September 2020

University delivers 10,000 online sessions since lockdown

By Melanie Hall

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University College Birmingham has revealed it has delivered 10,000 online learning sessions since lockdown in March. 

The University, which has already reopened for college level students and is set to welcome higher education students back from 4 October, has pulled out all the stops to provide the highest quality online lectures and conferences through to personal 1-2-1s and group seminars.

It has also delivered seven interactive, virtual open days, with inspirational taster activities and guest speakers from across the world.

"The majority of students have chosen a mix of online and face-to-face learning... We have worked hard to ensure we can balance the two safely and effectively"

Paul Doherty Executive Director for Engagement, Employability and E-Resources

Paul Doherty, Executive Director for Engagement, Employability and E-Resources at the University, said the response to the need for online teaching had been incredible and a robust system was in place for the new semester. 

“We adapted to online learning really rapidly,” he said. “We’d been developing our virtual learning environment, Canvas, through our Digital Innovation for Creativity in Education centre (DICE) for a while, but it was amazing to see staff step up to the plate in terms of the sudden online delivery expectations.  

“In the main, this semester, we will continue to deliver lectures, seminars and tutorials online through Canvas and the likes of Big Blue Button to keep numbers on campus down. Students have been offered the choice and around 25 percent, mostly on business courses, have opted to learn purely online. 

“However, we do have a high level of practical skills development with workshops and clinics built into our courses and the majority of students have chosen a mix of online and face-to-face learning to get the full experience. We have worked hard to ensure we can balance the two safely and effectively.” 

Much of the face-to-face teaching will take place at University College Birmingham’s practical training facilities for real-life work experience. 

These include a new, state-of-the-art Human Performance Centre for sports students and six-bed ward for nursing and physiotherapy students at the new Moss House, a bank of industry-designed training kitchens, Food Science and Innovation Suite and new Aviation and Tourism and Prosthetics suites at Summer Row, plus a new Financial Trading Suite at McIntyre House. 

Further education students will continue to train at facilities at Richmond House, with some teaching at McIntyre House this semester to keep numbers down. 

Find out more about what teaching will look like at University College Birmingham this semester.

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