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National awards recognise excellence in teaching


Brigid Veale
13 August 2007
Southern Cross University’s innovative teaching methods and excellence in student support services have been recognised in the prestigious national 2007 Carrick Awards.

Stephen Rowe, a lecturer in the School of Commerce and Management and a library team involving staff from the Lismore, Coffs Harbour and Tweed Gold Coast campuses, received Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.

“These are extremely competitive awards and recognise the tremendous effort made by these staff to enhance the student experience,” Professor Paul Clark, Southern Cross University Vice-Chancellor said.

Now in their second year, the Carrick Citations are granted to people who have made a significant contribution to the quality of learning in a specific area of responsibility over a sustained period.

Mr Des Stewart, University librarian, and colleagues Judy Hibberd, Di Clarke, Craig Littler and Tim Pedrazzini received a citation for ‘the provision of innovative library and information services which are integrated with the changing teaching and learning needs of staff and students’.

“I’m delighted that we have been acknowledged by an external body. This was a whole-of-library effort involving all staff from across the three campuses at Lismore, Coffs Harbour and Tweed Gold Coast,” Mr Stewart said.

“We aim to make a personal connection between the library and every Southern Cross University student, and as a result we use contemporary and familiar communication tools such as SMS and podcasting.

“Besides being quick and effective, the ease of communicating with the library is inherently motivating for student learning.”

Mr Stewart said the library had also developed and delivered a unit, as part of the Preparing for Success Program, which was designed to develop students’ computing, research and analytical skills.

Stephen Rowe, who has implemented a range of innovative online teaching methods including Elluminate Live!, received a citation for ‘pioneering online teaching approaches which have transformed student learning and created institutional change’.

“My view is that a student is a student and it doesn’t matter where they are located. We should be striving wherever possible to provide the same opportunities for students irrespective of where they are, or whether they are studying on campus or by distance,” Mr Rowe said.

“It’s great to receive this award for an emerging area in teaching. I’d also like to acknowledge the important role my students and colleagues have played in this. If they weren’t willing to try different approaches and provide feedback none of this would have happened.”

Photo: Carrick Award winners (from left) Des Stewart, Steve Rowe, Craig Littler and Tim Pedrazzini.