Position: Senior Lecturer
Faculty: Business and Law
School: Deakin Business School
Discipline: Information Systems
Phone: +61 3 556 33458
"I'm a great believer that everyone can meet their potential, and that's my aim, to help people meet their potential."
A Senior Lecturer in the Deakin Business School, Dr Rodney Carr was Associate Head of School (Information Systems) from 2002 - 2003 and Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) from 2003–2007. He is currently the Deakin Business School's Teaching and Learning Coordinator.
Rodney believes that everything is intrinsically interesting and that we can learn something from every experience and from anyone we meet. We never stop learning. And although people's skills and strengths may vary, everyone has something to offer and everybody has unique potential. Rodney's teaching and learning goal is to help his students meet their potential.
As a result, his approach to teaching is student centred and outcome focused. Helping students to see the interest in new situations and problems and identify their goals, he then assists them to solve those problems and achieve those goals, paying attention to student feedback and satisfaction as indicators of how well this process is progressing. He also takes care to give students timely and useful feedback that will help them advance their learning.
Because of this emphasis on individual development, Rodney aims to build personal connections with students. He learns their names as the starting point to building a constructive relationship and facilitates peer mentoring and peer learning in his classes.
Rodney believes that relevance is essential to student engagement and strives to relate materials to real world applications. He has incorporated learning activities into his units such as online "clients" to improve students' communication skills in a business context.
He is a flexible and adaptive teacher who modifies his approaches and methods in response to student feedback. Rodney has been innovating in the area of e-enhanced resource development since the mid-1980s, using computer based demonstrations and simulations to provide practical experience for students and motivate learning. He is an internationally recognised expert in the use of Excel for teaching and learning across the disciplines of statistics, mathematics, genetics and economics. For example, Rodney developed workbooks in Excel that perform basic statistical calculations and analysis for students. This simplifies concepts for students and, through a visual and interactive format, helps them understand the relationships between raw data and the statistical measurements that summarise them. As a result, students can focus on essentials such as experiment design, interpretation of data and reporting results. Students have responded positively to this innovation.
Rodney has also innovated in the development of e-Roadmapping to create concept/mind maps for unit content where slides represent concepts and linked concepts are shown as embedded images. Students and teaching colleagues have commented on the clarity and usefulness of this approach.
Since 2001 Rodney has developed models for team-teaching large, multi-campus units. These have incorporated blended learning environments; student support and mentoring from staff on an individual or small group basis; and dedicated staff to support equity in information access and assessment. Rodney and the Business Information Systems teaching team were awarded a 2004 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Achievements in Teaching and Learning for their team teaching approach.
He has also developed models to support the development of generic graduate attributes and academic skills. With a colleague, Rodney created the "Commerce Roadmap", which is a structured set of resources that highlight employer needs and include materials on academic skill development.
He firmly believes in the value of learning from others and enjoys sharing ideas and techniques with colleagues. Through a faculty grant he is promoting the development of teaching and learning communities of practice at the coalface level. Funding will provide opportunities for academic staff to observe each other's classes and take time to share ideas about teaching and learning in other ways.
Recognised as a leader in the use of technology in teaching, Rodney has been an invited speaker at national and international conferences on teaching statistics and has published widely on a range of teaching and learning issues, including online learning resources and economics education.
Rodney is part of a cross-faculty Strategic Teaching and Learning Grant Scheme (STALGS)-funded project that will investigate the nature of students' online engagement at Deakin and examine relationships between student engagement, academic performance and satisfaction.
As Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) in the Faculty of Business and Law from 2003–2007, Rodney was responsible for improving the quality of teaching and learning across the faculty and student satisfaction and outcomes. His initiatives included:
Through participation in multiple university committees and working groups he has been actively involved in a range of university-wide initiatives such as development of Deakin Graduate Attributes and the ongoing development of online resources such as DSO, eLive and Turnitin.