Transient homes: A visual material perspective of international students in the city

Catherine Gomes1, Edgar Gómez Cruz2

1 RMIT University, 123 LaTrobe Street, Vic, 3000,
2 RMIT University, 123 LaTrobe Street, Vic, 3000,

Melbourne is an international student city with large parts of the Central Business District host apartment blocks catering almost exclusively to international students.  The Melbourne CBD is an ideal location for international student accommodation, primarily because the area is home to the main campuses of three major Australian universities as well as a host of state colleges and private education providers.  Accommodation for international students, in other words, is a vital service Melbourne provides and becomes the ‘home away from home’ for them.  What spaces and material possessions are significant and insignificant to international students who live in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD? Based on a pilot project conducted where we asked 10 international students living in the Melbourne CBD to photograph their surroundings, this e-poster is a visual presentation of what international students both value and dislike about where they live and what they live with. By giving a voice to international students through visual expression, this e-poster allows us to understand not only how international students make a home away from home for themselves in Melbourne city but also to inform international student services of the future of (accommodation) needs for international students.


Catherine Gomes is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Media and Communication where she teaches Asian Studies.  She is leader of the Migration and Digital Media Research Lab.  Catherine was also an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow (2013-2016) and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Singapore Management University.  Catherine has worked extensively on the themes of of identity, migration, ethnicity, memory, multiculturalism and transnationalism in Australia and Singapore as well as on the information-seeking behaviour of international students in Australia.

Impact of peer-review assessments on student engagement in MCD2090 – macroeconomics

Dr Dinusha Dharmaratna1, Mrs Stephanie Joshua-Anandappa1, Mr John  Zamen1

1Monash College, Clayton, Australia

Peer-review assessments is the assessment of students’ work by other students of equal status. These assessment are powerful meta-cognitive tool. It engages students in the learning process and develops their capacity to reflect on and critically evaluate their own learning and skill development. Students are used to getting feedback on assessments from the teachers but not from their peers. In these assessments they reflect on their own efforts and extend and enrich this reflection by exchanging feedback on their own and their peers’ work. At Monash College, in the unit MCD 2090 Macroeconomic students are required to engage in two peer-review assessments tasks during the trimester. Even though these peer-review assessments do not have a greater weighting on their final grade, just accounting only 2 percent of the overall final grade. We have observed that the students are engaging in these task by submitting their own work and assessing and commenting on answers of their other two peers. For assessing the peer task, the students are provided with the grading rubric to follow, however, this grade value is used solely as an indicator of the students’ understanding of the assessment criteria, as well as an exemplar of what graded work looks like. These peer-review activities have improved the student engagement with the unit content and they continue their discussions on these activities even after the activities have ended. Overall, the task of peer review, makes the student learn the real life skill of providing a colleague appraisal and critique in day to day or business life.


Dinusha Dharmaratna has been in academia for more than 10 years and she has extensive experience in both teaching and researching. She is working as the unit leader for one of the Economics units and actively engage in many teaching and learning research projects.

Education gamification in action – a change for future

Mr John Zamen1, Dr Dinusha Dharmaratna1, Mrs Stephanie Joshua-Anandappa1

1Monash College, Clayton, Australia

Academics are keen to encourage students to engage consistently with coursework throughout the trimester, rather than cram prior to exams. Educators and academicians are constantly required to modify the learning methodology to give students the opportunity to succeed. Prior academic research indicates that flexible student engagement arrangements, such as online tests, and gamification of the tutorial questions are key drivers for improved unit performance. At Monash College in MCD 2090 – Macroeconomics tutorials the concept of gamification is implemented where students seek awards that correlate with their learning of economic principles. This encouraged all different learning styles through a fun atmosphere, different from a traditional economics class that can be intimidating to our students. Quitch is a quiz application which has game elements to increases student engagement. By interacting with students during the tutorials through Quitch has helped students to stay engaged and retain more information from their classes. Also these interactions fed directly into the learning analytics package that provides a measure of both engagement and knowledge retention. Students are able to recall basic economics concepts through various games played in class through Quitch. They successfully reflected on the learning and demonstrated an awareness of core economics issues of every week. By gamifying Economics class will provide stimulating incentives for learning as well as promote teamwork, healthy and competitive spirit and creating a culture of enjoy learning. Gamification can be associated with higher and more frequent student engagement in Economics courses, which enable deeper and continuous study behaviour for students


John Zamen has been in the academia for over 15 years. He is one of the senior lecturers at Monash College. He has been the unit leader fro various Economics units. John is currently involved in researching the implications of gamification.

Meta-cognition skills built through collaborative exercises in the introduction of marketing

Mrs Stephanie Joshua-Anandappa1, Dr Dinusha Dharmaratna1, Mr John Zamen1

1Monash College, Clayton, Australia

Collaborative learning activities have shown to positively motivate students to become independent and active learners. Students have also demonstrated an increase in self-confidence and learning when they build metacognitive learning skills. As part of the Part 1, Introduction to Marketing (MCD 1090) subject at Monash College Diploma program collaborative learning activities to build metacognition has been integrated into the subject. One such activity known as the Weekly Summaries, where students reflect on the week’s topic and write down their own understanding of the lesson. This reflective task is non-assessed and no marks are provided for student’s participation. However the rate of response to this weekly task is over 70% on a weekly basis. Students actively take part in this activity as it provides them an opportunity to stop and review what they have learnt and equally important what areas they have not understood. Tutors do provide short feedback on each weekly summary to encourage students as they participate in this self-learning exercise. Google drive is the platform used to run these weekly activities. This platform provides students to review their peers work as well as receive immediate feedback from the tutors as they proceed with the task. Reviewing from a trimester’s results, students perform well in their weekly tests, when they have actively participated in this weekly summary task. This ongoing activity among the peers has contributed to build a cooperative class as well as collaborative learning.


Stephanie Joshua-Anandappa has been an academic in the education sector for over 10 years and also runs a SME in the export sector. Stephanie currently is the Unit Leader & Moderator for the Introduction to Marketing subject at Monash College, which is also delivered in Jakarta, Indonesia. Stephanie’s currently involved in researching Collaborative learning and the impact to Active Learning.

The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) – making allies, forming networks

Mrs Clare Moseley1, Mrs Robyn Idewa Gede2

1University Of Southern Queensland, Ipswich, Australia, 2University Of Southern Queensland, Springfield, Australia

As a university with a 5 star social equity rating, USQ wishes to further increase its standing by making improvements in how we cater to the needs of our LGBTIQ staff and students. The university is also committed to being a leader in social responsibility and leadership in rural communities and, as such, recognises that supportive and inclusive policies may offer a protective factor for LGBTIQ students, including for safety and suicide risk (Jones, 2012). Therefore, implementing such policies can be viewed as an essential strategy for education providers.

The poster will reflect the following policy and practice initiatives of the university:

  • Ally Natters (monthly): shared by webinar with all three campuses and online. Speakers are from community organisations, staff members, and students past and present sharing experiences.
  • Ally newsletters (monthly): a vehicle to share news, events and support groups with the USQ Ally network.
  • USQ Library LGBTIQ Safe Place: this initiative will provide a visible and inclusive Library safe area for staff and students who identify as LGBTIQ.
  • Ally train the trainer: select staff across USQ will undergo the first ‘Ally train the trainer’ workshop, which will increase the number of Ally training opportunities.
  • Ally Champion: the DVC (Academic Services) has been appointed as LGBTIQ champion, representing the Ally Network at the senior executive level of the university.
  • The first USQ LGBTIQ student club has just been affiliated.
  • Ally Flag: flown at all three campuses on IDAHOT Day.


Clare Moseley BA (Hons) Social Sciences, Prof Dip Marketing and Post Grad Diploma in Careers Guidance.

Clare Moseley is currently the Welfare Officer at The University of Southern Queensland based at the Ipswich campus.  Previously, she was a Student Advocate for The University of Queensland Student’s Union at Ipswich, Gatton and St Lucia.  She originates from south Wales, UK and has spent the majority of her career undertaking a variety of marketing, event and project management roles for the Welsh Assembly Government at their offices in Wales and New York.

Robyn Idewa Gede BA, PG Dip TESOL, BA Psychology (Hon), PG Cert Career Dev & Lifelong Learning.

Robyn Idewa Gede is a registered Psychologist and currently holds the position of Welfare Officer at The University of Southern Queensland, Springfield. Prior to this she was a Student Success Advisor, Coach, and Student Success Coach Coordinator at Griffith University for the School of Applied Psychology, Mt Gravatt. She has also worked as a Career Counsellor and Counsellor at Queensland University of Technology. Robyn has also taught academic level English to international students at Griffith University, and been an examiner for the International English Language Testing System at the University of Queensland.

University linkages program: Partnerships to enhance student learning in Iraqi higher education institutions

Ms Elisabeth Macias1

1Irex, Washington, United States

Due to ongoing conflict and limited resources, universities and faculty in Iraq have been isolated from the international higher education community for many years. This isolation has limited incorporation of recent pedagogical, curricular, and administrative advances in global higher education. The University Linkages Program, funded by the U.S. Embassy Baghdad and implemented by IREX, has been supporting the development of long-term partnerships between faculty and universities in Iraq and the United States. The goal of each partnership is to develop a project that improves teaching, learning, and administration in Iraqi universities, with a focus on improving workforce readiness among graduates. In order to better identify the needs of local stakeholders and enhance career growth of Iraqi faculty, the partnerships are based on proposals developed by Iraqi faculty with support of Iraqi university administrators. After a competitive review process, each project is matched with a faculty partner in the United States with specific technical expertise in the project area. Most partnerships involve a mixture of in-person training in the United States or Iraq and remote collaboration. Partnerships are evaluated for their impact on sustainable changes in Iraqi university policies and practices. The poster will provide an overall theoretical and applied framework for the program as well as specific examples of partnerships that highlight successes and challenges of implementing cross-cultural partnerships in higher education in conflict regions. The overall University Linkages Program has demonstrated the ability to achieve results despite the inherent challenges of operating in a region with conflict. Development of sustained personal connections across a broad level of governance, ranging from faculty and staff at specific universities to Ministry of Education officials, has been central to achieving this success. Institutionalization of these relationships requires long-term commitments and flexible problem solving.


Elisabeth assists with monitoring, administration, and reporting for small grants linking Iraqi and US university partners, which promote institutional development for Iraqi universities and workforce development activities. She also contributes to the development of higher education tools, including higher education toolkits and workforce development training modules. She provides logistical and administrative support for events and ongoing programming.  Prior to joining IREX, Elisabeth taught high school World and European History at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in Cambridge, MA. Her teaching skills include curriculum design, differentiation to meet diverse needs of learners, and assessment.  Elisabeth received her EdM in Teaching and Curriculum from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She received a BA in European History from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The VET Student Loans Ombudsman and the Overseas Students Ombudsman

Mr Ron Colley1

1Overseas Students Ombudsman, Canberra, Australia

We will deliver a presentation about the role and function of the VET Student Loans Ombudsman and the Overseas Students Ombudsman. Our poster will incorporate engaging visuals, QR codes linking to interactive content and what we do will be communicated mainly through visuals and a few dot points.  The Commonwealth Ombudsman investigates complaints about the administrative actions of Australian Government entities and prescribed private sector organisations.  We provide a free service, are independent and impartial and can make recommendations arising out of investigations. Two of our functions directly relate to students.

VET Student Loans Ombudsman

The Australian Government has established the new Vocational Education and Training (VET) Student Loans (VSL) program to replace the VET-FEE-HELP (VFH) scheme that ceased on 31 December 2016.  As a part of the new program, a VET Student Loans Ombudsman (VSLO) function is being created within the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman to manage and investigate complaints regarding both the VFH scheme and the new VSL program. The VSLO function will commence on 1 July 2017.

Overseas Students Ombudsman

The Overseas Students Ombudsman (OSO) investigates complaints about problems that intending, current or former overseas students may have with private schools, colleges or universities (education providers) in Australia.  The OSO also provides information about best practice complaint-handling to help private education providers manage internal complaints effectively. The OSO publishes reports on problems and broader issues in international education identified through investigations.


Ron Colley works for the Commonwealth Ombudsman and is the director of the Ombudsman’s Overseas Student Ombudsman and Postal Industry Ombudsman schemes. With over 40 years in the workforce, Ron draws on his vast experience in marketing, sales and stakeholder engagement in Government, private industry and community organisations, to work with industry to improve the quality of complaints management. Ron is married, lives and works in Melbourne and has family in both Melbourne and Perth.


The Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association Inc. (ANZSSA) is a professional association for people with an interest in the role of support services in post secondary education.

For more information, please visit ANZSSA website by


ISANA International Education Association is the representative body for professionals in Australia and New Zealand who work in international student services, advocacy, teaching and policy development in international education.

For more information, please visit the ISANA website at

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.