Hello World

White letter say dont panic against a white background

So, it’s Monday and we are, as we keep hearing, in unprecedented times. It has been an extremely busy couple of weeks, to put it mildly and before I go any further I want to give credit to the amazing work of both the TEL unit and IT Services here at Worcester. But if this is your first full day of teaching, studying online or working from home (possibly while home schooling) then I have some suggestions below.

Don’t panic

if the audio doesn’t work on the first attempt at a Collaborate session/Skype/Teams meeting. Have a look at this troubleshooting guide on using Blackboard Collaborate. You can check your audio settings in Skype following these instructions and there are similar ones for Teams. Be kind to yourself if it doesn’t go as intended the first time. IT services and the TEL team are still there to help. It will get easier and better. Be aware that there’s a lot of demand for these types of services which can also impact on the quality of the session.

Give yourself some time

to accommodate to new routines. It’s going to take a bit of adjustment and experimentation. Make your environment work best for you as best as you can in your personal circumstances. And that also means thinking about space and time for working and studying. Some people are happy studying and working with lots of noise around them, some like a quieter space. Check out some different music or sounds which can help with working in busy environments. Working and studying online requires different practices and you will need to give yourself time to figure out what ways work best for you given the demands of your role(s) or course. FutureLearn are currently running an online course for students who want to know more about studying online.

Be patient

with yourself and others. For a lot of people this may be the first time working from home or studying online. And that can be a daunting perspective. Be a little more patient if someone takes some time to respond. There could be a variety of reasons. We are all in a very different situation to the one we might have anticipated even a few weeks ago. I have experience of working from home and running meetings online but even I’m having to readjust to a whole set of new circumstances, including incorporating home schooling and another home worker.

Share what you’ve learned

Community and making a difference are key values for us as an institution. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or share what you have learned. The Worcester community doesn’t just exist on our physical campus, it’s a core part of our institution and it goes with us, wherever we are, as members of staff or as students.

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Photo by Tonik on Unsplash

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