Dr Dino Spagnoli's interest in chemistry started with a childhood fascination with crystals; however, it was only when he reached university that his real passion for all things molecular started to take hold.
Originally from the UK, Dino works as a lecturer and coordinator of first-year studies in chemistry and biochemistry, helping students transition smoothly from high school to university learning.
Inspired by his own university experience in the UK, he is determined to ignite the same kind of passion for chemistry in his current students and completed the Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching to enhance his lab sessions.
Dino was especially keen to ensure his teaching methodologies fit with the digital age of teaching we are now in, and studying the Certificate seemed the perfect choice.
“When I found out about this course, it felt like a great opportunity through which I could further enhance pedagogies involved in learning technologies.
“I got a great deal out of it and discovered blogs, videos and various Learning Management System strategies which I hadn’t thought about before.
“Diversifying your teaching through digital content offers quite a good personal touch when you’re having to teach to around 400 students and efficiently get your message across,” Dino says.
Courses like these very much complement today’s fast-paced learning.
“Students want to be able to talk, text and learn – it’s all very quick and sometimes we just have to keep up with the race.
“If that means learning a few tricks of the technology trade, it can only be a good thing for our students,” Dino says.
In addition to all things tech-wise, Dino also hoped to learn about ways to develop assessment and feedback items and that, he says, came in spades.
“While most educators want to gain a better understanding of how to maximise digital technologies in teaching, knowing how to develop assessments is also crucial so you can demonstrate teaching improvement.
“The Curriculum Design for Learning unit was particularly useful to get an opportunity to critique the structure and design of units. It really puts the emphasis on the learner when thinking about what you want to teach and how you want to teach it.
“Overall, it was a very valuable experience which I believe has not only benefited me, but also my students and immediate colleagues,” Dino says.
When he’s not thinking about the next fun online lab quiz, Dino is busy looking after his young family and, on occasion, staying up late watching loads of football – English football, that is.
Being from London it’s no surprise to learn Dino is a mad Chelsea fan, but admits that cricket also takes a special place in his heart.
“I’ve been to the new stadium to watch the One-Day International Australia versus England and feel like I’m now in an envious position where I can support both teams.
“Often I just pick the winner, except for the Ashes,” he laughs.
As part of UWA’s commitment to transforming teaching, the Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching is available to academic staff at no cost.
Applications for the course close Wednesday 28 February.