Innovative teaching earns international award

1 JANUARY 2003

A subject that successfully combines traditional teaching and online interactive tools to enhance student learning has earned its CSU creators an international award for innovative teaching.

A subject that successfully combines traditional teaching and online interactive tools to enhance student learning has earned its Charles Sturt University (CSU) creators an international award for innovative teaching.
 
Dr Sally Knipe and Ms Miriam Edwards with the University’s Murray School of Education were runners-up in the 2010 Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award for their work on a first year subject that introduces teaching to students starting their Bachelor of Education (K-12 Middle Schooling).
 
Dr Knipe, the middle school course coordinator, explained that most of the students doing this degree course are new to university study. “We employed a blended learning approach that used traditional lectures and small group tutorials with a rich online environment via the Sakai Interact system that supplied students with written, audio and video materials as well as interactive chat rooms and forums to support their learning,” she said.
 
“Though this approach we aim to help students to transition into university life, develop a sense of community and build on their online study skills. We have added greater balance and flexibility into the delivery of the subject, recognising the student’s professional requirements and their commitments to other University courses.”
 
Ms Edwards, an education designer with CSU’s Division of Learning and Teaching Services, said the approach has stimulated high levels of student engagement and collaboration.
 
“The subject required students to communicate through tools that have immediate response and others that were delayed. In weeks when there were no ‘face-to-face’ lectures , students  had online learning experiences such as chat sessions to maintain their interaction with academics and fellow students,” Ms Edwards said.
 
Dean of CSU’s Faculty of Education, Professor Tony Downes, congratulated the CSU staff on their achievement.
 
“The award publicly honors a successful learning innovation that creates a seamless pathway for rural and regional student into their future careers are school teachers,” Professor Downes said.
 
Dr Knipe and Ms Edwards are due to receive their award in June at the 11th Sakai Conference in Denver, USA, where they will present their teaching experience with the Sakai system. The 2010 Awards were judged by five distinguished educators from USA and Australia who have leading roles in university learning and teaching.
 
This is the second successive year CSU has secured a top spot in the internationally competitive Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award. Read more about the 2009 winner Dr Andrea Crampton, a lecturer with the CSU School of Biomedical Sciences.

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Albury-Wodonga Bathurst Canberra Dubbo Goulburn Orange Parramatta Wagga Wagga Ontario, Canada Charles Sturt University Teaching and Education International