RVC’s Dr Sarah Baillie wins Most Innovative Teacher of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards 2009
17 October 2009
Dr Sarah Baillie of the Royal Veterinary College has won the Most Innovative Teacher of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards 2009 ceremony held on October 15 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane. Dr Baillie was one of six academics shortlisted for the award but pipped the remainder to the post thanks to her outstanding work in the field.
The fifth Times Higher Education Awards, run in association with Iskandar Malaysia and supported by the Joint Information Systems Committee and Research Councils UK, honoured outstanding academic achievement in 18 categories, including several new awards. Categories included University of the Year, The Lord Dearing Lifetime Achievement Award and Excellence and Innovation in the Arts.
Ann Mroz, editor of Times Higher Education, (pictured on the left with Sarah Baillie) said of the winning entry: “Sarah’s Haptic Cow really captured the imagination of the judges. This innovation has already had a positive impact on the way veterinary students learn and its international adoption proves its universal brilliance.”
Prof Stephen May, deputy principal and vice-principal (teaching) at the RVC, said: “This is a fantastic achievement. The RVC is a world-leader in veterinary and biomedical teaching and research, as a result of the inspiring work of world class people like Sarah Baillie.”
Dr Baillie, last night said, “I am thrilled to have won this prestigious award. The Haptic technology – including the cow! – has been so well received by the students, making learning an enjoyable and rewarding experience for them.”
Over 1100 people from all parts of higher education gathered to celebrate the sector’s achievements at the ceremony. To view the full list of winners, pick up a copy of Times Higher Education, available in newsagents from 22 October.
The Royal Veterinary College was also shortlisted for the Widening Participation Initiative of the Year Award.
The Haptic Technology
The Haptic Cow is a life-like simulator that trains students in internal examinations. Students use the device, positioned inside a fibreglass model, to feel the cow’s reproductive tract. The technology alters the softness and surface texture to provide a realistic appreciation of the examination – the simulator even ‘moos’ if the student applies excessive force. The teacher follows the examination on a computer monitor to provide feedback
The simulator meets a real need in the veterinary field; teachers find it difficult to provide guidance when using live animals as they cannot see what is happening internally, and opportunities to practice have become limited as student numbers have increased. It also promotes animal welfare, ensuring university teaching herds are not used too heavily or manhandled by novices.
Dr Baillie has also invented the Haptic Horse and Core Skills Trainer. The Haptic Horse helps prepare students to treat abdominal complaints such as equine colic, while Core Skills Trainer is a series of haptic computer games designed to help veterinary students improve their dexterity and perceptual skills. A shorter version of the game goes out to schools and exhibitions at the Royal Society and Royal Institution to engage students in science as well as veterinary medicine.
Notes for editors
- For more information about Veterinary Haptics see the LIVE (Lifelong Independent Veterinary Education) Centre website. www.live.ac.uk
To request further information or an interview please contact:
The Royal Veterinary College
Established in 1791, the RVC is the UK’s longest-standing veterinary college—with a proud heritage of innovation in veterinary science, clinical practice and education.