Meet our Interactive Learning Fellows

The Interactive Learning Fellowship scheme brings some of our brightest educators together to address key challenges in interactive learning at scale. Interactive Learning Fellows are chosen for their expertise in interactive learning and passion for teaching. They will play a leading role in learning and teaching at ANU by sharing best practice, supporting cross-college collaboration and driving education innovation.

Interactive Learning Fellows will contribute to course redevelopment project teams, providing intensive support to develop new teaching and learning activities and resources, create operational plans and technology for managing large cohorts, and upskill for new teaching practices.

Our Interactive Learning Fellows:


Stephen Dann

Driven by a singular goal of “What brings my career trajectory back to Legoland?”, I’m both marketing academic and a Lego Serious Play practitioner. I’ve trained in Legoland UK, at the Temple of Bricks, in the ways of Lego Serious Play. Now I’m bringing this modern artform of meaning making, story-telling and creative thinking to classrooms across the Australia National University. My Lego Serious Play workshops bring audiences on a journey of discovery, learning, and quickly assembled models of Lego that come to life with stories, embedded meanings, and decidedly fabulous colour schemes.

Formally, and in the name of the rest of my day job, I’ve been the Senior Lecturer in the Research School of Management, College of Business and Economics at the Australian National University since 2006. I’ve been the team’s education expert, as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK), recipient of the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference Emerging Educator award, the College of Business and Economics Education Innovation award and the Australian National University Vice Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.

It’s my aim to bring both sides of my skill set to the iLeap project. I’m an experience services marketing educator and researcher, and a lot of my classroom examples are the meta-experience of Services Marketing theory applying to the student engagement environment. I also bring the capacity of Lego Serious Play to unlock expectations, knowledge and experience from student participants, so we can dig deeper than the SELTS open ended feedback to uncover elements the students themselves may not have known they knew before making their discovery in Lego. It’ll be a fun way to form the literal and metaphorical building blocks of the Interactive Learning Project


Deirdre Feeney

I am a visual artist, educator and interdisciplinary practice-led researcher. For several years I worked in e-learning development and analytics at various Australian universities. During my PhD candidature I began teaching at the ANU School of Art & Design and found many interesting parallels between my previous learning & teaching experience, my unfolding interdisciplinary research (which involved working with physicists and engineers) and changing student cohorts.

The combination of these experiences led me to develop a passion for interactive inter/multi-disciplinary learning & teaching and a commitment to generating educational outcomes, which are critically connected to our complex contemporary world. Inspiring students to explore, think critically and problem solve beyond the parameters of traditional art practice play an increasingly important role in my teaching. As a Fellow I would like to explore and test novel ways of designing and delivering socially engaged flexible modes of learning, which accommodate the increasing porosity of students between disciplines and shifting knowledge boundaries. This Fellowship will be a really great opportunity to learn from and contribute to interactive learning & teaching practices with other Fellows and Centre colleagues.


Anneka Ferguson

The privilege of being a teacher in higher education is empowering students to explore, test, write and emotionally and intellectually connect with their own professional and educational formation narrative.  I am a very small but integral partner in my students’ formation as professionals, learners and thinkers. For me, it is about entering a dialogue with students’ about their values, goals, learning journeys; and providing the tools, support and environment for that journey.  I am committed to continuously questioning, researching and evaluating my own teaching methods, the teaching methods of others and the feedback I am getting from students to ensure I continually push the learning dialogue to become even more responsive, engaging and meaningful both within the university and beyond it. 

As a Senior Lecturer of the ANU School of Legal Practice (for over 10 years) I have been the Sub-Dean and Director of the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I have had extensive experience in a number of areas of education and learning including: Being a part of the team that developed an online integrated and simulated learning environment; Creating reflective practitioner frameworks for learning; Creating positive and supported team work environments, and Convening interactive learning environments.

To complement this, my action based and empirical research focuses on understanding how to support the development of a successful, ethical and well rounded (both in content and mental wellbeing) legal professional and yielded one of the largest empirical databases on psychological wellbeing in GDLP law students in Australia. I am excited to be learning from and supporting other dedicated academics as part of the iLEAP project.


Emmaline Lear

I started work in the education sector teaching languages other than English (LOTE) and English as a second language (ESL). I then worked for the UC Academic Skills Centre – supporting student development of self-management, language, learning and critical thinking skills as well as the development of academic literacy and integrity. I was also involved in managing projects and online learning initiatives while working closely with the Faculty of Business, Government & Law, and TESOL colleagues. I developed further interest in innovation and project management through my MBA. These skills have come together in my work at CPAS as the academic coordinator for the Masters of Engineering and Computer Science Professional Practice courses, where students work in flipped mode to build individual capacity and professional and communication skills that directly complements their technical expertise.

My work experience, particularly at CPAS, has given me a strong appreciation of student centred approaches, including problem and project based learning that practices and applies learning in a real world context. As an iLEAP Fellow I am looking forward to learning more about how others practice their craft and how we can better integrate interactive learning approaches to meet today’s changing student needs.    


Patrick L’Espoir Decosta

At the basis of my teaching philosophy is the position that I always endeavour to enhance and transform students learning experience by giving them opportunities of inspiration and empowerment. This reflects in my approach to teaching which integrates philosophical subject matter in classroom interactions while maintaining a connection with real life problems.  Implicit in my approach is the recognition of a two-way process that not only requires classroom participation but also draws on students’ personal experiences and their diverse backgrounds. I hope to bring to the Interactive Learning Project some of my classroom experiences that have worked with colleagues across campus.

I am convinced from experience that an interactive form of teaching creates a synergistic classroom atmosphere that enhances the transmission of knowledge through the direct involvement of the students. I always endeavour to provide the right environment for my students to engage in genuine inquisitive conversations on issues relating to both their knowledge base and beliefs. The goal is to cultivate rational analysis and critical judgement that is evidence-based through in-class dialogue and critique, towards skills development with due respect to each individual’s dignity. I advocate both evidence-based learning and teaching and information search literacy beyond the mere “google it.” 

My career as an academic has been quite peripatetic teaching tourism, marketing and methods courses in Taiwan, China, Sweden, Colombia, Germany and Poland. This has given me the opportunity to be exposed to the cultures of different countries and institutions but also accumulate incredible international experience, broaden my skill set while being immersed in foreign cultures and interacting with students and colleagues from dozens of different countries. The significance of diversity in education is becoming apparent: in my Marketing classes I purposely engage my students to embrace an international and multicultural perspective as a means of coping with an increasingly global professional world.


William Scates-Frances

As I approach the completion of my PhD candidature in History at the ANU I’ve found that my great joy is the classroom, rather than the archives. While working in higher education - first as a tutor then as a lecturer and course convenor - began as a way to support my research, over time I have developed a love for the teaching environment of Universities, and particularly ANU.

In aid of this new found love, I have taught at four different institutions in at least six disciplines, and developed my own teaching style along with teaching materials that are now used not just in my classrooms but around the world. I believe strongly in the principles of interactive learning and working as an interactive learning fellow will allow me to develop and spread those principles beyond simply my face to face teaching. I am immensely looking forward to the role, and honoured to work with a team that shares my passion.


Jenny Simmons

I completed three degrees from the ANU in Engineering and Information Technology before spending a number of years applying these skills to the operation and evaluation of Container Terminals. I returned to ANU in 2014 as a part time tutor within the core subjects of the Engineering degree. It was in these courses that I was introduced to the concepts of interactive and project based learning.  Coming from industry I could see how these methodologies better engage students and provide them with the skills they require to be workforce ready on completion of their degrees. What started as a few part time hours and developed into involvement as a tutor and head tutor across several core engineering subjects at all undergraduate year levels of the Engineering degree.

During my fellowship I  look forward to collaborating with the other members of iLEAP to gain greater knowledge of interactive learning and discover the variety of ways it is applied to courses outside of engineering.


Jeremy Smith

I’ve been at the ANU since 1993, when I started my undergraduates studies.  Since then I’ve completed five degrees at the ANU covering engineering, IT, higher education, and humanitarian engineering and am currently a Lecturer in the Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering.  I’ve been able to work in roles including industry engagement, education, research, with a start-up and for a not-for-profit.  

Over the last 10 years I have been involved in education across all under- and post-graduate years and levels, and a variety of delivery modes.  I’ve been particularly interested in students learning about and experiencing how their studies, knowledge and disciplines can provide positive social benefit and impact.  This requires a range of delivery modes and learning styles, and can allow students to build on their own motivations and interests. 

Page owner: iLEAP