Previous weekly tips

  • Are you planning your synchronous teaching sessions for next semester? Have a look at the recommendations about format and class size provided on the Synchronous online teaching recommendations page. 

    And if you are interested in using MEDIAL, the university's online streaming service, to record and store short, pre-recorded lectures ahead of a seminar-style synchronous session, consider joining us for our Introduction to MEDIAL webinar on Tuesday, 1 September (4-5pm). For more information, visit the EDU Webinar series page in the Supporting learning online resource in Brightspace. 
  • Are you planning your virtual classroom sessions for the upcoming semester but are unsure which tool to use? You can of course continue to use Bongo, the native Brightspace virtual classroom but you can also use the new Webex integration in Brightspace now. Webex has officially replaced Blackboard Collaborate and can be accessed via the Communication and Collaboration drop-down menu.

    If you would like to learn more about Webex, check out the Webex Help Pages and consider joining us for the Introduction to Webex webinar on 25 August, 4-5pm. 

  • Building your content for next semester? Try the Brightspace text editing, it can help you create nice looking pages to display your content directly in Brightspace. For more information, refer to the Brightspace HTML editor guide.

  • Active engagement: Ask students to create discussion topics or quiz questions for their fellow learners. This writer outlines some benefits she has found
  • Do you find yourself giving different students the same information again and again? If you do, you might like the Brightspace FAQ tool, an ideal way to share information widely.  See the guidance in the EDU Brightspace guidance portal.
  • When you are putting together learning materials for your students, you might not have to start from scratch. You can find many useful Open Educational Resources (OER) on the internet. The LTA has put together a database which you can browse for resources. You can also suggest other OER which you are already using so they can be added to the LTA's list. 
  • Use discussion fora and topics as 'interactive spaces' where students can discuss activities you have set them and share presentations and links to videos they have created. You can have all students participate in the same discussion forum/topic, or you can let them work in groups by setting up group specific discussion fora/topics.
  • Are your students having issues with Brightspace on iPhones or iPads? There are some known issues using certain Brightspace features on these devices which Unidesk can help with. Ask the student to raise a Unidesk ticket 'log a call'.

  • When you are working in Brightspace, we recommend that you use Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari as your browser.

  • Post regular announcements - so your students know you're still there - you can do these as video notes too (Staff Quick Start guide > Content int Brightspace)! To make sure students get notified about announcements, tell them to have a look at the student quicks start guide to find out how they can customise their notification settings (Student Quick Start guide > Brightpace basics).

  • Create a discussion board entitled ‘Social Announcements’.  Your students can use it to communicate with one another.

  • Keep a reflective log - think about what worked well and what didn't in your online teaching and you can tweak as you go.