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The journey to Fellowship and what lies ahead

28 Feb 2024 | Richa Awasthy Richa Awasthy, Program director for postgraduate courses at the School of Information Technology and Systems at University of Canberra, Australia, shares her thoughts on her valuable fellowship journey and future with it.

Receiving the ‘Fellow’ status from Advance HE is a valuable professional international recognition in my career. 

As a passionate educator, I have always enjoyed my own ‘plan, do, check and act’ circle in delivering various units to ensure that my students are having an excellent learning experience. I am most driven by the satisfaction in providing hands-on and experiential learning experience to students so that they can gain the skills to excel in the Information Technology (IT) industry. 

My journey with fellowships began in 2014, when I achieved Associate Fellowship, in recognition of my efforts in supporting student’s learning and teaching at the Australian National University. 

Since joining University of Canberra as an Assistant Professor in 2019, I have engaged in convening various IT units involving different theoretical and practical skills. As a reflective practitioner, I always analyse the results of practices that I apply in my units and make any course correction required. Recording such reflections is a habit that I picked up when I was drafting my application for Associate Fellowship and have honed over the years. This helped me significantly in writing my recent application. 

During the Covid pandemic, I had to restructure my unit delivery mechanisms, which provided me with plenty of opportunities to learn and experiment with different digital tools. Such adoption of digital tools facilitated learning as well as consistent student engagement and provided a means to get immediate indirect feedback on students’ learning from the provided material. I have continued adopting these digital tools in my unit delivery now in the post-Covid era. I have also incorporated group activities considering the “Think-Pair-Share” approach in workshops and tutorials for the units to ensure inclusive and active participation of students and learning from peers.  

My engagement with Industry partners as well as adaptation of delivery approaches following Covid has led to effective student learning and for me to think that I have probably taken a big leap in terms of systematic and iterative improvements in the units. 

This seemed like the right time to think about applying for Fellow status. Starting the Fellowship application allowed me to systematically articulate the practices and changes applied in the units, reflect on the reasons behind their adoption, and understand the results in terms of intended outcomes. The application provided me an opportunity to create a portfolio of scholarly based approaches applied in the unit, which have resulted in positive student experience in the units. 

While writing the application, the most useful aspect was to reflect on the impact of scholarly practices that I adopted in my units. Other important aspects were having a suitable mentor to provide valuable guidance, and timely support from the referees. 

My Fellowship is a testimony to the hard work and efforts that I put towards improving students’ learning and experience. It is an international recognition of my teaching skills, which is highly valued nationally and within the University. It also demonstrates my institution’s commitment to teaching excellence. 

This achievement has further motivated me to continue as a reflective practitioner for enhancing students’ learning experience. It has also opened opportunities for me in mentoring other applicants from my own and other institutions. 

Find out more about the Global Fellowships Relay – #FellowshipsRelay2024.

If your institution is interested in building your Fellowship communities, find out about the range of support we have to offer here

Fellowship Application Builder  

7 May 2024, Virtual

A short online course designed to enable participants to develop an application for Fellowship. Find out more.



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