For some staff, developing and delivering blended learning has been part of their work for some time. However, for many colleagues the recent shift in balance between online and face-to-face elements of blended learning has represented a significant challenge, particularly as this has had to be met quickly, and requires the ongoing development of a range of new skills and the building of staff confidence in these in order to deliver high-quality, inclusive online teaching.
Colleagues within the Institute of Teaching and Learning and across the University have produced a range of resources - outlined below - designed to help staff to develop and deliver appropriate learning activities, and to learn how to use new tools and software to best effect. This support should be accessed alongside the guidance provided by eLearning teams within each Faculty, links to which can also be found below.
When building your online content it’s essential that you source appropriately licensed material. The Library's webpages offer a range of copyright support and the Library can often advise on various image libraries. If anything seems in a grey area or confusing, you can contact specialist support from within the Library through the Ask an expert function.
Further resources will be added on an ongoing basis, and you can let us know about any specific aspects of teaching and learning on which you would welcome further information (see the 'What resources would help you?' box at the bottom of this page).
NB Guidance on designing and delivering online assessments can be found in the Assessment section of these Resources pages.
Key guidance and resources to support staff delivering teaching to large groups.
- Advice and guidance on delivering live teaching to on-campus and off-campus learners simultaneously.
- Guidance on the recommended solutions and software available for the delivery of online teaching.
- Guidance on how to ensure your online content is fully accessible to all of our students.
- Support and resources to help you to deliver online and blended practical courses - resource created by ITL Fellow, Dr Maria Canal
- Guidance to help you to build an online community for your students - resource created by Dr Tamara Montrose (you may also want to consult the resource on effective online communication in the 'Netiquette' section below)
- Introduction to using a Virtual Classroom using Blackboard Collaborate - Dr TJ Moore, De Montfort University (Webinar)
- VoiceThread can be used by staff or students to create collaborative, multimedia slideshows (see guidance about Narrated Presentations)
- Blackboard functionality allows students to create blogs, journals and Wikis.
There are a number of courses and support resources available to help staff to produce high quality, inclusive online teaching materials:
- A short, practical, 'in-house' course, Creating online materials for blended learning, developed by Professor Becki Bennett (SoSS), showing how you can incorporate interactive learning into your Blackboard space(s). Note: to view this course, please use Firefox, Chrome or Safari browsers (will not open in Explorer or Edge).
- To accompany Becki Bennett's course, Hannah Cobb has developed a course which focuses on the available tools: What learning tools are available to me? Although this has been specifically designed for colleagues in SALC, it focuses on tools which may also be of use to colleagues across the University and you can check the eLearning pages for your Faculty for further details and resources.
- University of Manchester Worldwide has shared an Online Learning Toolkit and Guidance for Creating Online Learning.
- Dr Tamara Montrose's resource on Effective online communication offers excellent guidance on supportive and timely online communication with your students before, during and after a course
- Teaching staff can create an announcement or send an email via Blackboard
- The Guidance on recording student participation available on the Academic Development and Policy website should be followed by all staff who may record student participation in teaching activities
- Principles for managing on-campus and online behaviours effectively
What does this mean?
Sometimes our students need additional support to recognise the digital skills they are acquiring throughout their studies and to develop appropriate language to confidently talk about their digital abilities to potential employers. While some digital capabilities are likely to already be embedded in your curriculum, there are opportunities to enhance these and to help students to identify and discuss them. Supporting our students to develop, recognise and showcase their digital skills is highlighted as part of the University’s vision for Our Future, which identifies the importance of digital capabilities as part of the interdisciplinary learning and personal development that can help our students to reach their full potential. Evaluating this element of digital skill-building in our units/programmes and enhancing opportunities for students to build their digital capabilities can also help us to explore new methods of teaching and to become more confident in new approaches to learning and their value to the student learning journey.
Colleagues at the University of Manchester have developed materials and support activities to help us to maximise students’ development of digital capabilities and their ability to reflect on and discuss these; this work is based on the digital capabilities framework from Jisc (the UK expert body for digital technology and resources in higher education and research), which defines digital capabilities as “the capabilities which equip someone for living, learning and working in a digital society”).
What help is available?
Jane Mooney and colleagues in the Digital Capabilities Effective Practice Hub can support you in embedding digital capabilities in programmes in a range of ways (which are flexible according to your programme needs and timelines).
For example, they can support Programme Directors and Unit Leads to identify key digital capability ILOs for a programme or student cohort, and to map existing learning experiences onto these ILOs. Staff-student workshops can also be facilitated to collaboratively develop a plan of how support for digital capabilities can be enhanced within a programme or unit.
What can I do next?
If you would like to discuss the support on offer or to arrange a meeting or workshop please contact Jane Mooney on firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information on this area of work (including guidance on how to approach embedding digital capabilities in the curriculum if you would like to work through this process independently) can be found on the Digital Capabilities Effective Practice Hub.
The following courses have been taken and recommended by University of Manchester staff:
Take your teaching online
A free, 8-week course from The Open University: Take your teaching online.
You can start the course without signing-up, and click on any of the course content sections to start at any point in the course according to your needs. Whilst some principles of online learning are applicable, it is important to remember that online learning is not blended learning.
The syllabus covers:
- Teaching online is different
- Discovering the connections: principles and theories for understanding digital tools
- Selecting technologies: what to look for and how to choose
- The benefits of support networks and how to develop them
- Finding, using and sharing educational materials online
- Supporting learning with different needs - accessibility in online teaching
- Making a change in your teaching
- Evaluating change and enhancing practice
Recommended short courses for educators (CEG Digital)
CEG Digital is not currently running these courses, but you can register your interest for future editions. Within each of the four course areas you will find a webinar and ‘best bits’ resource from the latest course:
Further support for online teaching and learning is available from the Faculty eLearning teams and through the online resources linked below.
Faculty-specific advice from your faculty eLearning teams can be accessed below.
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
eLearning support and information for FBMH staff
Faculty of Humanities
Support from the Humanities eLearning Team
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Resources and guidance from the FSE Teaching Academy
What resources would help you?
We are continuing to develop teaching toolkits and resources to support you in enhancing your teaching and learning practice and these will be added to this page as they become available.
Please let us know if there are particular areas on which you would welcome support, guidance and practice ideas so that we can ensure these resources are focused as much as possible to meet your needs by emailing us at email@example.com.
We're keen provide real life examples and mini case studies to help staff to develop their practice; if you've tried something new in your teaching and would like to share how it went we'd really like to hear from you. To send details, use our submission form.