Teaching Excellence Award for Rohan Havelock

09 April 2014
Rohan Havelock

Rohan Havelock has been awarded a Faculty of Law Teaching Excellence Award for 2014.

There were very high quality applications and Dean Andrew Stockley noted that the selection panel (which included a representative from the University) had been very impressed with the calibre of the teaching evidenced in the portfolios submitted. In announcing that Rohan had received an award, he noted that he had done extremely well teaching large, compulsory courses in Contract and Equity, including some topics for which there is initially less student enthusiasm. His student survey results were excellent.

The panel was impressed with Rohan’s critical reflection on his teaching and the way in which he has changed his teaching style in response to peer observation feedback and his experiences on the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice. Since his first semester teaching in 2012, he has increased the amount of direct interaction with students in his classes, including using more active learning techniques such as group discussions, mini-debates and short quizzes. He has made deliberate use of problem-based learning in his lectures. In Insurance Law he approached a major insurer for permission to use its policies in the casebook and then based practice questions on these policies so that students had to work through the policies in order to answer the questions.

Rohan has given a staff seminar and written an article entitled ‘Law studies and active learning: friends not foes?’ published in (2013) 47 The Law Teacher 382-403 which includes the results of an empirical study he conducted into the use of active learning techniques in his classes. He makes excellent use of student feedback. One example is his surveying students several weeks into his Insurance Law elective by asking them to write down one thing they liked about his lectures and one thing they disliked or thought could be improved.

The Dean commented that a signature of Rohan’s teaching has been his constant and critical reflection on how it can be improved, his engagement with his students, and his use of humour and enthusiasm to motivate and interest them. The way in which Rohan has improved his teaching and achieved such outstanding results is all the more remarkable given he is only been lecturing for two years. The Auckland Law School congratulates Rohan on this recognition of his outstanding teaching.



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