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Teaching and Learning Awards

2020 winners

Our Teaching and Learning Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of LJMU staff who support teaching and learning, as well as the broader student experience.

In 2020, Awards were presented in the below 5 categories.

Category 1: Rising Star

The award recognises a particularly significant teaching contribution and leadership potential in Teaching and Learning.

Tom Hogarth

School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment
Subject: Surveying and Buildings Management, Construction Technology

Tom Hogarth

Tom joined the Department of the Built Environment in 2018 as a lecturer teaching on the Building Surveying and Facilities Management programme. Prior to this he spent over sixteen years working in the Further Education sector. Tom quickly became a key member of the teaching staff, taking a professional approach to the development of teaching material and engagement with his students. He has developed further links within the local community in the restoration of a listed building library into a community centre, with future plans to include student visits to incorporate practical surveying sessions. Tom has taken an active role in supporting students on the Degree Apprenticeship route and was also involved in an innovative exchange programmes with Texas A&M University and University of Malaya.

Kayleigh Sheen

School of Psychology
Subject: Psychology

Kayleigh Sheen

Kayleigh’s impact on teaching, learning and the student experience has been evident at multiple levels within the School of Psychology. From foundation year to postgraduate, her teaching has won the praise of colleagues and students alike. A talent for curriculum development is demonstrated by her contributions to the new Psychology foundation year modules. Her care and compassion for students is shown through her work as Level 6 Tutor, and in her ongoing research project into the experiences of foundation year students transitioning into first year. Kayleigh demonstrates future leadership potential in teaching and learning.

Tori Sprung

School of Sports and Exercise Sciences
Subject: Physiology and Physical Activity

Tori Sprung

From the outset of her appointment in June 2018, Tori has demonstrated commitment to the student learning experience in all aspects of her academic role within the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. One of her personal tutees remarks:

“Tori has made the transition to a different environment easier. She organised sessions to aid my understanding of appropriate writing techniques and set up a dyslexia assessment. Her positive and friendly attitude has been much appreciated.”

Tori is dedicated to supporting under-represented groups in STEM and co-led her School’s successful Athena SWAN Bronze application. Since conferment of this award, she has visited several Schools and the Faculty of Health to advise on their applications. This work complements her growing external profile, for example, as a member of the organising committee for the Equality in Science national conference.

Catherine Wilkinson

School of Education
Subject: Education Studies

Catherine Wilkinson

Catherine joined LJMU in 2019 and has since this time demonstrated her commitment to being an excellent and driven academic. Appointed as a programme leader a year after she joined LJMU, Catherine has the student experience at the core of everything she does. This is evidenced through her own teaching and contact with students, her support of staff and through the promotion of academic research through the curriculum, through research-informed teaching and pedagogic research. It is clear from the following quote ‘Catherine is my inspiration and one day I hope to be even half the researcher, teacher and person she is’ how much her approach and commitment is valued.

Hannah Wilson

Liverpool Business School
Subject: Research Methods

Hannah Wilson

Hannah joined the Faculty of Business and Law in 2018 and since that time has made a significant contribution to the development of Research Methods teaching on the DBA programme, improving engagement through use of Action Learning Sets supported by Adobe Connect. Engagement with the online resources increased from 25% to over 90% as a result. Student feedback through Board of Studies reflects their appreciation for the methods used and Hannah has presented to the Teaching and Learning Conference and has been shortlisted for the European Committee of Research Methods awards. The impact of Hannah’s work has been recognised by her School Director who praises the quality of her work and her swift transition from PhD student to Senior Lecturer.

Category 2: Individual Teaching Excellence Award

These individual awards recognise an outstanding, transformative or inspirational impact on the student learning experience.

James Hartwell

School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment
Subject: Quantity Surveying

James HartwellJames joined the Department of Built Environment in 2011 as a senior lecturer teaching on the Quantity Surveying (QS) Programme. Prior to this, he spent over 9 years working in industry as a construction cost consultant advising various local, national and government bodies. James demonstrates his passion for his subject through daily updates and current topical issues to keep his students engaged as well as embracing learning technology to keep topics stimulating, consistently scoring above institutional and School averages for his module evaluations. James takes the level 4 students to London for two days visiting the HQ of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, The Bank of England, Battersea power station redevelopment, and a special trip to the Shard Viewing platform to meet with graduates now working in London. He also led the Constructionarium project for a number of years, working on real life projects with industry partners to prepare students for successful careers.

Katie Evans

School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences
Subject: Microbiology

Katie Evans

Katie is a conscientious academic who has an excellent rapport with her students within the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences. She is dedicated to supporting international learning and recognises its transformative power, particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the most to gain from these experiences. As a sandwich placement tutor, she has fostered confidence, independence, and proactivity in her students, supporting them to undertake meaningful work placements. On campus, her approach to science teaching prioritises putting theories into practice and this approach is appreciated by her students:

“[Katie] is my favourite lecturer because her passion emanates in every lecture: She really knows her stuff. I am a visual learner and, without the practicals, things wouldn't be [as well] understood”.

More recently, Katie has shared her expertise outside of the Faculty with an LJMU Project group that will oversee a new course information system.

Will Swaney

School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Subject: Epigenetics

Will Swaney

Will has redesigned entire curricula to make his modules interactive and relevant within the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences. He enlivens his lectures using student-sourced data (with occasional references to rap records) to engage his students. This approach elicits very positive feedback from his students:

“[Referencing] popular culture in lectures and using this to convey information is creative and a great way to make lectures more engaging to students”. “I feel I have learnt more about SPSS in these few months [with Will] than the whole of first year”.

Will’s impact has been so marked that Science Programme Leaders cite his work in highlighting how our students are capable of learning and enjoying some of the most challenging topics in bioscience, given the right approach. Students also attest to the quality of Will’s practice as a personal tutor and he is known outside of his School through his involvement in Faculty and Institutional networks. Outside of LJMU, his impact extends through his outreach work and editorship of the Biology Newsletter.

Chris Vaughan

School of Humanities and Social Science
Subject: Twentieth Century Africa

Chris Vaughan

Since joining LJMU in 2014, Chris has proven himself to be a consistently outstanding teacher, who is relentlessly positive and at the very core of the department. He is a good “all round” performer, contributing at all levels to the delivery of the curriculum and the student experience. It was clear from the nomination Chris that the students you teach speak very highly of you with comments such as ‘ Chris is a really good lecturer; he’s encouraging and supportive and holds attention really well’. This feedback is reflected in module evaluations with overall satisfaction scores of over 90% being received consecutively since 2016. Chris’s impact extends also beyond LJMU, shaping the future and professional development of students and he is in regular contact with alumni supporting their next steps. Chris is a valued colleague who is universally cherished by the team, school and faculty.

David Soehren

Liverpool Business School
Subject: Human Resources Management

David Soehren

In his individual teaching practice, Dave has spearheaded the use of high impact practices bringing professional practice to academic models, enhancing student skills and behaviours as well as encouraging co-creation. Working within the HR team in the Faculty of Business and Law, Dave has developed work which supports the financial and digital literacy of students through Dragons Den style assessment and works with colleagues from the professional body to design and deliver assessment centres for recruitment. Challenging in terms of team working, the students role play a full assessment centre in front of professional practitioners, and give feedback to the peers they have been assessing. The development of the centre and the running of the event form the module and assessment and could not be more authentic. Additional to his module and programme responsibilities Dave has been a driver for supporting the digital capacity of tutors in the Faculty showing patience and kindness to all.

Category 3: Excellence in Technology Enhanced Learning

These awards recognise the use of technology to enhance teaching and student learning.

Jonathan Davies

School of Pharmacy and Biolomolecular Sciences
Subject: Pharmacy

Jonathan Davies

Jonny is well known within the School of Pharmacy and Bimolecular Sciences as a prolific user of technology in teaching. An advocate of simulations, he provides pharmacy students with rich clinical environments to explore, employing non-linear scenarios that compel students to make informed decisions. He has also worked with staff outside LJMU so that third year students benefit from inter-professional learning activities with medical students from the University of Liverpool. In feedback, pharmacy students said:

“The inter-professional learning day with medical students was very enjoyable, very helpful to the course….” “..and relevant to our future practice.”

Jonny continues to develop and pilot independent student-led simulations with the provision of automated feedback, collaborating cross-faculty to develop novel, game-based simulations. This work, in a research area known as ‘Serious Games’, has been presented at internal and external conferences. It is these innovative approaches and Jonny’s willingness to collaborate and share that set him apart.

Michael Richter

School of Psychology
Subject: Motivational Psychology

Michael Richter

Michael makes effective use of a range of technologies to enhance the learning experience for students in the School of Psychology. In Canvas, he makes sophisticated use of Pages, and develops attractive and engaging content using videos and animations. In the classroom, he pioneers the use of interactive methods to help students learn, from low-tech solutions such as individual whiteboards, to the latest piece of online polling software. As an early-adopter, he supports colleagues who follow in his footsteps, and is always the first to volunteer where help is needed. His recent move to a flipped classroom method has helped Level 4 students transition to an active learning approach in their first semester. Michael’s work demonstrates excellent use of technology to enhance students’ learning, and their overall university experience.

Category 4: Individual Enhancing the Student Experience

These individual awards recognise an outstanding contribution to enhancing the student learning experience.

David Wood

Faculty of Science
Role: Faculty Administrator

David Wood is a highly-valued member of Placement Learning Support Unit within the Faculty of Science. He works modestly in the background, ensuring that hundreds of Science students each year are able to begin their placements safely, on time, and with all the correct paperwork in place. It is a testament to the quality of his support that he is regularly name-checked in module evaluation comments, for example:

“David in particular was very helpful when I was unsure of a deadline for one of the pre-placement documents I had to submit.” “[He] was incredibly kind and supportive.”

Science placement module leaders also attest to the invaluable support that David provides. His conscientious approach means that the placement process, which can be demanding and stressful for students, runs smoothly. Recently, his work has extended to include Fitness to Practice processes and liaising with Occupational Health. He has applied himself to these tasks with his usual high standards of diligence and efficiency. David strives for the highest standards in everything he does and has a true community spirit, putting LJMU students at the heart of his work.

Niall McCann

Faculty of Health
Role: Learning and Technology Officer

Niall is a dedicated and pro-active member of the Technology Enhanced Learning team based within the Faculty of Health. His work with the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies team has helped hundreds of distance learning students to complete their programme of study, and has been invaluable to his academic colleagues. He has worked tirelessly to support students with a variety of technical challenges, whilst also fostering a sense of community through the use of online chat and discussion boards. His innovations have also helped to enhance assessment practices, in particular, the use of Panopto for student presentations. Overall, Niall has gone above and beyond his role to deliver enhancements to the student experience.

Category 5: Academic Leadership

These individual awards recognise an outstanding contribution to academic leadership.

David Clampin

School of Humanities and Social Science
Subject: History

David Clampin

Nominated by members of his team, David is seen to be a passionate, inspirational and inclusive leader who has, since becoming Subject Leader in 2017 led his programme to a top ten position nationally. The nomination clearly stated how History’s success speaks to David’s leadership of a department united around a vision of student-cantered learning and, crucially, his creation of a nurturing and personal culture of staff-student relationships. Within the nomination it was clear that both staff and students valued David’s commitment and leadership and as stated in the words of the students ‘David is a credit to the University….having someone like David paving the way not only inspires us students but other lecturers to follow’ and finally as one colleague put it ‘he role models to his team the holistic definition of what it means to be a modern academic and leader’.

Dianne Marsh

School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment
Subject: Quantity Surveying

Dianne Marsh

Dianne Marsh joined LJMU in January 2007. She was appointed initially as a Senior Lecturer in Quantity Surveying and then progressed to a Programme Leader role in February 2009. Her involvement with LJMU goes further back than this and her role prior to joining the University was Programme Leader for the LJMU franchised HNC/D in Construction which was delivered by a collaborative partner of the time, St Helens College. Dianne manages a complex suite of programmes which include undergraduate and postgraduate courses along with franchised versions in four separate countries. Her programmes are the largest recruiting in the Department and applicants typically exceed the entry requirements significantly. National Student Survey satisfaction scores were over 7% higher than the Faculty average which is quite an achievement for a large cohort. Students on her programmes acknowledged how positively they view her as Programme Leader being nominated five times and shortlisted twice for the Amazing Teaching Awards. In addition to chairing an industry advisory panel of local Quantity Surveying practitioners, engaging in external projects and industry collaboration, Dianne is an active researcher.

Graeme Close

School of Sports and Exercise Sciences
Subject: Sports Nutrition

Graeme Close

Graeme has an international reputation in professional practice, having over 10 years’ experience of consulting to some of the world’s highest profile sports teams and athletes. Since it was first delivered in 2014, the MSc Sport Nutrition programme has become globally recognised as sector leading for producing graduates who are ready for the workplace and possess key employability skills. It is a testament to the glowing reputation of the programme that is has a reserve list of professional sports teams wanting a student placement, a theme reinforced by his students:

“The placement immerses you in a professional sporting environment and gives you the opportunity to learn from your mistakes. One of the reasons I chose this masters was for the applied experience and it did not fail to deliver; it was absolutely brilliant.”

This student testimony reflects Graeme’s greatest quality, his ability to impact “people” and create a passion for lifelong learning. Through Graeme’s leadership, LJMU is now considered as the home of professional practice in Sport Nutrition.

Nicola Morrell-Scott

School of Nursing and Allied Health
Subject: Adult Nursing

Nicola Morrell-Scott

Nicky has been a driving force behind the development of nurse education at LJMU in recent years, first as Field Lead for Adult Nursing and then as Programme Manager for the undergraduate Nursing area. She led the team through the substantial challenge re-designing curricula to meet new standards from the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and then the even greater challenge of adapting the programmes to the circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic. Her commitment to curriculum enhancement is demonstrated through the outcomes of funded internship projects: a new online toolkit for staff/student collaborative publishing, and a peer mentoring scheme, are two substantial achievements. Her tenacity and commitment have won praise from a range of colleagues in academic and professional service teams, and confirm her excellence in Academic Leadership.