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How to develop a Flexible module

This page provides an overview of the flexible module development processes and support for the 2021/22 academic year.

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Modules for the 2021/22 academic year will fall into 3 categories:

  1. Modules delivered in the 2020/21 academic year that will be delivered again in 2021/22 with no changes to the Module Leader
  2. Modules delivered in the 2020/21 academic year that will be delivered again in 2021/22 with a new Module Leader
  3. Modules being delivered for the first time in the 2021/22 academic year

The most appropriate route of support for developing your module will be dependent in which category your module falls.

All routes of support are designed to support Module Leaders in creating online and blended learning that is aligned to the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric for course design and underpinned by NTU’s Learning and Teaching Planning Framework and Online Learning Principles. We ask that you familiarise yourself with these documents before developing you develop or make significant changes to your flexible module.

Modules delivered in 20/21 to be delivered again with no change to the Module Leader

All modules that were delivered in the 2020/21 year will have all existing content (excluding Panopto content) copied into the 2021/22 iteration of the Module Learning Room. Staff access permissions will also be copied across.

Guidance to prepare your Learning Room has been produced by Organisational Development and can be found in the NOW Central Learning Room, signposted from the Homepage.

In addition to these resources the Flex Team have created two Learning Rooms that provide information and inspiration to support you in creating high quality online learning:

  1. Rocket Science 101-Exemplar Learning Room
  2. Quality Matters

You will also find advice and guidance on creating high quality and engaging content for a number of teaching approaches on our Support page.

Modules delivered in 20/21 to be delivered again with a new Module Leader

All modules that were delivered in the 2020/21 year will have all existing content (excluding Panopto content) copied into the 2021/22 iteration of the Module Learning Room. Staff access permissions will also be copied across.

If you are new to leading on a module, but you have previously been through the Flexible Module Development Process and you feel confident in preparing your module for the new academic year, then we would advise you follow the same guidance as for those with no change in module leadership. However, if you are planning to change significantly the way the module is developed and delivered, you are welcome to book a workshop to discuss the proposed changes with a Learning Designer or if you are from the School of Arts and Humanities contact LTSU via aah.ltsu@ntu.ac.uk for an hour consultation.

If you have not previously been through the Flexible Module Development Process or are new to NTU, we recommend that you go through the process for new modules, by submitting a Module Development Form. Liaise with your Course Team to identify if student personas were created for your course/module last year.

Modules being delivered for the first time in the 2021/22 academic year

1)  Submit a Module development form with all the key module information for your module.

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

The deadline for submitting Module Development Forms :

  • Term 1 – Friday 3 September
  • Term 2 – Friday 10 December
  • Term 3 – Friday 1 April

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

2) Book an appointment with a Learning Designer

Following the submission of your Module Development Form, you will be emailed with a link to book a dedicated one-hour development workshop.

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

3) Create a Module Map

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 Module Map development guidance and a template to support you with this step.

4) 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.

5) Submit exemplar content (optional)

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.

6) 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.

The Flex Team have created two Learning Rooms that provide information and inspiration to support you in creating high quality online learning:

You will also find advice and guidance on creating high quality and engaging content for a number of teaching approaches on our Support page.

7) 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 is 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 styles and 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 accessibility reference guide to support you in creating documents that meet the needs of a wide range of students.

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

Still need help?

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