History UK student video competition – winning entry

As part of our ongoing Pandemic Pedagogy initiative, we are delighted to be able to announce that the winner of our student video competition is Deborah Arolake Adelodun, a History student at the University of Warwick. We asked entrants to reflect on their experience of being a student of History in the new digital world and were particularly impressed with Deborah’s entry, which considers some of the benefits of the transition to learning digitally. You can watch Deborah’s video here:

We also asked Deborah to write short reflection to expand on some of the points that she makes in the video:

In this video I share some of my own opinions about being a history student in a “new digital world.” Firstly, it is important to note that in understanding the impact of this new digital world has on History students it is also important to look at the pandemic that precipitated this new shift. If there is anything Covid-19 has shown it is the significance of history experts in understanding and helping to tackle crisis, leading to History degrees hopefully being regarded with more prestige and respect. I think the transition to online learning has produced considerable benefits, one major one being an increased room for flexibility. Online lectures, for example, have meant less rigid and controlled schedules. Students now have the luxury of working in their own time at a suitable pace. However, naturally, this change does present some challenges. I personally have found myself experiencing a sense of disconnectedness. It is fair to say that a computer screen cannot provide the same experiences human interaction can and have done in the past. Not being able to physically interact with others or even be in the same room as classmates can make one feel isolated and perhaps even alone during one’s journey at university. Notwithstanding, I believe the occasional face-to-face lessons have compensated for this alienation to some degree and, despite the limitation imposed by Covid-19, the overall experience has helped to engage history students with broader debates and discussion. It is quite clear that lecturers have thoughtfully shaped online learning with the aim of providing quality and relatively easy-to-use teaching that can be matched with conventional, in-person teaching.

Professor Rebecca Earle, Head of the Department of History at the University of Warwick, had the following to say about Deborah’s contribution:
As Deborah Arolake Adelodun observes in this thoughtful video, we are ourselves a part of history, even if we don’t always see ourselves in this light.  Future generations will consider the ways in which higher education responded to the challenges of this pandemic. When they do, they will be impressed by the incisive analysis offered by today’s university students, and also by the ability of students such as Deborah Arolake Adelodun to take a critical, historical perspective on this global calamity.

We are keen to hear from about the experiences of other students so please do get in touch on Twitter or via this blog if you’d also like to share your insights into your recent experiences.

History UK student video competition – What’s it like to be a history student in this new digital world?

The move to online and blended learning has had a big impact on university staff and students alike. At the same time, COVID-19 and related restrictions have highlighted the important role the arts and humanities can have in times of crisis.

History UK invites video submissions from current undergraduates and taught postgraduate students that offer creative and imaginative insights into what it’s like to be a history student in this new digital world. You might reflect on the different ways you or other students have navigated the shift to online or blended learning, or you might want to explore the ways the pandemic and related restrictions have made you think differently about history and the relevance of your degree. Submissions can be made individually or as a team.

The entries will be used by History UK as part of its mission to support historians in higher education in the UK. Through its Pandemic Pedagogy project, History UK has gathered a lot of feedback from staff and provided them with guidance on online learning. We’re now keen to gather some student perspectives to complement these resources.


Deadline: Wednesday 28 October, 5pm.


Eligibility: undergraduate (i.e. BA) and taught postgraduate students (i.e. MA/MSc) of History currently registered at UK higher education providers.



1st: £250

2nd: £100

3rd: £50


Submission requirements: 

Submissions should be made by emailing historyuk2020@gmail.com by 5pm on Wednesday 28 October with a link to a downloadable version of your video file (e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox, MS OneDrive, WeTransfer).

  • The video should be in a YouTube acceptable format (.MOV .MPEG4, .MP4, .AVI).
  • It should be a maximum of 120 seconds long (excluding credits).
  • You must include credits citing all the materials used.
  • Music, sound effects, and stock footage should have a Creative Commons license attached (from CC-BY-NC-SA up to Public Domain) and be cited in the credits.
  • Audio quotes can be used but comply with the concept of fair dealingand fair use. This typically means editing down to the length of time needed to make the point clear (typically less than 20 seconds).
  • You must get written permission from all people in the video.
  • Along with your video submission, please provide your name(s), your course(s) of study, institution, and the contact details of a tutor who will be able to verify your identity.
  • Entrants will retain ownership over their entries. By submitting an entry, entrants grant History UK a non-exclusive, royalty-free, right and licence to display, publish, transmit, copy, edit, and use the entry in any media, to promote History UK or for educational purposes.

Download a pdf of this call here.