ACU’s Teaching Support Program team has been recognised with the Vice-Chancellor’s Medal for Excellence and award for Service Excellence, for its work to support capability development for academic staff.
"It’s wonderful to be recognised for something that you believe in so strongly”.
These were the thoughts of Meghan Appleby and Peter Bruhn, also known as the Teaching Support Program team, after receiving a Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Excellence Award for Service Excellence.
The team was recognised for their work to support capability development for academic staff to plan, design and facilitate quality blended learning experiences for their students.
The Service Excellence award celebrates the diverse service contributions that individuals and teams make to the ACU community.
With blended learning (combining online digital media with traditional classroom methods) increasingly becoming the new normal, all academic staff need to have the ability to deliver quality blended learning experiences for their students.
"The days of an academic walking in to a lecture room, giving their lecture and walking out again are long gone,” Peter said. “They now need to be able to teach in both face-to-face and online environments, requiring a whole new set of skills.”
Introduced in 2015, the TSP is delivered over seven weeks and supports ACU’s academic staff to develop capabilities in unit design, blended learning, contemporary pedagogies and technology enhanced learning.
The project was implemented under the banner of ACU Learning for Life.
The program is delivered flexibly, via Adobe Connect Live Classrooms, face-to-face or virtual coaching sessions, and a supported LEO site, with a growing collection of resources.
"The feedback from participants is that the TSP has really met a professional development need. It’s a relatively modest investment of time with a fairly big impact. The program gives people practical tools in designing and developing units” Meghan said.
Ms Meghan Appleby and Mr Peter Bruhn
Since it was introduced in 2015, more than 120 staff have participated in the TSP. A formal evaluation of one of last year’s programs found that 94 per cent of participants rated the structure as ‘very effective or effective’. At the same time, 82 per cent of participants said they were able to use the online resources to catch-up, or revisit, missed sessions.
The team said the Program’s flexibility, scalability and sustainability had been key to its success.
“It’s now firmly enmeshed in our professional development offering. We intentionally designed this program to be flexible to ensure that even staff who couldn’t attend the live classrooms could view recordings and still have access to all of the information and resources. That flexible offering has been very appealing to staff,” Meghan said.
Both Meghan and Peter said they were honoured to be recognised with a Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Excellence Award this year.
"We were up against some really strong competition,” Peter said. “We’re very pleased that the TSP has been acknowledged for what it is doing across the faculties.”
Peter said the Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Excellence Awards were a great way to raise the profile of work happening across ACU.
"“We know there is a lot of great work happening across the learning and teaching space and these awards are a great way of raising awareness.”