Centre for Learning and Teaching

Celebrating Excellence in Teaching: Student Support Teams

Wed Jul 22 15:18:00 BST 2015

You may have noticed the recent announcement of the latest winners of the annual teaching awards.

Competition for the awards is substantial, with many of the nominations showing outstanding contributions to teaching in the most innovative, inspired and student-centred ways.

Over the coming days we will be featuring, in no particular order, some of this year’s nominees for the different University Teaching Awards. Today we look at nominees for the Best Team in Support of Student Learning Award, funded by the Alumni Fund, which recognises exceptional and/or innovative team work and collaboration in the delivery of learning and teaching. 

Higher Education Study Skills (HESS) Workshops Team

The HESS workshop team is a collaboration between the Widening Participation Office, the Academic Skills Centre and academics from the Department of Social and Policy Sciences (SPS). The team formed in order to build on their commitment to developing mature students in SPS by providing specialist workshops and help with study skills.

The team’s programme comprises a pre-sessional 3-day induction event followed by bi-monthly study-skills workshops. The aim of the programme is to build matures students’ confidence by helping them realise their abilities and the contribution they can make to the academic community, as well as helping them develop the study skills required for the course.

The students found the programme very helpful, particularly in helping them feel part of the University, and are now contributing to the design of the expansion of the programme to all mature students in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

MASH - Maths And Statistics Help

The Mathematics Resources Centre (MASH) provide extensive mathematics and statistics help across the whole University. They provide drop-in support, a maths café, one-to-one statistics advice and online materials. They also work with academic Departments to provide specialist support and teaching, run a maths enhancement program for local BTEC students and pre-sessional courses for students entering the University with vocational qualifications.

The MASH team is a champion of maths support both within the University and outside. As part of the national sigma network, they organise maths support conferences and have also been very successful in bidding for funding to employ student interns for development projects. In addition, they provide expert advice on writing and displaying maths in ways that are accessible to disabled students.

Student feedback for the service is excellent and there are also many academics who are highly complimentary either of the help they’ve received personally, or support that has been provided for their students.

AP3T (Advanced Practice CPD) for Pharmacists

Led by Dr Andrea Taylor, who has been described as an ‘outstanding and inspirational leader’, the AP3T team comprises two programme leads who are clinical teacher practitioners (Clare Hughes and Nick Haddington) with Liz Morris and Di Pullin who provide administrative expertise.

Part of a wider team, these colleagues work at the leading edge of pharmacy education, being innovative in educational design, supportive of their students and responsive to feedback from stakeholders. Their philosophy is to be practitioner-focused and employ approaches which recognize the challenges their learners face in the workplace as practicing pharmacists. This is reflected in the blended learning and teaching approaches adopted including self-paced online learning together with opportunities to meet face-to-face at intervals through their study. Students said they appreciated the flexible and responsive approaches taken by the team, particularly to address issues they encountered as part-time learners in employment. The team also support and develop over 100 mentors in the workplace who then support the learners on this CPD course.

Over the years there has been a steady increase in numbers of learners on the course from across the country.  Thanks to the team this has resulted in an ever-growing number of confident and competent practitioners who have made a positive impact on the health services across the country.

This year's winner of the Best Team in Support of Student Learning Award is the Audio Visual Team.