Dr Stephanie Schleimer received a 2018 Griffith Learning and Teaching Citation for creating a challenging and rewarding learning environment that maximises students’ motivation to learn in the MBA program.
We asked Stephanie to tell us a bit more about her teaching practice and some of the strategies she uses to build a community and a sense of belonging amongst learners in online courses.
What motivates and inspires you in your teaching?
I love what I do, so it is easy to be motivated. My students are amazing, they inspire me every single time again through their interesting professional backgrounds, their dedication, and their hunger to learn.
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?
In the MBA, we increasingly communicate, teach, and exchange knowledge via social media platforms, so the ways we all interact with one another is rather different than it used to be.
What strategies do you use to build a community and a sense of belonging amongst learners in your online courses?
Platforms need to be easy to access, visually attractive, and feature interesting and topical content. Students need to be able to access them when they want and from different devices. Students engage and belong when they can share and discuss opinions/perceptions about things they care for and know about.
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?
I have learnt that being adaptive is key. Business and technology are changing faster than ever so my learning content is differently disrupted every single course. I have moved away from teaching with textbooks as the content gets outdated too quickly.
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 like simplicity, so my advice is stay with ideas that are simple, easy to understand and straight forward to apply across different course sizes and teaching modes.
What is something new you are looking forward to trying in your learning and teaching practice over the next year or so?
I would like to increase our student participation in international MBA competitions via virtual student teams.
What advice do you have for educators looking to enhance their teaching practice?
Simple: Be passionate about what you teach, students can’t help but love it too sooner or later :).