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Update for staff and doctoral researchers - 29 September 2021

From the Chief Operating Officer: Covid measures on campus and teaching and learning update

Dear Colleagues and Doctoral Researchers,

As we approach the start of term, I want to remind you of the Covid-related measures and requirements we have in place on our campuses and update you on messages we have sent to students. 

We have also provided some additional information for staff who are teaching this Semester.

Face coverings

Staff are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings while moving around buildings on campus. They are not generally needed when you are seated at your desk or working, unless you have to work in close proximity to others and have been specifically advised to wear face masks in these circumstances.

If any staff – for example those in Security or in practical teaching sessions – have to be periodically less than 2m distance from students or colleagues, they will be offered FFP2 face masks. You should speak to your line manager if you feel you need one. In areas where staff and student interaction is more fixed – for example, reception areas and help desks – Perspex screens will be retained for the time being.

Students have been asked to wear coverings whilst moving around buildings. They’ve also been told we’d like them to wear them when sitting in classes. If you are giving a class, you should feel able to ask students to use their face coverings. We have also created a slide (available under the Face Coverings section here) that you can use at the start of any session if you would wish to do so. In our main teaching spaces, there should be 2m between the staff and the students at the front of the rooms.

Social distancing 

We’re requesting that everyone continues to maintain their physical distance in shared spaces on campus and in offices where this is possible. This will help to protect everyone on our campuses, particularly those who may be more vulnerable.

Testing

All colleagues who are working on campus for any period, including those who have been vaccinated, should take a lateral flow Covid test at least weekly to keep our community as safe as possible. You can do this at home or through our campus Test Centre. Further information is available on the Covid website.

If you test positive for Covid, you should inform the Connect and Protect service, as well as your line manager or supervisor.

Vaccinations

As colleagues may have noted, we are hosting a series of pop-up clinics on campus. Students are being very strongly guided towards these clinics. There is spare capacity at these and so staff are also invited to book themselves in or simply turn up at the times below. They are all in the Pilkington Library.

 

Wednesday 29th September, until 6pm

Thursday 30th September, 11am-6pm

Saturday 9th October, 12 noon-7pm

Sunday 10th October, 12 noon-6pm

 

An appointment can be booked via the NHS’s Swiftqueue system.

Room ventilation and risk assessments

The ventilation arrangements for all teaching rooms have been assessed and where there is mechanical ventilation the operation of the system has been reviewed. The information about the room (attached to lecterns) has been revised.

Colleagues teaching in rooms may also choose to open windows and fire escape doors (although please close the latter at the end of sessions) if they wish to do so.

Teaching and learning matters from the PVC (Teaching) 

Teaching delivery

You will already be aware that we will be operating with reduced capacity in some of our larger lectures at the start of term, with students asked to attend on alternate weeks (as shown on timetables). We will be reviewing this every fortnight. If any staff would like a refresher on dual delivery, the on-demand materials from the training sessions in September are available on the Teaching and Learning website.

Changes to recordings in MS Teams

To support teaching staff, Panopto have released an MS Teams app that allows MS Teams recordings to be automatically transferred to a specified folder within ReVIEW / Panopto. This would, for example, copy recordings from a Module Team into a Panopto module folder, meaning that the recording would automatically be available for students in the Review block on Learn, usually with an hour of the recording finishing in Teams. Guidance on how to set up the mapping can be found in the Teaching and Learning website. Further information from IT Services can also be found here.

General reminders and good practice

Please could every Module Leader incorporate a slide as we usually do at the beginning of each new module to explain what has changed (if appropriate) in response to student feedback from the previous year, together with the delivery plans (or roadmap) for the module this year.

We would also be very grateful if you could ensure that when you set any coursework briefs this year, that the marking and grade assessment criteria are made clear in advance.

If you are a Personal Academic Tutor, it would be great if you could ensure you have a discussion with returning students about their performance in their Semester 2 assessments at the start of this academic year, to allow them to feed forward into this year on their strengths and areas that they might want to improve on.

Please also remind students to register their attendance via the MyLboro app at the start of sessions, both in person and online. This will allow us to ensure that we can support our students to succeed as much as possible.

Finally, thank you to all colleagues for the hard work and preparation that has gone into getting ready for the start of the new academic year. Colleagues who work to keep our campus clean, safe and running smoothly, technical colleagues preparing labs and computer rooms, administrative colleagues supporting the arrival of our students, and academic colleagues preparing for the commencement of teaching – it has been a significant effort. Thank you.

Richard Taylor

Chief Operating Officer