Three Bond Law academics have been recognised for their outstanding approach to teaching:
- Assistant Professor Dr Iain Field has been awarded the 2016 Stanley Shaw Bond Prize for Teaching Excellence;
- Assistant Professor Tammy Johnson has received the 2016 Faculty Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning through Sustained Innovation; and
- Senior Teaching Fellow Jackson Walkden-Brown has received the 2016 Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Generously sponsored by global law database corporation LexisNexis, the Stanley Shaw Bond Prize is awarded annually to the “staff member who, in the opinion of his or her students, has performed most credibly.”
For Dr Iain Field, his comprehensive Course Handbooks made him a clear stand-out. These handbooks plot out the subjects he teaches with embedded links to relevant information, and include a Weekly Study Guide that some of his students have referred to as ‘The Bible’.
He is also renowned for his dynamic lectures that encourage students to understand the reasons behind the rules.
“The Handbooks essentially plot out the subject week by week, assigning pre-reading for each lecture,” said Dr Field. “Lectures develop organically in the light of student challenges to, and reflections upon, these readings.”
“Each Handbook needs to be constantly updated but they ensure that the learning experience is engaging and intellectually challenging.”
For Assistant Professor Tammy Johnson, the Faculty award recognises a range of student-centred learning innovations including ‘flipped classrooms’, case summary podcasts and the use of technology-based story circles that foster the development of collaborative skills.
“The flipped classroom concept involves learning the relevant theory prior to class then using the class time to apply it to a practical exercise – as opposed to the traditional model of learning theory in class and doing the practical element as ‘homework’,” said Assistant Professor Johnson.
“In the Legal Drafting and Conveyancing course, for instance, I post the relevant theory on iLearn then, in class, we conduct a drafting workshop with students working in small groups on a series of practical tasks that relate to those specific legal issues.”
Assistant Professor Johnson’s expertise in learning and teaching has been recognised by the wider academic community through publication in the Legal Education Review and she is a member of the Faculty’s Teaching and Learning Group.
Winner of the 2016 Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, Jackson Walkden-Brown brings the real world into his classes by using his experience as a legal practitioner to develop unique and practical innovations in his curriculum design and delivery.
His teaching innovations include introducing his students to a diverse range of legal opinions by creating video capsules of his fellow academics discussing key foundational concepts and live video interviews with experts from all over the world.
“The Australian Legal System course, for example, covers a broad range of topics that students will explore more fully in subsequent subjects,” said Mr Walkden-Brown.
“Video capsules featuring other Bond Law academics allow our first year students to learn from experts on various foundational topics in the curriculum and also to get exposure to those who will be teaching them throughout their degree.
“Similarly, the live video interviews with external experts bring a range of incredible guest speakers into the classroom, including lawyers from all across the globe.”
He also shares his passion for animal rights and pro bono experience by transforming his Animal Law classroom into a replica legal clinic where students work on active case studies and research projects.
Mr Walkden-Brown and Assistant Professor Johnson were presented with their honours by the Faculty of Law’s Executive Dean, Professor Nick James at a morning tea on March 22 and Dr Field was presented with his award by LexisNexis’s Marietta Gunn on April 6.