We are delighted to announce that Dr Clare Trinder, School of Biological Sciences has been selected as the 2013/14 College of Life Sciences and Medicine Winner of the Award for Excellence in Teaching.
The University has many great lecturers, and Clare was one of six staff across the College nominated.
After careful consideration the College Directors of Teaching and Learning, alongside an AUSA representative selected Clare as the CLSM winner for her well-prepared, passionate and enthusiastic teaching.
Students said that Dr Trinder's “enthusiasm is infective” and “that by the end of the semester a large number of the students on the course had been touched by its content”.
We asked Clare what this meant to her
You won the Award for CLSM this year, what are your thoughts on it?
I was really surprised and very flattered to have been nominated by the students for this Award. The course team involved with teaching Community Ecology has worked very hard over the last few years to make this course as engaging as possible but also to start challenging our second year students with more demanding ideas and approaches. Our second year classes are often very big so it can be harder to escape from the traditional lecturing approach to teaching. It's particularly pleasing to be recognised for the work that has gone into this course – a number of colleagues should share the credit for this.
Why do you think that you won this year?
Over the last 18 months I've been studying for a Post Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education through the University's Centre for Academic Development. I've become much more aware of different approaches to teaching and some of the technology that's now available. I'm really keen to try out new ideas and find out what sorts of interventions work for different students; I just hope the students don't feel too much like they have been my guinea pigs. I never feel fully satisfied with the materials and approaches I've developed, so I'm always looking for ways to build on and improve what I've done, led in part by the feedback that we get from students.
Do you think it will have an impact on your teaching in the future?
I would carry on trying to improve my teaching and make my courses more engaging whether I had won the award or not but it certainly helps to know that my efforts so far have been appreciated. I'm certainly encouraged to keep exploring the system and looking for different approaches to teaching and ways of presenting materials that work for different students.
The main aim of the award is to recognise, encourage and reward individuals who have undertaken the development of the highest quality teaching, leading to particularly effective learning for their students.
The award covers any sort of course teaching from conventional lectures to special seminars and field courses and includes courses in both half sessions.
Professor Liz Baggs, Head of School of Biological Sciences said; Clare is an excellent teacher and I am delighted to see her passion and enthusiasm for teaching recognised and celebrated in this way. Clare inspires and motivates our students and is generous with her time and support, which is essential in helping our students achieve their potential and in providing an outstanding and enjoyable learning experience.
Professor Greaves added that it is essential that we recognise and support all of our excellent, inspirational teachers such as Clare in order to provide an outstanding student experience at the University of Aberdeen.
Clare will be presented with the Award at a Graduation Ceremony this July.
The College received nominations from four Schools and the College would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all our nominees.
Dr Derek Scott - School of Medical Sciences. Nominated for his “tireless determination to help students” and going “above and beyond” in supporting students with their studies
Mrs Joyce Drummie - School of Medicine and Dentistry. Nominated for her “amazing effort and excellent teaching style.”
Dr Lynden Miles - School of Psychology. Nominated for being an academic “passionate about his field”, and creating an “everlasting impression on the minds of his students”.
Dr Daniel Macqueen - School of Biological Sciences. Nominated for his enthusiastic teaching approach and being “engaging, fun and prompt in returning marks along with giving great feedback”.
Dr Emily Nordmann - School of Psychology. Nominated for her “infectious enthusiasm”. Students said that she delivers engaging and enjoyable lectures and tutorials, and appreciate her efforts for utilising Social Media in teaching.
All the nominees and winners from all three Colleges have also been invited to a Tea Party with the Principal later in the summer to celebrate their achievement.