Adult educator recognised for innovation

Irene O'Duffy has been named the Kangan Institute Teacher of the Year. (Supplied)

Oliver Lees

Woodend’s Irene O’Duffy has been awarded the Kangan Institute’s Teacher of the Year award.

As an adult education support teacher at the Bendigo Kangan Institute, Ms O’Duffy this year developed new shorthand instructional videos to help students complete their assessments.

These videos contain a screen-cast and voice-over element that explains the task at-hand to the student, allowing less computer literate adults an easier means of accessing the course’s online content.

The roll-out of this service has seen a 50 per cent increase in first-attempt assessment success rate, according to the Kangan Institute.

Ms O’Duffy said she likes to employ her previous education work and study experience when introducing ideas to her class.

“I’m pleased that this award helps highlight the amazing work of learning support teachers in a TAFE environment,” Ms O’Duffy said.

“I found that many students were having to resubmit because they misread or misunderstood instructions that were only presented in text. I realised then that pre-empting their questions through clear assessment instruction videos would be even more helpful to students.

“When I design and develop training materials and assessments, I aim to adopt the beginner’s mind, think like a student and contextualise it so it matches their vocation, their literacy and numeracy levels, and most all, inspires a real love for learning and investigation.”

Kangan Institute chief executive Sally Curtain said Ms O’Duffy had made a lasting impact at the school.

“It’s about understanding the barriers that learners face and being innovative in training delivery to help them succeed,” Ms Curtain said.

“Teachers like Ms O’Duffy go above and beyond to develop new ways that improve our students’ outcomes, ensuring they gain the knowledge and confidence needed to embark on their next steps.”