UQ most awarded at Australian Awards for University Teaching

26 Feb 2020
Professor Blake McKimmie and Professor Barbara Masser at last night's awards ceremony in Canberra

Three UQ lecturers who made a compelling crime film to engage students in their psychology course have been named the Australian University Teachers of the Year.

The creative approach by UQ School of Psychology lecturers Professor Blake McKimmie, Professor Barbara Masser and Professor Mark Horswill transformed their students’ learning experience, resulting in improved class attendance, quiz scores and knowledge retention.

UQ received more awards at the ceremony than any other university in the country, further consolidating its position as the most-rewarded Australian university for teaching excellence.

“Good teaching is about the right balance between student engagement, student learning and student satisfaction. For me, the reason to come to university is to not only learn, but to love learning,” Professor McKimmie said.

“Our aim was to send a clear signal that we wanted students in the Psychology of Criminal Justice program in class - and we decided to do something that would be meaningful to them.

“Instead of just sitting there listening to us, it’s actually our students participating and applying the knowledge.”

The course is based around a crime drama that starts with a murder, and then follows the investigation before ending with the trial, motivating students to apply their newly acquired knowledge through immersive class activities.

“Instead of just sitting there listening to us, it’s actually our students participating and applying the knowledge,” Professor McKimmie said.

“It is wonderful to work at a University that values and supports innovative teaching. We worked with edX, which provides free global access to online courses, to develop our on-campus and online active learning resources.”

Along with this top award, UQ’s Dr Kay Colthorpe received a Teaching Excellence award for pioneering ‘meta-learning’ assessment tasks, which prompt students in biological sciences, health and related subjects to become self-reflective and independent learners.

UQ also received the following awards:

Awards for programs that enhance learning - Indigenous Health Education and Workforce Development team

Renee Brown, Alison Nelson and Dr Leanne Coombe from UQ's Indigenous Health Education and Workforce Development team.

Dr Leanne Coombe, Dr Emma Crawford, Adjunct Associate Professor Alison Nelson, Associate Professor Jodie Copley, Condy Canuto, Associate Professor Jon Willis, Dr Anne Hill, Adjunct Associate Lecturer Renee Brown, Dr Lisa Fitzgerald, Professor Murray Phillips - the Faculties of Health and Behavioural Sciences and Medicine partnered with academic staff from the UQ Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit and IUIH, to develop and deliver culturally-safe and strengths-based curricula in medicine, nursing, allied health and public health university education programs.

Awards for programs that enhance learning – Getting Students SET for the future

Rhea Jain, Carlene Kirvan, John Walsh, Ashil Ranpara, Ryan Webb, Ken Lai, Jo Williams, Debbie Hathaway, Linda McConnell, Jacqueline Niblett - the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law’s Student Employability Team offers a service specialising in the delivery of employability programs to students.

Citations for outstanding contributions to student learning

Dr Christopher Leonardi - for promoting "experience-based" learning of mining engineering, without digging up the classroom floor, through the use of virtual reality technology and industry best-practice.

Dr Lynda Shevellar - for developing community in the Community Development classroom: Supporting diverse, non-traditional, and international students through community-centred learning approaches.

Dr Paul Harpur - for outstanding leadership in translating disability strategy into a vision of ability equality and core university business.

Associate Professor Rowland Cobbold - for engaging students in the classroom through Dialogue Education and leading large-scale curriculum change in Veterinary Public Health for over 15 years.

Details of all the winners of the 2019 Australian Awards for University Teaching are here.

Media: Kirsten O'Leary, UQ Communications, kirsten.oleary@uq.edu.au; Professor Mark Horswill, m.horswill@psy.uq.edu.au, +61 (0)439 675 672; Professor Blake McKimmie, b.mckimmie@psy.uq.edu.au, +61 (0) 413 582 726; Professor Barbara Masser, b.masser@psy.uq.edu.au, +61 (0) 437401873.

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