National Teaching Fellow 2012
During Claire Hamshire’s nine years at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), she has pioneered many innovative approaches to learning and teaching but is best known for her work on student retention and technology-enhanced learning.
Central to Claire’s teaching is the goal of engaging and motivating students. She works in partnership with students and their feedback and perspectives are central to her research. The Student Union Membership Officer said:
“Claire works with MMUnion to make learning deep and exciting and to bridge the gaps that exist between diverse student groups.”
‘Easystart’ is an example of Claire's retention research being transmitted into effective practice. This HEA-funded project, which provided pre-entry access to videos and resources, was followed by social opportunities and learning support throughout its first year. This eased students’ transitions, supporting both academic and social integration. One student commented: ‘Your idea was really good, it really helped so you weren’t as wary coming here’.
Building on the findings of ‘easystart’, in 2010 Claire led a project for NHS North of England to investigate student attrition from health-care programmes. ‘Staying the Course’ explored the reasons why students leave and developed strategies to help reduce attrition. Subsequently Claire used the student narratives from this project to develop a board game. The game provides a fun environment for students to learn about university services and prompts discussion of common concerns. One student commented, ‘This is great, I am a second-year and I didn’t know half this stuff!’
Claire has mentoring and leadership roles institutionally and nationally that help colleagues to develop their own teaching. She mentors staff as a tutor on the institutional Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice and is a member of the North West Health Sector e-learning partnership board.
Most recently Claire has introduced iPads to faculty teaching to support a diverse range of pedagogic enhancements, from one-to-one supervision to large group lectures. Students have enthusiastically engaged, and one colleague said ‘using the iPads has transformed my teaching’.
Senior Learning and Teaching Fellow, Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care
Manchester Metropolitan University