This guide will help you write a strong nomination. If you have any questions, please get in touch via wate at warwick dot ac dot uk.
In order to make a strong WATE nomination you will need to explain how the person you are nominating demonstrates their excellence by meeting the Awards criteria:
1. Enhancing and transforming the student learning experience
For example (but not limited to):
- How has this person stimulated your curiosity and interest?
- In what ways have they inspired in you a commitment to learning and thereby enhancing your learning experience?
- How did they make imaginative use of resources (like Moodle, classroom quizzes, handouts, etc.)?
- How did they recognising and actively support the full diversity of your learning needs and those of the people around you?
2. Supporting colleagues and influencing support for student learning
- How did they demonstrate impact and engagement beyond their immediate academic or professional role?
- Are you aware of ways in which they contribute to the development of colleagues?
- How do they contribute to wider initiatives to facilitate student learning (such as attending conferences and telling you about things they learned there)?
Crafting Effective Nominations
It may seem difficult to write down (in no more than 500 words per criterion) how the person you want to nominate meets these criteria. They are likely able to perform to such a high standard that it might appear as so ingrained in what they do that it comes across as effortless and, therefore, hard to pick out from the other elements of their teaching.
Criteron 1: Enhancing and transforming the student experience
In order to help you explain how the person you are nominating excels in this criterion, it is worth looking at advice the National Union of Students gives on how to advocate for teaching excellence.
Has the person you're nominating, for example:
- Helped ensure that proactive, personalised academic support is provided to all students, whatever their circumstances or mode of study? Support is focused on helping students to achieve their personal and life goals, as well as maximising their academic success. Support systems are regularly reviewed by staff and students in partnership, and a continual process of enhancement is informed by sectorleading best practice.
- Ensured that learning to learn effectively is built into all aspects of the teaching? Students are helped to understand the value of life-long learning and proactively strive to continously develop themselves as learners.
- Treated you as a partner with them and involved you genuinely in decision making that affects their experience?
- Built learning resources that fostered active and inclusive learning environments for all diversities of students?
This is not an exhaustive list. Make sure, however, that you provide clear examples about how this person achieved this work; it is not enough to just say they did so.
Criterion 2: Supporting colleagues and influencing support for student learning
At first glance, the second criterion might seem difficult for you to address. Consider the first point -- How did they demonstrate impact and engagement beyond their immediate academic or professional role? Doing so can give you the specific focus to talk about what your nominee has done to meet and exceed this criterion. You could talk about things like:
- How did they connect the subject and learning to the wider world?
- Did they use their own research to inform the teaching and learning in which you were involved?
- Were they able to bring in experiences beyond the immediate classroom -- such as their own professional experience beyond Warwick?
Again, be as specific as you can. The judging panel wants to understand not just that this person inspired you, but how they did so and why. The more detail you can provide easier it is for the judges to appreciate what this person has done that is so special.
No two nominations are the same
Therefore, it is difficult to provide any representative examples, because what adequately reflects the teaching excellence of one person may not be appropriate for another.
Nevertheless, strong nominations share certain characteristics. For instance, they:
A key theme of [the nominee's] teaching has been treating students as academics in our own right. We are encouraged to think for ourselves, and do so critically, innovatively, always looking outside the box.
[The nominee's] seminar classes are always meticulously informed, delivered enthusiastically, and up to date in terms of the latest scholarly work in the field. [Their] genuine enthusiasm seems to lead the class, engaging us through the impression that we are involved in something current, relevant, and exciting.
In every situation [the nominee] has been open and honest with [their] students, providing realistic, encouraging feedback and advice.
Cite clear examples
Through presenting the material as exciting and treating our opinions on the subjects as valid and important, [the nominee] has created an atmosphere where we all want to ask more questions and give more answers, both inside the classroom and out.
The module she teaches me is the most challenging module I study, and it is also the one I put the most work into and the one I love the most. [The nominee] challenges us and does not shy away from the work that is difficult, instead [they] embrace that which is complex. For example, our class over-ran by over an hour because we all had so much to discuss and debate.
The creative methods used and the time [the nominee] took in planning them resulted in tasks that were challenging but [they were] on hand to support us throughout, prompting where necessary.
Make reference to how the teacher has positively influcenced your learning
[Their] use of the interactive clicker questions during lectures has not only helped to engage students during the lectures but really helped to aid our understanding on how to relate the theoretical concepts we learn to actual exam style questions.
[The nominee] maintains a really good rapport with most students [they] teach, as [they are] just a friendly and approachable person! [They] break the somewhat daunting barrier between academic and student, which can sometimes stop some students from approaching the academic if they are in need of some help.
For a compulsory research module which seemed the least interesting on arrival, it has turned out to be one of my favourite modules which is down to [the nominee's excellent teaching. [They] consistently show how the module is relevant and helpful to our wider research and other modules. [They] also make the lectures interesting and engaging by including video clips and asking questions throughout the lecture.
If you're still struggling, please get in touch. Email wate at warwick dot ac dot uk and you can discuss with members of the Academic Development how to go about writing a strong nomination.