Mark Fransham, Senior Research Officer and Departmental Lecturer in Quantitative Methods, said he felt ‘fortunate to teach such an interesting, committed body of students’ after being announced among winners of the Social Sciences Division Teaching Excellence Awards 2021-22.
Mark, who joined the Department of Social Policy and Intervention (DSPI) in September 2020, received the award for his impact in teaching on the MSc in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation.
The awards recognise an exceptional contribution to education at any career-stage.
Mark’s award is in recognition of his work continuing to deliver an outstanding student experience while balancing the challenges of the pandemic, and adapting the course for online and hybrid teaching.
He said: ‘I am very grateful to my colleagues and our students for supporting my nomination.
‘It is particularly pleasing, judging by the anonymous end of module student evaluations, that the course is popular with students who have little statistical background, as well as those who have a significant previous experience with statistics.
‘I am very excited to see what the students go on to do with the skills we have taught them.’
Exceptional contribution to education
The Social Sciences Division Teaching Excellence Awards recognise an exceptional contribution to education by colleagues at any career-stage. Mark’s award was in the early career strand.
His achievements since joining DSPI include redesigning the quantitative analysis module of the MSc, responding to previous student feedback and good practice guidelines, as well as the need to move to online learning during the pandemic.
Mark further developed materials for hybrid delivery in the 2021-22 academic year, with a redesign which included setting clear learning objectives, using multiple delivery methods, meeting the needs of beginner and more advanced students, and giving plenty of opportunity for feedback.
Mark added: ‘I am very pleased to say that I feel the redesign has transformed the Quantitative Methods module into one of the most popular and well-loved on our MSc - very important as a thorough understanding of quantitative methods is key to excelling in the qualification.’
A student quoted anonymously in Mark’s Award submission said his teaching quality was ‘incredible’.
‘(There were) very engaging and easy-to-follow sessions. This course was tremendously well delivered and organised’, added the student.
This calendar year, Mark has also received the 2022 SAGE Prize for Innovation and Excellence for his paper Social Polarisation at the Local Level: A Four-Town Comparative Study on the Challenges of Politicising Inequality in Britain. He served as co-author along with Insa Koch, Sarah Cant, Jill Ebrey, Luna Glucksberg and Mike Savage.
Professor Timothy Power, Head of the Social Sciences Division, said of the awards: 'I am delighted to see such inspiring work from colleagues across the Division. Many congratulations to everyone who has received an award this year for their impressive contributions to teaching and learning.'