A DORNOCH-based academic has been honoured by students in the fourth annual University of the Highlands and teaching awards.
Dr Elizabeth Ritchie, a lecturer at the University’s Centre for History, was named as Most Engaging Online Tutor. The academic, who grew up in Crieff, but now lives in Dornoch where the Centre is based, was nominated for her interesting classes and supportive approach.
One student explained: “Dr Elizabeth Ritchie has made distance learning like being involved in a traditional tutorial. She has put a lot of time and effort into creating a most interesting and absorbing module on the MLitt history of the Highlands and Islands course.
“Always ready to encourage and support, she makes studying an absolute pleasure, never censuring but tactfully suggesting other avenues of study and discussion.
“Her module is a real pleasure to study and I look forward to learning more from her during the subsequent semesters. She is an absolute gem and a true professional.”
Speaking about her award, Dr Ritchie, said: “One of the primary purposes of the university is to be a high quality teaching institute within the Highlands and Islands for the people of the region and beyond. Another is to conduct first rate research into the region.
“I am delighted that, according to our students, these two aims are being achieved in our ‘history of the Highlands and Islands’ online Master’s programme.”
Organised by UHISA, the University of the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association, the awards recognise excellence in eight categories. The other winners were:
- Most inspiring lecturer, Reverend Hector Morrison, Highland Theological College UHI
- Outstanding student support, Martin Cameron, Highland Theological College UHI
- Most engaging video conference tutor, Dr Edward Graham, Lews Castle College UHI
- Best personal academic tutor, Jane MacIntosh, North Highland College UHI
- Best preparation for the workplace, Catriona Johnston, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI
- Best assessment feedback, Matt Sillars, Inverness College UHI
- Best dissertation or research supervisor, Dr John Howe, Scottish Association for Marine Science UHI
The University of the Highlands and Islands was one of the first institutions to work with the Higher Education Academy and National Union of Students to introduce student-led teaching awards. They have now been adopted throughout Scotland and were introduced to the rest of the UK last year.
The university is now aiming to have the country’s first student partnership agreement, which will cover joint working by staff and students on issues of common interest such as student health and wellbeing, in place by this summer.
UHISA president, Rachel Parker, said: “The awards celebrate and highlight teaching excellence at the university, enabling students to commend the dedication of staff. We received a record number of nominations this year which demonstrates how much students value being able to provide positive feedback.”
Dr Iain Morrison, dean of students at the university, said: “These awards are tribute to the hard work and excellence of the staff. All those nominated, as well as the eventual winners themselves, have demonstrated commitment to our students and a high level of professional expertise that has been rightly recognised by those who appreciate it most.”
The winners will all receive a trophy and certificate.
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