VU goes platinum for diversity, inclusion & eLearning

Rhian Thomas, Marian Cronin, Shiva Foroutan, Heather Marsh, Vanessa Barnes, Abiola Akinbiyi, Lani Evalu.
Victoria University (VU) has been recognised with four Platinum awards at the LearnX Summit and Awards Show 2023. 
Thursday 7 December 2023

Victoria University (VU) has been recognised with four Platinum awards at the LearnX Summit and Awards Show 2023.  

The awards recognise VU’s commitment to excellence in online education, learning and inclusion, and reflect the achievements of dedicated teams at VU Online and People and Culture.

Four years as a leader in online education 

For the fourth consecutive year, VU Online has achieved the highest Platinum award for Best Online Learning. The team also took out the Platinum award for Best eLearning Team for a second time. 

Associate Professor Christopher Fisher, Director of Teaching VU Online, said the 4-year award-winning streak highlights the VU Online team’s commitment to continuous improvement..  

“VU Online has pioneered a consistent and sustainable model focused on the latest best practices in user experience, experiential learning, consistent unit design and accessibility.” 

Associate Professor Leicha Bragg, Academic Course Coordinator VU Online, said that the award also highlights the team’s unrelenting focus on student experience. 

“At VU Online, we continually strive to deliver on our promise of responsive 1:1 online academic student support 7 days a week. 

These two Platinum LearnX Awards are a testament to our excellence in the field of online education and recognise the hard work and dedication of our team.  

“We are incredibly proud to be leaders in the online higher education space and to have our efforts acknowledged,” Associate Professor Bragg said. 

Platinum Best Online Learning Model award members: Professor Chris Walsh, Associate Professor Leicha Bragg, Ana Tarakci, Michael Ratcliff, Vishnu Viswambharan and Dominic Santilli. 

Platinum Best eLearning Team award members: Professor Chris Walsh, Ana Tarakci, Anu Prabhakara, Jannine Taylor, Brian Hicarte, Matthew Botterill, Rowan Burridge and Associate Professor Leicha Bragg 

Diversity & inclusion – from compliance to allyship 

VU achieved Platinum status in two further categories: Best Ethical Training and Best Diversity/Inclusion for VU’s newly created progressive inclusivity modules.  

Recognising the need to go beyond compliance and create campuses where being anti-racist, progressively inclusive and embracing LGBTQIA+ identities is the norm, VU’s Equality, Inclusion, and Belonging team partnered with the VU Cultural Inclusion Network, VU Pride Network, and researchers and subject matter experts across the University to co-design training informed by lived experience.  

Incorporating videos in which students and staff share their lived experiences, the Learning Design & Innovation team developed the community-led content into visually engaging, highly interactive, and inclusive online modules.  

Heather Marsh, Senior Coordinator, Equality, Inclusion and Belonging, explained the importance of engaging individuals with lived experience, in the co-design process. 

Progressive Inclusivity modules were firmly embedded in a genuine co-design process, giving agency and content authority to people with lived experience.” 

“The co-design method included working with research subject matter experts to enhance the framework alongside learning priorities identified by the living experience working groups.”  

Previews of the modules viewed on YouTube: 

Together Against Racism 

Understanding and Celebrating LGBTQIA+ Identities 

The Together Against Racism module working group also received the Victorian Multicultural Excellence Award in the vocational education category for 2023.