Guidance for Teaching Staff: The Timetable and Delivery Methods

When thinking about the timetable and delivery methods you wish to adopt for your teaching here are some key points to keep in mind.

Unfortunately there is no dynamic link between the University timetabling software and Minerva, Collaborate Ultra, Zoom or Microsoft Teams. 

The University timetable informs students and staff of the activities associated with their modules, and where provided by the module team, the delivery method. This helps students to understand what they need to do to access their learning, (e.g. Live - Online via Collaborate, On-campus, See Minerva). 

If you have yet to decide on the delivery method for your module activities you may ask your timetabler to annotate activities with See Minerva. Whilst this if fine to do, it does mean that you and your module team will need to ensure you guide students carefully on how they access the learning shown on their University timetables (e.g. you might post Minerva annoucements and/or update a document in Minerva with what they need to do each week).


Hybrid modes of delivery

When considering a hybrid model of delivery please keep in mind timetablers can only timetable in 30 minute increments. 
Let’s consider a particular scenario: if you want a 15 minute online lecture followed by 35 minute online discussion this will appear on the timetable as a 1 hour online activity. It will not be possible for the timetabler to provide a greater level of detail on the timetable, you would need to communicate the structure to students through other methods (e.g. an announcement or outline document in Minerva). It may be possible in some cases to add a description of 5-6 words to an activity, however, this would need to be discussed with your timetabler as this option is not always available.


Using Collaborate Ultra

If you have a module with no concurrent teaching (e.g. none of the small group teaching on your module is taught at the same time) and have less than 250 participants you can simply use the Collaborate Ultra default Course Room. You and your students join the Course Room at the time shown on your University timetable. It is good practice to check the participant settings before your teaching starts. Guidance on how to use the Course room can be found here.

If you have concurrent teaching on your module and or expect more than 250 students to join then there will be a requirement to set up sessions to facilitate this. These sessions can then be used as individual tutor rooms.The SES have provided additional guidance for the 2020/21 session on using/setting up Collaborate Ultra for online teaching.

Activities with more than 250 attendees.
Teaching activities with more than 250 attendees will be converted to a webinar for up to 500 attendees. Some participant features become unavailable in webinar mode – key ones to keep in mind are:

  • Guests can only be participants in webinars 
  • Break out groups are disabled
  • Participants cannot share audio, video or draw on whiteboards or files.

It is however possible for moderators to turn on chat during the webinar. If you have more than 500 attendees it may be necessary to double teach.

If you have any jointly taught activities with other modules, one module will need to be used to host the online activity in Collaborate whilst the students on the other modules use a guest link (set to Participant) to join as required. You can find more information on how to set this up by reading the additional guidance the SES have provided on setting up Collaborate sessions for 2020/21.


Using Zoom or Teams

If you wish to use Zoom or Teams for personal 1-2-1 tutorials you will need to ensure you schedule meetings as required and that the link is shared with your students.

If you intend on using Zoom or Teams for teaching then you will need to ensure you schedule calendar meetings to match the times shown on the University timetable to avoid confusing students. Please remember to let the timetabler know these need to be annotated - via Zoom or via Teams. It may possible for timetablers to add links to these ‘meetings’ to the student’s personal timetable (please discuss this with your timetabler as this is not always possible).


Pre-recorded Teaching

If you have advised your timetabler that an activity will be delivered using Pre-Recorded content you will need to ensure that your students are aware of how to access the recordings (e.g. in Minerva in a particular folder you have set up). Unless you have asked for pre-recorded activities to appear on the timetable these will be removed as agreed in the Production of the teaching timetable for the 2020-2021 academic session paper that accompanied the Student Education 2020-2021 Delivery Principles. If you have asked that pre-recorded activitities appear on the student’s timetable these only act as a reminder that the content should be watched.


On-Campus Teaching

As in previous years, the location will appear on University timetables for any on-campus teaching requests. Marshalls will be located in each building used for teaching to aid safe entrance and exit for staff and students. Signage will be in place to help everyone move safely around campus. Along with the deep clean that takes place at the end of the day, rooms used for teaching have been blocked out for an hour between 12 noon and 2pm for deep cleaning. Sanitiser and wipes will also available in teaching rooms for users to make use of.


N.B. Both Zoom and Teams require you to scheduling meetings to use as virtual classrooms which could lead to a disconnect between the meetings you schedule and what appears on the University timetables. This disconnect could happen due to number of reasons, the most common being data entry error when adding them to your calendar or changes made to the University timetables that are then not made to your calendar items. Please remember to make the necessary changes to your Zoom and Teams sessions if you ask timetablers to amend the timetable.

Scheduling sessions in Collaborate Ultra can also lead to similar issues - though there is no need to schedule sessions if you using the Course Room as you simply join it at the time shown on your timetable. 

Unlike Zoom, Collaborate Ultra and the new Microsoft Class Teams inherit enrolment data from Banner so if a student changes modules these changes will appear overnight minimising the risk of them missing teaching – you will not be required to manually add, remove or invite students.