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App helps UK uni counter wellbeing challenges

Students at the UK’s University of East Anglia’s Norwich Business School used an app designed to support blended learning over the Christmas period to access pastoral and wellbeing care.

The Ryze app features "fun and light-hearted" video content aiming to help students stay connected. Photo: Studious Digital Education

Students could stay connected via an innovative digital Christmas calendar

Following concerns that students faced mental health challenges as a result of not being able to return home during the break in December, the university rolled out the app in a bid to address student isolation.

“Course leaders and representatives really engaged with Ryze”

Ryze is a mobile app designed by Studious Digital Education that features gamification and high-quality video content with an aim to support blended learning.

“We identified that Ryze, our educational mobile app for the HE sector, had the potential to support students’ wellbeing through these unprecedented times,” Ivan Mitchell, CEO of Studious Digital Education, said.

“By working with academic faculty to create fun and light-hearted video content delivered as part of a festive Christmas calendar we ensured students felt supported and connected with the university community over Christmas.”

Bearing in mind higher education students using popular apps such as Spotify, Netflix and Tiktok, Studious created a product to deliver educational resources to in a “fun way”.

The innovative digital Christmas calendar – developed in partnership with academic faculty – was particularly successful, the university highlighted.

“We were delighted that course leaders and representatives really engaged with Ryze and they came up with all sorts of challenges, anecdotes about their academic subjects and how they relate to Christmas,” said Emma van Haren and Jacob Millard from UEA’s professional services team.

Faculty recorded short videos for students to ‘open’ each day, which included challenges, information on events that students could attend, and messages from faculty to students.

“We’re a very international school so it was really exciting to see the different ways people across the world celebrate the winter holidays,” they added.

“Having photos of lovely food and videos from across the school every day brought a bit of levity during this very unusual advent.”

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