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Going above and beyond to improve student learning

Woman researcher.
UniSQ staff receive national recognition

Two University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) staff members have been recognised among the country’s best at the 2022 Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT).

Adrian Stagg and Nikki Andersen from the University’s Open Educational Practice Team received a 2022 Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.

Citation recognise the diversity of contributions made by individuals and teams to the quality of student learning and are awarded to staff who have made a significant contribution to the quality of student learning in a specific area of responsibility over a sustained period.

Meanwhile, incoming Head of UniSQ College for First Nations Associate Professor Ben Wilson, currently at the University of Canberra, received the prestigious Neville Bonner Award for Indigenous Teaching.

A state-based awards ceremony to honour all recipients will be held at the Queensland University of Technology in the coming weeks.

Mr Stagg and Ms Andersen (Library Services) were recognised for personalised and community-based leadership of academics engaging with open educational resources that has broadened and deepened our collective Institutional understanding of teaching and learning.

UniSQ Provost Professor Karen Nelson said the awards were a powerful recognition of Mr Stagg and Ms Andersen’s commitment, dedication, and innovative practices as educators.

“AAUT Citations are awarded in a very competitive national process, and these awards acknowledge Adrian and Nikki’s excellence in supporting student learning,” Professor Nelson said.

“Their efforts have helped educators remove barriers to equal access to learning resources that promote students’ success.

“Their work has its origins in meeting the needs of the University’s student cohort, which is approximately 75 per cent online, 52 per cent first-in-family, 25 per cent from low socio-economic backgrounds, and the second-largest incarcerated student population nationally.

“They have displayed innovation and leadership that enhances learning and teaching and the student experience at the institutional, national and international level.

“They achieved this by leading a community based Open Educational Practice grants program to purposefully support educational change, providing individualised support for academics and embedding open assessment in courses.”

Mr Stagg paid credit to the educators for embracing open education.

"Open education has been a great way to engage staff who express ideas of social justice, and equity of access through their teaching practice,” he said.

“What started as a focus on student cost savings has morphed into supporting online learning with the most up-to-date information, and positioning students as partners and co-creators of their learning.

“The educators we work with are transforming students' lives by giving them an equal chance of success, and preparing them to contribute to their profession, and society.”

Ms Andersen said she and Mr Stagg were grateful to be honoured in this way.

“We are humbled to be awarded this AAUT citation, not just for ourselves, but for the educators that we collaborate with,” she said.

“It’s fantastic to see both their work and ours recognised at a national level.”