National Teaching Fellow 2008
Head of the Centre for Learning, Teaching & Assessment at Glyndwr University, and previously head of the Learning Development Unit, Academic Services at Keele University, Stephen Bostock’s teaching philosophy is that “fun helps deep learning” and for the last ten years he has concentrated on staff and educational development, passing on his wide teaching experience, and sense of fun, to others.
Throughout his career Stephen has researched the uses of computers for learning, although his interest in e-learning has never been about the technology itself, but how the technology could provide new opportunities for students to engage with their subject, with other students and with teachers.
For example, Stephen was one of the first to recognise the educational benefits of using the internet to support and enhance active learning for students on and off campus, teaching web-based and IT postgraduate courses in Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Mauritius.
He is equally enthusiastic about technology in the classroom, especially in the use of electronic voting handsets, more commonly called clickers. These devices can be expensive and inconvenient so Stephen invented a way for teachers to interact with large numbers of students in lectures using paper. CommuniCubes are printed on card and fold into a cube to support similar interactivity in lectures to clickers for a fraction of the cost, making them affordable for all universities.
Feedback from his students regarding CommuniCubes is encouraging, with comments such as “they make the lectures more interesting” and “a more fun way of learning”, underlining Stephen’s philosophy that fun helps deep learning.
Stephen was previously Director of Short Courses at Keele, helping academics to provide professional courses to local businesses and also teaching short courses in IT himself. He then ran an IT unit providing short and postgraduate courses for disadvantaged adults. He has also taught adult education classes for almost 30 years.
Since 2000 – 01 Stephen has led the postgraduate course “Teaching and Learning with Technology” and in 2007 he published the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) paper “e-Teaching: engaging students through learning technology”.