These are general questions about getting up and running with online teaching.  This does not reflect our normal advice on planning and teaching for online-only delivery, and instead our guidance focuses on the basics that staff will need during this difficult time.

You may want to start by reading our guidance on how to teach your courses online.

Staff will ideally have:

  • A high-quality internet connection – preferably a wired connection.
  • An up-to-date device such as a laptop or desktop PC.
  • Appropriate hardware (e.g. headset, webcam). For online discussions and live sessions, good quality audio (e.g. a headset with separate headphones and a microphone) are a must. It does not matter how good the video quality is, if students can not hear you then there is little point in running the live session.
  • Appropriate software (e.g. Moodle, Panopto/Re:View, Zoom and Teams Desktop/Mobile client).
  • A sufficient level of digital skills to teach online.

Staff may have to adapt their teaching style in an online learning environment in the event of not being able to teach in a face-to-face situation. As noted above in the introduction, it is not advisable for a traditional lecture to be delivered in exactly the same style as an online webinar. A focus on active learning could engage students who are not in the ‘room’ – an online course can mix spurts of discussions, collaboration, video and audio clips, and hands-on exercises with text and possibly brief video lectures.

Read our guidance on how to teach your courses online for specific guidance but some considerations for teaching in an online environment include:

  • Take a programme or department team approach. This will ensure consistency for the students as well as ensuring staff are all ‘on the same page.’
  • Set expectations about how often staff should check Moodle pages, how and when students can contact staff, and whether resources can be duplicated across units. As a team, practice using tools before delivering content.
  • Think about which of your existing teaching materials can be transferred to an online environment. Moodle has a variety of activities such as quizzes, forums and lessons which can guide engage, guide and give feedback to learners asynchronously.
  • Instead of delivering a live webinar, you may decide to pre-record a short version of a lecture and design activities to be completed during or after students have watched the recording. A quiz could be inserted into a video in Re:View (Panopto) video, or a forum set up in Moodle for students to discuss the video afterwards.
  • For formative assessment you may wish to use polling software such as Mentimeter. Students could complete a reading and then join a live poll within a set time limit (e.g. 48 hours). A set of questions linked to the reading which could be answered and, depending on the settings, staff could review the results which would inform the next steps for teaching.
  • Similarly, Moodle activity logs will show the engagement of students with an online course. For example, how many students viewed a resource? Who achieved 70% on a quiz?
  • Think about reusing existing material such as recorded lectures from previous years via the sharing option in Re:View (Panopto).

If you are unable to meet colleagues face to face, then it is possible to plan teaching sessions using your University of Bath Office 365 subscription. Although staff have access to a range of Office 365 applications, we suggest that the following could be beneficial when collaborating with colleagues and preparing resources for teaching:

  • Microsoft Teams – Hold online meetings to talk to colleagues when planning your teaching (similar to Skype). Collaborate on documents together, use private and group chat (similar to WhatsApp), discuss ideas as a group, and also a file storage space for shared files.
  • OneDrive – A private space for document storage. Draft documents such as PowerPoints in your OneDrive and share them with colleagues during the editing process for their input.
  • OneNote – A private or shared notebook space. A space to create lists, take notes about meetings and draft ideas about teaching sessions.

This case study Remote working using Office 365 demonstrates how two staff members planned a teaching session without any face to face contact using tools from the Office 365 package.

You can contact your teaching groups through Moodle by posting a message to a discussion forum.  However, students have some control over notifications and therefore it’s best not to rely on this method.  Instead you can use student mailing lists to email them directly (in cohorts).

Our University systems provide reports so you can explore statistics that give an insight into student online activity. Take a look at this quick guide with some tips for using reporting tools to explore online activity