‘Most Innovative Teacher’ nomination for inspirational Keele academic

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Posted on 07 September 2017

Keele University’s Dr Russell Crawford has been shortlisted in the prestigious ‘Most Innovative Teacher of the Year’ category at the national Times Higher Education Awards 2017.

Dr Crawford, who holds a unique, dual staff-student facing role at Keele, is one of only six academics in the country to be nominated for the respected award.

Dr Crawford is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the School of Medicine, and also an Academic Staff Developer in the Learning and Professional Development Centre. Through these synergistic roles, he is able to bring his commitment to high-quality inclusive learning and teaching to bear in a number of innovative, impactful ways, refined by more than a decade of reflective practice.

Speaking about his nomination, Dr Crawford said:

“Innovation in teaching and high-quality learning are two sides of the same coin at Keele. It is a fantastic feeling to be recognised in such a prestigious way as an innovative teacher and a real joy that this recognition stems from the most fun and deeply personal aspects of my teaching practice.”

Professor Trevor McMillan, Vice-Chancellor of Keele University commented:

“We really pride ourselves on the quality of our teaching at Keele, and we are extremely proud of Russell’s ever-growing list of achievements in this area. In 2014 he won the prestigious Keele Excellence in Teaching Award, with students citing the impact his practice had on transforming their learning. Russell’s sustained excellence in teaching has resulted in eight years of recurrent teaching excellence nominations, two nominations for the Keele student-led teaching awards (2015 and 2017) and he has twice been runner-up for Professional of the Year and New Academic Tutor in the Keele widening participation awards (2016 and 2017).”

One of Dr Crawford’s students, who provided feedback for the award submission, said: “Russell goes out of his way to make our lectures interesting and fun. In addition he is genuinely happy to take the time to meet students on an individual basis outside of class,

something he has done for me when I couldn’t attend a lecture and didn’t understand everything when going over it in my own time. On top of all of this he is one of the nicest staff members one could meet; saying hello and having a chat with students he sees around campus.”

These are the 13th annual Times Higher Education Awards. Known as the ‘Oscars of higher education’, the winners will be announced at a gala ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London on Thursday 30 November 2017

Times Higher Education editor John Gill said: "Once again these awards have attracted hundreds of entries from the length and breadth of the nation, and from institutions of every hue. All those shortlisted can be immensely proud to have made it through this first phase, and we at Times Higher Education look forward to honouring the winners for their talent, creativity and commitment at a time for the academy when these qualities are increasingly essential."