Manchester Metropolitan University

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'You'll remember great teaching for ever!'

MORE THAN 1,200 students wrote in praise of their lecturers for the 2013 Teaching awards hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University Students’ Union.

The awards given out each spring to acknowledge the hard work, dedication and inspiration of lecturers are a celebration of the University’s greatest strength – its’ teaching staff.

National Union of Students Vice President Rachel Wenstone said many of MMU’s staff were an inspiration: “These people work so hard, and are so committed to every student. It’s important we take time to celebrate them.”

Students voted History, Politics and Philosophy the best overall department in the University and Asiya Siddique, of Psychology, the best overall lecturer.

Physiotherapy was rated best course and had the best personal tutor, Janet Rooney.

Other key awards were:

The MMUnion Award for Outstanding Achievement went to the Learning & Research Technologies team for the University’s exemplary Virtual Learning Environment.

Humanities rule!

But with historian Deborah Green also among nominees for best lecturer, it was a momentous night for History, Politics and Philosophy.

The 60-strong team were described by their students as a “brilliant group of talented teachers, who are friendly, reassuring, accessible and always striving to provide the best via lectures, seminars and the VLE.”

The win was no real surprise given NSS scores consistently in the high 80s and a recent internal student satisfaction rating for History of 95%.

Head of Department Dr Brian McCook said: “The award reflects the hard-work and dedication of HPP staff in engaging with students, provoking their interests and imagination, and ensuring a high-level of pastoral care.

“Improving the student experience is a team-effort and across the Department staff deeply appreciate this recognition. We very much thank our students who nominated us as well as the awards committee for bestowing upon HPP this award.”

Best teacher

Asiya Siddique, a community psychologist and former PhD student was described as a teacher who “demanded hard work, focused on end goals and inspired her students with her own academic achievements”.

Students described the Physiotherapy course as providing “an exceptional standard of teaching” which “exceeds expectations” and allows them to “go out into the world with huge confidence”.

Mike Lowe, another previous winner, said it was important that employability was not just about putting students on placement but also about building their confidence across the board.

Loving the job

Jamal Majid was described as “instrumental in all aspects of our education” and shows a “genuine love for his job”. Jamal said he was blessed both with his students and his colleagues in Clothing Design Technology.

Feedback, described as a cornerstone of learning by presenter Gerry Kelleher, is often underestimated but not by Sallie Spilsbury whose recognition was met with huge delight from the law team who won best department last year.

Peter Gough who teaches in dental technology scooped the Innovation prize after developing an app than enables students to follow practicals from mobile devices.

Best course rep was won by Psychology and Speech Pathology student Lisa Owens.

Moodle revolution

The surprise extra award of the night was the MMUnion award for Outstanding Achievement and the only one not to go to an academic team. Describing Moodle as a “game-changer” SU President Ben Atkins said LRT’s “consistent enhancement of the VLE was nothing short of fantastic”.

More than 1,200 students presented nominations for the awards hosted by the Students’ Union and presented by President-Elect Hannah Templeman and Vice-President (Cheshire) Laura Ramli.

Hannah said: “Good teaching is something students will remember for the rest of their lives. We hear so much about the student experience but it is really down to all those individuals who are totally committed to doing their very best.”

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