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How to develop a Flexible module

This page provides an overview of the Flexible module development process, from getting started through to building your content.

The Flexible module development process is designed to support Module Leaders in creating online and blended learning that is aligned to the Quality Matters Course Design Standards. The process aims to ensure our students a quality assured and engaging experience under our current pandemic-related restrictions. This seven-stage process supports NTU in creating opportunities to learn for all our students through weaving face-to-face and online learning seamlessly across all our courses.

If you are looking for detailed guidance on creating content please visit our Support page.

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To support your understanding of flexible learning at NTU and to ensure you get the most out of each step of the development process, please read NTU’s Learning and Teaching Planning Framework and Online Learning Principles documents to appreciate the requirements we need to work within to ensure the quality of our provision during these uncertain times.

It is imperative that you meet with your course team to review learning and teaching across the course as a whole and determine those teaching types which will take place on-campus and those that will be delivered online.

As a course team, we recommend that you take time to reflect on the needs of your student cohort and any potential barriers to learning that could affect their ability to interact with your proposed teaching. To support you in this activity, please take time to watch the video we have created in partnership with Troy Brocklebank, NTSU VP Education, on barriers to learning and consider the student personas that make up your cohort.

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Seven steps to creating a Flexible module

The seven steps of the flexible module development process are as follows:

  1. Submit a Module Development Form for your Term Two module by Friday 20 November 2020
  2. Book an appointment with a Learning Designer by Friday 11 December
  3. Prepare a Module Map to discuss at your workshop
  4. Attend module development workshop
  5. Submit exemplar content
  6. Create/reformat your content
  7. Set up your Microsoft Team

Step One: Submit a Module Development Form

Submit a Module development form with all the key module information for your Term Two module by Friday 20 November 2020. Please be aware that no Learning Rooms will be built between 18 December and 5 January 2021.

The following information will be useful to have to hand:

  • Module Specification
  • Curriculum plan / Scheme of work
  • Module launch date
  • Schedule of on-campus delivery for the blended module and delivery details (if applicable)
  • Module Team availability
  • Technology requirements for students
  • Assessment information and assessment briefs

You will also be asked to confirm the following:

If you struggle to submit via Microsoft Forms, or you have any questions, please get in touch with elearning@ntu.ac.uk.

Once you have completed Step One, your NOW module learning room will be created. To help you create consistent, accessible NOW content, we have included a default set of web pages in your Learning Room. You can edit these or create new pages from a range of available templates. Use the toolbar options to style your text and create tables, or embed images and video via 'Insert Stuff'.

Step Two: Book an appointment with a Learning Designer

Following the submission of your Module Development Form, you will be emailed with a link to book either a dedicated one-hour development workshop or a group question and answer session. Booking for these sessions will remain open until Friday 11 December, with the last sessions taking place on 18 December.

We will be focussing on providing dedicated workshops to those Module Leaders submitting modules for the first time in Term 2. If you have previously attended a workshop, we will instead be providing you with the option to participate in a group Question & Answer session run by our Learning Designers.

If you encounter any problems booking an appropriate session, please email elearning@ntu.ac.uk

Step Three: Create a Module Map

If you are attending a dedicated one-hour workshop, we ask that you prepare a detailed plan for a typical week of your module. This plan will help your Learning Designer to understand better the specifics regarding the delivery of your module and how you can best use the Learning Room template and tools available in line with NTUs requirements and online learning principles.

You may already have a document that serves this purpose (e.g. curriculum plan or scheme of work). If you don't have a pre-existing document, we have provided a Module Map template and guidance to support you with this step.

If you are attending a group Question and Answer session, you do not need to prepare a Module Map.

Step Four: Attend a module development workshop

In your workshop, your assigned Learning Designer will make suggestions, answer questions, and point you to additional online guidance to support you in developing your flexible module

Your Learning Designer will also be interested to know about the potential barriers to learning your students may experience and other information about your cohort that you think could affect how they interact with your materials and sessions.

If you are attending a Question and Answer session, you are welcome to participate in and listen, bring questions with you, or raise questions as the session progresses. You do not need to prepare a module map for the group Question and Answer sessions.

Step Five: Submit exemplar content

All Module Leaders have the opportunity to submit exemplar content, approximately one hour of online learning, for feedback.

If you wish to take up this opportunity, please email elearning@ntu.ac.uk providing the module code and name and details of the content you would like reviewing for feedback.

Step Six: Create/reformat your content

After your Learning Room has been set up (and you have received feedback on your exemplar content), it's time for you to begin creating your learning resources.

You can find detailed guidance on creating content on our Support page, including guides on:

  • NOW
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Panopto

If you require any specific applications to be added to the Learning Room (e.g. PebblePad, Yammer or Twitter) contact elarning@ntu.ac.uk.

Step Seven: Set up your Microsoft Team

Microsoft Teams is an integrated part of the NOW Digital Ecosystem. The integration provides Module Leaders with the ability to generate a Team relative to the Module Learning Room it is created from.

During the creation process, all users currently enrolled in the Learning Room will be added to the Team and dynamically managed from that point onward. This means any staff or students added to the Learning Room Classlist will be automatically added (there is a one-hour delay) and any staff or students withdrawn will be automatically removed. In the Teams site, module staff become owners and module students become members.

A further advantage of the integration is that it provides a direct link to the Team from the Learning Room.

If you experience any issues setting the Team for your module, please email support@ntu.ac.uk

Accessibility considerations

It's important that we strive to be as inclusive as possible. As well as being of ethical importance, UK laws have become stricter in recent years, so we need to ensure, for example, that:

  • Documents include alt-text for images and diagrams;
  • Document headings are used appropriately;
  • Text is not presented in an image format (e.g. scanned pages as images in pdf documents);
  • Link text reflects the link's destination (avoiding 'click here' style links);
  • Videos should have captions - sharing pre-recorded videos should in most cases, be done via the Video (Panopto) area of the Learning Room to add captions automatically.

We have put together an Accessibility Considerations guide and a visual reference guide to support you in creating accessible documents.

Assuring quality of experience

Following Step six, the Flex Team will support you by conducting a Quality Assurance (QA) review to help you meet the Quality Matters standards. To prepare, it's essential for you to read through everything, checking grammar, spelling, copyright, accessibility, clarity of instructions, working links and logical order of topics and activities.

Please see this QA Infographic for an overview of the main steps in the process. QA could begin shortly after you begin teaching, but you'll receive feedback to support the rest of your module development. The Module Development QA Checklist and Report document is used during the review and also to provide feedback.

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Help and Support

For general questions about this process contact the Flex Team at elearning@ntu.ac.uk

For tech support queries (e.g. questions about software, installation and access issues), contact Digital Technologies at support@ntu.ac.uk and for copyright/IP queries, contact the Library at libinfodirect@ntu.ac.uk

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Flexible Learning