University of Leicester does the double again in national awards for teaching excellence

Posted by pt91 at Jun 27, 2013 09:05 AM |
Leicester wins two awards for a second year in a row
University of Leicester does the double again in national awards for teaching excellence

L-R: Alex Moseley and Professor Hilary Burgess.

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 27 June 2013


The University of Leicester has – for the second year in succession - won two prestigious awards in a national scheme for excellence in teaching and support for learning.

The University had previously achieved seven single awards from the Higher Education Academy – and last year was among a select few universities to achieve a double award.

The University of Leicester has now done the double again with National Teaching Fellowship awards for Professor Hilary Burgess from the School of Education and Alex Moseley from the University’s Course Design and Development Unit.  This brings the total number of Leicester recipients of the awards to 11.

Congratulating them, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Christine Fyfe said: “The University of Leicester takes great pride in the success of Hilary and Alex in winning these awards against stiff competition.  In their different ways both have made outstanding contributions to the student learning experience, helping to further enhance Leicester’s position as a top 20 research-intensive institution that values excellent teaching.”

The award winners were chosen from over 180 nominations submitted by higher education institutions across England, Northern Ireland and Wales. Each will receive an award of £10,000 which may be used for Fellows’ professional development in teaching and learning or aspects of pedagogy. Successful nominees were nominated by their institutions and submissions had to show evidence of three criteria: individual excellence, raising the profile of excellence and developing excellence.

Professor Burgess said: “I am absolutely delighted at winning this accolade. It is recognition of what I have been able to achieve in my academic career as both a teacher and a researcher in HE and I feel honoured to receive it.

“It will enable me to continue to develop teaching and research projects that are close to my heart and which I have been pursuing for several years, often without any funding.”

Alex Moseley added: “I’m extremely honoured, and also rather humbled as I am acutely aware that there are many excellent teachers within this University who will undoubtedly gain future awards, plus other colleagues here and elsewhere who have already received a National Teaching Fellowship who I look up to as role models.

“I also have great respect for the work of the HEA across institutions and disciplines, and look forward to helping to strengthen our institution's link into this wider context.”

Professor Craig Mahoney, Chief Executive of the HEA, said: “The 55 new National Teaching Fellows announced today are all an inspiration to me.  They have each made a significant impact on the teaching at their own institution, and many of them even further afield. With NTFs from across all the Mission Groups and from each of the three participating countries of the UK – England, Northern Ireland and Wales – I am sure the new NTFs will also be an inspiration to their peers.

“Becoming a National Teaching Fellow is a great honour and will undoubtedly lead to many new and exciting challenges, but I believe that it is students who will benefit  most from these awards. Our students deserve the best possible learning experience and it is colleagues like those we celebrate today who can make a real difference to their futures. I congratulate all the successful Fellows and wish them every success in their own learning and teaching experiences.”

The scheme is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland, and is open to staff whose teaching or support roles enhance the student learning experience at institutions in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

You can read a Q&A interview with the award winners here.

Professor Hilary Burgess

Professor of Education and Director of Studies

University of Leicester

Professor Hilary Burgess’ approach to learning and teaching has been influenced by her early career as a primary school teacher and her roles in teacher training that have included leading a large Primary PGCE programme and mentor training for primary and secondary school teachers. Her teaching activities include supervising EdD and PhD students and leading the Professional Enquiry module, a course that is taken by all students following the Masters in Education: Learning and Teaching. One of her guiding principles is a belief that student support is essential to successful outcomes for the diverse body of learners studying in higher education, many of whom are at a distance in the UK or are overseas.

Her work with doctoral students and with primary and secondary school teachers are the main areas where she has enhanced and transformed the student learning experience. She has achieved this through designing programmes with support systems and making innovative use of new technologies.

Hilary aims to inspire students studying at a distance and develop their commitment to learning through the course material she has written and by providing imaginative and accessible resources for them to use. She has extensive experience of working in Doctorate of Education programmes and has received high praise in her student evaluations. As one student commented: “The content of the seminar is very relevant to me. The presentation is precise and clear. Thank you!”

She is Chair of the National Network for EdD Directors and regularly advises other universities on revising their programmes. She has delivered many international workshops and conference papers on professional doctorates and teacher professional development.  Hilary’s funded projects include research into the impact of undertaking a professional doctorate and a TEMPUS project on developing capacity in teacher professional development, the practicum and action research with universities in the Middle East and North Africa.

Alex Moseley

Educational Designer, University Teaching Fellow

University of Leicester

At the University of Leicester Alex Moseley has had extensive experience in teaching, learning and research: principally in course design and development, but also in the Humanities and games-based spheres.

He has a background in Archaeology, which fuelled his desire for exploration, uncovering mysteries and using whatever tool was needed to get the job done. This helped him to work across disciplines, and develop teaching in applied information technology for students, and training in appropriate use of learning technologies for staff. He developed interests in the wider curriculum design process, and has since specialised in programme development, online and distance education, and in student engagement with learning. He now takes a strategic role in developing institutional policy and support in these areas, most recently crowd-sourcing the institution’s first virtual learning environment (VLE) policy.

Alex’s primary research area, and most innovative practice, stems from an experience he had when picking up an intriguing postcard in a weekend paper. The postcard turned out to be a door into the fascinating world of alternate reality games, and after playing for a few months Alex was amazed at how players would spend hours at a time working together to solve complex puzzles. He began a year of action research, and identified features of the game which could be transferred to education to increase engagement and community development. Integrating these with his own practice, a highly successful games-based course The Great History Conundrum was born, encouraging students to develop advanced research skills by solving puzzles whilst battling for a grand prize; and this effective approach is now used in other disciplines. Alex combines this interest in playful approaches with his love of the past to teach other innovative courses within Museum Studies and Archaeology.

Alex has written books and articles on games in education, blogs regularly, and runs workshops to help other staff develop games quickly and efficiently. He was part of the team behind the first charity alternative reality game Operation: Sleeper Cell, co-chairs the Association for Learning Technology special interest group on Games and Learning, co-organises the Let’s Change the Game cross-sector conference, and works with museums on developing playful approaches to education.

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