Co-written by Elham Hafiz and David Yeats

From late 2023 to the start of this year, a small team from the LX.lab worked with Emma Camp on the Coral Reef Ecosystems subject for Autumn 2024. Her decision to be our Academic in Residence (AiR) stemmed from recognising the need to uplift her subject’s online aspects. Emma recently shared reflections on her experience with the LX Lab, while her tutors (also former students in the subject) provided us with valuable feedback on the subject’s new features.

In a nutshell: “it was great!” 

Emma highlighted the exceptional time she had with the LX team. This enthusiasm extends to her satisfaction with the project, its outcomes, the team and the way of working as LX AiR.

There were 4 main subject areas we improved upon: 

  • Interactive coral identification materials 
  • Sustainability material 
  • Experimental design and analysis materials 
  • Fieldwork preparation 

The collaborative nature of the project allowed Emma to learn valuable skills in utilising Canvas effectively and presenting information in innovative ways to students. This co-design played a pivotal role in achieving the project’s outcomes such as rethinking structure and reducing the administrative burden.

A particularly important outcome addressed preparation for a week-long field trip to Heron Island. Students are required to complete and submit a number of forms prior to departure – something Emma has always found challenging to ensure. Our solution was to connect those documents to non-weighted assessments that unlocked core components of the subject.

Innovations and support

Through our co-work, Emma gained newfound proficiency in H5P and incorporating pre-learning materials into the subject flow, enhancing student engagement and better evidencing learning. Emma found our work on content creation, notably the taxonomy of coral H5Ps, most beneficial. This particular piece was designed to personify the corals using some AI-powered design approaches.

I especially like the study flip cards with the fun AI descriptions to remember the ID’s – I’ve found that students are more likely to better remember something if they’ve got a fun or catchy descriptor to remember it by.

Student tutor feedback

Meeting expectations

Emma noted that “the program exceeded any expectations that I had”, attributing this to the team’s support, especially in ensuring content accessibility and equity. There are still areas that tutors have identified for improvement, such as the need for content in the H5P dialogue cards to be readable offline.

We asked Emma if she had advice for future AiRs. “Think broadly about the types of changes you may need in your subject,” she answered, citing her unexpected but significant outcome of addressing AI resilience and exam-related concerns.

Emma’s journey as an Academic in Residence at the LX.lab exemplifies the transformative potential of collaborative efforts in subject redesign. Learn more about our Academic in Residence (AiR) program or email us at for further information on future placements.

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