Teaching excellence recognised

Graduate Certificate of Australian Migration Law and Practice lecturers Kate van Doore and Emma Robinson.

Law lecturers Kate van Doore and Emma Robinson have been awarded an AEL Learning and Teaching Citation for their work in teaching the Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law and Practice.

Chair of the AEL Learning and Teaching Committee, Professor Nan Bahr, said their proactive approach to online course development and implementation was commendable.

“The decision to align the site’s architecture across the four courses of the program to ensure gathering familiarity for the student cohort reflects an awareness and respect for the student journey and a focus on the learning outcomes rather than innovation for its own sake,’’ she said.

“You have clearly engaged broadly across the sector and have worked to disseminate and influence practice across the University and the sector.”

Griffith University is one of only four providers of the Graduate Certificate in Migration in Australia. Kate has been teaching in the Graduate Certificate of Migration Law since it began in 2006, while Emma has been teaching in the program since 2010.

With four courses taught online over a period of 18 weeks followed by exams and offered in semester one and two, the program is intense.

The duo’s passion for online learning is evident and they continue to refine their teaching according to student feedback and research on active learning in an online environment.

“This award is recognition of the hard work that goes into teaching this program as well as recognition of some of our innovative teaching practices,’’ said Emma.

“We focus on encouraging our students to take an active role in their own learning and we design our learning activities to achieve this goal.”

More than 95% of the graduates of the program become Migration Agents and there has been a substantial increase in enrolments since program moved from face-to-face to online.

“As a fully online course with no face-to-face components, we place particular emphasis on being accessible and highly responsive to students through email, discussion boards and online classrooms,’’ said Kate.

“Our students participate in weekly live online workshops in which they collaborate with other students and interact with their teachers.

“We include clearly mapped learning outcomes that are integrated into our course sites and we check in with students and their learning progress by using weekly checklists and assessable participation tasks.”