Supporting teaching remotely in Hilary term 2021

Hello and welcome back. I do hope you were able to have a restful new year’s break.

With the new national lockdown meaning teaching will take place remotely for the majority of taught students at the start of this term, it is worthwhile reflecting on what our students said about their learning experiences last year. We are aware that many colleges, departments and services collected feedback during 2020 and will be revisiting that as we return to teaching remotely.

During Trinity term 2020, the Teaching and Learning Planning Group, which included student representation, conducted a review of teaching and assessment including both staff and student perspectives. The findings may be useful to you as you continue to adapt your teaching to support students this term.

What our students said?

The Trinity term 2020 Teaching and Assessment Survey (students) was sent to over 17,000 taught students in June last year, with over 3,000 responses received.

Survey responses were analysed by the Student Data Management team and a detailed report, including useful feedback from students on their overall study experience, as well as their experience of different teaching methods and assessment experience, was published.

Students were hugely appreciative of the adjustments that had been made to enable them to study remotely. The main challenge that students encountered was lack of motivation to study. They felt supported by regular check-ins, opportunities for academic related social activity and interaction in live streamed sessions.

Students also appreciated recorded lectures.  Students viewing lectures created in the University’s cloud based lecture capture tool, Replay, particularly liked the fact they could revisit the lectures at any time as this offered a way to manage their study flexibly.

In addition to insights gained from the survey feedback, several videos directed and scripted by recent graduates participating in last summer’s CTL Student Expedience Internship Scheme also provide valuable understandings into the student experience of remote teaching in Trinity term 2020.

What support is available from the Centre for Teaching and Learning to those who teach?

In response to these insights from our students, and to support all those involved in teaching at Oxford in Hilary term, we have refreshed our website with guidance and resources developed by our digital education and educational development experts, along with a coalition of partners across the collegiate University who have contributed to our collection of Oxford examples.

We also provide a Flexible and Inclusive Teaching (FIT) framework outlining how we can take a ‘flexible and inclusive’ approach to teaching while preserving the personalised education for which the University is known.

In addition, we have developed a series of helpful scenarios to assist academics and tutors with planning for different teaching situations, and we look forward to adding to these over the coming weeks.

How can the Centre for Teaching and Learning help you further?

Whether you're experienced in in-person teaching and want to know more about teaching remotely, or you've been teaching online at Oxford already, and want to explore the options further with an expert, contact the dedicated Teaching Remotely Service Desk. It is here that you can ask anything about online teaching and your query will be directed to the right person for advice, whether this be an expert from the Centre for Teaching and Learning, or someone from IT Services, your own Division, or elsewhere within Oxford.

Professor Rhona Sharpe
Director, Centre for Teaching and Learning