RMIT Double-Hander Wins JERAA Teaching Innovation Award



The inaugural JERAA Teaching Award for Innovation in Online Teaching has been won by Tito Ambyo and Janak Rogers of RMIT University.

This new award recognises innovations implemented in online teaching in journalism during the COVID-19 pandemic and attracts a $1000 prize.

Tito and Janak competed with four other journalism academics at a live presentation session on Friday morning at the JERAA 2020 Conference.

Participants gave a short 5-minute presentation with 20 slides, auto-timed to advance each 15 seconds, in an online forum. The winners were selected by popular vote.

JERAA VP (Awards) Jeanti St Clair noted all presentations were of a very high calibre.

Tito and Janak’s presentation explored how two remotely-produced RMIT podcasts, Under Cover ​and ​The Kicker,​ ​demonstrated how innovation and adaptation with a range of digital tools used in collaborative spaces supported students to create high-value work in a fully remote environment.

Student-designed Instagram tiles

“We created entirely new remote production processes and designed innovative assessments in response to the move to online teaching,” Tito said.

“Emphasising collaboration, the cultivation of a community and by giving students ownership of two audio storytelling assessments, we produced two successful podcasts that reached a wide audience; one of them reached the top 20 rank in the Australian iTunes’ Documentary category.

“We also used our experience in working with students from CALD backgrounds to tackle the feeling of isolation that students were at risk of feeling during the lockdown – a feeling that many students of colour have felt before the pandemic.

“We were then able to build on the insights gained from creating ​Under Cover ​in Semester 1 and further innovate in Semester 2 with the creation of The Kicker. We believe that we now have some useful online teaching tools and concepts for other journalism lecturers who are interested in building a sense of camaraderie and professionalism among journalism and media students.”

The competition was open to ongoing, fixed term, sessional and casual staff with at least one year’s experience teaching in a recognised journalism program.

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