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Birkbeck Excellence in Teaching Award winners 2016 announced

Eight staff members selected for annual award scheme

Eight Birkbeck staff members have been recognised for their innovative and inter-disciplinary approach to teaching, learning and assessment in an annual Birkbeck award scheme.

Staff from across the college have been selected as the winners of the Birkbeck Excellence in Teaching Award (BETA) for 2015-16. An integral part of the college’s Learning and Teaching Strategy, BETA supports and encourages excellence in teaching and learning by providing formal recognition of pedagogic achievement.

The following projects, led by academics and professional services staff members across the college have been selected for this year’s BETA awards:

Project 1:  Dr Scott Rodgers Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies

  • ‘The Mediated City’ is an undergraduate module that encourages students to think media through the city. Throughout the module, students build a blog-based compilation of ‘urban media’ examples that include text, photos, audio, video, maps and other elements, effectively gathering up the city and bringing it back into the class setting.

Project 2:  Mr Daniel Harkin Philosophy

  • Visualising Arguments: Daniel’s work aims to facilitate students' appreciation of philosophical arguments and methods by including different learning styles. This involves the dynamic, visual presentation of philosophical material to promote accessibility and encourage students to think critically and reflectively.

Project 3: Dr Dermot Hodson Politics and to Dr Ben Worthy – Politics

  • Dr Dermot Hodson and Dr Ben Worthy record a weekly podcast, Westminster Watch, which connects issues in the news to concepts and theories explored in their undergraduate module, Contemporary British Politics.

    Between September 2015 and March 2016, they recorded 16 half-hour episodes on topics ranging from Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party to the political legacy of David Bowie, which were downloaded or streamed more than 1,200 times by Birkbeck students and external listeners.

Project 4:  Mr Leo Havemann (ITS), Dr Joanne Leal (Cultures and Languages), Dr Joana Barros (Geography Environmental and Developmental Studies), and Ms Elizabeth Drew (School of Arts)

  • ‘Step Up to Postgraduate Study in Arts’ is a cross-college collaborative project engaging in the development and ongoing implementation of a blended learning module for students transitioning from undergraduate to postgraduate study in the School of Arts.

    It allows students to acquire the research skills needed for an Arts MA while working with Arts-related materials on-line and face-to-face, enabling them to gain the knowledge and the confidence they will need in advance of their programme of study.

Dr Elizabeth Hoult, who leads on the BETA awards, said: “We were delighted by the number and quality of applications for the award this year. There is clearly a great deal of excellent and innovative work going on at Birbeck.”

Each winning project will receive a £1,000 prize. Recipients will also be formally recognised for their achievements at a Birkbeck graduation ceremony in the next academic year.

Before then, as is customary for all BETA recipients, the winners will give seminar based their work, which will be open to all staff, in the autumn term. Details of the seminars will be published in due course on the Centre for Transformative Practice in Learning and Teaching webpage.

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