Inspiring Teaching Project


The Inspiring Teaching project aims to understand what inspiring teaching means to academic staff at University of South Wales and to highlight and celebrate the successes of staff and students. Our diverse student community is unique due to the high numbers of mature students, part time students and those who are the first in their family to attend university. The research uncovers the way lecturers inspire and support our students. USW is keen to build aspiration and success and this project highlights these successes of staff and students as partners. This project also importantly ties in with the Success Objective 4 of the Student Experience Plan. Staff who are passionate about their subject areas, teaching and delivery should be celebrated to develop their reputation in the wider Higher Education economy.

Contents


Project progress

Staff have been selected to take part in semi-structured interviews about what they think inspiring teaching is, how they conduct this through their teaching and their personal experiences of it at USW. These teachers have been chosen because they were nominated for two or more award categories in the 2016 Student Choice Awards (run by the USW Students’ Union). A balanced number of participants, around six individuals, have been selected to represent gender fairly and all the faculties across the university will be represented. These case studies will be used to compile the inspiring teaching report.

As the project progresses this page will be updated with further information.

Back to top

Participating staff

Sian-Kathryn Jones – FCES
  • Lecturer and first year tutor – Mathematics.
  • Main teaching areas – Cryptography, Mathematics for Computer Scientists, Networks, Algebra.
  • Main research areas – Latin Squares and Sudoku.
  • 4 nominations – Innovative Teaching, Best Lecturer, Best Supervisor, Outstanding Student Support

Student feedback

  • Makes a complicated subject exciting and easier to understand.” (Innovative Teaching)
  • Making difficult maths easy, always smiling, very communicative, quick and fair marker, total privilege to be taught by.”
  • Always on time with results. Fantastic at holding the whole class attention and teaching ethics. Best module all round this year.”
  • Always helpful never too much trouble.” (Best Lecturer)
  • Been so supportive throughout the year, couldn’t have done my dissertation without her.” (Best Supervisor)
  • Helped me so much this year with not just my dissertation but everything else as well.” (Outstanding Student Support)

Back to top

Jeroen Nieuwland- FCES
  • Senior Lecturer and Module Leader – Biology.
  • Main teaching areas- Genetics and Evolution, Human Genetics, Molecular Biology and Human Molecular Genetics and DNA profiling.
  • Main research areas- plant reproduction, plant cell biology and development, genetics, biomechanical properties of cell walls and cellulose and molecular biology.
  • 3 nominations- Innovative Teaching, Best Lecturer, Outstanding Student Support.

Student feedback

  • He is an amazing modern lecturer. he gets down on a student level, he understands and provides very modern lecturers such as incorporating online quizzes that we can use our mobile devices with to further our understanding of the topics set. This makes everyone feel engaged and in control with feeling like we are just being lectured. his lectures contain drawings and extra content that makes the classes very interactive. He is also an amazing support. He makes us very interested in the topics and his new areas of research make him up and coming.” (Innovative Teaching)
  • He got listening ear to students need and a good teacher.”
  • He is a influence to all students and makes all lectures interesting and engaging.” (Best Lecturer)
  • Gave me a lot of extra support after a personal bereavement & allowed me to have extensions on coursework, while still giving me the same content other students had.” (Outstanding Student Support)

Back to top

Helen Martin- FBS
  • Lecturer in Human Resources.
  • Course Leader for BSc Police Sciences.
  • Module leader and main teaching areas – Performance and Development and Digital Literacy for Policing.
  • 5 nominations- Innovative Teaching, Best Lecturer, Best Supervisor, Best Course Leader, Outstanding Student Support.

Student Feedback

  • “She is always exiting and runs lecture with passion.” (Innovative Teaching)
  • “Always goes that extra mile for her students, always ensures that they are confident with their work before leaving us after a lecture.” (Best Lecturer)
  • “She is effective, committed and cares about her students.” (Best Lecturer)

Back to top

Rachel Taylor- FLSE
  • Principle Lecturer in Psychology.
  • Main teaching areas – Social Psychology, Forensic Psychology.
  • Main research areas – Deception and the detection of deception, verbal and non-verbal communication, commitment to self-selecting groups and currently supervising two research PhD students.
  • 4 nominations – Innovative Teaching, Best Lecturer, Best Supervisor, Outstanding Student Support.
  • Winner and winner of winners in Outstanding Student Support

Student Feedback

  • “Not only is Rachel a lovely and supportive lecturer, she is also extremely smart and knows exactly how to make a lecture fun. Every lecture has been fun and interactive and never a chore to attend.” (Innovative Teaching)
  • “Firstly, I never usually do anything like this, but I feel that Rachel has stood out as such a phenomenal lecturer, I couldn’t NOT nominate her. Rachel has taught me for two of my third year psychology modules this year, and they were the best module choices that I made. Rachel makes learning fun, and she is always so enthusiastic and happy, it just rubs off on all of us and it’s just wonderful. I looked forward to my lectures with her, as not only were her lectures fun and interesting, but her bubbly personality just made me so happy and optimistic about learning. Rachel always has blackboard up to date, which I found extremely useful, and I felt prepared before every lecture. Rachel always makes time for us, and she often added extra drop in sessions we can attend about our work, even though she is extremely busy all of the time! It is obvious how much she cares about all of us, and how much she cares about how well we do. She always provides exceptional amounts of detailed feedback for work, and we often receive our a week or so before they are due. Not only has Rachel been an academic inspiration, she has also offered me tremendous amounts of support regarding my struggles with mental illness. She pushed me to get professional help at the start of the year, in which I will forever be eternally grateful for because I could not of done that on my own, nor would I still be in university now without that extra push to get help. She has always made time to talk to me when I’m struggling with my personal life and my work, which means so much when I find myself in a difficult place. Very rarely do people take time out of their days to help others to the extent she did, and I look up to her for that. Rachel is an outstanding woman, who I look up to more than anyone. I’m sure I speak on behalf of many others as well as myself, that she really deserves recognition because she is truly incredible.” (Best Lecturer)
  • “Phenomenal knowledge base and helpful beyond belief.” (Best Supervisor)
  • “Always there to help. Even helps people not in her tutor group from grade reviews to dissertation and assignment advice. She does so much but always makes time for you.” (Outstanding Student Support)

Back to top

Alun Tomos – FCI
  • Lecturer – BA Popular Music and BSc Music Technology, and project supervisor for MSc Music Engineering and Production.
  • Main teaching areas – Music in Production 1 and 2, Ensemble Studies 1 and 2, Arranging Techniques, Advanced Theory and Aural Investigation, Improvisational Approaches, Professional Project and Dissertation.
  • Module Leader – Music Theory and Aural Investigations, Instrumental Studies 1, Instrumental Studies 2, Diwylliannau Cerddorol, Diwylliannau Cerddorol Cyfoes, Reflection on Learning in the Workplace.
  • 4 nominations- Innovative Teaching, Best Lecturer, Best Course Leader, Outstanding Student Support

Student feedback

  • “Pushes new tech and teaching methods.” (Innovative Teaching)
  • “Excellent lectures, feedback, assignment layout and student support.”
  • “Always willing to help, friendly and easily approachable, gives good feedback and helps us improve.” (Best Lecturer)
  • “Very attentive, always happy to make things as easy as possible for the students, he’s not afraid to put as much effort as possible to help students.” (Best Course Leader)

Back to top

Benjamin Jones – FBS
  • Senior Lecturer in Legal Practice.
  • LLB (Bachelor of Laws) and LPC (Legal Practice Course) and Masters in Law.
  • Main teaching areas- Equity and Trusts, Land Law, Business Law and Practice, Taxation and Commercial Property.
  • Winner of LawCareers.Net Law Lecturer of the Year 2016.
  • 5 nominations- Innovative Teaching, Best Lecturer, Best Course Leader, Best Supervisor, Outstanding Student Support.

Student feedback

  • “Ben is exciting and interesting in his lectures and workshops. He tailors all the lecturers to suit student needs and understanding.” (Innovative Teaching)
  • “His enthusiasm and love of keeping up with the trends when teaching really motivates us.”
  • “Ben is truly the best lecturer I have ever had. He brings the dullest of subject areas to life, and is a true asset to the University of South Wales. He is enthusiastic and fun loving, and is a joy to be taught by.’ (Best Lecturer)
  • “Very thorough.” (Best Course Leader)
  • “Incredible support.” (Best Supervisor)
  • “Has an open door policy and is always willing to go the extra mile to help out everyone. He gives fantastic guidance on coursework and exams, and never leaves students feeling confused.” (Outstanding Student Support)

Back to top

More information and contacts

For further information about the project please contact: Laura Jones – laura.jones@southwales.ac.uk.

Back to top