that informs all operational areas of the Faculty, including executive, administration, teaching and resources. The masterplan serves as an impetus for widespread culture change across all areas to facilitate the uptake of digital pedagogies to be effective, efficient, scalable and sustainable. This will expand the impact and capability of staff and faculty well beyond these selected ILI courses and help improve the quality, personalisation and flexibility of the student learning experience.
Theoretical Background: This project builds on and develops strategies to action the UNSW Scientia Education Model, in particular ‘Being Digital’ and ‘Inspired Learning Through Inspiring Teaching’.
Prior to 2002, a lack of institutional strategy was regarded as one of the main barriers to the implementation and embedding of eLearning in tertiary institutions. (Smith, 2002). Since then, many institutions have included eLearning into their Learning and Teaching Strategies, however most address the introduction and/or implementation of eLearning but fail to address how these might become embedded in institutional practice (DfES, 2003, Stiles, 2003) in order to remain sustainable and scalable. The successful embedding of eLearning in institutions is often impeded by the failure to effectively introduce culture change or to address change management. Critical issues such as ‘one off’ staff development training, irregular consolidation of progress, little or no evaluation, and lack of follow through serve as further obstructions (Stiles, 2004).
Consistently applied, truly innovative Blended Learning fundamentally changes the practice of teaching. If all aspects of faculty operations do not evolve considering this, then it becomes difficult to effectively scale and embed blended learning across the faculty in a consistent and sustainable manner.
Progress / Outcomes: While the project scope was to devise a proposed BL strategy by the end of 2018, through early implementation it has already initiated cultural change and ‘buy in’ across all areas of the faculty where there has been significant uptake of digital pedagogies. This has enhanced the quality of blended learning and provided greater flexibility in timetabling and course design to facilitate an improved, personalised student experience. The sustainability and scalability of the model has been supported through integration with other faculty and UNSW projects, and by embedding it in professional development programs, timetabling, skills proficiencies, sessional staff inductions and student communication.
To date this has been achieved through:
- provision of guidelines and templates of best practice for staff to adopt and adapt in teaching and technical support
- a professional development program comprising 5 workshops. To date 2 x PD programs have been facilitated which involved 29 academic staff and 7 Educational Developers covering 6 A&D programs and 40 courses in total.
- integration with Bachelor of Design and Bachelor of Fine Art program redesign, A&D Hubs Skills Packages (SEIF#1 grant), A&D online proficiencies and inductions, and A&D online course outline system
- integration with UNSW Inspired Learning Initiative (to date 15 courses completed) and 3+ model
- guidelines for sessional staff inductions
Next steps: There will be widespread implementation, evaluation and finalisation of the strategy at A&D throughout 2019, with a view for wider dissemination beyond the faculty.
- Department for Education and Skills, “Towards a Unified e-Learning Strategy”, (Nottingham: DfES Publications, 2003), 6
- Smith, T. (2002) Strategic factors affecting the uptake, in higher education, of new and emerging technologies for learning and teaching. York: Technologies Centre, [online] www.techlearn.ac.uk/NewDocs/HEDriversFinal.rtf
- Stiles, M., & Yorke, J. (2004). Embedding staff development in elearning in the production process and using policy to reinforce its effectiveness. Paper presented at the The 9th SEDA Conference, Birmingham,.http://www.staffs.ac.uk/COSE/cosenew/embedding.pdf
Implementation and input into this project have been collaborative and widespread, and include the Executive, Academic, Professional and Technical Staff, Educational Developers, PVCE and students as partners.
Faculty level contributions
- Academic Committee
- Quality Committee
- Portfolio Entry Applications assessor
- Academic Advisor
UNSW level contributions
- UNSW Scientia Education Academy
- Education Focussed Champion
- Peer Reviewer of Teaching (Online and face to face)
- Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
- Higher Education Research and Development of Australasia (HERDSA)
- Society of Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR)
OnTask 2016 - 2018
Delivery of timely, personalised and actionable student feedback at scale (University of Sydney, University of South Australia, UTS, UNSW Sydney, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Edinburgh), Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) Strategic Priority Commissioned Grant $345,000
UNSW Art & Design Blended Learning Strategy 2017 - 2018
Evolving leadership, administration, professional development, and culture to establish a sustainable, scalable blended learning strategy, (Watson, Teale,) UNSW Scientia Education Investment Fund (SEIF) Grant $50,000
Learning Hubs 2017 - 2019
An adaptive, personalised community centric education model ( McIntyre, Ward, Killen, Watson, Goddard, Greenwood, Teale, Velonaki, Flanagan, Bown, Davies, Khut, Jones, Stevens, Brown, Weymouth, Kriss, Kuchelmeister, Miller, Dunn), UNSW SEIF Grant $200,000
Digital Assessment 2018 - 2019
Empowering students and supporting teachers through innovative student-oriented educational practices (Lutze-Mann, Eaton, Sulway, Watson, Mak, Binder, Bilbao, Dedova, Carlon, Amberber, Lapere, Holdom, Davis, Mansfield, Velan, Oliver, Chen, Kanapathipillai, Taylor, Liu, Sherry, Angstmann), UNSW Education Focused Foundation Funding Grant, $192,000
UNSW Art & Design Course Development Program 2018 – 2019
Creation and Delivery of professional development fellowship program for A&D staff undertaking curriculum development and Inspired Learning Initiative for new Bachelor of Design program
Learning to Teach Online MOOC 2015 - ongoing
The MOOC is designed to help existing educators establish or improve their own online or blended teaching practices, and is suitable for all teachers in higher education, elementary, college, vocational or private education.
2015 The International WHARTON-QS STARS AWARDS 2015: REIMAGINE EDUCATION (Simon McIntyre, Karin Watson, Negin Mirriahi) for ‘The Learning to Teach Online’ Programs - Regional Award: Oceania (2nd place)
2015 The International WHARTON-QS STARS AWARDS 2015: REIMAGINE EDUCATION (Simon McIntyre, Karin Watson, Negin Mirriahi) for ‘The Learning to Teach Online’ Programs – Arts and Humanities Award (2nd place)
2015 The International WHARTON-QS STARS AWARDS 2015: REIMAGINE EDUCATION (Simon McIntyre, Karin Watson, Negin Mirriahi) for ‘The Learning to Teach Online’ Programs – Nurturing Employment Award (Joint 3rd place)
2015 International ACPI: THE E-LEARNING EXCELLENCE AWARD (Simon McIntyre, Karin Watson, Negin Mirriahi) for ‘The Learning to Teach Online’ Programs - Finalist
2012 International MERLOT CLASSICS AWARD (Simon McIntyre, Karin Watson) for ‘The Learning to Teach Online’ Project - Faculty Development Board award for ‘Exemplary Online Learning Resources’
2011 AUSTRALIASIAN SOCIETY FOR COMPUTERS IN LEARNING IN TERTIARY EDUCATION (ASCILITE) AWARD (Simon McIntyre, Karin Watson) for ‘The Learning to Teach Online’ Project - Innovation and Excellence Award
2010 DEANS AWARD (UNSW ART & DESIGN) (Karin Watson) - Outstanding Teaching Innovations
2008 AUSTRALIAN LEARNING AND TEACHING COUNCIL (ALTC) CITATION (Linda Corkery, Ann Quinlan, Ben Roche, Karin Watson) – Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning