USW Approach to Digitally Enabled Education

There are many ways technology can be used to support and enhance teaching, learning and assessment. USW has developed several key approaches to learning and teaching that you should align your delivery of digitally enabled education with.  

The USW 2030 Strategy sets out how the University aims to operate and its core desires around the teaching and learning offer for students. Being familiar with this will help you understand how to design your practice. Technology is woven throughout the strategy and is a core method for enhancing learning and teaching, enabling inclusion, and developing graduate skills.  

The Enabling Active Learning (EAL) approach at USW outlines that the VLE  should be used to facilitate active learning which is inclusive and flexible. Whether you are teaching online, on campus or a combination of both, you will need to develop some asynchronous learning activities for your students that promote communication, collaboration and interaction. 

The UK Accessibility Regulations set out key requirements that we must adhere to when delivering in person and online. Visit the Digital Accessibility pages to understand the key requirements that relate to digitally enabled education. You can also find support for delivering in an inclusive and accessible way on the Disability Service website, including a list of Assistive Technologies available to staff and students at USW

In addition to meeting the basic accessibility requirements, USW seeks to be pro-active in making its teaching and learning as inclusive as possible for all students. The Inclusive Practice page on the CELT website breaks this concept down and provides many useful resources. In particular, we recommend familiarising yourself with the guidelines on Universal Design for Learning. These provide practical ideas on creating activities and resources that are as inclusive as possible. 

The baseline requirements for the VLE set out the absolute minimum content that must be provided for your students within each module or course organisation on Blackboard. Even when teaching is entirely on campus, you are expected to provide students with materials that ensure learning is accessible to them regardless of time and place. The EAL approach goes into further detail about how you might want to use the VLE and other tools to facilitate inclusive and flexible learning. 

Technology will play an important role in how you’ll design and deliver assessment. USW has a number of policies around assessment. We’ve expanded on a few below but please also take time to visit the Assessment Life Cycle Hub, a Sharepoint site containing guidance that brings together all the policies, guidance and processes, to help you through every step of the way. 
Go to The Assessment Life Cycle Hub

Assessment for Learning

USW’s Assessment for Learning policy sets out the principles and frameworks you need to follow when designing and delivering both summative and formative assessment. The policy is supported by a range of guidance that is all available on the Assessment Life Cycle Hub

Submission and Feedback Requirements

The Assessment Submission Required Process policy document sets out that all assessment must be submitted on the VLE (unless given an exemption - i.e. for physical objects), and that all grades and feedback should be returned to students on the VLE, regardless of whether the submission process was exempt from online submission, in accordance with the 20 day rule. 

This does not mean that all assessment must be digital in format. We have a variety of technologies and assessment tools that can be used to capture the online submission of many formats, for example, essays, portfolios, scans of handwritten work, images, recordings of presentations/performances, blogs, and more. You can also use many of these tools to provide written, audio, or video feedback to your students. 

Assessment Tariff

The USW Assessment Tariff outlines the size and scope of different assessment formats and how these are defined at USW. All assessment types can be facilitated and supported with technology in various ways.