Jennie is an award-winning lecturer, having gained four awards whilst at Bournemouth University for making an outstanding contribution to student learning with online seminar delivery, online lectures via video and MP3, interactive discussion boards and research support. In 2013, Jennie’s Consumer Behaviour module was awarded Silver Module of the Year by the UCSU (2013) and she was shortlisted for Lecturer of the Year in 2016, and was awarded UCSU Lecturer of the Year in 2017.
I gained SFHEA in January 2017, after putting off my submission for at least 2 years. I attended one of the HEA writing workshops and found I wasn’t alone in this lack of focus, or fear of submission– many of the attendees had had ‘submit SFHEA paperwork’ on their annual appraisals for 2 or 3 years, sometimes longer.
Refreshed and inspired by the workshop, I put my head down and submitted my application; a reflective account of my journey into and through HE since 1999. The experience was challenging but also cathartic. Too often we focus on the journey to where we think we’re going and don’t take time to stop and reflect, despite encouraging our students to do that in their careers!!
In 2010, I had taken voluntary redundancy from another HE institution and at that time sought some career advice from a specialist in portfolio careers. She had advised me to keep a folder of ego-inflating collateral, or character affirmations as she referred to them. Emails from ex colleagues, thank you cards from students (and sometimes parents), revisiting my certificate for swimming 50m (without armbands) and my Knitting badge from Brownies, were all affirmations that helped me appreciate the small steps towards the bigger destination; Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.
My passion is technology enhanced learning. Writing the SFHEA submission made me reflect on whether I use technology for the sake of it, or whether it offers measurable benefit in my teaching. Reading through the comments within the affirmations file, it was clear that it is valued by students, colleagues and the wider community.
My use of the flipped classroom to engage students with the concepts of search engine marketing, video feedback for students returning to academia from placement, micro lectures, pencasts, videoed dissertation tutorials, offering choice for assessments, setting vlogs as a form of assessment, liaising with industry to provide real time projects for students to work on, etc., etc. all contribute to outstanding DHLE stats and an NSS satisfaction score for the Marketing degree that puts it in the top 25%.
Researching the material for my SFHEA submission, however, reinforced to me the importance of a network of colleagues, current students, alumni and associates. The concept of a pencast was worked on after a chance conversation with a friend who lectures at a London college; the flipped classroom experiment (now a core part of the Digital Campaign Planning module) was the result of an over coffee chat with a colleague whose daughter was at a Scottish university where the practice was used. The idea for video feedback germinated from a conference on video in HE, micro lectures from a passing comment by a student about bite size theory.
So…what the SFHEA application process meant for me was to highlight the need to stop regularly and reflect, make time to chat to colleagues, associates, students and others, to share ideas and tips, to facilitate the process of innovation. I have presented my research on video marking at an international conference, the Westminster Forum and my institution’s L & T conference, in the expectation that it will inspire someone else to give it a go.
Every alternate Wednesday afternoon, our department meet to share best practice in learning and teaching. I take my laptop to the coffee shop in the library and encourage students to drop by and share their ideas on the student experience and how it can be improved. I could go on, but I think I’ll stop, reflect and go chat to a few people…
To find out more about HEA Fellowship please click here.