Student questions about Edinburgh’s hybrid model (Part 2)

In our first mini-series of the academic year, we provide some answers and further links based on the questions students have asked us about hybrid learning. Part one focuses on general questions around hybrid learning and teaching, subsequent parts focus on student life in general and specific study-related questions.


What will happen with social events, societies and sports?

All of this will be available to students in 2020-21. Society meetings will be delivered through a blend of physical and online delivery, providing a unique way to make friends and develop interests, in accordance with physical distancing guidelines. The Students’ Association will use digital interactive tools to ensure students can meet up online in groups, wherever they are, and will work within building guidelines to understand the scope for in-person activity for societies, groups and peer learning activities. For more information, visit the following website:

Gym spaces will be open in September, but they will be reconfigured to enhance flow rates and ensure physical distancing is implemented. See the following webpages for more details:


How will the library be operating?

Currently, the Main Library is closed, but it is running a click-and-collect service for staff and postgraduate students. These individuals will be able to request items from the library’s general collection items in standard loan and short loan categories. Items returned to the library will be placed in quarantine for 72 hours before being made available to other users. You will not be able to request an item until it is removed from quarantine. The request is made via DiscoverEd. For details on the collection process, see the following page:

The Main Library is currently making additional e-readings available to students, and scanning physical resources requested by staff and students where possible. To keep abreast with the library’s service provision, visit the following link regularly:


What technology will we be expected to use for our studies, and how can we find out how to use it?

There are many digital tools you may need to become more familiar with to ensure that you can study effectively in the hybrid learning context. Information Services have a guide to the main online learning tools the university supports. These include Blackboard Learn, Collaborate for online classes, Library Resource Lists and Media Hopper for recordings. The guide can be accessed here:

You can also use your university desktop via APPS.ED. This also gives you access to a number of commonly used applications at university from any device, including MS Office, statistics packages, EndNote reference manager and Inspiration concept mapping. See this link for more information:

Digital study skills include efficient literature searching, data management and communication. A range of digital tools can be used for learning, conducting research and building an online profile. Visit the following link:


What will building access and safety measures be like?

The University is implementing a phased approach to the reopening of buildings, and the majority of these are scheduled to be open for the start of semester 1. Please see the Building access and safety measures page for up-to-date information. The following information is correct as of the 1st September 2020.

There will be 2 metre physical distancing as required by the Scottish Government. Additional health and safety measures introduced for the start of term include (it may vary building to building):

  • Hand hygiene facilities near entrances, which everyone will be expected to make use of
  • One-way systems and circulation spaces
  • Screens at all reception areas
  • Clear health and safety signage
  • Increased cleaning regimes for all shared spaces and equipment
  • Reduced occupancy and reconfigured layouts in shared rooms

Students are expected to follow these measures as much as possible and you may now need to queue outside the building before a lecture, class or seminar so remember a jacket or umbrella.

In line with Scottish Government guidance, it is now mandatory that face coverings are worn in all of libraries and study spaces. A face covering can be any covering of the mouth and nose that is made of cloth or other textiles and through which you can breathe. Be aware that there are certain conditions and hidden disabilities that may preclude persons from wearing face coverings and this should be respected.


Student questions about Edinburgh’s hybrid model (Part 1)

If you haven’t had the chance to read Part 1 of our mini-series, you can do so here. Part 1 focuses on general questions around hybrid learning and teaching.