Frequently Asked Questions

IT equipment and software for teaching

IT have produced guidance on what equipment they can provide and how to purchase it:

Guidance on equipment purchases (IT)

IT form to request hardware (Service Now)

There are many options for you to use a whiteboard in your synchronous teaching:

  • How to best emulate the use of the whiteboard?  This LEaD blog post rounds up the approaches and challenges
  • Using the whiteboard in Zoom (Youtube screencast)
  • Using the whiteboard in Teams.  Also check our screencast on using the Teams whiteboard app on an iPad
  • You can use One Note (part of City's Office 365 package) and simply share your screen from Zoom or Teams. The Educational Team ran a workshop on this. You can find the recording in ourlist of recorded workshops.
  • Using a second device: if you have a tablet, you can use it to annotate and share the content of the screen. See more info in this screencast.

Student engagement and community building

You can use Moodle activities and can then use the Moodle reports to monitor student engagement.   
Activity completion can also be used to quickly and easily see if students are engaging and to contact them if not. One good thing about activity completion is that it provides very nice at a glance data for you and the students on how has done the various activities on your course.  So it makes it easier to see who is engaging and contact those that might be failing behind. 

It is also possible to get data on views of Kaltura Media space videos and lecture capture logs, see the guidance on reviewing engagement with your online course for more information.

Yes restrict access can be used to control the release of activities.  This can be based on date and also completing other activities. 

You can make any activity on Moodle (so a lecture recording link for example) only available after a certain time or for those in a particular group or if you have used activity completion if students have accessed another activity first. 

So you could say that students would have to view one lecture recording before they could access the next one. However you can't ensure that they have actually watched a recording just clicked on the link so not sure how useful this will be.  Alternatively you could stagger the release of the recordings and make them available on sequence.  Again this would not ensure students would view them in order or at all!   

Often students do not prepare and do the asynchronous activities before going to live events. 

This is also the experience of teachers in face to face teaching.  It is hard to find the right balance between being inclusive of those who did not do the work and not fall into the trap of using the synchronous time to do what was meant to be done offline.

There are several ways to encourage students to prepare; 
Communication: Being very clear about the tasks they are required to do each week – clear instructions on Moodle.  Read this and come up with three questions. 

Setting expectations: making it clear that the live session will not be going over the content. Importance of structure. If same expectations and activities before live sessions then students get more easily used to doing them 

Checking engagement: Reports and activity completion can be used to check if students are engaging and perhaps contact people who do not seem to be doing activities. 

Interactive features within sessions – such as PollEverywhere and breakout activities allow for students to test their knowledge and give feedback. 
Less well-known and less well-understood is the effect of “prequestions”: questions pertaining to upcoming information that you attempt to answer before you’ve started learning that information. A new study in the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition suggests that answering prequestions may be a simple and effective way to boost your learning from videos and perhaps short lectures too. 

Learning activities

Message form David Bolton, 28th July 2020:

“We will be delivering the majority of teaching online, along with some small group activities in person. Due to PSRB requirements, some of our courses, such as those in SHS, require more time on-campus to complete practical work and we are arranging for specialist facilities such as clinical skills and engineering labs to be used safely, in a socially distanced way.

Our current students have now received information about changes to programme delivery, where relevant and will receive an email tomorrow with the additional University-wide information below. Additional information about timetables for the first term will be available by the end of August.

Our Applicants and Offer Holders will receive programme-level communications tomorrow, detailing how their studies will be delivered and the information below.

Colleagues across the University have been working together to develop online teaching in new engaging and innovative ways to ensure our students continue to have a positive learning experience. Further information and guidance on delivering studies online can be found on the Learning and Teaching Hub.”

As per the University overarching principles for the delivery of teaching and learning in the coming academic year we recommend that course content and activities to apply understanding of content are delivered online asynchronously with synchronous sessions being used to review understanding and enable student interaction and collaboration. 

Please regularly check City's email communication for up-to-date information.

Although it may be tempting to recreate your existing practice and just run your lectures online we strongly recommend that lecture content be delivered asynchronously to be as inclusive and flexible as possible for students.  Some students may not be able to be online a specific time (there may be one laptop for the whole family, they may have caring responsibilities or be in a different time zone). 

Synchronous sessions support asynchronous and provide anchor/date for students to work towards. It is important to have live sessions to allow students space and time to interact and build up a sense of community, but these sessions should be to apply the content and test understanding.

Moodle will still be used to centralise all your resources (narrated Powerpoints, asynchronous activities, forums, etc) and assignments will still be uploaded and marked there. Teams can be used for other activities such as synchronous sessions and collaborating on documents.

You may be interested in this presentation for the department of International Politics of how they are using Teams and Moodle as complementary tools for teaching, learning and assessment

Watch their presentation at the LEaD Learning and Teaching Exchange event (starts at 8’20):

Bring in interactive activities –Use Poll Everywhere to ask the whole group questions and the chat to get questions from the whole group. 

Use breakout rooms or channels to have smaller group discussion and activities. It helps to give students very specific tasks or instructions for the small group. Small group teaching ideas can be found on the small group teaching blog 

Discussion and breakout rooms with peer learning using collaborative writing tools – such as Word/OneNote online can also be useful to:
- Build up a course text book collaboratively

- come up with questions and answers.

Don’t just get students to discuss, get them to produce something, using collaborative writing tools for example, Teams is linked to O365 so has an advantage there, see a SASS example from Elliott Freeman. 

See the guidance on running breakout room activities and small group teaching ideas can be found on the small group teaching blog. 

Moodle module set up and page design

Strip it back – reduce it down to essential resources and then some extra recommended resources but be ruthless and only keep a limited number so students are not overwhelmed. Use the Reading lists feature to manage the content and split it up into topics. You can use topics to organise sections and content in Moodle. Also make sure that you use dates rather than term weeks.

The Book activity is a good alternative to a Word document as it would be reusable in Moodle courses and each page can be updated easily with new information. It should also display well on a phone and be accessible compared to a downloadable Word document which may require students to have the Office365 word app on their phone.

If you have narrated slides it is also possible to link to them directly into the book using the Embed Kaltura Media option

Multimedia content, narrated slides, etc

If you have a significant amount of lecture content (over 20 hours) it may be very time consuming to record narrated PowerPoints to  cover all of this content. There are varying estimates as to how long it can take to create a 20 min video lecture. There are several factors involved (for example experience of doing this already, upload times to MediaSpace, wifi variability).

Therefore it can take anything from 1.5 to 4 hours to create a 20 minute video lecture. Therefore you can repurpose some of your existing lecture captures if the content is still relevant, accurate and up to date.

LEaD do not recommend taking an existing series of for example 10 two hour lectures and simply adding all of these to your 2020-21 module. Instead we recommend re-using some of these lecture captures. We suggest breaking down your online lectures into chunks of approximately 20 minutes each. These chunks can be supplemented by:

  • New narrated PowerPoints
  • Library readings
  • Learning activities on Moodle.Well designed learning-activties give students opportunities to check, explore and apply their understanding). From a pedagogic perspective students need to be actively engaging with and cognitively processing both learning resources and activities. Therefore, the best use of your limited time may be to add student learning activities on Moodle and to design activities in your synchronous seminars which provide students with opportunities to interact with both you and your peers.

How do I copy and edit existing lecture captures?

LEaD have guidance on copying an existing lecture capture to your 2020-21 module

LEaD have guidance on editing existing lecture caprtures to create standalone mini lectures.


With their consent, you can repurpose some of these captures, but it is perhaps riskier as students perceive you to be their lecturer and may be expecting your take on the subject matter. As module leader you would need to explain to the students the use of such recordings and to then complement them with additional resources and activities.

Yes you can. Within the Echo 360 lecture capture there is an analytics dashboard which shows different aspects of student engagement. You can review student engagement with existing lecture captures in order to see which parts of the recorded lectures students watched the most. Seeing these 'hotspot' parts of the recordings may indicate concepts or technical areas which students find challenging.

Using your knowledge of student performance in previous assessments may also help you to identify areas of your subject which some students find difficult. These areas are sometimes referred to as core or threshold concepts. You can use these approaches to help inform your thinking as to which parts of a lecture capture to take out as a re-useable chunk. 

To learn how to use the Echo 360 lecture capture analytics features take a look at the 'analytics' section within this LEaD guidance page.

Brief 'talking head' introductory videos. Contrary to the popular conception of students' as 'digital natives' most students need support with online learning.

It is even more important in an online context that you support your students with clear expectations and direction as to how they should be engaging with online learning. For example a weekly five minute video where you set the context of the topic, explain which resources and activities students are expected to engage with during the week and how this asynchronous work will prepare them for a synchronous seminar.

You may also want to tell students how that week's seminar will work (particularly what activities they will be doing in the seminar and how these activities depend on engagement with the asynchronous lecture captures, narrated PowerPoints, library readings and Moodle activities.

H5P will soon be a core activity in Moodle and may be a good option to add interactivity and get the students thinking.  More information on H5P is on the guidance online. 

While it is possible to record your presentation from Zoom and Teams, the recording will be saved in their server, respectively Zoom Cloud and Streams. Recordings are only kept on Zoom Cloud for 60 days. In order to facilitate access to the recordings for students and to keep all video  files in  one place you will have to download that recording to your machine and then uploading it unto your Mediaspace. You can then share easily with students and directly embed on Moodle, too.  

We recommend you produce video media using either Kaltura Kapture or Powerpoint. See here which one would fit your needs better: 

Kaltura Capture or Narrated Powerpoint? 

Although you can upload files up to 2GB we advise you keep them below 300MB. To aid this, consider using Handbrake to reduce their size. 

Review our 🎞️ screencast for tips on how to create effective videos, upload them to MediaSpace and share them via Moodle. 

We have been advised that courses should limit to only embedding a few videos per course (welcome video or intro) to reduce load rate on their course page.

The Moodle Video Resource is a good way to add videos from Media Space as students will not need any special apps to view content and it does not pre-load videos so it won't slow down page load. 

For accessibility reasons we would always recommend adding a script or transcript as an option for students who cannot access the audio.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Skip to toolbar