Terrific teachers and tutors, super support staff and splendid supervisors were recognised at the annual Edinburgh University Students’ Association Teaching Awards on Thursday 26th April. The student-led Teaching Awards, first of their kind in the UK, were created in 2008 to celebrate some of the best contributions made by academics, support staff and tutors to the student experience, over the course of the academic year.
The Awards saw excellent student engagement this year with over 1,600 nominations. The nominations were received in a variety of categories including best course, teacher, research and dissertation supervisor, student who tutors, personal tutor, and support staff.
The overall ‘Best Course’ award went to Zubin Mistry for their ‘Early Medieval Sexualities’ with students praising his enthusiasm for the topic as well as the community within his class.
Other winners included Sue Renton (School of Social and Political Science) who picked up the ‘Best Support Staff’ award. Students highlighted that Sue goes beyond and above to help students, “As a student who has struggled a bit at University, Sue has always been there to support me. She always asks how I am doing, if I am having a good day or if there is anything she needs to do for me.”
Similar to previous year’s trends, the nominations this year reflected four key themes that students’ valued as markers of excellent teaching: a concerted, visible effort; charisma, personality and engaging teaching; breaking down student-teacher barriers and fostering student engagement; and, finally, consistency, predictability and stability of support. It is hoped that by sharing best practices, teaching will continue to improve and student’s studies will continue to soar.
Academic guidance was recognised alongside personal support with the award for ‘Best Personal Tutor’. Jamie Cole picked up the prize for exceeding in many of the aforementioned competencies with one student commenting that “Throughout my university work, Jamie has consistently had belief in my abilities, even when I have doubted them myself”.
Eleoma Bodammer, a teaching fellow from the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, was awarded the ‘Best Feedback’ award for her conscientiousness when marking students work. One nomination stated that “she manages to do the three important things when you get something wrong. She explains: 1. why it’s wrong 2. How you can make it right 3. How you can avoid this mistake in the future”
Students’ Association Vice President Education Bobi Archer has reiterated the significance of the awards noting that “The Teaching Awards is a great way to celebrate the amazing collaborations between students and staff and to recognise the excellent teaching and support that is undertaken across the institution. This really is the highlight of the year.”
Click here for a full list of all the winners