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    Online classroom conduct

    • The Seven Steps of your Online Journey

    We believe that going to university is about both learning and learning how to learn.

    In the same way that we help you understand how to effectively participate in learning on campus, we also want to make sure that you can make the most of online learning.

    Our 7 principles

    We have designed these principles of online learning class conduct as ‘steps’ that are really important you take, in order to fully enjoy your time at MDX.

    They are for both students and staff – anyone that participates in online learning and teaching. It’s important that everyone on #TeamMDX commits to these principles to make it work.

    The principles apply to all types of online teaching and learning activities including virtual classroom meetings, webinars, online group work and collaboration. The term ‘online classroom’ is used to represent all these environments.

    This is an online journey from your first encounter with the technology to constructive online behaviours, giving and receiving feedback and seeking further support.

    If you have additional needs because of a disability, the Disability and Dyslexia Support team (DDS) are here to help.

    • 1. Test drive your tech

    When we feel confident with technology, it has a positive impact on our engagement and online conduct.

    Reminders

    • Broadband and connectivity can be maximised by following the steps in our guide
    • Device – Desktop computers or laptops are recommended for the best learning and teaching experience. Mobiles and tablets can be used but the view and access to key functions will look different. It’s important you let your tutors know if you are only able to access your online classroom via a small device and remember, we also offer a Laptops for Loan scheme
    • Browser – Google Chrome, Firefox and Edge are the best browsers to use with our online platforms.

    Top tips

    • Refreshing or changing your browser (e.g. Firefox to Chrome and vice versa) can really help with testing the technology and solving common tech problems
    • Most platforms offer users a tech test page. Do the tests before your online classroom. For example, you can use the Kaltura Newrow test page or the Zoom test page.

    • 2. Follow the online etiquette

    Your tutors will introduce the online etiquette to you at the start of each online classroom.

    However, here are some handy tips to get you thinking:

    • Be ready on time – Give yourself at least 5 minutes to get logged in
    • Sign on and off – Use your full details so that everyone knows when you are present
    • Mute yourself – Until you need to speak, keep yourself muted. This helps to reduce unnecessary noise traffic and make the online environment less tiring. Be mindful that noises within your own environment get amplified at the other end
    • Cameras – As broadband and internet connection strengths vary, it is suggested that cameras can be turned on at the start for you to see each other and for introductions of those present. Then, it is recommended that you turn off your cameras in order to lower bandwidth usage. However, please note that camera usage is optional at all times
    • Breakout rooms – You will often need to work in smaller groups, within online breakout rooms, where the camera and the microphone might work differently than in the main room and be automatically activated. If this is a concern for you, please contact your tutor
    • When posting messages and comments – Mind your CAPITAL letters. CAPITALS OFTEN MEAN THAT YOU ARE SHOUTING, even if you don’t mean to. Keep statements brief and to the point; some chat boxes have a character limit per statement.
    • 3. Engage in ways that work for you

    While you are expected to attend all timetabled sessions, your tutors will offer a range of engagement options to allow you to participate in the way your circumstances allow (e.g. you might have low broadband, lack of a quiet study space).

    We understand that you might find online classroom interaction more challenging than in a physical space. It’s important you recognise this and let your tutor or programme leader know, so that they can offer alternative solutions.

    If you are concerned that your devices (e.g. laptop, MacBook, Chromebook) may not cover what you need for online learning, please speak with your Programme Team. Generally speaking, as long as your device can run the latest operating system, then it will be sufficient for online learning.

    • 4. Show respect for your staff and fellow students

    Good conduct in an online classroom means behaving in a respectful, inclusive and tolerant manner towards both your fellow students and your teaching staff.

    We're very proud of the campaigning work done by our own students as part of the Changing the Culture Initiative, which showcases the importance of respect in a powerful way.

    Reminders

    • When in an online classroom, you may wish to show your preferred pronouns (they/she/he) within your display name, e.g. Hendon Barnet (He/Him/His), to aid with ensuring the correct pronouns are being used
    • Follow the same standards of behaviour online that you follow in physical classrooms in terms of appearance (if you wish to have your camera on)
    • You might find it easier to express yourself online. However, you should never post or say anything that you would not say to the other person face-to-face
    • When you want to critique a point, make sure to focus your critical comments on the issue rather than the person
    • When writing comments online or talking with others through video chat, you may occasionally find that some form of miscommunication arises – e.g. someone doesn’t fully understand your point. It’s helpful to not let any miscommunication get you frustrated, just try making your point in another way and working through any confusion
    • Report concerns for online behaviours that you may find offensive via our Care and Concern system.
    • 5. Mind your digital footprint  

    It’s important that we all act responsibly to keep ourselves and our peers safe online. Pay attention to your own and other people’s rights for digital privacy.

    University-supported platforms comply with online security principles and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

    Reminders

    • People tend to feel and act more anonymously online. But the digital footprints they leave are much higher and more permanent than in physical environments
    • Online misconduct leaves digital traces and will be investigated according to the our Conduct and Discipline rules
    • Follow your tutor’s guidance as to how and when to share digital content beyond the online classroom. Everyone will be informed, if an online classroom is to be recorded
    • Academic integrity applies to all forms of online classrooms and collaborations. If you haven’t already, please complete our Becoming a Successful Student course
    • Watch episode 5 from the ‘Uni Life Hacks’ series: Why you need to google yourself
    • 6. Feedback to move forward

    Offer constructive comments to each other, your tutors and University services on any aspect of the online classroom that works well or that you feel could be further improved.

    Your tutors might do quick surveys during the online classroom sessions. Your feedback matters, so make sure you are heard!

    Reminders

    • Online classrooms might be new for many students. Be kind to yourselves and patient with your classmates. Online classrooms are spaces to try out new practices and ideas and it might not necessarily be perfect first time round
    • You will be given the opportunity to complete feedback surveys for each of your modules and you can always speak with your elected Student Voice Leader – a current student on your course who collects feedback from students and works with staff to make improvements.
    • 7. Seek support to find solutions

    There are no silly questions when it comes to online classrooms. Be proactive and search for further guidance and training.

    Reminders

    • Everyone’s experience of online learning will be different
    • Come forward with any challenges or personal difficulties you are facing. Contact your Personal Tutor or UniHelp
    • Regarding the technologies and platforms supported by the University (e.g. My Learning, Kaltura, Zoom), you will find further training and guidance in My Learning
    • It’s always worth checking the LinkedIn Learning courses for further online training on how to use a variety of platforms, software and tools (and they’re all completely free to MDX students).

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