Fife College Creative Industries lecturers, Marion Barrie and Sarah Herzog, have been sharing their approaches to remote teaching during the current closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With online delivery now becoming part of everyday college, Marion and Sarah have been describing some of the applications and resources they have been putting into place to ensure students still have the chance to engage with their course in these unusual times. 

Marion and Sarah, Digital Technologies lecturers usually based at the College’s Glenrothes Campus, have been utilising a number of online tools to make sure students have access to the materials they need to continue their studies. 

Marion explained: “Most of our students are pretty ‘up’ on social software tools which has made the transition a bit easier for us. One tool we have always used and are now extensively using is Discord. 

“Along with Microsoft Windows Xbox Gaming Overlay, this tool allows us to record lessons that we can then send out via Microsoft Teams for students to engage with – it’s very similar to Screencastify but with no time limit.

Marion continued: “We are also recording our lessons using Teams – this allows students to engage live, and to go back and rewatch the lessons at a later date, or if absent catch up.   

“We are also still using iLearn (moodle) as a primary tool for their learning materials and submissions.”

Sarah also described some of the tools she has been using to keep her students on top of things.  She said:

“I personally use OBS (Open Broadcast Software) to record my tutorial lessons as it's what I'm used to. 

“For making quick gifs, sometimes better for simple how-to pages, I use a piece of free software called LiceCap. It's really easy to use and lets you take Gifs of part of your screen for set periods of time - kind of like Snipping Tool, but for gifs.

“Adobe Spark is also an excellent tool I’ve been using – which is free and web-based. You can create a variety of documents with Spark, but the one I use is Web Page, which creates a very professional and smooth looking page – a bit like Microsoft Sway.”

Despite some challenges, such as connection quality, both believe these approaches are working well with additional steps being taken to ensure every students’ needs are met.  Marion highlighted a great example of this in action:

“We have a student in our group who is deaf, but these approaches can still be tailored to meet his needs too.  I’ve also been saving my video lessons to YouTube, which creates a transcript of the audio, which he can then engage with. 

“He has indicated this working really well for him in situations where written notes are not available.”

Marion added: “We are still very much learning each day.  I would not see myself in any way as an expert, but we are definitely trying to do everything we can to make sure students have to access as much content as they need this unprecedented situation.”

For the latest information and advice about the coronavirus outbreak for Fife College students and staff visit our coronavirus pages.