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Online teaching and learning review published in partnership with Bangor University

06 May 2021 | Advance HE Staff and students at Bangor University worked together to create six projects designed to ensure continued high quality curriculum provision and positive student experience during the height of the Covid-19 crisis in 2020.

A review of how to successfully blend online teaching and learning during Covid and beyond for longer-term course delivery is published today by Advance HE in partnership with Bangor University.

Inclusion, equality and diversity, health and wellbeing, and co-production are key themes within Building approaches to learning in online and blended-learning environments: challenges and opportunities which is available for Advance HE members to download.

Staff from Bangor, together with representatives from the Student Union, worked on the six projects to understand and maximise technology use, ensure high quality module provision, create an online welcome and induction experience for new students, design agile policies to enable and support the learning environment and identify training needs, providing resources to ensure staff have the knowledge and confidence to provide high quality, online provision with active learning communities.

Principal Fellow and National Teaching Fellow, Dr Frances Garrad-Cole, is Deputy Head of the School of Psychology and a Teaching and Learning Developer in the Centre for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching at Bangor University and lead author of the review.

She said, “I am delighted to see this review published in partnership with Advance HE. This is a comprehensive review exploring the emerging themes from the literature of online learning and underpinned the projects that we at Bangor co-created with students to ensure inclusive digital teaching and learning.

“Our top tips for successful teaching and learning are useful to colleagues in HE who are reflecting on the emergency response to Covid-19 and looking ahead to long-term strategies for course delivery, whether fully online or blended.”

The 10 top tips for successful online teaching and learning identified in the review by Bangor University are:

  1. high quality online teaching is built on good pedagogy, not good technology, and is different from the Emergency Response Teaching that was required in March 2020
  2. engage a backwards design approach whereby all assessment and interaction required from the student is driven by, and directly related to, the learning outcome – convey this clearly and explicitly in regard to each action/interaction
  3. consider digital equity and inclusivity in regard to: disability, bilingualism, technology access, social inequity, temporal inequity, and inequalities relating to race, gender or culture
  4. provide flexibility/variation in terms of access to information, within a clear structure
  5. set weekly tasks and expectations in a one-page document at the start of each week. Release content week by week, rather than all at once
  6. use asynchronous delivery for content, and keep videos/podcasts short
  7. use synchronous approaches for discussion forums, seminars and drop- ins
  8. ensure you have an effective social presence – eg video feedback, presence in discussion groups
  9. share the responsibility of feedback and use formative assessment with automatic feedback, self- and peer-evaluation to build towards authentic summative assessment
  10. regular, purposeful ‘deadlines’ as per above will increase engagement and student success with the course.


Dr Garrad-Cole will present the report at the Wales Institutional Group meeting for Advance HE members in Wales on 11 May.

Advance HE members can download Building approaches to learning in online and blended-learning environments: challenges and opportunities here

Find out about how we can support your institution in supporting student success for all through our range of services and resources here.

Our Teaching and Learning Conference in 2021 continued to position the spotlight firmly on teaching in a global context. In particular, the conference focussed on the theme 'What is the Future for the HE Curricula?'.

We feel it is important for voices to be heard to stimulate debate and share good practice. Blogs on our website are the views of the author and don’t necessarily represent those of Advance HE.

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