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.
What is your full name?
What is your job title?
What school or service do you work in?
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role.
I’ve been teaching in Chemical Engineering for 30 years. I have always enjoyed the face-to-face teaching element of my job most, in lectures, tutorials, labs and project supervision. I have had a hand in most aspects of our programmes over the years. In the past I have spent time as programme manager for our degree programmes but currently I am teaching a couple of honours courses and contributing to some others, including our new project based first year course. I also supervise a design project who I have been meeting weekly and other individual projects.
What does it mean to you to have been nominated for a Teaching Award this year?
I am thrilled, the tiny quote from the nomination has really made my day because it means that for at least one student I have achieved what I set out to do.
What’s your favourite part of your role and working with students?
I really enjoy lecturing and I have hugely missed being in a lecture room full of students over the past year. I miss the adrenalin of being in front of a live class, recording in my spare room with only the cat to listen is not the same, she never laughs at my jokes. I also miss just seeing students learn, solve problems and grow.
How have you adapted your approach to teaching and supporting students under the Hybrid Model this year?
I have tried to bring the spontaneity and slightly freewheeling approach I use in my lectures into my recordings so that there is more there than just what is on the slides, there is no script. I must admit I have not embraced all the bells and whistles available in hybrid teaching, I’m not a natural with tech! With live seminars I’ve struggled to build rapport with a screen full of blank circles, but I hope I’ve managed to convey some warmth and humanity.
What’s been the biggest challenge in your role this year?
Not being able to build a relationship with my classes in the normal way. I miss the two-way communication that steers live teaching.
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?
To the student who nominated me I would say a huge thank you. To any out there thinking of nominating someone I would encourage them to do so. However long someone has been teaching they will have doubts about what they do, especially this year. This has been a tough time for all of us, so knowing that even one student has taken time to acknowledge our efforts means a lot.
To find out more about the Teaching Awards and browse nomination categories, please visit the Students’ Association’s website.