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My Learning Essentials wins global award for Community Engagement

27 Jul 2017

The University’s contribution to Widening Participation (WP) through its My Learning Essentials (MLE) resources has been recognised with a Catalyst Award for Community Engagement, awarded by Blackboard Inc


This award showcases the use of MLE’s eLearning and blended learning approaches to improve quality, scale and reach in three programmes of WP activity with successful outcomes: Manchester Access Programme (MAP), Manchester Distance Access Scheme (MDAS) and Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).

Blackboard is an education technology company which the University uses for its teaching, learning and student engagement. The annual Catalyst Awards recognise innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice.

The Community Engagement Award recognises those institutions who are dedicated to improving student achievement by fostering a connection between school districts, institutions, educators, students, and their communities.

Katy Woolfenden, Head of Teaching, Learning and Students at The University of Manchester Library, said: “This award serves as a wonderful endorsement of the success of My Learning Essentials and recognition for the programme’s resources."

Stephanie Lee, Head of Widening Participation and Outreach, said: “The success of the eLearning aspect of MAP and MDAS exemplifies an institutional approach to improving access to students from widening participation backgrounds.” 

The University of Manchester Library was one of three institutions in the UK to win an award which was presented at BbWorld 2017, Blackboard’s annual user conference, in New Orleans on 26 July. 

Katy Woolfenden added: “We would like to thank all staff who have contributed to WP, but particular credit is due to the innovative work of Carlene Barton (eLearning Support Assistant and Library WP Lead Assistant), Dave Hirst (Teaching & Learning Librarian and Library WP Lead) Kate Reed (Teaching & Learning Assistant and Library WP Admin Lead) and Chris Millson (eLearning Manager).

“This is the Library’s second Blackboard Catalyst Award for MLE, so it is especially pleasing to know that our work continues to be seen as exemplary in its field.”

Pictured: Carlene Barton, who travelled to attend the Conference in New Orleans and received the award earlier this week on the team’s behalf.