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One year on: Adapting teaching, learning and research

Posted on 23 March 2021

The speed of change during the first lockdown meant that, almost overnight, academic staff had to create new ways of teaching, making new materials and using unfamiliar digital tools.

A student working on a laptop

The focus of much of our research, so often driving new ideas, knowledge and understanding for society, pivoted to supporting the unfolding crisis and the impact of the pandemic. It meant transforming research methods, devoting facilities to investigate Covid-19 and donating PPE to the front line.

Despite the difficulties, many students recognised the efforts and innovation. For example, undergraduate first year feedback in the Department of Philosophy showed a 100 per cent approval rating for online seminars.

Students said moving seminars online made them “easier to participate” in, and “people engaged more with discussions”.

Overall the online seminars worked perfectly alongside the readings and I am very impressed with how well it worked out. Student feedback

There is no doubt this year has been challenging. We have listened hard to student feedback and evolved how we support our community of learners.

Our students have shown such resilience and patience, too, as we explored new ways to inspire and support them in their studies.

Working in partnership with our Students’ Unions has also proved critical, ensuring we have student representatives in decision making, to co-develop new ideas, and to ensure we integrate student insight and feedback on new approaches and initiatives.

We are celebrating all that colleagues from across the University have done to keep our students safe and supported over the last 12 months with a series of stories on these pages.