Many of the students’ unions creating awards for the first time this year were surprised at the sheer amount of nominations they received, and how excited their students were to have an opportunity to recognise the great teaching that they experience. Of course, for every nomination you receive, the judging and shortlisting process takes a little longer.
Think about who might have an interest in judging the awards within the student body. Perhaps some students have shown a particular interest in different stages of the awards. Many students would relish the opportunity to be a part of the judging panel, especially if you emphasise how great such a role would look on a CV. Course reps, for example, might be a good place to start. In terms of how many are on the judging panel, strike a balance between making it representative of the diverse student body, but not so big that it makes it impossible for you all to meet and agree.
These processes are made a lot easier by having strong criteria for each category, against which nominations can be assessed. Remember, it’s not the ability of the nominator to write well that you’re assessing, it’s the behaviours, characteristics and values that they’re describing. This is not always easy to pull out, so you might want to evolve a strategy or methodology for judging.
In addition to working out who wins awards, have a think about those who were nominated, but were not shortlisted. They would, most likely, still greatly appreciate being informed of this recognition. Anglia Ruskin SU, for example, emailed everyone that had been nominated and gave everyone shortlisted a specially designed mug, which was warmly received across the departments.
Top Tip: Remember that it’s not a popularity contest- just because someone has 15 nominations it doesn’t mean that they’re more deserving of an award than someone with five, or even one!