Dr Emilee Simmons

My specialisms are in enterprise and entrepreneurship, but much of my research focuses on best practices in teaching and learning at the University. I'm always trying to find ways to improve the student experience, whilst making sure we are equipping students with the skills and knowledge to better themselves and their communities.

Leeds has invested heavily in digital technology and we’re innovating the way we teach. The lecture capture system allows our students to access learning at a time and a place that suits them. This then enables us to implement new teaching methods, such as flip learning. This method is about moving knowledge and content assimilation (for example lectures) outside the classroom and having students learn this before they come to class.

Typically this is now done online, but students learn through a variety of materials from textbooks to academic journals to videos and other online content. This then allows for more time in class to work on putting that knowledge into practice and to advancing learning further. It also allows for more timely feedback, reflection and a greater use of peer-to-peer learning.

The investment across campus in digitally-enabled collaborative teaching spaces has allowed us to have more engaging conversations with our students. We have some great experiential learning moments that really help them to take the theory and put it in to practice. 

To be engaged, students need to see the value in what you are teaching and getting them to do. The main value comes from allowing them to see how a particular skill can benefit them and their future careers; it’s not just about answering a question on an exam paper. This is very much my main ethos and drive – making sure everything students learn is applicable to the real world and helping them to understand how they can apply that in their future careers.