Nominations for OUSA’s 2017 Teaching Awards close on 18 August, meaning there is still plenty of time to put forward any lecturers, tutors, or lab demonstrators that you think deserve the much sought after recognition.
As students provide the university with their largest revenue stream by far, through tuition fees, it provides a great opportunity to give feedback to teachers.
There are awards awarded for the following categories: Top Lecturer, Top Tutor/Lab Demonstrator, Top Summer School Teacher, and a Disability Awareness and Inclusive Teaching Award.
The value of the awards are beyond doubt, according to Associate Professor Clinton Golding, Acting HoD Higher Education Development Centre. He told Critic that “the University often has to judge whether a staff member is teaching to a high standard, perhaps if they are going for promotion, or to confirm their jobs. If we know that their students have taken the initiative to write an award application, then we have very good evidence that this teacher is doing a great job.”
He continued, saying that “When lecturers, tutors and demonstrators hear they have been nominated, let alone won, they are really pleased. They really appreciate the recognition from their students. They were trying to do a great job, but the nomination confirms this.”
Three years ago OUSA began revealing the total list of nominees for the award. In 2016, 58 teachers, tutors, and lab demonstrators were long-listed for the award, which was won by Dr Annika Bokor of the Department of Biochemistry; the runner-up was Dr Matt Bevin of the Department of Physiology.
Professional Practice Fellow Dr David Bishop, who was nominated for the top award last year, said that “the awards are definitely valuable to staff”.
Not only do students vote on which staff member should receive the award, they are also asked to reveal why that person should be a the recipient. Last year, 955 votes were cast, and showed that the most important factor in their choice, with 37 percent choosing it, was that they are “approachable and has a friendly attitude to students”; 28 percent considered the ability to “make difficult concepts easier to understand,” while the “use of humour in presentations” and their “enthusiasm for the subject” came third and fourth respectively with 26 and 25 percent.