Teaching & Learning


Spotlight on Provost's Teaching Award 2016 winner: Jenny Post

27 June 2016

Jenny Post, Undergraduate Programmes Manager (UCL Bartlett School of Planning), received a Provost's Teaching Award at this year's Teaching and Learning Conference.

Jenny Post

What did your win highlight?

I designed, developed and updated a tailored BSc Moodle page, which has been one of the most successful and self-initiated projects I have undertaken. The Moodle page is the place to post and check for all administrative literature, regulations, support services information, contact details, location maps, presentations, forms and templates, etc. It is also the BSc Virtual Learning Environment Space, the e-identity of the three undergraduate programmes, the Learning Space that all contributing and participating in the BSc Planning community at the Bartlett School of Planning have access to.

Through training and pursuing queries I am regularly looking for new ways to make this page more interactive, and to streamline as many processes on behalf of the staff and students as possible. Moodle offers many functions for teaching support that can be utilised more widely, for example questionnaires, choice functions, surveys and polls, and I have embedded these tools into the administrative side of student life to support familiarity with the e-learning environment from the very start. It also offers uniformity of practice throughout our student’s time at the BSP.

I view the BSc Moodle page as not just a platform for information-sharing and sign-posting, but as a place for students to understand the professional world they will encounter and the development opportunities open to them within their chosen field of study. Their Moodle page should enrich and bring together the various elements and angles of their study world, and promote ideas, confidence and opportunities for exploring the world beyond university.

As well as supporting students’ experience, it is vital that the Year Coordinators and Personal Tutors who support the BSc cohorts can easily navigate the BSc Moodle page and use it to smooth and enable their interaction with the students. Having a mutual understanding of the systems and information in place leaves staff and students freer to develop, appreciate and find real substance in the personal interactions and relationships we aim to encourage. In this sense I see the high standard of the technical and practical nature of the Moodle support page as a valuable social and personal enabler.

What does this award mean to you?

This award has given me an enormous boost of confidence as a result of having recognition for my work. As support staff I operate behind-the-scenes and I enjoy providing high quality support to those who are centre-stage, so it was a strange experience to be openly celebrated! It has also added my name to the list of our staff who have received some form of recognition for their work, so I feel I’ve contributed to a really positive and high-calibre reputation for my department.

What new ways of teaching are you looking into at the moment?

As support staff I don’t deliver teaching, but I’m currently working with academic colleagues to start piloting flipped lectures in the department. I will be working closely with the deliverers, but will also liaise regularly with students to get feedback, satisfaction and advice. I am currently undertaking the CMALT qualification which will hopefully strengthen my approach to this initiative.

What advice would you give to a colleague who would like to be more innovative in their teaching?

Talk to people at UCL! There are so many people doing and trying so many different approaches to teaching and delivery, resources and support - there is no ‘one size fits all’. Put queries out there on forums and through conferences, and use teaching administrators, who have access to a wide online network of UCL colleagues. Whenever I’ve had something new to explore, or even just the absence of a good idea, I’ve found willing and enthusiastic people, offering their time and expertise. When exploring new teaching innovations it can be hard to picture the end result, but through talking to people you can find case studies and precedents that really help to inform and focus your developments. Don’t be shy and don’t be a stranger!

Student perspective…

Moodle is a useful tool for all UCL students, but has become indispensable for Planning Undergraduates as a result of all the hard work that Jenny has put into making it a one stop shop for all our coursework needs. When it comes to course queries and issues, she has reduced the time and work for staff and students alike, something I know everyone is hugely grateful for!

Nina Johnson-Marshall

Jenny has put in a lot of hard work and dedication to ensure our Moodle online learning environment is a really effective and powerful tool that is an absolute pleasure to use. It is testament to her in-depth knowledge of the not only the software, but our individual courses, that Moodle is always full of up-to-date and relevant content for the point of the program that we are currently studying. Furthermore, you are able to access all the information surrounding university life that you could ever possibly need seamlessly, which greatly reduces stress, something that all users are very thankful for. 

Alex Ross