Preparing to teach in physically distanced classrooms: advice, guidance and practical strategies

It’s been a busy summer and here we are already at the start of a new academic year facing what will certainly be a challenging Autumn semester.  As we gear up for new and continuing students to return to campus under the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, we all need to be confident about delivering high quality learning and teaching. This is not just a matter of planning online elements of delivery in modules, and it definitely is not simply a question of moving ‘large lectures’ to narrated powerpoints or pre-recorded lectures.  In this blog post we signpost some resources that can help you plan for delivery of learning and teaching in physically distanced classrooms.

A framework for organising and managing a module for blended delivery

Some ideas on basic good practice to help you and your students engage effectively with a module where the teaching is in different modalities.  Covers things like weekly intros, interactivity, managing and resenting content, directed learning, accessibility and what students said they appreciate from their experience of online learning in ‘lockdown’. Open the file in powerpoint mode 2020.09.04 A Framework for Organising and Managing a Module v4  

Top Tips for Course Leaders in Preparing for Blended and Physically Distanced Learning

Tips and Hints for Course Leaders in meeting student expectations for engaging learning in ‘blended’ modules.   Covers very practical issues about checking students’ digital capabilities, building a sense of belonging, establishing course team protocols, setting up simple buddy systems, using your course rep and monitoring engagement with Blackboard.   Top Tips for Course Leaders in Preparing for Blended 7.9.2020

Addressing Assignment Bunching

Recent student feedback, through the Course Experience Survey, and the SU Change Week initiative had identified ‘assignment bunching’ as something students would like to see addressed. So, what can be done? There are probably three key things course teams can consider to address this issue: taking a course level view of formative and summative assessment deadlines; helping students to manage their time effectively; planning an assessment strategy that involves some assignments requiring continuous engagement with reflection on learning. These are inter-related.  Some are relatively easy to adopt, whilst others will take more time.  They all start form the principle that a student’s learning experience is (and should be) of an integrated course, rather than a set of modules that are designed and developed in isolation… Read moreAddressing Assignment Bunching

Transforming Feedback: reflections on the International Assessment in Higher Education Conference, 28 June 2018, Manchester UK

This was a great conference – some really excellent analysis and research on assessment feedback which has significant implications for re-considering how we do things.  Professor David Carless, University of Hong Kong gave a thought-provoking keynote drawing on his work with David Boud, Deakin University/ University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, on enabling uptake of feedback. The main theme of the conference was improving the effectiveness of feedback for students.  The starting point for this is to re-conceptualise feedback as a process, and to develop student feedback ‘literacy’: the understandings, capacities and dispositions needed to make productive use of feedback information. Feedback is a process in which learners make sense of comments and use these to enhance their work or learning strategies (Carless and Boud, 2018)… Read moreTransforming Feedback: reflections on the International Assessment in Higher Education Conference, 28 June 2018, Manchester UK

Research Inspired Teaching at the University of Worcester

The following, drawing on extracts from the University’s 2017 TEF submission, gives an outline of our approach to developing the links between teaching and research.  We would very much like to publish some short University case studies on research inspired teaching – please get in touch with Carolyn Nisbet, if you would like to produce a case study for us.  Developing Research Skills: Linking Teaching and Research Our Learning and Teaching Strategy commits us to induct all students into research-informed academic communities of the University, both by engaging with the academic research and scholarship of others, understanding research processes, methods, ethics and engaging in their own research, usually through a final year independent research project. We also ensure that courses at level 6 consistently demonstrate… Read moreResearch Inspired Teaching at the University of Worcester

Pledge to participate in the ‘Sustainable Development Goals Teach-In’ 19-23 February

The SDG teach-in is being promoted by the NUS and asks educators across UK universities and colleges to pledge to include the UN Sustainable Development Goals in their teaching, learning, and assessment in one or more of their courses during the week.  This may be done through case studies, debate, discussion, group work, or simulations relating to topics included within the SDGs. Ideally, students will learn about the SDGs and their relevance to the course. The SDG teach-in will give lecturers and teaching staff the chance to start the conversation, help raise awareness of why the SDGs should be at the heart of further and higher education, and stimulate the change needed to make this happen.  Find out more at https://sustainability.unioncloud.org/responsible-futures/esd-teach-in/pledge

Signposting Student Support: A guide for University staff

Do you need a quick and accessible guide to the support services available to students? Do you want to know what support is available to students with mental health difficulties?  Do you know how to refer students to professional support services?  And what about advising a student who is considering withdrawing from the University? All this and much more can be found in the Guide for University staff on Signposting Student Support which can be accessed on the University Web Staff Page (at the top of the list of General Information on the right hand side). Or click here.

Understanding Inclusion: Core Concepts, Policy and Practice

Understanding Inclusion Core Concepts, Policy and Practice Edited by Richard Woolley Colleagues in the Centre for Education and Inclusion had reason to celebrate recently the publication of a new book on inclusion Although broadly used in education, the term inclusion is not always fully understood.  The book explores inclusion through a wide range of themes and issues using examples of practice and learning drawn from research to provide specific examples and case studies with key areas for discussion Underpinned by the latest research, discussion is brought to life through vignettes of real experiences and examples of practice from a range of settings and across continents. Chapters consider crucial aspects of inclusion: Social inclusion and social class Global perspectives on culture and identity Aspirations and social… Read moreUnderstanding Inclusion: Core Concepts, Policy and Practice