Digital Uplift is an ambitious program of work that constitutes a major component of the Inspired Learning Initiative. It aims to design, develop, deliver and evaluate online and blended courses and programs to provide personalised and flexible educational offerings. The Digital Uplift was piloted in 2017 and has ramped up annually. 306 courses have been uplifted since the program’s inception, 126 of which were completed in 2019. This year, the Education Delivery Services team worked with 140 academics across nine faculties in order to improve the quality of teaching, enhance student experience, create communities of practice and increase the overall digital education literacy of the teaching staff at UNSW . It furthers the UNSW Scientia Educational Experience (2025 Strategy) by supporting flexible course delivery, supporting teaching excellence, integrating technology into teaching and using innovative solutions to provide students with real-world applications for their learning.
Each Digital Uplift project is an opportunity to bring teaching innovation to the courses, to support academics in providing the best teaching experience possible, and better equip them to deploy educational technology (see testimonials). The Digital Uplift further supports academics by fostering communities of practice, for instance in lunchtime “brown bag” sessions in faculties, and at the annual Inspired Learning Summit. This year’s Summit attracted 330 registrations and brought together the UNSW education community to openly explore significant teaching challenges and propose achievable solutions. This included the keynote by Dr Holi Birman, a sessional academic who discussed the challenges of teaching varied and complex cohorts at pace; Digital Uplift design solutions from seven faculties (co-presented by academics and PVCE educational developers); 14 poster presentations exploring teaching innovations (see Summit Event Resources); a panel of educational staff from across the university to interrogate sustainability of digital resources; and two in-depth workshops on “When to move content online” and “How to reduce marking load”.
By supporting academics to deliver teaching innovations, the Digital Uplift has a further impact on the learning experience of UNSW students. Courses that have undergone Digital Uplift have enjoyed strong student feedback, for instance in the first year course MICR2011: Microbiology 1, in which the MyExperience survey revealed a dramatic increase in student satisfaction. Similarly, learning outcomes were improved in SOLA2051: Project in Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy 1 by deploying educational technology such as STACK and h5P to provide students with instantaneous and frequent feedback. Digital Uplift can also provide students with real-world context for course material and encourage connection with community. For example, as part of the Digital Uplift of ATSI2012: Contemporary Issues in Indigenous Politics, Dr Diana Perche and the PVCE travelled to Canberra and filmed interviews with Senators Malarndirri McCarthy, Patrick Dodson and Linda Burney speaking directly to students about their roles in parliament. ELEC9711 - Power Electronics for Renewable and Distributed Generation similarly uses videos in order to demonstrate industry application for course content.
Find out more and browse our Digital Uplift examples at: http://teaching.unsw.edu.au/digital-uplift