Previous Winners - VC Education Excellence Awards
Recognising Excellence in Education
Each year the Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards highlight the importance of high quality teaching to the University mission. Our colleagues have made a profound impact on our standards of pedagogy and curriculum, recognised by their peers and students for their expertise and innovation in teaching and education program development.
Meet our 2021 winners:
The Vice-Chancellor’s Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning shine a light on individuals and teams who are innovative and uplift education excellence at Monash.
Brendan Shannon (Early Career category) - Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Brendan is an early career applicant and lecturer within the Department of Paramedicine and is a registered Paramedic. Brendan operates with a teaching ethos centralised on the premise that if a learner chooses to apply themselves, they have the potential to achieve any goal if they are provided with teaching resources and an environment that is engaging. Throughout his academic career Brendan has significantly developed curriculum across the Paramedicine programs based on industry practice and guided by his own research area of expertise. This has been enhanced through the development of innovative teaching resources that empower and engage the learner.
Tom Harber (Teaching Associate Category) - Faculty of Law
Tom Harber has designed and taught a unit that rapidly improves students’ ability to negotiate. He has achieved this by adopting a truly blended-learning approach that immerses students in the material and motivates and inspires them to learn. This has had a profound impact on students’ overall experience, with them rating his unit as one of the highest in the University. Recognition has flowed from his faculty and colleagues.
Dr Jennifer Bleazby - Faculty of Education
Dr Bleazby draws upon the Community of Inquiry approach to eLearning in order to design innovative online resources that foster higher order thinking and inclusive communities. These resources have been used in two Masters of Education units so as to foster thinking skills; a deep understanding of complex social justice problems; inclusive online communities; intercultural understanding and dialogue. Both units have received outstanding evaluations. Dr. Bleazby’s work has been disseminated through scholarly and media publications and a teaching resource published on Harvard University’s Justice in Schools website. In 2020, she received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.
Dr Ilya Fridman - Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture
Dr Ilya Fridman creates active learning experiences for face-to-face and online classes within undergraduate and postgraduate Design thinking units. Ilya’s classes allow students from different university faculties to experiment with design approaches via hands- on practice and learn transferable employability skills such as creativity, complex problem- solving and collaboration. He constantly explores new strategies to inspire learning by seeking direct student feedback and adapting his teaching approaches to suit diverse learner cohorts. Ilya’s efforts have been met with consistently high SETU responses and positive unsolicited student communication highlighting how Design Thinking skills have helped them within their respective professional careers.
Associate Professor Cornelia Landersdorfer, Dr David Shackleford, Dr Yassmin Samak & Associate Professor Joseph Nicolazzo - Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
The team developed and established an innovative approach to teaching concepts and applications of pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD), i.e. how drugs interact with the body. This novel approach enhanced student learning through engagement with interactive dynamic simulations using authentic industry-standard software. Students gained workplace-relevant skills by applying simulations to drug development scenarios in workshops and team-based assessments. The impact of this approach includes improved student experience evidenced by formal and informal feedback, ability of students to link and apply complex concepts demonstrated in assessments and exams, and national and international speaking and teaching invitations for teaching staff.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Teaching Excellence give recognition to teachers (individuals or teams) renowned for the excellence of their teaching, who deeply engage students and, importantly, who also have made a broad contribution to enhancing the quality of learning and teaching at Monash.
Dr Kiri Beilby (Early Career Category) - Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Dr Kiri Beilby began her teaching career in 2017 and is now the course coordinator for the Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science (GRS) in the MNHS Faculty. In under 5 years, Kiri has advanced the course to enhance her students’ graduate attributes and work readiness, cornerstones to her teaching philosophy and influenced by 6 years of prior industry experience.
These efforts resulted in her receiving the School of Clinical Sciences Award for Teaching Excellence in 2020, and the Dean’s Award for teaching excellence in 2021. During Melbourne’s lockdown, this exceptionally hands-on curriculum was challenged. This application demonstrates how Kiri has developed the course to create positive impact on current students and on the innovative delivery of this postgraduate degree post-covid. In doing so, it documents the teaching philosophy that motivates Kiri’s enthusiasm: creating impassioned, job-ready graduates that want to leave their professional communities better than they found them.
Associate Professor Wayne Geerling - Faculty of Business and Economics
Dr Geerling challenges the popular caricature of economics as the “dismal science” by showing how economics can be engaging, memorable and highly relevant to students. In a career spanning almost 15 years, he has established a reputation as an internationally-renowned educator, teaching more than 30,000 students at four universities, and developing an innovative and interactive teaching style in large core units of up to 1,000 students.
His teaching philosophy and practice is informed by the theory of experiential learning, first pioneered by Kolb (1984), in which the process of learning is driven through lived experience. This is accomplished by creating an active learning environment with an emphasis on practical, real-world contexts. Dr Geerling uses several different strategies inside, and outside, the classroom to promote student engagement and deep learning, including the use of pop culture, classroom response systems, role plays and in-class demonstrations and experiments.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Honours Supervision recognises an individual who demonstrates superior performance in supervising honours students.
Associate Professor Sean Cain - Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Sean is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences. He joined Monash in 2012 as a Senior Lecturer. He is a dedicated teaching and research staff member, excelling in both. While at Monash, his research career has flourished. Sean is an excellent educator alongside building a world-class research program.
He established his School’s flagship Bachelor of Psychology degree, which has grown in enrolment every year. When the Director of Education left our School amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Sean stepped in as the Interim Director of Education, shepherding the School’s teaching portfolio through the crisis.
He has a passion for combining education and research. His dedication to educating future researchers inspired him to develop the Research Internship Program in 2016, giving hundreds of students research training before Honours. This training prior to Honours has allowed his Faculty to greatly enhance their Honours intake.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Technological Innovation in Learning and Teaching recognises the development and/or implementation of technological innovation to improve teaching, learning or assessment in online, blended or face to face classes.
Dr Mary Jesselyn (Jess) Co - Faculty of Business and Economics
The technological transformation of Introduction to Management (MGC1010) involves the purposeful design of the curriculum, assessment, learning materials and classroom activities that enhances knowledge, understanding and skills through active and social learning facilitated by the judicious use of technology. Led by Dr Jess Co, an experienced education-focused lecturer with expertise in technology-enhanced learning and educational design, the transformation involves a three-pronged approach which includes:
1. the purposeful creation of online interactive resources that replaced lectures,
2. the deliberate construction of the online learning environments, and the
3. considered design and implementation of the in-class workshops supported by technology, grounded on a social constructivist teaching philosophy.
Students develop their ability to apply concepts and theories through the use of the case study method. The transformation has impacted close to 3,000 undergraduate students across eight faculties and has resulted in students attaining improved academic performance, increased engagement and enhanced teamwork skills.
Professor Rob Hyndman & Professor George Athanasopoulos - Faculty of Business and Economics
Professor Rob Hyndman and Professor George Athanasopoulos teach forecasting across the Clayton and Caulfield campuses. They are the authors of Forecasting: Principles and Practice (FPP)1, a free online textbook, also available in print via Amazon. Their contributions to teaching and learning have revolutionised forecasting education worldwide. Their classes lead to “job-ready” graduates, skilled in modern data science tools, who are able to deal with large data and complex problems. The growth in student enrolments in their units and the consistently high student feedback are strong evidence of their high standards and quality teaching. Internationally, this is reflected by the adoption of FPP and associated teaching materials by 889 instructors across 95 countries. To date, the online version of FPP has had 32.2 million pageviews with 4.5 million users from 209 countries. The associated software package has been downloaded an average of 624 times per day since the start of 2018.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Programs that Enhance Learning recognises learning and teaching support programs and services that make an outstanding contribution to the quality of student learning and the quality of the student experience.
LEADING A CHANGE TO ASSESSMENT PRACTICES IN DIETETICS. ENHANCING STUDENT ACCESS, SUCCESS, PARTICIPATION, PROGRESSION AND EXPERIENCE
Professor Claire Palermo, Associate Professor Simone Gibson, Janeane Dart, Amanda Anderson, Lisa Barker, Dr Tammie Choi, Dr Sue Kleve & Evelyn Volders - Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Innovative assessment practices in dietetics across academic and work settings have been transformed in the Monash Master of Dietetics. The dietetics team is committed to preparing graduates to improve nutrition outcomes in an increasingly complex world. Competency-based assessment is utilised within health professions to provide evidence that graduates demonstrate preparedness for practice. Over the past five years, the team have developed, implemented and evaluated a world first model for assessment in dietetics. They have changed the philosophy and approaches to competency-based assessment for dietetics students from non-authentic, isolated, and narrowly focussed tasks, to holistic, longitudinal judgements using a program of assessment across the whole Master of Dietetics program. A shared understanding between academics, students and work integrated learning educators has been built incorporating the key evidence that contributes to competency decisions. This programmatic approach considers assessment within the system in which student learning operates, resulting in timely, responsive and improved learning and assessment experiences for students and their assessors. This has enhanced student progression, success and overall experience, especially for students who have previously struggled. This collaborative approach supports students throughout the assessment journey in both the academic and work settings to create graduates ready to contribute to the profession.
ENHANCING PRIMARY PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS’ KNOWLEDGE FOR MATHEMATICS THROUGH SCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS -
Dr Sharyn Livy and Dr Ann Downton - Faculty of Education
Across all Australian jurisdictions there is a need to improve the quality of mathematics teacher education, including integration of theory and practice. Dr Sharyn Livy and Dr Ann Downton are committed to fostering quality mathematics education for all pre-service teachers (PSTs) at Monash University. Since 2016 they have worked collaboratively to develop a program that builds partnerships with school communities and teachers to help PSTs bridge the gap between theory and practice.
The innovative seven-year program focuses on PST's lived experiences during coursework by broadening their knowledge of effective pedagogies for mathematics teaching in the primary school. The program's success is evident in data collected from PSTs, teachers, primary school children mathematical lesson observations, interview and SETU data. Participants' learning experiences are reported in in three international journal articles, three book chapters, two conference presentations, and one teacher education journal as valuable contributions to the profession and teacher education.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Industry Education Programs was introduced in 2021 to recognise outstanding education programs for industry across commercial, not for profit and government sectors.
MY ALLIED HEALTH SPACE
Associate Professor Libby Callaway, Professor Aron Shlonsky, Dr Christina Ekegren, Associate Professor Cylie Williams, Derrick Martin, Professor Ellie Fossey, Dr Em Bould, Associate Professor Kate Tregloan, Matthew Bangerter, Dr Natasha Brusco, Dr Natasha Layton, Professor Prue Morgan & Sue Sloan - Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash Centre for Professional Development & Monash Online Education & Faculty of Art Design & Architecture
Team My Allied Health Space' partnered with Victorian Department of Health, people with disability, Peninsula Health, Yooralla, and community allied health providers/peak bodies, to co-design My Allied Health Space (MAHS). MAHS (www.myalliedhealthspace.org) hosts AAA-accessible resources, including a comprehensive learning management system, for:
1. Allied health professionals to build capability to work with people with disability and complex support needs;
2. People with disability to select and evaluate the quality of allied health services received.
With over 280 people registered to use MAHS, and 5.3K website views, Team MAHS has achieved national translation of these industry education resources.
SPECIAL COMMENDATION - PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT AND INFECTION CONTROL TRAINING FOR VICTORIAN RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE FACILITIES
Professor Debra Griffiths, Samantha Dix, Associate Professor Helen Rawson, Associate Professor Julia Morphet, Associate Professor Philip Russo and Sarah Watson - Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
In response to the high risk of a COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria’s residential aged care facilities (RACFs), the Nursing and Midwifery team provided the Victorian Department of Health with a targeted infection control and personal protection equipment (PPE) application training program. The program incorporates practical face-to-face training in PPE and infection control practices and a train-the-trainer “facility champion” model to ensure sustainability and follow up with written material and an innovative, custom-built online competency platform combining virtual reality with artificial intelligence. Between 11/8/2020 and 31/5/2021 the team delivered 324 training sessions to 3588 participants from 241 RACFs across Victoria.