Teaching and Learning Forum

Dr Craig Parker

Position: Senior Lecturer

Faculty: Faculty of Business and Law
School: School of Information Systems
Discipline: Information Systems

Campus: Burwood
Phone: +61 3 924 46924
Email: craig.parker@deakin.edu.au
Home directory: http://www.deakin.edu.au/~cparker

 

"The main motivation for me is when I see students become passionate about an area and they gain a thirst for knowledge."

Senior Lecturer Dr Craig Parker teaches postgraduate programs and supervises postgraduate research in the School of Information Systems in the areas of online business strategy, small business systems and supply chain management. He conducts research into technology support for education, developing students' generic skills and corporate social responsibility for small business. He continues to work as a researcher and consultant to industry and government.

Motivation

Craig is motivated by seeing students develop a passion for an area which inspires them to want to learn more. He sees this love of learning and quest for scholarly knowledge as unique features of university education.

Approaches and methods

As a consequence, Craig considers himself a facilitator of learning rather than a teacher. He focuses on providing an environment which encourages student engagement with scholarly knowledge and its application in real world contexts. Craig believes that peer learning through exposure to other students' experiences and views is very important.

His approach is based on genuine care and concern for students and a desire to help individuals achieve their learning potential. Craig is approachable, encouraging students to communicate with him and ask questions.

He believes that generic skill development is essential to learning and cites critical thinking and inquiry, the ability to synthesise knowledge and present coherent, persuasive and justifiable arguments as key. Craig aims to elicit these skills through carefully designed learning tasks and ongoing feedback. He believes that discipline content is the context for development of skills that can be applied by students not only at Deakin, but during their lifetime.

Imaginatively designed interactive online learning modules support student learning around complex concepts. These are aligned with learning objectives and structured through step-by-step instructions. Modules incorporate interactive games, dynamic diagrams, analogies and questions to illustrate concepts. They form part of a blended learning strategy in which tutorial questions aim to stimulate discussions arising from students' use of the modules. Students have responded positively, commenting that the resources are enjoyable as well as useful.

Craig uses a range of formative and summative assessment to help students progressively develop analytical and critical thinking skills. He strives to make assessment criteria clear and explicit and works with students to ensure that they understand the criteria and how to achieve them. Craig developed detailed criteria around assessment of students' scholarly essays. Student Evaluation of Teaching and Unit (SETU) and other feedback affirms that this approach has helped students develop analytical skills. Colleagues in the School of Information Systems have also adopted Craig's essay assessment criteria and adapted these to their specific needs.

Craig also analyses examples of work (of varying quality) with students. By engaging in debate and critiques of examples, students develop understanding of the attributes of good quality work and learn techniques to develop the skills they need to create this kind of work. Craig has found this approach particularly useful when working with international students who may be accustomed to different work styles.

Enhancing teaching

Craig continues to refine his teaching and learning strategies through ongoing reflection on his practice. He finds information and idea sharing with colleagues invaluable. Such exchange occurs informally as well as through attendance at workshops and seminars.

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Research and teaching

For Craig, research and teaching are closely aligned. By keeping up to date with industry developments he stays aware of contemporary issues and maintains current industry contacts.

Craig also draws on discipline research, consultancy and other personal experience to develop real-life examples that relate to topics being explored in class.

His PhD focused on the effective design of role-playing business simulations for teaching university students and business professionals about the benefits of electronic business in the context of supply chain management. As a post-doctoral fellow, funded by a Committee for University Teaching and Staff Development (CUTSD) grant, Craig developed and evaluated a web-based version of the role-playing business simulation that he designed during his PhD.

Craig has published extensively on the use of educational approaches and tools, including eSimulations, in supply chain management and eBusiness education.

Leadership

Craig has also taken a leadership role over the last few years in relation to:

  • assisting the Institute of Teaching and Learning with the development of the architecture for eSimulations
  • developing, with the Knowledge Media Division, low threshold tools to enable educators from various disciplines to create online, interactive learning modules for students
  • coordinating School of Information Systems postgraduate course and curriculum development committees and taskforces.

Qualifications

  • BSc (Hons) [Curtin]
  • PhD [Monash]

Awards/fellowships

2009

  • School of Information Systems Award in recognition of valuable contributions to teaching within MSC753 eBusiness and Supply Chain Management (On-campus)
  • Exemplars of Teaching Excellence, Faculty of Business and Law Award

2008

  • School of Information Systems award in recognition of valuable contributions to teaching within: MSC751 Online Solutions for Business

2007

  • Deakin University Award for Teaching Excellence
  • Faculty of Business and Law/School of Information Systems award in recognition of valuable contributions to teaching within:
    - the School of Information Systems (a general award)
    - MSC751 Online Solutions for Business
    - MSC349 Business Strategies for the Internet, Off-campus

2006

  • Faculty of Business and Law/School of Information Systems award in recognition of valuable contributions to teaching within: MSC751 Foundations of IS/eBusiness, Toorak

Grants

2010

  • Marie van der Klooster, Luba Torlina and Craig M. Parker (2010) Developing information management skills in students: applying information evaluation for writing high quality business reports, Faculty of Business and Law Innovation and Development Grants Scheme ($7,151).

2009

  • Susan Keller, Caroline Chan and Craig M. Parker (2009) Investigating industry-based capstone units: long-term benefits for students and organisations, Faculty of Business and Law Teaching and Learning Small Grants Scheme ($8,255).

1997

  • Co-wrote and conducted a Community for University Teaching and Staff Development (CUTSD) grant project at Monash University entitled "A Hands-on Simulation Game for Teaching Electronic Commerce" with Professor Paula Swatman

Publications

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21st December 2010