2009 Teaching Awards

RMIT University Teaching Awards

Law, Economics, Business and related studies

For effective planning and innovative teaching of generic skills development in programs and courses designed for postgraduate course work students in information systems.

Associate Professor Barry McIntyre

School of Business Information Technology

Associate Professor Barry McIntyre has been a lecturer and program coordinator in the Master of Business (Information Technology) for a number of years. The program is about effectively managing continuous change, in particular, the challenges persistently unleashed by super fast information technology. He believes that to better prepare graduate coursework students to deal with change and the opportunities it offers, generic academic skills need to be strengthened.

Consequently, his students are encouraged to create a framework that allows them to respond positively to the changes and this is achieved through professional reading, enhanced feedback to students as well as self directed learning, video and evidence based-practice. This teaching has been implemented successfully in both Melbourne and Singapore. Not only has he produced an extensive range of curriculum resources, but he has also run a book club to encourage professional reading, mentored junior colleagues and suggested workshops and other ideas to improve teaching and learning.

Vocational Education Initiative of the Year

For fostering student learning and constructive engagement in real-life industry situations through the creation of a nexus between teaching, work integrated learning and industry related practices.

Mr Alain Grossbard

School of Vocational Business Education

With vast experience in large multinational companies, both here and overseas, Alain was well placed to transpose academic knowledge into solving real-life industry or business problems in his classes. He wanted to create a nexus between teaching, work integrated learning (WIL) and industry related practices in his classes. This was achieved by using a cross-disciplinary approach that integrated the content of a variety of different courses, combined first and second year students within the Advanced Diploma of Business, and built relationships with local groups to collaboratively work on community projects. Two initiatives undertaken by his students were the revitalisation of community interest in Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) with the Victorian Police, and developing a public awareness campaign for VicRoads. The range of work was so well regarded they were asked to produce an advertising and public relations campaign for implementation in Victoria the following year.

Outstanding Sessional Teaching Award (HE)

For improving professional standards by leveraging my industry and educational roles and providing engaging opportunities to develop up-to-date and relevant skills in Knowledge Management and Business Practice.

Mr Arthur Shelley

Graduate School of Business

After a successful twenty-five year business career, Arthur decided that teaching provided the best opportunity to pass on his knowledge, and positively influence the next generation of thinkers, managers and leaders. He first came to RMIT as an invited industry speaker before embarking on a career as a sessional lecturer in Knowledge Management.

According to Arthur, his teaching style is characterized by facilitated dialogue, where the reality and context of knowledge is explored with students, rather than delivering to them. He supplements the theoretical materials with examples derived from his own experience as an international company directory as well as personal discussions he has had with many of the leaders in the field.

Arthur has generated a range of teaching resources from producing three videos, building a blackboard site on Team Based Leaning Principles for staff to using wikis as a mechanism for timely student feedback.

Assessment and Feedback

For sustained commitment to enhance deep and collaborative learning that promotes student understanding and application of professional Accounting standards.

Dr Mahesh Joshi

School of Accounting and Law

For sustained commitment to enhance deep and collaborative learning that promotes student understanding and application of professional Accounting standards.

Dr Mahesh Joshi grew up in a university campus environment as his father worked as a university administrator in India. He has 20 years work experience as an academic and as a financial market consultant in different countries. This experience has provided him with the foundation to engage with the development of industry based assessments. The impact of his commitment to teaching and learning through innovative assessment practices is reflected in a number of areas related to the cultivation of professional standards in students.

His goal in teaching is to ensure that he creates the best learning environment for a diverse range of students focused on how students learn and develop. Stimulating lectures and tutorials delivery current knowledge aligned is key to engaging students. His main approaches to teaching are to ensure that students are able to think critically and analytically by questioning assumptions in the literature, understand ethical dilemmas, develop an ability to reflect on self and apply their conceptual learning to professional practice.

Innovation in Curricula, Learning and Teaching

For adopting a creative and successful research-driven approach to enhance student learning through visual analytical tools in the field of logistics and supply chain management.

Dr Prem Chhetri

School of Management

Dr Prem Chhetri has taught geographical courses to social and environmental science students for several years, and believes that a successful course engages students by dealing with real problems; and that is what his discipline area of logistics and supply chain management is all about. As a geographer, Prem believes that learning in most disciplines can be significantly enhanced when real world objects, phenomena and processes are converted into visual outputs such as graphics and mapping artefacts. He has forged collaborative partnerships with organisations, such as Parks Victoria and Tourism Australia, so that students could collect actual field data and apply visual analytical tools to address real transport/logistics problems.

Some of the innovations in his teaching include using visuals to simplify the complexity of logistics and supply chains, broaden the range of weekly learning activities and assessment, produce a video as well as and documenting instructions for practicals so that students could learn and study outside the normal teaching hours.

Services Supporting Student Learning

For the development of a whole college peer mentoring program that supports first year and commencing students in their academic learning and transition into tertiary education at RMIT.

Ms Lila Kemlo

Academic Development Group, College of Business

For the development of a whole college peer mentoring program that supports first year and commencing students in their academic learning and transition into tertiary education at RMIT.

Lila has been working actively for the past twelve years to improve teaching and learning experiences for students and staff in the College of Business. For the past five years, she has implemented the Student Learning Adviser Mentor (SLAM) program — a model of student academic peer support to help commencing students make the transition from schools and from overseas, into tertiary education at RMIT.

Now, in its sixth year, SLAMs provides opportunities for learning partnerships between local and international students and is staffed by student volunteers who offer their services free to students ‘at risk’ and to those who seek to improve their standard. The SLAMs model, in the College of Business, is unique; it is a benchmark for other institutions as it offers support in all schools, as well as right across the university to other students who study a Business elective. It has also been adopted in Vietnam and China.

Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award

For sustained commitment to learning and teaching, university wide leadership, scholarship, and success in teaching-related grants and citations.

Associate Professor Sandra Jones

School of Management

Associate Professor Sandra Jones has taught in the Higher Education sector for over 30 years, across all levels of Awards offered by RMIT, in Melbourne and offshore, encompassing a broad spectrum of courses in Employment Relations and Management. The innovative learning environments she creates are designed to advance student learning by engaging students in authentic learning activities.

The focus of these innovations is on the development of flexible, blended learning environments in which students simulate and role-play real life challenges in accord with recognised principles of authentic and situated learning. These blended environments use technology to flexibly accommodate student diverse interests and learning styles. This is particularly important given the large numbers of postgraduate, part-time and international offshore students that make-up the RMIT student community. Her approach to advancing student learning is to clearly and constructively align the curriculum aims with innovative learning activities complemented by assessment designed to ensure that students understand and are able to demonstrate the employability skills required by industry.

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Certificates of Achievement

Indigenous Education

Associate Professor Adela McMurray

School of Management

For commitment to fostering educational and entrepreneurship opportunities for Indigenous students in postgraduate research and building links with Indigenous Government Bodies, Indigenous Small Business, and the Victorian Indigenous Chamber of Commerce.

Early Career Academic

Dr NattavudPimpa

School of Management

For commitment as an early career academic to engage students of diverse backgrounds in learning design an knowledge sharing by providing opportunities for ownership of individual learning pathways in the discipline of International Management.

The First-Year Experience

Dr Paul Myers, Dr Daryll Cahill, Ms Sonia Magdziarz, Ms Joan Pagonis and Ms Lila Kemlo

School of Accounting and Law, Academic Development Group, College of Business

For the successful development and implementation of an embedded student teaching assistant project (SLAM) to support first year students in their academic and social transition.

Innovation in Curricula, Learning and Teaching

Dr HosseinSeifZadeh, MrHuan Vo-Tran

School of Business Information Technology

For encompassing innovations in redesigning multidisciplinary curricula that encourages novel approaches to learning and teaching in Business Information Technology.

Flexible Learning and Teaching

Ms Kathy Douglas

School of Accounting and Law

For an effective blended learning approach to enhance flexibility of learning for postgraduate studies in law.

Services Supporting Student Learning

Mr Arthur Adamopoulous, Mr Vince Bruno, Dr Christopher Cheong, Dr Martin Dick, MrStasLukaitis, Mr Ian Searle, Professor Ross Smith, Mr Martin Kelly

School of Business Information Technology, Student Services — Disability Liaison

For the effective development and implementation of strategies to support the learning of visually impaired students in the highly visually oriented discipline of business information systems.

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Learning and Teaching initiatives 2009

ALTC Grant

Professor Margaret Jackson

Graduate School of Business and Law
Project Partners: Professor Rosalind Mason, Donna Cooper and Sheryl Jackson of QUT and Glenda Scully and Dr Stacey Porter of Curtin University of Technology

The project, which commenced in August 2009 and will run for two years, will examine the growing number of graduate entry courses being introduced by Australian universities which are designed to allow graduates to enter a new profession. To date, there has been limited work undertaken to understand the educational implications of these new courses and to understand in particular the academic standards for postgraduate professional entry courses as opposed to undergraduate courses also leading to professional entry. The objective of this project is to explore whether a Masters level degree that meets the requirements for entry into a profession applies different academic standards to those applied in an undergraduate degree, that also meets the same professional requirements, and to articulate what those different standards are or should be.

Clarification of the exact status and academic standards for these professional entry courses will assist potential students, universities and professional bodies as well as other disciplines that offer or are proposing to offer similar professional courses.

ALTC Grant

Associate Professor Sandra Jones

School of Management
Project Partners: Assoc. Prof. Geraldine Lefoe (Wollongong), Dr Marina Harvey (Macquarie), Andrelyn Appelbee (ACU)

Developing a Distributed Leadership Approach to Learning and Teaching in Australian Universities

In 2009, RMIT University as the lead university (on behalf of a team of four universities RMIT, Australian Catholic University, Macquarie University and Wollongong University), won an institutional leadership project (LP) grant from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC).

The leadership project:

  • identified synergies, similarities, and differences that need to be acknowledged as flexibility options for universities seeking to encourage and support a distributed leadership approach to learning and teaching improvements.
  • developed a Distributed Leadership Matrix of contextual conditions and leadership skills needed to achieve an effective distributed leadership process.
  • developed networks for current and future dialogue across the university sector in order to embed the concepts and practices that underpin effective distributed leadership
  • designed a Self Evaluative Tool for use by universities across the university sector in Australia
  • provided a framework upon which synergies between other ALTC LP projects can be identified

Strategic Grant

Dr Cathy Hall

Academic Development Group, College of Business

The Dual Hubs

Exposure to and critical review of many aspects of the dual hub relationship has reinforced the importance of all stakeholders understanding and working to embed the characteristics of a mature university, including “equivalent academic standards’ and “hard and dotted reporting lines” within a single governance framework. When this intention is supported by appropriately nuanced processes (including a significant amount of sustained professional development activity and goodwill) there is every chance that the goals outlined in the Dual Hub Strategy will be achieved.

LTIF Grant

Ms Kathy Douglas

Graduate School of Business and Law
Project Partners: Sandra Jones, Siew Fang Law, Belinda Johnson, Daniel Druckman and Clare Coburn

Student Engagement through E-learning: Using online simulation for small, medium and large class

Online role-plays are an authentic learning and teaching strategy that allows students to participate in simulated ‘real life’ world experiences that connect with industry rel¬evant scenarios. Engaging students through online role-plays has been demonstrated as a beneficial learning process, particularly in developing students’ employability skills. Students enrolled in three courses in the School of Accounting and Law, and School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning were asked to participate in as well as design the role-plays. The online tools used included e-journals, wikis, blogs and e-portfolios. The project used a mixture of qualitative and quantitative analysis with the participation of about 60 students.

LTIF Grant

Ms Michelle Edwards

School of Vocational Business Education
Project Partners: Radhakrishnan Punchanathan, Sathiyani Gopal, Paul Kingston, Swati Dave

Development of improved content and delivery for IT trainees and cadets

The online content for the Certificate IV in IT was outdated, and did not meet the needs of the students who were cadets and trainees. By developing a new framework and implementing new content and delivery models, this project aimed to improve the e-learning experience for students. The learning model used integration and holistic learning approaches that included the clustering of competencies into meaningful knowledge areas to reduce student workload, and a simplified model of assessment and activities. By clustering competencies, the content became more contextualised and meaningful, and by integrating assessments learners were able to produce better examples of work relating to their competencies. Initial responses from the students have been very positive; the formal evaluation is still ongoing as it is being rolled out throughout 2010 with further improvements undertaken based student feedback.

LTIF Grant

Dr Joan Richardson (re Ms FriederikaKaider)

School of Business IT and Logistics
Project Partners: Ms. Kathy Henschke and Ms. Paulette Kelly

Models of Industry Feedback for WIL Programs and Activities

The project aimed to develop a model for industry supervisor feedback so academics could integrate it into their Work Integrated Learning (WIL) courses and activities in accordance with the WIL Policy at RMIT. Guidelines to provide feedback to students were developed as a practical aid for academics, and as a result, samples, templates and guidelines that integrate industry feedback in assessment were developed. This project through its literature review and interviews with supervisors and academics, has recognised the role of supervisor feedback in the professional development of students, and in facilitating opportunities for learning. It is interesting to note that this study was based upon a 2008 LTIF project, ‘Developing an Assessment Framework for Work-based Learning’ that emphasized the importance of industry feedback in WIL course assessment.

LTIF Grant

Dr UlasBasarGezgin

RMIT University Vietnam
Project Partner: Ms Lila Kemlo - RMIT University Melbourne

Launching Student Learning Advisor Mentors (SLAMs) at RMIT Vietnam

This project launched a peer mentoring program, Student Learning Advisor Mentors (SLAMs), at RMIT Vietnam to address the academic needs of “at-risk” students and to reach out to the less motivated. It is modelled on the SLAMs program at RMIT Melbourne, in which students who have achieved a DI and HD in particular courses voluntarily assist students who are having difficulties with their studies. SLAMS is particularly appropriate within the RMIT Vietnam learning context as most of the students are Vietnamese, they come from educational settings in which asking questions is not encouraged. Through this program, students have been able to ask questions and receive responses in an informal setting in their own language.

LTIF Grant

Associate Professor AmaliaDiIorio

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing
Project Partners: Dr Joan Richardson (BITL), Paul R. Cerotti (BITL), Dr John Pastoriza-Piñol (BITL)

The design and development of an innovative e-portal to disseminate and collaboratively improve academic and administrative study tour ‘best practice’.

This project designed and developed a study tour e-portal that stores, versions and ena¬bles dissemination of samples of curriculum resources organised by location, associated administrative processes and tools. The e-portal will provide selective access to folders of resources that enable dissemination, re-purposing and upgrade of ‘best-practice’ amongst academics across the university. Use of the technology will be brought to life through the development of participating staff blogs and student e-journals.

It addresses Global Passport guidelines as the work will build a technology based sustainable support mechanism for staff conducting study tours and students participating in global exchanges. Use of blogging and e-journal software is intended to facilitate the relationship construction necessary for collaborative development. In the first instance the focus of the e-portal and blogging technology development will be within RMIT but this foundation will be able to be extended to incorporate offshore academics and enterprises.

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