As we look towards teaching in person again, we want to remind staff that they are not alone in re-adjusting to in-person delivery, which may yet face some changes with regards to group sizes, delivery modes, distancing, and masks.
This blog post will address standard teaching room equipment and managing student expectations, and point staff in the direction of relevant resources for those topics.
Enhanced hygiene and Health & Safety protocols may still be in place in September, so please keep up to date with them, including one-way systems in buildings, staggered arrival/ departure times for staff and students, sanitation stations, and seating plans.
We also want to remind staff of the university’s lecture capture policy – returning to in-person teaching may require a return to live lecture recordings. Making lecture recordings will have a number of benefits as we return to face-to-face provision. Students unable to attend lectures because of illness will be able to catch-up with their work more easily. And if students know that lecture recordings are available, they can avoid in-person situations if they are feeling unwell. All this helps with work across the university to protect everyone’s health and wellbeing.
It may be that your teaching is not in a central teaching room, and other equipment than the central standard is available. Please make sure you are aware of the relevant risk assessments for your teaching spaces and check how to best implement them with the appropriate person in your department.
Advice on managing face-to-face teaching successfully:
All staff should strive to maximise the amount of time that students are working back to back or side to side, wherever possible. However, where this is not possible, students may turn to one another, for example for seminar discussion, provided other mitigating practices remain in place (ventilation, masks, social distancing).
A short (10 minute) discussion among students can then be opened up by using interactive technologies such as polling software to allow students to pool their knowledge and begin a plenary discussion, for which all students will face forward again. The majority of in-person sessions should take place with students positioned back to back or side to side.
• Any activities in which students face each other should be in very small groups (pairs or groups of three) to minimise the overall volume and ensure everyone can contribute.
• Reminding students of good conversational etiquette, in which people take turns to speak, is essential to minimising the volume of conversations, and thus the projection of aerosol droplets.
• In rooms with fixed and/or tiered seating, such discussion may prove difficult, as students are not permitted to change seats.
• In rooms with mobile seating, the layout of the room must not be changed, and staff must ensure that students maintain social distancing at all times when turning to others.
Advice on managing HyFlex teaching successfully:
• Set expectations clearly: what can student joining remotely expect? Will they be in an observer role? Will they be active participants? What are the limits of remote participation?
• Enable interactive tasks that bring remote and in situ students together, e.g. interactive polls that all can access synchronously
• If numbers are very uneven and the majority of students is present in one mode (e.g. only one student is joining remotely from quarantine), invite in situ students to the online session using their own devices, to enable peer discussion
Teaching staff are encouraged to provide access to teaching sessions forstudents unable to attend them in person. The guidelines below providea step-by-step checklist of all things that need to be completed to conduct an effective session for both students sitting in the classroom and those joining via MS Teams.
Note:Make it clear that this has been provided for students who are not able to attend the session in person and that all students who are well and not self-isolating are expected to attend the sessions in-person and that attendance during face-to–face session will be closely monitored.
Revise the teaching room guide and watch videos demonstrating using the new teaching room set-up:
This blogpost is intended to take you through various scenarios that you may wish to use in Teaching Rooms. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
The following changes have been made to teaching rooms:
There are now two screens in the teaching room. Screen 1 (the one with the web camera on) is the main screen. Screen 2 is directly linked to the projector. Use Screen 2 to display materials to your class and to share with participants via Teams.
Microsoft Teams has been installed and a shortcut is on all desktops.
New desktop microphones have been installed and lapel mics removed.
If you are in a teaching room and require technical assistance, pick up the phone and wait. It will automatically dial through to Technical Support.
Before the session we advise you to:
Set up a Teams meeting for participants who are unable to join the session face to face (How do I do that?)
Have the teaching materials easily available to you – we recommend you use OneDrive and copy your materials to the desktop before beginning the session. Avoid bringing USBs etc. into the teaching room. (How do I use OneDrive?)
Communicate with any students joining via Teams how they will be participating in the session and how you will handle questions from them.