Dual delivery means providing parallel learning experiences for students on campus and online, giving staff flexibility in how to deliver teaching, and students flexibility in how they access their learning.
For the next academic year, the reality is that some students will learn exclusively online (because they cannot or choose not to travel to campus); a few students may do everything on campus – we have some subjects where there are no alternatives to physical face-to-face delivery; but the majority of students will do most things online and some things on campus.
Whilst we want to do as much on campus as possible, the reality of social distancing requirements means that we will have to be selective. We have already agreed that lectures will be online, preserving campus space for those activities that add the most value to the students’ experience. We would expect these would be released weekly to support staff and students.
To illustrate how dual delivery could work, it may be helpful to think about seminars. For example, departments could alternate seminar groups, so that one week a group is online and the next they are on campus. Alternatively, we could run synchronous sessions where on-campus students and online students are together in the same seminar.
Other options include:
- Peer-support groups, drop-ins and online social events to give students the chance to reflect on their learning with fellow students
- 1-2-1 support through online academic and pastoral support meetings with tutors
- Some practical and lab-based work delivered in Summer 2021 to minimise disruption
Departments are working together to build a picture of how modules can be delivered in June and July in order to inform timetabling and to communicate to our students.
Where programmes require an earlier start or more practical study, we will be consulting closely with programme leaders to best deliver learning and take advice from the relevant professional bodies. This could include front-loading programmes with theoretical work in the earlier terms, considering summer schools for practical work or looking at different ways to deliver this element of teaching effectively while restrictions are in place.
While the dual-delivery approach will undoubtedly require us all to adapt and to work in different ways, we are working with departments on a programme-by-programme basis to make sure it is manageable. Very importantly we all need to recognise that we will have to stop doing some things for a while in order to deliver the programme.