The 2020 Vice Chancellor’s Teaching Awards have recognised three members of the College of Arts and Social Sciences community for their outstanding contribution to teaching and student learning.
Elisa Crossing, a Lecturer in Foundation Studies and Painting in the School of Art and Design shares the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence with Associate Professors Krisztina Valter and Alexandra L Webb from the ANU Medical School. The award recognises their work on a novel interdisciplinary course called The Exquisite Corpse, combining art and anatomy into an innovative curriculum fostering collaboration and creative freedom. The course teaches fundamental knowledge in both disciplines, and then integrates the knowledge from both so that they inform one another. Briefs are designed to encourage individual and create problem solving. The course requires active participation in art making, which as well as developing conceptual awareness, observation and analysis of artworks, provides students with multisensory experiences, to promote a deep and an embodied approach to learning.
Dr Darren Lim, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations, received the Vice Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning. Darren’s course Power and Influence in World Politics comes at a time of significant turbulence and unique challenges in world politics. He designed the course in 2017 to be a responsive course that applies learning and analysis to current events, using issues from Russian interference to European debt as current and effective case studies. The course focuses on the concept of power, and how a framework around this concept can be applies to different situations.
Feodor Snagovsky, a PhD Graduate from the School of Politics and Relations receives the Vice Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Tutoring or Demonstrating. Formerly a Tutor and Associate Lecturer in the School, Feo encourages his students to interrogate the political world.
“I strongly believe nobody can do your learning for you; in this respect I think of my role as in keeping with the ‘Travelling Theory’ of teaching – that of “a local guide and equipment supplier, not a coach driver on a packaged tour” Feo says of his teaching philosophy. “I am a strong believer in experiential, participatory and problem-based learning, approaches which I believe help students of different learning styles develop their understanding of the political world in a more rigorous way.”
One of the ways Feo has done this is to have first year students in quantitative methods use their own survey data to develop and understanding of the principles of statistics. In one example using a mirror version of the Australian Election Study, students were split into two groups, each group receiving information about the behaviour of an MP, but each group being told the MP was from a different party. “This experiment used students’ own answers to these questions to demonstrate how good research design can help us understand motivated reasoning and other forms of bias.”
Other members of the College were Candidates for awards including Professor Laurajane Smith, Head of the Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies who was nominated for the Award for Excellence in Supervision; Dr Chris Bishop and Dr Ben Mercer who were nominated for the Award for Teaching Excellence.
The Awards booklet with full citations and links to videos can be downloaded here.