Ending lectures makes an impact

Con Athanasiou with his award

With technology constantly evolving and improving, the School of Nursing and Midwifery has embraced the opportunities and replaced all lectures with online learning, and has moved all assessment to online marking.

Con Athanasiou, Blended Learning Designer from the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and working in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, has been working with the School to replace all lectures with online learning, move all assessments online, and embed the iPad into face-to-face teaching.

Con recently attended the LearnX Impact Awards and conference in Melbourne where he presented a paper on his work titled Ending lectures, going mobile and other milestones. Not only did he present at the conference but he was also awarded the prestigious 2014 Award for Best Instructional Designer.

The award recognises a talented designer who, by using instructional techniques, has created online and/or offline learning materials within a learning project and whose creative technical input has had a significant impact on employees' learning and development.

"The key is to listen to staff and support them in creating engaging learning experiences by using tools and technologies that they are comfortable with," says Con.

Some examples of strategies and approaches Con took to build staff members' capabilities and integrate technology into teaching include mentoring, running workshops, creating course-level vUWS sites that include all units, and promoting openness by sharing SFUs across the school.

"I am very proud of the achievements the School of Nursing and Midwifery has accomplished, in no small part due to the dedicated executive, academic and professional staff who have embraced innovative approaches to learning and teaching," says Con.

Con is part of the Blended Learning Advisors, Designers an E-Learning (BLADE) network, a community of practice that includes blended learning experts across UWS. Con is also a UWS alumni and is currently studying his Master of Education (Leadership) at UWS.