A Curtin University lecturer has recently been presented with a 2012 Award for Teaching Excellence for Humanities and the Arts from the Australian Government’s Office of Learning and Teaching.
Dr Tama Leaver teaches in the Department of Internet Studies in the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts. He was recognised for his ability to create an engaging and supportive teaching environment by carefully designing learning activities and assignments that specifically take online and on-campus students into consideration.
“The award recognises my belief that online and face-to-face teaching are equally important, requiring the same commitment, time and energy,” Dr Leaver said.
“Making sure that lectures cater for the needs of students present in the lecture theatre, and the students listening online via the recorded lecture system, is vitally important for their learning.”
In his large first-year Web Communications unit, for example, Dr Leaver builds interaction via social media tools such as Twitter. This helps to encourage on-campus and online students to interact, share resources, build social connections useful for learning and keep students up-to-date with the ever-shifting digital world.
Similarly, Dr Leaver encourages students to share their work online. This has resulted in a wide range of creative work, including a video created by a second-year student critiquing copyright law, which has had over 100,000 views on YouTube.
He said he was both delighted and flattered to receive this award, which recognised the ongoing efforts made by the dedicated team teaching the Internet Communications major at Curtin and via Open Universities Australia.
Dr Leaver has been teaching in Internet Studies for four years. He has contributed to a number of publications about online learning and social media and has also participated in national projects relating to this field.
The 2012 Australian Awards for University Teaching were presented in Canberra on 19 November 2012.
For more information on the awards, please visit the Office of Learning and Teaching’s website: www.olt.gov.au
Dr Tama Leaver, Lecturer, Department of Internet Studies
April Kleer, Public Relations Consultant, Curtin University
Tel: (08) 9266 3353, Mobile: 0401 103 018