Several rows of people sat in a lecture theatre.

The Digital Learning team proudly announces the winners of the 2023 Blackboard and VLE Awards. This accolade recognises positive pedagogical considerations and great online course design. The contributions to online learning and the effective use of virtual learning environments (VLEs) help shape our digital environment to be engaging, clear and inclusive.

A person watching a course highlight video and making notes.

This year we had 488 students nominate a total of 277 unique modules from across the university. If you love data as much as we do, take a look at, Blackboard and VLE Awards: 5 Years of New Faculties. We greatly appreciate the engagement our students have with the Blackboard and VLE awards as we continue to focus on the enhancement and celebration of our modules.

The engagement shared with us throughout the Blackboard and VLE awards enables us to share key themes of what students value in their modules. Two key themes highlighted in this year’s awards were ‘Organisation and engagement.’ One quote brilliantly summarizes this: “This module is truly beautifully organized, with aims and expectations for the week highlighted below each folder. There is consistency between what is provided week on week, and students would easily be able to keep track of tasks.

Module scorecards were provided to nominated modules to aid them in enhancement. If we take an average of the 277 scorecards in the four themes used in this years award, we can identify where enhancements could be focused in any module at our institution since the 277 scorecards represent a wide-set of subjects and disciplines.

  • Course Design scored at 92.2%.
  • Interactional and collaboration scored at 88%.
  • Assessments scored at 88.6%
  • Learner support scored at 87.2%


Our amazing interns, Lottie and Jessica worked together to survey the 100 top-rated modules from students’ nominations. Yes, 100! In doing so, Lottie and Jessica shortlisted the modules. The shortlist has maintained representation from all five faculties and included a curriculum innovation module, which is a cross faculty collaboration. Here they all are, grouped by Faculty!

  • UOSM2031 Engineering Replacement Body Parts
  • ARCH3017 Presenting the Past: Museums and Heritage
  • ARTD6113 Professional and Academic Skills 1
  • ENGL2080 Queens, Devils and Players in Early Modern England
  • PHIL1019 Puzzles about Art and Literature
  • PHIL3034 Philosophy of sex, sexuality and gender
  • NPCG1023 Fundamental Aspects of Care
  • PSIO2033 Healthy Discussions for Physiotherapy
  • PSYC2027 Current Issues in Clinical Psychology
  • PSYC3056 Current and Emerging Issues in Psycho-Oncology and Pain Research
  • SOES2040 Zooplankton Ecology and Processes
  • CENV6090 Energy Resources and Engineering
  • CENV6122 Advanced Geotechnical Engineering
  • CENV6141 Bioenergy
  • GENG0003 Mechanical Science
  • SESA2022 Aerodynamics
  • SESA3038 Space Environment
  • MEDI1030 Cardiopulmonary
  • MEDI4023 Acute care
  • EDUC2029 Leading and Managing in Education
  • EDUC6457 Globalisation and Education Policy
  • MANG2003 Financial Accounting 2
  • MANG3030 Financial Analysis, Information and Markets
  • MANG6221 Stock Market Analysis
  • MANG6295 Introduction to Finance
  • PAIR3069 Green Political Thought: Humans and Other Stories
  • SSPC1006 Inequalities in Everyday World

All our shortlisted modules are fantastic examples of well-designed courses chosen by University of Southampton students. After a further review conducted by the iSolutions Education Services team, they selected our finalists. Check out our the course highlight videos of all of finalists.

Blackboard and VLE Awards 2023 – Finalist course highlights’

Overall winners

A person filling out a course design bingo card.

From here our final judging panel made up Associate Deans of Education from each faculty and our sabbatical officers from our Student Union, SUSU, identified our overall winners. We celebrated our winners at this year’s Festival of Learning and Teaching in partnership with the Centre for Higher Education Practice, featuring activities such as course highlight premieres and a game of course design bingo!

But without further ado, our 2023 Blackboard and VLE Blackboard and VLE award winners are:

Congratulations to all recognised in the 2023 Blackboard and VLE Awards, with a round of applause for our overall winners. Explore what being a 2023 Blackboard and VLE award winner means to some of them.

Fiona Woollard, Overall winner | Philosophy of sex, sexuality and gender, PHIL3034
Bernadette Fernandez, Overall Winner | Cardiopulmonary, MEDI1030
Lizzie Reed, Staff-nomination winner | Inequalities in Everyday Worlds, SSPC1006
Blackboard and VLE Awards 2023

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