Drawing on an idea seeded during a series of technology enhanced learning workshops with the ANU Research School of Psychology (RSP), the CLT Education Design Team responded to a request from Associate Professor Elizabeth Rieger, RSP Associate Director Education, to initiate a project to improve the design of Wattle sites across RSP programs. In consultation with RSP academic staff, the goal was to increase student engagement, create a consistent look across RSP course Wattle sites and reduce cognitive load for students and teachers through improved navigation, resource organisation and communication of important information.
The project brief included keeping design changes simple, sustainable and scalable for future courses. Colleagues from the Science Teaching and Learning Centre, Dr Rebecca Anderson and Rowena Tayler-Henry, were consulted to ensure the project was compatible with local college practices.
Some of the settings and strategies applied to Semester 2, 2021 Wattle sites by the ED Team included:
- collapsed topics setting to reduce scroll
- standardised section headings and placement of resources across all courses within the program
- clear labelling and organisation of content and assessment information
- consistent information around laboratory sign-ups, Zoom and communication protocols
- access to a wellbeing resources website developed by clinical psychologists in RSP for students.
Course conveners were also encouraged to include welcome videos in course sites.
RSP was not the only area at ANU that initiated improvements across Wattle course sites in preparation for Semester 2 this year – several ANU Colleges had a similar goal. In response, CLT created an exemplar Wattle site and checklist to guide course conveners in optimising Wattle settings and design for effective navigation, accessibility and communication. Read the Interact blog post Giving your Wattle site a facelift for some tips and ideas.
Associate Professor Boris Bizumic, convener of Personality Psychology in Semester 2 (PSYC3026), and Professor Kate Reynolds both acknowledged, “CLT has helped me improve and more clearly structure my Wattle course page. The page now looks more professional, and it can better assist students in their learning.”
Kate, whose academic work in RSP focusses on social psychology and behavioural science, specifically noted that the ED Team “provided such insights to my PSYC3028 Industrial and Organisational Psychology course page. This Wattle site restructure is hoped to make it a better student experience and reduce the number of enquiries from students.”
The project will continue until Semester 1 next year, to provide full coverage of course sites across RSP programs.
The Education Design team at CLT works with academics and education support teams across ANU to enhance teaching practices and student learning experiences. Online support resources are available through the Teaching at ANU site.
Melinda Drummond is a member of the Education Design (ED) team at the Centre for Learning & Teaching.