EUSA Award Categories

EUSA based the categories of their awards on their learning and teaching priorities for the year, in conjunction with feedback from previous consultations amongst student representatives. The awards were mainly themed around issues such as feedback and e-learning, but also included broader awards for courses and departments and an ‘overall’ award.

  • Detailed, useful feedback: Feedback is central to the learning process. Good feedback isn’t just a grade, but explains both what you have done well, and what you need to improve next time. Do you get an explanation of your grade? Is this clear, consistent and directed to helping you understand why you got the mark you did? Did that feedback help you to get a better grade in your next assignment? Then say thank you by nominating the marker for this award.
  • Innovative teaching methods: This is not to suggest that the common lecture and tutorial/seminar format of teaching is not valuable – it is! But this is not the only way of teaching, and sometimes lecturers/tutors use innovative methods to bring their subject alive and engage students. Innovative teaching would likely be something out of the ordinary, which makes a topic or issue make sense to you, or interest you, in a way that it did not before. Have you seen innovative teaching methods used which you thought were valuable and should be recognised? Recognise them here.
  • E-learning Award: Widening participation to education is a laudable goal to which the University has committed itself, and the increasing provision of courses over the internet and through online resources has contributed greatly to making education available to people who might otherwise have difficulty accessing an Edinburgh Education. This award is to highlight those who have pioneered the use of online resources and teaching to deliver high quality teaching to their students.
  • Helping students gain Employable Skills: The University has committed itself to equipping you with the skills that you will need in the job market. This means that skills that will make you more employable should be included in your courses. Are you taught how to present research in an accessible way? Are you shown how to write a briefing paper? These are just two examples of the ways you can learn employable skills. If particular courses are successfully teaching you skills that will help you in your post-University career, they should be recognised for this – you will be rewarded with a job so nominate them for an award!
  • For Postgraduates who Tutor: The University relies heavily on Postgraduates in the delivery of contact time teaching (through tutoring and demonstrating) on many courses. It is true to say that without postgraduate tutors and demonstrators, the University would not be able to provide the range of courses and the teaching contact that Edinburgh University’s 26,000 students need and deserve. This award is to recognise specifically the PG contribution to the delivery of quality teaching at Edinburgh
  • Internationalisation Award: Education broadens the mind and opens horizons, whatever your background. Education equips you to contribute to the world both in and out of work after your time at University. This award is to recognise those who deliver teaching which enables students to contribute to the world in the broadest sense, through providing skills and cultural insights that enable international students at the University to integrate and benefit from a full, rounded, Edinburgh Education; enables Edinburgh students to go out into the world and operate in a globalised international environment, and facilitates cultural communication and interaction amongst students within the University.
  • Best Course: Organisation of courses is often undervalued but good course organisation is central to ensuring that you can learn what you need to, when you need to. This means everything from planning what you study – do the topics that you are covering make sense to you? Is there some logic to why you are studying things in this way, in this order? – to practical things like ensuring you have a relevant reading list and that there are enough books in the library. Do you know what you need to do and when? Are you given the means to do this? If so, recognise this by nominating your course for this award. This award is given to those who contribute to the teaching and administration of your course.
  • Best Department: If your Department is doing well, then they should know that you think so. Subject areas are the most basic units of the University, and should make you feel that you ‘belong’. How they do this may vary, but you should feel a sense of ownership and comfort with ‘your’ department. This is an opportunity to recognise those departments that do this, and to highlight where this is happening so that other areas of the University can learn from the best. Relative size of departments will be taken into account when deciding this award.
  • Kendell Award (MVM); Campbell Award (HSS); Van Heyningen Award (Science and Engineering) – for excellence in Teaching: Good teaching is about helping you to understand and learn, and there are a number of methods of achieving this, both within and out-with the tutorial room and lecture hall, It can be demonstrated by excellence in lecturing or tutoring, willingness to engage with students, provide helpful suggestions and comments and even extra-events and contacts that will help students in their academic career. Some lecturers are simply more compelling and can make their lectures interesting and engaging as well as informative. The winners of these awards are likely to be people in their college who are obviously enthusiastic about their subject and can communicate this to you in an enjoyable way, and demonstrate through the way that they interact with students and teach. Additionally, separate awards are to be given by college to recognise that there are often significant differences in teaching between MVM, HSS and CSE.
  • Best Research Supervisor: To supervise new researchers is a difficult process. The supervisor must give sufficient advice and support to enable the nascent researcher to begin the process of planning and executing their own research, finding and utilising the appropriate research tools and producing a competent, interesting and exciting piece of research. At the same time, the supervisor must strike the appropriate balance so as to bolster the researcher’s confidence and competence as an independent researcher. Ideally, a good research supervisor should begin the process as an expert adviser, and end the process of supervision as a colleague, with the researcher having become the expert.
  • Overall high performer: The purpose of this award is not to suggest that lecturers need to pull rabbits out of hats (unless perhaps they’re lecturing on magic). This award is to nominate the lecturer, tutor or supervisor who you think has ‘performed’ best in the sense of meeting the criteria for a good teacher. The winner is likely to be a good all round teacher, being well organised, engaging, providing good feedback, and having an obvious commitment to their students.

Leave a Reply