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Learning and teaching news

All the news from learning and teaching including awards and conferences.

All our learning and teaching news.
All our learning and teaching news.

Staff award/recognition

Congratulations to Dr Ajanthy Arulpragasam on being a recipient of the Curtin Guild’s Excellence in Teaching Awards for the 2016 (Undergraduate Award in Health Sciences category). These awards are unique in that all winners are nominated by students and chosen entirely by a panel of the Guild’s student representatives. All awardees demonstrated exceptional qualities in providing encouragement, guidance, and displaying excellence in their teaching and interactions with students.


Dr Magdy Elnashar has two abstracts at the Teaching and Learning Forum 2017 Proceedings held at Curtin University from the 2 to 3 February 2017 are as follows:

‘Improving student understanding and interest in complex subjects using FastFeedback Questions’.

Magdy Mahmoud Elnashar

School of Biomedical Sciences, Curtin University


How to engage students in learning is a well-documented topic, however it still remains ‘a challenge’. The use of FastFeedback Questions (FFQ) is a new teaching approach that has been developed to engage students in complex subjects. In this project, FastFeedback (FF) was implemented in a second year Biomedical Sciences unit, Foundation of Clinical Biochemistry. This presentation will describe how the strategy was implemented in face to face lectures.

In this project, FFQ utilised focus questions delivered via PowerPoint, where each slide contained questions directly relating to content on that slide. Students were given pre-lecture PowerPoint slides containing the focus questions. During the face- to-face lectures, the PowerPoint slides were shown, including the answers to the focus questions. The immediacy of the answers to the questions is why it is called FastFeedback.

This novel method was used in 2015 and 2016, and its effectiveness was evaluated from students’ grades including the final examination; as well as some comparative analysis against previous years (2010-2014). The student responses to the effectiveness of the strategy were evaluated using a survey and a focus group. The students liked the FFQ and they requested that it be implemented in other units, especially those perceived as being complex units. We believe that this new method can provide students with a scaffolded entry into new material that is perceived as difficult.

Does Fastfeedback in a first year anatomy and physiology class affect mastery of content?

Magdy Elnashar, Julianne Crowley and Arpana Dhar

School of Biomedical Sciences, Curtin University


Fastfeedback (FF) is a novel teaching method that alerts students to the importance of key information in a lecture. This presentation will look at the implementation of FF in an online lecture and its effectiveness in two modules in an in a large first year anatomy and physiology class.

The modules used were female and male reproduction. Marks allocated for the unit resulted in 40% of the final examination mark coming from these two modules. The lecture slides had accompanying slides containing questions directly related to each content slide. The questions were taken from an expanded concept list previously prepared and available to students online.

In the lecture these extra slides were unavailable but were available when downloaded by students. Students were notified as to the new format. The effectiveness of the use of FF was determined firstly by the marks scored in these modules.

Focus groups were also held to determine how students viewed feedback in the unit as well as being surveyed about their perception of feedback and its effectiveness. This workshop will illustrate the implementation of FF and the results of the final exam, analysed using an independent samples t-test across several semesters. The significance of this data will also be discussed as well as the findings of the survey and focus group.