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WATE Stage 2 evidence

About the criteria

The nominee statement will be assessed against the award criteria. Nominees are also expected to demonstrate deliberateness, intentionality, and growth as key components of teaching excellence. The judges are interested in what motivates and sustains practice - rather than skill, accomplishment in reflective writing or elegant expression. We have provided further guidance below.



Teaching excellence is not a one-off, a fixed state, or an endpoint. Rather it is a continuous endeavour, a process of growth, which reflects a sustained contribution to student learning developed over time. Teaching excellence brings curiosity, rigour, and a systematic approach to teaching practice. It seeks to learn from experience and looks back in order to move forward. We are looking for evidence that nominees engage with teaching as a process and can trace the development of their practice.

This reflective approach to practice and a firm evidence-base should not be seen as just a stylistic or formal quality of the narrative. The ability to write reflectively is not being assessed, and colleagues from disciplinary traditions which do not habitually use reflection will not be disadvantaged.


Teaching excellence achieves clearly defined goals and has clear intent. When making a claim for excellence it is important to be able to articulate why specific practices and approaches have been adopted and why they are excellent.

Professional knowledge draws upon learning from experience, intuition, and evidence drawn from a range of sources in order to make the best decisions about practice. This evidence-base is likely to include engagement with educational research, debates, and theoretical understanding where they become relevant to practice.

As teaching excellence is a collective endeavour, it is important that those engaged in excellent practice are able to communicate their work to enable others to learn and to build upon. However, there is no expectation that you will have to have been engaged in educational research, or to demonstrate the level of skill or knowledge one might expect from an educational researcher.

We will also be running a series of workshops to support colleagues should they wish to develop this aspect of their nominee statement.

Ongoing impact

As excellence is not a one-off we are seeking wider evidence of impact which goes beyond that indicated by an individual nomination.

We therefore ask nominees to demonstrate ongoing evaluation of and demonstrable impact on student learning mapped against the award criteria. This not necessarily mean evidence of consistent practice spanning many years and does not preclude colleagues at an early stage in their career from doing well in the Awards. Ongoing impact might include consistently high-quality work across the duration of a module, or across multiple modules in a single year. It might relate to sustained effort – and development and enhancement over time in response to a change in practice. This will be evaluated in relation to the career stage of the nominee.

It might draw upon:

  • student feedback,
  • student performance (in class, in assessment),
  • data generated by departmental and/or institutional processes (NSS/module evaluation),
  • testimony/praise from peers and colleagues,
  • internal/external indicators of esteem.