Poster Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2018

Adding colour to cancer: the art, science and education trifecta (#377)

Sathana Dushyanthen 1 2 , Michelle Barrett 1 , Grant McArthur 1 2 3 , David Kok 1 2 3
  1. Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Melbourne , VIC, Australia
  2. University of Melbourne, Melbourne , VIC, Australia
  3. Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne , VIC, Australia


The Master of Cancer Sciences is the first cancer-specific, multidisciplinary, flexible, and wholly online Master’s program of its kind offered within Australia, and one of two available worldwide. This program will enhance the capabilities of health professionals working in the rapidly evolving fields of cancer research, education and clinical care. The cancer sciences are a complex field of study that have conventionally been taught in a highly didactic manner. This program aims to challenge these traditional pedagogical perspectives in the growing age of mobile technologies, to develop an innovative and unique educational program.



The professional medical workforce is composed of highly time poor individuals, who have little dedicated time to spend on continuing education and instead prefer materials that can be absorbed ‘on-the-go’. As such, this program aims to re-imagine the teaching modalities traditionally used in oncological medicine, to deliver succinct, engaging presentations that can be viewed on demand, to bring to life the complex concepts underpinning the biological understanding of the sciences. Using fully animated, dynamic presentations with expert guided interaction in the online forum, students are provided with an immersive, multidimensional learning experience.



Development of this program draws upon the academic strength of the University of Melbourne and world leading content experts from the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre; both with a passion for teaching and learning innovation. A range of teaching modalities were utilised including: animations accompanied by live expert annotation; gamified eLearning tools; evidence-based case studies and interactive webinars, to provide a holistic program in the cancer sciences.



This presentation will explore the educational perspectives of learning design in the online environment, challenging the ideas of pedagogy and traditional teaching practices within the cancer sciences. It will discuss challenges involved in teaching complex scientific material in a non-didactic manner and the approaches taken to develop a contemporary, immersive and dynamic program. Ultimately the Graduate Programs and their derivative educational activities will contribute to memorable, lifelong learning and ongoing professional development, resulting in high quality healthcare for better patient outcomes.