Good Practice Principles for delivering quality online learning, teaching and assessment
Teaching should be delivered asynchronously wherever possible.
Design materials with inclusivity at the core. Staff should keep materials simple and in common formats to ensure students with basic IT provision and different learning needs can access.
Learning, teaching and assessment delivered in Autumn 2020 is a bridge between the emergency mode of delivery at the end of the academic year 19/20 and future blended forms of delivery (with increased on-campus activity and online) in 2021.
Clear communication should be given to students about what engagement with the online materials is expected.
Online teaching and learning should be delivered through University supported educational technology systems.
For practical-based subjects, determine achievable learning outcomes for online activities.
Include opportunities for engaging and connecting with the wider university community.
During this academic year, our students will be accessing their learning and teaching material and sessions in many different ways and locations than normal. As most programmes have significant amounts of online learning, our students will not normally be in a physical classroom with us. This means that we need to mindful of issues that may impact on them safely and fully engaging with their learning. Further guidance for using potentially sensitive material with students is available from the City Learning and Teaching Hub.
The Teaching Online Toolkit has great advice and tips on how to review your curriculum and map out your teaching each week. Further information can be found below on the technologies you can use to support your teaching online.
All taught modules have a corresponding Moodle course to facilitate online interaction with students. Where in active use, all these courses offer at least lecture slides, discussion forums and reading lists and an Announcements forum; many also offer problem sets, quizzes and other more interactive materials.
Many Moodle courses already use digital discussion forums/announcements as an official means of communication with students. We highly recommend the introduction of a standard discussion forum on Moodle courses to enable staff to address any student concerns collectively and reduce email traffic (see guidance on using Moodle Forums).
It may be necessary to create additional resources or provide alternative ways of accessing teaching activities in order to support students. The following table provides advice on the recommended City-supported technologies for you to use for particular activities. We request that only recommended technology is used.
Tool / Help and support
Online asynchronous discussions
Students and staff can interact with one another and that can occur independent of time and space.
Provide students with guidance on expected use of the forums.
Audio/video lectures or screencasts for asynchronous viewing
To record lecture material for students to watch in their own time.
To use Kaltura Capture for the first time, you will need to download the Desktop Recorder software on your computer. Please refer to the Quick Start guide for instructions.
To narrate a PowerPoint presentation, you have the options of using Kaltura Capture or the inbuilt Video Recording function within PowerPoint. The advantage of Kaltura Capture is that it automatically creates chapters for each slide in your PowerPointmaking navigating and viewing slides easier; while the PowerPoint recording function allows you to record audio slide-by-slide making recording and amendment of recording more efficient.
Before the recording:
Find a quiet space to work at. Headset with microphone is recommended for best audio quality.
Have a script ready for cost effective recording.
Instead of recording a one or two-hour lecture and putting it on Moodle, think about breaking up your lecture into smaller chunks (no longer than 15-20 minutes)
Microsoft Teams is part of Office 365 and its collaboration and communication features make it a great option for supporting student collaboration, group work and communication. Through your Team you and your students will have access to Teams Meetings where you can facilitate Virtual Classrooms.
Consider student time-zones and speed of internet access.
To use Microsoft Teams for teaching, students will need to download the Microsoft Teams software/app on their devices.
Students will also need to use their university credentials and not their personal accounts.
Saves time as you don’t need to create your own resources.
Need to ensure the content aligns with your learning outcomes.
Check permission of materials before use. City is licenced to use Box of Broadcasts (BoB).
Typically BoB is only accessible to students accessing from the UK.
Learning on Screen have opened up their 'BoB Roaming' service until the end of July 2020. This means that students from subscribing institutions who have returned to any EU Member State will be able to access BoB until the end of July 2020.
In addition, please be mindful of your students’ accessibility requirements. It is important to ensure that no students are disadvantaged while you are trying to ensure continuity of teaching. If you require any advice in terms of selecting alternative formats and methods of delivery, contact the Educational Technology Team via the IT Service Portal. You may also need to consult the Disability and Neurodiversity teams for specific advice, in particular for students with reasonable adjustments.
What about my students who are registered with the disability office, how do I make sure my teaching is accessible? While making alternative teaching and learning arrangements, please be mindful of your students’ accessibility requirements. It is important to ensure that no students are disadvantaged while you are trying to ensure continuity of teaching.
Accessible resources and activities benefit all students, some things to bear in mind are below:
Clear structure and instructions are very important to students with mental health issues and specific learning disabilities. Use Moodle labels creating headings and sections for resources and activities.
Emphasise that participation and content are of interest rather than grammar/spelling during online discussions. These can form part of your guidelines for participating in discussions.
Provide clear written summary feedback even when a face-to-face feedback discussion takes place.
Proactively manage online group discussions; offer clear tasks and outcomes. This can help students understand when and why to make a contribution.
For online learning activities, shorter, concretely achievable tasks can be most productive.
Communicate deadlines well in advance and clearly describe academic tasks.
Reduce PowerPoint and Word file sizes to make it easier for students to access them on mobile devices.
Use the in built accessibility checker in Moodle. Located in every text editor box in Moodle (see icon below) the Accessibility checker can be used to test if there is sufficient contrast between text in the foreground and the background colour. The screen reader icon checks if the links and alt text are suitable for screen readers
A note for staff and students on the use of online services
City, University of London provides a cosmopolitan learning environment that is professional, friendly and inclusive. We treat fellow students, staff and visitors with respect and as equal and valued members of the City community.
When joining and participating in a City, University of London webinar, online meeting, chat or discussion forum you are participating in a welcoming, friendly and supportive community of international character, enriched by its diversity.
City’s Student Charter, codes of conduct and policies apply to all staff and students, both on University premises and in online environments. All users are expected to comply with the University policies on the use of IT and online services.