Student Guidance for Online Teaching
The University of Sheffield suspended face-to-face teaching from Monday 16 March 2020 and all teaching has moved online. Please refer to the Coronavirus Information & Advice page for the latest updates.
This is a challenging time for students and staff, and a response to a rapidly-changing situation.
Your tutors may be using software and systems they have not used before, and making material available in new formats with short notice. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time, which may see delays and technical issues. Be assured your tutors will be receiving guidance and support as needed from the Digital Learning Team, IT Services, and faculty support staff.
Updated: Tuesday 7 April at 14.00
|Check your IT||
In order for you to fully engage with your teaching materials online, you will need the following access:
To check your browser for compatibility with Blackboard (MOLE), please see the Blackboard (MOLE) Browser Checker.
If you experience any issues with Blackboard Collaborate, please visit our Collaborate troubleshooting page.
|Changing your email address in Blackboard||
You can now receive Blackboard notifications from your personal email address. If you are in a location, such as China, where you have problems accessing your University email, you have the option to receive important course notifications and departmental communications to a personal email address.
If you need to do this simply add your personal email address to Blackboard and your Daily Notifications and any other notifications from your department will be delivered directly to that address. If you don’t update your email address, notifications will continue to go to your University email.
Other University communications will not be sent to this address. You should continue to check the Student news page for general information for students. This change will remain in place until the end of September 2020.
How to change your email address in Blackboard
1. Go to www.sheffield.ac.uk
Please note you may have to check your spam or junk mail folder for Blackboard notifications.
Please see this guidance page to update your Blackboard notification settings, change the frequency of your notifications, and switch your notifications back on if you have muted them.
|Top tips for webinars and discussions||
Top 5 webinar tips for students
1. Arrive early: aim to be logged in and online at least 5 minutes before the session. This way you can work out any audio or connectivity issues before the session starts.
2. Don’t try to multitask: close down other tabs and put your phone away.
3. Mute your mic when you’re not speaking to avoid unwanted background noises that can distract other participants.
4. Use the raise hand feature to ask a question. Do not switch on your mic to speak unless invited to, or a tutor has told you it’s fine to do so.
5. Remember text chat can move quickly in large classes, and tutors may not have immediately seen your message while presenting, so be patient for replies.
Top 5 tips for discussion boards for students
1. Get involved. Taking part in discussions makes your learning active (using your knowledge) rather than passive (only absorbing knowledge). As a result, you’re more likely to remember the facts or ideas you’ve learned.
2. Be clear and concise. Try to keep to a single point in your post as this will make the discussion easier to follow and only post if it's relevant to the discussion. If you want to talk about a different topic, consider setting up a separate thread.
3. Check your spelling. Use a plugin like Grammarly or better still write out your comment in a google or word document first - that way you’ll have a record of them. They might come in useful as a starting point for future assignments.
4. Start a conversation. Have a go at responding to a post that your classmate has left. Use open-ended questions that cannot be answered using “yes” or “no” to encourage discussion.
5. Be nice! This is not a YouTube comment section. Listening and engaging with different opinions will allow you to explore new perspectives.
|301 Remote Study Strategies||
301: Academic Skills Centre has designed a best practice guide for remote study, to help you stay on top of your workload and keep making positive progress in your university study.
|Help & support||
Your local staff teams, and Digital Learning teams, are here to support you during this period. If you have any queries or concerns specific to teaching or assessment, please contact your tutors or department (as detailed in any communications you receive).
For any technical issues with digital learning tools you can contact the Digital Learning Helpdesk via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note this helpdesk is covered Monday to Friday, 08.00 - 17.00 (BST).
Please see some of the initial questions we will ask during support queries, to help us deal with your query more efficiently.
Please refer to the below information on getting the most out of our digital learning tools and systems:
We thank you all again for your support and patience during a difficult time.