Festival of Learning and Teaching 2021

The theme for the 2021 Festival of Learning and Teaching was Blended Futures.

We define blended learning as face-to-face learning supported by digital content and online activities. The Adelaide approach will prioritise high-engagement face-to-face learning experiences, underpinned by best-practice digital content delivery and online activities.

This year’s event was held over two half days Tuesday 28 September (on campus) and Wednesday 29 September (online).

The focus of this year’s Festival was “Blended Futures”, providing an opportunity for us to celebrate and share new approaches to blended learning at Adelaide, and to explore future directions. It is an exciting time for education delivery and practice across the sector, with the disruption of 2020 widely recognised as a catalysing, ‘no going back’ moment in the digitalisation of learning, teaching and assessment. Flexible, blended learning models are here to stay, with high-engagement face-to-face learning experiences underpinned by best-practice digital content delivery and online activities. 

What new models of blended learning are Adelaide educators developing, across the disciplines, informed by the 2020-21 student and staff experience? What are we learning from our growing experience of online learning and teaching? How can we use digital technologies both online and in the face-to-face classroom to build strong learner engagement? How can we best support equity, diversity and inclusion in blended learning, and our students’ wellbeing? What are the new opportunities to enhance students’ engagement with industry, and their experiences of assessment and feedback in learning? What are the challenges of supporting mixed cohorts of face-to-face and remote learners? As we shape new approaches, it will be timely, too, to reflect on foundational values and principles. The FOLT provided an opportunity to explore these questions and more with colleagues and students from Adelaide and with two International Keynote Speakers who are both leading experts in digital higher education. 

Rapid Fire Presentations and Workshops featured, focussing on any aspect of Blended Futures, with a special focus on the sub-themes of: 

  • Innovations in Blended Learning
  • Embedding Work-Integrated Learning
  • Innovations in Assessment and Feedback

Professor Phil Levy
Former Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning)

Presenter Information

  • Day 1 | Keynote speaker: Professor Sian Bayne. Anticipating futures for digital education.

    Sian Bayne

    Professor Sian Bayne 
    Professor of Digital Education and Director of Education at the Edinburgh Futures Institute, the University of Edinburgh.

    Title: Anticipating futures for digital education

    My keynote will discuss a range of possible futures for digital education as we emerge out of COVID-19. I will discuss some of the emergent sector-wide trends we are seeing, and explore how these might might impact on the way we think about teaching within universities.

    I will discuss a particular example of digital education ‘futures’ work I led at the University of Edinburgh. This aimed to enable a wide conversation to take place among students and staff around how we would like to see digital education grow over the coming decades, and from that to build a vision for the university which balances technological change with the values of our academic and student body.

    By sharing lessons from this work and from research and development across the sector I will argue that, post-COVID, academic communities need to be active in defining a preferred future according to our values, at a time when rapid technological change is often assumed to be driving the way we teach and learn.


    Sian Bayne is Professor of Digital Education and Director of Education at the Edinburgh Futures Institutethe University of Edinburgh.

    She directs the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh, where her research is currently focused on higher education futures, interdisciplinary approaches to researching digital education and digital pedagogy. She is also Assistant Principal for Digital Education at the university.

    She is one of the authors of The Manifesto for Teaching Online, recently published by MIT Press. She led the Near Future Teaching project to design a values-based future for digital education.

    More information about her work is on her web site: Sian Bayne.

    Sian gives regular keynotes on the future of digital education, publishes widely and has conducted research funded by UKRI, Erasmus+, AdvanceHE and NESTA.

  • Day 2 | Keynote speaker: Dr Julie Greenwood. EdPlus@Arizona State University: Pathways for success through social innovation.

    Julie Greenwood

    Julie Greenwood
    Vice Dean for Educational Initiatives, EdPlus at Arizona State University (ASU)

    Title:  EdPlus@Arizona State University: Pathways for success through social innovation.

    EdPlus is a central enterprise unit for Arizona State University (ASU) focused on the design and scalable delivery of digital teaching and learning models to increase student success and reduce barriers to achievement in higher education.  Dr. Greenwood will present how the ASU Charter and EdPlus Culture drive innovation to create scaled access to high quality undergraduate degree programs, including STEM degrees, supporting both faculty and student success and leveraging corporate partnerships.


    As the Vice Dean for Educational Initiatives, EdPlus at Arizona State University, Dr. Greenwood works with the academic units at all ASU campuses, including deans, department chairs, faculty and staff to strengthen online programming and drive course development that transforms student learning experiences.

    In this role, Julie oversees Instruction Design and New Media, Assessment and Compliance, Adaptive and Personalized Learning, and the EdPlus Action Lab, leveraging data analytics and educational technology to improve and equalize degree completion.

    In addition, she is the EdPlus liaison to the University Innovation Alliance and the APLU Personalized Learning Consortium. Julie received her Ph.D. from the Neuroscience Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is Associate Professor in the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences in New College at ASU. 

  • Day 1 | Student Q&A: Olympia Aldersey

    Olympia Aldersey

    Olympia Aldersey
    2020 Law and Health Sciences graduate

    Born during the Opening Ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, Olympia took up rowing at age 15 in the hope that the sport would see her achieve her Olympic dreams. Having represented Australia at both the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo games, all while completing a double degree in Law and Health Science at the University of Adelaide, Olympia is an amazing example how someone can concurrently achieve academic and sporting success.

    Olympia competed at the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games where she won silver with Emma Basher in the women’s pair and bronze at the Junior World Championships in the women’s four. Two years later, Olympia was crowned as an U23 World Champion in the women’s quad sculls. Still in the quad sculls, Olympia had podium finishes at all three World Cups in 2013.

    In 2014, she joined with veteran Sally Kehoe in the double sculls. In the semi-final of the 2014 World Championships, Olympia and Kehoe posted the world’s fastest time in the double sculls – a record which still stands. They went on to place third in the final and take home the bronze medal. The pair also won gold at the Sydney and Aiguebelette World Cups in 2014.

    While preparing and competing in many of these championships, Olympia was also completing a double degree in Law and Health Science at the University of Adelaide - which she achieved at the end of last year. In addition to competing in many national and international events Olympia was an active member of the Adelaide Rowing Club – successfully combining her love of rowing with academic achievement.

  • Rapid fire presentation abstract listing

    View the full abstracts for all rapid fire presentations here.

Previous festivals

2020 Festival of Learning and Teaching

For the first time the Festival of Learning and Teaching was held fully online.  The Festival theme, Looking Back, Looking Forward’, offered a great mix of provocative keynotes from leading sector voices and stimulating presentations, workshops and panels delivered by University staff and students. 

2018 Festival of Learning and Teaching

Held on the 20th of July 2018, the theme for the eighth Festival of Learning and Teaching was What Works? Perspectives on Feedback and Assessment.  The Keynote was presented by Professor Elizabeth Molloy, Melbourne Medical School, The University of Melbourne.