UNE’s VITAL move in online education research

Published 03 September 2015

The University of New England has been leading the way in online and distance education in Australia for many years and will today strengthen that commitment with the launch of the Virtual Institute for Teaching and Learning (VITAL).

In launching VITAL, Vice-Chancellor Professor Annabelle Duncan will be joined by the Chief Scientist of Australia, Professor Ian Chubb, who is visiting the University to share his thoughts on the importance of Australia investing in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

According to Prof Duncan the Institute is vital in more ways than one.

“UNE is continuing its strong reputation in online education by establishing UNE VITAL to carryout a programme of evidence-based research on meeting the needs of our students studying by distance,” Prof Duncan said.

“VITAL will promote collaborative research into more innovative and dynamic ways of integrating technology into tertiary education to the benefit of all our students.”

Initial research projects under UNE VITAL will use eye-tracking technology for greater understanding of the ways students interact with computer screens and online learning systems.

UNE academics will also be researching various virtual reality environments and e-pedagogies particularly in STEM.

“We believe technology will shape tertiary education in even greater ways in the future and UNE is committed to continue leading in this space,” Prof Duncan said.

VITAL launched