TREY’s Good Teacher award recipients were announced on the opening day of the academic year

Traditional Good Teacher awards were announced in the ceremony held by The Industrial Research Fund at Tampere University of Technology and The University of Tampere Foundation. We students want to show our appreciation towards the work of our teaching faculty by giving out this award. TREY is giving out this award for the second time in the history of our student union. This award is given in collaboration with The Industrial Research Fund at Tampere University of Technology and The University of Tampere Foundation.

The award is given out to three members of the teaching faculty of Tampere University. The recipients of the award have been selected on the basis of student proposals. We collected the proposals in the spring of 2021 and we received 14 proposals. Based on these proposals, the coordinating  committee submitted their suggestion of the recipients to TREY’s board. These awards were given out in the ceremony held on September 7th. Good Teacher award committee’s chair Vili Sipilä announced the recipients on behalf of TREY. You can find Vili´s speech below. 

This year the special criteria for the award was “Feedback practices and how feedback is used in developing education”. Based on all the criteria TREY’s board decided to award the following teaching faculty members

Anneli Yliherva, Faculty of Social Sciences
Veli-Pekka Pyrhönen, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Liisa Mustanoja, Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences

The award recipients will be awarded a stipend from the foundations and TREY will have their caricature pictures made for the Good Teacher -award walls on campuses.

The Good Teacher award is an annual tradition at TREY. With this tradition we, in collaboration with the foundations, will support the work of development of education and thank the members of our teaching faculty that inspire the students with their own work. 

Vili’s speech in the award ceremony on September 7.

Dear Provost, Universities’ foundations, recipients of the award and other participants

In the words of William Arthur Ward, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires”. TREY’s Good Teacher award, already a tradition, is an expression of gratitude directly from students to the teachers that inspire them. In addition to showing gratitude, the purpose of the award is also to give the spotlight to members of the teaching staff in our university community that have made an impact on students. The recipients of the award are people nominated by student organizations or individual students. Based on these nominations, TREY, together with The University of Tampere Foundation and The Industrial Research Fund at Tampere University of Technology, presents the Good Teacher award to three members of the teaching staff. By presenting the award, we want to take part in supporting the development of teaching and teachership in the university community in Tampere. 

We students are accustomed to the high quality of teaching here in Tampere, and the teaching staff works every day to assure that our university maintains both the quality and the student-friendly approach to teaching. However, the development of teaching is not only a task for the teaching staff, but students want to take a part in the process as well. The simple way for students to do this is the use of the standard course feedback, but, in addition to this, many teachers have taken a step further in developing their own teaching and their courses by collecting feedback from students in diverse ways. We students highly appreciate this and want to bring it to the attention of the whole university community. Therefore, feedback practices and responding to feedback were chosen as special criteria for this year’s Good Teacher awards. 

Based on these special criteria, as well as the general criteria, we have decided to present the Good Teacher award to three members of the teaching staff, for the following reasons:

The first recipient of the award  is from the Faculty of Social Sciences. Students describe her as inspiring, warm and skilled in her profession. The practical teaching methods used on her courses have been extremely helpful to students, and they have supported the students in developing their own thinking skills. Last academic year, all her courses were completed in distance teaching. Even in these circumstances, all students were given the attention they needed and diverse communication methods were used. Students describe the teacher in question as flexible and understanding, which has in part contributed to making the teaching more accessible to all. As a contact person for internships, she is supportive and provides feedback. She collects feedback from students both during the courses and after them, and actively listens to the students’ wishes. Student feedback has been taken into account from various points of view, including course completion options, schedules as course execution. An example of this was a question session held before exams, based on students’ suggestions. In addition to actively developing her own teaching based on feedback, the recipient of the award also informs other teachers on the collected feedback, to further develop the teaching in her field in general. Based on these various merits, we present the first Good Teacher award of 2021 to Anneli Yliherva, who teaches in the Degree Programme in Logopedics.

The second teacher to be awarded is from the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences. The nominations describe the teacher in question as flexible and ready to make exceptions in their teaching to ensure that students have access to diverse and high-quality study methods. They have, for example, published additional study videos and other materials during the time of distance teaching. Their teaching includes various course completion options, and the grading practices used on their courses allows the efficient use of different teaching methods. The teacher has developed different ways to include more communication in his teaching, and the nominations mention an active conversational atmosphere on their courses. The recipient is supportive and encourages healthy competition to help students achieve progress. Students describe them as an understanding, flexible and supportive teacher. This teacher works in various different tasks to develop teaching and education in the Degree Programme in Automation Engineering. They actively collect feedback from students during the teaching, by using, for example, an anonymous Padlet platform. If they are unable to respond to feedback during the course, this teacher makes sure that it will be taken into account in the future. They appreciate the feedback given after the courses and pays attention to any possible inconveniences pointed out. We are happy to present the second Good Teacher award of 2021 to Veli-Pekka Pyrhönen, teacher of Automation Engineering.

The third teacher to be awarded is from the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication. The recipient of the award uses diverse teaching methods on their courses, such as using different kinds of study units to assess final grades. Students are given versatile tasks, such as videos and portfolios. The diverse teaching methods and active participation in their courses ensure effective learning. The teacher to be awarded is pedagogically skilled, and they make the effort to motivate students and to pay attention to them regardless of the students’ own ambitions regarding the course. The teacher contacts students if they feel like they are not working to their full potential. The recipient uses feedback practices actively in their teaching, and the collected feedback is used to develop the teaching – for example, teaching and course completion methods that were previously considered too demanding were altered based on students’ feedback. This teacher also ensures that they give feedback to students on their own learning and progress, which the students have considered highly important. We present the third Good Teacher award of 2021 to Liisa Mustanoja, teacher of Finnish language.

On behalf of TREY, I would like to thank all three of you for your valuable work in teaching and teaching development. We at TREY are going to continue valuing teaching, its development and student-friendly action in the future. This is the second time for TREY to give out these awards, and it will maintain a tradition in our student community. We hope that the tradition inspires the teaching staff to better themselves as teachers, and students to take part in developing the teaching in our community. For the award recipients this year, once more on behalf of us students, thank you and congratulations!


Pic: Jonne Renvall, Tampere University