Teaching Excellence Recognised

Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops. - Henry Brooks Adams

Two of the Faculty of Business and Economics’ staff have recently been recognized for their outstanding teaching, and were presented with awards for excellence in teaching:
Ms Xiao-Ping Li received the FBE Excellence in Tutoring Award, and Dr Sturla Lyngnes Fjesme  received the Carol Johnston Award for Teaching Excellence.

These awards distinguish both Xiao-Ping and Sturla as leaders in teaching, and they share one more thing in common: they put their students first.

Understanding the requirements of the students, and seeking the ability to engage with the students on a regular basis has been vital in Xiao-Ping’s teaching career. Xiao-Ping joined the Faculty in 2010 and is proud to see many of his students successful in garnering positions in top-tier investment banks, management consulting firms, and the ‘Big 4’. He believes in not just being a tutor in class, but in also reaching out and mentoring the students outside of tutorial hours. One of his proudest moments has been a student achieving a perfect score of 100 for the subject, FNCE30007 Derivative Securities. “The most important thing about teaching is the ability to interact with students in a fun and dynamic teaching environment, where each and every student is empowered to learn and engage in class,” says Mr Li.

Sturla is also a firm believer in pedagogical teaching, making the student the focus and centre of his attention, and applying the teaching method most effective in conveying the curriculum. He uses interactive lectures to convey theoretical foundations and then has students work on case studies to solve problems. Sturla’s teaching model, which capitalizes on the mobile connectivity that most students now have in their hands, has been hailed as innovative and engaging, using existing, pre-installed finance applications (apps) in smartphones and tablets in his teaching. Customising these apps, he has been able to tie new concepts to existing knowledge in real-world examples. “This also helps students understand the practical implications of theoretical concepts I teach. I also actively use relevant finance YouTube videos, market updates, and links to instant financial news,” he explains. Because the award is based on feedback received from students upon course completion, Sturla is both honoured yet humbled to have received it as he believes it is a true testament of how much his students have valued his teaching techniques and his guidance, calling it his greatest personal teaching achievement. He adds, “However, I take more joy in seeing my former students succeed after they have completed their studies. I do not feel that I can take any personal credit for students doing well (as they have completed a degree at a very good university).”

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