We are looking forward to welcoming you back to campus this autumn. Being part of our vibrant, active community here in Reading will help you to benefit from all that university life has to offer.
Your teaching will be through a combination of regular face-to-face on campus sessions and online learning. Although this will be different to how we delivered teaching and learning before the pandemic, we are planning to increase teaching and other activities on campus compared to what we have been able to do this academic year.
Although we are optimistic that all our lives will be much less restricted in the autumn, we learnt this year that the situation is unpredictable and we need to be prepared to be flexible if things change (for example, if a new variant or third wave means that new social distancing or lockdown measures are reintroduced with little notice). We know already that some students may find it difficult to be on campus, not just due to international travel restrictions (which may originate in the UK or the country from which the student is travelling) and vaccine availability overseas, but also for other reasons such as medical advice.
We are using everything we have learnt this year, together with your feedback and in consultation with RUSU, to help you benefit from all that university life has to offer next year. Our plans are therefore based on:
- Flexibility – to support students who may need to study remotely temporarily
- Adaptability – just in case the pandemic means we need to change our plans
We are confident that when you return in the autumn you will benefit from the increased teaching and other activities we are planning to offer, so you can enjoy a full, vibrant and well-supported student experience.
We will keep the information on this page updated. Last updated:11/06/2021
Your teaching and learning
We believe bringing together in-person and online teaching will provide the best learning experience for you in the anticipated circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. It means we can optimise the amount of teaching we can provide on campus and support students who need to study remotely temporarily. All students will also benefit from the flexibility that blended learning brings such as having structured guided learning and pre-recorded material in advance of on-campus sessions.
The autumn term will start on Monday 27 September 2021, except for those programmes that usually start teaching earlier. If you are unsure of the start date for your teaching, please speak to your Support Centre (or Henley Helpdesk or ISLI Admin Office).
You will be taught through a combination of:
Live interactive sessions (timetabled, in-person or online)
On-campus. You will have regular, live interactive sessions on campus to provide you with opportunities to engage, discuss and interact with both academic staff and other students. Depending on the discipline, this could include tutorials, seminars, laboratory and practical work, workshops, breakout sessions, and lectures that involve a high level of interaction and discussion.
Online (where required). For modules with students who cannot come to campus and are therefore studying ‘at a distance’ (for example, international students prevented from travelling to the UK by COVID-19 related travel restrictions), a similar live interactive session will be held online to cover the same content as on-campus sessions.
In a very small number of subjects there may be cases where there are a large number of face-to-face teaching sessions scheduled for a particular module per week. Some of these sessions may therefore be held as live online sessions as part of our blended approach.
Guided learning activities (asynchronous – to plan in your own time)
You will have regular guided learning activities for your modules that you need to schedule around your live sessions, either individually or as part of a group. This will include two elements:
- Core course content provided online (such as pre-recorded videos). These sessions will replicate contact hours that would normally be delivered through lectures or similar sessions with limited interactivity.
- Complementary materials and activities to support your learning and self-study. This could include watching additional screencasts and videos, listening to audio recordings, or taking formative tests through Blackboard.
All learning materials will be published by your Module Convenor at least 48 hours before the relevant live session.
We do not expect that the overall contact hours for your programme will change, although they will be delivered through a mix of live interactive sessions on campus and asynchronous core course content provided online, as explained above.
Take a look at our video for a summary of these plans.
Learning from our collective experiences this year
We have listened carefully to feedback from our student community this year. It has been very clear that you value being able to engage in regular, live teaching sessions (on campus as much as possible), as well as having organised modules with learning materials published consistently and on time.
We have therefore made several enhancements for next year. This includes:
- weekly timetable reminders for you to schedule time for engaging with your asynchronous (not live) learning materials;
- weekly updates to outline all your learning activities for that module on a week-by-week basis (including live sessions, asynchronous core course content, and any other relevant self-study);
- new resources and training for using different technologies to support your learning.