I teach in the areas of molecular biology and genetics with a focus on how gene expression is controlled. I am enthusiastic about developing diverse teaching and learning strategies and particularly the use of problem solving and data analysis exercises throughout our degree programmes.
My teaching involves not only lectures but problem-based workshops, practicals and tutorials. In lectures, I like to first focus on key concepts before moving on to examine data from research articles to add depth and encourage critical thinking. I supplement my lecture teaching with formative assessments and suggestions for extra reading. I also use flipped-teaching approaches to provide independent learning opportunities. Problem-based workshops allow students to test their understanding, use critical thinking and interact with their peers and staff in an informal atmosphere. I use questions that not only test understanding of core concepts but also extend knowledge. By combining lectures with other activities, I aim to provide diverse learning opportunities for students.
My tutorial topics vary but are usually based around ‘Eukaryotic Gene Expression’ or ‘Genetics & Society’. The aim is to provide opportunities for students to follow their own interests whilst developing writing, presenting, researching and problem-solving skills. There is an emphasis on engaging with primary literature and peer support.
As Chair of the Biology Board of Examiners I have oversight of our assessment processes at all stages. Over recent years, we have increased the diversity of our assessments, moved away from using predominantly closed exams and improved our feedback mechanisms. This has enhanced the experience for both students and staff and allowed our assessment formats to better align with our research-led teaching approaches.