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Imperial College School of Medicine : Remote Teaching Guidelines

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Recommended model

Recommended model

Compared to traditional on-campus teaching, our general recommendation for remote teaching is to follow a model based on flipped classroom principles.

This model makes more extensive use of asynchronous learning (‘at-learner’s-pace’). Synchronous (‘real-time’) learning events are also present, and have a specific purpose. 

The model recognises the limitations of synchronous instruction and attempts to strike a balance between synchronous and asynchronous to facilitate deeper learning. 

In simple terms, the model consists of:

1. Asynchronous self-study content 
2. Students’ questions 
3. Interactive live Q&A and/or knowledge extension and/or consolidation session

Self-study materials

A scaffolded series of short videos, readings, curated resources, knowledge self-checks and other interactive online activities for self-directed independent study.

Interactive (not purely didactic).

Ample opportunities to check understanding via self-checks and quizzes.

Students' questions

Students are given the option to submit questions about the content of the self-study materials.

It is useful if students can see others’ questions and can comment on or ‘upvote’ them, to give you a better indication of areas of difficulty.

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Interactive live session

Answers to most pertinent student questions.

Further clarification and/or expansion of the concepts covered in self-study materials.

Consolidation of students’ learning (rather than introduction of new concepts).

Opportunity for the instructor to make sure students have understood the material and there are no misconceptions.

About this model

The model can be modified if there are constraints that make it impractical. See the Scenarios for more details.

This model is based on the following principles:


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The teaching should have a clear, predictable structure: a consistent ‘pattern’ or ‘rhythm’ that students will recognise and understand. 

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Expectations are clearly communicated: students always know where they are and what to do next. They also know how they are going to be assessed.

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There are various techniques for creating a learning community and establishing tutor’s presence.

For example:

  • Create a welcome video telling students about the module and letting them know you are there to support their learning.
  • Give students ample opportunities to ask questions about the content and other aspects of the module, and respond timely to their queries.
  • Establish expectations and routines around your online presence so that students know when they can expect your assistance and in what format.
  • Utilise live online sessions and breakout rooms where appropriate