I am a passionate teacher and generally welcome the opportunity to discuss my courses with prospective students. At 2021 I am not currently in a teaching position, so I no longer store information about specific courses here.
My excellent teaching has been acknowledged with awards:
- 2020 Dean’s Commendation for Excellence in Education for Programs that Enhance Learning (Team)
- 2013 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence
- 2013 ANU Commendation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
- 2012 Colleges of Science Award for Teaching Excellence
- 2009 Researchfest Award for Excellence in Tutoring or Demonstrating.
Some of my academic publications are about teaching and learning and/or are designed for use by science teachers and science communication teachers:
- McKinnon M., Orthia L.A., Grant W.J. & Lamberts R. (2014) Real-world assessment as an integral component of an undergraduate science communication program. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education 22(5): 1-13.
- Orthia L.A. (2013) Negotiating public resistance to engagement in science and technology. In J.K. Gilbert & S.M. Stocklmayer (eds.) Communication and Engagement with Science and Technology: Issues and Dilemmas. Oxon: Routledge, pp. 74-90.
- Orthia L.A. (2012) Science fiction. In R. Gunstone (ed.) Encyclopedia of Science Education. Springer, online. Print version forthcoming 2014.
- Orthia L.A., Dobos A.R., Guy T., Kan S.Z., Keys S.E., Nekvapil S. & Ngu D.H.Y. (2012) How do people think about the science they encounter in fiction? Science students investigate using The Simpsons. International Journal of Science Education Part B 2: 149-174.
- Rifkin W., Longnecker N., Leach J., Davis L. & Orthia L. (2010) Students publishing in new media: eight hypotheses – a house of cards? International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education 18: 43-54
- Rifkin W., Longnecker N., Leach J., Davis L. & Orthia L. (2009) Motivate students by having them publish in new media: an invitation to science lecturers to share and test. Peer-reviewed paper presented at the 2009 UniServe Science Conference: ‘Motivating science undergraduates: Ideas and Interventions’, Sydney, October 1-2, 2009.
- Orthia L.A. (2009) Inspiring teaching – inspiring teachers to teach. Presentation to the ANU Festival of Teaching, June 2009.
Student feedback on my science communication teaching from 2007-2020 was very positive:
Students’ comments about my third year Science Communication Research Project course included:
“Being able to conduct research on a topic of my choice was one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had in my time at university. Working with my supervisor was a valuable experience and taught me a great deal about conducting research and presenting my results for possible publication. Lindy Orthia is a fantastic course convener and her passion for teaching should be recognized with an award one day.”
“It is a great course to prepare students for future research projects and encouraged the student’s independence”
“this has been an amazing experience and opportunity, and I’ve learned sooooo much”
“I thought that it was a great course. I liked that I had the choice to create any kind of SCOM research project and found it very beneficial to go through the entire process you would if you were submitting a thesis. I would recommend this course.”
Students’ comments about my second year/Masters Science in Popular Fiction course included:
“GO LINDY! Favourite class I’ve ever taken – will be hard to beat!”
“this was a terrific course, difficult to pick one thing that I enjoyed most”
“a wonderfully enjoyable course and an all around excellent experience”
“Lindy’s presence in every step of the journey is the most notable strength. The course wouldn’t be the way it is without Lindy”
“Lindy Orthia is an amazing teacher, because she actively engages her students during lectures. I would describe her lectures not even as lectures, but rather as interactive discussion sessions, which enhance students’ learning much more than to sit passively in a lecture theatre. […SCOM2003] was my favourite course this semester, because I was constantly engaged, challenged intellectually and lovingly encouraged.”
“In particular, the ‘unlectures’ and learning journals she used in SCOM2003, helped me to actively engage with the reading material, and encouraged my critical thinking and reflection. […] All of the learning activities in SCOM2003 were developed to encourage student participation in and engagement with science communication, and demonstrate her superior teaching ability.”
“I can honestly say that I’ve really enjoyed this course. It’s gotten me to think about and consider research (both mine and others) in ways which I had not really thought of previously. The opportunity to do real worl[d] research was both fun and challenging, and the freedom we had in the essay/folio assignment really allowed me to look more deeply into something I was interested in. Class discussion was at times difficult, but challenged me to think more critically about issues in the readings, as well as the ideas covered that week. This kind of class doesn’t really happen in my other more technical courses, so it was a novel experience for me – and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I look forward to being more involved in science communication in the future.”
“The unique opportunity provided for undergraduates in this course to publish work improved my confidence, assisted with the development of my writing style, and above all, enabled me to visualise my future applying the knowledge I gained in the field of science communication.”
“best thing was definitely being treated like an adult by a supervisor who clearly appreciated us and acknowledged our maturity”
“makes the whole idea of doing postgraduate research less scary”
“writing that lesson plan was one of the most exciting and rewarding assignments I have ever done. […] Thank you for convincing me to do it!”
“I’ve had to think about things I have never thought of before. I have also learned new things”
“I like the readings. Now, I am no longer afraid of reading long journal articles”
“Group discussion in a comfortable environment made much of the course extremely beneficial”
“projects such as designing a lesson and running a focus group study are amazing tools and ways to apply knowledge”
“The lecturer persuaded and made me further understand the need for studying fiction as important for science communication”
In 2011 student Rami Ibo published an article about Science in Popular Fiction in the magazine Chemistry in Australia, highlighting some creative assessment he completed in the course:
Students’ comments about my first year course Science Communication 1: Science and Public Awareness included:
“If you love science and you’re looking to go into any sort of scientific career, you should definitely do this course.”
“Enjoyment comes from how interactive this course is – You’ll explore new avenues of communicating Science and can be a lot of fun!”
“The course forms a solid understanding for Science students in how to communicate effectively. It make writing essays, lab reports and generally getting through a Science degree so much easier. You’ll also develop high quality research skills and you’ll be able to deconstruct a journal article, which helps in later year courses.”
“I really had no idea what to expect before [it] began, but I got an enormous amount out of it and I’m really glad I did it! I think it should be plugged harder – in many ways I think it should become a compulsory course for all the undergrad sciences!”
“The course was really great and I strongly believe that Science Communication should be a compulsory course for all science students. The course content put many things in perspective and at least allowed students to view science through a different (and more realistic)lens.”
“I had never thought of this subject before but I found it reall[y] interesting and i’m now considering a major in it”
“SCOM lectures were one of the highlights of my week. I really looked forward to them, and I always came away from them thinking very hard about what we’d discussed. I’d definitely recommend them to anyone else.”
“I didn’t even know this subject existed last year, now I love it”
“Lindy is one of the most engaging, most passionate lecturers I have ever had the pleasure of learning from.”
“Teaching was passionate and fascinating, asked a bunch of really interesting questions and welcomed our disagreement with them”
“Lindy is extremely energetic and this is demonstrated in her lecturing style. Her enthusiasm and knowledge in the area definitely stimulates students’ interests in the area as well.”
“She’s a brilliant teacher, my favourite in all the uni I’ve done.”
“Lindy taught very well, she was one of the most down-to-earth, best spoken presenters I’ve had all semester!”
“Lindy was my lecturer as well [as my tutor] and I feel very fortunate – she is passionate and very knowledgeable about her field and is able to pass that interest and knowledge onto her students.”
“I think Lindy is a very good lecturer and I would take another course just because she was the lecturer as I know it would be engaging and fun”
“Her examples were innovative, ‘outside-the-box’ and made you think or laugh or both, which was excellent”
“There were many everyday examples used throughout the semester. Lindy often referred to real life and practical situations to highlight her points. Students are able to clearly see the link between the theory taught and how it is practiced.”
“Great material, great topics, great contextualisation of the content. The case studies were great”
“A flexible course that is applicable to current affairs”
“Enjoyable, could easily see we were learning skills that would be applicable in practice”
“SCOM tutes were fantastic, I looked forward to them even though they were 3-5 on Fridays”
“the diversity of kinds of assessment keeps assessment from feeling monotonous and tedious”
“enough assessments for me to understand how well I was doing”
“The course manual that answers all the questions, is clear and easy to read should be in every uni course. The thinking behind how to run this course worked so well.”
“Lindy is SO SUPPORTIVE!”
“I never felt like I was falling behind.”
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