Portfolio supporting the OLT Award for teaching excellence (Early Career category)





This structured portfolio supports my application for the
Award for Teaching Excellence (Early Career category)




Note to selection committee: 

This structured  portfolio is publicly available, so each heading has a short explanation to provide context. 

Two websites are tended as Supporting teaching materials. They are:
  1. My professional blog www.tetracarbon.com, and 
  2. The Corporate Game www.thecorpgame.com.au 
For your convenience, many videos are programmed to start at the exact second which demonstrates my claim.

Evidence from third party providers (eg videos hosted on YouTube) has been embedded  and is linked to the original source to demonstrate authenticity, however those websites links do not form part of this portfolio, ie I do not claim all of YouTube/Facebook as evidence of teaching. 








Three principles that drive
my teaching & research:


Three fundamental principles drive my teaching and research: (1) good behavioural design, (2) building student’s professional identity, and (3) using cultural diversity as a resource. 

Good behavioural design can create the right environment of incentives so students will naturally behave constructively, thus avoiding the need for punitive teacher intervention. I encourage students to build their identity as a professional now, rather than as job-candidates-in-waiting. It is too late to wait for the interview. Rather than viewing cross cultural issues as a barrier to  Western pedagogy, I believe student diversity is a useful resource. I encourage students to apply their experience from their own cultures to construct authentic learning.







Download the abridged
submission document 

Evidence presented  below corresponds
with the OLT submission document 




1. Approaches to teaching that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn

Marketing approach to building student professional identity 

Students often lack strong academic and professional identities, so I use contemporary marketing techniques to help students to build their own identity as members of their professional community. I go where my audience is, so I use Facebook as the main channel of influence to offer my inspirational message of academic empowerment, professionalism, and positive thinking. 

Evidence: Facebook profile which communicates to students

Evidence: Image (below): Example conversation with students
Please see the link to read the full conversation.
Click to enlarge
or read the full conversation here
Evidence: LinkedIn Profile so student know how to build their public professional persona
Click to enlarge
Evidence: Blog post: Marketing professional identity to students 







Gamification: online 



The gamification approach to teaching uses good design to create an environment of incentives that encourages productive behaviours and avoids punitive teacher intervention. This means we can motivate students to willingly address their uncomfortable weaknesses. Students often have weak critical listening skills, so I posed an assignment question as an interview, and gave students an optional game system to check their understanding. 
Evidence: Video (10:18) The original assignment question: "Luigi seeks tax advice" (video below)  

Evidence: Gamifcation of moodle: You can play the game here. A username and password can be on the OLT submission document or you can create a new account (free).

Gamification: face to face demonstrations 
I start  classes with a vivid demonstration that involves student participation. Using natural incentives, I create situations that elicit those inspirational "ah ha!" moments that demonstrate key ideas before they are deconstructed in the lecture. 
EvidenceVideo (5:30): The parable of theory using playdough to demonstrate ideas


EvidenceVideo (12:05): Introduction to PSI and income splitting Using cups of water to explain income splitting & the ATO's Personal Services Income rules. 







2. Development of curricula and resources that reflect a command of the field
Work Integrated Learning:

Authenticity in learning is everything. I rebuilt the Accounting Information Systems curriculum as a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program that would reflect the experiences of the real life profession. 

The WIL program involves an excursion to the strawberry farm (Fresco Fresh) where students can talk to the business owner, see business operations, and get a sense of the special requirements of that industry. Students must then produce custom accounting software in MS Access to meet their client's needs. To contain risks and control the environment, I created a false business called 'Berry Nice Strawberries' and used this entity to give voice to the client so students could interact with a realistic client and yet not interrupt actual business. This creates a realistic, but safe-to-fail environment for students to learn real professional communication and client management skills. 
Evidence: Berry Nice Strawberries identity on Facebook. The realistic client for the students to work on. 
Evidence: Letter from Fresco Fresh Strawberries (the real farmer) about the WIL Project. Aliased as "Berry Nice Strawberries" for the students.
Click to enlarge
Evidence: Images: Student excursions to the client: S1 2012S2 2011, & S2 2013

EvidenceVideo (6:21): What makes a good accountant


 You can't see me on these videos
because I am holding the camera.




The Corporate Game

Guided learning doesn't have to didactic. Learning management systems can be creatively re-adapted as game systems, and used to provide players/learners with an experience as they learn and apply their knowledge. I decided to develop the Corporate gamified undergraduate unit on Corporate Governance to push the boundaries of what higher education might be. It is designed to create a system where players/learners can choose to simply study the learning outcomes as declarative content, or learn the content as functional knowledge by playing the game and following the unfolding narrative. Players must apply the theory they have learned that week. The idea is to create a safe-to-fail sandpit where the game experience matches real professional dilemmas in the work place. 

The program is a work-in-progress, but is available at the alpha stage. 
Evidence: Play the game 
Evidence: For educators, a pedagogical rational for the game
A username and password can be on the OLT submission document or you can create a new account (free).







Interactive Video

Videos are not perfect substitutes for lectures. They are often flat, one way, and easy to turn off. I use a variety of techniques to make my videos a less passive experience. I am able to do so because of my creative use of available tools in a resource limited environment. My budget for curricula and resource development is zero, so I record, cut, and publish using iPhones, bulldog clips, and my own PC. 
Evidence: Video (view for 17 seconds)This video is a very long revision lecture (2 hours) shot in a classroom. To reduce viewer fatigue, I used interactive questions that pause the video until the student answers correctly. 

Evidence: Video (view final 18 seconds)Captions remind students at the beginning and end of the video to take notes, and read the text rather than just watching passively

The captions do not always agree with the spoken statements. The captions sometimes take an opposing view or criticise the spoken statements. The aim is to get students to re-watch and rethink rather than to merely memorise. Sometimes I make errors, and the captions point this out. 
Click to enlarge
Evidence: Montage: "Different locations about  campus" - Mobile learning aims to contextualise learning.
Click to enlarge

Evidence: Aiming for engagement by "chunking" videos by time and by concept. Both videos were animated using only PowerPoint. 
By time: Sustainability and taxation in just 2 minutes 
By concepts: Using mindmaps to help students study for the exam


Evidence: Blog post: YouTube analytics show my videos consistently have a higher than average audience retention. This is quite an achievement given my educational content is competing against music videos, TV shows and other forms of entertainment. 
Click to enlarge







3. Approaches to assessment and feedback that foster independent learning

Feed-forward - Student to teacher

I use the one minute survey, but I have added a small incremental improvement to allow students to give a rating from 1-5, indicating how well they understood the ideas. Using voice recognition software, I can efficiently transcribe all student responses, even for large lecture groups.
Click to enlarge






Summative feedback & review- Student to teacher 
Too often we are beholden to the notion of education as a commodity rather than as an experiential opportunity, and the phrasing of evaluation questions reflect the apportionment of responsibility for learning. Clearly a student’s evaluation of the teacher and the course depends on factors such as their engagement and the effort they invest in their independent learning. Hence, I amend my evaluation sheets to show that both the teacher’s and students’ efforts contribute to their evaluation of the course
Click to enlarge




Students rate peers
Group assessment often creates a ‘free-rider’ problem. Yet it is possible to design systems that foster personal responsibility for independent learning. My students are asked to rate each other’s performance on professionalism and effort in a group assignment. This peer grade is then used to weight individual performance within the group; thus all group members do not necessarily achieve an equal mark. 


Peer and self-feedback - Formative Meta Assessment
Formative Meta Assessment is a peer review program that aims to improve examination performance. Current students are asked to rate the examination answers of past students. The current students then receive grades on how they grade past students. This helps students calibrate their judgement,  construct their own understanding of what constitutes a quality examination answer, learn the structure of the exam, reinforce content understanding and calibrate their expectations, all at the same time.
Evidence: Blog post: Formative Meta Assessment: how to teach exam technique without teaching exam technique
Evidence: Video (View for 60 seconds): The practice exam crunch session in a tutorial where  students are learning how to evaluate examination responses of previous students, and learn what makes a good answer. 







4. Respect and support for the development of students as individuals

Checkpoint testing for CHC learners

Evidence: Video (Starts at the right second): Understanding Asian Students  -  Conference Presentation made to ConVerge12 (Melbourne)
Warning: this video runs for 34 minutes!
That's far too long!  



Shepherd leadership

My use of social media is primarily designed to promote professional identity, but this has also puts me in close contact with students as individuals. This creates both oportunities and carries risks. It allows me to offer the support and encouragement of students as individuals as I pursue the goals of "shepherd leadership" in order to gently coax students into expressing themselves and publicly articulate their critical thinking. At the same time, this requires the setting of rules, and a commitment to accountability. Tact is important  At all times, my online  interactions with students are the same as they are in the offline world: open-door and transparent
Evidence: Example of shepherd leadership to a CHC student. 
Click to enlarge




5. Scholarly activities that have influenced and enhanced learning and teaching




Ongoing scholarship 

Evidence: University of Melbourne
Evidence: CPA Program 
Evidence: Diagram below: Modelled process of reflection to develop scholarly teaching. 
This model formalises my process of praxis to embed Brookfield's (1995) four 'lenses' of reflection for scholarly teaching. The model is notable for the explicit use of social media as a convenient conduit to record, reflect, contain, share and curate my critical reflections on my practice.
Click to enlarge




Embedding Brookfield's ideals in my reflective teaching  

EvidenceTwitter account @tetracarbon  
Evidence: This blog tetracarbon.com/
Evidence: Diagram: My personal process of reflection
Click to enlarge




Research output: 
Evidence: Video (view 2½ minutes) : A framework for understanding Confucius Heritage Culture Learners, Conference presentation made at ConVerge12 (Melbourne) 

This video plays for 2½ minutes
The full video is 34 minutes   

Achievement Matters 

I am a peer review  contributor to the Achievement matters project which seeks to create a national consensus on the standard




Letters of reference 


Internal Reference: Faculty Dean
Max Newton


External Reference: 
Associate Professor Leesa Whelahan 


Curriculum vitae 

CV submitted matches my LinkedIn profile.




High resolution photo 

Submitted to OLT for Teaching Excellence Award



Other high resolution photos:



Photo used for publishing in the Australian (Higher Ed)

Big ideas at Melbourne's TEDx

On stage as part of the eLearning discussion Q&A panel 
at the 2012 Teaching & Learning Showcase 




References (linked) 

Bateman, D. (2012). The good, the bad and theugly: Facebook and higher education. HERDSA 2010: Refereed papers from the 33rd HERDSA Annual International Conference, HERDSA.

Biggs, J. B. (1994). "Asian learners through Western eyes: An astigmatic paradox." Australian and New Zealand Journal of Vocational EducationalResearch 2(2): 40-63.

Brookfield, S. D. (1995). "Becoming a critically reflective teacher." San Francisco: Iossey-Bass.

Broughan, C. and L. Hunt (2012). Chapter 11: Inclusive teaching. Universe teaching in focus: a learner centred approach. L. Hunt and D. Chalmers. Camberwell VIC Australia, ACER Press.

Chiu, Y. C. J. (2009). "Facilitating Asian students' critical thinking in online discussions." British Journal of Educational Technology 40(1): 42-57.

Chizmar, J. F. and A. L. Ostrosky (1998). "The one-minute paper: Some empirical findings." The Journal of Economic Education 29(1): 3-10.

Doherty, C. and P. Singh (2005). How the West is done: Simulating Western pedagogy in a curriculum for Asian international students. Internationalizing HigherEducation: 53-73.

Kingston, E. and H. Forland (2008). "Bridging the gap in expectations between international students and academic staff." Journal of Studies inInternational Education 12(2): 204-221.

Nguyen, P. M., C. Terlouw and A. Pilot (2006). "Culturally appropriate pedagogy: the case of group learning in a Confucian Heritage Culture context." InterculturalEducation 17(1): 1-19.

Said, E. W. (1985). "Orientalism reconsidered." Cultural Critique(1): 89-107.

Wheelahan, L., S. Arkoudis, G. Moodie, N. Fredman, E. Bexley, S. Billett and A. Kelly (2012). Shaken not stirred? The development of one tertiary education sector inAustraliaNational Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), Adelaide

Wheelahan, L., G. Moodie, S. Billett and A. Kelly (2009). "Higher Education in TAFE:Support Document." National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER):, Adelaide 49.

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