Aberystwyth University celebrates excellence in teaching

08 March 2017

Exemplary Course Awards 2017: (left to right) Mary Jacob (E-learning Advisor), Dr Stephen Chapman, Dr Gareth Norris, Dr Brieg Powel, Professor John Grattan (Acting Vice-Chancellor)
Exemplary Course Awards 2017: (left to right) Mary Jacob (E-learning Advisor), Dr Stephen Chapman, Dr Gareth Norris, Dr Brieg Powel, Professor John Grattan (Acting Vice-Chancellor)

‘Total War, Total Peace’, a study module led by Dr Breig Powel from the Department of International Politics, is the winner of the 2016-17 Aberystwyth University Exemplary Course Awards.

Now in their fourth year, the Exemplary Course Awards recognise excellence in course design, interaction and collaboration, assessment and learner support.

The modules ‘Forensic Psychology’, led by Dr Gareth Norris from the Department of Psychology and ‘Biorefining Technologies’ led by Dr Stephen Chapman from the Institute of Biological, Rural and Environmental Sciences were highly commended.

Established by the University’s Information Services E-learning Group, which supports technology-enhanced learning and teaching, the Awards recognise and share good teaching practice across the University.

The judging criteria is based on the international Blackboard Exemplary Course Programme (ECP). 

The E-Learning Group trains applicants to evaluate how well their course conforms to best practices outlined in the Blackboard ECP rubric, and to enhance their module.

Dr Brieg Powel’s winning module was selected by an anonymous panel including teaching and administrative staff as well as student representation.

The panel was impressed with the module’s well-organised and rich learning content and the use of multimedia elements, and praised its active and engaging seminars, excellent peer assessment activity and formative assessment.

Mary Jacob from the University’s E-learning Group, who set up the Exemplary Course Awards, commented: “This year’s winners show the high standard of learning and teaching at Aberystwyth University. These exemplary practices serve to inspire others to innovate and engage students in active learning.

“The impact of the Exemplary Course Awards is shown in the number of staff who are now adopting approaches pioneered by previous winners.  This shows that good teaching practice is being successfully disseminated across the University, through such mechanisms as online module tours and the annual Learning and Teaching Conference.”

Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor John Grattan, commented: “I am delighted to congratulate the winners of this year’s Exemplary Course Awards on their excellent work.  We’ve made a real investment in the learning environment here at Aberystwyth. We are promoting exciting, innovative, dynamic and challenging teaching as an essential part of what we do, and are recognising and rewarding excellence. We have a cohort of lecturers who are keen to create a rich teaching environment and generate learning materials that are amongst the best in the world.”

The winners will be presented with their awards at this summer’s graduation ceremonies which take place on 18-21 July 2017.


Mary Jacob
E-learning Support, Information Services
Aberystwyth University
01970 622473 / mhj@aber.ac.uk

Alice Earp
Communications and Public Affairs
Aberystwyth University
01970 622578 / ale@aber.ac.uk