BILT Briefings, News

BILT Friday Briefing Issue 48


Note from Sarah Davies, BILT Director

As we approach the end of what has felt like a very long term, I wanted to thank everyone, both teaching and professional services staff, who have worked so hard to plan, prepare, organise, manage and deliver teaching to our students in these very different circumstances. I’ve been so impressed by the energy and imagination which so many of you have brought to your teaching. It’s been a new experience for pretty much everyone, as even those with a lot of online or blended education under their belts are unlikely to have previously tried teaching in a socially distanced classroom. Do please use the digital experience insights survey to tell us about how your recent blended teaching and working experiences have been, so we can support you better.

It’s also been a new experience for our students, so we’ve been consulting with students in various ways to help us understand how it’s playing out for them. The Education pulse survey has been one key source of information, but we’ve also held a student hackathon, and are working with our BILT student fellows, and DEO’s new student digital champions, to understand more about the lived experience of this year’s blended learning. I was fascinated by the ‘day in the life‘ word sketches from our hackathon students, which highlighted the many different ways students self-organise to make the most of their teaching and study opportunities, and to cope with the challenges of studying largely alone in their bedrooms.

National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) nominees

We are delighted to confirm that the following staff members have been selected by the University as nominees for the Advance HE, National Teaching Fellowship 2021 scheme:

  • Senior Lecturer Sarah Allsop from the School of Anatomy
  • Professor Alan Champneys from the School of Computer Science, Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Engineering Mathematics
  • Professor Paul Wyatt from the School of Chemistry

Congratulations to Sarah, Alan and Paul! Over the next few briefings we will be bringing you introductory blogs from each NTF nominee so you can find out more about each applicant and their work leading up to their nomination. Today we introduce nominee Sarah Allsop in her ‘Meet the NTF nominees’ blog.

Welcoming Sama to the BILT Student Fellow team

We are excited to announce the engagement of a 5th BILT Student Fellow for 2020/21. Sama Zou’bi is a second year, undergraduate Law student and joined the team from mid- November. Find out more about Sama and her initial thoughts on the key Student Fellow themes in her ‘Meet the BILT Student Fellows’ blog.


New Staff Development pages on the BILT website

We have a new Staff Development section on the BILT website which offers a range of Learning and Teaching development and resources to support all staff who teach or support learning. This includes details on the CREATE scheme, development information for specific roles e.g. PGRs, Research Supervisors etc, and teaching observation resources. Find out more by exploring the Staff Development pages.

Student Fellow theme pieces – Parts 2 of 2

Following on from Issue 47, Student Fellows Jonny Barnes and Michelle Jideofor explore two of the confirmed Student Fellows themes for 20/21 in these insightful blogs, ‘Co-designing assessment with students’ and ‘How can online communities enhance online learning’.

Benefits of Engaged Learning – blog

Engaged Learning Coordinator, Hannah Tweddell looks at the benefits of Engaged Learning opportunities for both students and partners using Physical Geography project feedback as an example in this ‘Physical Geographers working with the local community’ blog.

Top Tips for Building Inclusive Online Communities with Breakout Rooms – Student Fellow blog

computer icon on green background

Student Fellow Jonny Barnes outlines what building inclusive online communities means and provides some valuable tips you may wish to explore in your own teaching including using Microsoft Teams, reviewing groups sizes and engaging asynchronous viewers. Find out more in the ‘Top Tips for Building Inclusive Online Communities with Breakout Rooms blog.

Designing an online course that is more questions than answers – blog

Professor Bridget Anderson and Emma Newcombe discuss their experiences of course design for the upcoming online Future Learn course – ‘Migration, Mobility and Citizenship’ (which forms part of the Bristol Futures portfolio) and ‘Migration, Mobilities and Citizenship: The MMC Online Academy 2021’. Read more, find out further details about the courses and how to register in this guest blog post.


Tales of the Digital (and Blended): Small things that make a big difference – online discussion workshops next week

Our staff and student community have learnt an enormous amount about online teaching and blended learning over TB1. Come along to this online conversation to explore inspiring practices with a range of colleagues across the University, troubleshoot problems and find creative solutions to some of the challenges. Workshops are taking place online, on the following dates – note the rooms will be open for 15 minutes before and after the sessions for attendees to engage in informal discussions. Find out more and sign up to a sessions using the date links below:

Blended Learning and Teaching online course: 11th – 15th January

This online course focuses on blended learning and teaching and has been designed for Teaching Support staff (i.e. Demonstrators, Teaching Support Assistants and Assistant Teachers) who have not yet engaged with this training, previously run in TB1. The programme will support you in your roles as we face the challenges of a new learning and teaching environment.  Visit the BILT events page to find out more and register.


If there is anything you would like to share via this briefing, please get in touch with the BILT Team at

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