Autonomous CARS: Using Adaptive Learning Technology and Interactive Case Scenarios to Transform an Introductory Communication and Research Skills Unit

Ferg Roper, Catie Gressier, Justine Maldon, Katherine McVey

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemera


In 2018, the University Library, Educational Enhancement Unit and STUDYSmarteracademic skills centre at the University of Western Australia undertook a collaborative project to redesign a compulsory, online unit for all undergraduate students. Around 5,000 students complete the Communication and Research Skills unit (CARS) annually; however, since its inception in 2010, it has been an ongoing challenge to appeal to students exhibiting a broad range of skill levels, prior knowledge and subject areas whilst developing core skills, and maintaining engagement and value. To increase student engagement, the unit was transformed by using adaptive learning technology (Articulate Storyline 360 and LMS) and interactive case scenarios that enable personalised learning pathways and customised content based on the student's decisions (Moore, 2017). This approach gives students the opportunity to apply and practise their communication and research skills in realistic scenarios they are likely to encounter at university. This new approach to the learning design and delivery of the unit draws on best practice learning design principles, including customisable content, feedback and self-assessment pre-test tools (Moore, 2017), which have led to increased levels of engagement amongst students, and to the deeper learning and practical skills development of the communication and research skills required for success at university. Focus group, survey and user testing feedback gathered from students in the early stages of the project has supported this approach, with students indicating the revised format has made the content and learning experience easier to relate to, and more engaging and intuitive. This paper will describe the steps involved in redesigning the CARS unit to take an interactive, scenario-based approach. We examine student and staff feedback during the review, development and launch stages of the redesign project to demonstrate how it has influenced the use of the adaptive learning technology and the unit's design and delivery.
• Moore, C. (2017). Map it : the hands-on guide to strategic training design. US: Montesa Press.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2019
Event2019 Academic Language and Learning Biennial Conference: (A)ALL Around the World - The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle, Australia
Duration: 27 Nov 201929 Nov 2019
Conference number: 14th


Conference2019 Academic Language and Learning Biennial Conference
Internet address


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