University of Southern Queensland Education Portfolio

  • 2018

  • Service
    Education Services

Designed In:


The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) employs 1800 staff and has approximately 30,000 students. To ensure our students receive the best education and university experience possible, and our educators receive the tailored support they need, USQ’s Education Portfolio needed to re-imagine its approach in delivering scholarly information and learning services.

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  • As traditional approaches to education continue to be disrupted globally, universities are fighting for continued relevance in a changing marketplace. USQ is re-imagining how it meets the needs of students, industry and community in a dynamic and innovative way. To support this re-imagination, USQ’s Education Portfolio needed to develop a new model for providing students and educators with scholarly information and learning services. With USQ’s students and educators working and studying across three physical campuses, as well as online, the Education Portfolio needed to transform both culture and practice, to provide services in an agile, responsive, sustainable and impactful manner.

  • Everything we do creates and reinforces culture, including the way we design services. All 125 staff in USQ’s Education Portfolio involved in delivering scholarly information and learning services, were invited to co-design a new service model. A ground up human centred approach was used to collaboratively design a solution. Throughout 2017 staff participated in three workshops, six discussion sessions, one online site, twelve investigations, and over twenty coaching conversations. The new service model was designed for, with, and by, the Education Portfolio staff, thus ensuring staff have the confidence and knowledge to iterate and improve the model in the future.

  • USQ has a diverse student population, with people from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, regional and remote areas, as well as those who are first in their family to study at university. Providing scholarly information and learning services that meet the needs of our diverse student population, and our educators, is essential for USQ to help students achieve quality learning outcomes, regardless of background, location, or stage of life. Using a ground up, human centred and co-design approach ensured a useful and sustainable service model, was developed by those most qualified, the Education Portfolio staff who work alongside our students and educators.

  • USQ students and staff receive scholarly information and learning services via three separate units within the Education Portfolio: Library Services, Office for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching, and Digital Life Lab. This is the first time that staff in the units have come together to build a cohesive and integrated service model. A ground up, co-design and collaborative approach was intentionally used. This approach helped break down silos within and across the units, and helped foster a shared culture and understanding of working together to achieve a common goal in an authentic way. Education Portfolio staff were invited and supported to drive and own the design process and solution. For example, twelve staff self-nominated to be champions leading investigations, designed and undertaken by all the staff, to test the model in practice. The champions were supported with fortnightly coaching conversations with the design Consultant and the Education Portfolio leadership team. The fact that the service model changed considerably from the initial to the final version shows how genuine empathy and insight for our educators and students was generated through this human centred approach. The final service model, including supporting materials such practice resources and guides, is available at