STQRY for Students: How the University of South Australia Incorporates Place- Based Mobile Tours

There are many types of academic misconduct, such as plagiarism, copied work, contract cheating, and the use of AI. To mitigate misconduct, educators must design creative and meaningful assessments.

In this case study, we’ll learn how Archives and the Digital World, an online course offered by the University of South Australia (UniSA), uses the STQRY app in place of a standard final. Students must complete a unique app project and design their own place-based mobile tours to present and share personalized archival content. Because they can’t just submit generic assessment responses, this does not only mitigate misconduct but also involves students in the important work of creating archives—encouraging them to become active custodians of their own cultural heritage.

This case study also shows that STQRY’s mobile tours aren’t just for museums and galleries but offer endless applications within the field of education as well.

Why mobile tours are a great university assessment tool

Students are less likely to engage in academic misconduct if the assessment task incorporates personal experiences and ideas and where general or AI-generated information does not meet the specific requirements of the task.

Because students must create personalized archival content and design an app from scratch, they can’t easily duplicate or re-use work found elsewhere. Students see the assessment as valuable and purposeful. It fosters student learning through an authentic and scaffolded, four-phase assessment process, in which students experience the benefits of completing all the steps themselves. They must complete one phase before moving on to the next.

Students learn invaluable skills through this process by familiarizing themselves with no-code app-building software.

How UniSA manages student app assessments

Archives and the Digital World have used student-designed place-based mobile tours in their assessment since 2019 when it was first introduced at the university.

The assessment is divided into four main tasks (utilizing a scaffold assessment technique):

Task 1: Choosing a curatorial theme

Students brainstorm a personal curatorial theme and examine how it could be used by
institutions such as galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (known as the GLAM sector). For example, students might create an archival history of their ancestors, a local club or landmark, a location, venue, news or historical event, a means of transport, or a religious organization. Students consider what sort of story they would like to tell, who the audience is for the story, how they would like to tell it, and what kind of archives they might need and why.

Students then become history detectives and use the internet to search for relevant online archival collections like official documents, visual files, sound files, and material objects. They compile their sources, then identify and format them according to a template and write a 300-word report to describe how their chosen artifacts relate to each other and support their curatorial vision/theme for the collection. Students submit their plans for feedback before proceeding further.

This component of the assessment contributes 20% to the total mark.

Task 2: Learning to use STQRY

In the next phase, students are provided with a personal account with the STQRY builder.
They research previously published mobile tours developed by students and staff on the UniSA Pedagogy GO app and critique a published tour to understand better how they function. Then, students post reflections about their experience on a Padlet.

Using practical resources provided in the course website, students learn to use STQRY and begin to display their archival collection for a specific audience in readiness for the final assessment.

Students create a draft of their place-based mobile tour, creating content for every stop. They continually refine and publish content to improve upon their app. Students can give and receive feedback from their peers on their drafts to help them integrate new ideas and enhance their archival experience.

This component of the assessment contributes 25% to the total mark.

Task 3: Writing a summary of their theme and publishing the app

Students then write a 100-300 word summary of their refined curatorial theme, including the community from which their archival sources have been selected, a description of their chosen audience, and how the mobile tour experience has been tailored for them. They preview their archival experience as a STQRY mobile tour to check it’s working as expected.

Students get feedback from one another and add any new ideas. Their final mobile tour is then published in the UniSA STQRY app.

This component of the assessment contributes 40% to the total mark. Evaluators grade each app using a rubric that includes criteria on the experience, archives used, the narrative provided, its relevance to the intended audience, and citations and attributions.

Task 4: Reflecting on the process

Each student books a time to meet with their online tutor to reflect on the process of creating their STQRY tour with their chosen audience. The students are encouraged to share their experience creating an audience-appropriate place-based mobile tour to display their archival collection.

This component of the assessment contributes 15% to the total mark. Their online tour provides feedback using a marking guide to help them analyze their app.

The benefits of app assessments with STQRY

Because the students’ mobile tours result from integrating personalized archival content in a design-based task, they genuinely mitigate against a student using generic responses to the assessment tasks. Students must do the work themselves, and therein lies many growth opportunities.

Students have responded positively to this. Creating an app with STQRY connects learning to real life.

Hear what students have to say:

  • “It was interesting to learn about location-based mobile archives and make one.”
  • “The course introduced us to possibilities of different career options within the GLAM sector, which is something I would never have previously considered.”
  • “A really enjoyable course that shows how digital media can be used within the GLAM sector.”
  • “The amazing teaching staff and the contents, it was amazing to learn about a different side of the digital world than what I am used to.”
  • “I am very happy to say that I really enjoyed the course and my whole perception of archives has changed. I really liked the way the assessments were structured too so that we were able to receive feedback and continually improve the quality of the mobile tour.”

The place-based mobile tours are a great example of an authentic assessment practice encouraging academic integrity.

You can view the 2023 students’ tours and examples here or download the UniSA Pedagogy GO app for iOS or Google Play.

To learn how to incorporate mobile tours into your university course, contact the STQRY team.