Dr Russell Crawford’s journey as a professional teacher started in 2006 when he delivered his first traditional lecture and immediately acquired the “teaching bug”. The immense personal satisfaction he derives from teaching led him to seek out a position at Keele University in 2008. As a creative person, he felt he had found a place where he could innovate and explore impactful ways to develop medical students learning.
Impact of work
During these years he co-created Keele Basic Bites (http://www.keelebasicbites.com), a video-based resource project providing open access videos which aid students negotiate their medical studies and this successful project is now internationally accessed by students to support their learning.
In 2012 he was looking for a way to further challenge himself and an opportunity arose to explore two different but synergistic half-time teaching positions. As such, he continues to explore innovative ways to aid medical student education, most recently this has led to co-creation of the popular Braincept game, which aids Pharmacology learning by contextual pedagogically-informed play.
The other half of his professional life drastically changed in 2012 when he became an Academic Developer within the Learning and Professional Development Centre. This gave him a unique “put your money where your mouth is” perspective as both a developer of colleagues and an exemplar of good teaching practice. It was here that he created The Journal of Academic Development and Education (JADE - http://jadekeele.wordpress.com), stemming from a growing appreciation of how difficult scholarship can be to engage with for teachers developing their pedagogic thinking. JADE now has a growing international readership and has a positive career impact for its many authors.
Along this journey Russell has won various accolades for teaching excellence, most notably the prestigious Time Higher Education “Most Innovative Teacher of the Year” Award in 2017, which allows him to share his practice widely.
Plans for the future
Over a decade on from giving that first lecture and his enthusiasm and motivation to teach remain the same, whilst he uses his experience to encourage all teachers to innovate and explore creative pedagogic approaches to enhance higher education learning and teaching.
Senior Teaching Fellow and Academic Developer