Each spring semester, Koç University offers Outstanding Teaching Awards at the college/school and university levels to recognize outstanding performance in classroom teaching and intellectual contribution to the teaching and learning process.

Some of the recipients of Outstanding Teaching Awards have kindly shared their teaching experiences with us over the years.

Prof. Dr. Selva Demiralp – Economics – CASE Outstanding Teaching Award Recipient (2021-2022)

My approach to making the course engaging for students involves integrating real-world examples, enabling them to see immediate applications of the knowledge gained in class. I consistently draw connections to current events, ensuring the content feels relevant and timely. At the beginning of each chapter, I contextualize its importance within the course’s broader structure, helping students grasp the purpose behind what they’re learning.

Even when tackling chapters that are more technical and might seem dull, I energize the students by illustrating the future practical use of this information, especially in understanding more intuitive concepts in subsequent chapters. I often frame questions as scenarios they might encounter, such as during a job interview, a query from their boss, or a discussion about the economy with their parents. Providing the answers, I encourage them to take notes, playfully suggesting they’re receiving insider tips. This has become a humorous aspect of our class culture, but it also appears to enhance their interest and retention of the material.

Dr. Eşref Ünsal – Computer Engineering – CE Outstanding Teaching Award Recipient (2021-2022)

Please find some of the matters that worked for me in the 3 courses I have been teaching:

• Urging the students to comment/discuss the subject at hand and put forward what they think (no discouraging of wrong or unusual answers). The course turns into a discussion session such as the ones in the MBA programs of Harvard.

• Highlighting the importance of active participation and commenting as a preparation for the business meetings to come. The casual discussion media improves the public speaking and capability to comment freely in front of others, which is a big gain for industrial/commercial platforms with company employees and the third parties in the days to come.

• Having name cards/plates for the students, placed in front of them in class (enhances remembering the names of the students and allows the students to address each other)

• Bringing forward cases/news from the recent topics, news articles from international commercial press, besides classical case examples and anecdotes.

Assoc. Prof. Murat Sözer – College of Engineering, Koç University Outstanding Teaching Award, 2012 (Handouts | Video)

Prof. Burak Özbağcı – College of Science, Koç University Outstanding Teaching Award, 2013 (Handouts)

Assoc. Prof. Murat Usman – College of Administrative Sciences and Economics, Koç University Outstanding Teaching Award, 2014 (Handouts)

Adj. Prof. Cüneyt Demirgüreş – Graduate School of Business, Koç University Outstanding Teaching Award, 2015 (Handouts)

Assist. Prof. Alper Uzun – College of Engineering, CE Outstanding Teaching Award, 2016 (Handouts | Video)

Assoc. Prof. Yonca Köksal – College of Social Sciences and Humanities, CSSH Outstanding Teaching Award, 2012 (Video)

Foreign Languages Coordinator, Figen Ecer – College of Social Sciences and Humanities, CSSH Outstanding Teaching Award, 2013 (Video)

Assist. Prof. Özlem Olgu – College of Administrative Sciences and Economics, CASE Outstanding Teaching Award, 2014 (Video)

Assist. Prof. Tilbe Göksun – College of Social Sciences and Humanities, CSSH Outstanding Teaching Award, 2015 (Video)

Prof. Tekin Dereli – College of Science, CS Outstanding Teaching Award, 2016 (Video)