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colourful banner with the awards title

A team from DPAG working with colleagues in the Centre for Teaching and Learning has been shortlisted for a Vice-Chancellor’s Award 2024, in the category of Inclusive Teaching and Assessment for the project Digital Synergy: Unleashing Dynamic and Inclusive Anatomy Education.

To foster an inclusive learning environment for pre-clinical, graduate medicine and biomedical students in the subject of Anatomy, Sharmila Rajendran, an academic from the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, collaborated with her team and colleagues from the Centre of Teaching and Learning and the Digital Innovation team in IT Services to explore inclusive digital tools. Together, they have implemented immersive technologies such as virtual reality and digital resources such as 3D software tools – 3D complete Anatomy, touch screen devices, online medical book applications, and H5P-based canvas materials, to create a diverse range of teaching initiatives aimed to enhance students’ learning by reducing barriers that could hinder their engagement in anatomy learning. 

The team says, ‘Over two years, several students have been utilising these tools, and their feedback has been incredibly positive, suggesting that consolidating these approaches benefits a meaningful learning journey. Collaboration among the diverse staff groups is imperative to effectively implement teaching practices and make learning more accessible for students. Thanks to our diverse team of individuals with various skills and knowledge from different departments, we have fostered a culture in which we each contribute to provide students with a supportive and easy-to-navigate learning environment. The team aimed to address students' needs by presenting Anatomy materials in various formats to promote inclusive understanding. Aligned with the University's Digitally Supported Inclusive Teaching Toolkit , we have found that these initiatives optimise learning time, connect with students, and accommodate their learning preferences, thereby bridging potential achievement gaps.’

The nominees are, from DPAG:

Academic leads: Associate Professors Helen Christian and Robert Wilkins

Teaching team: Clinical anatomists Sharmila Rajendran and Rumyana Smilevska; Dr Mary McMenamin and Sam Snowdon

Technician team: Saiyma Iqbal, Kiara Delos Santos 

From CTL & IT Services:

Digital Education Advisers Dr Xavier Laurent and Dr Sandra Morales Rios

Digital Innovation Manager Nandy Millan

The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards are a University-wide celebration of our outstanding people. They celebrate excellence, dedication, courage, ambition and inspirational contributions to Oxford’s mission.

What was previously five separate groups of awards has become a University-wide celebration for staff across Oxford. There were 250 award entries across the 11 categories this year, representing 1,500 individuals.

The winners and highly commended nominees will be announced at a ceremony at the Sheldonian Theatre in May. Find out more on the awards webpage.