National teaching excellence award for UWS School of Medicine

Joanne Lind

University of Western Sydney lecturer Dr Joanne Lind has received a prestigious national award for Teaching Excellence presented last night in Canberra by the Australian Government.

Dr Lind, from the UWS School of Medicine, was recognised by the Office for Learning and Teaching for her sustained commitment and contribution to teaching.

An early career academic in the field of medical genetics, Dr Lind is training future doctors to 'integrate the sciences with clinical reasoning'. She helps them link processes at the cellular level to disease - connecting the dots between science and medicine.

Dr Lind has designed and implemented the genetics curriculum within the UWS medical program (MBBS) using a variety of teaching strategies, including interactive lectures and online modules.

"I try not to oversimplify introductory material, as this has been shown to impede the subsequent acquisition of complex ideas, but rather I demonstrate difficult concepts from start to finish, with the aid of e-teaching technologies including YouTube videos, self drawn animations, and real-time quizzes," says Dr Lind.

"This reduces the need to rote learn numerous facts and instead creates a structural journey in students' minds, providing imagery that links the science to the disease."

Importantly, Dr Lind also draws on her own experiences as a researcher in the field of genetics, having held laboratory based positions both in Australia and overseas, reinforcing that knowledge learned from the foundational sciences is critical in the advancement of medicine.

Also teaching at UWS are two previous winners of the Australian Government Office of Learning and Teaching Australian University Teacher of the Year awards.  Both Professor Roy Tasker (2011) and Professor James Arvanitakis (2012) were named 'Australian University Teacher of Year'.

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