Exemplary Course Award Winners at the Annual Learning and Teaching Conference

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It was great to see so many faces at this year’s virtual Annual Learning and Teaching Conference. One of the highlights for me was to be able to celebrate our 5 Exemplary Course Award Winners. Since the start of the pandemic we haven’t been able to acknowledge our winners at graduation like we have done in previous years, so the ECA winners session is a way to share the fantastic and innovative practices taking place.

We’re about to start our course creation process for the academic year 2021-22. So, if you want some inspiration, take a look at the module tours linked from the text below.

Winner:

Dr Hanna Binks, Department of Psychology: PS11320: Introduction to Research Methods

This core, first year module equips students with the skills that they need for their duration of the degree in Psychology. The innovative assessment design, bilingual content, consistent organisation, and clear communications with students saw Hanna win this year’s competition. If you want inspiration on how to tie together learning outcomes, assessment, and content then take a look at this module.

Take a look at the PS11320 module tour.

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Exemplary Course Award 2020-21

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Hanna Binks, from the Department of Psychology, has been awarded the Exemplary Course Award for the module PS11320: Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology. The panel commended this module for its innovative assessment design and support, clear and logically ordered learning materials, and offering multiple ways for students to engage with learning activities.

In addition to the winner, the following module achieved Highly Commended:

  • Martine Garland from Aberystwyth Business School for the module AB27120: Marketing Management
  • Rhianedd Jewell from the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies for the module CY10920: Trafod y Byd Cyfoes twy’r Gymraeg
  • Prysor Mason Davies from the Department of Education for the module ED30620: Children’s Rights
  • Mary Jacob from the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit for the module PDM0530: Action Research and Reflective Practice in HE

The diverse range of teaching and learning styles evidenced in this year’s applications reflects the innovative work that is taking place across the institution.

The aim of the Exemplary Course Award, now in its seventh year, aims to recognise the very best learning and teaching practices. It gives staff members the opportunity to share their work with colleagues, enhance their current modules in Blackboard, and receive feedback on to improve.

Modules are assessed across 4 areas: course design, interaction and collaboration, assessment, and learner support. The self-assessed nature of the award gives staff the opportunity to reflect on their course and enhance aspects of their module before a panel assesses each application against the rubric.

The panel and the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit would like to thank all of the applicants for the time and effort that they have put into their applications and modules this year.

We’re looking forward to receiving more applications next year and many congratulations to the recipients of this year’s award.

Content Organisation in Blackboard

Distance Learner BannerAs we are using more and more functionality in Blackboard modules, how they are organised has become increasingly important. We receive quite a number of queries from students struggling to locate various items or submission points in Blackboard.

To assist with navigation, we’ve pulled together our top tips on content organisation.

If you’ve got any questions about this or want to request a module MOT, please email elearning@aber.ac.uk.

Tips for Organising Blackboard Content

Before you start creating content on your Blackboard modules, think about how it can best be arranged so that students can easily access it and that learning resources and activities are in a logical place.  

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The Exemplary Course Award – Streamlined Application Process

Annually, the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit run the Exemplary Course Award, which recognises the very best practice in using Blackboard. This blog post details changes we have made to the process, when dedicated training sessions will be run, how and why to apply, and when the deadline for applications is.
To get an idea of what an ECA-winning module might look like, you can view last year’s winners’ module walk-throughs here (Lara Kipp, in English only, and Rhianedd Jewell, in Welsh and English).

Recognising the particular challenges of this academic year, we have put our heads together to streamline the process in the hopes that even more applicants submit their modules for consideration. The process is still rigorous and detailed, but we have made some key changes to encourage as wide a range of applications as possible.

What has changed?
• You can now submit in two different formats: either a written narrative of up to 500 words, or a Panopto recording up to 4 minutes in length.
• We have streamlined the form in such a way that applicants only need to tick whether a criterion is fulfilled or not – no need to agonise over how many points to award yourself.
• We have integrated the criteria weighting into the form, meaning applicants do not need to calculate scores anymore.

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Exemplary Course Award

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Dr Lara Kipp, from the Department of Theatre Film and Television Studies, has been awarded the Exemplary Course Award for the module TP22320: Principles of Scenography. The panel commended this module for its innovative assessment design and support, clear and logically ordered learning materials, novel use of announcements, and offering multiple ways for students to engage with learning activities.

In addition to the winner, the following module achieved Highly Commended:

  • Dr Rhianedd Jewell from the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies for the module CY25620 / CY35620: Y Gymraeg yn y Gweithle

The diverse range of teaching and learning styles evidenced in this year’s applications reflects the innovative work that is taking place across the institution.

The aim of the Exemplary Course Award, now in its seventh year, aims to recognise the very best learning and teaching practices. It gives staff members the opportunity to share their work with colleagues, enhance their current modules in Blackboard, and receive feedback on to improve.

Modules are assessed across 4 areas: course design, interaction and collaboration, assessment, and learner support. The self-assessed nature of the award gives staff the opportunity to reflect on their course and enhance aspects of their module before a panel assesses each application against the rubric.

The panel and the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit would like to thank all of the applicants for the time and effort that they have put into their applications and modules this year.

We’re looking forward to receiving more applications next year and many congratulations to the recipients of this year’s award.