Supporting your move to digital teaching and learning

New content, resources and guidance are now available to help you transition to digital teaching and learning.

The relaunched Digital Practice website provides ‘quick to access’ support for digital teaching and learning needs

Digital Practise website relaunched. July 2020

In June, the University Executive Group approved a set of principles for the delivery of student education in the 2020/21 academic session, to help staff prepare learning, teaching and assessment activities that would most effectively support our students’ learning in the current circumstances.

The principles set out an overall proposition for our approach to student education, as follows: ‘The University will offer a Student-Centred Active Learning Approach to deliver a high-quality research-based education in a hybrid mode, as part of a supportive, enriching and community-focused experience.’ 

Since the publication of the principles, we have been preparing accompanying resources, support and professional development opportunities for staff preparing to deliver student education from September. This support is provided in a wide range of formats, accessible to staff as ‘how to’ guides, online courses, training sessions and a range of written materials. 

The relaunched Digital Practice website has been restructured to make it easier to navigate, with new content added to help both academic and support staff find the resources, support and advice they need to deliver a Student-Centred Active Learning Approach (SCALA) to hybrid delivery – a combination of online and face-to-face teaching.

The new site also includes guidance and recommendations for accessibility and inclusivity. It is intended to provide ‘quick to access’ support for digital teaching and learning needs, and has been built based on staff feedback and frequently asked questions.

New features

The site now includes:

  • simple ‘how to’ guides based on frequently asked questions aligned to SCALA
  • guidance on creating a ‘learning journey’ and communicating with students
  • advice and tips for recording audio and video for online learning
  • guides for planning and delivering asynchronous sessions
  • how to plan and deliver assessed coursework, including how to provide feedback
  • access to upcoming training and development sessions, including the essential ‘Adapt Your Teaching for Online Delivery’ course
  • hints and tips on systems, including Office 365, TopHat, Gradescope and Minerva; and
  • links to the Digital Education Service Helpdesk.

New content will continue to be added to the Digital Practice website up to the start of the next session and beyond.

Digital Practice website relaunched. July 2020

Professor Neil Morris, Dean of Digital Education

Professor Neil Morris, Dean of Digital Education, said: “Many staff are preparing for the delivery of classes online – the support available encourages colleagues to think about this holistically, in the context of the overall module learning outcomes, and to design activities that are student-centred, inclusive, flexible and active.

“The Digital Practice website can help colleagues consider learning and teaching activities for effective online delivery, with a strong focus on maintaining student engagement through discussion, interactive activities and group-work. With the hybrid delivery model, there will be an increased focus on students using our Virtual Learning Environment, Minerva and other digital education systems, both for live (synchronous) and other (asynchronous) learning and teaching activities. 

“The support available to staff concentrates on designing clear and purposeful learning journeys for students studying predominately online, to ensure that all students are clear on the expectations, and can navigate and interact with the learning resources and activities available effectively.”

Module Delivery Templates

The Digital Practice website has been updated to include guidance on applying the principles of SCALA, including a Module Delivery Template designed to help with planning and recording your approach to hybrid learning in the new academic year. This template is aimed at module and programme leaders, lecturers and teaching fellows, as well as other colleagues involved with learning and teaching, such as Student Education Service (SES) staff.

The template includes structured prompts to consider and record how you intend to deliver hybrid learning for each of the four strands of SCALA. Colleagues from Arts and Humanities, Medicine and Health, Business, Engineering and Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences have provided example templates to illustrate approaches to hybrid learning in their disciplines.

Engagement event

The Digital Learning and Teaching workstream is hosting an engagement event from 10-11am on Tuesday 28 July, providing updates about ongoing work to transition to hybrid learning and giving you the chance to ask questions. Sign up now for the session, which will be led by Professor Neil Morris, Dean of Digital Education.

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