Lecturer in a class of her own

Lecturer in a class of her own

Alocal university lecturer has been recognised for her work with a prestigious award.

UniSA Mount Gambier Campus lecturer Chelsea Cutting received a UniSA Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning for ‘utilising videos as a mechanism for providing formative feedback via responsive micro-teaching.’

Micro-teaching is an approach where the local educator records a short video for her online students to provide feedback on their learning tasks they have completed in her online mathematics courses.

It is intended to provide an example of the ‘live’ feedback students would receive in a face-to-face class.

Dr Cutting is a lecturer in mathematics education, in the early childhood and primary education programs at the UniSA Mount Gambier Campus.

She has been at the UniSA Mount Gambier Campus for 10 years, during which time she has coordinated a number of different maths courses in the early childhood and primary education programs.

Dr Cutting said pre-service teachers studying externally need to have their experience tailored differently due to the platform they are studying in.

“Studying online means students need to have tasks they can complete at home, as they might not have the materials that are common in a normal classroom.

“It also means we need to ensure the students get examples of how the tasks could be completed, and consider how they receive feedback on their weekly work, which is where the micro-teaching videos come in,” she said.

“Prior to recording I look at the student’s weekly work and identify their strengths and areas where the students could extend their thinking about each task.

“I then record short, targeted videos to model and provide different examples of the tasks for them to consider in their planning and teaching.

“Through micro teaching I try to make sure they are getting useful feedback through a visual modelling of the teaching and learning strategy, because the written text format does not necessarily allow for that.

“Sometimes you have to visually model it particularly teaching in the primary and early years, with mathematics it is a very hands-on and collaborative discipline.”

Dr Cutting said she is passionate about providing a quality maths education to teachers in regional areas.

“Some students study remotely because of different work and family demands and cannot attend scheduled classes, or because they are not necessarily living near a campus,” she said.

“We still need educators in all of these remote and regional areas, so we need to provide access to a quality educational experience for them.

“The micro teaching videos are one way for them to get the same experiences they would get in a face-to-face classroom environment.

“The citation is lovely to receive personally, but it is also really important recognition for UniSA Mount Gambier and shows that we have a great team here in the regions.”

It was a big week for the local educator, who found out the day prior that she passed her PhD thesis with no amendments or corrections.

Her thesis was about exploring the role that spatial reasoning plays in young children’s development of early fraction ideas.

Dr Cutting’s thesis work has led her to be seconded at the University of Canberra part-time this year on a national research project on early learning STEM.

“The project explores a Foundation to Year 2 program, looking at how spatial and logical reasoning can enhance STEM understanding,” she said.

“It is really exciting to be a part of.

There are around 300 schools involved across the country, so I will be doing some work with Canberra’s team as an invite based on the work from my PhD.

“I am really grateful for the opportunity and to represent the Mount Gambier Campus and UniSA in this way.

“It is also great for our students and local teachers to see there are lots of opportunities that are available to educators in the regions.”

UniSA Mount Gambier Campus regional manager Ian McKay said the team there were delighted that Dr Cutting was recognised with a UniSA Citation.

“Chelsea is a passionate educator who is part of a team of dedicated local education academics who support our students studying to be teachers,” he said.

“Like most of our Mount Gambier team, Chelsea has been a long-term local resident and her recognition both reinforces the quality of our local academic staff and their commitment to excellent student outcomes.”

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