Archive for the ‘Undergraduate Research’ Category

The 2012 Telstra-TJA Christopher Newell Prize winners

The Christopher Newell Prize recognises and commemorates the research and commitment of the late Revd Canon Dr Christopher Newell AM who was a strong advocate of the the needs of people with disabilities and their rights to access telecommunications during the 1990s and up until his passing in 2008. Darryl Sellwood, a recent Honours Graduate from our School of Communications, International Studies and Languages, co-authored a paper based on his Honours research with his two supervisors (Assoc Professor Denise Wood and Dr Parimala Raghavendra, from Flinders University), which is one of the four prize winning papers published in the May edition of the Telecommunications Journal of Australia.

The Telstra sponsored award encourages authors to contribute original papers on how telecommunications can be used to assist people with disabilities. The independent Judging Panel (comprising Dr Mark Bagshaw, Barry Dingle, Professor Gerard Goggin, Wayne Hawkins, Robert Morsillo and the Managing Editor of TJA, as chair) assessed the papers that were submitted to TJA and four papers were awarded the Telstra-TJA Christopher Newell Prizes.

The award winners are as follows:

First prize (with a cheque for $6,000) was awarded to Rob Garrett and Toan Nguyen from Novita Children’s Services, South Australia, for their article ‘Together we can find telecommunication solutions for people with complex communication needs’.

The authors of three papers were awarded equal second prizes ($3,000 each):

  • Dr Katie Ellis of Murdoch University for ‘It means inclusion: a creative approach to disability and telecommunications policy in Australia’.

  • Darryl Sellwood and Dr Denise Wood (of the University of South Australia) and Dr Parimala Raghavendra (Flinders University) for ‘Perspectives on the telecommunications access methods of people with complex communication needs’.

  • Floris Müller and Marlies Klijn (of the University of Amsterdam) and Liesbet Van Zoonen (Loughborough University, UK) for ‘Disability, prejudice and reality TV: Challenging disablism through media representations’.

You can access the special edition of the journal from the Australian Computer Society Website: http://tja.org.au/index.php/tja/issue/view/18/showToc and Darryl’s co-authored paper titled ‘Perspectives on the telecommunications access methods of people with complex communication needs‘ (Vol 62(2)9.1-29.11) as a free download.



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I presented an invited paper at the ICAN and Mentoring statewide conference 2010: ‘Youth development: everybody’s business’ on the 26th August 2010.

The focus of my paper was on strategies for engaging students through creativity, innovation and ethics in practice-led research within the media studies curriculum. The presentation drew on a case-study based on a  first year undergraduate digital media course designed to engage learners through a media-rich curriculum where students are introduced to idea generation and creativity as they research a social issue, challenge their ethical positions and employ a mix of technologies to communicate their chosen topic to a diverse audience.

Further details about the conference are available from the ICAN conference brochure: http://www.ican.sa.edu.au/files/links/2010_ICAN_conference_broch.pdf

ICAN and Mentoring statewide conference 2010

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The ASCILITE 2009 conference was held at the University of Auckland from the 6-9th November, 2009. The conference theme  “Same places, different spaces” generated many papers focusing on topics such as blended learning, virtual learning environments, social spaces, mobile and work spaces: http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/auckland09/?m=Programme&s=Themes

I presented a paper based on trials of the use of the 3D virtual world, Second Life, for service learning in which my students undertook projects with disability and health related groups in SecondLife: http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/auckland09/procs/wood.pdf

I also co-presented a co-authored paper with UniSA colleague, Russell Fewster on practice led research in 3D virtual worlds within the performing arts discipline: http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/auckland09/procs/fewster.pdf

Student dancer and avatar dancers performing in Second Life

Looking forward to ASCILITE 2010!

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In my August segment on Radio 5RPH I spoke about the experiential learning our Web design students are undertaking in which they are creating accessible websites for organisations and volunteer groups. I spoke in particular about one of my courses (Accessible Interactive Media) in which the students are creating accessible sites for disability and health related groups in Second Life. Their clients include The Health Support Coalition, Alliance Library (Healthinfo Island) and Virtual Helping Hands. I conduct a virtual tutorial class with the students each week in Second Life during which time we review the progress they are making on their projects and discuss any challenges they have experienced in working with groups in virtual worlds.

I also discussed the work our students are doing with the SA Government Office for Volunteers in a program founded by a colleague, Phil Marriott, called Sustainable Online Engagement.

You can listen to the radio program from this url: http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/3dvle/media/rph_ll2_290809.mp3

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