This month, nine outstanding Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University teachers were recognised at the University’s 2018-2019 Learning and Teaching Awards.
Dr Xiao Wang (pictured below), lecturer in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University’s International Business School Suzhou, won the award for Outstanding Teacher.
Dr Wang said he aims to ensure students can visualise even abstract concepts and that what they learn is applicable to real life.
“If we are studying a mathematical model that some students have difficulty understanding, I might share related news stories or provide real-life examples from my own experience to help make the concept more tangible,” he explained.
“I want to inspire them to use what they learn to solve real problems.
“Through course work, team work and presentations, I encourage them to use what they learn to develop business plans and show why their plans are feasible based on their findings.”
Yinan Wang, a Year Four Information Management and Information Systems student, appreciates Dr Wang’s approach.
“Instead of delivering lectures that last for hours, he introduces the basis of academic research with in-depth examples from online courses,” Yinan Wang said.
“In addition, he provides students with timely and constructive feedback according to students’ own research interests to fuel ongoing learning.”
Dr Juan Carlos Dall’Asta (pictured below), lecturer at XJTLU’s Department of Architecture, won the award for Most Innovative Teaching Practice. Under his guidance, postgraduate students in the design studio module brought their final projects to life with 3D mapping technology, video projections and sound.
“Final project presentations are usually done by discussing boards or posters,” he said.
“This year, students used 3D mapping technology to create digital images and video that was projected onto a floor display space. The digital images were projected around and over a 2D physical model to illustrate dynamic information, such as how the project might change over time or the results of environmental impacts.
“The floor became a big screen. My students walked inside the projected images and interacted with them to present their project.”
Jamie Sleep, a student from the design studio module, said that while preparing the presentation was challenging, the outcome will benefit his future.
“It was worth it because it was not the usual poster presentation,” he said.“Having created a presentation with different dimensions will look good in a portfolio.”
Diego Vilela Monteiro (pictured below), a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, won the award for Outstanding Teaching Assistant or Laboratory Teaching Technician.
He was recognised for providing extra support for students having difficulty programming.
“They knew what they wanted to do, but they didn’t know exactly how to do it. So I spent a few hours after class helping them,” he said.
“I really like teaching. I want to be a professor in the future, and I don’t mind staying late to work to with the students.”
Abdulhamid Sillah Umar, a masters degree student in Business Analytics, said he was grateful for the assistance.
“Despite his busy schedule, he used his own time to teach me,” he said. “He gave me hope when I was about to give up.”
In addition to the winners named above in the three categories, the following teachers were highly commended:
- Outstanding Teacher – Dr Martin Fischbach, Department of Architecture; Dr Sujie Qin, Department of Health and Environmental Sciences
- Outstanding Teaching Assistant or Laboratory Teaching Technician – Sijing Meng, Department of Biological Sciences; Zhongkai Huang, Department of Biological Sciences
- Most Innovative Teaching Practice – Dr Cheng Zhang, Department of Civil Engineering; Dr Yan Zhao, Department of English
A panel of academic staff and students representing XJTLU’s departments chose those awarded. XJTLU Learning and Teaching Awards are given annually.
By Tamara Kaup