Q. Please tell us a little about what you won the award for…
I won the award for my educational development work in undergraduate auditing – a compulsory subject for Accounting major students in the Bachelor of Business. Auditing is often thought of as one of the driest, most painful subjects students undertake – we’ve done a lot of work to change perceptions!
Q. What’s something new you are hoping to try or explore in learning and teaching in 2017?
I’m going to be on maternity leave for most of 2017, but I know that I want to expand our video library of teaching videos and I also hope to have a fortnightly or monthly video news bulletin about auditing to help students learn about current events.
Q. What’s one trick or tip you wish you’d known when you first started out in university teaching?
Find a style of teaching that suits you – emulating great educators is a good start, but try and find your own groove.
Q. What’s your approach to keeping students active and engaged in a large group situation?
I use a number of different approaches – “fill in the blanks” sections on lecture slides, interactive quizzes, humour, short video clips, and storytelling are some of my favourites.
Q. What’s been your most memorable learning and teaching moment – as a teacher, or as a student?
I’ve been teaching for almost 15 years, so I’ve got a lot of really fond memories. Most centre around graduations and having students come and thank me for preparing them for the “real world” – quite often they find auditing an intense subject to study and wonder why I push them to their limits, but upon entering the workforce, they can completely understand.
Besides that, more recently I received an email from a female student in Pakistan. Did you know only 26% of women (according to the UN) in Pakistan receive a basic education? This one student was lucky enough to be granted the opportunity to study accounting at university but did not feel confident asking questions in her male dominated class. She used my Amanda Loves to Audit videos to fill in her knowledge gaps and graduate. That email certainly made me teary 🙂
Q. What’s the most challenging aspect of teaching in universities today?
Students are faced with so many competing demands – study, work, family – you have to make yourself and your subject memorable to make them want to put in the time and effort.
Q. Do you think teaching practices in your discipline area have changed a lot with the introduction of new technologies?
In some ways, yes, and in other ways, no. Automated quizzes (practice or assessment items) and learning modules can in many circumstances reduce workload for academics, however, students have different expectations today. Much more information is expected online and in short digestible chunks. They expect academics to be available and respond to queries more quickly than in the past. But that also means more for academics to learn, and then implement. For a self-confessed technology and pedagogy junkie, I am loving the sorts of changes we are seeing in Business/Accounting education.