UoB is planning for a blend of face to face and virtual teaching for next year

Things can only get better

The University Question Time meeting with Vice Chancellor Sir Professor David Eastwood took place virtually on Wednesday evening. The Vice Chancellor was joined by Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council Brigid Jones, Emma Robinson, Katy Armour, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) and President of the Guild Tobi Adeyemi.

During the meeting, it was announced the university is planning for a blend of face to face and a virtual learning experience next year. “What we’ve learned is that we need to blend the digital and the on campus in different ways in the future. And I think this will be to everyone’s advantage,” Katy Armour commented.

Katy Armour, added based on university student surveys, students have adapted well to online learning this year. “80% of students have found the content accessible and 78% students received feedback before their next assignment.”

The Pro-Vice Chancellor is hoping the university experience will improve for students next term with face to face teaching The government is yet to publish its plans for the reintroduction of face to face teaching next term.

“It is our fervent hope that we will be able to offer that all students the government will allow us to bring all students back. So at the beginning we can have the best hospitable summer term that we can possibly manage and we’re looking at all sorts of additional activities during that time. And if we’re able to, we won’t know that just yet,” she commented.

When responding to the dropout rate, Katy Armour did not have an answer on the dropout rate for first year students for this academic year. “Yeah, well, so we’ve got a lot of data around for example engagement with Canvas and I think it’s a difficult question because actually students haven’t had many alternatives. So, we know that students are working really hard, that they haven’t really haven’t been able to travel or get a job or do anything different or transfer or.”

The Pro-Vice Chancellor continued students have actually improved academically during this time. “One of the challenges they faced as they haven’t learned how to manage the amount of work they’ve been given because they’ve got so much time which to do it, and nothing else going on unless their parents and carers, of course, but actually they put a lot of effort into their studies.”

“And we’re beginning to see also that the results are really good. And so, we think academically, it looks as, and we’re seeing this across the sector, students are responding well in assessments and are securing good outcomes,” she added.

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