Posted on 6 May 2010
The University of Wales (UW) held a dinner and award ceremony this week to celebrate the achievements of its first group of University of Wales Teaching Fellows. The new programme, developed by the University in partnership with its Alliance Academic Quality group, aims to raise the profile of learning and teaching and to encourage good practice in those institutions awarding University of Wales degrees, through recognising and celebrating individuals who make an outstanding contribution to the student learning experience.
The awards may be used for personal and/or professional development in aspects of learning and teaching, which must be broadly within the theme of Enhancement and/or sharing good practice.
Certificates and University mementoes as well as £5,000 were presented to the new Fellows: Jacqueline Young, Course Director for the MSc in Nutritional Therapy at the Northern College (NCA) in York; Ruth Matheson, Senior Lecturer in the Learning and Teaching Development Unit at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC); and Ruth Dineen and Annie Grove-White, Principal Lecturers on the BA Graphic Communication Programme at UWIC.
Professor Marc Clement, Vice-Chancellor of the University, welcomed the new Fellows to the first ever award ceremony for the University of Wales Teaching Fellowships, together with guest of honour, Dr Dennis Gunning, Director of the Skills, Higher Education and Lifelong Learning Group of the Welsh Assembly Government.
In presenting the Fellows with their awards, Dr Gunning spoke of his pleasure at being part of an event arranged with the express purpose of recognising and celebrating teaching at its best, and of the importance of raising the profile of the excellent contribution to the student learning experience made by teachers and lecturers.
Professor Nigel Palastanga, the University of Wales Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning, Teaching and Enhancement, told the assembled guests more about how this year’s fellows plan to use the financial element of their awards to develop exciting teaching and learning projects.
Jacqueline Young will use her UW Fellowship in two ways: to consider the fostering of research-mindedness amongst students; and to examine best practice for the teaching and learning of reflective practice skills and the support and facilitation of learning for students with learning differences such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit disorders (ADD).
Ruth Matheson plans to use her Fellowship Award to create an on-line Problem Based Learning (PBL)/Inquiry-based learning network for Wales. This would promote collaboration across Welsh institutions and would also provide an opportunity to showcase the best of Wales to the world. By providing examples of current practice as an open resource, Ruth hopes that more academic staff will consider this teaching methodology as an option and that it will serve to promote discussion amongst the higher education community in Wales and beyond.
Ruth Dineen and Annie Grove-White won their Award as a team. They will use their Award to support the establishment of a sustainable Welsh Centre for Creative Pedagogy that embraces all Higher Education Institutions in Wales as participants and contributors. Their initial focus is on Art, Media and Design, and the Centre will be launched at a Conference in September 2010.
To find out more about the University of Wales please visit: www.wales.ac.uk/