#CelebratingTogether: Deirdre MacLeod

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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. 


Deirdre MacLeod
Deirdre MacLeod

What is your full name? 

Deirdre MacLeod 

What is your job title? 

Teaching Fellow, Art 

What school or service do you work in? 

Centre for Open Learning 


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

I teach Art and Design within the University’s Access Programme. This is a programme which prepares students who do not already have a degree to apply to University-level courses of their choice, including preparing their application portfolio for Art or Design. I’m also Personal Tutor for students on the Access Programme. 


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

It’s fantastic to have been nominated by my students. This year has been particularly challenging for them. Not only have they had to adjust with learning online, but many of them have had to cope with changing and additional demands because of work and caring responsibilities. It is such a privilege and a pleasure to be able to support them on the Access Programme. 


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

Getting to know their work and helping them develop their artistic skills and capabilities. 


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

I’ve tried to use a mix of ‘live’ approaches that enable students to meet each other face-to-face (remotely) because social contact is so important. I’ve also used asynchronous tools like Padlet, which are great for enabling students to make contributions to class discussions in their own time and to support each other out of classes. 


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

Finding really good ways to see students’ developing artwork. Being able to teach effectively in art and design depends so much on seeing student work up close. It’s difficult to replace the studio, but we’ve done what we can. 


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? 

Please do consider nominating your tutors. It really makes a difference to know that we are making a difference to you! 

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

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