A portrait photo of Dr Nico Schulenkorf.
Dr Nico Schulenkorf.

Please tell us a little about what your citation was awarded for…

My citation was awarded for Developing work-ready sport management students through a dynamic and culturally inclusive ‘real world’ learning environment. In short, the focus of my teaching in Sport Management has been on practice-oriented and active learning that prepares students for critical challenges in an increasingly global and fast-changing environment.

What’s something new you are hoping to try or explore in learning and teaching in 2017?

The introduction of the balanced sessions and the growing size of lecture and tutorial classes require us to find alternative approaches to engagement. In recent weeks, I have integrated a number of technical advancements including instant response polls to address this concern. To further improve on cultural inclusion and engagement, I am planning to explore elements of Physical Education in my sport management classes in 2017 – with the aim of creating a truly active and dynamic teaching space.

What’s been your most memorable learning and teaching moment – as a teacher, or as a student?

As a graduate student, I attended a Sports Law seminar in my final semester. I expected a rather dry and mundane teaching environment but soon learned that the active teaching approach taken by the lecturer – and his sense of humour and care for students – provided an exciting learning space. This experience made me realise that the style of delivery and approach to teaching is at least as important as the subject and its content.

What’s the most challenging aspect of teaching in universities today?

I feel that there is an increasing disconnect between a teaching philosophy that is supposed to focus on critical thinking, engagement and activity, and the reality of 45 students in a tutorial. The biggest challenge is to provide a space for inclusive participation and student care for large groups of individuals from disparate backgrounds and with different experiences and expectations. In our sport-related management classes, I build on the common interest of students and their passion for different sports to maximise engagement and participation. To my advantage, even the more reserved students start to speak up if the discussion question challenges decision-making of their favourite player, club or sport.

Feature image credit: Abigail Keenan

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