Teaching online nets lecturer national award

24 August 2021

Dr Nick Munn
Dr Nick Munn

A University of Waikato lecturer has been recognised as one of New Zealand’s top tertiary teachers.

Dr Nick Munn from the University’s School of Social Sciences was announced today as one of this year’s Ako Aotearoa National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award recipients.

The $20,000 award highlights sustained excellence in tertiary teaching and learning. Dr Munn is one of nine recipients this year.

Dr Munn is no stranger to recognition for his teaching, earning a University of Waikato award in 2020 for excellence in eLearning, as well as the Vice-Chancellor’s Medal for Staff Excellence.

His students say his teaching delivery is refreshingly different from conventional lectures, as he strives to make his courses inclusive, interactive and communal, fostering a feeling of community among groups of students numbering in the hundreds.

Constantly developing and improving the delivery of his courses is something Dr Munn prioritises, utilising every update in technology to ensure students have the best possible opportunities for meaningful engagement with course content. This dedication to effective delivery came to the fore during lockdown in 2020, as the University moved to online learning.

University of Waikato Pro Vice-Chancellor Teaching and Learning, Associate Professor Tracy Bowell, is delighted with Dr Munn’s recognition as one of Aotearoa’s leading tertiary teachers.

“Nick’s students consistently tell us his teaching is highly engaging. That most of Nick’s teaching is conducted online, with large groups of students, makes his achievement all the more exceptional.”

As well as working to teach effectively online, Dr Munn is also enthusiastic about sharing his findings and approach to eLearning with colleagues and is respected by his peers for his learner-centred focus and willingness to support other teachers.

Awards selection panel chair Dr Graeme Benny says Dr Munn is one of a stellar final list of awardees.

“The New Zealand tertiary education sector is fortunate to have professionals teaching with such skill, dedication and commitment to learners.”

Dr Munn and the other recipients will be celebrated at an event being held next month, where their work will be acknowledged and one recipient will be announced as the winner of the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award.

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