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Uni study advice team's help influential in national award win – University of Reading

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Uni study advice team's help influential in national award win

Release Date 19 October 2009

The University of Reading's Study Advice Team showed their innovation and expertise recently, by playing a crucial role in the development of an award winning e-learning tool.

The resource, developed by a team from the LearnHigher Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), won third prize in a prestigious national competition for creating innovative teaching and learning materials.

Members of the Study Advice team are funded by the LearnHigher CETL to develop new tools to support student learning. For this work, the team provided the content for a suite of video resources providing teaching materials for report writing and time management workshops. This new resource, entitled Delivering Student Workshops, was then entered into The Jorum Learning & Teaching Competition 2009.

Demand for teaching resources to support student learning is increasing, just as the time to research, develop and evaluate such resources is in ever shorter supply. Reading's idea focused on the need to provide a comprehensive resource in an interactive format, delivering information by text, video and web links.

Dr Judy Turner, a member of the University Study Advice team & LearnHigher Co-ordinator at Reading explained: "Our research found text-based webpages alone could not reproduce the embodied expertise and experience LearnHigher partners are known for. The aim was to provide teaching staff, both in academic departments and learning development services, with a set of adaptable resources that can be delivered as stand-alone workshops or 'bite-sized' training.

"Our online workshop tools are fully supported with downloadable handouts and teaching notes. Importantly they can be used as an 'off the shelf' teaching resource or adapted for individual groups of students and courses. The resource is freely available under a Creative Commons Licence, and we hope it will be used widely by the whole of the FE and HE community, both in the UK and abroad."

The panel judging the competition were looking for exciting, innovative learning and teaching resources. Winners were decided via a scoring system based on the appropriateness, engagement, effectiveness and reusability of each resource submitted.

The judges were full of praise for Delivering Student Workshops commenting: "These resources have been well planned to meet the objectives of informing educators how to run workshops. They included comprehensive information on how to run a student workshop on report writing and had excellent support materials. Information is provided in bite-sized amounts, making the material effective for online learning. The flexibility in navigation allows the resource to be viewed in order and used as a whole or as individual standalone sections, which increases its capacity to be reused. "

The achievement of the Reading team builds on its existing success with two websites developed on report writing and time management for students, both accessed via the LearnHigher website www.learnhigher.ac.uk. Since their launch in October 2008, these websites have proved extremely popular with students, learning developers and academic teaching staff. They have consistently achieved high Google rankings (usually in the top five search results) for their topics.

To access Delivering Student Workshops please visit http://www.learnhigher.ac.uk/videoresources/

Ends

For all University of Reading media enquiries please contact James Barr, Press Officer tel. 0118 378 7115 or email j.w.barr@reading.ac.uk

Notes for Editors:

The University Study Advisers are a professional team based in the Carrington Building on the University's Whiteknights Campus. They aim to promote student success by supporting students to develop their skills and become more effective independent learners.

The University of Reading is rated as one of the top 200 universities in the world (THE-QS World Rankings 2009)

The University of Reading is one of the UK's top research-intensive universities. The University is ranked in the top 20 UK higher education institutions in securing research council grants worth nearly £10 million from EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, AHRC and BBSRC. In the RAE 2008, over 87% of the university's research was deemed to be of international standing. Areas of particular research strength recognised include meteorology and climate change, typography and graphic design, archaeology, philosophy, food biosciences, construction management, real estate and planning, as well as law.

University of Reading is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience. www.1994group.ac.uk

LearnHigher is a collaborative project involving 16 Higher Education Institutions in partnership with the Higher Education Academy, part of the CETLs initiative. Their aim is to investigate the effectiveness of resources and interventions to develop student learning. LearnHigher is conducting research through practice-led enquiry in a broad spectrum of learning areas. All of the resources being developed are freely available for use or adaptation via the LearnHigher website

Jorum is a free online service providing access to teaching and learning resources, for teaching and support staff in UK Further and Higher Education Institutions. For more information please visit http://www.jorum.ac.uk/#

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