College of Medicine and Dentistry News & Stories Winning technology improves student outcomes

Winning technology improves student outcomes

Mon, 6 Jul 2020
Shashi and Andy receiving the award

A team from JCU’s College of Medicine and Dentistry has taken out a national award for innovation and excellence in education technology.

The Blackboard Awards recognise innovation that improves and enhances teaching and learning, and aim to inspire institutions to continue to work toward improving student success.

The College of Medicine and Dentistry’s Head of Pathology, Associate Professor Shashidhar Venkatesh Murthy (Shashi) and College Technical Officer Andrew Gavan won the award for Student Success for their work developing online courses.

The award recognises their success in developing creative applications which have led to better completion rates, student satisfaction and learning outcomes.

Dr Shashi and Mr Gavan said it comes after years of innovation improving student learning and outcomes.

“We developed totally online learning in Pathology including theory and practical digital microscopy, all delivered online with built-in attendance and self-assessment,” Dr Sashi said.

“It also provides analytics on student progress, which helps me identify and help those who are performing poorly.”

Dr Shashi believes online learning gives students more time for clinical learning without having to be on campus to attend lectures.

“The teaching is flexible so they can balance pathology and clinical learning. As pathology is integrated with their clinical curriculum, it gives them a better understanding of their clinical learning,” Dr Shashi said.

Both Dr Shashi and Mr Gavan agree the award is also the result of a great working relationship with academics and Med-Tech team.

“I was very lucky to be included in this. Dr Shashi had developed many improved teaching methods over the years. Each of his ideas were built together from the challenges he’d set for me,” Mr Gavan said.

“I hadn’t realised that the products I’d built with him had been fully and broadly employed. I thought they were just simple examples of a “what if we did this” situation. To my surprise, he had employed them to great effect for Medicine and Dentistry students.”

Their work highlights the success of the cross College cooperation which aims to continually enhance the student experience.

“Dr Shashi had some amazing ideas, and was totally receptive to our ideas. Once he had a solution, he tore ahead and delivered it” Mr Gavan said.

“As for the award, we reflected on this and agreed that it was very nice, but the real reward is seeing students succeeding, and being more confident in their retained knowledge and thinking skills.”