The safety and wellbeing of students and staff is the top priority at Aston.
Key advice for colleagues supporting online learning and teaching is to:
- Establish clear ground rules and expectations for students. This could provide an opportunity to work with students to develop mutual understanding.
- Be aware that when teaching online, other people in student households may be able to hear and see the online activities.
- Make sure students are aware of the Student Code of Conduct and that this applies equally in online learning activities and social media:
- Make sure students are aware of who they can speak to if they have any concerns or have experienced any inappropriate behaviours. This can include Programme and College level including Personal Tutors, and also central support (should a student need help during a session): https://www2.aston.ac.uk/current-students/hub and https://www2.aston.ac.uk/current-students/health-wellbeing/counselling-and-mental-wellbeing-service/who-else-can-i-talk-to.
- Familiarise yourself with the systems and tools you are using to support online learning and teaching. For example:
- How to use the Settings in Collaborate Ultra to control student permissions including access to chat, audio and video, and how to enable the ‘profanity filter’ (where appropriate) for chat, both in planning and scheduling a session, and during a live session:
- How to ensure that only Aston students can access a Collaborate session using their ID by not enabling ‘Guest Access’ links for students. Anyone with a Guest Access shareable link can join a Collaborate session and may be unidentifiable.
- Have a contingency plan should an issue arise. For example, depending on the severity of the incident, you may need to:
- Temporarily disable chat for students during a live session.
- Temporarily disable student permission to share audio and video.
- Temporarily suspend or end a live session.
- In the event of an incident taking place, it is also important to ensure that you know who you can speak to for support and, as highlighted previously, that students are aware of what actions will be taken and where they receive additional help and support. Where appropriate, an alert can be issued to the cohort via Blackboard.
- Note that concerns about the conduct or behaviour of individual students should be followed up with the relevant Programme Director and Personal Tutor in the first instance and the Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching where appropriate.
- Note the available information, help and advice available for staff.