UCISA24 Awards Supporting Learning, Teaching and Research


Supporting Learning, Teaching and Research 

The UCISA Award for Supporting Excellence in Learning, Teaching and Research recognises digital innovations which have had a transformative effect on learning, teaching and research activities. Demonstrating the application of innovation in support of how academics research, teach and students learn.


City, University of London – Digital Education

City's Digital Education team has worked in partnership with colleagues and students from across the organisation to have a transformative effect on projects relating to digital accessibility, digital literacies, learning design, learning analytics and hybrid learning.

We are applying for the Supporting Excellence in Learning, Teaching and Research award to present a series of interconnected projects which have had a transformative effect on digital education at City, University of London.  These projects have now matured and are moving into ‘business-as-usual’, whilst continuing to expand and improve our support in these areas. A key feature of our work is how we have joined up several initiatives to provide a holistic and coherent offer to staff and students. For example, putting good learning design at the centre of our work, we can ensure that good practice around digital accessibility is included, that digital literacies are considered and utilise the benefits of learning analytics to inform curriculum design. 

In terms of institutional context, our work supports City’s vision and strategy 2030 primarily in relation to the Student Experience and Education workstreams, as well as supporting City’s commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and ongoing work around digital transformation. Working in partnership with others across City, and being involved in the sector, enables us to develop approaches that are sustainable and scalable. 


Edinburgh Napier University – Virtualised Security Operations Centre Integration with Information Services

Within Cybersecurity, many graduates go into roles within SOCs (Security Operation Centres). These are places which integrate alerts from across an organisation and feed them into a centralised data infrastructure. Over the past 12 years academics in the School of Computing built a novel cloud-based infrastructure (VSOC) that mirrors real-life cybersecurity security environments. Over 2021/2022, the University’s Information Services (IS) team scaled this virtualised environment to support improved levels of resilience, security and availability, along with linked it to three physical spaces which simulate SOC environments. The successful knowledge transfer between academics and IS has provided the foundation in providing cybersecurity education to users across the world, and in supporting new areas of teaching.

Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) is committed to providing practical hands-on experience equipping students with the skills needed to enter the workplace.

The University’s School of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment (SCEBE), has developed an innovative virtual labs platform: Virtualised Security Operations Centre (VSOC). It enables students to work in groups or individually using an isolated and safe environment to learn about cyber security, practice penetration testing, and understand the signs of cybersecurity attacks. This provides students with an environment which mirrors those they will face within the workplace.

Overall, the innovative and inspiring VSOC project, delivered within budget, has provided a secure, maintainable, energy efficient service, with hardware and administrative cost-savings. It has ultimately improved performance and operations with student experience at its centre.

University of Aberdeen – Science Teaching Hub

The University of Aberdeen Science Teaching Hub is a unique and inspiring facility for the next generation of scientists to be trained in numerous, socially important STEM subjects. Delivering this world-class science teaching laboratory has transformed science-based teaching and learning through digital innovation and building design.

The Science Teaching Hub is a key exemplar of digital transformation, enhancing the student experience through the use pedagogically led digital technologies across multiple disciplines. This was achieved by working in partnership across challenging boundaries of academic, professional services and world leading technology providers.

In 2022 the University of Aberdeen opened its £35 million Science Teaching Hub transforming science-based teaching and learning through the delivery of a technology rich, world-class science teaching laboratories.

The 73,194 sq ft facility provides digitally enabled teaching and laboratory space over three floors and a central atrium which has inspired collaboration between the chemistry, medical sciences, biological sciences, and geosciences students who study there.

The building, shortlisted for the Education Building or Project of the year Scottish Design Awards, was officially opened by renowned scientist and broadcaster Professor Chris Jackson in Summer 2022.

Professor Jackson said: “The application of science to solve some of the most pressing global challenges has never been more vital, as we seek to reduce poverty, grow economies, and protect natural systems. To this end, it has been an honour to open the University of Aberdeen Science Teaching Hub, a unique, inspiring facility that will allow the next generation of scientists to be trained in numerous, socially important STEM subjects.”



And the winner was......

City, University of London for their Digital Education Team

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