Teaching passion brings national recognition

Friday, 2 December 2016

The University of Adelaide’s Associate Professor Mario Ricci has been recognised as one of Australia’s most outstanding university teachers in a national award presented in Canberra last night.

Associate Professor Ricci, from the University’s Adelaide Medical School, has received one of the 2016 Australian Awards for University Teaching, for his contribution to enhancing the quality of teaching in higher education in the field of biological sciences.

For 15 years Associate Professor Ricci has demonstrated an exceptional ability to inspire and motivate students to learn about the wonders of the human body.

Since 2001 he has been coordinator of the first-year Human Biology course at the University of Adelaide, He also led the development of the University’s first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) Essential Human Biology, and he is the creator of the popular ‘Human Biology Explained’ animated video series on YouTube.

He has shared his passion and knowledge for all things anatomy with over half-a-million views on his digital resources and learners from 207 countries.

“I absolutely love teaching Human Biology but it isn’t easy getting every single student as excited about the human body as I am,” says Associate Professor Ricci. “I’ve found, however, that it is possible to inspire students through a mix of individually connecting with every student, by using technology to enable active engagement, and by designing classes and assessments that are relevant, authentic and fun.

“My reward over the years has come from observing those ‘aha moments’ in class, but it is certainly wonderful to be recognised nationally in this way, and hopefully the lessons I’ve learnt about teaching will inspire others to make sure their students are front and centre of everything they do.”

As part of helping his students understand complex anatomy, Associate Professor Ricci has devised a variety of approaches and activities including interactive multi-touch books so students can learn on any mobile device, and an ‘Amazing Race – Human Biology’ course review where students form teams in laboratory sessions and have one hour to race around the human body.

“Mario is a passionate, dedicated teacher who is respected hugely for his teaching skill and leadership, not just within his own faculty but throughout the University and increasingly internationally,” says Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic) Professor Pascale Quester.

“Teaching such a large and diverse group of students that study our Human Biology course is challenging, but Mario has developed an inclusive approach whereby students feel supported and stimulated in-class and online. He has also contributed significantly to enhancing teaching practice across the University and is one of the inaugural members of our new Adelaide Education Academy.”

Associate Professor Ricci’s teaching has been previously recognised with an Office for Learning and Teaching Citation (2013), Vice-Chancellor and President’s Teaching Award (2013), Stephen Cole the Elder Teaching Award (2013), Executive Dean’s Teaching Award (2015 and 2009), and admittance into the global Apple Distinguished Educator program (2013).

Further details about Associate Professor Ricci’s work can be seen on this video.


Contact Details

Ms Robyn Mills
Email: robyn.mills@adelaide.edu.au
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
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