Hi, I’m Toby Roberts, and I’ll be working as a BILT Student Fellow alongside my final year as a Biology undergrad in Bristol. The project I’ll be working on is Active, Collaborative Learning.
I’m quite new to Bristol, having arrived last year after transferring from Exeter’s Penryn Campus. Although it was heartbreaking to leave Cornwall behind, I wasn’t happy with my course and the way I was being taught, so I headed for the big city. This meant that I came to Bristol with huge expectations, both for the university and for myself.
After a year, I was feeling a lot more like a biologist, but was still trying to figure out what ‘University’ really is and what it is for. Spurred on by a successful decision to move away from Exeter and find a course that suited me better, I was in the mindset of ‘if I’m not happy with the way things are, it’s not enough just to moan, I need to do something about it’. That was when I saw the advert for the BILT Student Hackathon.
Although what I really needed after exams was a few weeks of solid sleep, I threw myself into it and was really glad I did. It was crazy to see inside of the lumbering, bureaucratic machine that the University can seem like to a student, and some things I saw and heard did reinforce that view. But, at the same time I met students and staff (including the lovely BILT team) that made me believe that people really are working to make fantastic things happen and fighting the students’ corner. It was great to feel like a part of that.
I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the work we’d put in over the four weeks of the Hackathon, so am incredibly excited to get to continue working with BILT as a Student Fellow. Finding ways to make teaching and learning more active and collaborative is something I’m hugely passionate about. Shaking up the way we learn is scary, and that goes for me as a student too. But, there’s a massive amount of creativity in the university and the city and if there’s a way to unlock that and connect people together I’m going to do my best to make that happen.
I’ll keep you posted with everything we get up to and achieve over the course of the year!
Bristol Institute for Learning and Teaching