Health Sciences

What’s new in higher education teaching in the School of Allied Health

What’s new in the School of Allied Health image

The School of Allied Health is playing a major part in the Faculty of Health Sciences' exciting new student experience and simulation based learning initiatives. A number of staff members within the School have taken on roles to facilitate these exciting programs.

Student experience initiatives

The Faculty of Health Sciences has launched an exciting new initiative focusing on the student experience in their first year and their transition to professional practice.

Over the next 6 months Laurine Hurley (School of Science), Leigha Dark (Speech Pathology, School of Allied Health) and Helen Redfern (Social Work, School of Allied Health) will be seconded to the ‘TSAR’ project (Taskforce for Student Achievement and Retention). The project looks at curriculum approaches that enhance the student experience and strategies for staff engagement and supporting student success.

The focus of the project will be:

  • to continue to map the work already taking place within the faculty in the area of transition pedagogy; 
  • to better understand the outcomes of current strategies on student experience and engagement; 
  • and develop resources to assist with further embedding transition principles into first year curriculum and beyond.

Dr Leigha Dark, Lecturer in Speech Pathology 

Leigha Dark is a Lecturer in Speech Pathology within the School of Allied Health and has been a member of staff at ACU since June 2013. Leigha’s teaching and learning interests include blended learning environments and case-based teaching. At ACU, Leigha has applied these interests within her clinical specialty area of Lifelong Disability Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Leigha is currently undertaking the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and teaches in a variety of units within the Bachelor of Speech Pathology course. Leigha has recently taken on the role of First Year Student Advisor for Speech Pathology in North Sydney and is looking forward to being part of the Taskforce for Student Achievement and Retention for the next 6 months. The opportunity to integrate transition pedagogy principles into the evolving curricula of the Speech Pathology program was too good to miss!

Mrs Helen Redfern, Lecturer in Social Work

Helen Redfern is a lecturer in Social Work within the School of Allied Health and was a founding member of the Social Work program in Brisbane in 2007. Helen is committed to providing a quality learning experience for students and ensuring that students are well prepared for professional practice. Her current learning and teaching interests include:

  • building academic proficiency;
  • development of professional identity and authentic learning;
  • flexible and blended learning environments;
  • and embedding an Indigenous curriculum into the new Bachelor of Social Work program.

Simulation Champions Project 

Dr Eli Chu, Lecturer in Occupational Therapy

Eli joined ACU as a lecturer in Occupational Therapy in 2013. She has a strong interest in developing innovative teaching strategies to enhance students’ learning experience. As an occupational therapist, Eli uses simulated tasks in assessment and treatment intervention for clients, and believes that use of simulation in health education is of great value for the profession. Academics can design simulation based activities to support learning that aligns closely with program objectives and assessments. Simulation can also be used as an assessment strategy to provide an authentic context and environment to assess students’ competencies.

Eli is honoured and excited to be selected as one of the Faculty of Health Sciences Simulation Champions. She will be seconded to the Simulation Champions Project during Semester 2, 2015. Eli will be working with Stephen Guinea, the Faculty Coordinator of Health Simulation and other Simulation Champions in the mapping of existing and proposed simulation activities in the undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum. Eli looks forward to discussing with Heads of School, Course Coordinators and Academics how we can advance use of simulation, and develop strategies for implementing and evaluating well designed, sustainable simulation based activities.