OLT grant projects aim to prepare a more global workforce

UWS sign against blue sky 

The Commonwealth Government through the Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) announced it will fund 30 research projects worth $5.8 million aimed at improving teaching in Australia's higher education institutions so they will be better able meet the needs of students and prepare them for work in the 21st century.

UWS researchers were among the recipients of those who received grants.

Associate Professor Tonia Gray from the Centre of Educational Research in the School of Education and Dr Tim Hall from the School of Business received an OLT 2014 Strategic Priority Grant worth $246,000 for their project which will focus on the best ways to design, implement and embed Outbound Mobility Programs in the curriculum. Team members on this project include Lecturer Colin Sheringham from the UWS School of Business, and Associate Professor David Cole and Associate Professor Anne Power both from the UWS School of Education, along with researchers from Macquarie University.

Across the Australian university landscape, educators are striving to internationalise the curriculum and develop students as culturally competent 'global citizens', says Associate Professor Gray. There is a desire to design, implement and embed Outbound Mobility Programmes (OMPs) into the curriculum to create a more globally aware Australian workforce for the future, she says.

"This project will deploy experience-based educational theory within itinerary development and seek a deeper understanding of the decision making processes of students presented with OMP opportunities. It will develop curriculum resources which maximise the probability of positive transformative experiences for participants."

Professor Michael Singh from the School of Education will be one of the leaders of a project lead by James Cook University which will investigate students' dispositions towards global perspectives and identify factors which act as inhibitors and enablers of cultural exchange. Team members for this project also include School of Education Senior Lecturer Jinghe Han.

The OLT Innovation and Development grant worth $229,000 works towards developing and enhancing student capacities to live, work and contribute to global/local communities. This so-called 'Third Wave' approach aims to make the 'global' an integrated everyday experience for students.

UWS Careers Manager Freny Tayebjee will be part of a Charles Sturt University-led project which looks at enhancing workplace learning through mobile technology. The project, which received and OLT Innovation and Development Seed Grant worth $224,000, will explore how students can make better use of personal digital devices in workplace learning situations to bridge different learning spaces (classroom, workplace and virtual), connect learning and work, and strengthen networked, collaborative, integrative communication process between students, academics and workplace educators.


9 February 2015

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