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How can digital offer a helping hand to teachers?

With a recent survey from the Office for National Statistics showing a rise in people having to self-isolate as a result of Covid-19 there are  clear implications for teaching and learning. Staff and student absences mean doing things differently. We are moving into our third year of teaching in hybrid and blended contexts. UK colleges and universities are exploiting the potential of digital to mitigate much of the disruption.

In this post we want to share key resources to support teaching staff and revisit how digital can offer a helping hand.

Photograph of a laptop with a digital hand shaking a human hand

(Image available on Pixabay under a CC0 licence).

Live online delivery

During the pandemic Jisc colleagues shared helpful advice and support around live online learning and teaching in hybrid contexts.

Live online delivery was new to many teaching and support staff, and we published this post about ways of making sessions interactive and fun. Whether it’s blended or hybrid, the live elements of delivery can be active and engaging.

Many providers found themselves using Microsoft Teams to deliver live classes and this blog post proved very popular with practitioners looking for practical tips and techniques. Microsoft also came up with their top tips for using Teams as a VLE.

At the beginning of a new term, many teachers and lecturers will be meeting new learners or starting new modules. Have a look at these ideas for building bonds and breaking the ice, including quizzes and games, coffee mornings and buddy systems.

Quality and standards in online teaching and learning is high on the agenda, and peer observations have been taking place in platforms like Zoom and Google Meet. This blog post is a starting point for colleagues planning and delivering online peer observations.

Platforms and resources

While teachers and lecturers were tackling live delivery in the first instance, accessible and inclusive platforms and resources became an important consideration for learners and staff. The use of VLEs is key for keeping learners engaged in their courses and this post offers some great advice for creating a motivating and engaging online environment.

Learning resources can be made interactive with some planning and thought. A recent Welsh project around the effective design and use of digital resources produced some good materials which can be accessed here.

Peer support from communities

Changing circumstances in staffing requires leaders to troubleshoot and adapt, but it’s important to remember that we have a community of practice dedicated to digital leaders, which is an invaluable source of peer support. You are not alone and by participating in discussions with peers from across the sector you benefit from collective, relevant, and timely expertise.

Why not share your digital leadership stories and learn from peers and industry experts by joining the digital leaders community group?

Useful resources

The following resources also provide a more rounded picture of the support available to people working in different roles within your organisation:

  • Ensuring continuity of service during enforced absence guide.
  • ‘Don’t forget the human side of homeworking’ blog post.
  • ‘Preparation for unscheduled IT support staff absences’ blog post.
  • ‘Helping teams to support learning in times of disruption’ blog post.
  • ‘How to maintain accessibility and wellbeing practices when staff are stretched’ blog post.

 

By Scott Hibberson

Subject Specialist (Online learning) at Jisc.

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