Re-Enchanting the City: Designing the Human Habitat is the first free online course offered by UNSW Built Environment. The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) aims at introducing aspiring professionals in the built environment to the environmental, social, cultural and political aspects of urban development. It uses a case study of Central Park Sydney, which includes a high-rise residential tower designed by Parisian architect Jean Nouvel, awarded the World’s Best Tall Building in 2014 and a five star green rating by the Green Building Council of Australia.
The course explores the evolution of the development and has a range of video interviews with stakeholders, including the famous French botanist, Patrick Blanc, who designed One Central Park’s 1,120 sqm vertical gardens. Other notable interviews include the former Dean of UNSW Built Environment, Emeritus Professor Alec Tzannes, Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of City of Sydney Council, Ross Palmer, Partner at Foster + Partners, Dr Stanley Quek, former Chairman of Frasers Property Australia, Chris Johnson, former NSW Government Architect and former Executive Director, NSW Department of Planning.
The course was made possible through Adobe Creative Cloud software. Forty-five videos were created, spread out over a six week course schedule. Interview and educator videos were edited with Adobe Premiere Pro, with motion graphics produced in AfterEffects together with Photoshop and Illustrator. Video filming and production work was primarily done by The Creative Foundry who also created a teaser for the MOOC used for marketing.
The large amount of video material was structured into three key perspectives – stakeholders and professionals involved with Central Park Sydney, academic discussions from staff of UNSW Built Environment, and a narrative delivered by Elizabeth Farrelly, Associate Professor of Practice and Sydney Morning Herald columnist. Each perspective received its own colour scheme and motion graphics video driver, with purple for the narrative, green for professions and yellow for academic.
UNSW Built Environment academic educators include Associate Professor Oya Demirbilek, Associate Dean (Education), Professor Susan Thompson, Director of City Well-being, City Futures Research Centre, Dr Paola Favaro, Associate Professor Linda Corkery, Dr Miles Park, and Bruce Watson, Discipline Director of Interior Architecture.
In addition to video content, learners are provided with a number of infographic PDFs, produced with Photoshop and Illustrator. These infographics cover the timeline of the development, provide location referencing to the site, annotate the buildings, park and public art, visualize density and scale, and explain the development’s energy production system.
Since the course was designed to be introductory, suitable for school students, the learning activity is primarily through discussions and promotes a social engagement amongst participants. The discussions relate to the professions of architecture, urban design, city planning, construction management and property, sustainable development, landscape architecture, industrial design, and interior architecture.
Re-Enchanting the City: Designing the Human Habitat ran for the first time in May to June 2016 through the FutureLearn Platform. It was well received by participants who praised the quality of the material, shared their satisfaction of the social learning structure, and commended the diversity of contributions.
The course will run again from 4 September 2016 and is open to all, whether high school students interested in fields of the built environment, current students, professionals interested in a career change, or anyone looking to expand their knowledge about city-making.
To enroll, visit here.
Guest Post By: Dean Utian, The University of New South Wales (UNSW)
With their ability to scale, MOOCs and online courses have the potential to democratize learning in unprecedented ways. But when designed poorly, MOOC platforms can perpetuate ineffective models of teaching and learning. How might we meet the challenge of consistently creating meaningful online learning experiences?
Over the past 12 months, Adobe Education has successfully run online professional development courses for educators via the Adobe Education Exchange. We’ve offered 10 free digital media courses on topics including digital imaging, animation, and app design. So far, 11,957 enrollees from 120 countries have completed more than 357 hours of online instruction, and they’ve created 15,975 instructional resources that have been shared for peer and instructor review. And best of all, over 380,000 students will benefit from their teachers’ new knowledge.
As the Adobe Education team continues to learn and grow as an online learning provider, we’re confident that:
- Online professional development can transform teaching. Self-paced online courses help educators learn new ways to use technical tools and create effective instructional designs.
- Time and money are barriers — talent is not. Our participants need more time to learn and plan, and they need more money for software and resources.
- Creativity can be fostered online. Peer collaboration via feedback and discussion as well as weekly live sessions drive engagement, completion, learning, and creativity.
To what do we attribute our success? Although we’ve iterated on our design since we first started offering courses a year ago, we think our courses have been successful for two reasons:
- We understand our audience. Our courses are designed for educators, by educators. We focus on teaching technology tools plus instructional design to meet the true needs of our audience.
- We’ve maintained three core values across all of our offerings: collaboration, creativity, and continuous learning.
If you’ll be attending #SXSWEdu this March, join our lead professional development strategist, Melissa Jones, for an interactive session on how to apply our best practices. And if you can’t attend, be sure to follow #CreateEDU and #OnlineLearningDesign on Twitter.
The New York Times reports that The University of Texas (UT) at Austin is addressing this mobile reality when it comes to delivering course content and curriculum with the introduction of their first course app.
The Energy 101 course app from UT Austin is developed with Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite, which provides student assessment capabilities through the built in analytics. With a course app, professors can now follow student progress, understand content usage, and easily deliver new content directly to students’ mobile devices.
New course apps built using Adobe Digital Publishing suite enables professors to utilize video, interactive content, embed quizzes and more, delivering an engaging interactive course. Students can download the course and access it on the mobile device of their choice. They will always have the most up to date content due to the push notification feature within DPS. For a student audience that has grown up with digital technology, this is a welcome change for how course content is delivered and consumed.
The course app is significantly less expensive for the student than a printed textbook. It is available to anyone interested in learning more about Energy and professors from other institutions are using it to supplement their own curriculum or even require it as a prerequisite.
A course app has the potential to contribute to the growing trend toward adaptive learning technologies by providing a platform for potential tailoring of the content to each student’s progress. And with mixed results on the effectiveness of MOOCs, the new course app may just be the solution to curriculum design and distribution that higher education institutions have been waiting for.
The course app is just in it’s infancy as a new curriculum delivery method but we’ll be seeing more and more institutions take advantage of course apps in the future. Stay tuned for more updates on this emerging trend.