Teaching and learning provision for students in areas where internet access is restricted

This page aims to provide additional guidance on the accessibility of online teaching and learning in areas where internet access is restricted.

Our main page on Covid-19 planning provides guidance on supporting students by delivering learning materials online, including the use of narrated presentations, discussion forums and archived lecture recordings etc. Before you decide on your delivery method, please consider the information below, including the technical considerations.

Student access to Moodle and other resources is dependent on their computer set up, speed of their internet connection and location. Therefore, students should be advised to, where possible, use a wired, stable, high speed internet connection.

Access to Moodle and other websites and content

Students should be able to access LSE Moodle in most locations but access is dependent on the quality of the internet connection and this varies from region to region.

You may need to review the content of your Moodle courses as certain embedded sites may be blocked. Similarly, licencing restrictions may restrict student access to content from some publishers.

For example, blocked websites in China include Google, YouTube and Vimeo. Online search engines are available which allow you to check if a website is blocked in China.

Echo360 is working with Universities around the world to ensure that students domiciled in China can access their teaching recordings. No content is blocked by the state network, but there are latency issues (sometimes minimal and sometimes significant) because of the Chinese firewall. Echo360 have undertaken a considerable amount of optimisation to ensure that content is getting through as best as it can, and we are working to minimise the problems further.

Turnitin (via Moodle) is available in most regions but students may encounter difficulties if their internet connection is unstable.

Access to third party tools, such as Padlet, Slido, Mentimeter etc., cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, it is worth checking their accessibility through an online search engine before designing activities using them.

Recording audio and video for narrated presentations

Audio and video recordings can be used instead of synchronous teaching. Students will be able to access the recordings in their own time and can manage their local conditions accordingly.  You can create these recordings using Echo360 Universal Capture. Videos published through Echo360 should be accessible in most regions.

Echo360 is working with Universities around the world to ensure that students domiciled in China can access their teaching recordings. No content is blocked by the state network, but there are latency issues (sometimes minimal and sometimes significant) because of the Chinese firewall. Echo360 have undertaken a considerable amount of optimisation to ensure that content is getting through as best as it can, and we are working to minimise the problems further.

Seminars/Collaboration/Group Discussion

Discussion Forums

Asynchronous discussions using the Forum activity in Moodle should prove to be the most reliable way of allowing students to contribute to class discussions. For specific guidance on how to facilitate a class through Discussion forums, for structured activities and assigned group work, we will be publishing a resource ASAP.

Web conferencing/webinars

If you wish to use Zoom meeting (web conferencing), students should access it through lse.zoom.us as zoom.us is blocked in some regions. There may also be regional variations in access to Zoom and other web conferencing tools and it is important to consider this before making the decision to use this form of communication. You should also consider that students may experience difficulties with their internet connection and may only be able to make contributions through the Zoom chat function. 

Technical considerations

Web Browsers

Students may access online materials using local browsers, such as QQ in China, which may present compatibility issues with Moodle and Turnitin. 

Mobile Devices

Students may access Moodle using a mobile device, either via the Moodle App or through a web browser.

The Moodle App has some limitations and students may need to move between app and browser view to access all content.  You can learn more about what is supported by the app on the Moodle app features page

Using WiFi or Mobile Data can result in internet speed issues so students should be encouraged to use a wired internet connection with a desktop or laptop.

File sizes

Because internet connectivity can be slow and inconsistent in some regions, it is advisable to keep file sizes to a minimum. The University of Reading has produced a useful guide on reducing media file sizes.

For further information about LSE supported technologies, use the updated LSE Moodle guides and Lecture recording (ECHO 360) guides.


We would like to thank our colleagues at University of Reading for sharing information with us.