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Most Innovative Teacher of the Year

Posted on 6 September 2018

Dr Glenn Hurst has been shortlisted for the Times Higher Education (THE) ‘Most Innovative Teacher of the Year’ award based on his work using social media in new ways to enhance student engagement, understanding and communication.

By making use of various social media platforms, Dr Glenn Hurst has enabled students to contextualise chemistry taught in class to everyday life and demonstrate key lab skills. This approach also provides an outlet for students to enhance their communication skills and acts as an additional mechanism for Glenn to share feedback. Glenn also uses social media interfaces to complement mobile applications developed in York for game-based learning.

By working as part of our internationally leading Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, Glenn gives students a birds-eye view of research being conducted at York. For example, Glenn shared his research into designing green chemistry experiments for the teaching lab while in the Amazon rainforest – research that students then later completed as part of their own undergraduate studies. 

In 2017, Glenn was recognised as one of the top 10 UK social media superstars by Jisc (formerly the Joint Information Systems Committee) in a competition celebrating excellent social media work in higher education.

Earlier this year, Glenn published a paper in the leading Journal of Chemical Education, outlining some of the ways he uses Snapchat with students. The THE Awards 2018 will take place in London on the 29 November, when the award winners will be announced.

Reflecting on his nomination, Glenn said:

I am delighted to have been shortlisted for such a special award. I would like to dedicate this to the marvellous students at York together with my inspirational and supportive colleagues. It is a great privilege to work with so many talented students and to see them reach their potential.’

Professor Duncan Bruce, Head of Department, said:

‘It is wonderful to see Glenn shortlisted for this award. Here in the Department we pride ourselves in providing a top-quality teaching and learning environment – the dedication and innovation of our talented academic staff, as exemplified by Glenn, is crucial in allowing us to achieve this.’

The Times Higher Education Awards are widely recognised as the Oscars of the higher education sector, attracting hundreds of entries that exemplify the talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life.