Teaching and Learning Forum

Associate Professor Kieran F Lim

Kieran Lim

Position: Associate Professor

Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology
School: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
Discipline: Chemistry

Campus: Geelong
Phone: +61 3 522 72146





  • BSc (Hons) 1985, Sydney
  • PhD 1989, Sydney
  • GCertHigherEd 2006, Deakin
  • GDipEd (Sec) 2009, Monash

Associate Professor Kieran Lim teaches chemistry in the School of Life and Environmental Science. He joined Deakin in 1996. He sees the University’s role as an institution which gathers and disseminates knowledge: hence there is a dynamic and synergistic balance between research and teaching-and-learning. Kieran has taught at all undergraduate levels but the majority of his teaching has been in level-1 chemistry. He fosters scientific literacy in his students, aiming to demonstrate that what they learn in class is relevant to the real world.

Kieran is a keen advocate of the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in science education. He has been involved in videoconferencing, web-based technologies, spreadsheets as well as the use of word processors and other software as learning tools.

His use of spreadsheets in chemistry education allows students who are less able in maths to view the mechanics of relevant equations without having to solve them so they can focus on learning underlying concepts. Animations and movie clips promote engagement in large, first-year classes. Kieran believes that active involvement in class is critical to quality learning. In smaller classes, he promotes class discussion and, in a number of units, incorporates into marking, students' assessment of how much they helped each other to learn. To facilitate student involvement in laboratory classes, Kieran encourages group work and offers students the option of submitting a group report. His teaching resource The Chemistry Style Manual is used at many institutions in Australia and overseas.

Kieran is involved in several projects to develop teaching and learning methods in science education. He was the principal investigator in a Commonwealth-funded videoconferencing project. Kieran is a Director of the ALTC-funded ASELL project (Advancing Science by Enhancing Laboratory Learning) and a principle investigator in the ALTC-funded ALIUS project (Active Learning in University Science). Kieran has been a member of various teaching and learning related faculty and University reference groups and working parties and the University of Tasmania School of Chemistry's External Advisory Committee. He was coordinator of the sub theme "Chemical Education in the Information Age" at the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry World Chemistry Congress and has been the Chair of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute's Division of Chemical Education. He was a member of the ACARA Science Advisry Panel which worked on the Australian schools' national curriculum.

Current teaching and learning projects/interests

Current teaching and learning projects/interests include improvements in student learning in laboratories and other practical-work-based learning; improvements in student learning in lectures through active learning; use of spreadsheets and programmable calculators; the development of laboratory exercises for forensic science; and whether students’ attitudes to professional ethics and professional ethics is influenced by cultural/discipline backgrounds.

Mentoring areas

  • Use of the learning management systems in university education;
  • Improving laboratory and fieldwork learning.



  • ALTC Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, Australian Learning and Teaching Council


  • Royal Australian Chemical Institute Division of Chemical Education Medal


  • Royal Australian Chemical Institute Citation for significant contributions to chemical education


  • Deakin University Faculty of Science and Technology Excellence in Teaching Award


  • Deakin University Faculty of Science and Technology Excellence in Teaching Award



  • Australian Learning and Teaching Council Leadership grant (CG9 1049) with University of Sydney, Curtin University, Flinders University, University of Adelaide - "Advancing science by enhancing learning in the laboratory (ASELL)"


  • Principal investigator, Australian Learning and Teaching Council Leadership for Excellence Grant ($111 000) with Charles Stuart University, University of Sydney, Curtin University, University of Adelaide, University of Tasmania - "Developing leaders of change in the teaching of large university chemistry classes"


  • Deakin University Strategic Research Funding "Flexible Learning: IT Skills Survey"


  • Committee on University Teaching and Staff Development project "Australian Physical Chemistry Enhanced Laboratory Learning"


  • Deakin University Teaching and Staff Development project "Breaking the Nexus Between Lectures, Tutorials and Laboratory Classes: A True Flexible Teaching-and-Learning Approach to Chemistry"


  • Committee on the Advancement of University Teaching project "The role of videoconferencing in enhancing teaching/learning via a virtual faculty"


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21st December 2010