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Achievements

The Flexible Learning Programme builds on the earlier work of the Online and Blended Working Group. Since March 2020, we have worked with IT, Estates and other colleagues across the University to deliver a number of positive changes, in support of future blended and flexible learning:

Technology

Technology is one of the keys to enabling a successful transition to more blended learning. So far, we have:

  • implemented Microsoft Teams for all staff and students;
  • upgraded all staff and students to Office 365;
  • implemented new citrix remote access to PC clusters;
  • deployed 25 new teaching applications to PC clusters;
  • approved 36 further teaching applications for faculties to use locally;
  • trialled new technology to improve network connection for our students in China;
  • implemented new Google video transcription to improve the quality of subtitles;
  • procured Zoom licences for all staff and students;
  • made improvements to Blackboard - our key virtual learning environment.

We’re also in the process of procuring new technology to support remote invigilation of assessments.

Content

Academic colleagues across the University redesigned all teaching and learning content for online delivery during the pandemic. We supported this swift transformation by:

  • recruiting 23 eLearning technologists to support staff in developing online content;
  • recruiting 15 student partners to check content and transcriptions;
  • redesigning our assessments to suit online assessments;
  • providing extensive guidance, training and information on how to redesign content;
  • developing a new assessment matrix and toolkit, to support staff in redesigning assessments.

Skills and guidance

Examples of the materials produced to support staff:

  • extensive guidance on creating high quality online content and delivery of blended learning courses (accessed via the Institute for Teaching and Learning);
  • guidance on creating accessible and inclusive content;
  • guidance on recording of student participation during taught activites.