Insights from 2018 winner
With the intent to apply now open for the ‘RMIT University Learning and Teaching Awards 2019’, we asked a previous reward recipient, Dr Tina Popa, to provide some insights and tips for prospective applicants for this year’s awards.
Tina is the course coordinator and lecturer for the Law of Torts and Health Law courses in the Juris Doctor program. She is also the course coordinator and lecturer for the Law of Investments (Singapore). She is a passionate lecturer and her contribution to Learning and Teaching has been recognised through university, school and student-nominated awards.
In 2018, Tina was a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Learning and Teaching (Early Career, Higher Education).
For Tina, one of the most valuable things about the awards process was that it gave her the opportunity to step outside her everyday tasks, allowing her to reflect on her teaching practice. It was a chance to note what she should continue doing, while adapting or changing what wasn’t working as well. For Tina this was a wonderful opportunity for professional growth.
One of the challenges of the awards, for Tina, was selling herself in her application and collating the evidence she needed. It is often hard to ‘talk’ about yourself but working with an external adviser as well as the adviser within the College of Business Learning and Teaching Portfolio, gave her insights into what to include in her application as well as how to strengthen it.
Like most busy people, teaching staff need to be sure there is a benefit to adding any new task to their full calendars. The benefit for Tina was that winning the award helped her with added credibility in her role as the Graduate School of Business and Law’s Online Learning Coordinator, as well as pinpointing the knowledge she could share with colleagues within the school. This sharing of knowledge is one of the key purposes of the awards. Awards are also great external validation of excellent teaching practice and, of course, help with professional development and career progression.
Tina’s main piece of advice for this year’s award candidates is to collate evidence as early as possible. She also highlighted the importance of gaining valuable feedback from colleagues and students on what they considered to be standout characteristics of the applicant’s teaching practice.
With the intent to apply now open, it is time to talk to your Head of School and start the ball rolling.
By registering your intent to apply, you’ll be eligible to submit a final application by 15 July 2019.