Dr Paul Holland demonstrating learning equipment to colleagues

Associate Professor Dr Paul Holland who is the University’s Dean of Educational Technology has been recognised for his commitment and contribution to student learning earning a Principal Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

The Principal Fellowship not only looks at student learning, but also at the positive influence being had on fellow colleagues as a strategic leader in teaching.

Dr Holland, who is also Deputy Director of Learning and Teaching at the College of Engineering, has recently led the implementation of a new innovative teaching space in the Engineering department. A019, in Engineering Central, is both a computer lab and a state-of-the-art active learning (learning by doing) studio. The computers are located on synergy tables that seat six people with a collaborative screen at the end of each table. This allows teaching sessions to be taught in the same style as in other computer labs where students work more individually while the lecturer teaches. However, the computers can also fold down inside the tables and each table instantly becomes a collaborative space where students can work in teams allowing the use of active learning approaches.

On earning his Principal Fellowship Dr Holland says “I am passionate about enabling the very best approaches to learning and teaching. In my role as Dean of Educational Technology I work with staff and students across the University to trial and deploy the latest in blended and active learning approaches.

The College of Engineering champions ‘blended learning’, which includes the use of online/e-learning technologies to complement, support and enhance traditional face to face learning methods. This includes academics creating videos using the recently developed lightboard and other online resources for students to study outside of lectures. The College is also pioneering the use of virtual reality (VR) and is one of the first HE institutes in the UK to fully embed VR into its degree programmes.

All of this adds to multiple online learning materials to create an outstanding learning experience for our students.”