Rewards for outstanding contributions to student learning

Photo of tablets courtesy Arthur Lambillotte on Unsplash

Several highly regarded Griffith educators have been awarded Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in the 2020 Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) round. 

Dr Leanne Kenway from the School of Medical Science was recognised for her individual efforts, while the Pharmacy Innovation Team, Associate Professor Gary Grant and Denise Hopefrom the School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology were also called out for their contributions. 

Griffith President and Vice Chancellor Professor Carolyn Evans said the recognition continued Griffith’s strong record of success in the AAUT.  

“I am delighted to see Griffith educators winning such highly competitive national awards,” Professor Evans said. 

“I congratulate Dr Kenway, Associate Professor Grant and Denise Hope on their achievements in learning and teaching, and thank them for their continued efforts, particularly over what has been a challenging twelve months as the university sector and its staff deal with the impacts of the pandemic. 

Innovation in the learning and teaching space is critical to supporting student success in learning and developing graduates confident to face the future and transition to employment.” 

More than ever, advances in technology are providing new ways of doing things and it is wonderful to see individual educators driving such innovation to benefit their students.”  

Dr Leanne Kenway

Dr Leanne Kenway

Dr Kenway was awarded a 2020 AAUT Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for the design and implementation of mixed mode intensive Anatomy and Physiology courses to enhance student engagement and academic recovery in large first year Health cohorts. 

In 2019 Dr Kenway was named the Vice Chancellor’s Griffith University Teacher of the Year. This was also the same year she completed a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education. 

“This qualification allowed me to articulate the key learning theories underlying my approaches to learning and teaching; and impacted the way I think pedagogically, frame my teaching practice and design innovative active learning strategies,” she said. 

I offer student authentic learning experiences through the lens of an experienced physiotherapist which allows me to foster student engagement and highlight the relevance of studying anatomical science to a chosen Health profession. 

Students engage in a range of innovative active learning strategies, including a 3D Digital Cadaver tool as a supplement to laboratory learning, Skeletal Scrabble to enhance spelling and recall of anatomical structures, and weekly formative Who Am I? quizzes for retrieval practice.  

This challenges students’ recall in a novel way, driving metacognitive thinking and reflection using internal feedback to inspire deeper learning. 

The success of these initiatives is reflected in the significantly improved academic grades of low achieving students who had failed in a previous trimester, and their retention into second year alongside members of their original cohort.” 

Student experience surveys have reflected a sustained very high level of student satisfaction in Dr Kenway’s courses. 

The Pharmacy Innovation Team: Associate Professor Gary Grant and Denise Hope

Denise Hope and Associate Professor Gary Grant

Associate Professor Gary Grant and Denise Hope received a 2020 AAUT Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for their efforts in preparing pharmacy graduates as competent, confident and collaborative healthcare professionals through design and delivery of a capstone activity, PharmG, an authentic, extended, gamified pharmacy simulation. 

PharmG is an innovative and transformative learning activity that was implemented into our new Bachelor of Pharmacy program five years ago,” Denise Hope said. 

“It was adopted and adapted from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and we were the fifth university in the world to conduct this gamified simulation. We’re now part of a consortium of seven universities in Europe, the UK and Australia that mutually conduct the Pharmacy Game. 

“Students have found it a powerful, authentic experience as they’ve stepped into the role of pharmacist to make all the professional and clinical decision-making throughout the extended simulation. 

“We are thrilled to receive this national recognition and grateful for the support of the learning and teaching community, all of our academic and professional colleagues that help to bring PharmG to life, our students, graduates and our international colleagues.”  

Associate Professor Grant added they were both, “excited about the potential of innovative, technology-enhanced solutions for learning and teaching and looking forward to sharing our experiences and broadening our collaborations’’. 

AAUT Citations recognise and reward the diversity of contributions made by individuals and teams to the quality of student learning.  

They are awarded to individuals or teams who have contributed to the quality of student learning in a specific area of responsibility over a sustained period, whether they are academic staff, general staff, sessional staff or institutional associates. 

For more information about the awards, head online at