A LECTURER from the University of Chester has been nominated for a top higher education award.
Dr Neil Pickles, who is a senior lecturer in the biological sciences department, has been shortlisted in the most innovative teacher of the year category in the Times Higher Education Awards (THE Awards).
Dr Pickles encourages the use of mobile phones in his lectures rather than discourages them and incorporates social media and other forms of new technology into his lectures.
His Twitter feed provides links to science news and papers from taught sessions, while he also uses YouTube videos and props to demonstrate different scientific processes.
Dr Pickles said: “I am thrilled to be shortlisted for a THE Award. I try to make difficult topics accessible and use a variety of approaches to break down academic barriers and promote learning beyond the traditional classroom settings.
“Aside from innovation, showing enthusiasm and passion when teaching remain the most important factors.”
The university has also been shortlisted for an award in the Entrepreneurial University of the Year category after the institution adopted a number of initiatives to help nurture entrepreneurship and develop enterprise in the region. These include the new Riverside Innovation Centre, the acquisition of the former Shell site at Thornton for a new faculty of engineering and engagement with colleges to raise through extra-curricular activities.
Dr Chris Haslam, pro vice-chancellor of corporate development and the student experience, said: “As an institution, we are extremely active in exploring how the highly regarded work of staff and students can bring benefits to not only the business and commercial sectors but also how its activities can contribute to helping the communities of the region and beyond.
“Our shortlisting for this award is fantastic recognition for all the hard work that is being done by our staff and students to make us a nationally and internationally recognised university.”
Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in London on November 28.