Dr Momna Hejmadi is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Biology and Biochemistry who, within ten years, has established an impressive record of enhancing student learning in the biosciences.
She began her experience of teaching in India, moving on to student-focused approaches to learning and teaching in the US and UK. She has introduced peer assessments, built new approaches to undergraduate research projects, standardised enquiry-led introductory courses for laboratory practicals, enhanced large-group lecturing, led on cross-cultural curriculum development, and more recently led the first massive online learning course (MOOC) from Bath, Inside Cancer, with the largest diversity of learners (from cancer sufferers with little knowledge of biology to health professionals wishing to enhance their professional development).
Seen by her colleagues as the ‘gold standard’ of teaching, Momna has won all of Bath’s internal teaching prizes in recognition of her achievements, but still gets nominated every year! Momna’s inspirational teaching style is based on encouraging academic confidence, enabling students to become independent learners by challenging their thinking. The impact of Momna’s energy and enthusiasm spreads outside the institution through her outreach activities, which includes schools in the region. She has a pragmatic approach to encouraging school pupils to take up science by showing them that science can be simple and fun.
A particular area where Momna has led new developments is the establishment of international master’s level programmes and exploration of cross-cultural pedagogies. Using UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) funding she set up an innovative programme, part taught in India and the UK, with an international curriculum. The programme had exceptional advantages for students (research experience in academia and industry), and staff (enhancement of practice and programme level changes). A naturally reflective and inquisitive academic by nature, Momna stands out because of her personable and genuine approach to her profession.