Q: How do we ensure inclusive approaches during this period of remote delivery?

For sessions which students can attend live it is important to think about the different access needs they may have:

  • Prepare students before the session so they know what is going to happen. This will help to reduce their anxiety and become familiar with the technology.
  • Provide slides 48 hours before the session so that students can become familiar with the content, print slides or have them open to help them add notes.
  • Ensure slides are accessible using the different tools which can help identify accessibility issues.
  • Think about the different communication channels for students (hearing, speaking and typing) ensure that all students have access to the information being shared within these channels. For instance, consider how students who are unable to hear will be able to know what you and other students are saying and whether you need to provide live captions.
  • Once you are confident with using the technology, consider using polling tools, Padlet and break out rooms in Collaborate to provide greater interactivity and discussion. However, it is important that you consider the access needs for students as some forms of communication (hearing, speaking, typing) can be a barrier and it is important that their fellow students understand these needs as well.
  • Not all students will be able to attend the session so make sure you record this where possible for others to view later.

For those sessions not delivered or accessed live and resources designed to be accessed flexibly, think carefully about how those who are unable to attend the session will be able to access learning:

  • Ensure you provide clear communications and guidance via the announcements in Blackboard about the learning activities available to students and their expected engagement with this. Highlight any features which can make accessing these more accessible for students (e.g. alternative versions available via Ally, immersive reader in Office365, etc).
  • For recordings (including Panopto and Collaborate) you will need to consider how students are accessing the information you provide. You may need to consider adding captions or using other tools to caption your presentation.
  • Look at what activities can support these recordings to help students to interact with others and explore key learning points. These could link to readings, discussion boards, group work, collaborative document or presentation creation.
  • Provide short videos which talk over some of the key learning points and perhaps summarise what has taken place in the group areas. This helps those students who have not been able to participate to still learn from these interactions.
  • Run a live drop-in session at different times in the week and make it clear how students can communicate with you and others if they can’t make this time.
  • Use Blackboard Ally to ensure that the course materials you are uploading are accessible. Remind students that they can download course material in alternative formats.
  • Students who use the Blackboard app, can download course materials and read them offline.

Advice on making sessions and resources inclusive can be found on the Digital Practice Handbook. Specific advice for tools such as Panopto and Collaborate can also be found on the guidance pages.

Q: Can everything I deliver face-to-face be translated to remote delivery?

Not everything can be translated for remote delivery but there are some innovative solutions and you may be surprised at what can be achieved.  It may be better to think about the original aim of the module and the module learning outcomes and a new approach to delivering them, rather than direct translation.

If there is an issue that you want to discuss then please contact Tamsin Bowers-Brown, Ian Turner (E&T, UDOL), Chris Ribchester (AHE, CLANS), Melanie Pope (HSC, BLSS) (the Pedagogic Practice Team in CELT).

We have developed a series of Padlets which offer ideas for delivering Lectures/Seminars/Tutorials and Practical sessions online:

Support for remote lecture and seminar sessions

Support for remote tutorials

Support for remote practicals/laboratories

If you have an issue that is standards and quality related, please contact your Quality Manager:

Specific support from the Quality Managers Team ( includes:

  • Calendared online video calls and online chat room clinics (hosted via Teams or Zoom)
  • 1:1 video calls
  • Participation in online committees/meetings/events
  • Hosting of online meetings
  • Ongoing support and guidance via email
  • CQA newsletters and updates
  • Quality spot audit reports
  • Support with preparation for approval and review events

Q: Can you provide a simple guide about what to include in a good online session?

There are some useful webpages that offer online learning guidance from across the sector. We have curated some Padlets and lesson templates to offer guidance on lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical sessions.

Some of these sessions could be live or synchronous. Most live sessions usually take the form of a webinar. Tips and guidance on running webinars can be found on Running a webinar / online classroom. This explains the approaches you might take as well as providing help guides to the tools available to deliver this type of session.

Some of the sessions could be asynchronous where students are not online at the same time. If you are looking at delivering content like this then you will likely use a number of different modes which together help students to reach their learning objectives. This could be pre-recorded content, slides, worksheets, websites, and reading. It is also important to think about the activities which support this and help to facilitate collaborative learning such as discussion boards, creating online documents or presentations, online notice boards (Padlet) or online quizzes. You can also get students to engage with reflective activities which may involve them creating a blog or electronic portfolio.

This blog post provides some general advice about an online approach to learning (whatever type of session you are running).

Q: How do I engage in PAT remotely?

Between now and the end of semester please reach out to all your tutees no matter where you are in the PAT cycle. Whilst we are working with our students remotely it is even more important for us to have individual discussions with them, to check that they can engage, and to help them feel that they are still connected to the University.  The role of personal academic tutoring (PAT) over the next few months is critical in ensuring that students receive academic guidance and to help them remain engaged in both their learning and academic goals. Being able to set study goals and define expectations, with the guidance of an academic tutor is beneficial for our students’ learning and also in maintaining good mental wellbeing.

PAT should continue to be used as an academic role but the importance that the role offers in terms of social contact for some students should not be under-estimated. PATs should continue to refer students to wellbeing services for wellbeing issues. The Wellbeing service is operating a remote service; you can email or call Student Wellbeing on 01332 593000 – virtual office hours are 9.00 hours to 17.00 hours, Monday to Friday. Please add the following link to email signatures Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching has updated resources for PAT with suggested questions for PATs to work through with students during the period in which the institution has moved to remote learning; these add to the existing resources Technical guidance as well as tutoring guidance is provided.  Please ensure that you continue to use the Academic Workspace to record ‘attendance’ and notes.

Q: The University has indicated that it is providing a 7-day extension for student assessment deadlines. What does this mean for me as a member of staff?

A seven calendar-day extension has been provided to students undertaking assessments to compensate for the disruption that has or may have been occurring as a result of the move to on-line teaching.   In practice, the impact should only be that the deadline for submission has been moved.  In respect of marking and feedback normal timescales will apply, based on the revised date.

Q: Will the 7-day extension affect the date of Examination Boards?

The University is currently reviewing the dates of its assessment boards. More information will be circulated soon. However, the University has committed to ensuring all final year students will be awarded where they have met the necessary requirements.

Key dates

Final year students: 12th June deadline for grade input and 19th June for marks release will remain in place for the results final year students.

Progressing students (on-campus): 26th June deadline for grade input and 1st July for marks release for students progressing in-stage/ to the next stage.

For online students, it is important that marking schedules continue to allow grades to be published for students prior to the start of the third trimester. The deadline therefore for inputting these students marks into Peoplesoft will be Friday 8th May.

Q: Is there some guidance on Wellbeing and Student Services that we can share with students?

Yes, the University has moved its Wellbeing provision online:

Student Wellbeing moved to remote delivery of services on Monday 23 March 2020. Although we are only offering our services remotely, we will still be available to support all of our students. Students can book appointments online by using an Appointment Request Form.  Alternatively, they can email or call Student Wellbeing on 01332 593000 .  Student Wellbeing will be open, virtually, from 9.00 hours to 17.00 hours, Monday to Friday.

Anyone in mental health crisis can use the 24/7 text crisis messaging support service:   Text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258

Student Minds has issued the following advice to students:

Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

The Park Medical Practice will not be available on the Kedleston Road Campus from Monday 23 March 2020.  To access services, registered patients can contact the Park Medical Practice on 01332 668003

The Chaplaincy moved to the remote delivery of services on Monday 23 March 2020.  Support will be available via email or by telephone from 9.00 hours to 17.00 hours, Monday to Friday.  Email – Chaplaincy or Tel – 01332 591878

The International Student Centre will also be working remotely from Monday, 23rd March 2020.

Although working remotely the International Student Centre is also still available to help all of our students. You can contact the International Student Centre by emailing (you will receive a reply within one – two working days) or you can call them Monday – Thursday 9.00hrs – 17.00 hours and Friday 9.00 hours – 16.30 hours (UK time.)

International Student Centre telephone numbers are:

General enquiries/letters:     +44 (0) 01332 591616  /    +44 (0) 777 064 1980

Visa related enquiries:            +44 (0) 1332 592055
Erasmus related enquiries:    +44 (0) 1332 593940

Welfare related enquiries:     +44 (0) 1332 591362 /      +44 (0) 778 950 5143

If you require English Language support whilst writing your assignments please email

Q: Are there any guidelines for working with students to help them to keep on track and stay engaged?

Set expectations with students about how you will communicate with them and when. Try and ensure, as far as possible, that expectations of students and the lines of communications are consistent within programmes of study. This will provide structure to students’ learning; they will know when to expect any updates from you and will be able to organise their lives and learning accordingly. You may want to provide them with some basic information in relation to how often and which methods you will use to keep them updated.

I will be sending out a Blackboard announcement to our xxx module group every Monday and Wednesday with an update. Please turn on your notifications for Announcements so you can keep up to date with the module.

You may want to consider setting some expectations for students as well, although remember to be flexible.

“Hopefully you are able to continue to participate in the module during this time.  Please make sure you log into the module regularly to keep updated on lecture material and discussions. If, for some reason, this is a challenge, please email me/ module leader”

Help students to know how they can communicate with you in the online environment so that they stay engaged with their learning and contact you when they need to.

Q: Students are asking the same questions, I am finding this difficult to manage, what can I do?

Create an FAQ on your module pages for students, use a discussion board, MS Teams or Padlet so that students can add questions and you won’t have to keep duplicating the same replies to different students.

‘Like’ or comment on the correct answer to improve student confidence.

Q: Will we still be returning work in the 15 working day period or will this change in light of the current circumstances?

University policy usually requires return of work to students within a 15 working day timeframe. We recognise that in the current circumstances this may be a challenge for some staff. Please seek advice from your line manager who will be able to work with you if you are experiencing challenges. We must also take account of impact on Assessment Boards and release of results to students. It is important that changes to expectations are monitored so we can effectively manage any queries from students and as a result have evidence for QAA/OfS as required in the future.

Q: Do I need to notify my External Examiner of changes to the delivery or assessment of the course?

External Examiners should be kept informed of the changes that are taking place by the Programme Leader.  At this stage the information needs only to take the format of a brief email so that External Examiners are aware that contingency plans are being operated.

Dear External Examiner (insert their name),

I hope that this email finds you well. I am writing to let you know that the University is working on contingency measures (as I am sure yours is too) and these are being put into place. The University will be contacting you more formally in the near future and when appropriate to provide you with information about any changes to assessment and assessment board arrangements.


Insert name

Many External Examiners will be experiencing similar changes within their own institutions.  At an appropriate time, the University will communicate formally with External Examiners regarding any changes to assessment arrangements that it will need to introduce.

Q: I am concerned that the move to remote delivery means that students can no longer meet the learning outcomes for the module. What should I do?

For the purpose of award and progression, the Assessment Boards will be considering whether the student has met the intended learning outcomes at a programme level. For continuing students, who have not met the programme learning outcomes across the programme they must be provided with the opportunity to achieve these at the next stage or level of study, and this is something which you should discuss within the programme team, PSRB for accreditation, employers and collaborative partners if relevant.

Any changes to assessment methods should be consistently applied to the whole module cohort (including collaborative partnerships) and should ensure that students can pass the intended learning outcomes. Any changes to the module assessment methods should be clearly communicated to students and recorded in the Module Evaluation Report (MER).

The intended module learning outcomes should not be changed, even if the learning and teaching as well as assessment method do. It is important to make sure that the revised learning, teaching and assessment methods still enable students to pass the intended learning outcomes.

Q: PGR Students are usually required to submit four hard copies of their thesis for examination. Has this changed in the current situation?

Thesis submissions and resubmissions are only required in electronic format via PhD Manager.

Q: I am teaching a Stage 2 core module that is a formal pre-requisite for a Stage 3 core module. The remaining classes can be taught online, but not in a way that covers everything that my students will need for next year’s module. I’m trying to give accurate “transition” information and advice about this to the current Stage 2 cohort, but I don’t know what to say.

The student’s ability to proceed to the next level of study must not be compromised by the inability to provide or deliver the teaching required. Assessment and Progression Boards will be expected to facilitate decisions that enable the student to continue with their studies, information about this will be published shortly.

Programme teams will also need to consider what additional tuition/resources will be required to support students when they are able to return to study on campus (including collaborative partnerships). This may require some additional sessions or a re-profiling of the delivery.   The advice for students is that if they have made enough academic progress then they will be able to continue with their studies without having to formally meet the pre-requisite.

Where PSRB accreditation or competency requirements are part of the assessment and have to be changed, these changes should be discussed with and agreed to by the PSRB. In some circumstances specific arrangements may need to be put in place, please contact your Quality Manager for more help and guidance if this is relevant to you.

Q: I don’t see how online delivery can substitute adequately for an assessed field trip / placement / lab-work / practical. What should I do?

There are specific challenges around some of these very participatory forms of teaching.  A range of options do exist for all these types of delivery and best practice is being collated in our practical skills padlet.  If you have any specific queries about your sessions, then get in touch with pedagogic practice team and we can work together to find a solution.

Q: I have a student who is insisting that they need to meet with me in person. How should I respond?

As we are facing a public health emergency it is important that we follow the guidance on social distancing to avoid the spread of Covid-19. Students can be offered individual meetings via Skype, MS Teams and telephone but it is not possible to meet face to face at this current time. Personal Academic Tutors should reach out to their tutees. Any student requiring support from the Wellbeing and Student Support Team can access the service remotely: or call Student Wellbeing on 01332 593000.

Q: Do students who are completing their Independent Studies still need to submit hard copies of their dissertation?

Students should be advised to submit electronic copies of their Independent Study along with the Turnitin report. Submitting a hard copy is not necessary at this current time.

Q: How can I be sure that my students are engaging with the remote delivery of the module?

There are several ways in which you can identify whether students are accessing Blackboard and engaging with the module. Within the ‘Evaluation’ section of your module control panel in Blackboard you will have access to reports and dashboards to give you various levels of detail. You can utilise ‘Module Reports’, ‘Retention centre’ and the ‘Performance Dashboard’ to understand engagement. UDOL have guidance on this.

Q: If students are not engaging with my online provision, will this be picked up by attendance monitoring?

No. Attendance monitoring uses data from the ‘tap in’ system. You will be able to track engagement with your Blackboard sessions (see answer above).

Q: I have a student whose personal / medical circumstances mean they are unable to achieve to their full potential because of the sudden shift to online. Is there a process in place that can recognise / mitigate this?

This needs to be considered on an individual basis. If due to personal/ medical circumstances the student is unable to continue their study in the virtual format provided by the program team, alternative means of assessment and reasonable adjustments need to be considered. Please contact Student Wellbeing to discuss.

Q: Our PSRB and other Universities have said they’re going to move to online exams. Is that ok?

Deputy Deans have worked together to create guidance on this. This will be managed in your Colleges.

Q: I have a student with technology challenges. They want to submit everything on time but won’t be able to. Would we agree an EEC?

If students have been unable to undertake an assessment (e.g. because of ill health or disruption to learning) then the EEC process should be applied. This includes students who may not have access to the necessary IT equipment.

In all cases, students should discuss their ability to undertake their assessment with their programme leader/module lead or personal academic tutor before the assessment deadline. EEC panels may request evidence that this has happened to support a valid EEC claim.

Q: We've set up separate Teams for each PAT group, and students seem to be reassured by the fact that they are there, even if they have barely been used so far. Teams has been working well for us more generally, but there are several other equally good ways of providing that contact. We held a meeting using Teams yesterday and it went OK, once everyone had introduced their dog/cat/toddler.  Where can we share practice?

CELT is keen to collate examples of good practice, if you have practice, an idea or a solution to issues which have emerged through remote teaching please do contact  or add to our Padlets. CELT is keen to collate examples of good practice, if you have practice, an idea or a solution to issues which have emerged through remote teaching please do contact  or add to our Padlets:

Support for remote lecture and seminar sessions

Support for remote tutorials

Support for remote practicals/laboratories

Q: We usually standardise our marking before we mark the full cohort’s submission. How can we ensure parity especially where we have single and joint honours and students learning at a collaborative partner? It would be useful to share good practice as each subject is developing its own response and may have solutions others haven't thought of.

Standardisation is a practice that is easily undertaken online; please select the sample of work which is to be standardised. Ensure that each marker remembers that standardisation comments are not made online (so that you do not see each other’s real-time updates and so the student doesn’t have several sets of feedback). At the end of standardisation, use Teams to meet with your marking team to check whether your marking and comments are consistent. Please share good practice with CELT who will cascade it through Course Director/Programme Leader forums.

Q: Do we have any guidance on support for students who usually have a scribe or other support in class for them?  One of the scribes who works with one of my students said to me that it looked like something would be set up but she was not sure how it would work.

All students who received support in class have been contacted to arrange remote scribing/interpreting via their programme’s online delivery method. If you have any students with concerns around in-class support online please inform the Non-Medical Helper service via

Q: What are the plans for students who don't have an appropriate computer set up at home?

The University has delivered personal laptops to students who have reported these issues.

Q: What will students do if they need to complete a placement (year-long or 30 hours) for PSRB accreditation or competency requirements?

Where PSRB accreditation or competency requirements are part of a placement and the assessment and these have to be changed, these changes should be discussed with and agreed to by the PSRB. In some circumstances specific arrangements may need to be put in place, please contact your Quality Manager for more help and guidance if this is relevant to you.

Q: I'm finding the transition to online learning and all the other requests from the School, College and University a little overwhelming at the moment. What do I need to do as a minimum to make things work in the short term? I can look at the longer term when less overwhelmed.

There are a number of sessions to support you in developing your basic remote learning skills. Please visit the Digital Practice Handbook for details of sessions. As a starting point ‘transitioning to remote learning’ will be of most benefit. In the short-term, make sure you have covered the basics – message your student group with details of how the module will be delivered; ensure that the reading for each week is up to date; post your Blackboard Slides 24 hours in advance. In preparing your lecture, think about how you will engage the students, an hour lecture for example would not keep the most attentive students’ attention if it were delivered didactically. If you can break each hour into shorter sections, with interactive elements every 15-20 minutes it will ensure students remain engaged and understand that there is a requirement on their part. In the first instance it might be that you use questions or short video clips but as you become more confident you may seek to introduce digital tools such as Poll Everywhere to ask questions or Padlet to ask your students to make open comments or post their own resources.

Video clips can be shown within a Collaborate or Panopto session, but it is advisable to provide links to videos in the chat pane, to give a better user experience. There is a video guide to support this –  How to share a video in Collaborate

If you are looking for a more structured approach, then there are some examples on how to lesson plan on the CELT webpages. Remember that these are guidelines and you do not have to follow this guidance; it is just an example to support staff who may not have a great deal of experience in engaging digitally with teaching and learning activities.

We are in an unfamiliar situation which will feel overwhelming to many of us. If you need to speak to someone to guide you through the process of developing your session, please contact CELT and we will be very happy to talk it through.

Q: How do I manage large groups in Collaborate? Can you recommend how to structure sessions?

Blackboard Collaborate can support 250 participants. This can be extended with a support ticket to Blackboard. For interactive sessions, we would recommend using break out rooms, where the participants can be split into smaller groups to work collaboratively.

Review your Collaborate session settings and consider whether you wish to disable video and audio for your participants. A Collaborate session recording will capture student questions and comments in the chat and will timestamp and highlight them as the recording is played back. It is therefore advisable to anonymise chat messages in the session settings.

More information can be found in the Digital Practice Handbook.

Q: I am struggling to juggle my childcare commitments with work, while working from home. What should I do?

The guidance from Human Resources is that staff in your position should be allowed to work flexibly in order to look after your family, and that you should consult with your line manager in order to agree a way forward. If you are finding it difficult to teach ‘live’ sessions online, one useful approach might be to design “non-synchronous” activities that your students can engage with flexibly, and that do not need you to be online at the same time as they are, this is also useful for students who have families and who may be unable to attend at specific times.