MOOC Team Recognised with Senate Award

Senate award winners

Left to right, Dr Chris Carroll, Dr Chris Blackmore, Luke Miller, Andy Tattersall, Claire Beecroft, Dan Smith and Dr Katie Powell

The University of Sheffield’s 2014 Senate Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching for Collaborative Activities has been won by a team of staff at School of Health and Related Reseach. This award is given to groups or teams who clearly demonstrate collaborative working to improve learning in an inspiring or innovative manner.

The eight team members received the award in recognition of the work done in successfully running the University’s first three MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) from May to December 2013.

The successful project drew on a mixture of skills and experience from the following individuals, who now become ‘Senate Fellows’:

  • Dr Angie Clonan (‘Sustainable Healthy Diets’ MOOC Leader)
  • Dr Katie Powell (‘Health Inequalities’ MOOC Leader)
  • Dr Chris Carroll (‘Health Technology Assessment’ MOOC Leader)
  • Claire Beecroft (‘Health Technology Assessment’ MOOC Co-leader)
  • Andrew Tattersall (Information Specialist)
  • Chris Blackmore (ScHARR lead for eLearning)
  • Dan Smith (Learning Technologist)
  • Luke Miller (Learning Technologist)

The MOOCs attracted nearly 4000 participants (some of whom are now students at ScHARR) and gave a significant increase in ScHARR’s visibility and profile in global and national research networks related to the three MOOC topic areas. They also resulted in favourable social media posts and comments from a number of high profile commentators (including Ben Goldacre and Jay Rayner), and in the press (The Guardian, The Independent, The Times of India)

Based on this success and due to popular demand, the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) MOOC is now taking registrations for a second run starting on 30th June 2014. The Health Inequalities MOOC is also being considered for re-launch on the new FutureLearn platform in 2015.

The team are intending to spend the grant of £3,000 by investing in improving how they deliver distance learning with new lighting, microphones and a mixer. In addition they plan to fund a cache of chromebooks for use by staff and students within the School to enhance collaborative learning opportunities. Thanks to the ease with which staff and students can share Chromebooks, the team hopes to encourage other teaching staff to run small group seminars and workshops using them for information seeking, presentations, feedback and reflective practice amongst other things.


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