A multidisciplinary approach to teaching students learning in a variety of situations – face-to-face on campus, from home or from another country – has won the Charles Sturt University lecturer the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence 2002.
No matter what their study situation, Mr Dalgarno’s students have a common learning experience thanks to the communication technology tools he employs, such as interactive CD Roms, internet based discussion forums and websites, in addition to more traditional tools such as lectures and reading material.
A lecturer in the School of Information Studies for the past five years, students in his subjects – which include programming, java scripting and web development – are actively using technology as a learning tool.
Through his efforts Mr Dalgarno hopes to simulate the “face-to-face buzz” of teaching, producing positive results for his students.
“I enjoy figuring out how to help a student to understand a problem, and then apply it in practice,” Mr Dalgarno said.
Each distance education and overseas based student receives a CD Rom, which includes the audio from his lectures which are played over text notes.
All his students have access to subject websites he updates and maintains, providing content updates, links and resources over and above that which forms the core component of his subjects – encouraging students to explore topic areas as fully as possible.
In addition, he “drops in” to his online subject forums regularly to facilitate discussion, answer questions and identify misconceptions, simulating the environment of face-to-face teaching.
The process of applying for the award was also a valuable reflective process, he said.
“It allowed me to take the time to consider my teaching philosophy and reflect on my practice. Student surveys were very positive for me, they supported my teaching practice but also offered constructive comment and ideas. I have also made notes to make some changes to my teaching, as a result of putting to paper my teaching beliefs and practices,” he said.
Currently completing his PhD in technology facilitated learning, Mr Dalgarno sees an ideal career path as one where he can continue to intertwine his research into technology facilitated learning with his teaching about technology.
Charles Sturt University Teaching Excellence Award Winners 2002:
Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence 2002 Individual Achievement)
- Barney Dalgarno, School of Information Studies, Wagga Wagga Campus.
- Dr Sharynne McLeod, Dr Lindy McAllister, Ms Libby Clark, Ms Linda Wilson, Ms Lucie Shanahan, Dr Ian Thompson, Ms Andrea Zanin, School of Community Health, Albury-Wodonga (Albury City) Campus.
- Dr Ben Wilson, School of Environmental and Information Sciences, Albury-Wodonga (Thurgoona) Campus.
- Dr Simone Fullagar, School of Community Health, Albury-Wodonga (Albury City) Campus.
- Troy Heffernan, School of Marketing and Management, Bathurst Campus.
- Ms Jennifer Munday, Mr John Rafferty, Yalmambirra, Murray Education Unit, Albury-Wodonga (Albury City) Campus.