Simon McIntyre’s commitment to “closing the digital literacy gap” with his innovative use of mobile technologies for teaching and learning has won him a national Teaching Excellence Award.
The prestigious Australian Awards for University Teaching are offered by the national Office of Learning and Teaching in recognition of quality teaching practice and outstanding contributions to student learning.
Announcing the awards, Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said “the award-winners play a vital role in shaping Australia’s future through their life-changing impact on the students they teach and inspire through their commitment to excellence and innovation”.
McIntyre, who is Director of Learning and Innovation at UNSW Art & Design, is a multi-award winning educator who led the development of the faculty’s highly successful open education resource Learning to Teach Online (LTTO) with colleague Karin Watson.
The resource won the prestigious international 2012 MERLOT Award for Exemplary Online Learning Resources and helped thousands of teachers in 138 countries step into the online classroom.
It has been an honour to work with such talented teams of people to bring these projects into being and it’s fantastic to know that our programs have assisted thousands of educators around the world develop their digital literacy skills and improve their teaching practice.
The LTTO became the foundation for a UNSW Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), launched in 2014, which McIntyre developed with Dr Negin Mirriahi from the UNSW Learning and Teaching Unit.
The LTTO MOOC helps existing and prospective educators establish their own online or blended teaching practices. To date, the course has received 28,000 enrolments from 191 countries.
This year, McIntyre was also recognised by the technology industry as an Apple Distinguished Educator, one of only 95 people selected worldwide for his achievements in improving learning through the innovative use of mobile technologies.
McIntyre said he felt honoured to have been nominated for the teaching excellence award by the University saying he was “tremendously grateful” for UNSW’s support in the development of online resources.
“It has been an honour to work with such talented teams of people to bring these projects into being and it’s fantastic to know that our programs have assisted thousands of educators around the world develop their digital literacy skills and improve their teaching practice,” said McIntyre.
“I’d also like to acknowledge the great work that the Office of Learning and Teaching do to help improve and innovate university education in this country, and I would like to thank them for this recognition. I’m extremely humbled by this award and am glad that the work I’m involved in is making a difference to educators and students internationally," he said.
Dean of UNSW Art & Design Professor Ross Harley congratulated McIntyre, describing him as one of UNSW’s “great innovators in teaching”.
"Simon has a tremendous understanding of what innovative teaching means in the post-digital world. We're thrilled that his achievements are being recognised at such a high level," Professor Harley said.
The collective work of McIntyre and his colleagues Karin Watson from UNSW Art & Design and UNSW Learning and Teaching's Dr Negin Mirriahi was also recognised in the prestigious 2015 US Wharton-QS Stars Awards. Receiving awards in the Nurturing Employability, Regional, and Arts and Humanities categories the academics were praised for developing adaptive professional development strategies across a range of emerging technologies since 2004.
The Australian Awards for University Teaching 2015 were presented last night at Parliament House, Canberra.