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 DepartmentsInternational Politics and School of Management and Business
 LecturersAyla Gol and Sangeeta Khorana
 YearAY 2009/10

The Teaching Excellence Award is awarded to individuals who have been shown to have made an outstanding contribution to teaching and the student learning experience.

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The criteria that would mark the practice of an Award winner for Teaching Excellence would be those members of staff who: 

  • generate and foster student enthusiasm for learning 
  • use a reflective approach to help students to achieve desired outcomes 
  • provide appropriate individual feedback to students on progress and assessment 
  • show respect for students and sensitivity for their differing needs, backgrounds learning styles 
  • develop independent learners and foster their ability to work with others 
  • create learning experiences and assessments that reflect the integration of discipline and transferable skills 
  • refine their teaching practice by using self-assessment and reflection and respond to feedback from students and peers 
  • work creatively with colleagues and display willingness to share good practice 
  • adopt a scholarly approach to course design, teaching and assessment. 

This year, the award has been given to Ayla Gol, from International Politics, and Sangeeta Khorana, from the School of Management and Business.

Ayla Gol

Ayla Gol

Speaking about Ayla's award, the Head of Department, Professor Mike Foley, said:
*"Among the many cited reasons for its decision, the Awarding Panel refers to her innovative, thoughtful and scholarly approach to teaching in a highly sensitive area. The Panel also alluded to the ‘passion for pedagogically informed teaching that is evident in the application’.”

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Ayla's work on improving her teaching and learning more about "the art" of lecturing this year resulted in an article ("The challenges of linking research and teaching in Islamic studies"), which was published in the first issue of the Islamic Studies Network's new journal - Perspectives.

Ayla has also presented a paper entitled "Engineering Knowledge: An Effective Use of Educational Technology for Teaching International Politics" (more information here) and you can find more information on her work with e-learning technologies here

Her paper "Constructing knowledge: An effective use of educational technology for teaching Islamic studies in the UK" was published in Education and Information Technologies Volume 17, Number 4 (2012), 399-416, DOI: 10.1007/s10639-011-9165-9.


Sangeeta Khorana

Sangeeta Khorana
Sangeeta was recognised for her work in utilising several e-learning technologies to aid teaching - in particular, using the "threshold concepts" approach in conjunction with differentiation as a teaching technique.  This approach attempted to deliver an effective learning environment through inquiry-oriented collaborative group activities for postgraduate students.

To ensure all students could benefit from scaffolding provided by the threshold concepts approach, Sangeeta introduced differentiation in learning and teaching through weekly short answer type online assessments. 

This technique was used through AberLearn Blackboard and all students scoring below 50% in any online assessment were directed to an additional readings folder for an in-depth understanding of the topic. As part of this assessment exercise, Sangeeta could provide individual feedback to students on what dimensions were useful and what might provide a foundation for deeper study. The experiment was largely successful with all students enthusiastically attempting the weekly online assessments. 

With the objective of providing real-life like experience to students, Sangeeta also employed a case scenario approach to seminars and set up Wikis to facilitative group activity to promote knowledge creation and sharing between teams.  Sangeeta moderated group and individual student discussions on the Wikis which again gave an opportunity to assess and comment on the extent of collaboration and ensure the accuracy of the editable online learning environment. The Wikis were a useful means for students to get peer feedback. 

From her perspective, Sangeeta said that this exercise achieved the following underlying goals: firstly, it blended traditional and new methods of learning and academic enquiry (in line with the university and department’s Learning and Teaching Strategy); and secondly, it developed students’ knowledge base in an enabling environment. 

Created by AndyGreenway on 14/10/2010
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