EDF5303 - Digital foundations of STEM education - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Mr Roland Gesthuizen

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Flexible)


This unit builds student capacity in the purposeful and creative use of digital technologies as part of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. Students critically evaluate both practice and research in the use of digital technologies in STEM curriculum. Through practice, students investigate and design appropriate strategies for the effective integration of digital technologies to support student engagement and learning. Throughout the unit opportunities are made available to students to develop an understanding of how digital technologies can support STEM education. At the same time students are exposed to contemporary research and debates regarding the role of digital technologies in STEM, STEM education and education more broadly, including significant issues such as access, equity, content representation, ethics and risk. Theory, research and practice are brought together as students are encouraged to practise a critical approach while designing the integration of digital technologies in their STEM education programs. Such an approach includes new and emerging approaches to engaging students in STEM education through digital technologies and practices such as 'making', coding programming, game-based learning, data visualisation and flipped classrooms. In-class activities may include engaging in STEM debates related to pre- and post-class materials as well as practical hands-on applications of digital technologies such as the programming of personal data collection devices or the creation of stop-animation. Pre- and post-class activities may include reading of academic texts, watching 'flipped' class materials such as videos, quizzes, and individual and collaborative creation of digital artefacts. Students engage in hands-on application of digital technologies in relation to STEM education. While the unit requires students to learn how to use digital technologies, it has been designed for all students regardless of their familiarity with digital technologies.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. critically evaluate research and practice in the use of digital technologies in STEM curriculum
  2. design strategies for the effective integration of digital technologies to support STEM curriculum
  3. select and use digital technologies in appropriate and creative ways to engage students and support their learning
  4. discuss current and emerging trends in digital technologies and the implications for teaching and learning in STEM
  5. describe relevant issues and strategies to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of digital technologies in learning and teaching.


Critical investigation of the place of technology in STEM (1500 words, 40%)

Portfolio (2500 words or equivalent, 60%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 144 hours per semester comprising:

  1. Contact hours for on-campus students:
    • 2 hour workshop / (computer/maker) laboratory class - which may include mini-lectures, digital lab work, group work, and peer-tutoring
  2. Study schedule for online/flexible students:
    • Engage with "in-class" specific Workshop / Laboratory tasks that have been adapted for online students who may not have access to specific specialised digital equipment. For instance this may include individual and collaborative activities such as data-logging and the manipulation and visualisation of data: 2 hrs per week
  3. Additional requirements (all students):
    • Engage with pre-class materials and activities which may include 'flipped' lecture recordings, readings or completing practical tasks: 2 hrs per week
    • Engage with post-class materials and activities which may include online collaborative and creative activities (e.g. forum participation, video creation, readings): 2 hrs per week
    • Independent study, including research and preparation of assessment which has a noteworthy focus on learning through the application of digital technologies and demonstration of outcomes.
    • There may be options for relevant field trips, such as maker space or "Fablab" sites.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)