Dr Brooke Harris-Reeves, from the School of Allied Health Sciences in Griffith Health is the winner of a 2019 Griffith Group Learning and Teaching Citation.

What motivates and inspires you in your teaching? 

I am passionate about creating learning experiences that engage and support every student, encouraging confidence and capability to gain employment in their chosen career/s. I aim to provide complex and highly individualised support while focusing on the overall student experience to ensure students successfully transition in and through their studies. 

How have teaching practices in your discipline changed with the introduction of new technologies, and how has technology changed the way you interact and engage with your students? 

My interest in employability focused curriculum has led me to seek alternatives for appropriate use of online learning technologies. I design simple, yet engaging learning experiences on a variety of platforms including PebblePad, LinkedIn, Echo360 and Smart Sparrow. The success of these initiatives resulted in program wide implementation in the Bachelor of Sport Development. 

How does the Career Plan assessment in the first-year course, Sport Development I, prepare students for their future careers? 

The Career Plan assessment prepares students for their future careers by providing opportunities to: demonstrate self-awareness; develop employability skills and career aspirations; and, build their five senses of success when transitioning in during Trimester 1, Year 1. Students are required to go through 5 steps to complete the Career Plan: 1) Source (two advertised jobs); 2) Analyse (the job advertisements); 3) Identify (the required skills); 4) Develop (a timeline including co-curricular goals); 5) Reflect (on strategies for achieveing their goals). 

What have you learnt throughout your academic career about creating an engaging learning experience for students, and what have you learnt from experimenting with new approaches that didn’t quite work out?  

Throughout my academic career I have designed, embeded and implemented a range of curriculum approaches. I believe it is important to ensure you tailor learning experiences to the unique needs of the cohort.  I find my students gain valuable skills and knowledge from employability focused experiences. Sometimes my innovations aren’t always successful initially, but I reflect on the experience and make necessary refinements based on student feedback. 

Given it isn’t always easy to innovate within a learning and teaching context, what advice do you have for colleagues looking to try something new in their teaching? 

 I would encourage anyone looking to try something new to reach out to colleagues and the experts in Learning Futures. There are many knowledgeable people in the L&T space at Griffith University that would be more than happy to have a chat about your ideas over a coffee.  

What is something new you are looking forward to trying in your learning and teaching practice over the next year or so? 

I have an interest in enhancing the second year experience for students at university. I have found as students ‘transition through’  their univeristy studies they have very different needs to first and third year students. I am currently looking into strategies for meeting the needs of the second year cohort to ensure student remain enagaed and avoid the ‘sophomore slump’.  

What advice do you have for educators looking to enhance their teaching practice? 

I believe educators should aim to design and deliver curriculum that: enhances the student experience; supports students to develop key employability skills that augments their work readiness; and, enables students to make informed choices about their career.