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Lecturer profile: Fei Huang

Lecturer profile: Fei Huang

15 May 2018

On Thursday 10 May, the Vice-Chancellor honoured ANU teaching staff at the 2018 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Education ceremony. Dr Fei Huang, Lecturer in Actuarial Studies in the Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies and Statistics (RSFAS), received the Award for Teaching Excellence in the Early Career category.

Known as an enthusiastic and dedicated educator, Fei loves teaching and treasures the opportunity to pass knowledge and skills to students. The primary focus of her teaching philosophy is caring - caring about the students as individuals, caring about students’ learning experience, and caring about the materials that she teaches. Guided by this attitude, Fei sets to continuously improve students’ learning experience as a lifelong pursuit.

Fei has been recognised through the Excellent Teaching Assistant Award at the University of Hong Kong, ANU College of Business and Economics Award for Teaching Excellence in the Early Career Category (2017) and her high teaching evaluation results. Fei was also one of the inaugural recipients of the RSFAS Grant for Learning and Teaching.

Fei’s approach to teaching and supporting student learning

To help students develop their skills to the best of their abilities, I developed the Learner-centred Education Cycle Theory (LECT) to guide my daily teaching practices. The LECT theory includes understanding, motivating, engaging and receiving feedback from students. The feedback received from students will further help me understand them and will be revisited from time to time to continuously enhance their learning experience.

Traditionally, business and financial theories are taught through slides, words and explanations making students passive knowledge receivers. Motivated by other fields such as biology and chemistry, I designed experiments for my actuarial courses to encourage students to become active knowledge finders. Students explore and discover knowledge by doing experiments themselves. This learning approach helps students understand and remember concepts more deeply. It also stimulates students’ curiosity and creativity, which makes learning a joyful experience.

To bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world, I also apply practical problem-based learning approach, which incorporates case studies with practical context and real-world data sets. By implementing the techniques learned in class and seeing the practical side of the knowledge, students become more curious, motivated and engaged. They are also asked to work collaboratively in small groups to solve real-world problems, fostering their critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills.

Fei is very interested in her students and their learning experience. I have done many, many courses at ANU, and Fei is the lecturer I have had who is the most genuinely interested in her students, wants them to do well and is always thinking about their development throughout the course. You can also tell she is interested in their careers, evident by the quality of the guest lectures that she organised and her interest in teaching us practical tools such as R.

- SELT student feedback

Lecture time is a scarce resource, and we have to make decisions on whether to review preliminary mathematics for students with relatively weak technical skills, or introduce new difficult questions for students with strong academic backgrounds. It is challenging to satisfy all students’ preferences, especially for large classes. To overcome this difficulty, I have been using the blended learning approach to supplement traditional learning material with multimedia (videos) which can be accessed by students after class. This not only saves lecture time, but also satisfies students’ needs at all levels.

To equip students with transferrable and applicable modelling skills and to achieve the higher-level learning objectives of application, evaluation and creation, I incorporated new software (R) in both the course materials and examinations of ‘Investment and Asset Modelling’. This modernisation of the course has not only enhanced students’ learning on related topics, but is also consistent with the growing trend of data analytics in the actuarial industry. R has become more and more widely used in the actuarial industry, helping students prepare for their future careers.

Updated:   30 August 2018 / Responsible Officer:  CBE Communications and Outreach / Page Contact:  College Web Team