Useful Information: Online Teaching

Distance Learner BannerSetting up sessions through MS Teams:

  • Unless otherwise agreed, Microsoft Teams should be used to run all online teaching sessions.
  • Details of online teaching sessions should be posted in Blackboard (see our FAQ how to set up a Teams meeting in Blackboard?).
  • Please note that for any sessions set up through Blackboard, students will be able to use the link to join the session 15 minutes before the chosen start time. Any time prior to this, students have the option to add the session to their Office365 calendars (see our student FAQ).

Keeping students informed:

  1. Use the announcements feature in Blackboard to communicate with your students. (See our FAQ How do I add an announcement to my Blackboard module?)
  2. Ensure that your Blackboard contacts page has your contact information and clear instructions on how and when students should contact you.

Delivering online sessions from the University:

  • If required, you may come into the University to deliver your online session from the teaching rooms in the allotted timetabled slots. Please ensure you are using the correct room and time allocated to your activity. 

CPD sessions:

  • The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit will be running a number of CPD sessions for staff members over the coming weeks, focusing specifically on online learning and teaching and associated E-learning tools.

For any technical assistance with using MS Teams or any of the E-learning tools, please email elearning@aber.ac.uk. If you wish to discuss any aspect of learning and teaching, please email lteu@aber.ac.uk.

 

Weekly Resource Roundup – 22/9/2020

Weekly Resource Roundup with Mary Jacob, Lecturer in Learning and Teaching As lecturer in learning and teaching responsible for the PGCTHE, I keep an eye out for new resources to help our staff teach effectively online. This includes externally-provided webinars, toolkits, publications and other resources. Because active learning is high on our university agenda, I’m particularly keen to share guidance for moving active learning online. Below I’ve listed items that came to my attention in the past week. In the interest of clarity, our policy is to show the titles and descriptions in the language of delivery.   

Please see the Staff Training booking page for training offered by the LTEU and other Aberystwyth University staff. 

I hope you find this weekly resource roundup useful. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact our team at lteu@aber.ac.uk. You may also wish to follow my Twitter feed, Mary Jacob L&T.  

Learning and Teaching Updates – September 2020

Distance Learner Banner

We would like to provide you with an overview of recent developments and support materials that we have worked on for the past few months.

This information is also available at:  https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/it-services/elearning/continuity/

Scheduling MS Teams meeting from Blackboard

All teaching sessions held in MS Teams should be scheduled in Blackboard. This includes timetabled online activities.

Setting up a meeting: https://faqs.aber.ac.uk/3067

Information for students: https://faqs.aber.ac.uk/3061

Recording seminars and Teams activities

There are privacy concerns which need to be considered when recording a meeting in MS Teams.

Further information: Guidance on recording seminars and Teams activities

Using teaching rooms

Information about using teaching rooms this academic year, including how to use MS Teams in an in-person teaching session is available at Teaching Room Guide 2020-21

Support materials for students

Supporting your Learning resources for students are now available at https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/important-info/living-and-learning-in-aberystwyth-2020-21/students/supporting-your-learning/. We will add to this page during the semester as things change or we approach key points for students.

Weekly Resource Roundup – 14/9/2020

Weekly Resource Roundup with Mary Jacob, Lecturer in Learning and Teaching As lecturer in learning and teaching responsible for the PGCTHE, I keep an eye out for new resources to help our staff teach effectively online. This includes externally-provided webinars, toolkits, publications and other resources. Because active learning is high on our university agenda, I’m particularly keen to share guidance for moving active learning online. Below I’ve listed items that came to my attention in the past week. In the interest of clarity, our policy is to show the titles and descriptions in the language of delivery. 

Please see the Staff Training booking page for training offered by the LTEU and other Aberystwyth University staff.  I hope you find this weekly resource roundup useful. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact our team at lteu@aber.ac.uk. You may also wish to follow my Twitter feed, Mary Jacob L&T.  

Two guides: a Video Recording Checklist and Video Recording Tips

As more and more materials are made available online, including pre-recorded lectures, it is easy to become overwhelmed: in addition to adapting teaching materials for this different type of delivery and streamlining information into shorter instalments, the practical aspects of recording videos for teaching can be daunting. But fear not! The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit has created two guides, a Video Recording Checklist and Video Recording Tips.
It is important to remember that no one expects a perfect greenscreen or Minority Report– style, interactive multi-stream extravaganza. If you follow the checklist, you will ensure your videos will be of a consistently solid standard, without much hassle. The tips offer you extra help with improving your video recording skills.
If you have any further questions, want additional guidance, or seek clarifications, remember that the LTEU is only an email away, at lteu@aber.ac.uk and elearning@aber.ac.uk.

Hello from one of your newly appointed Online Learning Specialists

Hello, I’m Sioned, one of three newly appointed Online Learning Specialists who have recently joined the Learning & Teaching Enhancement Unit (LTEU).
Sioned stood at Aberystwyth seafront
Having been born and raised in Aberystwyth, I am very excited to return to the University, having completed my BSc, MSc and PhD at the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences (DGES). Whilst completing my PhD, I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to teach at DGES on a variety of Welsh- and English-medium modules and I became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2019. Since July 2019 I have been employed at Menter a Busnes, in the first instance undertaking research into measuring greenhouse gas emissions on Welsh farms and then as Development and Mentoring Manager, providing guidance to facilitators running face-to-face and online discussion groups with Welsh farmers.

I look forward to drawing on my past experiences, learning from other colleagues in LTEU and from staff members more generally across the University, to share best practices on delivering high-quality teaching to Aberystwyth University students through virtual channels. As a first-language Welsh speaker, I am also very excited to be given the opportunity to help develop the provision of Welsh-medium online teaching training courses to university staff.

If you’d like to discuss anything related to online learning, please feel free to contact me in Welsh or English on sil12@aber.ac.uk.

Hello from your other new Online Learning Specialist.

Sut mae, pawb!
I am Lara, a new member of the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (LTEU) for the next six months. I’ve been offered this opportunity to introduce myself.
I am originally from Germany, Bavaria to be precise. I grew up in the Alps, and I still miss the mountains from time to time. But the sea, and the hills of Wales are very good substitutes.

Dramatic mountain range in Upper Bavaria. © Lara Kipp

Mountains in Upper Bavaria. © Lara Kipp

Aberystwyth sunset, showing the silhouette of Aberystwyth Pier. © Lara Kipp

Aberystwyth Sunset. © Lara Kipp

I came to Aberystwyth in 2009 to study Joint Honours Scenography & Theatre Design and Drama & Theatre Studies. I fell in love with Aberystwyth, the place, and the people. As my undergraduate studies drew to a close, one of my tutors recommended I apply for the Access to Masters programme, so I did. This brilliant EU initiative sadly no longer exists. As part of this programme, I studied on the MA Practising Theatre & Performance, and was partnered with the Magic of Life Butterfly House in Cwm Rheidol. I applied for a PhD at Aberystwyth University, as my MA supervisor encouraged me, and helped me develop a proposal. I was offered the Doctoral Career Development Scholarship. One week after my viva voce – the final examination for a PhD – I was offered a full-time lecturing post at the University of Derby in the midlands.
Even though they say that if you stay more than five years in Aberystwyth, you’ll never leave, after seven years I packed my bag and moved from the sea to the place furthest from the sea on the UK mainland…but, as you can guess from my writing this, the mysterious gravity of Aber soon pulled me back. I returned to my alma mater for sessional and part-time teaching, while offering freelance workshops, and tutoring privately alongside. I started learning Welsh, which has been great fun and something I recommend to everyone, especially those usually in a teaching position. It’s extremely useful to put ourselves into learners’ shoes from time to time.
I have always enjoyed learning, and was very fortunate that I had exceptional teachers all throughout my education, not least at Aberystwyth University. Now I am on the other side, I continually strive to become that kind of educator: one that learners trust, and feel encouraged by to do their best. Joining the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is the next step for me, developing ways to support staff with all their teaching and learning needs. Now more than ever, this is essential work, as we all learn to deal with the unprecedented crisis of a global pandemic, and strive to minimise its impact on our students.
If you’re interested in my creative practice, research, or publications, I point you towards my personal website.

Hello from your new Online Learning Specialist!

My name is Ania and I am one of the three Online Learning Specialists joining the LTEU.

Some of you may recognise me as I have previously worked with Information Services, at first as Communications, Marketing and E-learning Support Officer and then as part of the E-learning Group providing technical support to staff and overseeing smooth running of online exams. In the summer of 2019, I left Aberystwyth to pursue a master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology. During my degree, I also worked for Anglia Ruskin Students’ Union as a Volunteer Centre Coordinator. 

I would have never guessed I will be given the opportunity to join the LTEU once again. I am extremely grateful to be able to work alongside such a supportive team and contribute to the further development of, already outstanding, teaching at AU. Throughout my time of working at AU in the I have always been inspired by the dedication and creativity of AU teaching staff. I look forward to learning from your expertise and work alongside each one of you in delivering high-quality online teaching to our students. I am hoping to draw on research in the area of Positive Education, providing you with (hopefully) an interesting and transformative perspective of students’ basic psychological needs and their motivation for learning. It is clear that the upcoming year will be full of challenges for students as well as staff and I am hoping to provide you with the support and knowledge needed for you to develop online teaching that is sustainable, in line with your methods and the needs of your students.

I look forward to meeting you.

Please feel free to contact with me any queries comments: aeu@aber.ac.uk

Ania

Weekly Resource Roundup – 31/8/2020

Weekly Resource Roundup with Mary Jacob, Lecturer in Learning and Teaching As lecturer in learning and teaching responsible for the PGCTHE, I keep an eye out for new resources to help our staff teach effectively online. This includes externally-provided webinars, toolkits, publications and other resources. Because active learning is high on our university agenda, I’m particularly keen to share guidance for moving active learning online. Below I’ve listed items that came to my attention in the past week. In the interest of clarity, our policy is to show the titles and descriptions in the language of delivery. 

Please see the Staff Training booking page for training offered by the LTEU and other Aberystwyth University staff.  I hope you find this weekly resource roundup useful. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact our team at lteu@aber.ac.uk. You may also wish to follow my Twitter feed, Mary Jacob L&T.  

Additional online learning support for teaching staff

Recent months brought an expected rapid demand for high-quality online teaching. As in the upcoming academic year a large part of teaching will continue to be delivered online, the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit will be joined by three Online Learning Specialists. They will support the LTEU in designing and delivering an ambitious programme of training for all teaching staff at AU. This programme aims to make sure that all AU staff are able to deliver pedagogically effective teaching and learning activities, in our new learning and teaching conditions.

We would like to extend a warm welcome to our new team members.

Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit