With the creation of a marine life identification app, a field course at Heron Island and a new innovative curriculum, he has increased student enrolments, improved student engagement and retention and facilitated graduate employability.
In recognition of his dedication Dr Stevens has been awarded a Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning as part of the Australian Awards for University Teaching.
This achievement follows his Griffith University Teacher of the Year award in 2014.
Part of the School of Environment’s Australian Rivers Institute, Dr Stevens’ lifelong love of the ocean has fuelled his commitment to innovative teaching methods about the wonders of marine life. He has been nominated for a teaching award by an average of 44 per cent of students in every course he has taught, since starting with Griffith University in 2010.
“One of my innovations in teaching within the marine Biology major at Griffith has been the introduction of structured field work into the two bookend courses Coastal Environments and Marine Biology,” he said.
“Through this, students are introduced to field work which helps bridge the gap between academic learning and future professional engagement and employment.”
Dr Stevens also helped develop the Coastal Life of South East Queensland app, designed in collaboration with the Queensland Museum as a companion to the Museum’s two volume “Wild Guide to Moreton Bay and Adjacent Coasts”.
Dr Stevens said he loved teaching because there was “nothing as exciting as watching the lights come on in students’ faces, as they link up the classroom theory with what they observe at first hand on the reef”.
“Every teacher has observed at some point that the best way to learn something is to teach it; so this why I never stop learning – from my students.”