University of Nottingham: National recognition for teaching excellence at the University of Nottingham

The excellence and innovation of teaching at the University of Nottingham has achieved national recognition, after scooping two prestigious awards.

The Teaching Excellence Awards are awarded each year by AdvanceHE, a member-led, sector-owned charity that works with institutions and higher education across the world to improve higher education for staff, students and society.

The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) and the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) showcase the outstanding impact of individuals and teams who teach or support learning in UK higher education, recognising their success and providing a platform to share the learning from their practice.

Dr Cristina De Matteis, Faculty Digital Learning Director, University of Nottingham
In this year’s awards being announced today (Thursday 5 August), Dr Cristina De Matteis, Faculty Digital Learning Director in the university’s School of Pharmacy, has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship, which recognises the significant impact that recipients have made both on student learning outcomes and the teaching profession in higher education.

Dr De Matteis said: “I am delighted and very excited to have received this national teaching fellowship. It has been a real pleasure and privilege to be able to work with so many young people, in the areas of both teaching and research, and to observe their infectious enthusiasm, drive and creativity. This has been a powerful force in enhancing my learning, research and pedagogy.

“Making chemistry more accessible has been a passion of mine. Finding new ways to help students, at different stages of their education, engage with and understand chemistry has been enormously rewarding. By focussing on visual imagery, including 3D computer graphics images of molecules, I have learnt about the tremendous power of the visual image and its capacity to “catch the eye” and hence engage, and also to explain.

“The School of Pharmacy at Nottingham and at the Malaysia campus have provided wonderful opportunities to innovate and collaborate. Always forward looking, colleagues have provided a rich, creative and “fertile” environment in which to collectively develop new ideas and approaches in teaching and learning, with science always at the forefront. It is an exciting place in which to work.

I work within a fantastic team of digital learning, and education and student experience experts. I am indebted to them for the creative, collegial and collaborative culture they have created.”

Professor Sarah Speight, PVC for Education and Student Experience, University of Nottingham
Professor Sarah Speight, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education and Student Experience at the university said: “The National Teaching Fellowship is a prestigious award, and I am thrilled that Cristina has been selected to receive one this year. The award criteria include individual excellence, supporting excellence in others, and commitment to continuous development of professional practice. Cristina demonstrates this through her institution-wide work as one of our Digital Learning Directors, and also through her many years of teaching and curriculum leadership in the School of Pharmacy. She is an inspirational colleague, fully deserving of this national recognition.”

The HELM team, School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham
Meanwhile, the University’s HELM (Health E-Learning and Media) team in the School of Health Sciences, has been awarded a Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE). The award recognises and rewards the role of teamwork in enhancing teaching and learning through collaborative approaches in higher education.

The HELM team provides expertise and support in the development, design, evaluation and research of technological and media-based educational materials and interventions in health. Using co-design approaches HELM produces state of the art digital resources for healthcare education and practice. Helm is a unique team comprising academics and learning technologists who work closely together, led by Dr Cherry Poussa as team manager.

Dr Cherry Poussa and Professor Heather Wharrad, HELM team leaders.
Heather Wharrad, Professor of E-learning and Health Informatics said: “This is a terrific accolade for the HELM team as collaboration is at the heart of everything we do. The award recognises our work in delivering high quality digital learning to our own students, and to others across the world. Our digital learning resources co-created by healthcare workers and patient groups are having a real impact on health and wellbeing in local and global communities whilst also benefiting our students”.

Congratulating the team on its success, Professor Speight said: “HELM have been impacting health education and healthcare practice for many years through their development of multimedia learning resources. Their reach is global, and their model of co-creation means that they construct partnerships of academics, educational developers and learning technologists, students, healthcare workers, service users and carers. They do great work, and it is great to see this acknowledged by Advance HE.”

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