Guidance for ensuring the continuity of education and the student learning experience


*UPDATE* Tuesday 31 March 2020

A new section below has been added for Supporting revision,

and a new page for Sharing examples of LSE online teaching.

New resources have been added to our

Online assessmentMaintaining Contact and Engagement 

and Supervising projects/MSc/PhD dissertations sections.


This page provides online solutions to ensure continuity of teaching and a positive learning experience for our students.

The sections below offer a range of online options for different teaching and learning scenarios. Before you begin, you may wish to consult our Readiness Checklist. As schedules, time zones and internet connectivity are subject to disruption, asynchronous teaching and learning activities should be prioritised over synchronous ones. If possible, students and staff are advised to use a wired, stable, high speed internet connection.


 

Important note

Be mindful of students’ accessibility requirements. No students should be disadvantaged by our efforts to ensure continuity of teaching. If you require any advice in relation to accessibility, contact your Eden Centre department advisers (academic development and learning technology). You may also need to consult the Disability and Wellbeing Service for specific advice, in particular, for students with Inclusion Plans. For specific guidance on providing for students in areas where internet access is restricted, please visit our page on that topic


Browse our sections below for specific guidance:

Online assessment

Supporting revision

Teacher-led sessions

Many of you will have already planned campus-based revision sessions. As such, you will be focusing on how to move these sessions online.

To help you think through this process you may find the Eden Centre template on facilitating an interactive Zoom session, featuring small group work useful. Likewise, our template for facilitating a Moodle based seminar through written contributions, provides a structure that you can adapt for this type of revision session. If you are leading a quantitative-based revision session you may find this specific guidance helpful.

If you don’t already use the Moodle quizzes activity as part of your revision strategy with students, you might like to consider doing so. Alongside quizzes set by the course team that the students can use to test their understanding, you could ask students to set quizzes for their peers, which the course team could then post. The process of designing a quiz is a really useful revision tool in itself.

Within your course Moodle discussion forum you may find it useful to start a discussion thread specifically for questions concerning revision. You could, for example, ask students to identify three key themes or concepts they have learned on the course and justify their choice. For those teaching quantitative subjects, you could produce short videos working through and discussing solutions to key parts of exam-like questions.

It will be important to set student expectations with regards to the forum e.g. make it clear how often you will be responding to questions; state whether or not you want students to respond to peers if they feel they can contribute.

Peer study groups

Your students might find it useful to form peer study groups to support their revision. If you don’t already have peer study groups established, this may require some initial encouragement from the course team. Students could be encouraged to work in groups on previous exam questions or revise particular topics/concepts/particular and then explain them to their fellow students.

Students may want to establish their own channels for communication, but you can highlight that they may find Zoom a useful way of communicating and sharing. Please encourage your students to look at the student guidance on how to get started with Zoom and the LSE LIFE guidance on using study groups to revise.

Independent study

You may have developed course-specific guides to revision, but there is a great deal of online information and guidance available from LSE LIFE.

In addition to webinars focusing on revision and exams, there are resources that focus on revision techniques and planning

You should also highlight to students that individual sessions with study advisers are still available should students feel they would benefit from this kind of support.

Maintaining Contact and Engagement

Eden templates

Supporting Students

*NEW* Academic Mentoring at a distance - FAQs

Announcements forum

All Moodle courses come with an Announcements forum which staff can use to notify students of important information.  Messages are posted to the Announcement forum and sent as emails to each student. Announcements are available for future reference via the Latest News block (if it has been added to your course).

Announcements forum provides a useful one-way communication tool for teachers and staff but are not suitable if you wish to develop a discussion with students. For discussion forums, add a Forum activity.

Requirements 

You will need Moodle Teacher Editor access.

Guides

Lectures

Eden templates

Getting started with Zoom Checklist

Template 4 - enabling participation in large group lectures on Zoom

Guidance for Quantitative Subjects

Lecture notes

Almost all courses have lecture notes, and/or presentations uploaded on Moodle. Staff can upload any future notes and presentations to support teaching online. Please ensure that you are not in breach of copyright law when adding files to Moodle e.g. files such as scanned chapters from books or journal articles downloaded from the internet must not be uploaded to Moodle.

Requirements 

  • You will need Moodle Teacher Editor access.
  • Ensure that all resources are organised and named correctly to ease navigation. 

What to consider

All lecture notes, and/or presentations should be uploaded in a timely manner and organised in a way that will make sense for students to access them. 

Recorded audio and video for narrated presentations  

Echo360 Universal Capture allows the creation of recordings, which can be published via LSE’s lecture recording system(Echo360). Recordings may include one’s voice, whatever is on one’s PC screen and webcam video. 

Requirements 

  • To be able to publish recordings via LSE’s lecture recording (Echo360) system, you need to be registered as an instructor.  If your timetabled lectures are already being recorded, you will already have an Echo360 account, and will be registered as an Instructor.
  • You will need a microphone attached or built into your computer, though the use of a built-in microphone can result in poor audio quality and a plug-in microphone headset is recommended.
  • You will need a webcam attached or built into your computer

Archived Lecture recordings  

Last year’s lecture recordings are available for use and can be linked to current courses. Students must use the link in your Moodle course to access the recordings. You will not be able to distribute these links to your students by email, or on a web page outside of Moodle.

Requirements 

  • You will need Moodle Teacher Editor access.
  • Faculty consent to use last year’s lecture recording may be required. 
  • If you are using Internet Explorer as your browser, please make sure that it is Version 11 or above

What to consider

All recordings should be uploaded in a timely manner and organised in a way that will make sense for students to access them. 

Guides

Seminars/Collaboration/Group Discussion

Eden templates

Guidance for online seminars using Moodle

Getting started with Zoom Checklist

Template 1 - Interactive Zoom session including a student presentation

Template 2 - Interactive Zoom session featuring small group work

Template 3 - seminar by Moodle Discussion Forum over a short period

Template 4 - enabling participation in large group lectures on Zoom

Guidance for Quantitative Subjects

Discussion forums

Use this type of forum for moderated asynchronous discussions related to specific activities. Both students and staff can post to this forum.

For specific guidance on how to facilitate a class through Discussion forums (asynchronous communication), for structured activities and assigned group work, see this document.

Requirements

  • You will need Moodle Teacher Editor access.
  • Ensure you set clear student expectations (e.g. the purpose of the forum, what students are expected to do, how often the forum will be moderated etc.)

Web conferencing / webinars

Video conferencing gives faculty the ability to host online synchronous sessions

Requirements

  • All participants should download and test the Zoom Client for Meetings before attempting to join a session.
  • You will need a microphone attached or built into your computer. The use of a built-in microphone can result in poor audio quality and a plug-in microphone headset is recommended.
  • You will need a webcam attached or built into your computer.
  • Students require headphones or speakers at a minimum.  If they also have a microphone, they can speak rather than just contribute through chat.

What to consider

  • Instability of networks and time zone risks.
  • Moderating a class through video conferencing presents additional challenges as the normal visual and verbal cues for participation are not always available.
  • Therefore, it is advisable to plan a structure in advance, including prompts for contributions and other interactive activities.

Further guidance will follow on how to moderate a Zoom webinar/web-conferencing session

Annotated problem sets

Worked solutions to problem sets, annotated and posted on Moodle to support seminar and classes that work through problem sets.

Requirements

Worked out solutions may need to be created in advance.

What to consider

  • Errors and timeliness need to be managed.
  • Follow-up student queries need to be responded to (perhaps via online discussions).

Guides and Downloads

Supervising projects/MSc/PhD dissertations

Eden templates

Getting started with Zoom Checklist

*NEW* Master's supervision - at a distance

Virtual office hours and meetings

This type of communication will allow virtual private conversations between faculty and students. We recommend Zoom  but you can also use other tools such as Skype if you wish. Zoom is a video and web conferencing platform that gives teachers the ability to host online sessions. At LSE, Zoom is used to hold online office hours, online revision sessions, online PC/software lab sessions and to bring remote researchers, experts and guest speakers into the classroom. There is also a Zoom app for iOS and Android devices.

Requirements 

  • All participants should download and test the Zoom Client for Meetings before attempting to join a session.
  • All participants will need a microphone attached or built into their computer. The use of a built-in microphone can result in poor audio quality and a plug-in microphone headset is recommended.
  • All participants will need a webcam attached or built into their computer

What to consider

Instability of networks and time zone risks. 

Guides and Downloads

Individual Student Activity

Reading lists 

Most courses provide links to the library TALIS reading lists; providing remote access to online resources such as e-journals, e-books, e-articles etc. 

Talis Aspire Reading lists are created outside of Moodle via a system looked after by the LSE Library. For more details see the Reading lists @LSE guide. Linking to the Talis Aspire Reading list ensures that students have a consistent experience across their courses, they can tag readings (have read/will read) and add notes. It means that you are linking to electronic journal articles and ebooks correctly and within copyright requirements. It also ensures that the Library have access to your reading list data so the content can be acquired for you.

Requirements 

What to consider

Critical readings may not be available remotely.    

Guides and Downloads

FAQs

Q1: What are synchronous and asynchronous teaching?

A1: Synchronous teaching means that everyone must be connected online at the same time, while asynchronous teaching does not rely on simultaneous online connection.

Why use synchronous teaching? 

  • Familiar: duration and tasks can resemble a face-to-face seminar 
  • Timing: can use the same teaching timeslot
  • Collaborative: students can work together, tutors can work with student inputs 
  • Dynamic: students can interact together in real time

Why use asynchronous teaching? 

  • Flexible: Fits around other commitments, across time-zones
  • Rigorous: More time for student thinking 
  • Connected: Can use less bandwidth and less advanced equipment Functional: Less time pressure to learn tools and fix problems 

Q2: I would like to start using online supported learning. Where do I start?

A2: There are many options available for online learning. We recommend that you use your course’s Moodle page to facilitate online interaction with students. Moodle offers the following features: lecture slides, discussion thread, reading lists, announcements, quizzes, and problem sets. For asynchronous teaching, you may choose to record lectures via Echo 360. For webinars, Zoom has been licenced to the School for synchronous teaching.

For further information about online supported learning, please consult the different sections on this page. 

Q3: What is Zoom and do I have to use it?

A3: Zoom is a video conferencing tool that allows you to host synchronous teaching sessions. To use Zoom, you will need to first download and test Zoom Client for Meetings, which has been licenced to the School. However, given that staff and students may be in different time zones, if international students have returned home asynchronous teaching should also be considered. 

It is advisable to practice using Zoom with colleagues first, before using it with students.  

The Eden Centre has produced a guide to using Zoom in Moodle (with recording instructions), a Zoom getting-started guide, and guidance for running a seminar using Zoom. The last guide includes details on using breakout rooms. Zoom puts out its own support documentation on how to use various features (e.g. polls) and also runs training webinars on various topics. 

The Eden Centre offers online workshops on Zoom and online teaching more broadly: please check the Atlas programme for an up-to-date schedule. For a one-to-one consultation, please contact your Eden department adviser or if you need help with troubleshooting, please contact Eden.digital@lse.ac.uk

Q4: I want to keep engaging with my students online, but I’m concerned about their access to internet. What do I do?

A4: Some students may have restricted access to the internet. For example, in China, Moodle and Zoom (through the link lse.zoom.us) are accessible, however websites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Google are not. Access to third party tools such as Padlet or Slido is not guaranteed. It is also important to be mindful of internet connection speeds and time zones. For this reason, asynchronous teaching through Echo360 Universal Capture is recommended.

For more information lecture recordings please visit this page: https://lse.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/LREG/overview.

For considerations about teaching students where internet access is restricted, visit this page: https://info.lse.ac.uk/staff/education/Teaching-and-learning-provision-for-students-in-areas-where-internet-access-is-restricted  

Q5: I would like to pre-record some teaching materials to make them available to students.  How do I do that?

A5: Echo360 Universal Capture allows you to create recordings, which can be published via LSE’s lecture recording system (Echo360). I can record your voice, your PC’s screen, and video from webcam. For online video content, it is important to consider accessibility. For example, Echo360 is accessible from China, however YouTube and other websites are not. If connectivity is also an issue, students can dial into Zoom calls using a mobile signal. Here is a list of numbers across the world, the UK one is +44 203 481 5240. You will be asked to enter your meeting ID, which is the number at the end of the Zoom link. Access to third party tools such as Padlet or Slido is not guaranteed. It is also important to be mindful of internet connection speeds and time zones. For this reason, asynchronous teaching through Echo360 Universal Capture is recommended.  

For more information lecture recordings please visit this page: https://lse.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/LREG/overview.

For considerations about teaching students where internet access is restricted, visit this page: https://info.lse.ac.uk/staff/education/Teaching-and-learning-provision-for-students-in-areas-where-internet-access-is-restricted  

Q6: I want to use my Echo recordings (recorded lectures) from last academic year. Can I do that?

A6: You can use recordings from the 2018/19 academic year and can be linked to current courses. You will need Moodle Teacher Editor access and potentially faculty consent. Please visit this page for detailed instructions: https://lse.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/LREG/overview 

Q7: I would like to connect with students through other media, e.g. Skype or Google Docs. Can I do that?

A7: At this point, we recommend prioritising technology that students already have access to, e.g. Zoom or Moodle, rather than asking students to sign up to new technology. However, if you have already successfully used another technology with your course, you may continue to do so. Please bear in mind that the School does not support Skype, Google Docs, and other third party technologies.  

Q8: Can files be shared via Zoom? 

A8: The chat feature on Zoom is encrypted meaning files may not be shared on the platform. We recommend you upload relevant files you want your students to access to Moodle or show them through the screen sharing function of Zoom.   

Q9: Can file limit be increased on Moodle? 

A9: Our decision is to not increase the file limit, because it will put more strain on Moodle itself. Large files are also difficult for students abroad or with weak internet connections to download. Our recommendation is that you use Echo360 Universal Capture to record a lecture and then link to it from Moodle.  

Please visit our Echo360 guide for further instructions on how to do this: https://lse.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/LREG/overview  

Q10: Can students request their own meetings? 

A10: Students can log into Zoom with their LSE credentials – they do not need to request access or permission to create meetings. They can use Zoom independently to schedule group meetings, collaborate on group projects, for self-convened study groups, etc. Student guides will be available soon. 

Q11: How many students can Zoom handle? 

A11: In a Zoom session, you can host up to 300 students. However, it is not the capacity but the nature of your session that determines the ideal number of students. For a more interactive, dialogic seminar or class, a smaller number of students, 15-20 – the capacity of a typical LSE seminar or class, works best. Having said that, there have been cases at the LSE where highly interactive sessions for 60 students have been successfully run. However, such sessions are more resource-intensive and complicated to design and run. There is guidance on how to run a seminar-style session in Zoom, or you can attend an online workshop in Zoom on how to use Zoom, or discuss your course or class plan with your Eden department adviser for a one-to-one consultation. 

Guides