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Technology links Curtin to a world of learners

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Curtin University has embarked on an ambitious project to expand its educational offerings to the world – aiming to engage one million learners across the globe by 2017.

The University’s top 200 courses – led by its flagship courses in business, engineering, humanities and health sciences – will spearhead the transformation of teaching and learning at Curtin, which is being showcased at a Festival of Learning.

Curtin Deputy Vice- Chancellor Education Professor Jill Downie said the University would succeed if it engaged new markets through course offerings and delivery platforms that engaged and connected, despite the physical distance.

“We want our students to benefit from a genuine Curtin University education, whether their student experience is on campus or whether they choose to study from another location,” Professor Downie said

“Technology, access and connectivity are ubiquitous for the majority of today’s learners.

“Textbooks have been superseded by the internet, which gives access to experts all over the world. The future of learning at Curtin is personal, collaborative, innovative, richly interactive, flexible and above all, global.

“Providing course material through interactive online offerings or via the virtual classroom using is the future. Curtin’s goal is to engage one million learners by 2017, and we want to ensure all our students enjoy a personalised experience at Curtin and know they are a highly valued member of the Curtin community, regardless of their location or method of study.”

The Curtin model allows each course to be designed using an individual mix of teaching and learning methods to suit the curriculum and support the best learning outcomes for students.

Video conferencing, three-dimensional simulations and blended realities will complement traditional online learning to encourage collaboration and enhance the learning experience for all students.

The virtual classroom is already being used to distribute one of the University’s nursing courses to WA’s remote north-west and there are plans to expand to offer first year health sciences and other courses to other parts of regional WA and Curtin’s Singapore Campus.

Students studying in the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts collaborate with peers from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China using real-time class interactions to produce a creative web documentary – a true Global Classroom.

From 2016 Curtin courses will be delivered using a mix of traditional on-campus teaching, flipped classes, technology-enriched environments and distributed learning techniques (Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) and high-end video and 3D technologies) that actively engage students.

Professor Downie said: “In some respects the future has already arrived at Curtin. We know the challenges are vast – but so are the opportunities. It is an exciting time to be educators, providing world-class, engaging opportunities within the framework of a classroom – but one without walls, time limits and geographical constraints.

“This is Learning for Tomorrow at Curtin and it is this transformative approach to teaching and learning which will cement Curtin’s reputation as a recognised international leader in education.”

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