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Top teachers

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 11:25
Accountancy Lecturer Frederique Bouilheres received Teaching Award from RMIT Vietnam President Professor Gael McDonald.
Hanoi-based Professional Communication Lecturer Linda Nguyen received Teaching Award from RMIT Vietnam President Professor Gael McDonald.

RMIT University Vietnam's 2014 Teaching Awards recipients announced.

Accountancy lecturer Frederique Bouilheres and Professional Communication lecturer Linda Nguyen have been recognised for excellence in teaching and learning through this year's RMIT University Vietnam Teaching Awards.

Before a crowd at the finale of the recent Teaching and Learning Showcase, Director of Teaching and Learning Associate Professor Anne Herbert announced Bouilheres and Nguyen had been chosen after a rigorous selection process.

"This year as usual the call for nominations attracted great interest and enthusiasm - more than 60 individual teachers were nominated by students and fellow staff to be considered for an award," Associate Professor Herbert said.

"The RMIT Vietnam Teaching Award has been a special and long-standing honour among the university community since it started in 2006. Overall, 593 teaching staff have been nominated by their students and colleagues, 123 have chosen to apply and reflect on their good work, and 18 distinguished staff members have been awarded for exemplary work in enhancing the student experience."

With almost seven years of teaching at RMIT Vietnam under her belt, Bouilheres has managed to largely turn around low levels of student motivation and engagement in her accountancy courses by actively and inclusively engaging students in learning.

"My first reaction when told I had won was that I had misunderstood it. And then I thought if they needed my name on a certificate, it probably meant I had understood correctly," she said.

"What I think the panel liked in my application is the fact I am trying to innovate in terms of teaching practice and feedback and, in particular, by using blended learning. I am quite keen to use new technologies to see how students respond and most of the time the responses are positive so I keep trying new things. It's very much a trial and error process.

"For example, I started recording short instructional videos a few years ago, then more recently I started using Google Doc to provide formative feedback and I also use videos for summative feedback. I think the mix of visual and audio support is what students appreciate."

Hanoi-based lecturer Linda Nguyen is committed to supporting students' learning, with particular focuses on transitioning students from high school in Vietnam to university life and from their studies to industry. She particularly uses learning activities that simulate real work and with her contacts in the PR industry provides the students with live projects to serve specific commercial requests.

The panel appreciated how she designs and uses innovative puzzles and games to check students' understanding and fosters sustained dialogue between students to promote critical thinking.

"I always think it's important to create interactions between the teaching content/materials and the students because that's the best way to help them comprehend knowledge and make learning more motivational. When it comes to good teaching, I believe it's not about us (teachers), it's all about the students, they're the focus of every word we say, every activity we facilitate," Nguyen said.