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Lecturer scoops Innovation award

11 May 2018

Dr Craig Gurney sits in a lecture theatre holding his award
Dr Craig Gurney with his award

Dr Craig Gurney has won the 2018 Enriching Student Life Award (The ESLAs) for Most Innovative Member of Staff.

Dr Gurney, who teaches part-time in the School of Geography and Planning and with Cardiff University’s Continuing and Professional Education, was nominated by MSc student Willow Leonard-Clarke.

Willow’s written nomination stated that Dr Gurney’s teaching was truly innovative and made use of a range of technology to support teaching aims, and how “Craig did an incredible job of identifying in the social sciences where there are ambiguities and contradictions and making clear the distinctions and nuances of terms and ideas, this was invaluable to helping me engage with academic literature generally and to improve my writing”.

The nomination also addressed the flexibility and responsiveness of the teaching with Willow drawing attention to how Dr Gurney adapted his teaching to “our needs and our feedback, including changing the room we were in”. Willow concluded by the nomination making clear that she had nominated Dr Gurney to “say thanks for the immense amount of work that obviously went into every aspect of his module to give us all the best learning experience we could have.”

Dr Gurney received his award at a dinner and ceremony held in the Great Hall of the Student’s Union on Thursday 3 May 2018. Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Karen Holford, presided over the evening.

Responding to his win, Dr Gurney said: "Like many other colleagues in the School of Geography and Planning, I was really pleased to be nominated for an award.

“I am of course delighted to have won and was humbled by the thoughtful and articulate nomination submitted by Willow Leonard-Clarke which highlighted how engaging and effective she had found my use of the technology now available in many of our teaching rooms. Using lecture capture, data visualisers, roaming microphones and audience participation apps such as helped engagement with the lecture material and facilitated debate and discussion."

“The Foundations of Social Science Research module on the MSc Social Science Research Methods programme is taught to students across the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and uses case studies from a variety of different disciplines to demonstrate the consequences of adopting contrasting epistemological perspectives. It’s great to know this cohort – a sophisticated and critically engaged audience – appreciated my efforts."

The ESLAs are run by Cardiff University’s Student’s Union and designed to recognise and celebrate the role academic staff and student representatives play in creating a supportive and vibrant student experience at Cardiff University.

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