The Centre for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) has been shortlisted for a prestigious HEIST award for its innovative YouTube-series ‘Cooking with CELT and friends’.

‘Cooking with CELT and Friends’ was launched in September 2019 to support student engagement and ran throughout the first half of the academic year. This inventive project sought to make every student at BGU feel part of their learning community and involved the production of short cooking demonstrations by professional support staff as they introduced themselves and their student support services to new students.

“The videos really broadened my knowledge on the services on campus and made me more aware of the support available to me." Kieron Treacher, History and Education.

A launch event was held at the Freshers’ Fayre in 2019. Free gifts of olive oil and balsamic vinegar were offered to students, as well as cupcakes and the opportunity to enter a raffle to win a food hamper. During the event, students were also able to sign up to a mailing list to receive information about each video as it was released. Continuing promotion through the semester included the use of printed posters and pull-up banners, as well as digital promotion via social media and the electronic student portal.

"I watch the Cooking with CELT videos every week and they are all really good recipes for students. This is the perfect start in helping them cook for themselves as well as talking about what is on campus to help them academically, socially and mentally.” Jasmin Reid, BA (hons) Primary Education.

As a Student Engagement project, Cooking with CELT was tailored to the unique and atypical nature of Higher Education at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU). A small, specialist university which focuses on initial teacher training and education-based courses, BGU’s students often learn away from campus on work-based placements. Consequently, when the CELT team set out to create a resource to familiarise our students with BGU’s professional support services, it needed to be something innovative

Cooking with CELT is certainly innovative. Its mission was three-fold: to make information about support services accessible; to provide guidance for cooking simple recipes; and to facilitate a sense of a learning community by allowing students to match real people to services. It also offered the benefit of delivering this information throughout the first semester, avoiding the information overload that can occur within the first few weeks of term.

Staff at the University also enjoyed the series and learnt something new about the professional support services at BGU.

“When you work in one specific area, it’s easy to lose sight of the work of other departments – Cooking with CELT helped my understanding of what we do across a range of services for students and has helped me signpost students better.” Fran Trzeciak, Learning Development Tutor.

The project has been shortlisted in the Best Low Budget Initiative category by the HEIST team who are celebrating their 30th year rewarding best practice in the higher education sector. The winner of the category is due to be announced in October 2020.

The Cooking with CELT videos have now been compiled into a playlist to run on the CELT area on BGU’s student portal

30th September 2020