Margit Messmer
Member of PRiSM

Margit MessmerHaving studied and worked in the US for many years, Margit relocated to the United Kingdom in 2005 where she took on a position at the University of Leeds teaching mathematics. Margit is the former Director of Student Education for the School of Mathematics at the University of Leeds. She has been involved in several projects with the aim to enhancing student education, such as the Higher Education STEM Project that was established in 2010 to encourage students to study STEM subjects. Margit also helped in establishing the PAL Mentoring system in the School of Mathematics which is recognised as being very successful.

Margit has always been interested in pedagogical research, and describes it to be naturally occurring when one teaches. She is an advocate for a more practical approach to experimenting with different teaching methods, and highlights the importance of having a space to evaluate the results of such experiments. She is greatly interested in the practical nature of teaching, and new innovative ideas that have been tried and tested. Margit emphasises the importance of investigating how students learn and adapting the approach to teaching, taking advantage of new technologies that support learning. She has introduced ‘flipped classroom’ methods in a large first-year Mathematics module, and will keep building on these experiences.

She also leads two non-traditional modules,  Maths into Schools where students complete a placement in a local school, and Maths at Work which focuses on students developing a large range of employability skills. Both of these modules have contributed to improving the School of Maths’ NSS scores in students’ satisfaction rates for personal development, and the School’s DLHE scores.

In being a member of PRiSM she hopes to be inspired by new ideas as well as comparing her methods with other members. For her, as Director of Student Education, PRiSM is useful as it presents a good opportunity to stay up to date with new developments in teaching methods and receive feedback for her ideas.