Showcasing Teaching Excellence

Discover how JCU’s exceptional educators are surpassing traditional teaching methods and boundaries.

The projects below detail techniques that have a specific emphasis on experiential learning, student agency and technology-enhanced learning. Read on to learn about these exciting efforts to foster deeper understanding and nurture student success.

Empowering health professionals

Empowering health professionals, Associate Professor Melissa Crowe, Dr. Diana Mendez, and Associate Professor Meryl Churchill received the AAUT 2023 Award for programs that enhance learning. This follows the success of A/Prof. Crowe and the Cohort Doctoral Studies Team – GRS, who received the 2023 JCU Inclusive Practice Award for their Cohort Doctoral Studies Program. This program supports graduate research candidates who are concurrently working while completing their studies, with a primary focus on medicine and health fields.

Working health professionals possess a unique vantage point to pinpoint areas necessitating research and to implement findings to enhance patient care and outcomes. This pioneering program offers mentoring, research education, and fosters peer learning and support.

Analysis of program outcomes reveals that Cohort candidates not only generate more research publications and complete their studies more expeditiously compared to their non-cohort counterparts, but it has also shown notable success in providing support to underserved groups. These include part-time and external candidates, mothers pursuing research degrees, and First Nations research candidates.

Reimagining marine science education

The JCU Marine Science Launchpad team, comprising of A/Prof. Scott Heron, Prof. Jodie Rummer, Dr Mark Robertson, Dr Espen Knutsen, and Dr Allison Paley, has received recognition as the overall winners of the 2023 JCU Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.

Their achievement highlights their remarkable contributions to revitalising the introductory marine science course by infusing storytelling into the curriculum. They created six compelling storylines across four major disciplines of marine science, helping students grasp their interconnected nature. Additionally, they embraced educational technologies like Soapbox and PollEverywhere to elevate the learning experience and foster greater interactivity.

An innovative curriculum for medical students

“Give Them Fondue!” is the coming together of Dr Zafar Smith's reflections on transforming medical students’ learning experiences. His program design supports the transition to the clinical years with an innovative curriculum, narrative learning tools and role-playing activities related to Emergency Medicine.

Dr Zafar Smith's nomination for the JCU Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning earned him both the distinguished award and the overall JCU Teaching Excellence Award for 2021. His achievements in transforming curriculum were further recognised through a 2022 Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning through the Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT).

Read more about Dr Smith’s successful AAUT nomination (PDF, 350 KB).

Integrated assessment design across core subjects

Dr Rhian Morgan and Lisa Moody present a compelling case study showcasing the enhancement of students' digital literacy skills by seamlessly integrating assessment practices across various subjects. Their approach involves the practical application and evaluation of these skills within multiple subjects and contexts. The result is that students receive amplified feedback, with multiple opportunities to action this and improve.

The interplay of assessment across subjects fosters engagement and provides students with a dynamic exploration of the roles, potential, and ramifications of technologies. Students understand the applications across academic pursuits,  research, communication, and self-directed learning – all of which contribute to their success in university studies.