Vice Chancellor Andrew Hamilton presented the Oxford University Teaching Awards at Rhodes House last week.
Launched in 2006, the award aims to recognise teaching excellence within the University. It focuses on student engagement, development of new course structures, exceptional lectures, or innovative demonstration, such as videos and podcasts.
The award is geared towards academic staff but also seeks to recognise the administrative and support staff that are crucial to the running of the university. This year 34 members were recognised and 8 project grants were awarded.
Dr Lyn Robson, who last year won the award for ‘Most Acclaimed Lecturer in Humanities’, stressed the need for its continuation: “As a teacher it rewards me for something that I love doing and inspires me to keep on finding productive ways to improve the learning conversation I have with students.”
Dr Robinson, an award winner this year, advocated its place within the university, saying: “It is hugely important to recognise and reward excellence in teaching across individual departments and faculties […] teaching is integral to what we do at Oxford, I think it’s an absolutely vital part of my job as an academic to inspire interest and develop high-level understanding.”
Dr Robinson won a joint grant with a Dr Brookman for her project. She explained that the research was “investigating how we can use ‘creative translation’ as a way of teaching Old and Middle English Literature […] rather than producing a ‘word for word’ or literal translation of an Old English poem”.
India Hill, an English student taught by Dr Robinson at Brasenose, commented that “[Dr Robinson’s] love and fascination for Old English inspires you as a student to take an interest in a challenging and, at times, befuddling subject” and that “it is vital that teachers with such talent are recognized”.
Ida Persson, of the Centre of Migration, Policy and Society won the OxTALENT award from IT services for her work with podcasts. She has produced over 80, showcasing and disseminating her research activities on a global scale.
The award also opens the Oxford door to the wider community. Dr Brookman and Dr Robinson are planning to extend their project to schools and sixth forms by organising an access day for English A-level students to study and translate early English texts.
Other winners included Mr Matthew Kimberly of the Clay Sanskrit Library Programme, Dr Christina Goldschmidt of the Department of Statistics, and Dr Proochista Ariana of the Nuffield Department of Population Health.