Professor Birgit Loch holds a Diploma in Mathematics (Dipl.-Math., 1999) from the University of Essen in Germany and a PhD in computational mathematics from the University of Queensland (2004). She has lectured in mathematics and computer science at the University of Queensland, University of Southern Queensland, Swinburne University of Technology and La Trobe University and has held leadership roles in Learning & Teaching since 2009, as Principal Advisor Learning and Teaching (USQ), Director of the Mathematics and Statistics Help Centre (Swinburne) and Academic Director Digital Learning and Technologies (also Swinburne).
Professor Loch joined La Trobe University in January 2017 as inaugural Chair, Teaching and Learning to lead teaching improvement projects, engage lecturers in innovations in their teaching, and to promote teaching excellence in the College and across the University. She was appointed Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor Coursework in 2018, acted as Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning Quality & Innovation towards the end of 2019, and was appointed to the Deputy Provost Learning & Teaching role in February 2020. In this role, she is responsible for creating an outstanding student experience for the 24,000 students enrolled in the College of Science, Health and Engineering, including strategic leadership of the College Learning & Teaching direction, retention, continuous quality improvement of teaching and the portfolio of courses, development of teaching-focused staff and teaching innovation. She is also the standing deputy to the College Provost.
Professor Loch researches in educational technologies, with a focus on innovation, blended learning and open educational resources, and academic staff and student engagement. Most recently this has included 360-degree videos and augmented/virtual reality. She has published widely on student engagement with tablet PCs, learning with online videos, and on involving students as partners in the production of learning materials for their peers.
A student retention initiative, she led the production of over 500 mathematics support videos, MathsCasts with more than 1.9 million hits on YouTube and iTunes U. She introduced tablet PCs in large-scale teaching improvement projects at USQ, Swinburne and La Trobe. Professor Loch is a Senior Fellow of the HEA, having led the La Trobe University pilot of this fellowship scheme in 2017 that resulted in the university’s adoption. She has established the Maths Hub, a mathematics support centre, and facilitated the establishment of the Science and Coding Hubs at La Trobe.
Professor Loch has received faculty and university awards for teaching innovations and leadership in Learning & Teaching, a national Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning from the ALTC and the 2016 Australian Award for University Teaching in the Physical Sciences.
She has established very successful peer-support programs for the academic promotion of women at Swinburne and La Trobe and is one of the founding members of the WATTLE program, the Australian version of NZWiL.
Recently, Birgit worked with other senior academic women to deliver the La Trobe University Women’s Academic Promotions Support Program. The Peer Support Program for academic women seeking promotion has been a massive success with over 200 women taking part as either mentees or mentors.