Practical curricular approaches to supporting student success & wellbeing

For Course & Program Convenors: Practical curricular approaches to supporting student success & wellbeing

Presenters: Members of the Scientia Education Academy's Healthy Universities Initiative and Student Wellbeing CoP

The aim of this presentation is to support program and course convenors who are seeking practical curricular tools and approaches to support student academic success and thus wellbeing.

A brief introduction provides a unifying theoretical framework, and a taste of the diversity of curricular approaches and tools. Then, a number of course and program convenors will each briefly describe practical tips and traps based on their experiences in trialing curricular approaches and tools.

There will be opportunities for the audience to question and discuss, and to make contact with the presenters for further discussion of how to adapt and evaluate approaches/tools to optimise student academic success and wellbeing.


Photo of Nalini Pather

Nalini Pather is a Professor at UNSW Anatomy and a Scientia Education Fellow. She has taught at institutions in four countries including South Africa, USA and the UK. Nalini leads the Federative International Program for Anatomical Education which represents a collaboration across 56 countries and is an Associate Editor of BMC Medical Education. Her interests in education focuses on the evidence-based implementation of innovative technologies and transferable skills in curriculum design and delivery. As a Scientia Education Fellow, she co-leads the Healthy Universities Initiative.

Professor Jacquelyn Cranney

Jacky Cranney (Honorary Professor, Psychology) has won numerous UNSW, national and international education awards & Fellowships, particularly for her work in graduate competencies, psychological literacy, and academic self-management. As a Scientia Education Academy Fellow, she continues to co-lead the Healthy Universities Initiative, which emphasises curricular approaches to student self-management, success and wellbeing.


Dr Leesa Sidhu

Dr Leesa Sidhu (Deputy Head of School (Education), School of Science, UNSW Canberra) has extensive experience in developing and lecturing Statistics courses for Science, Engineering, Technology, Arts and Business students. She is a co-leader of the Healthy Universities Initiative, member of the EF Student Wellbeing (SW) Community of Practice (CoP) and leader of the EF SW CoP Curriculum Project. Leesa was the recipient of the inaugural Australian Mathematical Society Award for Teaching Excellence (2018), the UNSW Vice Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence (2017) and the UNSW Canberra Rector's Award for Teaching Excellence (2015).

Photo of A/Prof Jenny Richmond

A/Prof. Jenny Richmond is the Director of Academic Programs in the School of Psychology. She is a developmental psychologist and her research focuses on the mechanisms of learning, memory and emotion processing in infancy and early childhood. She has a special interest in giving undergraduate students the opportunity to get involved in research and embedding wellbeing support and self management resources into the curriculum. She was the recipient of the Faculty of Science Education Excellence Award in 2018 and the UNSW Education Excellence Award in 2019.

Sue Morris

Dr Sue Morris is a lecturer in the UNSW School of Psychology with a passion for enhancing students’ success and wellbeing, and with an emphasis on positive psychology and resilience. Over 25 years of undergraduate teaching, she has developed innovative and engaging learning experiences for students, emphasising collaboration and connectedness, and she has also provided staff development for educators across the university. She is the lead author of the book The Rubber Brain: A toolkit for optimising your study, work, and life, which, together with her courses on wellbeing, are designed to help university students (and others) optimise their thinking and behaviour. She applies psychological literacy in her teaching, with a goal to “optimise the world, one Psychology student at a time”. Her interest and expertise in enhancing student learning has been recognised through numerous awards. 

Linda Ferrington

Dr Linda Ferrington is a Senior Lecturer at UNSW Sydney, Rural Clinical School in Port Macquarie, Australia. She is the academic coordinator of the Phase 1 medicine programme for the Rural Clinical School has an active role in teaching, assessment, and development of the curriculum in Phase 1 Medicine. Within this role Linda has a key responsibility in designing and delivering engaging, challenging learning experiences and is actively engaged in developing innovative resources to improve teaching practice within the Rural School. Linda is a passionate and vocal advocate for rural students and strives to find ways to enhance their wellbeing and learning experience. In addition to Phase 1 teaching, Linda has an active role in co-ordination of year 4 research projects for rural students, and is involved in supervision of a number of these.

Photo of Dr Jessica Macer-Wright

Dr Jessica (Jess) Macer-Wright is an Education Focussed (EF) academic in biomedical sciences for the UNSW Faculty of Medicine and Health. She has an active role in delivering teaching and learning activities for first- and second-year medical students at the Rural Clinical School in Port Macquarie. An important part of her role is mentoring and supporting rural students. Jess utilises her membership in the EF Student Wellbeing Community of Practice to promote wellbeing at UNSW. Her background is in research science, graduating from UNSW BSc (Hons) and USyd PhD (Medicine). She has expertise in delivering learning activities from a wide range of biomedical science disciplines and is involved in co-supervision of rural research students.