Swansea NTFS

National Teaching Fellowship

The Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship scheme is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland, and is open to staff whose roles support the student learning experience at institutions in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

For more information on the Academy visit: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk

Our previous National Teaching Fellows

National Teaching Fellow 2014 – Professor Derek Connon

Professor Derek Connon

Derek started at Swansea in 1989, and has taught on a range of modules devoted to French literature and culture, from the 17th to the 20th centuries in all literary genres, but with particular emphasis on his specialism in drama. Derek has taught classes on the French language, with a particular interest in translation, and has contributed to the development of translation studies more broadly. He has also contributed lectures on cinema, music and art. After serving for a number of years as the French Editor, Derek is the General Editor of the Modern Language Review, and is also a trustee of the Modern Humanities Research Association.

Derek being presented with his award

Derek has instituted numerous improvements to teaching practices and methodology, both through his individual contribution and in the examples he sets for others. His teaching embraces a vocational ethos which stresses professional requirements and ways of working. Though primarily designed for intending translators, these modules have proved enduringly popular with undergraduates more generally because of the real-world challenges they pose, and the self-assurance that students acquire in their linguistic skills and decision-making abilities. Derek has also been inventive in finding new ways of passing on to students his enthusiasm and breadth of research-based knowledge about French culture; he combines music, art, film, philosophy and literary analysis in interactive classes which leave students feeling intellectually empowered.

Derek has been a key driver of pedagogic enhancement at Swansea University, both within his own area of Modern Languages and across the institution as a whole. He is a long-standing member of the University’s Learning and Teaching Committee, and its Regulations, Quality and Standards Committee, and is a member of the University’s Senate and Court. Derek is the University’s Dean of Undergraduate Students, and Chairs both the Academic Board (Undergraduate) and the Undergraduate Student Cases Committee. Significantly, Derek has used his role as Dean to support the enhancement of the student learning experience for all undergraduate students, highlighting and sharing best practice, and in ensuring consistency and promoting continual improvement across the institution.

National Teaching Fellow 2012 – Professor Jane Thomas

Professor Jane Thomas

Jane Thomas (Director of SALT and Health Science Lecturer) has fought off tough competition to win a prestigious Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship.

The National Teaching Fellowships are awarded for excellence in higher education teaching and learner support and are highly competitive. Jane was selected from over 180 nominations from across Wales, England and Northern Ireland.

Jane is a qualified nurse, midwife and health visitor with a range of professional service experience prior to her entry to teaching. Her teaching career spans over 25 years, from joining the School of Health as a community care lecturer she has held roles including practice teaching in the National Health Service, practice management for adult nursing, and Director of Quality. In that role she oversaw assessment, admissions and placements and chaired the learning and teaching, curriculum quality and admissions committees. In her current senior role Jane manages the learning and teaching remit, including both staff and programmes.

Jane is engaged with the institutional agenda from a number of perspectives, enabling her to share and benefit from best practice. She is committed to pedagogical practice from strategy to delivery, developing students and teachers to their full potential. She sustains a postgraduate teaching load, enabling her to stay close to the student experience as a practitioner, as well as managing a range of programmes. Her managerial role includes directing academic strategy in the College of Human and Health Sciences within Swansea University.

Jane is also currently the Superintendent of Assessment for Swansea University, overseeing cases of unfair practice from departmental and college level to university panels of investigation. She has recently led a successful bid to secure external funding for the development of an electronic resource to promote academic integrity in the student population. She leads the unfair practice working group, taking the academic integrity agenda forward institutionally.

With an academic background in public health, Jane is a public health assessor with the United Kingdom Public Health Register (UKPHR). She leads a postgraduate programme in public health and provides bespoke education to the sector. She has used placement learning at postgraduate level for many years and has a keen interest in employability based assessment.

Jane describes herself as having enjoyed “a colourful and challenging career working across the academic range, with gifted teachers, innovative assessors and students who both inspire and engage.” Jane firmly believes that lifelong learning is not just for students. She describes the NTFS Award as an absolute honour as the recognition and esteem of peers in higher education. The Award will enable me to make some innovative and creative developments which will not only benefit me, but my colleagues and my institution”. Her plans currently include developing a resource to support teacher development and exploring alternative assessment styles.

Professor Alan Speight, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) said: “Our congratulations go to Jane for this excellent achievement and national recognition for her outstanding contribution to learning and teaching not only within the University but also in the wider community.”

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