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HEi-know Good Practice Briefing: UK universities describe "amazing" shift to online delivery

Universities across the UK have rapidly moved their learning, teaching and assessment online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The unprecedented overhaul of traditional teaching practices has presented a major challenge to institutions, staff and students. In this Good Practice Briefing, HEi-know shows how some universities have responded to the situation.

World events highlight stark inequalities in HE

Sutton Trust associate director of media and communications Hilary Cornwell and research and policy assistant Maariyah Dawood comment on equality and widening access issues that have emerged in a week of higher education news.

Government and employers must match HE’s positive moves on equality

Reviewing a week of higher education news, Action on Access Director Andrew Rawson celebrates positive action on equality and social inclusivity taken in the HE sector and calls for matching support from the government and employers.

Removal of statues is “censoring the past”, warns universities minister

The universities minister has strongly criticised the renaming of university buildings and the removal of statues prompted by the Black Lives Matter movement as “short sighted” and an attempt to censor the past.

Universities struggle to 'keep all the balls in the air'

As domestic students make their final decisions about which universities to go to, universities are endeavouring to reassure them that campus life would be back to ‘near normal’ by September. Meanwhile international student numbers are looking shaky, while higher education is being sucked into debates around the Black Lives Matter campaign. Tristram Hooley, Chief Research Officer of the Institute of Student Employers explains why he doesn’t envy Vice Chancellors right now.

Online Learning Summit supports shift to remote teaching and learning

As a growing number of universities move teaching and assessment online in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the University of Derby is holding a virtual conference which aims to support staff in making the transition.


The University of Derby Online Learning, a leader in this space for almost two decades, is set to host its second Online Learning Summit exploring ‘Growing Your University Online; Routes to Student Success’.  

This year, the event will be held virtually, taking place on Tuesday 31 March, and is aimed at those who are new to online learning and facilitated remote teaching as well as experienced online learning practitioners and leaders in the field of online education.  

During the virtual event there will be a range of presentations and workshops covering innovative learning design, excellent teaching online, student retention, creative assessment and successful student experience. 

Dr Margaret Korosec, Head of Digital and Enterprise Learning Solutions comments: “We are excited to host our second Online Learning Summit, as the education sector shifts to online and facilitated remote teaching and learning. Participants new to this space will have the opportunity to engage with experts in the sector.  We look forward to enabling this shift in teaching practice and inspiring conversations to support this change during this unprecedented time.” 

Melissa Highton, Assistant Principal and Director of Learning, Teaching and Web Services at the University of Edinburgh will be speaking about micro-credentials which has transformed Edinburgh’s ability to offer online education to large numbers of learners across the world. 

Gilly Salmon, Academic Director, Online Education Services, will be facilitating a World Café workshop on Education 4.0. As a learning innovator for more than 30 years and internationally renowned for her significant contribution to education futures, Gilly will be exploring ‘what’s next’ for students, graduates, staff, curriculum and technology. 

Colleagues from the University of Derby will deliver presentations on supporting accessible and inclusive learning and teaching practices and bucking the trend on student retention with the strategies used to provide the best possible experience for their online students. 

Guest speakers from a variety of different universities and organisations will present and discuss topics including co-creating innovative learning design, delivering engaging digital literacy skills to online learners and socially constructive learning from a distance. 

Students and alumni will be present to bring an authentic voice to online learning, sharing the transformational impact online learning has had in their lives. 

We will share best practices in action through this virtual event where you can interact with expert practitioners, professionals and educational providers as the sector faces unprecedented change, new challenges and opportunities. 

Places are limited.  Register today at dby.ac/summit2020


About the University of Derby Online Learning (UDOL)

UDOL is a leader in online education for almost two decades, has an active base of 4,000 students in over 120 countries, undertaking in excess of 60 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. In the MOOC space we have reached over 65,000 learners.  Our part-time courses are expertly designed for online study, we help individuals and businesses achieve, today and for tomorrow.  Our courses are designed using best practice principles for online learning and current?digital tools and platforms, so they are engaging and interactive. Our teaching has been judged as gold-standard and we are a Top 30 University in the Guardian University Guide 2020. 

Students undertake work-related tasks and projects, so they quickly understand how to apply their learning in the workplace and therefore see its value. They also get access to a rich professional network who they can learn from — thousands of other online students based all around the world, as well as knowledgeable and diverse team of academics. 

We provide great support, so students have a higher chance of completing their course — in fact 96 per cent of them do. Our ‘cloud campus’ gives them access to the same support services as on-campus students, from IT support to the online library, careers and wellbeing services, and more.