Business School academic recognised as outstanding 16 September 2013

Dr April Wright

A UQ Business School Strategy expert has been acknowledged nationally as an ‘outstanding teacher.’

Dr April Wright is one of three UQ staff who is being awarded a Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in the 2013 Australian Awards for University Teaching.

The annual citations recognise the difference that university staff and industry associates make to the quality of student learning in specific areas of responsibility over sustained periods.

Dr April Wright was awarded a citation for introducing interactive lectures and team-based learning in tutorials to overcome the challenge of engaging students in large classes, and to make connecting management theory with practice more meaningful for them.

The other awards recipients include Dr Allison Mandrusiak from the School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences; and Mr Carl Sherwood from the School of Economics, who also teaches in the highly regarded UQ Business School MBA program. Each will receive a $10,000 prize at the Queensland Citation Awards ceremony in Brisbane on Tuesday, 24 September.

Professor Joanne Wright, UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), said: “The Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning acknowledge the impact that these teachers are having on the development of graduate attributes such as critical thinking and independent learning, and the encouragement they are giving to the next generation of leaders. Dr Wright, Dr Mandrusiak and Mr Sherwood boost UQ's international reputation for learning opportunities that are engaging, relevant, challenging, rigorously assessed and, most importantly, effective.

Professor Andrew Griffiths, Dean of UQ Business School, added: “It is great to see April recognised in this year’s citations, with her contributions acknowledged at a national level. This award highlights her dedication to higher education, and her active role in providing high quality, innovative teaching practices at UQ Business School. I congratulate April on her success.”

Details of UQ's Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in the 2013 Australian Awards for University Teaching:

Dr April Wright was awarded a citation for introducing interactive lectures and team-based learning in tutorials to overcome the challenge of engaging students in large classes, and to make connecting management theory with practice more meaningful for them.

Dr Wright has opened up community and social spaces for teachable moments, which are extended through research assignments. Her pre-class self-preparation activities for higher order thinking and team-based model has proven so effective in motivating student learning that six other universities in Australia have since incorporated them into their teaching.

Dr Allison Mandrusiak was cited for transforming an unpopular cardiorespiratory curriculum from a course that previously received the lowest student feedback scores to one that consistently receives the highest quantitative scores, becoming a benchmark for all other courses in the School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences.

Drawing on her own experiences as a student and graduate, Dr Mandrusiak has introduced effective ways to reduce student concerns about acute care settings and to make the transition from ‘campus to clinic' less formidable. She gradually exposes students to relevant clinical scenarios, such as peer role-playing tasks and inviting patients to participate in practical classes.

Mr Carl Sherwood's citation acknowledged his efforts to inspire students with an interactive, scenario-based approach to teaching complex economic concepts so they are better able to understand the connections between economic theory and the world in which they live and work.

By including analogies and case studies in his programs, Mr Sherwood has helped undergraduate microeconomics and statistics student’s link new abstract concepts to situations with which they are more familiar.

For further information on the Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, visit www.olt.gov.au/awards/citations

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