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Recommended Action Plan – Using Technology to Continue Teaching & Learning Provision during Campus Closure

by Fanahan Barry, Derek Bevan & Sinéad Dunne

  • Training & support for transitioning to online teaching & learning 
  • Provide online training sessions for staff and learners on the use of the VLE and digital tools 
  • Provide clear PDF guides for using the VLE and key digital tools (ensuring that there are no copyright/GDPR breaches as much as possible) 
  • Share resources from other institutions that are experienced in large-scale online delivery (with approval) 
  • Students may be distressed by the current situation, staff may need to be trained and supported around this increased counselling element
  • Providing transparent facilitation for online engagement 
  • Universal design principles 
  • Limit the number of digital tools to reduce anxiety and user errors
  • Stick to tried and tested tools where possible, do not introduce new digital tools if neither the students or staff have prior experience 
  • Have faculty be explicit about their expectations for online engagement 
  • If using online lectures, break them into chunks of 15-20 minutes and give a link to the recorded lecture to allow students to playback in their own time
  • In addition to online lecturing it may be advisable to use other forms of open educational resource videos
  • Ensuring that the online curriculum & assessment design is based on good pedagogical practice 
  • Ensure that a variety of access needs are considered for alternative (digital) assessments 
  • Provide templates and a list of alternative assessments 
  • Create an-online forum to provide technical supports for students and to seek student feedback
  • Advertise the online office opening hours to reassure students and to assess their progress with the use of the new digital tools. 
  • If possible, do not go beyond the opening hours, staff wellbeing needs to be maintained during this pandemic.
  • Use this forum to assess the student’s emotional state as changes to the curriculum delivery and uncertainty around assessment can cause anxiety.
  • Use language to reassure students that considerations will be taken into account as these are extenuating circumstances outside of their control
  • There is still a place for Learning Development Supports
  • Consider that learning Development is not as simple as replicating the course material in an on-line forum
  • Develop links with students to create and maintain relationships, building confidence and trust with the new learning environment
  • Take into account that additional students may need to avail of learning development supports in this current situation.  Be flexible with formally agreed learning recommendations.

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