Text: Blackboard & VLE Awards - Learner Support, with a cheerful female student working on a laptop in the background

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the University’s Blackboard & VLE Awards, we are offering awards in ten different categories this year. In the 10-minute video below, we delve into the Best Learner Support category. What is it that turns a course site from something students don’t engage with, into a space where they feel confident they can find all the support they need to succeed?

Drawing out aspects students highlighted this year and last, this brief overview explores award-winning courses to see how they ensure:

  • Learners know what to expect and what is expected of them
  • Learners are engaged and encourage
  • Each learner is listened to.
Panopto video exploring good learner support in a virtual learning environment. (10 minutes)

Due to the pandemic, in a lot of the examples here, the only way students could access learning support was virtually. The comprehensive support students describe here allowed them to thrive in an online environment. It offers many useful lessons to take forward as a more blended course delivery becomes possible.

Advice from Award-winners

In the following video interviews, award-winning course leads and students describe in more depth how they provided outstanding learner support.

Interview with Dr Nicholas Dacre, Fredrik Kockum and Vasilis Gkogkidis, the team involved in delivering the Project Management module, award-winner in the 2021 Blackboard & VLE Awards. (25 minutes)
Interview with Dr Jian Shi, module lead for Programming 2, award-winner in the 2021 Blackboard & VLE Awards. Students from the module also share their experiences. (6 minutes)

Uncover further insights from 2021’s Award winners at https://tiny.cc/winners2021.

Nominate a course

Both students and staff can nominate a module for the Best Learner Support category. Nominations remain open until February 28th, with the nomination forms for both students and staff available on our Blackboard & VLE Awards homepage.

We will reveal 2022’s award winning courses at the Awards Event on May 4th.

Learner support: Blackboard & VLE Awards

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