University wins six national teaching awards

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University wins six national teaching awards


Published on 19 September 2012

Dr Justin Debuse19 September 2012

The University of the Sunshine Coast has emerged as a national leader in quality teaching after winning an impressive six awards from the Commonwealth Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) this week.

Federal Minister for Tertiary Education Senator Chris Evans announced yesterday that USC staff will be among 152 individuals and groups nationally to receive OLT Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for 2012 in early October.

USC’s six citations this year is well above the national average and, when considered as a ratio to academic staff numbers, puts the University into a class of its own.

Only three universities will receive more citations than USC this year (eachAssociate Professor Peter Dunn Dr Mark Sayerswinning seven), but those institutions are five to seven times larger than USC in terms of student population.

USC’s recipients are Dr Justin Debuse, Associate Professor Peter Dunn, Dr Mark Sayers, Associate Professor Meredith Lawley, Johanna Einfalt and Janet Turley (jointly), and the University’s International Projects Group.

Their citations, worth $10,000 each, recognise their dedication to student learning in information systems, biomechanics and biostatistics, and for providing research supervision, academic skills advice and stimulating educational reform in Indonesian Papua.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the awards highlighted the passion, commitment and professionalism of USC staff, who have now won 23 citations over four years.

International Projects Group members Professor Emeritus Merv Hyde, Suzanne Burford, Dr Bill Allen, Professor Noel Meyers, Jacqueline McConnell, Rama Brierty and Ann RobertsonJanet Turley and Johanna Einfalt“These citations distinguish Australia’s most inspiring academic and professional staff whose teaching contributions have enriched student learning for a sustained period of time,” he said.

“I’d like to congratulate our 2012 recipients for their exceptional work and also USC’s impressive support network of mentors, advisory staff, selection committee members, and the staff from the Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching.”

Professor Hill said the citations reinforced USC’s great results in the recently-released 2013 Good Universities Guide, which awarded the University five stars in several key areas including teaching quality and overall graduate satisfaction.

The OLT Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning will be presented in Brisbane on Tuesday 9 October. USC’s recipients are:

  • Dr Justin Debuse: For applying technological expertise to research, develop and implement best-practice pedagogical innovation that directly improves learning and teaching.
  • Associate Professor Peter Dunn: For bringing statistics to life for students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, using real data, engaging activities and rapport to build confidence, enthusiasm and success.
  • Dr Mark Sayers: For 23 years of excellence in teaching biomechanics from a foundation of outstanding communication skills and authentic problem-based learning that inspires and motivates students.
  • Associate Professor Meredith Lawley: For sustained excellence in research supervision of a diverse range of doctoral students, motivating and inspiring through a supportive guide approach to developing independent researchers.
  • Johanna Einfalt and Janet Turley: For designing and driving a sustained assessment support model built on collaborative partnerships: Paving the way for student growth in skills, independence and peer-to-peer learning.
  • The International Projects Group (IPG): For stimulating systemic educational reform in Indonesian Papua through a unique, outcome-driven teacher education program for students within an Australian university. IPG members include Professor Emeritus Merv Hyde, Suzanne Burford, Dr Bill Allen, Professor Noel Meyers, Jacqueline McConnell, Rama Brierty, Ann Robertson, John Hunt, Dr Michael Carey, Henny Soepriyanti and Dr Untung Waluyo.
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