Dr. Briony Birdi was awarded a Faculty of Social Science prize for, "Outstanding Practice in Learning and Teaching" on Tuesday, 18th October. Presented by Professor Paul Latreille, Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for Learning and Teaching, the nomination read, "Briony is an outstanding, inspiring teacher who is highly respected by both staff and students. She consistently attracts glowing comments in student module evaluations and motivates students to produce exemplary work. Briony’s commitment and determination to provide the highest quality teaching interventions enthuses her colleagues. Her conviction to providing meaningful opportunities for 'engaged learning' underpins Briony's teaching and facilitation of co-curriculum activities that develop students' interpersonal skills, empathy and cultural awareness."
In response to receiving this award, Briony had this to say: 'I'm so pleased to have been given this award, and I want to thank all the colleagues who have helped me to adapt my teaching approach over the years, and of course all the students who continue to be such excellent participants in the initiatives I develop, many of them entirely voluntarily: I do appreciate the time they have all taken to test my ideas, and to work with me in developing modules that are both interesting and useful for their academic and professional development.'
'It's my view that although classroom teaching alone may give our students the essential grounding they need for their future careers, with a vocational discipline such as Library and Information Science we need to combine the more standard teaching approaches with something more ‘outward-facing’. Because of this I have always tried to adopt an 'engaged' approach to my learning and teaching, to make sure that students are given regular opportunities not only to hear from practitioner experts as a core part of the curriculum, but also to participate in active debate with such experts via e.g. panel discussions during offsite sessions, practical workshops involving practitioner input, and small-scale research projects to solve a ‘real world’ problem.'