ISLA – New guidance

Our new guidance pages explain what the capabilities and use-cases are for rooms set up for ISLA teaching

Click here for the new ISLA guidance pages by LEaD

Inclusive Synchronous Learning Activities (ISLA) is a new pedagogic and technical hybrid method for live teaching simultaneously to students who are both on campus and online. Academic staff simultaneously present to their class face to face and online using Zoom (Teams is not supported with ISLA). A camera broadcasts them to the online audience and microphones pick up all speech in the room for the remote learners. This is often known as hybrid or dual delivery teaching.

ISLA rooms are primarily intended to enable interaction between students and lecturers and so are best suited for smaller class groups (max. 30-40 students, total). It is essentially a new level of the DALI project, in that it is comprised of an additional layer of technology. This technology includes a large display screen for the Zoom chat and gallery view, a second camera directed at in-class students for those online, and additional ceiling microphones installed throughout the room to pick up discussions.

ISLA enables the following benefits for your teaching:

  • The whole class can interact with each other in real time
    Brings together a diversity of perspectives
    Provides student choice about mode of attendance

ISLA has the following challenges to be aware of:

  • Complex to manage and teach the session
    Require familiarity with technical setup
    Limitations on suitable rooms
    Limitations on class sizes
    Vulnerable to changing circumstances (e.g. illness or a further lockdown)
    Vulnerable to technology issues
    Risk of inequitable experience
    Some health risk

City also offers a number of other options for teaching that takes place both in-person and online, with various rooms optimised for these alternative options (Lecture Capture, DALI, DALI+). ISLA rooms have the most functionalities, as well as the most limited availability.

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2 thoughts on “ISLA – New guidance

  1. This is all great. I am going to be doing this in practice with my UG elective LU3147, because my ‘lectures’ will be interactive sessions with the whole group. But I’ve been given the rooms that I’ve been given on the timetable (and classes start next week). Any advice for how to manage as best as I can?

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