Literatures, Languages & Cultures

Fumiko Narumi-Munro wins Teaching Award for use of feedback

She reflects on working in partnership with undergraduate students and colleagues to reshape Japanese courses and excellent peer support.

Fumiko Narumi-Munro, a Teaching Fellow in Japanese in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC), has won the Edinburgh University Students’ Association Teaching Award for Best Implementer of Student Feedback.

Fumiko accepting her award
Fumiko accepting her award. Image courtesy of the Students' Association.

Fumiko teaches Japanese language to undergraduate students and has recently reshaped the ‘pre-honours’ (first and second year) courses in response to user feedback.

Asked how she sources this feedback, Fumiko cites “regular conversations with students, including talking in and outside class, written course feedback, and Staff Student Liaison Committee meetings. All of these have helped me figure out what issues really lie beneath students’ various comments - e.g. the content of the course is too easy / too difficult, or too fast / slow-paced - at the programme level, rather than simply reacting to feedback for each class or course.”

“I also feel it is important to take into account the real source of issues (for example, students’ different entry levels and diverse backgrounds) through observation and discussions with colleagues - this is essential as the pre-honours Japanese Language courses are team-taught. It cannot be achieved only by one person, and I am very grateful for my supportive colleagues in and beyond my department and School, as well as supportive students.”

A fundamental principle of learning and teaching

Katherine Inglis and Fumiko Narumi-Munro
Katherine Inglis (l) and Fumiko Narumi-Munro (r). Image courtesy of the Students' Association.

This is the second year of the Best Implementer of Student Feedback Award, and the second win for a teacher in LLC.

In 2018 the Award was won by this year’s runner up, Sakie Chiba-Mooney, a Language Assistant in Japanese.

Like Sakie and Katherine Inglis (2019 runner up and 2018 winner of the Best Practice in Inclusive Learning and Teaching Award), Fumiko is no stranger to the Students’ Association Teaching Awards, having previously won in both the Innovative Teaching and Best Course categories.

She says “It is a great honour for me to receive a Teaching Award again. Although I have won other Teaching Awards in different categories in the past, I am more excited this time as it is more student-centred, related to a fundamental principle of learning and teaching.”

Sharing the same vision and goals

Group of prize winners
Japanese Studies Peer Support winning an Impact Award in 2018. Fumiko is shown second from right. Image courtesy of the Students' Association.

In addition to her Teaching Award, Fumiko was also shortlisted for this year’s inaugural Student Awards as part of the Japanese Studies Peer Support group.

Again run by the Edinburgh University Students’ Association, the Student Awards are a new celebration of student achievements across the University of Edinburgh, including for Student-Staff Partnership (the category in which Japanese Studies Peer Support was shortlisted).

Peer Support groups enable students to provide academic and social support for each other during their studies. Japanese is one of four in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) and last year won the Students’ Association final Impact Award for Best Peer Support Group.

Reflecting on the group’s ongoing success in student-staff partnership, Fumiko says “I feel we’re still a way from reaching the level where students are change agents, but taking little steps like reminding students that the learning is theirs, and sharing the same vision and goals during their programme, or even after they graduate, is key”.

Are you interested in studying Japanese at Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is the only university in Scotland to offer undergraduate honours degrees in Japanese, enabling you to learn the language in the context of Japan’s history, politics, international relations, and culture, past and present. We are proud to have achieved 100% overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2018. We also teach and supervise Japanese at postgraduate level.

Find out more about studying Japanese at LLC

Related links

Find out more about the Teaching Awards on the Students' Association website

Make your voice heard in contributing to a positive student experience at LLC