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Guidance for Students Making Nominations

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.

In order to help you explain how the person you are nominating excels in their teaching, it is worth looking at advice the National Union of Students gives on how to advocate for teaching excellence.

Criteria What makes for outstanding practice
1. Enhancing and Transforming the Student Experience 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.
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.
Students are treated as partners with the instructor and are genuinely involved in decision making that affects their experience.
Learning resources foster an actively inclusive learning environments for all diversities of students.
2. Supporting colleagues and influencing support for student learning The relationship between students and the academic should be open, honest, and trusting. Staff should be sensitive to the needs of the student and adapt their approach accordingly, taking into account the diversity of the student population and the need for inclusive practice. Staff and students should both strive to build an effective working relationship based on the principle of mutual respect for each other as fellow human beings, as well as students, experts, partners or mentors. This relies upon the institution fostering a culture of trust and mutual respect that is genuinely felt by staff and students.
Staff and students work in partnership to develop new approaches to teaching and learning that maximise the pedagogical opportunities created through the development of online learning resources.

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:

Are specific

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.