Associate Professor awarded National Teaching Fellowship


August 7th, 2020

Sarah Westwater-Wood, an Associate Professor from the School of Health Sciences, has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship following a highly competitive and rigorous selection process.

The awards are the most prestigious available to teachers in UK higher education and recognise excellent practice and outstanding achievement.

Sarah joined the University in 2003 as an Assistant Professor before progressing to Associate Professor and Director of Assessment for the School of Health Sciences. Prior to moving into higher education, Sarah qualified as a clinical paediatric physiotherapist specialising in paediatrics.

As an Assistant Professor, Sarah has led innovative teaching and assessment practice projects to support student learning and feedback whilst demonstrating passion for advancing stimulating resources and experiences to trigger students’ curiosity. Achievements include a reusable e-learning case study which uses gaming principles to prompt critical thinking developments. This has been valued by students and clinical colleagues where it has been used nationally as an inter-professional postgraduate induction tool.

As the Director of Assessment for the School of Health Sciences, Sarah has led a number of whole-unit student-staff partnership working change projects, including whole progamme TESTA audits and co-design of assessment materials.

Sarah’s approach in leading innovative teaching practice and whole-unit change, centres upon the principle that it is all about people and their experience, not only of processes and projects, but of informing, understanding and having a meaningful influence upon the shape of them. Her facilitative approach draws from the experiences and knowledge of others to influence and shape developments. Sarah’s listening, empathy and authenticity have been cited as her key leadership strengths.

Sarah said: “I am so very honoured to receive this award. I am very grateful for the support of colleagues and the opportunities offered by the University of Nottingham which have allowed me to think differently, to challenge and realise my passion for learning facilitation.”

Due to the coronavirus, the 2020 award ceremony has been postponed and will be combined with the 2021 ceremony in October 2021. There will, however, be an online celebration during the week commencing Monday 28 September, following which copies of certificates will be sent by post and e-versions sent via email.

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