Basho MS Teams Channels, Workshops and Art Assignments

Basho Allocation

You have automatically been assigned to a Basho, a team of peers (your fellow ‘paragogues’)


           Blue Basho 🫐 has 10-11 members | Facilitator Adam Benmakhlouf
           Green Basho 🍏 has 10-11 members | Facilitator Dr Jake Watts
           Orange Basho 🍊 has 10-11 members | Facilitator Gabi Barkess-Kerr
Red Basho 🌶 has 10-11 members | Facilitator Beth Dynowski
Yellow Basho 🍋 has 10-11 members | Facilitator Prof Neil Mulholland


We will try to keep each Basho, roughly, the same size.

You will all remain in this Basho for the duration of this course: Contemporary Art & Open Learning.

Basho Facilitator / Your Course Facilitator

You will note that you Basho has a Facilitator. Your Facilitator will check in on what you are doing in your Basho and will support your group work.

Your Basho Facilitator is also your Tutor for this course; they will see you for 1:1 tutorials, give you feedback and assess your work.

Contemporary Art & Open Learning Course MS Teams Channel

MS Teams is used in this course. Note the General Channel (for comms with all staff and students on the course) and the Basho Channels (for comms with your peer-group and assigned Facilitator/tutor).

General Channel in MS Teams (link)

General Channel is a Single MS Teams Channel for all Course Communications intended for all CATs on the Degree Programme.

This is used by academic staff (Facilitator/tutor) and you (‘CATs).

Your Admin (‘ECA Student Support Office’) is likely to contact you via email.

However, all Course Communications will be exclusively via MS Teams.

If the course facilitator need to communicate with you individually, rather than in a group, they will use MS Teams chat. You will receive emails only when the subject matter is too lengthy to place in MS Teams chat or when comms are sent to you directly from the ECA Student Support Office (SAAS).

Please do not communicate with academic staff (facilitators/tutors) via email at any time.

To not use social media to communicate with your Basho peers (see important information on this below)…

If you want to directly contact your tutor….

Always use MS Chat in Teams

Basho Teams Channels, Workshops and Class Assignments

There are separate MS Teams Channels for each Basho.


Blue Basho 🫐
Green Basho 🍏
Orange Basho 🍊
Red Basho 🌶
Yellow Basho 🍋


You must use your Basho Teams Channel when you are working with your peers.


When you are working on assignments with peers in your Basho in any of your courses, the use of any other communications method (e.g. SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat, etc.) is strictly prohibited.

Why? There are a number of legal and academic reasons:


Data protection and privacy laws

As I explained in the Open Learning Course Induction, we use MS Teams since only it is fully compliant with the UK’s strict data protection and privacy laws (the General Data Protection Regulation – GDPR – and the Data Protection Act.) SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat, etc. are all exclusionary, proprietorial modes of communication and lack the level of data protection we must provide. For this legal reason, we (staff and students) cannot use anything other than Teams.

It’s important to recognise that we have different firewalls that may block software and we may unwittingly be subject to our data being spied on. (This is why we do not use social media comms.)

As such, it is absolutely crucial that we all use MS Teams for the sake of our data privacy and to ensure that we work within the limits of Scots Law.


Supervision, Assessment & Facilitation

The academic reason why we must all use MS Teams is since it enables your Tutor to provide academic and pastoral support to you and your Basho. Any non-Teams communications are not moderated by staff and thus will not be supported.

The group work you do is, ultimately, something that’s continually assessed by your tutor. If you are not communicating via MS Teams your tutor has no record or understanding of your peer-to-peer work. This means that they will not be able to consider your efforts when assessing and grading you.

If you use any other form of communication it will not register as part of your coursework and so will not contribute to your assessment.


Netiquette : Online Behaviour

The use of MS Teams enables you and your tutors to maintain the University’s Social Media Policy and uphold ‘netiquette’.

MS Teams communications are moderated by Tutors, meaning any breaches of netiquette (offensive or unacceptable behaviours such as flaming, harassing or bullying any employee, student or third party or any breach of the University’s Dignity and Respect Policy) will be evident and can be acted upon.

Because the MS Teams Channel is moderated; your Tutor can help you only if you use it.


Use of the English language

Working relationships within the University are also reliant upon us all using the official language of instruction (English). Working relationships within the University that are not conducted in English unlawfully discriminate against employees, students and third Parties (this applies to your coursework related communications). All communications with peers in your Basho / Tutor group within MS Teams and in class must therefore be in English.


EDI: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The University takes EDI very seriously. Communications platforms such as SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat, etc. are all exclusionary, since they do not conform to basic UDL (universal design for learning) policies upheld by the University and by Scots Law.

Your Basho Channel can be used to host live video conferencing (VoIP), to send SMS short messages, to share files and to work with other digital platforms.

Do not use any other form of communication unless specifically asked to do so by the Course Organiser Professor Neil Mulholland.


When is using SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat, etc. permissible?

You can – of course – use such media as and when you like for your own personal reasons, but you must avoid using it in relation to work you do for either course, especially if it involves collaborating with your peers or working with your tutors.

Basho (Group) – ‘Class Assignments’

Most weeks, when you meet with your facilitator for our class on Tuesdays, your Basho will be given a group or individual ‘Class Assignment‘ to complete on Thursday of the same week.

In some weeks there will be a colour-coded ‘Basho Resource’.

Everyone in your basho should read/engage with this since it is key to the task you will complete as a group.

Basho (Group) Class Assignment Meetings

Monday afternoons are officially set aside in your timetable for you to meet as a Basho (Group) to complete your Class Assignment before we all meet again the next day (Tuesday).

The wider University of Edinburgh calls this an ‘autonomous study group’ – meaning that you meet in a small group of peers without your facilitator.


Group study space can be booked via Resource Booker (link)
CATs can book a group study space for their Basho in the Main Library in George Square, Noreen and Kenneth Murray Library at Kings Buildings, Law Library Old College and Moray House Library. You can also use spare general teaching room capacity to support either individual study or group and peer study (up to a maximum of 10) to engage with online teaching which is scheduled back to back with in-person teaching.
Meeting with your Basho in pre-booked space

The following teaching space is booked for this course to enable your Basho to meet on a Monday:

LLTC_3.2 (Lister Learning and Teaching Centre)

Lister Centre – How to get there….

The room can accomodate no more than 40 persons. This means that it may be too small if we were all to use it at the same time. I’d therefore suggest you use it as follows:

Blue Basho 🫐 12:30-1:25pm
Green Basho 🍏12:30-1:25pm
Orange Basho 🍊 12:30-1:25pm
Red Basho 🌶1:30-2:25pm
Yellow Basho 🍋12:30-1:25pm

This will give each basho 50-55mins in the space and 5-10 mins to set-up/clear-up. It will also ensure that no more than 30 persons are in the room at the same time.

If your Basho do decide to use this booked room, it must be returned to how it was when you arrived.

Remove all of your things (including any rubbish) and return the tables and chairs to how they were when you arrived (like so):

Meet in Person

You should all meet in person if you can all agree that this is what you wish to do. If you do so, your Basho is ultimately responsible for finding a suitable place to meet.

You can meet anywhere you like so long as you are all in agreement.

Do not meet on a day or at a time when one member of your Basho is unable to attend.

Make sure that you take notes (minutes) in English … on what you do and that you post them to the MS Teams Channel that has been set up for your Basho so that your facilitator can see what you have worked on.

Meet in MS Teams (‘Stand-up’)

Alternatively, you can agree to meet online using MS Teams. If you do meet online, you must use the MS Teams Channel that has been set up for your Basho. i.e. in the:

Blue Basho 🫐
Green Basho 🍏
Orange Basho 🍊
Red Basho 🌶
Yellow Basho 🍋

As you begin to take control of your Basho and transform it into a “learning organisation”, your Basho will start to determine the division of labour that works to your best collective advantage.

More on Study Spaces and studywithme

For a full overview of how to book Study Spaces, studywithme please go to the next page in the Handbook https://blogs.ed.ac.uk/macat/studyspaces/ (link)

Completing individual learning tasks in advance of Tuesday Workshops

Each individual student in this course, additionally, will be assigned a particular component of the Tuesday Workshop Assignment task to work on.

This is something that can be arranged by your Basho Facilitators (Adam, Beth, Gabi, Jake, Neil).

This will be also be designated by Basho colour.

For such purposes there will be specific resources allocated to different colour.

Please make sure that you follow the specific instructions for your colour/Basho.

Tuesday Workshops – A Jigsaw Classroom

You must complete your own component before you convene on Tuesdays for our Facilitator-led workshop.

When we meet on Tuesdays, we mix up the Basho to ensure that each grouping brings different ‘lenses’ to the critique.

You will combine your individual contributions, piecing the jigsaw of elements together to produce a whole.

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