teaching and learning advice

Managing simultaneous remote and in-class learning (in traditional classrooms)


For the 21/22 academic year (and beyond) you may need to teach sessions where some students are physcially in class and others are online. This guide is for use when teaching in traditional rooms (i.e not the WolfVision AV upgrade rooms). For guidance on how to enable simultaneous remote and in-class learning in traditional rooms please see below. 

In traditional classrooms, you can choose to use either Teams or Blackboard Collaborate to facilitate the remote access element of the session. This guide explains how to remote students in using both tools. 


Getting started: What kit is in the room? 

Traditional teaching rooms continue to have a USW PC or Mac installed which is connected to the projector within the room. Staff can still log in to the installed PC/Mac to connect to the AV system in the room. To get started you need to first switch on and log into the device in the room by using your USW credentials.  


Connecting with students online

Option 1: Using Microsoft Teams

  • In advance of your session, set up your Teams meeting and invite the students to the meeting. In your teaching room, open either your Outlook calendar or go direct to your Teams channel and select to ‘Join’ the meeting. 
  • When the Teams meeting opens, your students will also be able to join the meeting and will start to appear within the meeting. 
  • With Teams running, find and open your presentation / other resources and choose the screenshare option. 
  • Your students in the class are now seeing the same thing as you students online. You students online can hear your audio via the microphone within the room. 
  • Students can also switch on captions and use the chat box for a fully inclusive experience. 

If you wish to create Breakout rooms for your students in Teams then please read the following online guidance.

For further information on using Microsoft Teams, please visit Get Started With Microsoft Teams.

Option 2: Using Blackboard Collaborate

  • Inform students of the location of the online session (either the module Course Room or a session you have created).
  • At the start of your session, navigate to the module you are teaching in Blackboard. In the module, select Communication and Tools from the side menu and then choose the Blackboard Collaborate option from the tools list. This will open the Collaborate dashboard. Join the Course Room or the session you have created. 
  • Open any resources you intend to use for the session.
  • In Blackboard Collaborate, click the ‘Share Content’ option in the purple expandable panel (bottom right) and select present application or screen. From here you can choose to share an application window, to share your screen, or to share a Chrome tab. 
  • Your students in the class are now seeing the same thing as you students online. You students online can hear your audio via the microphone within the room. 

If you wish to create Breakout rooms for your students in Collaborate then please read the following online guidance.

For further information on using Blackboard Collaborate, please visit the CELT website


Teaching good practice notes

  • For a true collaborative experience, it is recommended that all students in your session, regardless of whether they are in class or remote, access the Teams or Collaborate session so that all users have equal access to the chat functions these tools provide, creating an equity of communication within the session. 
  • Students have the choice to come into online sessions with or without their cameras on. We should never force them to switch their cameras on if they do not wish to do so. 
  • Please be sure to greet all students and, as much as possible, create an equitable learning experience for all students, whether remote or in-class.  
  • Setting an Icebreaker in the chat area on your first session is a good way to ensure people can see, hear and contribute. 

Technical top tips:

  • Ask students who are both in the room and on Teams/Collaborate to mute the sound on their electronic devices, and ask students online to press mute when they are not speaking, to prevent unpleasant audio looping feedback in the room,
  • Whether you choose Teams or Collaborate, please remember that you will be limited to the audio and video functionalities available within the teaching room (which will most likely be a ceiling-mounted webcam pointing towards the front-of-class screen and a plug-in microphone with a limited radius) so the quality of the audio and video will be limited. Be mindful of where you stand in the room so that the camera and microphones can pick you up and those remoting-in can see and hear everything. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Two thirds of the University’s estate is still set up with a traditional audio and video (AV) kit. These rooms differ from the ‘WolfVision’ rooms as follows: 

  • Staff do not need to bring their own devices (laptops, tablets etc) with them to connect to the AV in the room. 
  • These rooms still contain a ‘front-of-room' PC or Mac for staff to use to present via the projector. 
  • These rooms contain a similar AV set up to rooms used pre-lockdown (e.g. a ceiling-mounted webcam pointing towards the front-of-class and a plug-in microphone). 
  • Staff will be able to deliver simultaneous and remote in-class learning via Microsoft Teams or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, albeit without the advanced AV the Wolfvision rooms provide. 

We will be offering a range of online ‘coffee and chat’ drop-in sessions over the next few months. Please see emails from your Faculty Learning Technologists for further details. 'How to' guides are also available on the CELT website and will be circulated to all staff. 

Please see the ‘Managing simultaneous remote and in-class learning (in traditional classrooms) Guide’ above for full details of using either Teams or Collaborate to remote in online students.

Please log a call via the IT Helpdesk for support: +44(0) 1443 482882.