Relevant and Re-usable: Collaboration in Education

Mrs Ann Backhaus1

1Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, Kensington, Australia


The Australian Population clock puts us at 25,273,121. This roughly equates to one person arriving to live in Australia every 57 seconds. When Australia hit its 25 million mark, the newest resident was likely to be “young, female and Chinese”.

Are we as formal and informal educators effectively and purposefully mentoring and teaching our increasingly diverse user base? Is the learning we provide meaningful, authentic, and usable to support learning generally and individually? Is the learning we create scalable and sustainable? Are there ways we can collaborate to provide “more for less”?

This workshop explores two key themes:

  • How to make education relevant to a diverse population of learners
  • How to make educational materials that are re-usable, scalable, and sustainable

This interactive BoF opens with short presentations by seasoned educators. Attendees participate in round table discussions on key aspects of relevancy, effective teaching and learning, and re-usable content in context of HPC education. Working in groups, participants share current practices and think laterally. Good practices act as a springboard to new and/or modified educational frameworks and practices.

The outcomes of the session include:

  • Sharing of current and good practices in education
  • Discussion on the tensions between effective teaching and relevancy (for learners) and re-usability, sustainability, and scalability (for educators and mentors)
  • Practical additions to participants’ educational toolboxes
  • Increased collegial networks
  • Next steps – establishment of long-term collaborative connections with the goal of enabling participants to “do more with less”


Ann is the Education and Training Manager at Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Kensington, Western Australia. Ann has significant experience in adult teaching and learning. She has led distributed, global teaching & learning teams strategically and operationally, in the creation of such assets as e-learning materials, digital stories, microlearning units, webinars, demonstrations, web sites and wiki sites, digital classroom courses and workshops, and a variety of enablement materials. Her experience spans numerous industries and sectors.


AeRO is the industry association focused on eResearch in Australasia. We play a critical coordination role for our members, who are actively transforming research via Information Technology. Organisations join AeRO to advance their own capabilities and services, to collaborate and to network with peers. AeRO believes researchers and the sector significantly benefit from greater communication, coordination and sharing among the increasingly different and evolving service providers.

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