This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
W: | T: @Educ_Technology


LEFT: Kenny Nicholl


University of Birmingham

Personalised education for the tech-savvy student: How did the University of Birmingham create an intuitive learning platform?

By Kenny Nicholl, Director, Canvas by Instructure EMEA T

echnology is no longer the future of education. It’s something that higher education needs to embrace now. Why? Because students already have.

According to a UCAS Media survey, four- fifths (82%) of new university and college students now own a smartphone and at least 20% own a tablet. This means students arrive at university

expecting information to be available at the press of a buton. When faced with a problem, the “Google it” mentality of young people has created a demand for usable, intuitive and clean technology platforms. Universities need to match these expectations by offering a learning experience fit for the 21st century. A key way for universities to achieve

this is by implementing an easy to use, virtual learning environment, a step that the University of Birmingham took by adopting Canvas by Instructure. The university is the first in the UK

to roll out Canvas across the entire institution, providing a VLE that is high quality, fit for purpose, and distinctive amongst its peers. Talking about Canvas’ appeal, Mat

Sherlock, Assistant Director (Learning Environments) at the University of

Birmingham explained: “With more than one-third of our students already using smartphones and/or tablets to access support materials for their courses, having a reliable VLE built to cater for this mobile and on-demand community was one of the major reasons for our investment in Canvas.” Instructure worked with the university

to ensure that the platform was easy to use for both students and educators. Within just two months of deployment, instructors uploaded more than 4,600 courses online – a testament to the platform’s ease of use. The university has continued to see

broader use of Canvas and its toolset as it proves popular among students and teachers alike. In the first year over 80% of the university’s 30,000 strong student body has used Canvas and the responses have been positive. The university’s 2014 Virtual Learning

Environment (VLE) Student Experience Report showed that 88% of their students believe Canvas is useful and incredibly conducive to learning. Pupils can enjoy greater control over their own education, using the platform to realise their individual strengths and areas in need of development.

By monitoring class performance

through a VLE, lecturers also have a clearer picture of how their students are progressing against course outcomes. For example, if a lecturer discovers an area where the students could improve, they can shape their course and seminars accordingly. For an institution that prides itself

on academic excellence, reducing the time spent on activities like marking and reporting, allows the University of Birmingham to focus on what maters – helping students expand their horizons and achieve academic success. The Times and The Guardian ranked the

University of Birmingham among the top 20 UK universities in 2013/14, cementing its position as a university which continues to innovate and appeal to students by pioneering modern learning experiences. In this fast-changing digital world, the

universities that will succeed and atract students are the ones like Birmingham who make it easier for them to learn outside of the classroom. Students not only expect, but demand the latest resources and universities which fail to deliver this will be left behind. ET

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64