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17 May 2022

4 minutes to read

Making blended learning work: a case study from Mathematics

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of online teaching and learning. But how do we make sure it blends effectively with more traditional learning approaches? Dr Houry Melkonian, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics, has been experimenting with different blended learning approaches with her first-year undergraduate mathematics courses.

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4 May 2022

4 minutes to read

Seeds of change: the benefits of mixing students from different disciplines

What do Engineering and German have in common? You might think of car manufacturing – Vorsprung durch Technik – or perhaps your washing machine. But what would happen if you created opportunities for students from these very different disciplines to work together?

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12 April 2022

4 minutes to read

Empowering health protection practitioners to deliver excellence in public health

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of health emergency preparation, forward planning and robust outbreak management systems. By expanding its continuing professional development programme, the University is continuing to support public health teams in meeting these challenges.

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16 March 2022

3 minutes to read

Exploring the benefits of compassion – in education and in life

Over 500 people from around the world attended the University’s first Festival of Compassion in November. Held over 10 days, the festival hosted a wide range of free online and on-campus activities to explore how we can foster compassion to build stronger communities. The diverse events included:

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11 January 2022

4 minutes to read

Study Mindsets in Classics and Mathematics with Mindfulness and LEGO® Serious Play®

How might the tools of mindfulness and playfulness offer students of demanding subjects like Classics and Mathematics a more fun and stress-free learning experience? Two Exeter academics have been trying to find out…

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7 December 2021

3 minutes to read

Promoting postgraduate opportunities through the Sustainability Summer Programme

With so many different options for postgraduate study, it can be difficult for students to decide what or where to study. To help address this, the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences (CEMPS) ran a Summer Programme entirely online earlier this year.

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girls in science classroom

24 November 2021

3 minutes to read

Inspiring the next generation of female STEM students

Research shows that females are more likely than males to form negative emotions about their abilities to perform mathematics or sciences, and that these perceptions take root at a young age. These views are often influenced by stereotypes about gender disparities, and false assumptions that mathematics or science subjects are not for…

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14 October 2021

4 minutes to read

Playful purpose: using games to connect and inspire

Except amongst the youngest of students, playfulness is not usually a characteristic promoted by the curriculum or encouraged by teachers. In fact, play is often seen as a distraction from rigorous learning activities, or a sign that students are lacking in focus.

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22 September 2021

2 minutes to read

Transforming our education during the pandemic

At the start of a new academic year, now is a good time to pause and reflect for a moment on how the University responded to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what we can learn from that response.

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14 September 2021

3 minutes to read

Good at maths? How innovative projects are aiming to broaden student participation

For many of us, our perceived ability at maths will be influenced by cultural bias – such as the view that maths is predominantly a male field, or an innate talent. These are views that Dr Houry Melkonian, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Exeter, is keen to change.

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19 August 2021

3 minutes to read

Using virtual reality in medical imaging

Diagnostic Radiography students in Medical Imaging at the University of Exeter College of Medicine and Health have been using virtual reality (VR) x-ray rooms, allowing them to enhance their clinical skills training by practising techniques learned in their x-ray room sessions.

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12 August 2021

4 minutes to read

Exploring social media as a form of assessment

From in-class tests to essays to presentations, there are many ways in which module leads can assess their students’ understanding. We know the way in which we assess students’ performance can influence the way in which they engage with learning. Varying how you assess your students can also help students who don’t…

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15 July 2021

4 minutes to read

Opportunities and challenges of digital learning: an interview with Professor Tim Quine, DVC Education

Emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic will bring challenges and opportunities for education, and three Exeter students recently had the chance to quiz Professor Tim Quine, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), to canvass his views.

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1 July 2021

4 minutes to read

Concurrent teaching: lessons from dissertation preparation sessions

Teaching students who join a session together, either from campus or online, has become an increasing feature of the last 12 months. Here Dr Matt Finn and Dr Laura Smith (Geography) describe their week-long series of concurrent workshops for second year BA Geography students, to prepare for their final year dissertations.

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24 June 2021

4 minutes to read

Bringing learning back to campus through The Festival of Discovery

Over 400 events took place on campus in the University’s inaugural Festival of Discovery. Held over a 2-week period from late May, the event aimed to bring our whole university community closer together to enjoy a range of on-campus and online activities.               “I loved the…

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Colombian flag on building

18 June 2021

4 minutes to read

How a Colombia field trip became a successful virtual exchange

Field courses are a capstone of many degree programmes, facilitating immersive and experiential learning opportunities. Students can engage with various aspects of their chosen field in situ, in an authentic and often applied way. This might involve touring unique facilities, interacting with external experts,

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Teaching in an AV enhanced space

9 June 2021

3 minutes to read

How enhancing the AV in teaching spaces can create a more seamless student experience

One of the many challenges faced by educators over the last year is delivering teaching concurrently to both students present in the room and also joining online through Teams or Zoom. Teaching rooms are rarely equipped to enable this concurrent teaching effectively, with limited camera and audio coverage

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26 May 2021

3 minutes to read

Quantum leap: how cutting-edge technologies are giving students industry experience

Since autumn 2020, Physics students at the University of Exeter have been working with real-life quantum computers, thanks to the IBM Quantum Educators Program. IBM is at the forefront of quantum computing systems, research and development and their involvement has

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19 May 2021

4 minutes to read

Building social connections between students during the pandemic

University life is about more than just studying. It’s about building social connections – friendships and relationships that can shape you forever. These social connections with peers are crucial to students’ success and overall wellbeing. But establishing these connections

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12 May 2021

3 minutes to read

Is it time to take a fresh look at MOOCs?

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a sharp focus on online learning, so where do Massive Open Online Courses – MOOCs – fit into the picture? Lisa Harris and Steph Comley take a look… Now that an increasing number of educators and learners are discovering the benefits of inclusive and accessible online learning,…

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6 May 2021

3 minutes to read

How Exeter is helping to strengthen primary care expertise globally

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed the importance of public health and primary care into sharp focus – not only in treating people with Covid, but to facilitate vaccine distribution. Managing the impact of the virus is carried out in community settings, and the World Health Organisation has

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29 April 2021

4 minutes to read

Making the case for online conferences: The UG Research Showcase

This year marked two important milestones for the University’s Undergraduate Research Showcase: the annual event celebrated its fifth birthday, and, for the first time ever, it took place all online. The exhibition offers an opportunity for undergraduates to share projects they’ve undertaken during their time at the university

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student reading book in library

22 April 2021

3 minutes to read

Mindful classics: an ancient approach to wellbeing to support modern learners

As the Covid-19 pandemic has progressed, mental health has become almost as much of a concern as physical health. Uncertainty and long-term isolation have been identified as particular threats to overall wellbeing – with mindfulness often touted as a useful antidote.

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15 April 2021

4 minutes to read

Finding the ‘write path’: how writing groups help postgraduate researchers

Pandemic-era higher education conversations have tended to focus more on the issues of undergraduates and taught postgraduates, rather than postgraduate researchers (PGRs) – an issue repeatedly raised on a national stage by Professor Andrew McRae, Dean of Postgraduate Research and the Exeter Doctoral College. 

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dancer

1 April 2021

3 minutes to read

Choreographing excellent education: concurrent dance teaching and learning

Throughout the pandemic, one of the most common pedagogical questions has been: ‘How can I help my students feel connected?’ This is a challenging issue in any discipline, but especially in one where students would normally meet up in a specialist physical space

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25 March 2021

4 minutes to read

The unexpected upsides of digital learning – and overcoming the downsides

For many students, the accelerated move to digital learning in 2020/21 has posed a number of challenges. But it’s also had its advantages. Here, Millie Britton, a final year Economics with Geography student and Digital Learning Assistant, reflects on a year of digital learning. From my own experiences as a third year, and the experiences of other students,…

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17 March 2021

4 minutes to read

Taking Grand Challenges online to create engaging learning experiences

Grand Challenges week plays a key role in the Exeter calendar, giving students the opportunity to work in cross-discipline groups to design innovative solutions to real world challenges. But in COVID-19 times, Grand Challenges has adapted to become Challenges Online.

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3 March 2021

3 minutes to read

Serious Play: how LEGO® can help build learning communities and knowledge

Back-to-school supply lists commonly include items like notebooks and pens, but these days you might find an unexpected addition: LEGO® bricks. LEGO® is thought to be the world’s most popular building toy, and is a highly recognisable brand. Yet that wouldn’t usually recommend it for use in an educational setting. However, LEGO®…

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3 March 2021

3 minutes to read

Using technology to facilitate flexible approaches to academic personal tutoring

At the University of Exeter, the Academic Personal Tutor plays a key role as the first point of contact for students. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, new tools have been needed to facilitate those important conversations.

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1 March 2021

3 minutes to read

Partnering with current and recent students to create compelling blended learning programmes

In April 2020, the University of Exeter faced the same dilemma as most other universities: how to move most or all of its teaching online in just a few months?

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1 March 2021

4 minutes to read

From field to online: creating immersive virtual field trips during a pandemic

For departments like Geography and the Camborne School of Mines, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed a particularly difficult challenge. How can the unique experience of educational field trips be replicated in an online environment? It’s a question that departments have tackled in a number of different, innovative ways. In Geography, interactive ‘storymaps’…

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