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Imperial College School of Medicine : Remote Teaching Guidelines

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Where to start

Where to start

The transition to remote teaching is a good opportunity to revisit and rethink the pedagogy behind some of the more traditional ways of delivering content. If you are a Module Lead, start with step 1. If you are a Session Lead or a Session Tutor, start with step 3.

List all your learning outcomes (for the programme/module). For each of them consider if it can be delivered remotely. If it can’t (e.g. it heavily relies on lab work with no possibility to maintain the required social distance), consider what can be done instead (e.g. delay delivery, change the LO etc.)

List all the sessions (in the order they are delivered) and people responsible for them (if you are not delivering them yourself). Identify how these sessions were delivered in a face to face environment (lecture, tutorial, student-led session, lab practical, TBL etc.). 

For each of your sessions identify its main purpose (or specify the session learning outcomes). Based on this, decide on the best/most practical mode of delivery – how best can you achieve these objectives? Read the Scenarios to help you make the decision – this may require a discussion with the people responsible for delivering the sessions.

The general recommendation is to apply the remote teaching model, which can be modified if there are constraints that make it impractical.

In general, we do not recommend replacing like for like (e.g. replacing all lectures with whole-class online sessions) but adapting the delivery based on the purpose of each teaching event and the learning outcomes it supports (this may mean removing or merging some of the teaching events, and/or replacing with other modes of learning).

Remind yourself of the assessment for the module and consider how these sessions will prepare students for the assessment. 

Identify gaps. The main areas where gaps can be present are:

  • Content: there may be content, assets and activities that will need to be designed, created (or collated, or repurposed) and reviewed. Existing materials will need to be adapted. List all the content gaps.
  • Skills: there may be need for additional training in designing and/or creating.
  • Support: you may need to rethink how best to support learners in a remote environment.
  • Assessment: assessment may be modified for remote delivery, but it should still align with the learning outcomes. 

Identify ways of bridging the gaps:

  • Content gaps: where to get the missing content from? Are there resources already available? If not, who will create this content? Is the content actually needed to fulfill the learning outcomes? What types of content are needed? Check out the Designing for remote delivery section.
  • Skills gaps: what training is needed? Who do I need to contact?
  • Support gaps: what adjustments need to be made in order to communicate effectively with students online? What additional support might students need? What channels can be used to communicate with students?
  • Assessment: are all the learning outcomes met? Will students have enough opportunities to experience the format and tools needed to complete their assessments?

Develop a plan of action and a timeline for designing and creating the content, training, and delivery of the teaching to students.  

Considerations

Bear in mind you will need to adapt your existing materials for remote delivery:  

1. You will need to carefully select the key concepts that contribute to the learning outcomes – the priority is not to overload students with didactic content but get them to learn by doing: solving problems, completing self-checks, researching answers, discussing etc.

2. You will also need to consider if activities you have planned are likely to work in an online environment. 

Example

In class, you may be able to ask students to discuss an answer to a question in small groups and then you can call on one of the groups to report to the plenary. This may not work as smoothly online. A better approach may be to reformulate an open-ended question into a multiple choice/multiple selection one, ask it via a poll (e.g. Mentimeter) and then comment on the results. 

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