Citations for outstanding contributions to student learning

Gordon Menzies (right) receives his citation from Chair of the ALTC Board Profes

Gordon Menzies (right) receives his citation from Chair of the ALTC Board Professor John Hay

Two teams and one individual from UTS have been honoured with prestigious Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citations for 2009.

ALTC Citations are awarded to academic and professional staff who have made long-standing contributions to the quality of student learning and improving the overall student experience. Each citation winner receives $10,000 to further advance their initiatives.

This year's UTS citation winners were:

Dr Peter Docherty (Faculty of Business), Dr Ross Forman (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences), Harry Tse (Faculty of Business) and Kerry Hunter (ELSSA Centre)
For a scholarly collaboration that has provided economics students with a learning environment in which to improve the quality of their analytical writing
Combining expertise from the fields of economics and academic literacy, the team worked to develop a scholarly, informed economics assessment which integrated the development of high-level academic literacy skills with economics knowledge. Students who participated in the program valued it highly and achieved higher grades for the assessment than those who did not. The team has produced a number of scholarly articles on the program.

Beth Marnane, Madeleine Mann and Rolf Wood (UTS Library)
For an innovative, timely, sustainable approach to providing alternative format resources via an individualised web page to students with print disabilities, consequently improving academic performance
The innovative Alternative Formats Service team (AFS) promptly delivers text resources in suitable formats that enhance the academic performance of students with print disabilities. The team has been instrumental in decreasing some of the barriers to academic study for these students, so that students with print disabilities are now able to successfully complete significantly more subjects per year than prior to the introduction of the service. Students are highly appreciative of the team's contribution.

Dr Gordon Menzies (Faculty of Business)

For approaches to learning and teaching that inspire and challenge students to understand diverse perspectives and to see a 'human' side to international economics
Within the international economics course, Gordon provided opportunities for students to empathise with some of the more human aspects of poverty and deprivation, by either undertaking the World Vision 40 hour famine or living for a week as cheaply as possible. Students write about their experience and make connections with economic theory in their reports. These activities help students understand the economic milieu of marginalised people in context, rather than in abstract. Students are highly engaged with the subject and report profound changes in their worldviews.

Professor Richard Johnstone, ALTC Executive Director, said the citations reveal the tremendous commitment in the higher education sector to improving the student experience.

"The ALTC Citations are unique because they recognise the contributions of general staff as well as academic staff to the quality of student learning and teaching," he said.

Photographer: Justine Perl