In Communications, Media

Winners of the Inaugural ABDC Network Awards Announced

The ABDC is delighted to announce the winners of our inaugural Network Awards, which recognise and reward innovation and excellence in Australian business schools. The awards align with, and have been judged by panels from, ABDC’s professional management, international education, teaching and learning, and research networks.

The winners have been chosen from 58 award entries. They highlight how business and management thinking and research continue to positively impact societal challenges and contribute greatly to Australia’s universities.

ABDC Award for Innovation and Excellence in Professional Management

Winner: Hayley Harkin

Manager, Learning Design & Technology (Faculty of Business and Law), Swinburne University of Technology

Additional team members:

  • Benji Zorella — Education Technologist
  • Elisa Cassin — Manager of Academic Operations

For the design and development of the Blended Learning Accelerator Program within the Faculty of Business and Law at Swinburne.

The Blended Learning Accelerator Program is an intensive, two-week program to build staff digital capability to convert on-campus units to blended learning. Following implementation of the program, staff reported feeling empowered and more confident to adapt to the new normal of learning delivery.

Panel Comment: The program rated highly in all three criteria: Impact (uplifting academic digital capabilities), Innovation (focused on providing staff with an authentic blended learning experience from a student perspective) and Scalability (could easily be deployed in across other faculties in the University).

ABDC Award for Innovation and Excellence in International Education

Winner: Andrew Paltridge

Associate Dean International, Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Additional team members:

  • Ashleigh Burns – Study Abroad Officer

For the creation of Queensland University of Technology’s Bachelor of Business International.

QUT Business School’s Bachelor of Business International (BBus-Int) is a four-year program designed to increase students’ international experiences and knowledge as well as building their intercultural competencies. The program includes one year of international study experience, as well as a compulsory subject, Bridging Cultures, which introduces students to theories and models of intercultural skill development, prepares them for the year overseas, and incorporates experiential elements.

Panel Comment: We determined that the QUT submission — the Bachelor of Business International was the winning entry for the International Network Award.

ABDC Award for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Winner: Prashan Shayanka Mendis Karunaratne

Dr | Lecturer (Teaching & Leadership), Macquarie University

For the project, Microeconomics Principles: the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of learning at Macquarie Business School.

Through a systematic restructure of a large first year economics course at Macquarie Business School, students’ thinking and perceptions of business and economics as disciplines have been transformed to realise that #EconomicsIsEverywhere. An example of this is in assessment, where students capture examples of concepts in their world to populate a portfolio of case studies via social media apps. Through the assessment task, peers search, comment, and critique these examples to generate engagement outside the classroom.

Panel Comment: The strength of Prashan’s application is that it covers three innovations in the Beginning in a core firstyear course, Microeconomic Principles, Widening Participation – in Australia and overseas and the MOOC on Excel Skills for Business and has numerous impressive awards.

ABDC Award for Innovation and Excellence in Research

Winner: Helena Nguyen

Associate Professor, University of Sydney

Additional team members:

  • Professor Sharon Parker – ARC Laureate Fellow, Curtin University
  • Professor Markus Groth – UNSW Australia
  • Associate Professor Anya Johnson – University of Sydney
  • Dr Karyn Wang – University of Sydney
  • Dr Shanta Dey – University of Sydney

For enhancing the wellbeing and performance of healthcare professionals through work practices, leadership and culture.

Our healthcare system is critical to the health and prosperity of the nation, but it is a system that continues to face enormous challenges due to an ageing population, funding cuts, and current crises such as COVID19. These challenges threaten the mental health and wellbeing of healthcare staff. Since 2005, the research team have conducted over 25 action research projects involving over 10,000 participants. The findings have been translated to inform significant workplace change, including ongoing investments in new role creations, staff well-being programs, leadership development and work redesign.

Panel Comment: This project is less traditional but delivers substantial value and represents really impactful partnering both with non-academic sector stakeholders and across universities (with participants from three universities involved). The project is pertinent given the pressures that COVID19 has placed on the healthcare system and the pressures that medical professionals are under at the moment.

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