Growing brains in early childhood: using e-learning to train professionals in auditory-verbal therapy

Megan Hastie, Dimity Dornan, Nian-Shing Chen, Richard Smith, Guy Elston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes the use of Auditory-Verbal Therapy (AVT) to 'grow brains' in early childhood learners via intensive auditory brain stimulation that develops listening and speaking skills. One research focus of a specialty paediatric hearing health and education centre, Hear and Say Brisbane Australia, is directed at the period after surgical implantation of the Cochlear Implant. At that time, there is a critical need for intensive auditory brain stimulation by trained and accredited listening and spoken language specialists using evidence-based practice. Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapists (LSLS Cert AVTs™) teach the implant recipient, the prototypical bionic human, to learn to listen and speak. The Hear and Say WorldWide e-Learning Program that is reported here was developed to overcome the global shortage of AVTs by training specialists. The program uses a Learning Management System made available to Hear and Say through collaboration with the National Sun Yat-Sen University, Taiwan. It features a 'Blended Learning' mode of delivery, comprising asynchronous and synchronous tools to offer a suite of AVT courses to train participants from introductory to specialty level. More recently, it has been used in mainstream teacher professional development in Australia and internationally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-84
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • auditory-verbal therapy
  • e-health
  • e-training
  • neuro-cognitive development
  • neuroscience


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