Recently, Dr Jasvir Kaur Nachatar Singh received the College Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Award. In 2011, Jasvir received the prestigious Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship from the Australian government to pursue her PhD at LTU. Upon completing her PhD Jasvir was appointed as the Early Career Development Fellow at the Department of Management, Sport and Tourism (MST). Currently, Jasvir is a Lecturer in the MST Department. Business Newsroom sat down with Jasvir to ask her about the award and her teaching philosophy.
Congratulations with the Teaching Award! Could you tell us a bit more about it?
It is a competitive award as there are only five awards offered by the ASSC College under this category. I’m honoured to be one of the recipients. The award recognises my innovative and high-quality teaching in the Leadership: What Matters subject (MGT3LWM) offered to undergraduate students across the university. Besides a certificate, I received $5000 to be spent on further advancing my practice of teaching at La Trobe Business School.
When did you become a teacher at LBS?
I started my academic career as a tutor at LBS in March 2013 while doing my PhD at the Department of Management at LBS. Then upon my PhD completion in 2015, I was appointed as the Early Career Development Fellow in 2016.
My first subject was Leadership: What Matters (MGT3LWM). This subject is offered to undergraduate students, mainly third year student across the university. Since 2013, I have been teaching, co-ordinating and re-designing this subject at LBS. I also teach management and human resource management subjects such as International Management (MGT2IMG), Human Resource Management (MGT2HRM), International Human Resource Management (MGT3IHR), Working with Others (MGT1OBE).
What do you think the university and your students like about your teaching?
I love having fun when I am teaching and I guess students do too. Therefore, I am all for creating fun in the learning and teaching process. For example, as a dedicated and zealous educationist, I crafted innovative hands-on activities such as scenario-based role plays, personalised story telling sessions with examples, online and off-line leadership games, fun and reflective activities. These activities have been highly effective in engaging students to learn: “The innovation Jasvir takes, changes the teaching dynamic in each class to make it interesting, fun and very participative” (SFT, 2017).
These innovative hands-on activities have positive effects on students’ learning, engagement and satisfaction. Students support the benefits of these creative yet exhilarating teaching approaches. For instance, “Jasvir likes to play games. For example, she likes to give a pen to the students in the class and she puts the music on. Once the music stops, student who has the pen will have to answer the question. It’s a fun way of learning” (SOTL, 2017). This comment was extracted from a research interview I gave after I received a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) Grant in 2016.
What is your “secret”?
One of my secrets is that I remember all of my students’ name in my workshops. I do receive many positive comments from students that they do appreciate a staff member remembering their names and they are not just a number. I strongly believe that teaching has to be personalised; that a teacher and students have that cordial, comfortable and safe relationship where both parties learn from one and another.
I am a firm believer that the teaching and learning process is an inclusive process. I was an international student myself in the US and in Australia. I understand how an international student feels when they are in a classroom. I do my best to create an inclusive environment in my workshops where I consciously go around the classroom and ask general and specific questions to international students as well as domestic students. I also put domestic and international students into groups together to discuss subject related matters. At times, I also hear domestic students making effort in asking international students about their culture and their country of origin. This gets me excited as I am trying my best in building an inclusive teaching and learning environment in my workshops at LBS.
If you like to read more about Jasvir’s approach to teaching: check out the amazing blog she wrote for the Global Citizens Project: