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Your learning and teaching

Page last updated: 04 March 2021

The Government has unveiled its plans to ease lockdown in England. We'll keep you updated on how this is impacting our teaching and learning as we continue to follow the latest Government guidelines.

How do you feel about changes to how we learn?
Students discuss how they feel about blended learning at NTU.

Our teaching is gold standard, we know what works and we know some things need to stay the same. We have redesigned our learning, teaching and all our campus spaces. We have made our university facilities COVID secure and have put in place extra support for both you, our students, and our colleagues during these unusual times.

We want to provide you with an experience that is high quality, inclusive and supports your wellbeing. We are keen to hear how you are finding things once you have settled in and attended your first few blended learning sessions – we will be regularly seeking your feedback.

Studying at NTU this spring

The Government has unveiled its plans to ease lockdown in England, including the return to on campus in-person teaching for universities from Monday 8 March 2021. The Government guidance for universities explains that we can “resume in-person teaching and learning for students who are studying practical or practice-based (including creative arts) subjects and require specialist equipment and facilities from 8 March.”

All other courses will remain online with a Government review scheduled for mid-April.

Please continue to check your emails regularly, your course team will email you with further information about the changes to your course. For now, please continue to follow your current timetable as published. Term Three timetables will be released on 30 March 2021.

Once you have been notified that your in-person teaching will begin we encourage students already living in the UK to take a COVID-19 test at a community testing facility before you travel. If you’re an international student there are some things you will need to consider before you travel to the UK including latest travel restrictions, quarantine or self-isolation and proof of a negative test. 

If community testing isn’t available for you, please:

All students on campus are encouraged to take twice weekly Lateral Flow Tests to help protect our NTU and wider community.

Campuses – open to students with special circumstances

The Government recognise that some students will need to access study space or personal support on campus regardless of when their courses re-commence in-person teaching.

There are five categories of students the Government has identified with special circumstances:

  • International students who have remained in the UK
  • Students without access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their vacation accommodation (this includes students who commute);
  • Students who have remained in their university accommodation over the Winter Break;
  • Students requiring additional support, including those with mental health issues (again this includes students who commute); and
  • Students on placements where the placement provider has COVID secure measures in place.

On-campus study spaces

There are a variety of study spaces on campus depending on your needs:

Library study spaces – you can book a study space via the Library, this will provide access to digital resources such as PCs and printing facilities, plus our friendly Library support team are on hand if you need to ask advice.

Study Lounges – you don’t need to book to use the Study Lounges. These spaces are set up with PCs and printing facilities, but are not staffed by the Library Team. If you need Library support you can chat to the team via the live chat facility on our website.

Extended study areas – you don’t need to book in advance. These rooms don’t have PCs or printers in them, you’ll need to bring your laptop with you.

Assessing your learning fairly in 2021

Our preparations for this academic year included careful planning for assessment in the context of the pandemic. In light of the recent lockdown, we have made some further changes to our approach to ensure every student is fairly assessed and adequately supported.

We have kept students’ best interests at the core of what we do and at the heart of the decisions that we have taken. We want students to be able to show they have achieved the learning outcomes of their course.

We have welcomed advice and challenge from Nottingham Trent Student Union (NTSU) in devising our approach.

Find out more about how we're assessing your learning fairly in 2021.

Guidance for learning online

Please visit our course pages for further details on how your course may have been adapted. If any significant changes were made to your course, you will have received an update by email. There will be a full explanation of how things are working at the start of term. If you still have a specific question about your course, please get in touch with your subject administration team.

If you have not had much experience learning online, or are after a quick refresh, then we recommend that you take the Online Learning at NTU tutorial. This will help you develop strategies for success, as well as showing you how to use the main online learning software.

Select your online induction tutorial:

Tutorial for new students
Tutorial for returning students

Most of your online learning will be in NOW and Teams. NOW can be accessed via a browser – the best one to use is Chrome. The best way to use Teams is via the app on a laptop or PC. If you use a mobile device or the browser version some of the features of Teams may not work for you. The best way for you to access your live Teams classes is via the Teams calendar. Each session will go live in Teams the day before it takes place giving our academic colleagues time to ensure the session is timely and appropriate.

Staying safe online

Now that more teaching is taking place online, there are some precautionary measures you should take to keep yourself safe and protect yourself from online scammers. For more information, take a look at our Staying safe online page.

How has online learning been so far?
Students discuss their online learning experience so far.

Support

Advice and support for learning online is available on your MyNTU dashboard. Only scheduled activities at specific times are shown, there will more activities each week.

We have done our best to make sure the timetables are accurate but personalising these requires manual processes which mean there may be rare occasions where we have not got it right. If you find an inaccuracy in your timetable, such as a clash between sessions, please contact the Timetabling Team at reg.timetablingsupport@ntu.ac.uk and we will help to resolve that for you.

Please read our Frequently Asked Questions if you have a query about your timetable.

Unfortunately, we can’t make changes to timetables for individual reasons, for example to try to keep students in classes with the same people they live with. That is because we have had to reduce the sizes of classes to remain COVID-secure, resulting in a larger number of classes and much more complex timetabling.

Our staff are here to support you on your learning journey. Our library services are working to make sure digital texts are available and that they can support your study virtually until it is possible to do otherwise. Our award-winning Student Support Services team has also increased its online offer to students, to support your health and wellbeing.

Your IT requirements

So that you can fully engage with teaching and other online opportunities with NTU, we recommend you have a personal laptop, or tablet, and internet access – you will be able to use the free access NTU WiFi while you are on campus, plus we have range of IT spaces available for you to use.

We do have a laptop loan scheme, designed specifically to support students who are unable to access a laptop, limiting them from fully engaging with their studies. If you are unable to access a laptop for your studies, please speak with your tutor who will be able to support you in the process of registering you onto the laptop loans scheme.

Unless it is necessary for students to be assessed on campus, our assessments will be conducted online.

How is NTU different?

You can still expect the same high-quality student experience and award-winning teaching. We have:

  • Redesigned classrooms, laboratories and specialist facilities to support active collaborative learning in a safer environment.
  • Timetabled courses in line with social distancing guidelines, so there will be fewer students in rooms than usual and, where possible, allowing students to remain in consistent groups.
  • Installed additional signage to mark which direction people should walk in.
  • Installed hand sanitiser stations in every building.
  • Replaced standard taps with sensor control taps.
  • Arranged enhanced regular cleaning of commonly used areas in buildings.
  • Installed screens to facilitate face to face meetings where it is not possible to adhere to social distancing guidance but deemed necessary to reduce the risk of cross contamination.
  • Made innovative use of the University’s campus to provide the most positive student experience.

If teaching and other activities are blended, not all on campus, why aren’t my tuition fees reduced?

The ‘tuition fee’ covers a wide range of activities and services which are designed to support your learning. It includes the teaching sessions and access to learning facilities, but also a range of other supporting services for students.

To understand how we spend your tuition fees please see an example breakdown.  In 2020/21 we expect around 80% of the income we make from tuition fees to be spent on student facing services and activities.

Things will be different in 2020/21 due to COVID-19. We have invested to adapt our teaching spaces to ensure they are COVID-secure, to develop more online learning and to provide an extensive range of student activities and services. We have worked hard to ensure you will receive a rich student experience and meet the learning objectives set for your course. This is why tuition fees for 2020/21 are unchanged.

It will take time to adapt to blended learning and to life more generally in these very different times and we have developed plenty of support to assist you. We will be seeking your feedback along the way. We hope that you will enjoy our blended offer and discuss with your tutors or the relevant student services personnel if you encounter difficulties. However, if your experience is not satisfactory and you are unable to resolve this informally, then you may choose to submit a formal complaint through NTU’s student complaints procedure.

More information is provided via the link above, or you can speak to the Students' Union advice team who will be able to provide additional information as well as advise you on your case. A complaint will need to address specific areas that you feel are deficient.

The University’s complaints process is subject to external oversight by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) and, in the event you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you will have the opportunity to have this considered by the OIA.

Can I complete this year entirely online? 

Engagement with your course, both on-campus and online, is essential if you are well enough to study. If you think that you won’t be able to return to campus for more than the first few weeks of term please contact your school.  

NTU has a student attendance policy so please ensure you have told us throughout the term if you are unable to attend your teaching. Our courses have been designed for blended learning and not for studying everything online. Our insight shows us that good attendance and engagement with studies help with your academic progression and attainment. We know these are unusual times and that means there are constraints on what we can provide on campus. At the same time, feedback from students and anxieties about studying online have meant universities, including NTU, are striving to provide a blended offer as far as possible rather than fully online. We have designed your courses to make the most out of both our on campus and online teaching and we hope you will be able to fully engage with all of it.

If you are unwell with COVID-19 symptoms then you can update us via the NTU Coronavirus tracker form. If you are self-isolating but well enough to study, complete the NTU Coronavirus tracker form so we know you will be attending your online sessions only.

Please contact your course leader if you are absent for longer than two weeks so we can talk to you about any additional support you may need.

Further information

If you have a specific question about your course, such as how the modules work together, the assessments or any changes to route then please contact your school administration team.

The best place for details about your course is the NOW learning room, where you can learn more about your course, its structure, assessment and learning opportunities.

Supporting success for all

We've introduced an Equality Impact Panel to ensure that, now more than ever, we continue to find and deliver ways to reduce the attainment gap and support the success of all our students.

Hear from NTU representatives as they explain how NTU is tackling inequality across unrepresented groups, and what it means to them in areas such as inductions, online learning, teaching on campus, and extracurricular activities.

Study abroad and exchange arrangement information

NTU remains committed to enabling students to complete their planned overseas study or exchange programme in spring 2021 while also making sure you are aware of the measures that need to be taken to ensure your safety while travelling outside the UK. If you decide to travel to your host country, regardless of whether you are doing online or in-person study in your host country with your host university, you must still complete the two official risk assessment forms sent to you. Students will not be authorised to travel, nor be covered by NTU travel insurance, until the relevant risk assessment forms are completed and signed. Please contact NTU Global for any questions about this or if, for some reason, you did not receive a copy of the risk assessment forms.

Travel advice from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) can change quickly so we urge you to check their website regularly for updates.

While you are in your host country you should stay in close contact with your host university and closely follow any local advice about safety measures and restrictions. Please note that some countries may require you to quarantine upon arrival. You will need to contact your host university or accommodation provider prior to your departure to arrange this.

Our policy at NTU is to support you in whatever decision you take and is conditional on complying with the guidelines below.

  • NTU travel insurance

    NTU’s travel insurance provider is U. M. Association Ltd (UMAL). A document explaining what is covered by UMAL was sent to you by email. If you did not receive it please contact NTU Global to request a copy. We urge you to review this information carefully and let us know if you have any questions. Please note a clause added by UMAL this year, under the section titled ‘Disruption’, stating there is no travel cover for any disruptions to your programme arising out of Covid-19 for journeys booked after 18 March 2020. Please check with the airline or other travel provider on their policy and fees for making changes to your return ticket in the event of a Covid-19 related disruption to your programme.

    UMAL insurance provides emergency medical cover only. If standard health or medical insurance is required during your study abroad or exchange programme, as is often the case for any non-Erasmus exchanges (particularly in North America), then this will need to be purchased separately.

    The guidance we have received from UMAL says that as long as you are travelling on a University-approved activity that has been suitably risk assessed and authorised, then travel cover will apply in the normal way.

    For students who will be studying abroad in the EU, please be advised that the UK will no longer issue European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) but if you have a previously issued EHIC, it can be used until the expiry date.

    If you do not have a valid EHIC then you should apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). You can find more details about the GHIC and information on how to apply on the FCDO webpages. An EHIC or GHIC is not a replacement for travel insurance.

  • Risk assessment forms

    The guidance we have received from UMAL says that ‘as long as you are travelling on a University approved activity that has been suitably risk assessed and authorised, taking into account the current government advice against all non-essential travel, then travel cover will apply in the normal way.’ As a result, we have updated our standard risk assessment form and created a supplementary form to highlight the risks around Covid-19. Given that sudden changes can be made to a country’s status by the FCDO , all students must complete both forms and submit them for authorisation to your School Exchange Coordinator as soon as possible. As noted above, we will not authorise your travel until we have received, reviewed, and signed your completed risk assessment forms. These forms were sent to you by email but if you did not receive them please contact NTU Global as soon as possible for a copy of these forms.

    Note for students doing a Year Abroad: Students who started a full year of study abroad or exchange in autumn may be asked to complete new risk assessment forms if they are changing to a different country for the second half of their year abroad or if the dates of their year abroad have changed significantly.

    Your School Exchange Coordinator will continue to be your key contact at NTU, but NTU Global is here to support you through the risk assessment process so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

    If you are unsure as to whether you still want to proceed with your study abroad or exchange, please speak to your School Exchange Coordinator about your options as soon as possible.

    Your health and wellbeing is our priority so we will follow all UK government and travel insurer advice closely as we continue to monitor the ongoing coronavirus situation.

Your School Exchange Coordinator will continue to be your key contact at NTU, but NTU Global is here to support you through the risk assessment process so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

If you are unsure as to whether you still want to proceed with your study abroad or exchange, please speak to your School Exchange Coordinator about your options as soon as possible and they will provide the deadline for withdrawing.

Your health and wellbeing is our priority so we will follow all UK government and travel insurer advice closely as we continue to monitor the ongoing coronavirus situation.

CERT Student Mentors

Each first year undergraduate student is assigned a Student Mentor, they play an important role in helping new students settle in to life at NTU. Known as CERT (Collaborative Engagement and Retention Team) Student Mentors, they are second year, final year, or postgraduate students who studied the same course as you. You'll find out more about meeting your CERT Student Mentor as part of your induction.

Interested in becoming a CERT Student Mentor?

If you’re interested in becoming a CERT Student Mentor, keep an eye on Futurehub, where vacancies will be listed as they become available. If you’d like to be notified when the positions are open, please email CERT@ntu.ac.uk.


Keeping safe

To learn more about the support available to all NTU students please visit our StudentHub.

If you’ve got a question or concern about being on campus please email ntu.beingoncampus@ntu.ac.uk. Alternatively, please call +44 (0)115 848 6060 and select option 1. This line is open Monday to Friday 8.30 am – 5 pm.

Help keep yourself, your friends and your local community safe by following Government guidelines on self-isolating, social distancing, hand washing, wearing face coverings (in shops, public transport and on campus) and limiting the number of people you have contact with at any one time.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418