Some non-tech things to consider in the event of switching to online

In my previous post, I listed some EdTech tools and services available to you in the event of disruption to campus-based activities – such as the current COVID-19 epidemic.

I would like to take this opportunity to list a few non-tech things to consider for the same scenario.

  • Think about how you communicate with your students at present. How much do you rely on face-to-face communication? What are you going to use in place of this?
  • Related to the above, it’s very easy for your message to be misinterpreted. Be clear, and say more than you think is necessary, to ensure students are clear about what you are asking of them. Check discussion boards regularly to get on top of mistaken beliefs early. Oh, and be friendly!
  • If you don’t already have an online discussion board for your class, set one up now. There are various options – please get in touch for further guidance.
Managing online synchronous classes
  • Running an online class takes longer than a face-to-face class – both in preparation and in class management. Build this in to your timetable now.
  • Related to the above, if you are delivering a lecture / presentation in real-time online, you will need someone to manage the back channel of questions and discussions. Identify a TA or someone suitable who could perform this role now.
Recording lectures for online delivery
  • If you have prepared a one hour, or two hour lecture, consider breaking this down before recording. Breaking up your lecture into smaller chunks (eg 20 minutes) will be easier for you (less editing required in post) and more digestible for your students.
  • See previous post for the various supported tools available to you for recording lectures / smaller classes.
Further support
  • Consider offering online office hours. I shall be running an Informatics Learning Technology service office hour. This will be online, via Blackboard Collaborate and will be every week day 10-11am. You can access here (Chrome or Firefox are the recommended browsers):


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