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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Third year students praise innovative teaching

Published: 5 July 2013
Dr Alex Kraaijeveld

Biological Sciences lecturer, Dr Alex Kraaijeveld has won an award from the University of Southampton’s Centre for Innovation in Technologies and Education (CITE) for redesigning the third year module Topics in Ecology and Evolution.

Students were invited to nominate the modules they thought made the best use of the online Blackboard system to share course materials, CITE staff decided on the winners.

From left to right: Alex Neill, Lex Kraaijeveld, Marianne O’doherty, Peta Reid and Hugh Davis.
Overall Award Winners 2013

Topics in Ecology and Evolution focuses on the research interests of several academics on the subject. It is assessed through 100 percent coursework; much of it consists of students writing essays and submitting critical reviews of each other's work, although academic staff still award all the marks.

"This means students have to understand the topics thoroughly so they can write competently about someone else's paper; all the coursework is then posted online so everyone can see what was produced," explains Alex. "At first the students seemed surprised at what we were asking them to do, but they really appreciated this peer-review process, very similar to scientific publishing."

One nominating student wrote: "...the feedback for the module is incredible...the insight one gets from reading and writing reviews of peers' work, and being able to view all the essays and an unparalleled level of feedback."

CITE received more than 100 nominations from students across the University for the 2013 awards.

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