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2020 National Teaching Fellows announced

Emma Mayhew and Vicki Holmes

We are very pleased to announce that Professor Emma Mayhew and Vicki Holmes (Centre for Quality Support and Development) have been awarded National Teaching Fellowships by Advance HE. The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme raises the profile of teaching and learning at a national level, recognising and celebrating individuals who make an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession.

National Teaching Fellows play an ongoing role in enhancing teaching and learning within their institution, the higher education sector and further afield.

Transforming and embedding Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)

Vicki Holmes, Head of Technology Enhanced Learning in the Centre for Quality Support and Development has proactively shaped this role to see Reading become a centre of excellence in its use of technology in learning and teaching.

Over six years, Vicki and her team have developed new and innovative ways of using technology to encourage interactivity between students and their lecturers and tutors.

In her role, Vicki has enhanced our Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), as well as helping to improve the accessibility and inclusivity of our students' learning experiences by supporting different needs and preferences. She has also identified opportunities for MOOCs to support our current students, with more than 7,000 new undergraduate students benefitting from our ‘Study Smart' MOOC since its launch,  helping them prepare for the transition to university-level study.

On hearing about the award, Vicki said:

"I'm delighted to have received a National Teaching Fellowship for my role in helping to embed technology into a better experience for students here at Reading.

"The student experience is at the heart of this work, and I'm especially pleased to know that the work that has gone into improving the tech experience for students is being recognised. As well as winning awards, hearing the first-hand accounts of students about our new systems is incredibly rewarding.

"I recognise that raising excellence institution-wide is not a solo effort - I need excellent teams to help me.  My ethos in shaping my teams is driven by my belief that their impact is far greater when they act as partners rather than service providers, and I want to thank my wonderful team for all their efforts in the work that we've achieved."

Empowering, engaging and enhancing learning and self-reflection through assessment transformation

Our students are now able to enjoy a much-improved system for getting feedback on assessments following the work by Professor Emma Mayhew. Emma's work has shown that data, personalisation and support in assessment can lead to increased student satisfaction and engagement.

Through the work co-led by Emma and a team working on the Electronic Management of Assessment (EMA) project, more than 16,000 students now benefit from a single online portal for submitting and receiving marks on their course assessments.

The work undertaken by the EMA Programme has been recognised through a number of awards including the 2019 international Blackboard Catalyst Award for Optimising the Student Experience and being shortlisted for best Transformational Project by the E-assessment Association in 2019 and 2020.

As well as leading the EMA project, Emma also works in a consultancy role with Advance HE, co-designing and delivering the flagship national Academic Leadership Programme.

Emma, who is now an Associate Dean for Education at the University of Surrey, said:

"I was genuinely shocked to read the message from Advance HE confirming that I was one of winning applicants. The competition is so strong and the number of applicants is so large! But as well as being a surprise, it's also a real privilege to be one of the newest members of such a high-profile group of colleagues recognised for their outstanding impact on teaching and learning.

"I'll always be enormously grateful for the many opportunities I have been offered at the University and wonderful colleagues who have supported me on this journey."

Find out more about the University of Reading's award-winning Technology-Enhanced Learning environment on this page.

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