< Back to Our work

Redevelopment of a gateway unit of study for the Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney

Posted by

The entire education community has felt the pressure of change in the harsh light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many faculties and schools have and are, facing the need to revisit and revamp existing curricula to translate to entirely online learning spaces.

On the one hand, this has led to an opportunity to improve and update existing learning materials and their delivery. It has on the other, led to risks in maintaining the quality of content and continuing engagement of students in their learning. To ensure the maintenance of high-quality learning that the University of Sydney is globally known for, the Faculty of Science engaged Curio to assist in the redesign of their gateway unit of study for Geography, Environmental Studies and Geology. Curio worked closely with Professor Pauline Ross, Associate Dean (Education), to implement her proposed structured, repeatable, and pedagogically robust conceptual framework for online learning. This framework involved breaking down weekly topical content into five pedagogical components:
  1. A big idea (the hook)
  2. Discovery of key learning concepts
  3. Online and asynchronous practical exercises
  4. Interactive synchronous lectorials
  5. A space for students to consolidate and reflect
Curio provided support to academic teaching staff from the School of Geosciences and the School of Life & Environmental Sciences in the curation of existing and new content to align with the framework. In co-design with the academic staff, Curio developed a range of engaging learning materials including animations, interactive knowledge checks, free-text metacognitive pitstops, as well as effective online social engagement with students through Slack. Curio sought feedback at regular intervals to ensure the academic rigour of learning materials was maintained, and that the flow of those materials within the conceptual framework was consistently geared toward student success. The unit has gone live over the first semester of 2021. Initial signs of student engagement were extremely promising, and we eagerly await the first wash of student and tutor feedback.
about the writer

Matt Riddle

Director of Learning Experiences

Matt Riddle is Principal and Director of Learning Experiences globally at Curio. An expert in educational innovation with a career spanning over 25 years, Matt’s focus is improving learners’ lives using emerging educational technologies and learning space design (physical and virtual). Previous roles include acting Pro Vice- Chancellor and Director of Educational Innovation at La Trobe University, and Research Associate at the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies at the University of Cambridge. Matt is CEO and Founder of RocketShoes, a blockchain edtech startup, and serves on the TEQSA panel of experts on online degrees. As Principal at Curio, Matt is involved leading the learning design and development of new university and online products in partnership with clients including RMIT Online, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Heriot-Watt University and Chisholm Online. Located in Utrecht, The Netherlands.Learn more about Matt
Talk to Matt about:
  • Curriculum advice
  • Data, analytics and learning
  • Learning design
  • Learning technologies
  • Online teaching and learning
  • People and capability
  • Strategy
Contact Matt on:

P:

LinkedIn

More of our work

Custom Canvas template for University of Sydney’s Arrivals Program

The University of Sydney has seen incredible results from the International Arrivals Program since its launch. A dedicated Arrivals Program team, supported by a multitude of stakeholders across the University, Study NSW, NSW Government, and FCM Travel, have worked tirelessly in a continuously changing environment to ensure that students receive the support they require as Custom Canvas template for University of Sydney’s Arrivals Program

An online transformation for RMIT’s MBA programs

RMIT’s College of Business and Law wished to update their offerings in response to whole-of-university changes to blended learning. The College of Business and Law approached Curio with the challenge: “How should we change our MBA to embrace blended learning opportunities?”. 

An enhanced content experience for students and staff worldwide

The University of Nottingham is a public university with campuses across the UK, China and Malaysia. The University of Nottingham’s Quality Manual contains the University’s policies and regulations across each of its campuses. With a number of content editors across different schools and departments, the structure and contents of the manual had become unwieldly and An enhanced content experience for students and staff worldwide

Embedding the personalities of educators and an effective social learning model into an online course

Curio partnered with a Group of 8 university, who were moving their hugely successful foundations course in Cyber Security to the online environment. The academic leads had effectively embedded a social learning model where students co-created and shared a “class textbook”, security tips and case studies that built upon content covered in lectures and readings. They sought a partner who could embed the enigmatic personalities of their academic leads and effective social learning model into the new delivery mode to reach their students across the globe.

High-quality micro-credentials for a leading technology university

In 2020, we partnered with a leading technology university on a pilot project to develop a series of micro-credentials and provide expertise on the design and development of their micro-credential ecosystem. The credentials enable the delivery of high quality, stackable postgraduate micro-credentialled content online, each representing 30 hours of learning. They focus on various themes High-quality micro-credentials for a leading technology university

Employability micro-credentials for Australian Technology Network

In 2021, Curio successfully designed and delivered a collaboratively career-focused course comprising three micro-credentials to each of the six institutions. “Designing your Future” commenced as a collaboration with Stanford University and Curio successfully designed and developed an online opportunity available to thousands of students.

Kids First Stand Up! program

Kids First is an independent child and family services provider and early education specialist. Their vision is for all children and young people to thrive in resilient, strong and safe families and communities. Stand Up! is a face-to-face, facilitated experience for students over four sessions. The program is so popular it was difficult to further Kids First Stand Up! program

A flexible, market-facing storefront for Phoenix Australia

Phoenix Australia deliver world-leading mental health and trauma training, programs of research and knowledge translation. Demand for Phoenix’s training increased significantly after Australia’s devastating bush fires over the 2020-21 summer season, before increasing again as Covid-19 hit. With all training delivered face to face, Phoenix sought to rapidly move online to meet demand at this critical time across the country.

Re-designing law courses for online learning in collaboration with subject matter experts

As a partner with one of Australasia’s leading universities, we are consistently providing our expert services to create excellent learning experiences for students to gain industry-specific knowledge and practical skills. We collaborated with this institution to combat their problem of insufficient availability of academic and learning design resource to support and translate the common discursive experience of a law course into an asynchronous online course.

A new digital ecosystem for a leading accountancy professional body

We worked collaboratively with a leading accountancy membership body to develop the future state vision of their digital learning ecosystem. Their new vision placed members and their personal learning journeys at its centre. The organisation was in the process of shifting to a new direction in professional development and embracing digital technologies to create unique learner experiences. ​

Creation and delivery of nanoMOOCs hosted in Canvas

The Assessment Research Centre (ARC) is a leading research unit, with a focus on improving assessments, reporting, and credentialing in universities and industry. Through a program of research, commercialisation, teaching and engagement, the Centre aims to solve challenges that face education and training providers. Part of this work involves the creation and delivery of nanoMOOCs, Creation and delivery of nanoMOOCs hosted in Canvas

A user-friendly CMS for The Institute of Positive Education

The Institute of Positive Education is an initiative by Geelong Grammar School aimed at improving student wellbeing. Curio Digital worked with the Institute to co-design the Positive Education Enhanced Curriculum (PEEC) portal. PEEC is a research-based explicit Positive Education curriculum that has been developmentally sequenced from Early Learning (age four) through to Year 12.