Educators of Impact: In conversation with Dr Gaurav Gupta
As a Macquarie educator who consistently attracts a high number of student nominations for teaching excellence each year, Dr Gaurav Gupta, from the Department of Computing, is applauded for his teaching style. To be successful in the classroom, he encourages his students to see the value of persistence over natural capability, since every student learns at their own pace and in their own way. Gaurav has seen how easy it is for students to get discouraged because some subjects are easier for others, so he actively helps his students build the valuable skills of persistence, patience and resilience.
Having worked in the Department of Computing since 2005, Gaurav mostly teaches programming and algorithms units. However, he says he would also love to teach applied cryptography (“Hoping the boss sees this!” he says).
What do you love about your work as a teacher at MQ?
My favourite part is the immense satisfaction I get when struggling but hard-working students have a breakthrough and start enjoying their units.
How do feel about receiving one of the highest number of student nominations and positive feedback on your teaching style?
Like Homer Simpson with a donut!
Name another key achievement as a teacher?
Collaborating with current and past students in order to improve the quality of teaching material by creating practice packages that have significantly improved their learning experience.
I am proud of my work with students in creating practice packages that have significantly improved their learning experience.
What kind of student inspires and/or challenges your approach to teaching?
Students who, despite setbacks, get back up again on the saddle. I feel a moral responsibility towards those students.
What did you do to support your students’ learning during the COVID-19 restrictions?
We have moved our entire teaching material online and created YouTube video tutorials in addition to live lectures and Q&A sessions. Comprehensive practice packages are provided as formative assessments to aide with students’ summative assessments.
Are there particular resources you used that you found helpful?
iLearn cloze questions are incredibly powerful! I highly recommend it to all teaching staff.
What would be your number one tip for other teaching staff?
Try new ways of teaching the same thing; with analogies, illustrations, real-life examples. Some will work, others might not. You’ll know when they really do, and the feeling is fantastic.
My advice to colleagues is to try new ways of teaching the same thing. Some will work, others might not. You’ll know when they really do, and the feeling is fantastic.
What would the perfect university classroom of the future look like to you?
A panel discussing pre-class readings in a respectful and constructive manner.
What does great leadership in the learning and teaching sphere look like to you?
Exceptional leaders share their knowledge, and not just on publicly visible forums. They have a never-ending urge to improve.
What person, MQ peer, mentor or famous person, book or film has had a big impact on you and your practice, and why?
My undergraduate Math lecturer, D. Banerjee. His command over subject matter and the clarity of his explanations is unparalleled.
What is a little-known fact about you? Do you have a hidden talent?
Exceptional defender in soccer. Expecting a call from Barcelona any moment now.
When you aren’t involved in student learning, what do you do to relax?
Organising and playing soccer, watching and analysing soccer games, reading about soccer, talking about soccer, and spending time with family (in order of preference).