International recognition for Professor Shapter

shapter-prof-joeProfessor Joe Shapter, Dean of the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Flinders University has been recognised as an innovative science educator with an international award.

The Desire2Learn Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning has been established by the Canada-based Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) and Desire2Learn Incorporated, a provider of enterprise teaching and learning platforms, to inspire and encourage educators to utilise innovative techniques, and to showcase proven examples of innovation.

Professor Shapter (pictured), who is one of five recipients of the inaugural award and the only winner from a university outside of Canada, will be presented with the honour at the STLHE Annual Conference in Montreal on Thursday 21 June.

The award citation noted his “vital role in the creation of a new and exciting degree program in the field of nanotechnology”.

“To develop this unprecedented degree program required the design and implementation of specific courses as well as an overarching curriculum in this new field,” the citation reads.

“Dedicated to the field of nanotechnology, Dean Shapter and his colleagues further developed Honours, Masters and PhD level degrees out of what was first designed as an undergraduate program.

“In addition, the program’s foundation on sound curricular design is evident in students’ enthusiasm for learning and graduates’ strong grasp on and ability to apply theoretical and methodological innovations in their field.”

“The program in nanotechnology provides an excellent context for the use of innovative teaching techniques, which are central to Professor Shapter’s pedagogical dedication to active learning through the development of independent, critical thinking and communication skills.

“Professor Shapter has also developed tools to assess comprehension of key concepts in chemistry and ensure preparedness to learn more advanced theoretical and technical skills.”

Flinders University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Andrew Parkin congratulated Professor Shapter on the award.

“This award identifies Professor Shapter as an international trailblazer in his creative approach to teaching and learning in tertiary education,” Professor Parkin said.

“His success is a measure of his extraordinary and long-term commitment to delivering high-quality education; and it is reflected not just in this award but in the estimation of his students,” he said.

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