Dream Big Australia’s Award Winning Blended Learning Program

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Dream Big Australia, an advocate for women in STEAM, clinched gold at the 2022 LearnX design awards. Let’s delve into their innovative blended learning program and its transformative results.

The Challenge:

Inspired by her own experiences as the sole female graduate in her cohort and her journey in civil engineering, Jessica Kahl recognised the unique challenges women confront in predominantly male sectors. This led to the inception of Dream Big Australia, with a vision of creating a more inclusive STEAM environment, especially catering to women from regional or disadvantaged backgrounds. Their STEAM Ahead Program was a milestone, but there was a felt need for a more refined blended learning model to elevate the learning experience.

Scope and Implementation:

For 2022, the goals were distinct: seamlessly integrate the online course with live events, streamline the notification and certification processes, and revitalise offline content into compelling online formats. Partnering with Tribal Habits, they structured a weekly program featuring:

  1. An online module for foundational knowledge.
  2. A webinar for deeper topic exploration.
  3. Tailored mentoring sessions for personalised growth.

A unique feature was the introduction of different industry experts each week, bringing diverse content to the table. The platform deftly consolidated this content into standardised online modules. Furthermore, shared polls and anonymous discussions fostered a sense of community and validation among participants.

The program also offered efficient tracking capabilities, from managing event bookings to accumulating feedback, and effectively gauging behavioural shifts.

Outcomes and Review:

The outcomes were stellar:

  • Participants’ self-assessment scores dramatically improved.
  • An impressive 96% noted heightened capability and confidence post-program.
  • 95% felt they had built strong industry connections, a figure that was starkly lower before the program.
  • As a testament to its success, several participants swiftly moved into job interviews, with a notable number securing their ideal roles.

Constructive feedback underscored the program’s adaptability. For 2023, Dream Big geared up with added video resources, refined content focus, and an introductory ‘Module 0’ to set the tone right from the onset. They’re also incorporating Tribal Habit’s new forum feature for enhanced collaboration and dialogue.

In 2023, the program’s demographics painted a rich tapestry of 116 STEAM students, with over 73% being bilingual, 33.6% boasting prior experience in STEM sectors, and a noteworthy 54.1% as mature-age learners. These statistics underscore the program’s reach and appeal to diverse learners.

Feedback from 2023 became even more pronounced. Modules covering conflict management and team dynamics resonated strongly, with 93% feeling equipped to address workplace conflicts and many praising the content for enhancing their university team projects.

Conclusion:

Dream Big Australia’s blended learning approach stands as a testament to the impact of structured, adaptive training. Beyond equipping women with crucial skills, the program fostered confidence and sense of community. Proving once again that when you dream big, remarkable success is achievable.

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