From the day he joined the University of Ulster in 2001, Dr McClean has applied his creativity to better teaching of chemistry, a fundamental subject studied by first year bioscience students.
His interest in new technological applications in Higher Education has been a defining theme in his career, and he has contributed to innovation such as the development of interactive internet resources; the application of electronic in-class voting; text messaging; audio feedback; tablet technology; and reflective video sharing to enhance learning.
One example of Dr McClean’s innovative approaches was his development of PlanetChemistry.com – a website of learning resources and support material for the module he leads, that includes use of online student assessment. Dr McClean further demonstrated his creativity through establishment of YouTestTube.com; strategically incorporating video sharing and social networking, prompting extensive additional engagement and interaction.
Through demonstrating initiative and leading introduction of a range of novel teaching tools and approaches, Dr McClean has clearly demonstrated teaching innovation, with exploitation of evolving technologies that have directly culminated in a transformation in student perception, experience and performance.
Dr McClean’s ideas and successes have directly changed practice beyond Ulster, with adoption of his approaches and tools in other institutions and leading to him being shortlisted as finalist in the prestigious national Higher Education Academy Centre for the Bioscience Ed Wood award and the Bioscience Teacher of the Year award.