Responsive Blended Learning: Student Guide

Responsive Blended Learning (RBL) combines active, supported online learning with contextually appropriate face-to-face learning opportunities, responding dynamically to the changing external context. This approach enables students to proceed with their studies alongside their peers, whatever pandemic-related restrictions are lifted or imposed in specific contexts.

A confident start to 2020/21

We recognise that new and continuing students have had a challenging year and disrupted studies due to the pandemic.  To ensure students can start the new academic year with confidence, the University is providing an extended induction and study-related support for all students. 

A key part of this induction is introducing the concept of Responsive Blended Learning and the tools which you will use as part of your studies in Responsive Blended Learning mode. The materials below provide you with key information about Responsive Blended Learning for students.

Getting started with Responsive Blended Learning: A guide for students‘ provides an overview of what Responsive Blended Learning means for students and find answers to key questions such as ‘what does this mean for my studies’ and ‘what support will I have access to’.

Making the most of Responsive Blended Learning: A guide for students draws on the experiences of semester 1 to provide suggestions on how you can structure your time and plan your studies to make the most of the combination of live and asynchronous sessions that make up Responsive Blended Learning.

Studying in Responsive Blended Learning mode will be a new experience for most students. These top tips will help you prepare for and engage with it to get the best out of your studies.

Download the ‘Top tips for students engaging in Responsive Blended Learning’ guide.

Online learning may be more accessible for some students and less so for others, this guide outlines key accessibility information about the main learning tools you will use whilst studying. More detailed information and support, including information on assistive technology which is available, is provided through the Disability Service.

Download the ‘Accessibility tools for students’ guide.

These tips for behaving appropriately whilst online will help you to keep your interactions respectful and in keeping with the Heriot-Watt values. The guide covers general netiquette and specific tips for engaging in live online teaching sessions and interacting in discussion boards.

Download the ‘Netiquette’ guide.

This video will provide you with information on how to get connected at Heriot-Watt University and navigate the online University programs that you will be using for Responsive Blended Learning in the coming academic year.

View ‘Getting Connected’ video.

Our virtual classroom tool, Collaborate Ultra, enables you to engage with your classmates and course team in live teaching sessions. This guide explains how to access and use Collaborate Ultra.

Download the student guide on ‘How to access and use Collaborate Ultra’.

Discussion boards provide a space where you can discuss and debate the issues related to your course. You can participate in the discussion at any time and from anywhere you have internet access. This guide explains how to access and use discussion boards to get the best out of them.

Download the ‘Using discussion boards’ guide.

Microsoft Teams is used for 1:1 conversations with students e.g. personal tutoring, research supervision etc. It can also be used by students to communicate with each other. This guide explains how to access and use Teams.

Download the ‘Accessing and using Teams: student guide’.

Academic year 20/21 will be a year like no other. We can’t wait to have you join us on this Responsive Blended Learning journey.

Watch this episode of  Watt’s Up, World! to hear Professor Martha Caddell, Director of Heriot-Watt’s Learning and Teaching Academy, Professor Tadhg O’Donovan, Associate Head of the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at our Dubai campus, and Professor Dennis Wong, Deputy Provost of our Malaysia campus discuss the advantages of Responsive Blended Learning.

Prof. Guy Walker tells you more about Responsive Blended Learning in this video.

Open the Supporting Student Learning Online Toolkit
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