Student profile:
Students enrolled:

Peter Faber Business School
OHSE603 Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Risk Management
Bachelor of Commerce/Business administration & Cert/Dip/Masters
Dr Kirsten Way
Postgraduates with a lived work experience.

*Although this case study is for an online unit (rather than blended unit), we have included it because the topics covered are applicable to blended units.


  • Creating mini-lectures using Adobe Presenter
  • Plans for a case-based learning unit

Hear about Dr Kirsten Way's experience.

ACU Case study:  Mini-lectures and plans for case-based learning
Many thanks to the Faculty of Law and Business for the use of their Pop-up Studio equipment to record this interview.

Length: 8 mins.

Unit design

The unit follows FLB's Digital Core structure, each week commonly has the following features:

  • Overview (brief outline describing the week's learning intention and a succinct summary)
  • Why are we doing this? (rationale/links to learning outcomes)
  • Essential question (key idea)
  • Concept videos (approximately 6 x 10 mins)
  • Prescribed readings
  • Extra resources (videos, podcasts, weblinks, additional readings)
  • Activities In each section there are one or more activities to encourage students to engage with the resources in an active and meaningful way.
  • Knowledge check (individual revision activities to allow learners to assess their own learning levels.)

The Digital Core was created to provide interactive and highly engaging online and blended learning environments for students. The key aspects of learning that it focuses on are:

  • Expectations: learning outcomes and expected standards of achievement are clearly articulated.
  • Evidence: the evidence required to show achievement of the learning outcomes through assessment is clearly articulated.
  • Highly engaging learning environment: learning materials are contemporary and interesting, support achievement of the learning outcomes, and are online-appropriate.
  • Reflective learning: the learner is prompted and explicitly encouraged, to reflect on the learning outcomes and expected standards. This may feed into the formal summative assessment.
  • Interaction: a personalised and interactive online experience is created, where learners can connect with peers, academic staff and industry in a structured setting.

Source: Digital Core Position Paper, K. Souter, S.Niraula, L.Burrell, K.Hughes, Faculty of Law and Business.

Digital Core Online Weekly Template, kindly provided by Faculty of Law and Business.





Asynchronous lectures

7 x 10 mins

Pre-recorded lectures

Synchronous drop-in session

Weekly, 30 mins - 1 hour

Live drop-in sessions using Adobe Connect. Varies from a drop-in consultation, discussing assessment or going over practical applications of content.

Asynchronous discussion board activities Weekly Weekly for the first 6 weeks. The team made the discussion board activities part of the assessment for the unit.


Assessment task

Weighting (%)


Assessment 1: Discussion forum activities


Each fortnight for the first six weeks the lecturer posts in LEO a topic question. Students engage in the discussion and respond to other student's posts. At the end of the six weeks, students choose their best three posts and best three responses, paste them in Word and submit them to Turnitin.

Assessment 2: Assignment - Risk management report 40% Student assumes the role of a health and safety manager in a medium-sized business and create a 3000 word report for a workplace scenario.
Assessment 3: Online exam 35% Combination of short answer and/or essay style questions.

The above assessments may have been designed before the latest update to the ACU Assessment Policy. See Assessment Policy for up-to-date advice on designing your assessments.


This is a list of some of the major tools used in this unit.




Adobe Presenter

Kirsten created her pre-recorded lectures using Adobe Presenter. The aim was to cap each video at 10 minutes to increase engagement. Kirsten found this helped 'chunk' the content for the students.

The team also recorded guest expert speakers, which the postgraduate students particularly appreciated.

See Lynda guide Learning Adobe Presenter.

See the video-related information in Using Technology for Content Delivery.

Adobe Connect Kirsten used Adobe Connect for live drop-in sessions. See LEO guide for Adobe Connect.
and Lynda guide Adobe Connect Essentials.

Example introduction video:

OHSE603: Thermal environment - introductory video (ACU) 2016

Example assessment overview video:

OHSE603: Assessment overview (ACU) 2016


These are examples of the kinds of support the academic staff building this unit drew on.

  • Faculty Educational Designer
  • Faculty eLearning Technical Support Officer
  • Tech-savvy colleagues.

Lessons learned

  • Students weren't engaging in the discussion board activities, so the team made them part of the assessment to increase engagement.
  • Videos are time consuming to edit and upload.
  • Take time to not overload students with different technologies in the early units, in order to give them time to familarise themselves to the basic tools used in online learning.
  • Use the supports that are around you and the expertise within the Faculty.

Student feedback

  • “...this last subject which you taught was honestly a 100% better than my first unit. Some of the major improvements were the quality of material, the quality of the experts (including yourself), the regular and useful contact with students, the speed of marking, the feedback provided post assessment, and it's clear you are passionate about safety and you have been in the industry long enough to know what is realistic and practicable, but also what is law."
  • "I really enjoyed OHSE612. It was interesting and a good challenge. The content and resources that you provided were excellent."

Next time

There has been a noticeable difference in participation and discussion between the undergraduate and postgraduate cohorts. It has been harder to get the undergraduate students to engage. Kirsten's team are looking at ways to increase engagement by looking at the assessment methodology and the design of learning materials.

Kirsten would like to focus on using case-based learning to embed a realistic, applied context for the unit structure and assessment for future iterations of the unit.

For information about case-based learning see:

Her team has received a grant for 'Authentic Work-Based Assessment for Online Students’ to apply to these units.


James Cook University. (2017). What is scenario-based learning? Retrieved from

Queens. (2017). What is case-based learning? Retrieved from

University of Michigan. (2017). Case-based teaching and problem-based learning. Retrieved from University of Michigan.

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