E-tutor's pick and mix prize

September 1, 2006

Allowing students to take a pick-and-mix approach to assignments won Brunel University genetics lecturer Henry Keil this year's E-Tutor of the Year award and £1,000.

"I'm absolutely stunned," he said. "I wasn't really expecting anything because I'm relatively new to this kind of e-learning environment."

Dr Keil's winning entry to the competition, run by The Times Higher , the Higher Education Academy and the Association for Learning Technology, was a biosciences module that takes students' different learning styles into account.

Students can choose to undertake two of six types of assignment, consisting of a traditional laboratory report and a computerised "dry"-lab exercise, along with components such as online questions, problem-solving activities and group work.

Dr Keil said that this allowed students to have full control of their learning, giving them the chance to try different kinds of assessment.

"Students can play to their strengths and are not doing things they don't feel comfortable with," he said. "There's a bit more work upfront, but the benefit comes later as the number of reassessments drop."

The runner-up was David Betz, academic director of King's College London's MA in war in the modern world.

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