Over the last six years, the Teaching and Learning Institute (TALI) has coordinated the University of Huddersfield’s internal National Teaching Fellowship selection process. We have worked closely with the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Teaching and Learning and a selection committee to identify and support colleagues to apply for National Teaching Fellowship Awards. The Higher Education Academy (HEA) in December announced that two colleagues were awarded National Teaching Fellowships.
In 2016 Dr Jess Power, Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Art, Design and Architecture was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship. Jess is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Member of the Chartered Management Institute and a Trustee of the Textile Institute. Her core discipline area is textiles/apparel and the main body of her research focuses around active learning for large cohorts of apparel/textile students. Jess has developed strategies which have led to a real impact on students learning by creating best practice models using active learning techniques and introducing approaches such as peer-learning and team-teaching.
Since joining the University in 2012 Jess has led a number of initiatives to transform the under-graduate student experience by embedding collaboration both within and out of the curriculum. Primarily focusing on encouraging students to work across and beyond disciplines to encourage the co-creation of knowledge and the development of networks. This has led to students broadening their interests and ambitions and improving skills relevant to industry, enterprise and employability.
“Throughout my teaching career I have aimed to find the right blend of surroundings and pedagogical theories to create supportive environments which bring together students and staff, from many disciplines, to engage in creating sustainable learning networks across Higher Education, commercial sectors and Professional Bodies.”
ICE, which stands for Innovation and Creative Exchange is a series of lectures, workshops, networking events and skill exchanges which is aimed at fostering collaboration between design and engineering students – the next generation of employees for UK knowledge based industries.
The aim is to bring the best of innovative design and industry thinking into the undergraduate curriculum and to embed the latest innovation and design methodologies. Events include design challenges, industrial briefs and visits from high-profile professionals; with a key focus of providing interdisciplinarity opportunities to work on real-world challenges such as the 24-hour challenges on ‘sustainable solutions to global challenges’, the ‘ageing population’ and the ‘internet of things’. The impact of ICE has been demonstrated through companies recruiting students, through further research projects, and five discipline-hopping interns (engineering student placed in a design company and vice-versa).
Through this structures Jess has created interdisciplinarity which has become firmly established; resulting in the showcasing and sharing of School-based resources and the further development of interdisciplinarity challenges and networking opportunities across the entire University. One of the outputs of this project was an Industry award-winning product design which has been further developed by an industrial partner.
Technology focused initiatives
Jess has been involved in investigating Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) usage within the creative arts in a collaborative project between the School of Art, Design and Architecture and Music, Humanities and Media. The research showed that the VLE was integrated less into practice-based subjects with three main barriers being identified; technical ability, navigation and aesthetics.
As a result of this research a framework was developed and implemented which promoted a blended approach to integrating the VLE into creative practice, specifically targeting navigation, aesthetics and digital literacy. The impact on both the student and staff experience was evident and subsequently, engagement with the VLE in creative arts has risen dramatically.
Jess also initiated a technician-led Teaching and Learning enhancement week which showcased the innovative technology available within the School and opened up these facilities for collaborative research and T&L projects. This has resulted in the School overcoming many technology-based restrictions and has had far-reaching benefits for students’ learning and the continuing professional development of staff.
For more information about National Teaching Fellows at the University of Huddersfield, see the Teaching and Learning Institute’s web page.
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