In Support of Excellence

It's all about the students

Concern for equity and diversity

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I introduced the LTA concept (Low-Threshold Applications and Activities) to the online team back in 2003 taught by a colleague in the USA.  It has become foundational to everything we do.  From the TLT website “A LTA is an activity or application of information technology that is reliable, accessible, easy to learn, non-intimidating and incrementally low-cost in time, money, and stress”. Everything I do, (in fact Online Learning as a team does), must pass through this grid. That is all about accessibility, equity and inclusiveness. Every pedagogy and technology needs to stand up to scrutiny like: Will as many people as possible be able to access it? Is it available on multi computer platforms? If we are going to teach this way, is it equitable to all students? We can’t set up a “have/have not” divide. This is particularly important in classroom situations when technology like iPads are being used, where only a small number of students may have them. THE LTA concept ensures that the ‘tools’ are selected to fit the context of each unique learning environment situation.  
My global perspective and experience working cross culturally has helped. An example of helping a diverse cohort of students has been the Introductory Academic Program (IAP) trial, which is helping students who have English as a Second Language (ESL).  I was instrumental in setting this up using Wimba Voice Tools to add audio feedback to the marking of assignments. The academic reported the positive response from students who could now listen to the teacher talk to them personally with feedback: it was easily seen in their faces and behaviour. It was the success of this pilot that convinced Professor Geoff Crisp to buy the license for Wimba for three years.
Another example of reaching out to diverse cohorts of students is the ILM’s. Students who cant make it to lectures and struggle with keeping up in face-to-face teaching love this pedagogical approach. The ability to revisit the curriculum and the use of checkpoints (short formative quizzes and interactions) adds so much more than just listening to lectures and watching PowerPoints. ILM’s empower the fringes of the student cohort. We have seen evidence of this when students send emails to lecturers saying:
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“I just wanted to say that i thought it (ILM) was FANTASTIC, and it has helped me so much with understanding the concept of connective tissue and also enforced what I learned last week on epithelial tissue. Thank-you”
 - BOH I student, 2008.

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Allan Carrington has been awarded the 2012 Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) Australian Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.  His citation read: “For sustained commitment to inspiring, challenging and mentoring academics to teach with activity-centric pedagogies and the latest learning technologies, to enrich the student experience.” He is also winner of the 2011 University of Adelaide Award for Excellence in Support of the Student Experience. This website was developed to support these applications and is now his ePortfolio.
Since 2003 Allan has been a Learning Designer with the eLearning Development Team supporting the university faculty..