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Whether it’s the ability to view content time and time again, to do their work at a more convenient time, to fit in part-time work around their studies or learn new digital skills, thousands of students are finding a more flexible learning style has many positives.   

And whilst nobody wants to relive 2020, some universities are planning on keeping the best of what is happening now to work alongside a more sociable return to normality on their campuses.

At the University of Chester, we’re planning to keep elements of our current, flexible blended learning approach; a mixture of face-to-face seminars and workshops, online lectures and self-directed learning called The Chester Blend. We’ll continue to talk to our students to make sure it’s what they want, but so far the signs are good.

When the pandemic hit in March, university teaching and student life turned upside down. One of the first things to change was the move to online learning. We wanted to make sure it worked for our students so we consulted our student body and sought their views. They told us that they wanted to retain some face-to-face learning, even if some content had to move online, and so this is exactly what we did. They also told us that they were happy with how their learning continued almost seamlessly using The Chester Blend, something we’re pretty proud of.

So, we’re now offering our prospective students the opportunity to benefit from our staff’s digital, technical and, of course, academic expertise, with the launch of The Kitchen Sessions, a series of live mini-lectures.

The Kitchen Sessions (so called because they are delivered from our academics’ kitchens to your own) are the perfect way to get a taste of university learning, but that’s not all; they’ll also inspire you, develop your love for your subject and build your understanding at the same time. Each session has been designed to last only 20 minutes with time for questions and comments at the end, and they all take place at the end of the school day. 

We make all academic content available on demand to our current students, and we’ll make each Kitchen Session available on our website so that you can access it at a time that suits you. Crucially, in a time when extracurricular activities are thin on the ground, taking part in a session is even something that you can put on your UCAS Personal Statement.

The sessions are running throughout November, December and January and the range of topics on offer means that you’re certain to find something of interest. Session topics range from “The Birth of Jesus: Myth and History”, a seasonal offering from our Theology and Religious Studies Department, to “Inaugurating the American President: Past and Present”, a topical session in January led by Dr Donna Jackson from our Department of History and Archaeology. Dr Liz Whelen will be discussing the Psychology of panic buying (“Why did people buy all that loo paper?” – that’s the title of the lecture, not just a rhetorical question!) and, as this year’s series of Great British Bake Off comes to an end, Dr Ruth Sutton from the Law School will examine the famous case that lasted 13 years – “When is a cake a cake and not a biscuit?”. Our full schedule with dozens of titles has all the details, and we’re continuing to add to it all the time.

Book your place on the Kitchen Sessions today and we’ll send you your joining instructions on the morning of the lecture. We look forward to seeing you there!

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