I enjoyed the opportunity for retrospective reflection and realisation that I have made a difference during my career
…it was necessary to take time and reflect with an open mind about the impact I had made in various arenas. It was not taking things at face value, rather looking in greater depth
My name is Megan Rosser. I am a nurse by profession and have been in education for twenty years in a variety of settings. I have been teaching in the College of Human and Health Sciences for 14 years and have held director positions for the past 11 years.
Why did gaining Fellowship recognition matter to you? Why apply?
I came back into the college following a period of secondment with Hywel Dda University Health Board and wanted to immerse myself in college business and activity and applying for the SFHEA seemed to be an effective method of focusing my mind and my reflections. I had previously been aware of others in the college gaining HEA recognition but never made the time to pursue the application.
I think it is good to have that formal affirmation from HEA that the time I have spent in education has had a positive impact on others. As a keen educator as opposed to full time researcher it is imperative that my teaching has a positive impact on students and in turn on patient care.
What did you “glean” from the process of preparing an application with reference to the UK PSF?
Initially it was hard to fit my teaching into the PSF, impact was not always explicit. It took time to think outside the box and relate teaching and scholarly activities to the criteria. I guess what I gleaned was that it was necessary to take time and reflect with an open mind about the impact I had made in various arenas. It was not taking things at face value, rather looking in greater depth. It was also clear at times that being modest was not the best way to complete the application and my mentor was invaluable in helping me be more decisive in my claims and my writing.
How it has impacted the way in which you think about educating learners in the Higher Education environment?
I think it made me realise that I could potentially become a bit of a dinosaur regards teaching approaches and that really I could do an awful lot more using a variety of methods and increased use of technology.
What is the most important element of the UKPSF in your opinion – the Areas of Activity, Core Knowledge or Professional Values – or any particular one and why?
I think for me it is the professional values. I teach nursing so for me if I value the students then hopefully I make them think about how to treat others and that vital sense of valuing that I extend to them is then reflected by them valuing patients and families that they are caring for. Without mutual respect it is hard to help students move forward. I am a nurse before I am a teacher/ facilitator and it is vital that I uphold the key professional values of nursing when supporting my students. I also believe there is a degree of transferability- my duty of care which I extended to patients when I was working with them is now extended to my students- without being paternalistic.
What were good parts of the application process? What things were more challenging?
I really valued the time to sit, research and write, it is a long time since I have prepared a significant piece of work. I enjoyed the opportunity for retrospective reflection and realisation that I have made a difference during my career. It is very easy to get caught on the treadmill and being forced to take time out and think about impact was really valuable. As stated previously I was extremely lucky to have such a supportive mentor whose advice was invaluable.
The more challenging aspects were
a) fitting my activities and impact into some of the more obscure (to me) criteria and also
b) talking myself up!
c) time is likely to be a challenge for all.
How you have continued to apply the standards of the UK PSF in your work since gaining that recognition? i.e. maintaining good standing.
I only had confirmation of my successful application last week so have not had much chance to think about it. However I am committed to providing the best I can to students, particularly my personal students so will continue to strive to work to the standards commensurate with the senior fellow award.
For someone not sure about applying, what words of encouragement could you offer?
I do think it is worth applying for fellowships. It is an opportunity to document all your teaching and learning activities and is affirming. In the busy world of HE it is too easy to get caught up in day to day things and not take time to reflect upon the impact we as individuals have on our students study and lives. For the nurses thinking about it it also feeds into our professional revalidation requirements.
What top tips would you offer to someone preparing a Fellowship application – any category?
Find the time to sketch it out against UK PSF and identify and collect supporting evidence
Research for education theories
Work closely with your mentor
Attend the SALT sessions- they were really helpful.
What’s the key criterion for you about being a Senior Fellow?
I think for me, and because of my current position and previous activities, it is V1- respecting individuals and diverse learning communities- I have been involved in developing and delivering a number of programmes that facilitate non-traditional routes into professional programmes. This has resulted in many people accessing and completing a University education and becoming registered practitioners- something that they never expected to be able to do.