University of Derby wins Catalyst Award

28 June 2022

The Digital Learning Team at the University of Derby has been named winners of the Catalyst Award for ‘Optimising Student Experience’, which honours institutions leveraging technology to develop educational and administrative innovations that positively influence the total learner experience – outside and inside the classroom – and improve operational efficiency.

The University's new Digital Learning Baselines, with accompanying staff development activities, were implemented to optimise the student learning experience across all modules in Blackboard and deliver a high-quality Blended Applied Learning Model.

The supporting assurance process involving student feedback, academic staff self-reviews and analysis of learning materials in Blackboard by Learning Technologists used a triangulation of data sources to evaluate the quality of the student learning experience. The data-driven approach enabled swift interventions to enhance and optimise the learning experience of students and their sense of belonging.

Commenting on the award win, Oliver Davy, Chief Digital Officer at the University of Derby, said: “I’m thrilled that the team has been recognised for their fantastic, sustained efforts in enhancing the student experience. It’s the combination of a number of measures the team implemented that had the impact, from incorporating data-driven evaluation to gathering qualitative student feedback and many other things besides.

“We can all be proud that we have an award-winning team contributing to student success in this area, and I’m sure this will have a long-term positive impact for many years to come.”

Founded in 2005, the annual Catalyst Awards recognise and honour innovation and excellence in the Anthology global community of practice, where millions of educators and learners work every day to redefine what is possible when leveraging technology. Winners are selected by a cross-functional team of Anthology experts and represent the very best in their field. The Catalyst Awards were expanded when Anthology and Blackboard combined in 2021.

"We’re pleased to honour this year's Catalyst Award winners for their commitment to improving the educational experience for all learners through EdTech and sharing these insights with the broader community," said Jim Milton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Anthology. "We’re proud to partner with institutions who are innovating to advance student success.”

Derby’s Digital Learning Team (Digital Solutions and Services) award will be announced alongside other Catalyst Award winners during Anthology Together, Anthology’s annual user conference to be held July 11-14 in Orlando, Florida.

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