The Educational Publishing Awards are committed to rewarding excellence and innovation in the publishing industry at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. In 2017, Angela Carbone, Director of Education Excellence at Monash University, takes over from the late Professional Michael Horsley, founder of the awards and Chief Judge since its inception in 1994. We caught up with Angela to talk about her background, the role of the awards and her vision going forward.
You’ve been in education for more than 25 years now. Why?
I think education is so important because of the impact it can have on a person’s life, the broader community and even the world. Education can help solve many of the big challenges we face in today’s society. It’s where we bring together students and educators to develop their skills, knowledge and attitudes. Education equips students to make informed decisions, which ultimately leads to a better quality of life, and a student’s ability to influence in a positive manner.
With a background in Mathematics and Computer Science, how did you end up in teaching and learning?
When I started my career, I found that my true passion lies in teaching and education. Teachers are such an important part of the students’ learning journey; from their individual qualities and attributes, to how they design the curriculum, set learning outcomes, facilitate activities, implement assessments and select resources. Whether text or digital, resources are an instrumental part to providing students with the best learning experience and learning outcomes.
Why did you apply for the role of Chief Judge for the EPAA?
In my current role as Director of Education Excellence, I’m always looking to improve our education system. These awards allow me and my fellow judges to acknowledge educators who are doing exceptional work, provide them with support to continue, and build a culture that values excellence and innovation in education. This role allows me to evaluate educational resources that are currently being used or will be used by the next generation, which is a crucial part in improving the learning experience of students.
Have you ever served as a judge?
Yes. I’m an assessor of the Australian Government’s AAUT Teaching Excellence Awards and the Awards for Programs That Enhance Learning, as well an assessor at my university for the Vice Chancellor’s Awards for teaching excellence and education innovation.
What do you see is the value of awards, such as the EPAA?
Awards are important because they provide recognition, which encourages people to continue to pursue excellence and innovationtwo things I’m passionate about.
How do you think the EPAA might need to change in the future?
I see a couple of potential areas for change:
First, I think it’s important that we include, and actively promote, the awards to non-traditional publishers so the awards are seen as rewarding educational resources from across the sector.
Also, we need to start recognising resources (whether print or digital) for their impact on student learning and/or teaching practice. Measuring impact and effectiveness can be difficult—what criteria should be considered? Why the resource was produced, the uptake of the resource, its ability to improve student learning or the learning experience, improvements in learning outcomes, accessibility or equity, and its ability to change the practice of teaching? For digital resources in particular, should learning analytics be used as evidence?
So, we’ll need to reconsider the framework used to evaluate digital resources. There are two components: the usability and the impact of the resource. Measuring impact and effectiveness is a new challenge and an exciting one.
How can we engage teachers more in the awards?
In line with this shift towards measuring impact and effectiveness, I think it’s important that, as part of the submission process, entries provide context around how the resource is being used. For example, requesting case studies for nominated resources, soliciting feedback from teachers about their experiences with a particular resource or, perhaps, allowing teachers to submit their own resources. This makes the awards more inclusive, more collaborative and helps create a narrative around the resource in which teachers and students have engaged.
Thank you Angela for your time and best of luck with your first EPAA!
The 24th annual awards will be held 20th September 2017 at The Pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne.
Click here to get your ticket today. Early Birds save 20%!