Supporting students in AHSC

In this case study Hazel Flight, AHSC within the FOHSC explains how they are working to ensure effective student communications.

“We are using collaborate, not just to teach, but to have catch ups.  I have a weekly catch up with each year group. This is optional for the students to attend, and give me the opportunity to check on how they are doing. Importantly it is not a teaching session, but a time when they can see each other, virtually, and ask any questions or raise any concerns”.

She continues: “As from this week I will be holding these monthly throughout the summer, for all three year groups”.

In addition “Most of us have also set up microsoft teams and so students can have the option of meeting up on line, a phone call or email contact”.  

For more information please contact Hazel: [email protected]

Flexible, Open and Social Learning: A cross-boundary professional development course

A warm welcome to #FOS201 and please come and join us!

We are back! Are you ready for 10 days of cross-institutional development to explore flexible, open and social learning together?

Dear colleagues and friends,

A warm welcome to FOS, the open cross-institutional course for professionals in Higher Education who teach or support learning and students who are interested in learning with others  from around the world about flexible, open and social learning together. The areas we would like to explore together are:

  • Digital literacies
  • Flexible pedagogies
  • Supporting learning
  • Communities and collaboration
  • Open education

The first three days will have a focus on getting to know each other and find out a little bit more about the course by clicking here:  

The team will share regular course updates on their website and on Twitter @fos4l (using the hashtag #FOS201).

Click here to find out more about The #FOS201 team.

Putting “content” online: Supporting student learning

Inclusivity in course design—curricular interventions by Ellie Kennedy, NTU.

A key focus of the Success for All educational development initiative was to ensure that curricular interventions—i.e. interventions into mainstream learning and teaching on the course—remain in focus.

Studies on inclusive interventions in the sector (e.g. Thomas 2012; Hockings 2010; Mountford-Zimdars 2016; UUK 2019) emphasise the importance of direct interventions into curricula, pedagogies and assessment practices. These studies found a strong reliance on “bolt-on” interventions, i.e. those in the “exclusive” and “co-curricular” areas of the matrix below. The same landmark studies emphasise, however, that inclusive integrated interventions are more likely to be successful. Within the landscape of intervention types, these “inclusive curricular” interventions sit in the upper left quadrant of the matrix below.

Courtesy of Ellie Kennedy, NTU.

The most effective strategies for addressing disparities, then, are often direct interventions into what is taught, how it is taught, and how learning is assessed. Further, inclusive interventions into learning and teaching can potentially provide the most transformative learning experiences, in that all students can learn from the diverse challenges and perspectives of their peers (in line with NTU’s Creating Opportunity strategy). Future work should include strategies to ensure that inclusive curricular interventions are embedded into learning, teaching and assessment.

The outline (below) may be used as a standalone resource or – better – incorporated in the existing advice and resources on putting lectures online:

The following are useful points to bear in mind when moving lectures or other “content” online. These points are in line with good practice to support Success for All as well as general student learning and engagement.

  1. Pre-record or curate existing content

Lectures do not need to be delivered synchronously, i.e. in real time. Any parts of a “traditional” lecture that involve the tutor speaking, or showing or demonstrating something, can be pre-recorded. Pre-recordings, or screen casts, can be made available to students instead of or in advance of live online sessions. Most students are likely to appreciate this, in particular those whose learning benefits from extra time to pause or rewind, and those whose schedule or IT access is disrupted in the current circumstance. Pre-recording also reduces the likelihood of technical glitches that can occur when large numbers of students try to access the content at the same time.

  • Use “chunking” if it’s convenient

In the current situation, tutors should use the most convenient means available to move content online as quickly as possible. This may mean screen casting full-length lectures. However, tutors should not feel under pressure to produce “lecture-length” content. A series of shorter “content chunks”, each with one or more associated activities, is more likely to increase engagement and support learning. This approach can benefit all students and may also help to narrow attainment gaps. Teaching teams can create their own “chunks” (for example, lecture segments) and/or curate existing resources such as podcasts, text excerpts, and short videos.

  • Embed short tasks

Content by itself does not assure learning: activities such as focussing tasks and knowledge-check quizzes will help students identify and grasp the key points. This is even more vital in the online realm, where the tutor cannot gauge understanding from physical cues such as body language. Such activities can be provided alongside content chunks or can be embedded into longer lectures. In this way students can use their own—and in some cases their peers’—responses in real time to check their own learning. Tutors can access student responses in real time or after the fact to check understanding and address any misconceptions.

  • Make content accessible

Fabulous Free Webinars!!!

You are invited to join the amazing @VirnaRossi for 3 free webinars on the theme: ‘A menu of practical lesson activities in e-learning mode’

You have had to switch to e-learning fast, because of the pandemic. In your current e-learning mode, you likely have some synchronous and some asynchronous lessons. You would welcome some practical ideas for activities in e-learning mode.

These 3 webinars present a ‘menu’ of practical ideas on:
1. lesson starters
2. main activities
3. lesson closures

Intended outcome:
By the end you should be equipped with an international toolkit of (evidence-based) effective e-learning activities that you can implement within your course(s).
Register to join live and/or to receive the recording by email. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Webinar 1: Lesson starters (in e-learning) When: Apr 27, 2020 01:00 PM London

Quick advance registration for this webinar:

In this Webinar 1, about lesson starters, these international guest speakers will discuss some practical options to use at the start of lessons in e-learning mode:

Virna Rossi – Educational Developer – Ravensbourne University London (UK)
Flavia Belan – PhD in Neuroscience, Chief Scientist at Seneca Learning – (Brazil/UK)
Punya Arora – Senior Educator and Academic Developer – New Delhi (India)
Maha Bali – Associate Professor of Practice – American University in Cairo (Egypt)
Tim Fawns – Deputy Director, MSc in Clinical Education – Edinburgh University (UK)

Webinar 2: Main activities (in e-learning) When: May 6, 2020 11:00 AM London

Quick advance registration for this webinar:

In this Webinar 2, about main activities, these international guest speakers will discuss some practical learning activities to use for lessons in e-learning mode:
Virna Rossi – Educational Developer – Ravensbourne University, London (UK)
Vicky Dale – Senior Academic and Digital Development Adviser, University of Glasgow (UK)
Dustin Hosseini – Senior Teaching Associate – Lancaster University (UK)
Chris Baldwin – Application Manager (Education) – Nord Anglia – London (UK)
Steven Kolber – Humanities Teacher – Brunswick Secondary College (Australia)

Webinar 3: Lesson closures (in e-learning) When: May 15, 2020 03:00 PM London
Quick advance registration for this webinar:

In this Webinar 3, about lesson closures, these international guest speakers will discuss some practical options to use at the end of lessons in e-learning mode:

Virna Rossi – Educational Developer – Ravensbourne University, London (UK)
Stephan Hughes – Adjunct lecturer/Doctoral student/Teacher Trainer – Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Dayamudra Dennehy- ESL Faculty, City College of San Francisco (USA) & Creative Director, Jai Bhim International (India)
Mays Imad – Professor at Prima Community College – Arizona (USA)
Flower Darby – Director, Teaching for Student Success – Arizona (USA)
Derek Jones – Senior Lecturer in Design – The Open University (UK)

Member benefit webinars – Covid-19 series

‘From emergency remote teaching to resilient systems for higher education’

21 and 28 April 09:00 BST

Details from Advance HE are here:

The last four weeks has seen an exceptional effort by the HE sector to continue to deliver or attain learning outcomes in non-ideal circumstances.  Students and staff recognised that achieving a perfect online learning experience was probably out of reach in the time frame available and most have exhibited great patience and humanity. However, as the crisis is set to continue into the next academic year, both returning and new students will be expecting an effective, accessible and flexible learning experience.

In the next two webinars in our COVID-19 series we will hear from academics on the frontline of the current crisis and those who have had years of experience in delivering flexible and accessible higher education. This webinar will help us to reflect on what we have learnt from this crisis to ensure that our approaches to curriculum design are flexible and agile enough to cope with a range of potential scenarios from some students not being able to attend campus either due to travel or health restrictions and/or further outbreaks leading to rapid campus closures.

Both webinars will be chaired by Advance HE’s Dr Kay Hack, Principal Adviser (Learning and Teaching). Ahead of the webinar, Kay has written a blog offering initial insights. Read the blog here.

At Advance HE, we want our member benefits to be accessible to as many of our members as possible. All webinars in the Connect Event Series are recorded and available to watch at your convenience via the member benefits group on Advance HE Connect.