Planning academic wins prize for excellence in online teaching during pandemic

Dr Joanne Tippett, Lecturer in Spatial Planning and Environmental Management, in the Department of Planning and Environmental Management, has received the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) prize for ‘Excellence in Teaching’ .

A student using the Ketso Connect toolkitDr Joanne Tippett won the 'Excellence in Teaching' award for an online module that used her engagement toolkit, Ketso Connect, to build key skills in inter-disciplinary and critical thinking.

The AESOP competition recognises and rewards innovation in planning schools and the theme for 2021 was Planning Education in the Digital Space.

Dr Tippett’s winning module, Designing Sustainable Futures, introduced first-year students to sustainability challenges and asked them to find ways to tackle them, using the hands-on toolkit to help them visually structure their arguments and ideas during the teaching sessions, group work and assignments.

The toolkit Ketso Connect was designed by Dr Joanne Tippett during the pandemic to maintain a sense of community during online teaching. It allows users to ‘grow’ ideas using its sticky, colour-coded ‘leaves’ that can be written on and placed on a felt workspace, helping to capture thoughts and ideas and to prioritise them. These toolkits were posted to all students taking the module.

To further encourage engagement, students were asked to share pictures of their toolkit work in progress via a digital noticeboard, combining the value of individual time for reflective thinking with shared ideas and discussions. The judging panel praised the way this interactive approach provided an innovative way to teach large classes remotely and supported student-orientated teaching.

“When the pandemic physically disconnected students from their peers and lecturers, I created Ketso Connect to bring engagement and a sense of community back to teaching. I was genuinely surprised by the amount of positive feedback from students about how using the toolkit helped structure their thinking and helped them make sense of their learning both during and between the teaching sessions” said Dr Tippett.

“I am now really looking forward to using this tool in my future dual and face-to-face teaching, as it allows me to interject short bursts of active learning and discussion into sessions, no matter what the class size or setting.”

To share their expertise in student engagement and study skills, the winners of the 2021 AESOP awards will be hosting a series of webinars in August and September 2021. Find out more information and register: Building Study Skills and Student Engagement

Find out more about Ketso Connect.

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