Top medical teaching is an art

Teaching excellence award winner Associate Professor Mounir Ghabriel demonstrates the body painting with student Stuart Renigers.

Teaching excellence award winner Associate Professor Mounir Ghabriel demonstrates the body painting with student Stuart Renigers.
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Monday, 28 November 2011

Body painting and digital animation of body parts are among the novel approaches that are helping to inspire the University of Adelaide's anatomy students, and have earned their lecturer the University's top teaching prize for 2011.

Associate Professor Mounir Ghabriel, from the Discipline of Anatomy and Pathology in the School of Medical Sciences, has won the Vice-Chancellor and President's Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Associate Professor Ghabriel is employing multiple approaches to engage students' interest and help them learn complex human anatomy. These include body painting to help give a 3-D appreciation of what's beneath the skin, layered colour-coded diagrams the students produce themselves, interactive 3-D models, and digital animation. An e-museum for remote learning of the specimens in the School's museums is also being created.

"Learning human anatomy can be daunting for medical, dental and health sciences students, for the volume of anatomical terms and the complexity of the structure of the human body and its systems, particularly the nervous system," said Associate Professor Ghabriel.

"But it's an important subject as it provides the basis for understanding normal structure and introduces students to medical terminology and communication - so it's principally taught in the early years of the course.

"Students have unique optimal learning styles so we aimed to interest all and lose none through multiple approaches."

"Mounir receives this award in recognition of his many years of commitment to improving the quality of anatomy teaching and the overall learning experience of medical students," said Professor Pascale Quester, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic).

"His strong concern for students and teaching development has had a significant and lasting impact on both his students and the wider teaching community."

The Vice-Chancellor's Award was selected from three Stephen Cole the Elder Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

The other two Stephen Cole the Elder Awards went to Associate Professor Colin Kestell (School of Mechanical Engineering) and Dr Ben McCann (School of Humanities).

The Award for Excellence in Support of the Student Experience was awarded to Allan Carrington (Centre for Learning and Professional Development), and the Award for Excellence for Higher Degree by Research Supervision was won by Dr Susan Hosking (School of Humanities). A number of Faculty teaching awards were also presented.

The University next year will introduce new awards in recognition of contributions to the student learning experience.


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