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Marlène Villenueve

06 October 2023

Nominated by Associate Professor Ben Kennedy, Geological Sciences

Marlène is known as a teacher who puts her students at the centre of her carefully crafted teaching. Her Head of Department describes her as an innovative, enthusiastic and successful leader in tertiary education, whose proactive approach to course development and teaching delivery has had a strong and beneficial influence on staff around her.  She also notes that her dedication to her students’ learning is immense and admirable.

Describing her teaching style, Marlène says she strives to be a reflective and proactive educator who wants to inspire a love of her subject matter. She sees Engineering Geology as an applied science with direct links to industry, so she works hard to ensure that her students are industry ready, and provides them with authentic opportunities to master the technical skills needed for their future careers combined with team work, problem-based learning, communication and life-long learning skills. She actively seeks to develop new ways of teaching to engage her students.  One example of this is her 3D web-based resources to practice field data collection in the lab before students go into what can be an overwhelming experience in the field. This development led to a 2018 College of Science Innovation in Teaching award. She has also worked hard to ensure that bicultural competence is woven throughout her teaching. 

Marlène takes her passion for lifelong learning to heart by finding time to engage in her own professional development as a teacher. She has completed the UC Postgraduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching, become a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and sees herself as a champion of research-informed tertiary teaching. She eagerly seeks new opportunities to collaborate and learn new ways to teaching and help students learn. She chairs the Education and Training Commission for the International Association of Engineering Geology which is providing international guidelines for curriculum design for engineering geology in addition to the departmental Teaching and Learning Committee.    

Her excellent student feedback includes comments about the thought and planning that she puts into her lectures.  Her students also value the high quality fast feedback she gives them and the use of technology-enabled teaching practices including podcasts and anonymous instant lecture feedback which allows a wider variety of perspectives to be aired and reviewed. She says she loves working with people who also seek to develop new learning activities and incorporating these into her teaching. 

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