Implementing learning analytics at JCU: An International student support perspective

Tom Bayliss-Hack1, Tristan de Mezeires2

1 James Cook University, 1 James Cook Drive, Townsville, QLD, 4811,  
2 James Cook University, 1 James Cook Drive, Townsville, QLD, 4811,

The academic performance of international students is influenced by a wide range of factors. Difficulties can result from a lack of academic skills or be an indicator of other barriers to success, such as their physical and mental health, English language competence, social wellbeing and support, financial stability or digital literacy. Early identification of students who are at risk academically may allow the cause to be identified and effective interventions delivered. If the problem is only identified after a subject failure however, this can exacerbate the issue and leave students with additional emotional and financial costs.

In late 2015, James Cook University (JCU) implemented Blackboard Analytics for Learn, giving the ability to monitor student engagement with their online subject materials. Through cohort monitoring, academic risk assessment and a triaged referral process JCU has been working to establish a whole-of-institution approach to the use of this data to support students. This presentation will focus on this project from an International Student Support perspective, the challenges and opportunities, and the potential for analytics data to inform enrolment, welfare and compliance decisions.


Tom has been the Manager of the International Student Support team at James Cook University since 2012. His team is responsible for +/- 2000 international students across the Townsville and Cairns campuses. Tom has also been the ISANA National Vice President for Professional Development since 2013.

Introducing the CI Model: A theory-to-practice framework for intercultural engagement

Christopher H. Beard1 

1Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand

This paper introduces the CI Model as a framework of practice for intercultural engagement.

An updated version of the 3C Model, the CI Model posits a three-pronged approach to intercultural engagement that is highly relevant to educational contexts: (i) Cross-disciplinary Intelligence; (ii) Comprehensible Input; and (iii) Collaborative Intervention. Cross-disciplinary Intelligence is the application of a generalist cross-disciplinary understanding of the student sojourner/new settler transition experience.  Comprehensible Input presents principles which aid effective communication and information uptake in the initial stages of intergroup contact. Collaborative Intervention introduces the logic of structured outreach and intermediary involvement in the post-contact phase.

This presentation will provide practical examples of how the CI Model can be implemented in a range of educational settings to enhance effective intercultural communication and sustained engagement with new international students.

Key words

International student engagement; theory-to-practice model; effective communication


Chris Beard is a senior teacher on Victoria University of Wellington’s Foundation Studies programme and a member of the ISANA New Zealand Executive. He developed the International Student 3C Model; an interdisciplinary framework for engaging international students. Currently he teaches New Zealand Literature to Foundation students, works part time for a university chaplaincy and co-teaches International Education, New Zealand’s first postgraduate course (online) which is offered by Victoria University’s School of Education.

Catch me if YOU can – evidence based practice in International education services in the regions

Melissa McFarlane1

1 International Student Services Coordinator, La Trobe Universities Albury-Wodonga Campus

Evidence Based Practice in International Education forms a crucial part of student experience and satisfaction.  If used effectively it can deliver outcomes beneficial to students and educational providers, with a strong emphasis on student well-being and the sustainability of an Internationalised Campus.

This is particularly important in the regions as we face a variety of challenges in attracting, maintaining, and growing student cohorts.  Catching evidence in the regions using standard methods can be tricky.  With lower student enrolments it is important to offer many opportunities and incentives to students in order to gain constructive feedback.

In addition to the university wide data collection processes such as the ‘International Student Barometer’ and the ‘University Experience Survey’, regional campuses collect other detailed data.  Driving practices from this data can be slow and sometimes non-existent, particularly with multi-campus universities where the city campus holds the main strategic planning and management group.  Communicating with and developing excellent working relationships with key staff is therefore critical in influencing the design of policy and processes, ensuring the regions receive equal priority.

With an abundance of evidence collected for the university, International students in the regions have shown great enthusiasm and initiative in developing a ‘Strategic Marketing Plan’ and ‘Communications Strategy’ for regional campuses, to attract, recruit, maintain and support students, and deliver excellence in education.  After communicating this with relevant staff, the information is not always applied, driving evidence based practice away from the regions.

This presentation focuses on feedback methods that support regional growth, success versus challenges, and how to manage the design and application of Evidence Based Practise.  Incorporating stakeholder expertise, as a collective group we therefore strive for innovation, collaboration, and commitment to deliver what students really want.


Melissa McFarlane is an International Student Services Coordinator at La Trobe Universities Albury-Wodonga Campus.  With a regional focus, Melissa researches ‘points of difference’ for International Student Services and Supports International Students to achieve excellence in ‘what they need and want’.  With a varied career and education in travel, culture, and education, it is Melissa’s passion to assist International Education to achieve excellence through optimal well-being programs and support services, to contribute to a sustainable internationalised provider of education.

Nurturing seedlings: How we support under-achieving students

Jieyan ( Mera) Tan1, Dr Chelsea Blickem2,

1 The University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand 3240,
2 The University of Waikato, Private Bag 3104, Hamilton, New Zealand 3240,

The University of Waikato Pathways College Academic English Language programmes are designed to improve the language skills of international students and prepare them for university study. Academic learning support and pastoral care is an integral part of the student support provision aimed at improving student success and retention and transition into degree study. In 2011 the College introduced and implemented an Academic Monitoring/Intervention Programme to assist underachieving students, supported by the literature, models of good practice and a review of student data. To date the College has monitored and supported 150 students. Looking at student attendance, engagement in the class and programme, and success, bilingual student advisors meet students regularly and on an individual basis to identify what is going on for the student, and offer the student support. The support that is offered and provided can take a number of shapes and is geared to respond to the student on an individual level.

This presentation will report on a number of case studies in which a range of intervention and support was put in place for a range of students with different backgrounds, nationalities and study goals. This presentation will outline what has been successful from the support and intervention, and will examine student feedback on the support that they received. Finally, the presentation will consider how the current support system might be improved according to student feedback.


Mera Tan is the Academic Student Advisor at Pathways College, the University of Waikato. Pathways College offers Academic English Language programmes and they are designed to improve the language skills of international students and prepare them for university study. Mera has more than 10 years experience in working directly with international students, providing enrolment, academic learning support and pastoral care. Her work at the University has been an exciting and rewarding blend of intercultural communication, administration and advocacy.
Mera holds a Postgraduate Diploma in International Communication and has been an active ISANA member since 2008.

Maintaining sustainable growth in Australia’s international student numbers

Steve Nerlich1

1 Director of the International Research and Analysis Unit at the Australian Government Department of Education and Training

To sustain ongoing growth in student numbers within a highly-competitive global marketplace, Australia needs to ensure it continues to deliver the services and infrastructure that international students are looking for.

This presentation will incorporate coverage of:

  • Education quality indicators

These indicators come from Australia’s biennial International Student Survey, which captures responses from over 50,000 international students studying across all of Australia’s education sectors (higher education, vocational education and training, schools and English language studies). The presentation will include preliminary data from Australia’s latest survey conducted in 2016 and compare these findings with previous years and with International Student Barometer indicators which show how student satisfaction in Australia compares with other countries. Australia is also investigating options to establish ongoing tracking of the employment outcomes of international students after they graduate and leave Australia.

  • Student accommodation

A recent census of student accommodation options indicated that approximately 40% of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) places available in Australia are used by international students, although this still only represents around 13% of all international higher education students in Australia. Also, findings from the International Student Survey indicate a high level of satisfaction with the quality of the accommodation options available in Australia.

  • Employment

International students (in Australia and elsewhere) are increasingly seeking opportunities to gain work experience and/or paid employment while studying and after graduation. A recent survey of international student employment in Australia found that high proportions of students do gain paid or unpaid employment in Australia, including many who choose volunteering roles to enhance their employability skills. Data on uptake of post-study work visas in Australia show that interest in pursuing post-study work options after graduation is also strong.


Steve Nerlich is the Director of the International Research and Analysis Unit at the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. Steve is based in Canberra and is also a current PhD candidate at the Australian National University investigating Australian students’ offshore mobility trends.

Social impact assessment: integrating international students into local communities

Phil Honeywood1, Rachael Shanahan2

1 CEO, International Education Association of Australia (IEAA), PO Box 12917, 8006, VIC,
2 Director, Study NT, Northern Territory Department of Education, Australia,

How can the principles of social impact assessment (SIA) improve the studying, living and working experiences of international students and at the same time have a positive impact on the local community? Just like a change management process, communication is key with tailor made messages for each audience. Australian macro policy settings on employability skills and safe, affordable accommodation services provision will be discussed as they can be applied at the local community level.  Case studies from the study destination cities of Winnipeg, Canada; Melbourne, Sydney and Darwin, Australia will then be highlighted to show how social impact assessment principles have been integrated with local businesses, accommodation providers and multicultural communities so they are genuinely engaged and can see the benefits of engaging with international students.


Phil Honeywood is a former Minister for Higher education, Skills and Multicultural Affairs in the Victorian Government. Since retiring from politics in 2006, he has held a number of senior positions in international education. In addition to his role with IEAA, he serves on the New Colombo Plan Reference Committee, the Education Visa Consultative Committee and has Chaired the Coordinating Committee which drafted the proposed National Strategy for International Education. He has just been reappointed to the Higher Education Standards Panel.