Teaching and Learning Forum

Dr Jo Coldwell

Dr Jo Coldwell

Position: Associate Head of School (Teaching and Learning)

Faculty: Science and Technology
School: Engineering and Information Technology
Discipline: Information Technology

Campus: Geelong Waurn Ponds
Phone: +61 3 522 71417
Email: jo.coldwell@deakin.edu.au


Dr Jo Coldwell is Associate Head of School (Teaching and Learning) of the School of Engineering and Information Technology. A pioneer in online learning at Deakin University, Jo first adopted Information and Communications Technology to support her teaching in 1997 and has been teaching wholly online units since 2000.

Jo uses the online environment to enhance student engagement and learning, including acquisition of the key generic student attributes of teamwork and collaboration, written communication, and ethics and social responsibility, as they relate to the professional field of information technology. In a wholly online computer ethics unit, students learn experientially, examining theories and concepts as they investigate cases and scenarios for real-world problem solving, individually and in small groups. Jo also promotes independent and interdependent learning among students through strategic grouping into small, culturally diverse teams. Collaborative peer learning occurs as students share documents and other resources and complete tutorial exercises together online. A flexibly designed and delivered curriculum means that Jo can take advantage of very recent developments in computer ethics and professional issues in a way that would not be possible in a wholly paper-based teaching and learning domain.

Driven by the need to meet students' ever changing needs, Jo strives for continuous improvement. Many years of online teaching practice coupled with extensive research into the impact of technology on teaching and learning have equipped Jo with special capacities in the design and operation of learning management systems. Jo has published extensively and has been invited to present at conferences, in Australia and internationally, in the field of e-learning. She has also run numerous seminars and workshops around online teaching and learning, at Deakin and other Australian universities.

Jo has also made a substantial contribution to the professional development of teaching staff across the University in online teaching and learning. As Senior Academic Adviser, she was instrumental in professional education around implementation of Deakin Studies Online (DSO).
She was also the e-Learning Manager for the Faculty of Science and Technology for some years.

During her eleven years with the School of Engineering and Information Technology, Jo has been a course adviser and enrolment officer, a postgraduate course coordinator and the eSystems stream coordinator. She has an open-door policy (in person and virtually) for students and provides academic and generic skills advice. Jo has also acted as a staff mentor in the area of IT skills in the Faculty of Science and Technology.

Jo is also taking a leadership role in the following teaching and learning related activities:

  • scholarship and research on the use and impact of technology on online teaching, including active pursuit of external research funding
  • availability as a mentor to new academics regarding innovation and best practice in online teaching, active participation in university and external teaching and learning forums, including conferences.


  • BSc (Hons.) [Wales]
  • MSc [Heriot-Watt]
  • PhD [Newcastle]



  • Professional Development Fellow - preparation of a module on managing large classes online


  • Deakin University Award for Teaching Excellence - contributions to teaching in the online environment



  • STALGS Grant (Project Leader)—Cultural Diversity and Online Learning: an investigation of students studying in the fields of education, business and law, arts, health and behavioural sciences and science and technology at Deakin


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29th July 2010