Education Innovation Unit

Welcome to the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies Education Innovation Unit (EIU). The Unit was established in 2016 to promote a culture of innovative and scholarly practice of engineering education within the Faculty of Engineering and IT at The University of Sydney.

2017 Events

Scroll through past and upcoming events via our 2017 timeline

2017 News

  • Participation in Australian Association for Engineering Education Conference

    The Educational Innovation Unit is keen to promote participation in Australian Association for Engineering Education conference, taking place from December 10 - 13 in Manly.

    We will provide support by funding the registration for up to 10 Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies academic staff with accepted paper submissions (one registration per paper). Selection of supported papers will be on the basis of the level of innovation and impact. Application for support will be made by providing a pdf copy of your accepted paper to by Friday September 29 2017.

    All initial expressions of interest have now been submitted.

    For further details on the AaEe conference, visit their official website.

  • Faculty of Engineering and IT Strategic Education Grants for 2017

    The 2017 FEIT Strategic Education Grants are a Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies Educational Innovation Unit scheme to fund educational innovation, and educational quality improvement proposals for units of study, major or degree programs and other learning opportunities in line with the University Strategy 2016 - 2020.

    Congratulations to the following four projects that will be funded under this scheme for 2017. You can view the progress of each of these projects in the FEIT EIU Grants Tab on this page.

Project Title

Project Leader

Project Team Member/s

Bringing 4D Numerical Tools into the Classroom

Guien Miao

Benjamin Marks, David Airey, Abbas Elzein, Thomas Hubble, Samantha Clarke and Tom Hartley

Towards an integrated Power Engineering curriculum using active learning

Archie Chapman

Gregor Verbic, Jin Ma, Ke Meng, S Sathiakumar

Dashboard to support student metacognitive processes

Judy Kay

Lynn Crawford, Keith Willey, Alan Fekete, Philip Gough, Danny Liu, Micah Goldwater, Bob Kummerfeld and Ehssan Sakhaee

Bringing PASTA to the Computer Science Education Community

Bryn Jeffries

Irena Koprinska, Vincent Gramoli, Kalina Yacef

2016 Events and News

  • [21-December-16] -CREITE Meeting

    A debrief discussion of the AAEE conference as well as exploring some directions for the CREITE group for next year.

  • [14-December-16] - FEIT EIU Innovation Board Meeting

    The Innovation Board members (detailed in the About Us section) had their first meeting in December. This was a chance to discuss the initiatives that have taken place in 2016 and the planned initiatives and direction for the EIU for 2017. Agenda and Meeting powerpoint are below

    Meeting Agenda

    Meeting Powerpoint

  • [09-November-16] - Teaching and Tutoring Award Presentation

    This well attended event was held at The Darlington Centre. The purpose of these distinguished awards is to recognise, reward and promote excellence in the facilitation of learning and in teaching and tutoring at the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies. The Dean, Archie Johnston presented the following recipients with their awards for Outstanding Teaching; Abbas El-Zein (Faculty Award) and Daniel Dias-da-Costa and for Outstanding Tutoing; Christopher Natoli (Faculty Award), Linus Karsai and Shijie Song for their excellence in tutoring. Congratulations to the well deserved winners and thank you to all who joined us in recognising them.

Abbas El-Zein, Teaching Faculty Award

A/Prof Abbas El-Zein

Christopher Natoli

Christopher Natoli

  • [02-November-16] - Lunch and Learn Series; The impact of struggling students’ self-efficacy, agency and horizons for action on their learning in a flipped environment

    This seminar was presentated by Keith Wiley. Flipped instruction is a form of blended learning that moves significant instruction and preparation outside the classroom to facilitate ‘in class’ time to be used for more participative learning activities. Students report liking flipped instruction compared to the more traditional lecture style delivery format commenting that while it often challenged their approaches to learning, it had a positive impact on their learning experience and promoted them to become more independent and responsible learners. However, some students struggle to succeed in flipped learning environments. Alternate learning pathways in the form of an intensive block mode were provided for these students and this presentation outlines the results.

    November 2 slides

  • [19-October-16] - CREITE Meeting (UTS and USyd Collaboration)

    Tim Aubrey and Anne Gardner ran a workshop entitled “Practical bespoke approaches to diversity in engineering education”

  • .
  • [12-October-16] - Lunch and Learn Series; What is sustained innovation anyway?

    One of the objectives of the recently created Faculty of Engineering and IT Education Innovation unit is to promote "sustained innovation" in engineering teaching and learning. Innovation is a word that gets thrown around quite frequently and it is assumed we all know what it means. In recent times the term appears in more complex expressions such as "sustained innovation" or "culture of innovation". Organisations in general are finding the challenges to go from stating the intend of adopting a culture of innovation and actually achieving it. Engineering and IT education is no exception. In fact, there are recent studies that point to the disparity of perception among academics about what exactly means innovation in the context of learning and teaching engineering and IT disciplines.

    This session discussed several elements that need to be present for innovation to occur and collaboratively distil some conditions that would provide the right climate so that learning and teaching innovation flourishes in the faculty. The paper titled Understanding university faculty perceptions about innovation in teaching and technology (located in EIU resource section) was the paper for discussion during this session.

    October 12 slides

  • [04-October-16] - Strategic Education Grant Information Session

    The 2017 rounds for the Strategic Education Grants are open from 20 September to 3 November 2016. In order to support members of our faculty who are considering submitting an application, the EIU hosted an information session presented by the 2016 Educational Innovation and Open Learning Environment grant recipients.

    Each recipient presented an overview of the project that won them the grant, its goals and expected outcomes, their projected methods and how the money is to be spent. As well as any wisdom or tips that applicants may be able to weave into their applications. We would like to say a big thank you to Dries Verstraete, Alejandro Montoya, Zhiyong Wang, Chengwang Lei and Ehssan Sakhaee for their time and efforts in presenting to the faculty. The presentation slides from the day are attached below.

    SEG Information Session Presentation

  • [21-September-16] - CREITE Meeting (UTS and USyd Collaboration)

    Professor Roger Hadgraft, of UTS lead this discussion. The focus was on funding opportunities in engineering education post OLT (Office for Learning and Teaching). Questions for discussion were around: - What are sources of funding? - How likely are they to fund education related projects? - How difficult are they to achieve?

  • Collaboration with University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)

    As part of the activities being organised by the EIU, and to foster a community of researchers in education engineering, we have partnered with a newly created UTS group called Collaborative Research In Engineering and IT Education (CREITE). We provide opportunities for Engineering and IT academics from USyd and UTS to share knowledge and ideas and to cross promote.
    We foster these discussions through our own Lunch and Learn series, attended by CREITE members; and via USyd academics attending CREITE monthly meetings at the UTS Campus.

  • [12-September-16] - Dr Craig Bauling from Wolfram Research facilitated a hands-on workshop about the use of Wolfram technologies in education and research. The tool has recently introduced some innovations that open interesting possibilities to be included as part of the learning experience. Tasks such as natural language processing, 2D and 3D visualisation and the creation of interactive models can be used embedded in our units of study to facilitate and encourage student participation.

    The seminar was attended by 35 members of the FEIT. A significant portion of them were tutors that could use the tool in their sessions with the students.

  • [10-June-16] - Initial consultation workshop. FEIT academics attended this workshop to provide their view on the type of initiatives, structure, and service that they would expect from EIU. The session was highly productive and allowed them to gather very valuable suggestions for the next steps.

  • [15-April-16] - The Dean’s Academic Committee (DAC) approved the creation of the Faculty of Engineering and IT Educational Innovation Unit. The EIU was born. The initial steps were taken to identify the main areas of interest for innovation in engineering education within the Faculty to make sure the unit has an impact in the quality of the overall student experience.