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USC lecturers awarded for innovative teaching

Nine USC staff and three specialist teams have received Advance Awards from USC for their commitment to learning and teaching, and engagement.

USC presents Advance Awards annually to acknowledge staff who have contributed to quality teaching, the student experience, or blended learning (the fusion of educational technologies and teaching in physical and virtual environments).

USC Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Birgit Lohmann said the selection process was competitive, demonstrating an impressive diversity of inspiring learning and teaching practice at USC.

The winners of Advance Awards for 2017 were:
Advancing Quality Teaching
OCC232/OCC402 Peer Mentoring Team – Ms Heidi Miller, Dr Anita Hamilton, Ms Penelope Taylor, Ms Marie Bridgman, Ms Catherine Hilly and Ms Olivia Furniss
• Dr Gregory Watson
• Dr Karen Sutherland
• Dr Glyn Thomas
• Mr David Martin
• Dr Vikki Schaffer

Advancing the Blended Learning Environment
• Team – Dr Ann Parkinson, Dr Nicole Reinke, Dr Mary Kynn and Dr Anna Kuballa
• Dr Nadine McKillop

Advancing the Student Experience
• Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems Team - Professor Paul Salmon, Dr Gemma Read, Professor David Lacey, Dr Nicholas Stevens, Dr Natassia Goode, Dr Vanessa Beanland, Ms Rachael Wynne, Ms Eryn Grant, Dr Amanda Clacy and Ms Kerri-Anne Salmon
• Ms Irene Visser
• Ms Bridie Kean
• Dr Ann Kennedy-Behr

Robots and superheroes are among the creative teaching tools used by award-winning USC Fraser Coast lecturers Dr Greg Watson and Dr David Martin to inspire their students.

Dr Watson, who lectures in Science at the Fraser Coast campus, developed new ways of introducing chemistry concepts for undergraduates by using tables of iPad apps and superheroes to introduce the periodic table of elements.

“My techniques included getting students on to the lecture stage, and constructing atoms using the students themselves to represent the fundamental particles,” Dr Watson said.

“I want to reinvent the way students explore aspects of science, which increases their understanding by keeping them motivated and interested.”

The high-tech world of robotics and computer coding was part of Dr Martin’s approach to enhance student learning outcomes.

Dr Martin, who teaches Bachelor of Education courses on integrating information and communication technologies into learning, said he wanted USC’s Education graduates to enter school classrooms with creative mindsets about using digital solutions in teaching.

“I designed, created and embedded an innovative makerspace experience that teaches pre-service teachers to integrate technologies such as coding, design, circuitry, electronics and robotics into the school curriculum,” he said.

“This enables them to effectively engage school-aged children in problem-solving and innovation, thereby meeting Australia’s future workforce demands.”

— Clare McKay

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