Teaching & Learning
Dr Kevin Coward instructing students in the laboratory. Photo copyright: Medical Sciences Division and John Cairns.
Teaching and Learning Methodology
The course is delivered by senior members of staff from the Nuffield Department of Women's & Reproductive Health.
A variety of teaching methods are employed to enhance and optimise student learning, e.g. class lectures, group tutorials, laboratory practical classes, and in-house demonstrations by visiting companies. Students also receive regular lectures from many visiting scientists and clinicians who are world experts in their field. Regular class-directed learning (CDL) sessions throughout the taught part of the course provide a means for students to consolidate their understanding of course content without formal facilitation and subsequently liaise with course teaching staff to address any issues arising. Additional problem-based learning (PBL) techniques allow the class to analyse and research a given problem/topic in small groups. Findings are subsequently presented and discussed with course teaching staff.
Our course places special emphasis on the development of practical laboratory skills, especially those that are applicable to research in the reproductive sciences, ART and the routine duties of a clinical embryologist. Our students are also given the opportunity to observe clinical procedures in the IVF laboratory for at least one day during the course, and shadow a senior clinician during patient consultations.
The course staff maintain a proactive role in the pedagogy of higher education and have close links with the Higher Education Academy, a national institution for inspiring, teaching, and transforming learning. We are firm believers in understanding how our students learn and take active steps in the design of our teaching and curriculum to provide the best possible learning experience.
Dr Kevin Coward, Course Director was awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PGDipLATHE) with Distinction by the Department of Education, University of Oxford. Kevin studied for this course part-time at the Oxford Learning Institute since September 2015. His final course portfolio focussed upon academic development of the MSc in Clinical Embryology in a series of strategic areas: student learning & development, feedback & assessment, diversity, equality, inclusivity, teaching settings and strategies, discipline-specific teaching concerns, course design and leading education change.
By gaining Distinction, Kevin also gained Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, a national institution which promotes excellence in higher education. Dr Kevin Coward was awarded Senior Fellowship of the HEA in 2017.
Mrs Celine Jones, Laboratory Manager was awarded Fellowship of the HEA in 2017.
Course staff have won a series of awards in recognition of their teaching, you can find more information on the Teaching Awards page here.