Published: 26 July 2017
Two of our academics received the Vice-Chancellor Teaching Fellowship (VCTF) Award at our graduation in July.
Blerton Hyseni (Senior Lecturer / Programme Manager (Tourism and Hospitality)) and Dr Geoff Paul (Assistant Director (Academics)) were presented with their awards by the Vice-Chancellor during the ceremony honouring the achievements of the University of Sunderland in London students.
The VCTF Scheme celebrates and recognises members of staff who have innovative and impactful projects planned for that Fellowship year.
Blerton received his VCTF Award for his work bringing the world of Virtual Reality (VR) to the tourism programme. VR has been gaining widespread attention for its potential educational benefits. Within tourism education, it’s allowing students to ‘visit’ locations normally out of their reach from the comfort of the classroom. It also gives students the opportunity to design their own 360-degree virtual tours and present them to the class.
Blerton said “It’s a pleasure to be one of the first winners of the Vice-Chancellor Teaching Fellow Award in the University of Sunderland in London."
"I believe that VR learning can be a replacement to traditional teaching methods and can support learners, lifting barriers and limitations." Blerton continues. "The main reason to introduce VR into classrooms is to tackle the issue of passive learning and engage students through active learning. The research shows that VR technology is supporting learners to be more engaged, active and interactive while enhancing their learning abilities.”
Geoff was awarded the VCTF for his exploration of Nudge Theory in improving attainment and retention amongst BAME students. Nudge Theory says that people can be ‘nudged’ to change their behaviour by understanding the psychology and impact of information and choice. It has been used successfully to reduce energy consumption and increase road safety.
Geoff said “It’s very exciting for both the University of Sunderland in London and the University of Sunderland to be working on a project directly linked to student success. Since Nudge Theory has been successfully applied to many aspects of contemporary life, it will be exciting to develop this project as part of the University’s focus on innovative teaching and learning.”