Leeds academic wins top prize as Most Innovative Teacher

Dr James Pickering has been named Most Innovative Teacher of the Year at this year’s Times Higher Education Awards.

Dr James Pickering wins Learning Technologist of the Year award

Dr Pickering, a Lecturer in Anatomy in the School of Medicine, faced competition from five other finalists, including academics from Queen Mary University London, Roehampton, Stirling, King’s College London and Salford.  

The award, which is sponsored by The Higher Education Academy, recognised how his imagination and passion could transform a course and inspire his students.  

Dr Pickering’s use of technology to support his academic teaching both at Leeds and around the globe was a major factor in his success.  

He said: “I am delighted to have won this prestigious national award in recognition for my use of technology in supporting student education. 

“I have always had a passion for education and constantly strive to use technology to support my teaching. Whether it is YouTube, eBooks, iTunesU or MOOCs, students not only here at the University of Leeds but from around the world can now access learning resources to support their education.” 

Dr Pickering was the lead educator on one of the University’s first free online courses or MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) Exploring Anatomy - The Human Abdomen. The course, which integrated anatomy theory with practical research and clinical scenarios, saw more than 8,000 people sign-up and was very well received, with 99% of participants reporting that Dr Pickering was an engaging educator.  The three-week course runs again next year from 6 April 2015. 

Professor Trudie Roberts, Director of the Institute of Medical Education said: “This is a fantastic achievement for James and highlights the commitment and passion he holds for teaching.  

“His hard work and determination to constantly enhance learning by using alternative teaching methods, including the use of digital platforms, gives our students an engaging and innovative learning experience.” 

The Recognising and Responding to Acute Patient Illness & Deterioration (RRAPID) programme, developed at the University’s Institute of Medical Education, was also shortlisted for the Outstanding ICT Initiative of the Year award.

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