#CelebratingTogether: Dr John Longley

#CelebratingTogether: Dr John Longley

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Edinburgh University Students’ Association’s Student-Led Teaching Awards are back to recognise outstanding members of learning and support staff. After a challenging year for everyone, we’re celebrating our worthy nominees by shouting about their successes across our digital platforms. 


John Longley
John Longley

What is your full name? 

John Longley 

What is your job title? 

Lecturer in Informatics 

What school or service do you work in? 

School of Informatics 


Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role. 

I came to Edinburgh in 1991 to do a PhD in Computer Science, and have stayed here ever since. For the last 15 years I have worked part-time as a lecturer in Informatics, devoting the remaining time to other interests such as music and writing. 


What does it mean to you to have been nominated for a Teaching Award this year? 

I was moved almost to tears when I read this nomination – thank you so much!! I’m very conscious that this is a really tough time for students, so I’ve done my best to put a bit of extra energy into the course this year and tried to make it something they’ll remember.  I’ve never before put so much work into a course – but also never had so much fun with it! Working on the music and songs has also helped me to keep my own spirits up. It gives me a real boost to know that all of this has been appreciated. 


What’s your favourite part of your role and working with students? 

The sense of a real rapport between us and the students this year has been remarkable and surprising. Although I’ve never met any of them in person (as far as I know), I really feel I’ve got to know many of them. I think this has been the best part. 


How have you adapted your approach to teaching and supporting students under the Hybrid Model this year? 

There have been many positives to online lecturing. It opens up creative possibilities I’d not previously dreamed of. For me, it has encouraged much more thorough planning and preparation of lectures, with (I hope) a corresponding gain in clarity. I think we’re also getting more insight into the way students are thinking and the questions they are asking, because conversations they might previously have had among themselves are now taking place on Piazza. 


What’s been the biggest challenge in your role this year? 

Sheer number of hours’ work taken to deliver everything in a new and unfamiliar way. It’s not just students who work into the small hours 🙂 


What would you say to the student(s) who nominated you, or students who are considering submitting a nomination for a staff member who has had an impact on them? 

Positive feedback and appreciation make a huge difference! We need to be told what we’re doing well, as well as where we can improve. We all need encouragement, and the feedback helps to give us the energy to carry on. 

To find out more about the Teaching Awards and browse nomination categories, please visit the Students’ Association’s website. 

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