SBS Inspirational Teaching Awards

Alexander Tziamalis receiving his award

After the 2017 Inspirational Teaching Award winners for SBS were announced, the TEL team caught up with some of the winners to find out what it takes to become an inspirational teacher and what technology is being used to support students. Continue reading to find out more.

Please note: not all of the award winners were interviewed. These views are a collection of some of the winner’s thoughts. If you are interested in learning more about any of the techniques or initiatives discussed contact the TEL team who can direct you to the appropriate member of staff.

Interestingly, although the traditional lecture style was appreciated for having some uses, the teachers we chatted to wanted to discuss seminars and one-to-one appointments more. Teaching tools included: giving personal examples, case studies, role play, asking for opinions, debates and demonstrations. Technology included Socrative and Turning Point used as voting software, videos to engage the students and Google Apps to allow the students to collaborate on work. Sometimes this can be difficult for some students, but challenging them can be beneficial as they learn that being challenged is not necessarily bad or designed to make them fail. However this requires a level of understanding from the teacher and this may sometimes be better during a one-to-one session away from peers. A specific teaching technique discussed included giving students 5 weeks to read 10 articles. In the seminar each week each student had to say something interesting about something they had read from those articles. This enabled the student to be in control of their own learning and encouraged them to practice independence and time management skills.

Answering emails was also a much discussed topic. The importance of answering student emails was stressed, even if only to say the query has been recognised but will be dealt with at a later date as members of staff cannot be expected to be available all of the time. This helped to manage the student’s expectation to assure them that you are willing to help but also cannot be available all of the time. This is particularly important for anxious level 6 students who may just need some reassurance. Other than answering emails it is important to answer student questions in lectures and seminars to the best ability and send a quick email if further clarification needs to be given. Some of those interviewed spoke about specific initiatives they used such as supporting academic writing, using motivational interview techniques and how working in dyslexia support gives transferable skills to support all students. The student’s appreciation for this support is clearly identifiable in the nomination comments.

Comments from students

Makes learning interesting and interactive, has a great sense of humour and never fails to make everyone in the class feel comfortable.

His passion for teaching and sharing knowledge reflects in his teaching. Appropriate examples and videos to go along with the subject matter takes a lot of time and effort, and XXX made sure we had enough engaging experience to resonate the knowledge gained few months or even years down the line

He is happy to go above and beyond for all students and use his own time to better their technology education.

Making it fun and keeps us all engaged

Not only does XXX present seminars/lectures in a fun, interesting and engaging manner but also is by far the most approachable tutor I have had throughout my time at Hallam and never fails to provide useful information, assistance and support when it is required.

XXX made the module in the course really engaging, despite the fact the content is really not that exciting (but necessary to learn). Each seminar with him was really hands on and interactive which made learning so much easier and enjoyable.

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