Exemplary Course Award

Every year the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit oversee the Exemplary Course Award. This award aims to celebrate the very best practice in Blackboard course design from modules and teaching across the University and is based on Blackboard’s very own Exemplary Course Programme. Any member of staff can submit an application for the Exemplary Course Award. All you have to do is fill in the Exemplary Course Award form and submit to the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (via email: elearning@aber.ac.uk) before 12pm on 2 February 2024.  

Applicants are asked to identify their exemplary practices on the module and are awarded marks across four main criteria: 

  • Course Design 
  • Interaction and Collaboration
  • Assessment
  • Learner Support 

In order to support this process, the E-learning Group offer an E-learning Excellence: Submit an ECA Application training session. You can book your place here.   

The Exemplary Course Award is now in its seventh year and, since its inception, we have seen six modules awarded the Exemplary Course Award, fourteen modules achieved Highly Commended status and seven modules attained Commended standards.  

In addition to rewarding the very best practice, the AU Exemplary Course Award supports staff to enhance their modules on Blackboard and share good practices across the University. Winners of the Exemplary Course Award often go on to present at the Annual Learning and Teaching Conference.  

If you are thinking of submitting an Exemplary Course Award Application: 

  • Download a copy of the Exemplary Course Award application form
  • Sign up for an E-learning Excellence: Submit an ECA application training session 
  • Book a consultation with a member of the E-learning Group to do a module MOT 
  • Complete the self-assessment application form and submit to the E-learning Group before 12pm on 2 February 2024.



2022-23 ECA Winners

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2022-23 competition:

  • Winner: Anna Udalowska, from the Department of Lifelong Learning for the module XN16710: The Science of Wellbeing
  • Highly Commended: Alexander Taylor from the Department of Psychology for the module PS32120: Behavioural Neuroscience
  • Highly Commended: Kathy Hampson from the Department of Law and Criminology for the module LC26120: Youth Crime ad Justice
  • Highly Commended: Lara Kipp from the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies for the module TP30020: Contemporary Drama
  • Highly Commended: Panna Karlinger from the School of Education for the module ED20820: Making Sense of the Curriculum

2021-22 ECA Winners

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2021-22 competition:

  • Winner: Laura Stephenson, TFM0120: Gender and Media Production, TFTS
  • Highly Commended: Andrew Fimer, TP33420: Performance and Architecture, TFTS
  • Highly Commended: Maire Gorman, PGM4310: Quantiative Data Collection and Analysis, Graduate School & Physics
  • Highly Commended: Claire Ward, XA01605: Natural History Illustration: Seed Heads, Lifelong Learning

2020-21 ECA Winners

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2020-21 competition:

  • Winner: Hanna Binks, PS11320: Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology, Psychology
  • Highly Commended: Martine Garland, AB27120: Marketing Management, Aberystwyth Business School
  • Highly Commended: Rhianedd Jewell, CY10920: Trafod y Byd Cyfoes Twy'r Gymraeg, Welsh and Celtic Studies
  • Highly Commended: Prysor Mason Davies, ED30620: Children's Rights, Education
  • Highly Commended: Mary Jacob, PDM0530: Action Research and Reflective Practice in HE, Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit

2019-20 ECA Winners

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2019-20 ECA competition:

For examples of the winning modules' exemplary practices see this video:

2018-19 ECA Winners

2018-19 AU ECA Winners

The diverse range of teaching and learning styles evidenced in this year’s applications reflects the innovative work that is taking place across the institution.

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2018-19 ECA competition:

For examples of the winning modules' exemplary practices see this video:

2017-18 ECA Winners

2017-18 ECA Winners

The panel found that this was a particularly close competition, with most of the applications clustering in the Accomplished Category, the second level in the rubric just below Exemplary. While none of the modules were deemed to be exemplary in all areas, they contained many exemplary practices. For this reason, the panel has decided to issue only Highly Commended awards. 

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2017-18 ECA competition:  

For examples of the winning modules' exemplary practices see this video. 

Comments from participants: 

“I found that the ECA guidelines offered good food for thought when designing online supplementary materials for my module. Along with numerous innovative and exciting uses of technology by my colleagues in the mathematics department, I hope that such efforts ensure that the Aberystwyth mathematics student experience continues to be an excellent one. Many thanks are due to the students who took the module, both this year and last, for their encouraging and useful feedback.” - Adam Vellender, Highly Commended 

“Having to design a new module this year, I took the opportunity to develop the Blackboard pages in line with the Exemplary Course guidance. The process helped me recognize the good aspects I already provide and also think about and develop ways in which my Blackboard presence can be enhanced. I found the whole process invaluable.” – Daniel Low, Highly Commended 

Quotes from the Panel: 

“The entries to this year’s ECA all included distinct and innovative ways of presenting large amounts of module content and information, it’s great to see some really creative approaches to the process.”- Panel Member 

“This year’s winners show the high standard of learning and teaching at Aberystwyth University. Their exemplary practices serve to inspire others to innovate and engage students in active learning.” - Panel Member

2016-17 ECA Winners

Winner: Dr Brieg Powel, International Politics - IQ33420 Total War, Total Peace

Highly Commended: Dr Stephen Chapman, IBERS - BDM7720 Biorefining Technologies

Highly Commended: Dr Gareth Norris, Psychology - PS21220 Forensic Psychology

2015-16 ECA Winners

Highly Commended: Dr Hannah Dee, Computer Science - CS34110, Computer Vision

Highly Commended: Chris Loftus, Computer Science - SE31520, Building Internet-Based Applications

Highly Commended: Dr David Wilcockson, IBERS - BR22410, Advances in Invertebrate Zoology

Commended: Dr Marco Arkesteijn, Sport and Exercise Science - SS21120, Biomechanical Analysis

Commended: Dr David Whitworth & Dr Neil McEwan, IBERS - BR12010, Metabolism

Commended: Alison Pierse & Dr Jacqueline Jeynes, Lifelong Learning - XA13510, Art in Wales: The Welsh Depicted, Portraiture (distance learning) 


2014-15 ECA Winners

Winner - Rupert Marshall, IBERS - BR24310

Highly Commended - Rosemary Cann, Education - ED20120

Highly Commended - Adam Vellender, Mathematics - MA34110

Comended - Neil Taylor, Computer Science - CS31310

Commended - Jarrett Blaustein with Katehrine Williams and Sarah Wydall, Law and Criminology - CR32920