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Thank you students!

We would really like to thank all our students for ensuring your voice was central to decision making around blended learning at UCNL. We had a fantastic response rate for the Online Learning Survey and Student Focus Groups undertaken before the start of the academic year and the data and discussions around were invaluable.
It was reassuring to know that many of the points raised through both mechanisms were points we were already considering, however here are a few examples to show your voice really does make a difference.

You Said

The majority of students understood the current position but didn’t want to completely lose the opportunity for face to face learning and teaching where this could be done safely for all involved.

We Did

Planning was undertaken in a way that considered all modules, and the best way for that module to be delivered. This included consideration for where face to face learning and teaching would be most beneficial. All students will have some level of face to face learning and teaching or contact, this may differ between programmes, depending on the best way to ensure the most beneficial balance of face to face and virtual learning within a blended learning approach. All information was then communicated to students to ensure they were aware of what the new academic year would look like.


 

You Said

Students needed more information and preparation for the online elements of blended learning and were keen to ensure virtual sessions still had a ‘classroom’ feel.

We Did

We developed sessions for students to introduce online learning platforms before the start of the academic year so that students could familiarise themselves with these. Information was provided during the induction period to ensure all students were prepared to start the academic year, this included consideration of etiquette and we attempted to ensure smaller virtual groups wherever possible to enable effective engagement with all students. Additional support is available for students who still require support from the Academic Support team.

You Said

You were concerned about starting the academic year and the impact of being in a position where we had to go back into lockdown.

We Did

All planning included the need for a contingency plan to be built in, just in case the need for a move back to fully virtual learning was required, to ensure an effective student experience could be maintained. We continue to monitor the situation and are ready to adapt if necessary.


 

You Said

You valued the Academic Support Team and would like further access to this.

We Did

We have further increased the amount and type of sessions available and communicated the opportunities available to you. Each programme has a dedicated Academic Support team member, as well as access to the wider team where needed.


 

You Said

You valued the HE learning environment and open door policy.

We Did

We have made all decisions with clear consideration of health and safety. We are working hard on trying to offer space within the HE environment wherever it is safe to do so and to provide opportunities to access staff when needed within these confines. We have also worked hard to build the online community, both at programme level and for UCNL as a whole and all students are invited to be part of the wider community through the Student Society.

You Said

You were worried about how students who were vulnerable could still access a full learning experience.

We Did

Within the planning, each programme considered how virtual sessions and resources could be made available to students if it was necessary to isolate.
Each programme considered the ‘best fit’ for them and we have worked hard to ensure that the technology is available for this to happen.


 

You Said

You understood there was access to e-resources but still valued the physical resources available in the HE Library and that you missed the ability to look at physical books.

We Did

We worked closely with the HE Library to further enhance the e-resources available and really committed to staff training and development to ensure both staff and students are able to make best use of the valuable resources available. We developed a booking service to allow students to access the library with safety in mind and processes are constantly under review to enable us to provide as much access as is considered safe under the circumstances.


 

You Said

You really valued the contact and support from staff.

We Did

We thanked them on your behalf and know they will continue to offer this.