Professor David Neumann and colleagues in the REDBOOK Development Team (Associate Professor Frances O’Callaghan, Dr Karen Murphy, Associate Professor Caroline Donovan and Kylie Loveday from the School of Applied Psychology and Ganeshan Rao from the Office of the Dean, Learning and Teaching ), received a 2018 Griffith Learning and Teaching Citation for the innovative academic writing and American Psychological Association (APA) formatting guide REDBOOK which improves students’ skills as independent writers.
We asked David to tell us a bit more about his teaching practice and the importance of academic support resources in course design and delivery.
What motivates and inspires you in your teaching?
The desire to help others achieve their potential. It is also about having a passion for the topic you are teaching and wanting to share that passion with others.
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?
New technologies have allowed greater flexibility in the ways we can help students to learn. No longer are we restricted to just one approach – there is now multiple ways for students to engage and learn. My teaching has included more asynchronous approaches, more visual approaches, and more interactive approaches. For the latter, I have been able to develop computer-based interactives and simulations to teach concepts.
How important is it for educators to consider academic support resources when designing and delivering their courses?
It is absolutely vital. Making good use of support resources provides a means to enhance the way students learn. It can simplify the development and delivery of our material. We can also learn of new techniques and develop our own skills as an educator.
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?
While the new approach, like a new technology or educational tool, is part of the picture it is important not to forget the basics. You still need to have good curriculum design, the learning must be authentic, and you the teacher should be well-prepared and passionate.
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?
Talk to others and be part of a learning and teaching community of practice. You can learn a lot from listening to the success and challenges of other teachers.
What advice do you have for educators looking to enhance their teaching practice?
Teaching is an ever evolving practice. We need to change with the changing nature of our students, society, and ourselves. Embrace change and be open to new possibilities. We can learn a lot ourselves by helping others to learn.