Adapting to digital to engage Specialist Hair and Make-up students leads to national virtual learning award
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University College Birmingham’s library services has won a national award for adapting to virtual learning to support Specialist Hair and Media Make-up undergraduates and teaching staff.
The University has won the Library Teaching and Learning Award from education provider Talis, which supports around 90 per cent of UK universities with online resources and teaching and learning software in a rapidly evolving environment.
In what would be a serendipitous move, the University had just started trialling the Talis Elevate digital tool as a new way of building engagement with its Specialist Hair and Make-up students and lecturers when the pandemic struck.
“We are delighted to have received this award in recognition of the work we have been doing with Talis Elevate across the University, in particular with our Creative Services courses”
Giving students the opportunity to engage with images, videos and journal articles and leave comments for tutors before attending their seminars increased sociability and meant more time to analyse, discuss and learn in the classroom.
This proved indispensable when the first Covid-19 lockdown came in shortly after, and the software is now also being trialled on tourism and education courses.
Jessica Wainwright, Library Resources Manager at University College Birmingham, said the department was thrilled to win the award, a new category in Talis’ annual awards, which celebrate digital excellence in the higher education sector.
“We are delighted to have received this award in recognition of the work we have been doing with Talis Elevate across the University, in particular with our Creative Services courses,” she said.
“It has enabled us to increase student engagement in online lessons and with online resources, as well as encouraging collaborative group discussions in the virtual learning environment. Ultimately, this has helped students and lecturers to feel more connected and increased usage of our valuable online resources.”
Laura Unwin, Services Manager at Talis, said the award was for a university library that had shown dedication to supporting teaching and learning across the board and working closely with other departments to make it happen.
“University College Birmingham recognised the need for a move to online collaboration before the pandemic struck and saw that Talis Elevate was a way to help solve this,” she said. “The Specialist Hair and Media Make-up department, in particular, used a lot of images and video to support their teaching, which posed problems when measuring student engagement.
“By using Talis Elevate, they have seen some great success and a high level of student engagement, very much thanks to hard work and a real partnership between the library and the Specialist Hair and Media Make-up department.”
The Talis software is accessed through the University’s online portal, Canvas.
Find out more about the University’s learning support.
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