Her outstanding work contributing to active learning and intercultural engagement strategies within the university earned Dr Vanni official recognition at the 2016 UTS Teaching and Learning Awards.
Dr Vanni researched, developed and implemented a new methodology called the Virtual Landscape Tour, in which students “use digital media to research, interact with, read and interpret a neighbourhood in their host city during their International Studies capstone subject, In-country Studies,” she said.
They then present their projects on platforms of their own choosing, such as in visual essays, digital storytelling or soundscapes, along with written analysis.
The senior lecturer’s research, development and implementation of the VLT methodology in particular has enabled students to achieve high quality outcomes that demonstrate all features of the UTS Model of Learning.
“The idea behind it is to get students to go and explore their host cities, learn through real life encounters and use the concepts developed through their readings to produce a critically informed analysis of social and cultural aspects of their neighbourhoods,” Dr Vanni explained.
In 2017, Dr Vanni is working on plans to expand and grow the Virtual Landscape Tour with incoming international students.
“I hope to explore the possibilities of situated and active learning, in the sense of using mobile technologies and learning from being and moving in the city,” she said.