Assoc Prof Jan West: I currently hold the position of Associate Head of School (Teaching & Learning) in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at Deakin University, a role I have held since 2010. My contribution to teaching and learning spans curriculum renewal, student recruitment, transition support, academic progress, research supervision and mentoring, as well as colleagues' induction, mentoring and professional development, including peer observation of teaching. I teach two large second year physiology units and believe enthusiasm, initiative and innovation should be driving forces when dealing with a diverse student cohort. I have the ability to recognize the opportunities and challenges presented by students with varying levels of understanding. Rather than implementing a one-dimensional pathway in physiology education I have developed a multi-faceted approach, using techniques to enhance student engagement, providing material that students can relate to, in order to bring case studies to life. I have pioneered the “flipped-classroom” teaching model in our Faculty, leading the way in transforming science teaching in both online and premium located modes thereby enriching the student experience.
I have driven the implementation of an ALURE (Authentic Large-scale Undergraduate Research Experience – created by Assoc Prof Susan Rowland UQ) into the curriculum of SLE323 (Advanced Topics of Biomedical Science). In collaboration with Dr Steve Cheung we created and introduced a modification of an ALURE which we called the STARS (Scientific Thinking for the Acquisition of Research Skills) project with the students conducting the project “Does dark chocolate improve brain performance in undergraduate students”. Our team was awarded a Vice Chancellor’s Award for teaching excellence for this project.
Abstracts this author is presenting: