National Teaching Fellow 2012
Dr Ayona Silva-Fletcher first qualified as a veterinarian, followed by a PhD in Animal Nutrition at Aberdeen University and 25 years later an MA in Medical Education.
She spent several years working in a wide variety of academic and research environments in the UK, Europe, and Sri Lanka, and international projects involving Denmark, Sweden, Thailand, Bangladesh, South Africa and US. It is this exposure to different disciplines, academic environments and cultural differences that has shaped her outlook on academic outreach for both students and fellow colleagues.
During her time at the RVC, Ayona has had a major impact on the postgraduate distance learning programme, which is now a reinvigorated and successful high quality educational programme. She placed greater emphasis on student experience and motivation for those studying from a distance. The introduction of the virtual learning environment, with access to the RVC intranet and online library so that the distance students are included in the wider RVC community, is one of the major changes that she achieved. The diligent management of student feedback, and a tutor training programme to ensure that the feedback is appropriate and valuable to a veterinarian studying from a remote hill farm either in Australia or Africa, was one of her accomplishments.
Ayona is one of the rare individuals in universities that have been referred to as ‘a boundary transgressor’. She has considerable experience of all matters relating to education, both in terms of curriculum design and delivery, and quality assurance processes, from, as a veterinarian, a discipline focus as well as a more generic educational perspective.
She is committed to exploring the scholarship of teaching and learning and to persuade and support her colleagues to do the same. The development of the postgraduate programme in Veterinary Education is a result of this dedication. Through the development of an HEA-accredited postgraduate certificate she has offered discipline-specific training for the veterinary and para-veterinary sector educators and has recently widened access to veterinary educators globally by offering the programme by distance learning.
Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Education, LIVE centre
Royal Veterinary College