Three outstanding teachers were presented with RMIT Vietnam’s prestigious annual Excellence in Learning and Teaching Awards for their aspirations to create truly transformative learning experiences for their students.
Introducing the awards at a ceremony on 31 July, RMIT Vietnam Vice President (Academic) Professor Beverly Webster said that the Excellence in Learning and Teaching Awards recognise members of the University’s teaching community who had demonstrated a strong commitment to students, and excellence in their approach to teaching and their demonstrated understanding of the impacts on student learning.
“Each of these academic staff members has distinguished themselves through excellent and committed teaching practice,” Professor Webster said.
“Each awardee has provided evidence of the impact of their practice in the areas of student motivation and inspiration, innovative curriculum development, evaluation for continuous improvement and/or the enhancement of the student experience through leadership and scholarship.”
The first award was presented to School of Science & Technology Senior Lecturer Dr Edouard Amouroux.
Professor Webster noted that Dr Amouroux’s focus on developing students’ employability skills was evidenced in the design of authentic learning activities which stemmed from his experience and close connections to industry.
“In his own teaching he has used work integrated learning and project-based learning to heighten students’ exposure to industry expectations and work practices,” Professor Webster said.
“He has also demonstrated leadership that enhances learning and teaching within his department by initiating and coordinating industry collaborations to engage students and leading research into project-based learning.”
Accepting the award, the Information Technology lecturer emphasised the importance of connecting students with industry, and thanked his colleagues for their support.
The second award went to Victoria Eskdale, a Fashion and Merchandising Management lecturer.
Commenting on the recipient’s achievement, Professor Webster said that Ms Eskdale was driven by her desire for students to develop skills in critical thinking and creativity in a motivating and inclusive learning environment.
“Victoria has a strong focus on providing clear expectations, and timely and informative feedback,” Professor Webster said.
“Even though this teacher has multiple different classes each and every semester, her energy and commitment to the student experience is never compromised and she meets all her teaching responsibilities without complaint and is a shining example of continuously improving the student learning experience.”
In her acceptance speech, Ms Eskdale said: “I tried to create an inspirational and motivational environment where students could approach me with questions. And I created lectures full of visual and activities workshops, broadcast videos, and an environment where students want to come to class.”
The third award was presented to an 11-year veteran of the School of Business & Management, a lecturer who has focused on building active and experiential learning strategies to inspire and immerse first year students in her discipline.
In her remarks about Associate Lecturer Jis Kuruvilla, Professor Webster emphasised that in all the years at RMIT Vietnam, Ms Kuruvilla’s commitment to the student experience has never wavered.
“Through her industry knowledge and connections, and the determination to make her courses inspiring and to motivate her students, she has contextualised course learning materials to engage students with relevant, local examples as well as providing exposure to industry through guest speakers and field trips,” Professor Webster said.
“Jis led the redesign of her course as part of the First Year Experience project which saw the online engagement of students increase substantially.”
Accepting the award, Jis shared that the award meant so much to her and that the application process was worth the effort.
“Some said that the journey is more important than the final award,” Jis said.
“It was so true!
“I actually learnt a lot about myself and about what I have been doing.”
Story: Hoang Ha