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Richard BakerGeography Convenor Fenner School of Environment and Society andDeputy Dean, College of ScienceAustralian National University“Supporting deep learning”Biological Science categoryContact me at [email protected] http://fennerschool-people.anu.edu.au/richard_baker/


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Discuss why you received a Carrick Teaching Award

  • My guess is that it was because I was able to:

  • demonstrate how I learn from my students about what assists them to learn best

  • demonstrate how I have used this feedback to improve my teaching each year by developing

    • both detailed resources to support student learning and

    • a range of innovative peer learning strategies

      As one grateful student noted “The best way to test and improve what one has learned is to try and teach others!” LP2551962.

  • demonstrate how my field based courses in the Murray-Darling Basin and Viet Nam have created life-changing deep learning experiences for my students


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    Discuss why you received a Carrick Teaching Award

    • I provided strong evidence of the impact of my teaching by

    • documenting my impact on student learning by keeping examples of student work and written feedback of their learning experiences

    • demonstrating my influence on colleagues at ANU and geographers more broadly

    • getting good evaluations from a wide range of former students around the world who I have kept in touch with via email

    • Showing how I continue to involve these former students in my teaching - eg giving them access to updates in the environmental policy field many are now working in and in them helping me teach current students


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    Student learning issues I have tried to address.

    • ISSUE 1 - Making small group learning work (avoid the tragedy of the commons being played out in tutorials!)

    • What I did - made sure students are well prepared to learn

    • Workshops to prepare students to run tutorials themselves

    • Everyone attending a tutorial is required to come prepared with a one page summary to enable everyone to actively participate in the tutorial.

    • Detailed web resources that the students build upon each year

    • Encourage peer learning (eg sharing in the library of their 1 page preparation)

    • Tailor assessment items around learning from tutorials - eg essays based on issues discussed in tutorials and learning portfolios on what they have learnt in tutorials


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    Student learning issues I have tried to address.

    • ISSUE 2 - Develop critical research and writing skills in large first year classes

    • What I did - develop new assessment items - eg webography and put a lot of support in place for student learning including:

      • a lecture from ANU’s study skill centre on essay writing and putting examples of past essays on the students’ webpage

      • two two-hour library based workshops (one on using the net critically, the other on locating relevant peer reviewed articles),

      • a tutorial on research and writing skills,

      • another tutorial where students comment on each other’s drafts against selection criteria,

      • an individual 10 min essay handback session where students get detailed feedback on how they went against each marking criteria and

      • a learning portfolio task where students need to reflect on how they could improve their next essay.


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    Provide evidence that details the impact your practice had on student learning and the student experience

    • Positive feedback from current but more importantly from long completed students

    • “Supertutorial” idea has been an effective way to develop peer learning and has been adopted and adapted by others

    • Successful involvement of former students in my current teaching

    • Careers of my former students and their ongoing contact with me and current students.

    • Most working in natural resource management positions but some in teaching - email feedback from one who has gone into teaching “I really enjoyed your unit and was mightily impressed with the way you taught it (knowledge, approachability, strategies (supertutes, etc), flexibility for students in the curriculum, student ownership in the curriculum, interest in the individual, your general ability to get the best out of us.”


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    Highlight some key features of your award application that you think will assist others

    • Examples of range of new assessment items I have developed are on my personal webpage - Google “Richard Baker ANU” and click on “Teaching” http://fennerschool-people.anu.edu.au/richard_baker/examples.html

    • Video clips there too of interactive teaching in “large” lectures

    • Papers I have written on teaching

    • My application provides egs of how to use former students in your teaching

    • Effective use of student feedback


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    Thank you for your attention

    • Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions [email protected]

    • And use my webpage http://fennerschool-people.anu.edu.au/richard_baker/index.html (or Google Richard Baker ANU) if you would like to learn more about my teaching and learning)


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