Some of the IFSTAL team celebrate success at the OxTALENT awards ceremony (left to right; Dr Michael Panagopulos, Knowledge and Communications Officer; Rosina Borrelli, IFSTAL Workplace Liaison Officer; Roger Sykes, Food Systems Programme Manager; Dr John Ingram, Leader, Food Research Programme; Dr Saher Hasnain, IFSTAL Education Coordinator (maternity cover).
The Innovative Food Systems Teaching And Learning (IFSTAL) programme, led by the ECI, has been recognised for its innovative use of digital technology, at the University of Oxford’s annual OxTALENT awards.
IFSTAL fought off competition to be named joint-runner up in the ‘Innovative Teaching & Learning with Technology’ category on 14 June 2017.
The programme was selected in recognition of its work in developing a purpose-built Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that provides opportunities for students from a wide range of disciplines and universities to interact and engage with an interdisciplinary topic – the food system.
The multi-institutional VLE hosts four online course units (linked to local university based workshops), learning resources, discussion forums, workplace opportunities and blogs, amongst other things.
The judges commented that IFSTAL was “an excellent example of both cross-institutional and cross-disciplinary teaching and learning,” adding that “the IFSTAL model could be applied to many real-world problems which are systemic in nature: for example healthcare, the environment, providing good urban environments, and lifelong learning.”
The IFSTAL programme is designed to improve postgraduate level knowledge and understanding of the food system. It provides added value to postgraduate training across the University of Oxford and four partner institutions; Reading, Warwick, City and LCIRAH (comprising London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, SOAS and The Royal Veterinary College).
The VLE, coupled with other virtual technologies and face-to face activities, have been instrumental in bringing together our the geographically separated communitiesy, united in an interest in food systems. In its first two years the programme has engaged with over 750 students across the five partner institutions.
"The IFSTAL model could be applied to many real-world problems which are systemic in nature: for example healthcare, the environment, providing good urban environments, and lifelong learning.”