Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

I am a Lecturer in Higher Education Learning Design (Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney) committed to developing sustainable curricula that enhance student learning of key scientific concepts and skills through a range of innovative strategies, including utilising learning technologies in a blended learning environment. I collaborate with Science discipline academics to design, develop and implement engaging curricula and authentic assessment that enhance student development of the graduate attributes and promote collaborative learning.

I teach and create blended learning subject content and assessment tasks in a range of biology, ecology, conservation and environmental sciences subjects. Currently I teach:

  • Biodiversity Conservation – 3rd year ecology

The blended learning content that I have co-authored and created is delivered in:

  • Principles of Scientific Practice – 1st year core Science
  • Research Methods – 1st year core Advanced Science
  • Biocomplexity – 1st year core Life Sciences
  • General Microbiology – 2nd year Life Sciences
  • Biotechnology – 2nd year Life Sciences
  • Investigation of Human Remains – 2nd year Forensic Science
  • Advanced Communication Skills for Science – Masters

Recently, I collaborated with Aaron Greenville and Brad Murray to develop a web-based Bipartite Network Analysis app to create bipartite graphs, visualise ordered matrices and calculate nestedness (NODF2). This app is used in the subject Biodiversity Conservation at UTS for an assessment task on Pollination and Conservation (relating to my lectures). You can see the app in action here: https://aaronecology.shinyapps.io/Network/

Based on my innovative and blended learning work with Neela Griffiths developing academic and professional communication skills in undergraduate Science, I have been invited to be a STEM reviewer on a series of Academic Integrity modules developed by Epigeum (Oxford University Press) and led by Tracey Bretag. The online modules are designed to embed and foster an academic integrity culture amongst students and staff, and will be published in February 2019.

Previously I have been a member of the UTS First Year Experience Strategy team representing the Faculty of Science. I continue to support first year students’ transition and success through projects embedding Transition Pedagogy in curriculum design and classroom practice.

 

Learning and Teaching awards

2016 – UTS Learning and Teaching learning.futures Award – Yvonne Davila and Neela Griffiths, for an Outstanding contribution to developing and supporting academic and professional communication skills in first year Science through an embedded, student-centred, flipped learning approach. More details here and here.

2016 – Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, Australian Awards for University Teaching, Australian Government – as part of the UTS FYE team, for supporting student transition and success through engaging academic and professional staff in curriculum innovation and collaborative communities. More details here and here.

2014 – UTS Learning and Teaching Team Award for Widening Participation – as part of the First Year Experience Team, for a systematic, institution wide first year experience strategy that has improved student transition and success and engaged academic and professional staff in collaborative communities.

Learning and Teaching grants

2018 – UTS First Year Experience Grant: Supporting and implementing Transition Pedagogies in FY and transition summer subjects with intensive mode delivery. Elaine Huber, Yvonne Davila, Renee Dowse.

2017 – UTS Vice-Chancellor’s Learning and Teaching Grant: Investigating the diagnostic potential of a science benchmarking task. Simon Knight, Yvonne Davila, Leigh Martin, Andy Leigh.

2017 – UTS First Year Experience Grant: One small step, one giant leap: progressing scientific writing practices and critical analysis for students from a range of transitional pathways. Maurizio Labbate (Science), Neela Griffiths, Yvonne Davila.

2017 – UTS First Year Experience Grant: Video resources for the development of skills in first year science students. Scott Chadwick (Science), Alison Beavis, Yvonne Davila.

2016 – UTS Vice-Chancellor’s Learning and Teaching Grant: Enhancing student and teacher engagement in flipped learning across undergraduate Science using the Flipped Teacher and Flipped Learner Framework. Yvonne Davila (project leader).

2016 – UTS First Year Experience Grant: Flipping the threshold: supporting learning of threshold concepts in first year biology using a flipped learning approach. Yvonne Davila (team leader), Andy Leigh.

2016 – UTS First Year Experience Grant: Removing the cloak of invisibility: developing scientific writing practices for commencing Science students. Yvonne Davila (team leader), Neela Griffiths, Peter Meier.

2016 – UTS First Year Experience Grant: For students, by students: Creating engaging online pre-work using authentic student perspectives in Environmental Remediation. Megan Phillips, Yvonne Davila.

2016 – UTS First Year Experience Grant: Making Maths resonate: supporting maths students’ transition in first year and beyond. Beverley Moore, Neela Griffiths, Yvonne Davila.

2015 – UTS First Year Experience grant: The ABC of PSP: Bespoke online interactive tutorials to support development of reading and academic literacy skills for commencing Science students. Yvonne Davila (team leader), Neela Griffiths, Alison Beavis, Fraser Torpy.

2015 – UTS First Year Experience grant: Engaging and inspiring first-year Environmental Science students through hands-on learning: Introducing a field trip component to The Biosphere. Megan Phillips, Yvonne Davila, Andy Leigh, and Brad Murray.

2015 – UTS First Year Experience grant: OPALMs (online personalised academic literacy modules) for FEIT & Science. Rosalie Goldsmith, Sally Inchbold, Sam Ferguson, Yvonne Davila, Neela Griffiths, Isabelle Bennett.

2015 – UTS Vice-Chancellor’s Learning and Teaching grant: Tailoring online academic literacy development modules: embedding flexible and individualised discipline-specific literacies into FEIT & Science cohorts. (team member)

2014 – UTS First Year Experience grant: Supporting the development of professional skills in scientific writing: academic integrity, academic literacy and using the primary literature. Yvonne Davila (team leader), Andy Leigh, Neela Griffiths.

2014 – UTS Vice-Chancellors’s Learning and Teaching grantDeveloping academic integrity and literacy in an online world: an embedded, flipped and interactive approach to scientific writing. Yvonne Davila (team leader).

Invited talks and panel discussions

2018 – ‘A Case Study in Supporting Students to Improve Their Academic Integrity in Scientific Writing’ presented by Maurizio Labbate, Neela Griffiths and Yvonne Davila at the UTS First Year Experience Forum ‘Academic Integrity’, April 2018.

2017 – ‘Training sessional staff on first year student transition’ presented by Yvonne Davila, Renee Dowse and Ashley Douglas at the UTS First Year Experience Forum ‘Tutors as partners in student transition’, September 2017.

2016 – ‘Removing the cloak of invisibility: developing scientific writing practices for commencing Science students’ presented by Yvonne Davila and Neela Griffiths at the UTS First Year Experience Forum ‘Inclusive practice and Transition’, December 2016.

2016 – ‘The Design principle – Supporting student transition: embedding reading practices into the first year Science curriculum’ presented by Yvonne Davila at the UTS First Year Experience Forum ‘Implementing First Year Curriculum Principles for Transition Pedagogy in the context of the Academic Calendar 2016’, September 2016.

2016 – UTS Science and UTS Careers event ‘Your Future in Science & Maths’ – Education panel.

2015 – ‘Creating interactive online tutorials to support the development of professional skills in first year Science’ presented by Yvonne Davila at the UTS First Year Experience Forum ‘Learning.Futures, balanced semesters and the student experience in their first year of transition’ .

2015 – UTS Casual Academics Conference: Learning.Futures in the Faculty of Science – Discussions with casual academics.

2014 – UTS Casual Academics Conference Discussion: Learning2014 ‘from the Coalface’ Opportunities and Challenges – Guest panellist.

 

For Conference talks, please see the Publications and Media link.

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