Dr Michael Emerson was celebrated in 2018's President's Awards for his transformational approach to teaching within the Faculty of Medicine.
Dr Emerson, Reader in Platelet Pharmacology, told Murray MacKay how humbled he was to win the award and where he gets the inspiration to develop innovative new methods for teaching students difficult concepts.
What did it feel like to win the President’s Award?
It feels very exciting to receive an award following a nomination by peers and students. It's great that the College recognises the efforts that I and my colleagues in the School of Medicine made to introduce a new Academic Tutoring system focused on coaching students to improve their learning skills.
You won the Award for developing a number of new teaching approaches and ways to support Imperial students. What were the challenges in delivering this level of change?
One of the main challenges in implementing a system that needs students to reflect on how they learn is helping our students to understand that, despite arriving at Imperial as academic high flyers, students may not have a learning skill set that is suitable for higher education.
Persuading students that the skills they used at A-level may require adjustment, can be challenging. Fortunately, I was able to recruit a fantastic group of Academic Tutors who have been trained in coaching skills and are now having conversations with our students to jointly develop a new learning skill set, as well as welfare provision.
When you teach, or think about trialling a new way of teaching, what inspires you?
I am inspired on a daily basis by the drive, intellect and ambition, combined with a desire to help patients, that all Imperial medical students have. Medicine is an extremely challenging topic and we are training the doctors of tomorrow. It is critical that we deliver medical training in a modern and effective manner, and although sometimes difficult, this requires change and innovation, something that, fortunately, the Medical School embraces.
Article text (excluding photos or graphics) © Imperial College London.
Photos and graphics subject to third party copyright used with permission or © Imperial College London.