Innovator wins national teaching award

Innovator wins national teaching award

8/15/13 3:23 PM

Computing lecturer and avid proponent of open education Richard Buckland has been recognised with a national award for teaching excellence.

Associate Professor Buckland has been named the 2013 Australian ICT Educator of the Year by the iAwards – a national program recognising innovation and leadership across the ICT industry.

Buckland is the Director of first year studies in the UNSW School of Computer Science and Engineering and was one of the first university lecturers in Australia to popularise open education on YouTube, with more than one million views on his channel. 

His approach of teaching computer programming through a combination of solving puzzles and playing games has resonated with students both at UNSW and internationally. 

“Our focus at UNSW is really about giving students the skills they require to be successful long-term, and not just teaching them the facts, which tend to become irrelevant quite quickly in computing” he says.

“We want our students to be able to actually think like scientists, and not just be able to recite the periodic table."

Buckland is also the co-founder of Open Learning – Australia's first provider of Massive Open Online Courses, which he launched in October 2012 with former UNSW student Adam Brimo.  

Open Learning employs a team of UNSW computing graduates, has attracted more than 24,000 online students, and has run courses for three Australian universities and several corporate clients and not-for-profit organisations.  

The iAwards are presented by the Australian Computer Society (ACS), Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and the Pearcey Foundation, and are sponsored by the Victorian Government.

Buckland received his award at an event in Melbourne last week.


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