Supporting learning, teaching and the student experience online

While working online is not intended to be a mirror of the face-to-face experience it does have many advantages including the flexibility of time, location and pace it offers you and your students. Well considered use of online platforms helps to provide a positive continuity in connecting with and supporting students. 

A simple way to plan how to use UAL Digital Learning platforms with students is in terms of content and contact.  

Content 

Giving students timely access to relevant content is important for their learning. These could include learning resources such as lecture materials, readings, audio/visual resources and links to websites. 

Moodle has a range of options for structuring and presenting course content online – for advice on how to do this in a way that is accessible and easy for your students to find, we recommend you watch our series of short simple strategy videos. 

Tutorial-style content can be provided online, enabling students to learn and develop practice at their own pace. Sites such as LinkedIn Learning  offer free access for all UAL staff and students to over 13,000 high quality video-based courses supporting creative practice, business skills and technology training, which you can link to via your Moodle course. If you want to produce your own bespoke tutorials and would like advice on doing so please contact DL Support or your college Digital Learning teams.  

UAL students also have the option of creating and curating online content themselves using the Workflow e-portfolio and myblog blogging platforms.  

Contact 

Student learning and practice develops not only through interaction with content but with interaction or contact with tutors and fellow students, for example through discussion and the ability to ask questions about course content and assignments. 

Using a Moodle forum, discussions can take place at a time, location and pace suitable to all participants. A record of the debate is also there for reference and revision. 

For real-time interaction more akin to a face-to-face experience, an online ‘webinar’ is a great way of keeping in touch with students and helping them feel connected to their course cohort as well as the course content.  

At UAL, we have Collaborate Ultra for ‘live’ online sessions. It can support small or large groups, works in China and can be recorded so students can catch-up with sessions. Collaborate Ultra provides options to communicate via text, spoken word and visually as appropriate, as well as giving students themselves the option to take the lead in presenting. 

Students and staff can also use the commenting tools built into Workflow and myblog to create discussion and debate around content, for example to critique students’ work in progress.

Here are some example online activities combining content and contact you could try with your students:

ActivityContentContact
DiscussionProvide relevant resources related to discussion via Moodle (e.g. readings, websites, video or audio clips) and prompt questions to focus student thinking Self-paced option 
Facilitate discussion using a Moodle forum

Real-time option 
Live discussion facilitated on Collaborate Ultra 
Tutorial practiceProvide a practice brief  with a related tutorial on Moodle Self-paced 
Set up a Moodle forum for a communal Q&A. Students may optionally post digital representation (photo, video, audio) of their work to a forum for sharing and commenting 

Real-time 
Tutor holds live Q&A session and students can present their work to class via Collaborate Ultra 
Crit session Students use Workflow or myblog to document their work in progress Self-paced 
Tutors and students can provide critique using the myblog or Workflow commenting tools 

Real-time 
Students can present their work for a live crit session via Collaborate Ultra 

Microsoft Teams offers ways of presenting and discussing content and is available to students as well as staff, so if you’re already familiar with this platform it may be an option for you to run these types of activities online and keep in contact with your students.  

Please get in touch if you need any help or advice in connecting with students online. You can contact your college Digital Learning team, fill out a ticket through MySupport (on campus only) or email us – dlsupport@arts.ac.uk. 

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