Celebrating 500 Fellows at Swansea University – our 400th Fellow | Dathlu 500 Cymrawd ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe – ein 400fed Cymrawd

Engage in the process of innovation, as a top chef would do.

About you:

My Name is Almudena Ortiz, and I am a lecturer in the Biosciences Department. I teach molecular biology and microbiology for first-year biology, zoology, and marine biology students.

I am originally from Spain, where I earned my PhD from the University of Cordoba. Before getting a lectureship at Swansea University, I was a postdoctoral associate at the University of Florida for five years. I have been teaching at Swansea University for a little bit longer than two years.


Do you recall what you initially thought about the UK Professional Standards Framework at the start of the course? What did you know about Fellowship?

To be honest, I did not know much about the fellowship at the beginning. I knew that obtaining fellowship was one of my probation targets, but it wasn’t until the PGCert induction that I become familiar with the reasons why it is important for early-career academics, like me, to consolidate their commitment directed at maximizing the students’ learning experience via taking a PGCert in Higher Education.

In my opinion, the UKPSF gives academics with teaching responsibilities guidance on how to deliver quality teaching in Higher Education. The purpose of UKPSF is to promote good practices by encouraging lecturers to research and review the pedagogy, adopting an inclusive and empathetic teaching approach, and embarking on a life-long journey aimed to improve their delivery.


 

My teaching identity has been shaped by my career choices, my previous experience, my commitment to the students, and the acquisition of a sense of competence throughout the past years

Towards the end, you were asked to reflect back over the course and how your practice related to the UKPSF. What did you “glean” from preparing that final assignment?

While I was preparing for the final assignment, I spent quite a long time reflecting on how my identity as a teacher has developed since I started my academic career as a PhD student. My teaching identity has been shaped by my career choices, my previous experience, my commitment to the students, and the acquisition of a sense of competence throughout the past years. These aspects, however, have been enhanced by the environment where I now develop my teaching. For me, feeling part of a community, like the HEA, that facilitates professional development through mentoring, consultation, learning, and reflection is central to develop a unique teaching identity and deliver competent and effective teaching.


What is the most important element of the UKPSF in your opinion – the Areas of Activity, Core Knowledge or Professional Values – or any particular one and why?

This is going to sound a bit cliché, but I feel that the three dimensions of the framework are equally important. When I started lecturing, I was more focused on the core knowledge, e.g., the subject material, researching the appropriate learning technologies, or choosing the best method of evaluating teaching effectiveness. Now, my focus point is broader and incorporates aspects from the other two dimensions like developing more effective learning environments and approaches to support students, or recognizing the importance of good professional practices in Higher Education.


How it has impacted the way in which you think about educating learners in the Higher Education environment?

I guess now I am more aware of my responsibilities as an instructor. The PGCert program and the UKPSF have helped me step up my teaching. The design and the structure of my lectures, and the way I deliver them have changed drastically in the last two years.


You got a PGCert but you also gained Fellowship recognition. Why did gaining Fellowship recognition matter to you?

Obtaining fellowship makes me feel recognized as a professional within the community of Higher Education. Also, I feel more accomplished now that I can tick off one of my probationary targets.


How are you planning to continue to apply what you’ve learnt from the PGCert and especially the standards of the UK PSF in your teaching?  i.e. maintaining good standing

Delivering effective teaching while acknowledging the importance of treating every student as an individual is a continuous process. I feel you can always polish something, e.g., your slides, the content, the assessments, etc. It is hard to find the ‘recipe’ that works for teaching your class, and when you find it, you should engage in the process of innovation, as a top chef would do.


What top tips would you offer to someone who is starting to teach in higher education – they may or may not be starting the PGCert?
  1. Be patient, gathering good content and making your class engaging takes time (at least 2-3 semesters).
  2. Be open to learn and take advice from your peers.
  3. Take on the students’ feedback but only the constructive comments.
  4. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Understand that you cannot cater to everybody, so stop living in fear of the students’ evaluations.
  5. You will be a good teacher; it is a matter of time and effort.

Dylech fod yn rhan o’r arloesedd, fel byddai cogydd da yn gwneud

Amdanoch chi

Fy enw i yw Almudena Ortiz, dwi’n ddarlithydd yn Adran Biowyddorau. Dwi’n dysgu bioleg folecwlar a microbioleg ar gyfer myfyrwyr bioleg, sŵoleg a bioleg forol y flwyddyn gyntaf.

Rydw i’n wreiddiol o Sbaen ble enillais PhD o Brifysgol Cordoba. Cyn cael darlithyddiaeth ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe, roeddwn i’n aelod cysylltiol ôl-ddoethurol ym Mhrifysgol Florida a bum mlynedd. Rydw i wedi bod yn dysgu ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe ychydig dros ddwy flynedd.


 

Ydych chi’n cofio beth roeddech yn meddwl yn gyntaf am Fframwaith Safonau Proffesiynol y DU ar ddechrau’r cwrs? Beth oeddech yn gwybod am Gymrodoriaeth?

I fod yn onest, nid oeddwn i’n gwybod llawer yn y dechrau. Roeddwn i’n gwybod bod ennill cymrodoriaeth yn un o’m targedau. Ond nid nes anwythiad y TUAAU ddes i’n gyfarwydd â rhesymau pan fod yn bwysig i academyddion yn gynnar yn eu gyrfa, fel fi, i atgyfnerthu eu hymrwymiad i fwyhau profiad dysgu’r myfyrwyr trwy gwblhau rhaglen Tystysgrif Ôl-raddedig mewn Addysg Uwch.

Yn fy marn i, mae’r UKPSF yn rhoi arweiniad i academyddion â chyfrifoldebau dysgu ar sut i drosglwyddo dysgu o ansawdd da o fewn Addysg Uwch. Pwrpas yr UKPSF yw hybu arferion da gan annog darlithwyr i ymchwilio ac adolygu’r pedagogeg, mabwysiadu dull dysgu cynhwysol ag empathig, a dechrau ar siwrnai i wella’r trosglwyddiad.


Tuag at y diwedd, gofynnwyd i chi adlewyrchu yn ôl ar y cwrs ac ar sut roedd eich ymarfer yn perthyn i’r UKPSF. Beth wnaethoch “lloffa” o baratoi’r aseiniad olaf?

Tra fy mod yn paratoi ar gyfer yr aseiniad olaf, treuliais lawer o amser yn adlewyrchu ar sut mae fy hunaniaeth fel athrawes wedi datblygu ers i mi ddechrau fy ngyrfa academaidd yn fyfyriwr PhD. Ffurfiwyd fy hunaniaeth dysgu o fy newisiadau gyrfa, fy mhrofiad blaenorol, fy ymrwymiad i’r myfyrwyr a fy nghaffael o ystyr gymhwysedd dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf. Ond, mae’r agweddau yma wedi mwyhau gan yr amgylchedd lle dwi nawr yn datblygu fy nysgu. I mi, mae teimlo fel rhan o gymuned, fel yr AAU, sydd yn hwyluso datblygiad proffesiynol drwy fentora, ymgynghoriad, dysgu ac adlewyrchiad yn hanfodol i ddatblygu hunaniaeth dysgu unigryw ac i drosglwyddo dysgu effeithiol a chymwys.


Beth yw elfen bwysicaf yr UKPSF yn eich barn chi – y Meysydd Gweithgaredd, Gwybodaeth Graidd neu Gwerthoedd Proffesiynol – neu un yn benodol a pham?

Mae hyn yn mynd i swnio’n ystrabedol, ond dwi’n teimlo bod y tri dimensiwn o’r fframwaith yr un mor bwysig â’i gilydd. Pan ddechreuais ddysgu, roeddwn i’n ffocysu’n fwy ar y wybodaeth graidd, e.e., adnoddau’r pwnc, ymchwilio’r technolegau dysgu priodol, neu ddewis y dull orau o werthuso dysgu effeithlonrwydd. Nawr, mae fy mhwynt ffocws yn ehangach ac yn cynnwys agweddau o’r ddau ddimensiwn arall fel datblygu amgylchiadau dysgu fwy effeithiol a dulliau i gefnogi myfyrwyr, neu adnabod y pwysigrwydd o ymarferion proffesiynol da yn Addysg Uwch.


Sut mae wedi effeithio’r ffordd rydych yn meddwl am addysgu dysgwyr yn amgylchedd Addysg Uwch?

Dwi’n credu fy mod i’n fwy ymwybodol o fy nghyfrifoldebau fel hyrwyddwr. Mae’r rhaglen TUAAU a’r UKPSF wedi helpu i mi gwella fy nysgu. Mae’r dyluniad a’r strwythur o fy darlithoedd, ar ffordd dwi’n eu trosglwyddo wedi newid yn fawr iawn dros y ddau flynedd diwethaf.


Fe wnaethoch gael Tystysgrif Ôl-raddedig ond wnaethoch hefyd cael cydnabyddiaeth Cymrodoriaeth. Pam roedd ennill cydnabyddiaeth Cymrodoriaeth yn bwysig i chi?

Mae ennill Cymrodoriaeth yn gwneud i mi deimlo wedi adnabod fel gweithiwr proffesiynol o fewn y gymuned Addysg Uwch. Hefyd, dwi’n teimlo’n fwy medrus nawr fy mod yn gallu croesi un o’m targedau i ffwrdd.


Sut rydych chi’n cynllunio i weithredu beth rydych wedi dysgu o raglen TUAAU, ac yn enwedig safonau’r UKPSF, yn eich dysgu? E.e. aros mewn arfer da.

Mae darparu dysgu effeithiol wrth adnabod y pwysigrwydd o drin pob myfyriwr fel unigolyn yn broses barhaol. Dwi’n teimlo bod chi wastad yn gallu gwella rhywbeth, e.e., eich sleidiau, y cynnwys, yr asesiadau ayyb. Mae’n anodd darganfod y ‘rysáit’ sy’n gweithio i ddysgu’ch dosbarth, pan rydych chi’n ei ddarganfod, dylech fod yn rhan o’r arloesedd, fel byddai cogydd da yn gwneud.


Pa awgrymiadau byddech yn cynnig i rywun sy’n dechrau dysgu mewn addysg uwch – efallai ei bod nhw/nad ydynt yn dechrau’r Dystysgrif Ôl-raddedig?
  1. Byddwch yn amyneddgar, mae casglu cynnwys da a gwneud eich dosbarthiadau’n ddeniadol yn cymryd amser (o leiaf 2-3 tymor).
  2. Byddwch yn agored i ddysgu a chymerwch cyngor oddi wrth eich cyfoedion.
  3. Cymryd adborth y myfyrwyr ond, dim ond y sylwadau adeiladol.
  4. Peidiwch bod yn rhy caled ar eich hun. Deallwch nad ydych yn gallu plesio pawb, felly peidiwch byw mewn gofid o werthusiadau’r myfyrwyr.
  5. Byddwch chi yn athro da; ond amser ag ymdrech sydd eisiau.

 

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