Three RMIT academics have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to student learning in Australian Government awards.
The Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning 2014 have recognised Dr Foula Kopanidis from the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, Dr Arthur Shelley from the Graduate School of Business and Law and Allan James Thomas from the School of Media and Communication for their quality teaching practice.
The OLT is an Australian government body that promotes excellence and change in higher education institutions for the enhancement of learning and teaching.
The Australian Awards for University Teaching are designed to recognise quality teaching practice and outstanding contributions to student learning.
RMIT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and Vice-President, Professor Geoffrey Crisp, said the recipients had made a difference to student learning by providing an environment that fosters student confidence in themselves as independent learners.
"These teachers have really made an outstanding effort to engage with their students and ensure that they're able to be inspired and succeed at their studies," Professor Crisp said.
"RMIT is committed to enhancing the student experience and outcomes.
"We are here to facilitate student success, both in an intellectual sense of expanding understanding and in a practical sense of gaining meaningful employment or starting a business.
"We value the opportunity to acknowledge our teachers who make an extra effort to transform the student experience and the OLT Citations are a nationally recognised way to say to the recipient teachers - well done.
"These teachers demonstrate how we can turn the words global, urban and connected into a real experience for our students and they inspire all staff to try a little harder and achieve those extra results."
Dr Kopanidis, Dr Shelley and Mr Thomas were recognised in an internal selection process where student and peer feedback of great teaching and evidence of excellent student outcomes were used to identify a small group of outstanding teachers.
Mr Thomas, who is a coordinator of the Contextual Studies Majors of the Communication programs as well as teacher and lecturer in Cinema Studies, said he felt honoured to be one of the recipients of the award.
He said that he had done a lot of work - alongside his faculty - researching industry and student needs, as well as into pedagogical practices best suited to equipping students with the skills and capacities to thrive in a swiftly changing media landscape.
"The key to this is to approach students as knowledge producers, not knowledge consumers, and to provide the scaffolding they need to feel secure enough to explore ideas and practices for themselves," he said.
"This scaffolding takes the form of course and assessment design that gives them the framework to utilise their own experiences, knowledge and interests to shape and focus their own exploration of knowledge within the courses I offer."