Teaching in HE during Challenging Times – Swansea University’s 600th Fellow!

Dan Forman photograph

Introduce yourself – who are you?

My name is Dan Forman and I have taught in the Department of Biosciences for over 20 years.

Why did gaining Senior Fellowship recognition matter to you?  Why apply?

If I am honest, gaining recognition as a SFHEA greatly assisted raising my own confidence; I was able to take a step back and see more clearly, and objectively, how I had developed over my career, and recognise the positive impact that it has had for students and colleagues.  It was also useful for my future plans for career development / promotion application.

I would strongly encourage anyone to apply; it is hard work (!) but a great way of celebrating your individual achievements in HE through peer reviewed recognition.

 

How have you continued to apply the standards of the UKPSF in your work since gaining that recognition during the Covid-19 pandemic?

I have tried to embrace online teaching and learning and have successfully run workshops and presentations for the University and externally to help support and provide training for colleagues and peers in teaching and learning. I have just co-led a workshop at an international ecology conference where we identified the lessons learnt and best practise in teaching and learning that has arisen during the Covid pandemic. I have been working with colleagues to increase awareness of equality and inclusivity in teaching and learning and recently hosted a SAILs webinar for staff on Reasonable Adjustment.

 

What top tips would you offer to someone delivering blended teaching in HE?

One of the great things about using online approaches to learning is that there is no limit to what you can provide for students to engage with. Don’t over complicate things, however, and provide too much to read, watch, review, etc as this may overload your students.

Plan in-person sessions well in advance and ensure that you have considered a suitable way of capturing / replicating any teaching sessions for those students that may not be able to attend. Communicate clearly with your students as to the purpose, importance and value of these in person activities to the learning experience.

Try to avoid too many pre-recorded lectures, students generally do enjoy live lecture sessions with staff.

Don’t be afraid to ask others for suggestions and ideas as to how best to deliver and assess modules using blended learning and use the support from SALT and SAILs!

 

For someone not sure about applying for HEA Senior Fellowship recognition what words of encouragement could you offer?

You can do it and you are not alone!

 

What top tips would you offer to someone preparing a HEA Senior Fellowship application?

Read through some past examples to gain an idea of the approach to take but recognise that everyone’s journey in teaching is different.

Don’t forget that leading and supporting work in the areas of student inclusivity, support and welfare as appropriate as evidence and case studies for SFHEA.

Seek support from a mentor as soon as possible, it is important to gain insight from someone who has been through the experience.

Create a folder / document to collect and store evidence in as you are working through your drafts. If you are not sure if you have the appropriate evidence speak with your tutor and peers to seek support and advice as soon as possible.

Set a realistic amount of time aside for writing your draft application as it will take longer than you think!

 

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