Bath Blend Baseline

The Bath Blend Baseline is an easy-to-follow framework that you can use to design and improve the digital learning experience of your students.

Divided into four key areas (consistency, accessibility, scaffolding and engagement) the framework builds on accepted good practice from across the digital learning sector.

Further guidelines

For more detailed explanation of each element use the documents below.

Consistency – clarity and organisation

Students will know how to:

  • Navigate the digital environment of their course and understand how the material there connects with the in-person experience (e.g. layout, location, sequencing)
  • Navigate using consistent cues (headings) and naming conventions (sections, links or documents)
  • Find learning materials easily across units, with a consistent and clear instructional narrative

  • Find course and unit overview information which includes:
    • Contact information
    • Timetable
    • Intended learning outcomes
    • Library (reading) list
    • Link to wider university services (e.g. MySkills)

Accessibility – compliance and quality assurance

All students will benefit from:

  • Compliance with accessibility regulations
  • Adherence to copyright regulations
  • Provision of information on any digital tools being used

  • Having a mechanism for giving feedback on the unit/course
  • The course team having a plan for analysing and evaluating use of digital tools for improving content

Scaffolding - structure, design and content

Students will know how to access and use:

  • Learning materials including self-study materials, video recordings and interactive content (if applicable). A clear instructional narrative will be observable.

  • Assessment and feedback details to include:
    • Details of assessments and deadlines (including formatting, referencing etc.)
    • A mechanism for the consistent provision and return of actionable feedback on assessments
    • Opportunities for self-assessment (e.g. self-checks, quizzes)
    • Formative assessments to prepare students for their summative assessments
    • An online area for submission of summative work (if applicable)
    • Information on the criteria being used for marking

Engagement - Communication, collaboration and interaction

Develop a course team communication strategy, implemented consistently across units, for:

  • Informing students who to contact, for what purposes and how, to include:
    • Options for synchronous communication with staff (e.g. office hours or virtual office hours)
    • Options for asynchronous communication with staff (e.g. email, discussion boards)
    • Options for communication and collaboration with peers (e.g. discussion boards, chats, shared documents, shared activities)

  • Reviewing online participation to assist students to keep on track, communicating as needed to inform, encourage or support them.

General Legal Information

In all cases, please model good accessibility and copyright practices and ensure that students have a safe online environment in which to work and share ideas. Adhere to the UK Equality Act, Accessibility regulations, Copyright Law, GDPR and the University Intellectual Property Policy (ordinance 22). See legal considerations for recording lectures.

Copyright and Media Information

A PDF leaflet about copyright for staff and students can be obtained here. Further Guidelines on the many aspects of Media usage and copyright can be found here. Still Unsure? Seek advice from the University's Media Usage & Copyright Advisor.

Updated on: 31 January 2023