8 July 2015

A plan to change the science curriculum and a project to improve e-exams across universities have been recognised by the Federal Government’s Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT).

The University of Queensland’s Dr Kelly Matthews’ goal to use student experiences to develop the science curriculum has been acknowledged with a National Teaching Fellowship, while a project to advance e-exams, led by Dr Mathew Hillier, has attracted a $500,000 grant.

UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Joanne Wright said UQ’s success in the first round of OLT 2015 grants recognised the University’s outstanding teaching and learning staff.

“Dr Matthews has made a very substantial contribution to teaching and learning at UQ,” she said.

“She is recognised by her peers as an innovator in teaching and learning, regularly winning awards in the field.

“This fellowship will allow Dr Matthews to continue her work in improving the science program at UQ, pairing students with academics and using their experiences to rebuild the curriculum.”

Professor Wright said the funding also supported the University’s commitment to innovation in learning and teaching.

“At UQ, we’re committed to challenging and improving existing systems to create better ways to engage with our students and to enhance their university experience,” Professor Wright said.

Professor Wright said Dr Hillier’s project to advance e-exams could also enhance the university experience, with the potential to benefit the entire higher education field.

“With assistance from a range of partner institutes, this project will develop a system to allow electronic exams in high-stakes, supervised environments, potentially revolutionising the way assessment takes place,” Professor Wright said.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) Professor Doune Macdonald congratulated Dr Matthews and Dr Hillier on their success.

“As UQ seeks to engage students in planning all aspects of their experience, Dr Matthew’s project will be a lighthouse for authentic student engagement as co-creators of the curriculum,” she said.

“Dr Hillier’s work with e-exams has a global reach and as universities expand their online curricula and pedagogies, it follows that assessment strategies also require renewal,” she said.

“The capacity to conduct e-exams provides flexibility to both staff and students and can enhance the quality of feedback.”

UQ is also a partner institution in two other successful applications:

Title:  Enhancing student employability skills through virtual field trips in the hospitality industry

Lead institution:  Griffith University

Partner institutions: Edith Cowan University, The University of Queensland, Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School

Funding: $273,000

Title: VetSetGO: a collaborative outcomes and assessment framework building employability, resilience and veterinary graduate success

Lead institution:  Murdoch University

Partner institutions:  The University of Adelaide, The University of Queensland,
The University of Sydney, The University of Edinburgh (UK), University of Nottingham (UK)

Funding: $349,000

Media: Senior Communications Officer Katie Rowney, 3365 3439, Katie.Rowney@uq.edu.au.