Charles Sturt University (CSU) is launching a new think-tank to drive innovation in digital learning by investigating new technologies and online teaching practices.
The uImagine digital learning innovation laboratory, which brings together leading academic staff, educational designers and students, will be officially launched at an educational symposium at CSU in Wagga Wagga on Thursday 4 September.
uImagine Co-Director Professor Barney Dalgarno is one of Australia's leading scholars in online learning and educational technology.
Professor Dalgarno said, just like a physical laboratory, uImagine will experiment to find new ways of thinking about the design of online learning experiences and digital learning resources.
"uImagine is built around the concept of 'Imagineering', which combines imagination and engineering to move from predicting the future to actively shaping it," he said.
"We want to imagine creative new ways to harness the potential of digital technologies for learning, and engineer these innovations into teaching practice."
Building on CSU's Smart Learning initiative, uImagine will play a key role in improving online learning practice across all disciplines within the University.
CSU is Australia's largest provider of distance education and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Student Learning) Professor Sandra Wills said uImagine will provide the leadership for doing DE differently in the online space, in the digital habitat of staff and students.
"uImagine is an incubator for distance education research and a think-tank for evidence-based online educational strategies driven by a unique team of staff, students and global thought leaders who can imagine university education as a genuine co-created learning experience," she said.
uImagine will bring leading international researchers and educators to brainstorm with CSU staff in Think Tanks about topics including learning design, learning analytics, and virtual worlds, simulations and games.
It will also provide digital learning innovation grants, create an online learning scholarship network and host an online showcase of innovative teaching and learning practices as examples of CSU's future model of online learning.