Pioneering health science lecturers win national teaching awards

Inspirational teachers at the University of Nottingham have been recognised by a prestigious national scheme.

Dr Richard Windle, Digital Learning Director, and a team led by Associate Professor Stacy Johnson, both in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, have been recognised by the UK Teaching Excellence Awards.

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

Dr Windle has been selected to receive a National Teaching Fellowship while Miss Johnson and her team, the European Junior Leadership Academy (EJLA) for Student Nurses and Midwives, has been selected as a winner for the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence – a first for the University.

Ever since his appointment as lecturer in Health Sciences Dr Windle has pioneered developing digital tools to aid learning and enthuse students.

His success was such that he progressed in a strategic direction – developing, deploying and evaluating digital learning within the curriculum.

Some of his most impactful work has been facilitating the creation of multimedia open resources drawn from expertise from practitioners, patients and carers. These resources have been adopted globally in more than 50 countries and by millions of users.

He joins the ranks of nine other Nottingham academics who hold Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowships.

He said: “I am delighted to have received this national teaching fellowship. It means a great deal to me both personally and professionally.

“The opportunity to work with young people in the area of teaching is a real privilege. Their enthusiasm and passion for learning is infectious and fuels my own desire to learn, question and research.

“Digital approaches to learning offer so many exciting possibilities for the future. They do not replace or detract from the importance of face to face teaching, but rather enable us to incorporate novel, exciting and innovative approaches in areas such simulation, communication and interaction.

“I work with an excellent team and this really is a team effort. We have a strong emphasis on making digital technology accessible to both content providers and users. The foresight of the School of Health Sciences and The University of Nottingham in supporting the development of this team has also been very important to this success.”

Miss Johnson’s team works across four countries to develop, implement and evaluate a leadership programme for student nurses and midwives.

The University of Nottingham, team consists of Stacy Johnson, Professor Carol Hall, Dr Ada Hui, students Gavin Hibberd-Smith and Sala Khulumula and from the HELM team, Professor Heather Wharrad, Kirstie Coolin, Lydia Jones, Michael Taylor, George Gadd and administrators Bethany York, Annu Verma and Mara Sprengel. The wider project team incudes staff from University of Maribor (Slovenia), Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), and Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Lisboa (Portugal). The project is funded by the Erasmus +, Strategic Partnerships scheme.

 

The 10-month academy identifies student nurses and midwives who demonstrate leadership aptitude in a variety of ways, develops their leadership identity, knowledge, skills and attitudes. It has established an active community of practice for when they are newly qualified nurses and midwives working across Europe.

Through innovative teaching methods, peer network activities, mentoring, coaching and a policy internship, the EJLA aims to increase student nurses’ and midwives’ capacity and capability to lead early in the career journey and enhance student nurses’ employability by maximizing the early impact they have in the organisations they serve. The EJLA builds on the Higher Education Academy funded National Junior Leadership Academy, Student Nursing Times Awards, Teaching Innovation of the Year 2014.

Next, the team will deliver a Massive Online Open Course which will give student nurses and midwives from all over the world free, open access to a contemporary leadership development programme designed to help them to lead where ever they are. In spring of 2019, the team is hosting a summit of 100 European student leaders in Nottingham.

She said: “This wonderful award demonstrates the extraordinary things that can happen when a vibrant, creative group of academics, learning technologists, administrative staff, and students genuinely collaborate. The EJLA sought to democratise leadership by building students’ leadership identity early. Our premise is that global healthcare and the health status of populations can only be transformed if all health professionals, including students, are leaderly, regardless of how junior they are in their organisations and systems.

I want to pay tribute to the student nurses and midwives from the four countries who were courageous enough to participate in this demanding programme. They inspired us to give our best. This resulted in a game-changing programme. I am delighted at the recognition for everyone involved. “

Professor Joanne Lymn, Head of the School of Health Sciences at University of Nottingham, said: “We are extremely privileged as a school, and a University, to have such a high calibre of teaching staff looking to innovate and develop digital tools to improve the student experience. I’m very proud of Richard and Stacy and the teams who support them.”

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education and Student Experience, Professor Sarah O’Hara, said: “I am delighted the significant achievements made by Richard and Stacy have been recognised by the HEA. Richard is an outstanding teacher and his innovative approach to teaching has clearly benefitted students in Nottingham and healthcare colleagues on a global scale. Stacy’s work in developing our student nurses as leaders has seen the University been awarded its first award for collaborative working. They join a growing number of colleagues at the University who have been recognised for the excellence of their teaching practice.”

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