National recognition for Notre Dame academics' dedication to student learning

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 17-9-2012

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia

Publication Place



Academics from The University of Notre Dame Australia have been awarded citations by the Australian Government's Office of Learning & Teaching (OLT) in recognition of their outstanding contribution to student learning.

The 2012 citations were awarded to "those who have made significant contribution to the quality of student learning in a specific area of responsibility over a sustained period".

Associate Professor Joanne Connaughton, Mrs Susan Edgar and Mrs Jacqui Francis-Coad from the School of Physiotherapy Clinical Education Team, received their citation for developing and scaffolding reflective practice skills in an online environment to promote independent work-ready graduates. The team develops and fosters reflective practice skills in their students on clinical placement from as early as first year of the degree course. They have been acknowledged for their innovative development of an assessed framework in an online medium, scaffolded from first year pre-clinical hours to final year formal placements. The assessed framework has assisted graduates, now 'reflective practitioners', in their transition into the work place.

Professor Donna Mak, Dr Sally Murray, Dr Revle Bangor-Jones and Dr Elina Tor from the School of Medicine, Fremantle, received their citation for developing and implementing an innovative program that provides experiential learning of quality improvement in a health services workplace environment.

Professor Mak and her team developed and implemented an innovative teaching, learning and service collaboration between final year medical students, the School of Medicine and health services. The collaboration, which provides all students with experiential learning of quality improvement while undertaking useful work for health services, is consistent with the National Safety and Quality Service Standards and the School's ethos of 'service in return for learning. The program has also demonstrated multi-dimensional benefits for students and health services.

Head of Assessment at the Sydney Campus' School of Medicine, Associate Professor Michael Wan, received his citation for his sustained excellence in teaching and innovation in assessment for graduate entry medical students and enhancing overall students' experiences.

Professor Wan is passionate about improving the quality of assessment and also ensuring the best possible student experience in preparing graduates for future medical practice and professional life. He has introduced a range of innovations in teaching and assessment that are centred on Problem-Based Learning in clinical contexts. His research into assessment practices in medical education is recognised both nationally and internationally.

Vice Chancellor, Professor, Celia Hammond, said she was delighted that the staff have been acknowledged.

"As a University which openly strives for excellence in teaching, we are delighted with these externally judged awards for our staff," said Professor Hammond.

"On behalf of the University, I congratulate our successful individual and team nominees for this national recognition of their outstanding achievements. All three citations reflect the commitment Notre Dame's staff have to providing excellent teaching, and challenging and diverse educational experiences for our students."

Michelle Ebbs: Tel (08) 9433 0610; Mob 0408 959 138
Leigh Dawson: Tel (08) 9433 0569; Mob 0405 441 093