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Provost’s Teaching Award winners honoured at ceremony
16 July 2012
UCL President and Provost Professor Malcolm Grant rewarded the outstanding work of 11 individuals and teams at the Provost’s Teaching Awards ceremony on July 10th.
In his opening remarks the Provost commented that the annual awards, now in their sixth year, are part of a wider attempt to help staff achieve professorships through teaching, as well as research.
Vice-Provost (Education) Professor Anthony Smith was chair of the judging panel, which also included Professor Michael Worton, Professor Mike Ewing, Professor Vince Emery, Su Bryant, Professor Carmel McNaught, Dr Fiona Strawbridge, Dr Bill Sillar, Dr Caroline Essex and Sally Macdonald. The Vice-Provost (Education) proceeded to make citations for each of the winners before recommending them to the Provost.
The winners were:
Dr Hervé Borrion, UCL Security and Crime Science
In January 2009, the UCL Department of Security and Crime Science was awarded £7m from EPSRC to establish a community of leading researchers in security science. At the heart of our proposal was the ambitious goal to change the way PhD students engage with their research in this field. Recognising students’ diversity as a reservoir of multidisciplinary knowledge, I felt it was essential to encourage horizontal learning throughout the course. Not only would these excellent students gain knowledge and skills from academics, but also from each other. After having dedicated more than three years, as course director, to the development of the MRes in Security Science, I feel it is time to share this experience with my peers and let them know that what has been achieved is truly amazing, something that has inspired us all, something ready to be transferred.
Dr Jayne Kavanagh, UCL Academic Centre for Medical Education
I’m delighted to win this award. My teaching is within the Academic Centre for Medical Education (ACME) where I’ve been able to build on my experience of launching healthcare projects that address social injustice to set up Target Medicine, which makes access to medicine fairer. I’ve also been encouraged to develop my Medical Ethics teaching, which prepares students for the ethically challenging situations they’ll face as doctors. This award is a tribute to a great department and team.
Dr Paul Bartlett, UCL Physics and Astronomy
Paul Bartlett joined UCL in 2008 having spent the previous 19 years working both as an academic and industrial research physicist but also as an Instructor Officer in the Royal Navy. As a result of these experiences, he considers he possesses a perspective on education that is different to that of many traditional academics. Consequently, he has been utilising his knowledge to enrich the educational offerings for students within the UCL physics laboratory context and in the wider community. This has included a radical change in emphasis of how students are assisted to develop themselves by making them ‘active researchers’ rather than ‘passive laboratory-script followers’. Also, the lessons learned here have been utilised to create highly successful work experience modules for A-Level students.
Dr William Coppola, Department of Primary Care and Population Health
Dr Coppola is committed to teaching and training future doctors. He has led e-learning initiatives pioneering work on the first fully web-based masters course in 1999; established an online feedback system which now covers the entire MBBS curriculum; developed systems to allow student option selection online; advanced student peer assessment embedding it within the curriculum; and has been the academic lead for rolling out Lecturecast video recording in the MBBS. He has also been a core team member implementing a medical student e-portfolio to dovetail with postgraduate requirements which is attracting other medical schools nationwide. He remains an active teacher, examiner, and student support tutor, and is a part-time practising GP.
Professor David D’Avray, UCL History
The integration of History with Social Theory (Anthropology, Sociology and Philosophy) is at the centre of courses devised by David D’Avray on Rationality which cut across normal teaching patterns in History and other departments. He has been much involved in shaping the MA in Medieval Renaissance Studies into the best technical training ground for medieval research. At doctoral level he has worked hard to equip students to keep up with the Continental scholarship which their peers in other institutions insufficiently explore.
Dr Douglas Guilfoyle, UCL Laws
Douglas joined UCL Laws in 2007 where he teaches a variety of international law subjects to both undergraduate and graduate students. He uses a variety of methods in teaching, including highly structured traditional handouts and mindmap Prezi presentations as an alternative to linear slides. He founded a writing skills workshop at Laws (now run by others), and has produced a series of YouTube clips on writing in plain legal English and key concepts in public international law that have found a wider audience beyond UCL. In 2011 he was also a finalist in the Oxford University Press law teacher of the year competition.
Ms Frosso Pimenides, UCL Bartlett School of Architecture
My involvement with UCL started 20 years ago when I was asked to set up a new Year 1 Architecture course. At the start my main challenge was deciding on an agenda for initiating young people to education in Architecture and the skills that would be required.
Architecture education is unique in the sense that it is the antithesis of secondary education. We provide a radical shift for students who come to UCL with a fear of failure, discouragement from asking questions and a reluctance to take risks and be playful with their design work. To motivate us as educators I feel it is important we explore and experiment alongside the student. They are shocked when we tell them we can’t provide the answers to the problems we set but through this conversation teaching and learning can run in parallel.
Mr Ian Patmore, Department of Geography
This is my thirteenth year as the fieldwork technician within the Geography Department. Firstly, I love my job; each day is rewarding and different. I am a great fan of active learning, whether from a visual or hands-on perspective. I have to have an understanding of the environment (and how to practically quantify it), from the coast and estuaries to mountain lochs and everything physical geography-orientated between. Passing these two main aspects onto our students is what I strive for, hopefully making a difference to the students’ learning experience by adding to the department’s teaching input.
Ms Oliwia Berdak, School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies
Teaching on the course ‘Introduction to Politics’, I introduced a new type of formative assessment – the Policy Portfolio – in order to improve student engagement. The Portfolio was a year-long team project, allowing students to develop their interests and apply their theoretical knowledge to real-life problems: reducing carbon emissions, reforming welfare, introducing payment-by-results in healthcare. The aim of the assignment was to analyse a self-selected UK policy area in terms of its key actors, instruments and interests. Students were encouraged to experiment with different kinds of sources, whilst using the UCL electronic platform, MyPortfolio, to share their resources and conclusions, collaborate with other groups and receive continuous feedback on their work.
Dr David West and the UCL School of Pharmacy
The Integrated Therapeutics project is a novel approach to developing student awareness of the interconnectedness of the diverse subjects underpinning pharmacy. It is a distance learning project employing a unique combination of wiki technology to develop topic pages and their interconnections by the cohort, followed by individual concept mapping to generate a localised summary that is presented for rapid visual assessment by a committee with combined expertise in the range of underpinning subjects. The concept is scalable and the principles are readily applicable to other disciplines that have a broad base of supporting subjects where students tend to separate their learning into compartments. Whilst this project was conceived and led by Dr D West, e-learning coordinator and Dr A Wilderspin, MPharm course coordinator for Options and Projects, its success critically stems from the commitment of the entire team both during development and continued implementation.
Dr Christine Hoffmann and the UCL Language Centre
The UCL Language Centre (LC) supports and teaches national and international UCL students across all faculties and disciplines to give them an international perspective on their subject and its application. The combination of native foreign language teachers, English for Academic Purposes (EAP), Science / Social Science subject teachers and a team of administrators presents a unique international platform to students across all courses.
The Language Centre internationalises the curriculum in all of its programmes from its Preparatory Certificates, through its undergraduate foreign languages/EAP course units and evening courses, to courses for postgraduates and on to the training of English Language teachers and CPD courses for professionals from other European countries. The LC actively internationalises all of its students and staff (and therefore UCL), not only through its academic programmes, but also through having a highly diverse international student and staff body, through its explicit and pedagogically focused use of learning methodologies from around the world in all of its programmes, through ongoing strategic engagement with overseas partners, and through a full and dynamic CPD programme for staff which includes development of cultural understanding.
All individual winners were given a salary bonus of £2,500; the winners of the Team Collaboration and Achievement in Teaching award were given £5,000 to share and the Internationalised Department had £5,000 added to its budget. Each winner received a framed certificate and all those who attended the awards ceremony were personally congratulated by the Provost.
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