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University of York scientist awarded National Teaching Fellowship

Posted on 27 June 2013

A University of York scientist has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship for excellence in higher education teaching and support for learning.

Professor David Smith from the University of York’s Department of Chemistry is one of 55 higher education staff from institutions in England, Northern Ireland and Wales to receive the award from the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Each will receive £10,000 to support their professional development in teaching and learning.

The successful National Teaching Fellows were chosen from over 180 nominations.

Students say the videos help them review lectures and are helpful as revision aids and this was reflected in improved tutorial and exam performance

Professor David Smith

Professor Smith has developed innovative approaches to encourage students to engage with science. He uses a You Tube channel to explain the ways chemistry impacts on our everyday lives. Topics include the chemical properties of curry, champagne and antibiotics, backed by detailed tutorial videos. He also encourages students to produce videos as part of a new course teaching polymer chemistry. Under his guidance, students have tackled topics as diverse as the use of polymers in ski equipment and the value of recycling plastic.

Professor Smith said: “My You Tube channel now has a local, national and even global impact with well over 300,000 video views. The students’ videos have also been viewed thousands of times helping to transform my students from the educated to active learners and global educators in their own right.

“Students say the videos help them review lectures and are helpful as revision aids and this was reflected in improved tutorial and exam performance.”

Professor Smith will use the award to further develop his use of new media for student learning and to support students with filming, presentation and communication skills.

Professor Craig Mahoney, Chief Executive of the HEA said: “Becoming a National Teaching Fellow is a great honour and will undoubtedly lead to many new and exciting challenges, but I believe that it is students who will benefit most from these awards. Our students deserve the best possible learning experience and it is colleagues like those we celebrate today who can make a real difference to their futures.”

Successful nominees had to show evidence of individual excellence, raising the profile of excellence and developing excellence. This year’s fellows include academics from a diverse range of subjects from Chemical Engineering and Biosciences to Nursing, Theatre Performance and Psychology. 

Notes to editors:

Contact details

Sheila Perry
Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322029

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