A/Prof Rosanne Quinnell

What the Botany students say

  • Guidance in the tutorials and labs by Rosanne and the other staff, so helpful at explaining!! – Online resources were amazing
  • Very friendly staff, well communicated. The online resources were fantastic for allowing flexible study. 
  • Practical work that feels like it’s preparing us for research
  • The best aspect was the wide variety of online resources were available to not only supplement in class material but as well to go above and beyond and take our learning outside the class room. 
  • AMAZING COURSE- Rosanne does an amazing job with all of the online resources and information in the prac manual.
  • I believe all the online learning and the extra prac audio is amazing.
  • The staff are all so helpful and the anatomy project was really well done. This was only my elective, but honestly ended up being my favourite subject). 
  • Just want to appreciate the amount of time and effort Rosanne put into the online component of this unit, seemingly mostly done on her own for the most part. The aforia websites were an amazing resource that she put together. And the fact that she did the same 3hr prac twice a week with the same live sectioning is very humbling. 
  • Rosanne has been really great – learning from her in the practicals was a valuable experience. The Aiforia virtual slide system was also good. I appreciate the effort that all of the staff have made since the online transition was rapid and demanding. I also appreciate that Rosanne mentioned she trusts us regarding academic integrity and for the choice to not use US-based online proctoring – that attitude is a nice departure from the general vibe from USYD/tertiary institutions that assumes that students want to cheat or that it’s inevitable/innate behaviour. 
  • I really liked the Practical sessions. I felt supported to learn. The discussion and questions were really helpful and also the annotations of microscope slides was good! There was actually a positive element of online learning because I got to hear everyones questions which helped to develop my understanding (sometimes it’s hard to think of questions!). Also all Rosanne, Dan and Peri are all really engaging and made the pracs fun and supportive.  
  • The content of this unit was really interesting and everyone who taught it was really engaged, motivated and happy to answer and explain things. This unit had a very supportive environment which was great!
  • First and foremost, we had tutorials in this unit which is very helpful in summarise every week lab and student can address their problems with the topic directly. Other than that, the learning resources of this unit are incredibly great, full of informative information that was crucial for those who did the unit remotely.
  • Loved the labs. Teachers always came with a strong positivity as well. Was a pleasure
  • Everything- some parts I personally found quite challenging (mainly plant anatomy) but the whole unit has pushed me and It has been one of my favourites so far. The informality/ openness of the labs was perfect, it was great that we could move at our own pace but cycle back to the dems and professors for help when we needed it and there definitely was a sense of community between students. Every member of staff was amazing, I felt confident asking every single one for help and the lecturing was really engaging. Dan was particularly great in the labs.
  • Learning about something new and the tutorials
  • I learned how to section and stain plant tissue and made Rosanne proud 🙂 Online lectures and tutorials provided flexibility. Allowed me to work an extra day a week.
  • all the teachers in this course are truly amazing. Easy demonstration and explanation, great access to resources and practical class is rewarding.
  • The prac classes have been very rewarding and fun. – The teachers have been great – The online space is very well formated [sic] and lots of available sites and tools to use

Summary USS/USE data

overall satisfaction 
broad agreement (%) 
Likert mean (USYD KPI)
2021 Botany + Botany Adv


4.3 +/- 1.1     (na)
2020 Botany + Botany Adv


4.3 +/- 1.0 (4.29)
2019 Botany


3.8 +/- 1.3 (4.23)
2018 OLET: Science Health Wellbeing


4.1 +/- 0.8 (4.17)
2018 Botany + Botany Adv


4.3 +/- 1.0 (4.17)
2017 Botany + Botany Adv


4.1 +/- 0.8    (na)

*In 2019 there were no Adv students survey responses. Adv students’ overall satisfaction is always considerably higher than the standard stream. 

**In 2021, hi-flex teaching offered additional challenges. 


2017. Australian Awards for University Teaching. 2017 Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning: For sustained contributions to designing and developing innovative, flexible e-learning tools to inspire engagement with the complexity of Botanical systems.

2018. HEA Senior Fellowship. In recognition of attainment against the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and learning support in higher education: Higher Education Academy.

2020. Special COVID-19 Award. The University of Sydney. Awarded through nomination.

In the news

  1. 2020. Compendium of Cultural Competence Resources and Practices in teaching and learning: seeing, hearing and acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Islander world views in Science curricula. Science News. Faculty of Science, University of Sydney. Aug 20, 2020 https://intranet.sydney.edu.au/science/news/2020/08/compendium-of-cultural-competence-resources-and-practices-in-tea.html
  2. 2020. New tools available to support innovative teaching in life sciences. Science News. Faculty of Science, University of Sydney. Aug 30, 2020. https://intranet.sydney.edu.au/science/news/2020/06/new-tools-available-to-support-innovative-teaching-in-life-scien.html
  3. 2016: Three Sydney educational innovations on the world stage. Teaching@Sydney. Education. Science. Engineering. Nov 28. 2016 https://educational-innovation.sydney.edu.au/teaching@sydney/three-sydney-educational-innovations-world-stage/ 

References cited in Teaching Statement

Healey, M., Flint, A., & Harrington, K. (2016). Students as Partners: Reflections on a Conceptual Model. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 4(2), 1-13. doi:10.20343/teachlearninqu.4.2.3

Lewis, M., Lodge, J., & Quinnell, R. (2018). Refocusing threshold concepts: Surfacing and attending to student misconceptions as a necessary (& safer) form of liminal learning. In J. Huisman & M. Tight (Eds.), Theory and Method in Higher Education Research (Vol. 4, pp. 31 – 47): Emerald Publisher.

Meyer, J., & Land, R. (2003). Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: Linkages to ways of thinking and practicing within the disciplines. Retrieved from Edinburgh: http://www.tlrp.org 

Perkins, D. N. (2008). Beyond Understanding. In R. Land, J. H. F. Meyer, & J. Smith (Eds.), Threshold Concepts in the Disciplines. (pp. 3 – 19): Sense Publishers.

Rickwood, D., Telford, N., O’Sullivan, S., Crisp, D., & Magyar, R. (2016). National Tertiary Student Wellbeing Survey 2016.

Travis, J., Kaszycki, A., Geden, M., & Bunde, J. (2020). Some stress is good stress: The challenge-hindrance framework, academic self-efficacy, and academic outcomes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 112(8), 1632-1643. doi:10.1037/edu0000478