HEA congratulates Dr Russell Crawford, the Times Higher Education’s ‘Most Innovative Teacher of the Year’ 2017

Friday, 1 December, 2017

Dr Russell Crawford, who holds a dual staff-student facing role at Keele University, has won The Times Higher Education “Most Innovative Teacher of the Year” award, the category sponsored by the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Russell is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the School of Medicine and also an Academic Staff Developer in the Learning and Professional Development Centre. Through both roles, he is able to showcase his commitment to high-quality inclusive learning and teaching in a number of innovative ways using lecture, problem-based, laboratory and small group expertise refined by more than a decade of reflective practice.

The award judges were told that Russell: “has an excellent lecturing style that is engaging and witty throughout. He explains his subjects in a way that not only enables struggling students to understand but also keeps attention to those more able.”

Another student commented that Russell’s lectures are “consistently engaging and informative…his use of humour, wit and knowledge always make me look forward to his lectures and he never disappoints.”

Speaking at the ceremony last night at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, Russell, who is a Senior Fellow of the HEA, said: “What a fantastic honour this is.  To have this award recognise the most personal and creative aspects of my work means so much, and fires the imagination to look forward to what else is possible."

Dr Mark Jones, COO of the Higher Education Academy, commented: “In a strong field of exceptionally inspiring teachers, Russell Crawford stood out for his innovation across a range of teaching styles, his strategies for self-directed student learning and his work on the gamification of learning, which provided tangible evidence of learning gain.”

He added: “Innovative teaching like Russell’s is a true inspiration. It is teaching like this, undertaken by committed staff, day in, day out, that really enhances the student academic experience. Congratulations to Russell and all the award finalists.”

Professor Trevor McMillan, Vice-Chancellor of Keele University commented: “We're exceptionally proud of Russell - through his innovative teaching methods he is ensuring that all his students are receiving an outstanding academic experience, and winning 'Most Innovative Teacher of the Year' is well-deserved. We really pride ourselves on the quality of our teaching at Keele, and we are extremely proud of Russell’s ever-growing list of achievements in this area.”

Shortlisted alongside Russell Crawford were four exceptional candidates:

  • Georgina Blakeley, The Open University
  • Scott Border, University of Southampton
  • Nicci Campbell, University of Southampton
  • James Wilson, University of Southampton