Remote teaching and student experience awards 2021

Friday 4 June 2021

Teaching is at the heart of what we do as a university. These awards recognise and acknowledge individuals and teams who demonstrate a passion and effectiveness in remote teaching, and contribute towards a positive student experience at The Australian National University (ANU).

We are pleased to announce the following individuals and teams have been awarded an ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) Remote teaching and student experience award for building a strong community aligned with our College strategic intent.

Here is a full list of awardees and citations.

Tuan Tran for multiple courses and course representative ENGN8830 Photovoltaic Power Plants

Tuan received numerous unique but complementary nominations from peers and tutors across multiple courses. Tuan’s achievement of excellence in Solar Thermal Technologies was testament to his curiosity, enthusiasm, and active engagement in all learning activities such as bringing questions to consultation hours, answering questions in classes, and presenting initiatives in group experimental work. Motivating, encouraging, inspiring and cooperating in difficult circumstances with team members in Professional Practice 2 with “drive to go above and beyond for the course” [nominator], Tuan lifted team spirits and resulted in innovative and well-presented outcomes. A concern for others wellbeing was similarly reflected in responsible and empathetic representation of peers’ needs as course representative in Photovoltaic Power Plants with peers commenting that Tuan “really cared about the feedback from classmates… we classmates can truly benefit from having such a course representative… Tuan understood our stress and requested an extension for us, and finally we all could finish the assignment on time with higher quality”.

Congratulations Tuan for exemplifying CECS Reimagine focus of ‘a strong community’ of intellectual and cultural leadership by sharing your high aspirations and curiosity.

Kiara Bruggeman for ENGN1217 Introduction to Mechanics
School of Engineering

[See video above] Kiara rose to the challenges of a large, compulsory first year course with agility, humour, compassion and fun with the playful ‘Pets of 1217’ forum breaking down inhibitions, establishing connection, and building community. Students eagerly shared picture of their pets in stark contrast to reluctance to join initial introduce yourself activities. Kiara “used a couple mins before each lecture to run pollEV clickable image polls to allow students to give virtual pats and belly rubs to each other’s pets. The forum was ‘moderated’ by her own doggo, and the students created a fan club for her (her doggo) in the class Discord channel. I believe this perfectly illustrates her positive mental health approach to teaching in S2 2020” [nominator]. Encouraging group work, presenting with passion and acknowledging the difficult circumstances with a clear focus on making the student experience engaging and fun to enhance learning was manifested with outstanding student satisfaction.

Congratulations Kiara for exemplifying CECS Reimagine focus of ‘a strong community’ by creating an inclusive, adaptive, and self-sustaining culture in your course allowing students to thrive.

Bin Lu, Janelle Ireland, and Myo Nguyen for ENGN3100 Practical Experience
School of Engineering and PSG – Community

Bin, Janelle, and Myo worked closely with external stakeholders Engineers Australia (EA) and ANU Access & Inclusion, to develop a personalised and flexible approach accommodating student’s needs enabling them to demonstrate EA Stage 1 competencies. The approach empowered them to complete ENGN3100 Practical Experience without compromising learning outcomes, wellbeing, and health. The positive impact was acknowledged by the student’s nomination of the team. Wider student feedback echoed a commitment to providing timely support, information, and formative feedback. Work placement pre-approvals were assessed with the lens of supporting students facing additional complications due to COVID such as remote working and enabled Bin, “to identify the work placements that did not meet Engineers Australia’s requirements and also effectively mitigate the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 and other unsafe working conditions”.

Congratulations Bin, Janelle, and Myo for exemplifying CECS Reimagine focus of ‘a strong community’ by fostering inclusion and harnessing the power of working together to provide bespoke support and support at scale.    

Leopold Zhou and Steve Blackburn for COMP1110/6710 Structured Programming
School of Computing

[See video above.] Leopold Zhou was part of a team of tutors working together in support of lecturer Steve Blackburn on his introductory course, Structured Programming. Leopold’s multiple nominations shared consistent themes of friendliness, engaging delivery and valuable feedback supporting students’ learning and wellbeing during online delivery. Students commended Leopold for creating an environment where, “the students feel comfortable to talk to him, which led to many informative conversations with regards to the material being taught or just general advice. Overall, he was a caring, friendly and helpful tutor and worthy or both student's and lecturer's trust”. Demonstrating the values of openness and inclusion, Leopold made a positive difference in students’ lived experience of Structured Programming through responsiveness to students’ questions and enhancing online learning by moderating the Q&A during Steve’s online lectures. Steve’s lectures were commended for being exceptional – with live coding, interactivity through different technologies and live streaming. Students found the lectures well organised, engaging and interactive, with one nominator saying, “I really love the learning experience with those interactive lectures." 

Congratulations Steve, Leopold and the Structured Programming tutoring team for exemplifying the CECS Reimagine focus of ‘a strong community’ by adapting ways of working and inspiring students with your tutoring/teaching.   

Alex Zafiroglu and Paul Wong for Doctor of Philosophy
3A Institute and School of Cybernetics

The 3A Institute launched a PhD program in July 2020, prototyping a cohort-based PhD experience with a planned year-long seminar style educational experience. It included shared readings and discussions, hands-on methods training, guest speakers and a shared set of deliverables tied to the core mission of the 3Ai. Through a competitive admission round, 3Ai admitted an inaugural gender-parity cohort with the clear understanding that they were taking part in a prototype. Kicking off in the middle of the pandemic, “it was important to the Institute that a COVID safe protocol for the PhD program was developed collectively and regularly revisited throughout Semester 2. Alex, Paul and the students worked together to develop a mode of hybrid educational delivery that protected students and faculty and their families and communities.” [nominator] This included the use of video-conferencing technologies, shared document repositories, agreements about co-present activities, and how to be responsible for themselves and each other.

Congratulations Alex and Paul for exemplifying CECS Reimagine focus of ‘a strong community’ by adapting with a diverse cohort to create a collective and positive learning experience.    

Amy McLennan, Sarah Copley, Juliette Parsons, Genevieve Bell for Thinking Beyond AI
3A Institute and School of Cybernetics

[See video above.] As part of the 3Ai-Microsoft partnership, there is a commitment to develop new kinds of educational experiences, including short-courses and master classes. Throughout 2019, 3Ai developed, piloted and successfully taught highly interactive and hands-on short courses with Microsoft. In 2020, it became clear that courses could not be delivered in-person, and the need to develop an online delivery mechanism was identified, with rapid pivoting from in person delivery. In collaboration with Microsoft, the 3Ai team of Amy, Sarah, Juliette, and Genevieve worked with a television producer on a sound-stage and green-screen to record the content. The team worked to create content-driven, educational scripts, identify appropriate visual collateral to be added to the video/green screen and generate new forms of interactivity for pre-recorded delivery. “The final product, in this case, two 45 minutes stand-alone, pre-recorded video modules have been well received by participants.” [nominator].

Congratulations Amy, Sarah, Juliette, and Genevieve for exemplifying CECS Reimagine focus of ‘a strong community’ by making connections beyond our traditional classrooms and audiences.

Additional commendations

The following receive a CECS Remote teaching and student experience commendation for their contributions to community in Semester 2 2020.

  • Bernardo Pereira Nunes for COMP2100 Software Design Methodologies. Bernardo is commended for great lectures, commitment to supporting students’ learning, and helpful, timely communication with students. 
  • Victor Rivera, Dirk Pattinson, and tutors for COMP6260/1600 team Foundations of Computing. The COMP6260/1600 team is commended for their friendliness, helpfulness and patience, responsiveness to student feedback, and providing support such as extra consultations.
  • Daniel MacDonald for ENGN6516 Energy Resources and Renewable Technologies. Daniel is commended for responsiveness to student feedback and empowering students with personalised assessment.
  • James Dannatt for ENGN3223 Control Systems. James is commended for professional quality and engaging tutorial videos, such as his Linearization via Taylor Series video on YouTube.
  • Xinagyun (Sean) Zhou and Jiarui (Frank) Wang for ENGN2228 Signals and Systems. Sean and Frank are commended for outstanding organisation of course material, flipped learning, and excellent remote delivery.

Congratulations to all on this achievement; and thank you for your innovation, creativity, and contributions to offering transformational education experiences for our engineering, computing, and cybernetics students at ANU.



Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing