Australian Award for University Teaching - Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
ANU College of Law
Law is like cricket. Trying to learn the rules of evidence or civil procedure in a classroom can be like trying to learn the rules of a complex and ancient game - without playing or even seeing a real game. You would not expect someone to learn the game of cricket without ever watching a cricket match or picking up a bat. Neither can students be expected to learn and understand arcane rules of evidence and procedure without a basic understanding of how they operate in their context. To give the students the context they need for understanding, it is necessary to bring the law to life in the classroom.
Students also need opportunities to 'pick up a bat' and put their understanding into action by engaging in legal reasoning, making decisions, and advocating positions. Class time must be active, engaging the student in making use of the material presented. To meet these challenges, I use a variety of media: Theme songs animate the classroom; stories and video provide context and motivation for advanced study; high-impact images improve students' ability to recall and translate doctrinal knowledge into action; and quiz games and question slides give students the opportunity to 'pick up a bat' and engage in in-class legal decision-making. By making creative use of various media, I aim to transform the traditional law lecture into an inspiring and interactive experience.
In 2010 I received an Australian Award for University Teaching - Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.