Murdoch academics recognised for excellence in teaching

Dr Garth Maker, Dr Brendan Scott and Jo Walker

Three Murdoch University academics have received citations for their outstanding contributions to student learning.

Dr Garth Maker, Dr Brendan Scott and Jo Walker were recently recognised by Universities Australia at the Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) for their ability to inspire a thirst for learning and inquiry.

Backed up by high levels of student and peer satisfaction, the citations celebrate the recipients’ ability to equip students with the tools and imagination needed to respond in innovative ways to changing circumstances and to produce job-ready graduates.

Murdoch University Pro Vice Chancellor (Education) Professor Kylie Readman congratulated the recipients, noting the critical role our academics play in developing free-thinking and enterprising graduates. 

“These prestigious awards recognise the innovative ways that Murdoch is developing graduates who are well prepared to navigate their futures,” Professor Readman said.

“These three academics are worthy recipients of recognition. Each, in their unique way, embody Murdoch’s commitment to teaching excellence.”

Dr Garth Maker, Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry in the discipline of Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences, was recognised for developing real-world teaching activities that help students develop skills relevant to their future careers.

A key focus is to ensure that curriculum is designed to give students the broadest possible career options and reflect what graduates will encounter in the workplace.

This AAUT citation recognises Garth’s ability to teach complex theory in an accessible way, deftly linking scientific concepts, current industry practice and the latest research. 

Dr Brendan Scott, Senior Lecturer in Exercise Science, received his AUUT citation for his innovative strategies teaching exercise science – strategies which motivate independent thinking and real-world learning.

Brendan says his teaching philosophy is founded on three themes – being approachable, fostering independent thinking and providing students with opportunities to learn real-world skills.

A focus on the real-world application of knowledge means students can visualise a clear pathway from university to their chosen careers.

Jo Walker, an Associate Lecturer in the Discipline of Nursing, received an AAUT citation for inspiring her students to learn through teaching that facilitates critical thinking. She was recognised for nurturing a positive attitude in her students towards both classroom and online learning.

Since her appointment, Jo has been responsible for the design, development and delivery of two online units. She is also involved in the teaching of three other units, as well as nursing’s clinical preparation program, which are clinically based and delivered face-to-face.

A Registered Nurse, Jo believes that a person’s health outcomes are influenced by their experiences and that all people need support and compassion. Her approach to teaching is rooted in that same belief.

This AAUT citation recognises Jo’s ability to provide nursing students with the tools needed to develop and integrate critical thinking and reasoning into their nursing studies. This approach to teaching enhances her students’ professionalism and clinical competencies.

Her students agree.

Jo is amazing at communicating in a way that engages you and makes you want to learn. She really makes you critically think, which in the end will make us better nurses.
Posted on:

28 Feb 2020



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