I consistently receive excellent feedback in student and peer evaluations of my teaching. Overall, I evaluate my own teaching based on the success of my students, whether that is in the form of assessments, the development of new practical skills, increased ability in critical thinking, or the attainment of career ambitions. Several students are now working professionally or in postgraduate studies, and I mark these as evidence of good teaching (although I'm constantly working to improve in this area!). From time to time, though, it is particularly affirming to receive testimonials and nominations for teaching awards. Since starting my full-time lectureship at Canterbury Christ Church University in 2014, I have been privileged to receive student nominations for the student union's "Golden Apple Award" in three out of four years. Here is a sample of the comments included within these nominations, and from other student testimonials:
Darrell has gone out of his way time and time again for his students. He offers good sound advice on real world issues which will affect students' career and education goals, whilst making information in his lectures relatable and approachable. We could not be as successful as we have been in the Archaeology department without his compassion and understanding.
Darrell was one of the lecturers who helped me to see and realise my true potential. He championed me and, thanks to him, I have started to have more confidence in my abilities. Without his support and guidance, I do not think that I would have graduated with a First Class degree.
Darrell is a one of a kind lecturer who is engaging, supportive, and always going above and beyond for his students. I am hoping to go into the world of academia and if he ever contacted me asking if I would work with him I would not hesitate to say yes!
Darrell has definitely influenced my future plans. Prior to starting university, I was sceptical about building a career in archaeology. However, with his support and the opportunities and experience he has provided me with, Darrell has ultimately helped me to affirm that I would love to pursue a career in archaeology.
As a dyslexic individual, it was my experience that Darrell helped me a great deal towards succeeding in my studies. Thanks to his friendly and accommodating method to teaching I always felt welcome visiting him during his office hours. I remember one specific example in my first year at CCCU. I had struggled my way through A-levels and only just got into university. I felt very intimidated and as if I did not belong. One of the first essays I had to hand in was a discussion piece on the Punic Wars. I was dreading it, until I met with Darrell. After reading my plan, we discussed some of the key concepts and I felt empowered to write. After our discussion, I felt more settled in at university and achieved a great mark on a daunting assignment.
Every lecture with Darrell was always very engaging, and I have always felt that I have something to say and felt included in classroom discussions. We often did some form of group activity that helped make learning fun as well as easier (e.g. building Hadrian’s Wall out of Lego). I have found that Darrell’s assignments have always been the most ‘student friendly’ with really clear instructions, which demonstrates that he can envision which ways of assessment work best for current students. In addition to this, Darrell has been flexible and responds very well to student feedback.
He made the module he taught incredibly interesting and engaging as well as helping with essays when I've needed him and has been far and away the best lecturer this year.
Darrell has an incredible passion for his subject, and has brought ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome alive in our classroom sessions. He was an expert guide at our British Museum field trip and has made a complex intellectual framework like "Great Traditions" understandable.
Nomination [for CCCU's "Golden Apple Award"] for: Great lectures and the support he gave me as a disabled student.
Darrell is bringing new ideas into the department.
This page was last updated on 1 February 2018.