Online Delivery from Monday 23rd March
In this unprecedented time for our community, the Students’ Guild in Exeter and Students’ Union in Cornwall have been working closely with Education Leaders across the University to support you and ensure that undergraduates and taught postgraduate students are able to continue to receive teaching and dynamic learning support; and to ensure that we can put in place the unique guidance and support our postgraduate research students need.
In this message, we want to update you about our work to move your learning experience online from next week (Monday 23rd March). You can be assured that our academic and professional services colleagues are working flat out to achieve this during these extraordinary times and to ensure that the learning experience, while different, is as good as it can be. Obviously, this is a major change for all of us within the University community and has had to be achieved within an incredibly short space of time. We are doing this against an extraordinary backdrop as many of our peer Universities adopt the same approach and more of the country and of Europe move to working from home/online. This will test the continental and national digital infrastructure as much as ours and, therefore, we would ask you to be patient if not everything works first time – there will be challenges beyond anyone’s control. Please do feedback to your Module Leads about your experience of this new approach to learning and teaching, both highlights and areas that we should collectively look to improve.
We know that you are facing significant uncertainty in many aspects of your lives. We are keenly aware that a move to online learning presents particular challenges for a number of members of our University Community and we want to know how we can best support you. To that end, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not have access to the internet at home or if other specific issues make online learning especially challenging or impossible.
Our priority over the next few weeks is to support you all in completing your term two studies and preparing for your remaining assessments. We have issued a statement today to provide you with our personal commitment to do all we can to ensure that your academic outcomes are protected. We hope that this gives you some reassurance for now while we continue working on the detail of this. We will be in touch with you again as soon as possible with more detailed plans for how we can best work together through the May assessment period and beyond.
In the meantime, academics will be engaging with you through a range of channels including online tools such as the discussion forums within module ELE pages or short pre-recorded videos.
Please check your emails and ELE module pages as regularly as you can for updates about teaching and assessment plans for your modules.
For our postgraduates research students, we are putting as much pressure as possible on funders to provide further information as quickly as possible.
Download Microsoft Teams now. This link will take you to Microsoft’s webpage.
As of Monday, 23 March all students will also be able to access Microsoft Teams, the University of Exeter's collaboration tool. Teams is an additional way for you to share and collaborate with each other and with academics within our community. It enables flexible working and collaboration no matter where you are so long as you have an internet connection. Within Teams, you can attend teaching sessions, have project meetings on video, collaborate, share documents online or talk within your research groups and to your research supervisor. It is fully integrated with Office365 bringing your OneNote, SharePoint and Outlook together.
Teams will be available for:
- Small group workshops
- Collaboration between groups
- Research supervision sessions
If Teams is used for one of your modules, then you will be emailed a link to join and instructions will be posted on ELE.
If you look at our webpages you will find user guides and Frequently Asked Questions to help you if you are new to Teams. There is also a Yammer group available for users to share their experience of working in Teams.
Not all academics will use Teams to support your learning – your Module Leaders will let you know exactly how they will deliver the remaining teaching for the year.
Do also note that Teams is a new system for most of the University’s staff. In usual times it would have been rolled out over a period of time, with relevant – often face to face – training. This has not been possible in these challenging circumstances. We believe Teams is a simple, user-friendly system, with a great deal of functionality, however we would ask for your patience while everyone gets used to using it. If you are unable to access a session which is being held on Teams, please email your Module Lead who will feedback to our IT teams. As you might imagine, staff within IT and our suppliers, are working around the clock to try to support your learning and we would like to thank them and other colleagues across our community for their dedication.
If any of you are already experienced with using Teams, it would be really helpful if you would consider volunteering your knowledge and expertise of the system to share with new users. If so, please join the Teams Yammer Group described above.
If you experience issues installing Teams please click here.
Support for Microsoft Teams and Other Online Learning Questions
We would ask that in the first instance you look at our Teams web pages and our FAQs to access support, which are designed to help with most issues.
If you still cannot resolve your issue then please email email@example.com or call 0300 555 0444 (UK). For international callers please use +44 (0) 1392 724724.
Our StudyZone colleagues can also provide support for you for your online learning and they have remote bookable appointments which you can access via their web pages.
Please bear in mind that these support routes are likely to be very busy, especially during the early part of next week when demand will be at its peak.
We want to thank you for your patience and support during these challenging times, the likes of which have not been seen in any of our lifetimes. We realise it has been very shocking and difficult for many of you. We have been heartened by the way members of our community are reaching out to support one another.
Professor Tim Quine
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)
University of Exeter
Vice President Education
Exeter Students’ Guild
Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union
Professor Neil Gow
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Impact)
University of Exeter
Vice President Postgraduate
Exeter Students’ Guild