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Imperial College has asked all Faculties to ensure ‘We are open for Academic Year 2020’.

Coordinated Transformation is the approach adopted by the Faculty of Medicine to convert all postgraduate programmes to blended/remote delivery for next academic year.

"Pedagogy transformation is a mandatory requirement for all programmes to ensure we can recruit the best students, teach the same high standard programmes whatever the conditions, and maintain the high reputation of our Faculty for research-led education"

- Jonathan Weber, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine

what is CT?

What is Coordinated Transformation?

As a response to the uncertainties generated by Covid-19, all FoM postgraduate programmes will transform their programmes to blended/remote delivery -  Coordinated Transformation (CT) is the mechanism for doing this.

Faculty’s ambition, agreed by all Heads of Departments, Directors of Postgraduate Studies, Education Managers, and the Dean and Vice-Dean Education, is to ensure that all FoM PGT programmes:

  • deliver the 2020-21 academic year on campus or remotely
  • ensure a sense of cohort and social interactions are maintained, regardless of mode of delivery
  • are resilient in their assessments and provide reliable channels of feedback to drive learning.

FAQs

 

1. How should I start thinking about transforming my programme to blended/remote delivery?  

 

Students learn differently online.They don’t respond well to uninterrupted lectures and presentations. They will learn best by doing tasks that you set them. 

Planning  an online module involves designing the tasks that teach the learning outcomes.   

Delivering an online module involves focusing on the learning outcomes to select your materials.   

Your teaching and student support are more important than slick technology.  

 

2. What’s meant by blended/ remote – what’s the difference and what do we need for CT?

 
  • Due to the uncertainties surrounding social/physical distancing, it is not possible to say, at this stage, how we will be able to deliver FoM PG programmes in 2020-21. We cannot say with any guarantee that programmes should be transformed to be fully online or fully blended. 
  • Programmes should therefore be prepared to deliver all teaching sessions for the 2020-21 academic year either online or face-to-face (on campus). 
  • This will require a flexible approach to planning delivery for 2020-21.   
 

3. What is the final deadline set by Faculty by when all programmes need to be converted to blended/remote learning?

 

Individual Departments may instigate their own internal deadlines and programmes will need to develop their own timelines to ensure all identified elements of work required are completed. 

FoM expects that: 

  • all Autumn Term material should be ready for remote delivery by mid-September 2020 
  • all subsequent material should be ready by first week in December 2020. 
This would include completion of all online materials, Blackboard organisation, identification of named tutors and all support arrangements for students.
 

4. What kinds of tools and technologies can I use? 


Teach first, tech second. 

We are encouraging a narrow range of technologies. The selection of tool A or B will depend on what kind of learning you want the students to do – acquire, investigate, self-test, apply, discuss, collaborate, produce, formal assessment. 

 

5. What is the Coordinated Transformation (CT) Group and what will CT Group members be expected to do?

The CT Group is the Faculty structure to coordinate the transformation of Master programmes to blended learning in September.    

CT Group members will complete ~ 10 hours of training and development in approaches to online/blended learning across 4synchronous and 2 asynchronous events. 

Activities will cover: 

  • how students learn online  
  • students’ motivation 
  • module and task redesign
  • how to chunk your concepts + content, balancing pre- and post-session work 
  • course organisation 
  • how colleagues teach online 
  • online assessment 
  • using feedback as a learning tool 
  • available technologies
  • using a small range of digital tools to effectively deliver a blended /remote programme 
  • facilitating group work
  • ensuring students can manage workload
  • community and communications online
  • working with your colleagues to make it all happen.   

 CT Group members will then need to dedicate time to working with their programme team.  For further details on this, see Q7. 

You will be teamed up with two other CT Group members to work in trios for some activities that take place outside the workshops.   

 

6. When/how will these 10 hours of training and development activities take place?

 There will be a total of 6 sessions -  4 synchronous and 2 asynchronous.

3 x sessions w/c 18.05.2020, and 3 x sessions w/c 01.06.2020. See 'Latest news' for full dates, times and titles of these.

 

7. How will “working with my colleagues to introduce changes” work? That is, how will CT Group members diffuse the online learning insights to other members of their programme team?

 

WHO?  

The nominated CT Group member will facilitate this process. The Faculty Education Transformation Fellows can provide occasional support (e.g. attending first meeting) along with Programme Administrators. 

WHO ELSE?

Programme Leads, all Module Leads should attend meetings. HoDs, DPSs or other senior colleagues should also be involved and it is expected that they would attend the first meeting of this process.  

AND WHO ELSE?

Academics who are not yet enrolled in teaching, GTAs, Post Docs, teaching fellows and clinical fellows could contribute to both development and delivery of the blended/online programme. 

WHAT?  Focus on: sharing the approach of teach first, tech second; selection & chunking of module materials, task design, and sense-checking.  

WHEN?  We suggest 3 x group sessions as detailed below 

HOW?   

Session 1:  A practical workshop – what is the sightline through your module? What are your module aims and assessments? Pair work - produce a roadmap of your whole module.   

Session 2: Come back with the proposed structure of weeks 1 and 2 for your module. Today: What study tasks can you assign to students?   

Session 3: Come back with the proposed design of weeks 1 and 2 including the tasks.  Show and tell. Is it feasible? Is it joined up? Give colleagues a tool to self-assess their design, learn from their experience so far and potentially modify their design for the rest of their module.  

WHAT NEXT? Negotiate deadlines with Programme Lead. Work with Module Leads to agree when remaining weeks of planning will be completed within deadlines.  

 

8. What type of attributes will a CT Group member need to demonstrate? 

 

  1. a willingness to accept this critical role of being their programme's nominated member of the CTG 
  2. a keen attitude and open-mindedness to learn from the FoM Technology Enhanced Learning and Digital Learning Hub   teams 
  3. trustful and respectful relationships with colleagues from their programme 
  4. receptiveness to approaches and tools/software which will support students' online learning 
  5. an awareness that blended learning requires specific types of student support   
  6. a positive and collaborative approach both during the process of upskilling and when supporting programme colleagues to transform existing face-to-face programmes to blended delivery 
  7. good communication skills in order to provide clear support to programme team colleagues 
  8. an understanding of their nominating programme's objectives and structure, but not necessarily the need to be a member of its current teaching team. 

 

9. Can there only be one CT Group nominated member from each programme? 

If within your programme you can arrange for more than one nominated member, this is allowable.  Ideally, all CT Group members from every programme will be able to attend all training and development activities.  Splitting or sharing the dissemination to your programme team, would then need to be arranged. Each CT Group member might then support a different subset of your programme modules. 

 

10.  We have already recorded all our lectures on Panopto during the last few years – can we use or adapt these for September 2020?

 

Panopto helps campus students to ‘catch up’ if they have missed a lecture from time to time. For everyday teaching and learning, students will quickly lose motivation with long videos, day after day.  

IF you have Panopto editing skills, you can break up your current recordings, and insert short tasks and self-tests. You could make a selection of the recordings to teach key concepts in this interrupted way.  

Otherwise, it is better to think of the TASKS you want the students to do, prefaced with short videos (in Panopto or any other medium) to motivate the subject.  

The students will learn more from time on task than from watching presentations.

 

11. My programme is clinical, we don’t have the available staff to design a remote/blended programme.  What can we do?

 

It is understood that clinical colleagues’ time may be particularly restricted if they are working in the NHS, and that this is a long-standing problem with clinical programmes. The current situation is a good time to address the sustainability and staffing of PGT clinical teaching and learning. 

However, responsibility lies with individual Departments to address this difficulty. The PG Education Team will offer support wherever possible, but it is important to understand that Departments requested that the process to transform programmes be a coordinated approach, not a centralised one. 

Programme Teams are therefore strongly encouraged to discuss this situation with their HoD.  Additional support from colleagues such as non-teaching lecturers, clinical fellows, teaching fellows, Post Docs and GTAs could be utilised and more than one programme representative could be nominated to the CT Group to share the workload.  This, however, is a Department decision. 

Ultimately, if a programme is not ready to be delivered online in Autumn Term 2020-21, it cannot be guaranteed that it will be able to be offered.
 

12. Will the Faculty buy out my time to for me to be a CT Group member?

 

No.   

No one could have predicted the situation we, and all other universities around the world, find ourselves in.  We all have a shared responsibility to ensure we have viable programmes to deliver in 2020-21.   

The College expects us to work with the existing resources of programme teams, if necessary, drawing in other colleagues who have capacity during the lockdown to prepare for September. Teaching is vital to our income and underpins our research activity, and it should not be viewed as a low-status activity, or as an additional burden. HoDs have agreed to the FoM Coordinated Transformation plan and will be able to call on colleagues if the need arises.

 

13. There is no one on my programme team who will be appropriate for the CT Group role.  What should I do? 

 

We all have a shared responsibility to ensure we have viable programmes to deliver in 2020-21.  This means that the work required to transform programmes to blended / remote delivery predominantly lies with Programme Leaders and Module Leaders, with appropriate support from other colleagues who work together to deliver the programme.  Within this group of colleagues, one will need to be nominated as the CT Group member. 

If none of your Module Leaders or Tutors has the attributes of a CTG member listed in Q8then consider bringing a new colleague into your team. This could be, for example, a lecturer, Post Doc, clinical fellow or teaching fellow. During lockdown, people may be in a position to divert from other duties. 

Without a CT Group member, we are not in a position to provide any level of support for your programme’s transformation.  

We are in unchartered territory and as yet, unsure of the long-term effects Covid-19 will have on the global face of education.  Becoming a CT Group member is a real opportunity for an individual who may not feel they are appropriate for the role to develop highly relevant skills, understanding and experience for the future.

 

14. If I am a CT Group member, who can I go to if I have questions and require further support (even after the CT Group activities)?

 

One aspect of the CT Group activities will be to ask colleagues to work in trios. Within these small groups, CT Group members can share ideas, experiences and ask questions. 

CT Group members can also approach the PG Education Team, particularly for pedagogic advice on transforming programmes, and advice on how to plan and organise this process.

 

15. How can I transform my programme to remote/blended delivery without the support of learning technologists?

 

The approach to transforming your programmes should be “teach first; tech second.”  The CT Group will emphasise directed learning through tasks, supported by a narrow range of technologies that are easy to use for all programme tutors.  

FoM is currently reviewing requests for staff and non-staff resources requested by Departments.  This request will go to College. There will inevitably be a delay before any staff are recruited, and no programme can afford to wait any longer to get started on its transformation.

 

16. Approximately how long will it take to transform a 7.5 ECTS module to a blended/ remote version?

 

The answer depends on the current shape of the module, but mostly on the creativity and confidence of the Module Leader. For some, this could be completed in a couple of days. 10 weeks of teaching might convert to 10 Big Ideas, each one of them taught through a mix of small assignments  

You will need to think about student support – as students work through the materials, questions will arise about  the most effective use of Blackboard, GTA time, and other technologies to help students monitor their own progress. The CT Group member will work with Module Leads to guide their thinking on these questions, via a series of planned activities.

 

17. Will there be materials to accompany the CT Group activities?

 

Yes, a suite of materials is currently being produced to support this process.  This documentation will cover the pedagogic approach to be taken as you transform your programme and guidance on how to use appropriate tools. 

Materials will include: 
  • A Blackboard template implementation handbook and accompanying help documentation
    (This will be linked to the Digital Baseline and contain guidance on how to apply the Blackboard templates) 
  • Examples
    (Technical examples of items such as marking schemes, student communication plans) 
  • Case Studies
    (Illustrations of existing FoM PG online teaching activities) 
  • Recipes
    (Pedagogic “How to……” document. E.g. “How to manage group work online – with a range of suggested approaches) 
  • A step-by-step guide to transforming your programme
    (A document listing each step that needs to be achieved to fully transform your programme) 
 

18. How will the Transformation Fellows support my programme?

 

Departments have been divided between the Transformation Fellows and with Alexandra Pitt.  They will continue to support PG programmes within these Departments.  

DBS  Alexandra Pitt and Elaina Maginn 
DII  Alexandra Pitt and Elaina Maginn 
DID  Alexandra Pitt and Elaina Maginn 
MDR  Latha Ramakrishnan and Ania Jones 
DSC  Alexandra Pitt and Elaina Maginn 
NHLI  Latha Ramakrishnan and Ania Jones 
SPH  Latha Ramakrishnan and Ania Jones 

Your CT Group member will be your programme’s main link with the Faculty. 

 

19. How will major and minor modifications for my programme be approved? 

The deadline for both major and minor modification is 31 July 2020.  Please contact your Department's Education Manager for detailed instructions on how this process will work.

Summary of the table's contents

Core Transformation Group

  • The Core Transformation Group (CT Group) consists of Faculty and Departmental Teaching Fellows, learning technologists and academics. Every postgraduate programme will be represented.

  • CT Group members have been trained and upskilled, through a series of synchronous and asynchronous workshops, in how to transform their programmes into blended/remote delivery.

  • CT Group members are now working with their programme team to develop blended/remote courses in line with our transformation ambition.


Core Transformation Workshops previously held

  • Monday 18th May 2pm (Zoom)
  • Wednesday 20th May 11am (Teams)
  • Friday 22nd May (drop in event in Teams)
  • Monday 1st June 2pm (asynchronous event in Teams)
  • Wednesday 3rd June 11am (Teams)
  • Friday 5th June  10am (Zoom)
The workshops were delivered through a mix of modes.
If you would like to act as your programme’s CT Group member, please speak to your Programme Director.

Resources, Support and Information

Here you can access a series of links to resources:

To support PG Faculty in Coordinated Transformation the FoM PG Education Academic Development Team will work with you in a number of ways over the summer:

  • You can request one to one discussions or bespoke consultations for development of your teaching practices, modules or programmes simply by contacting the team.
  • We will advertise workshops and Q&A sessions where you can join with other colleagues for development opportunities and discussions on different aspects of teaching and learning.
  • We have provided a range of written resources and a Teams space for sharing ideas.
  • We would be happy to offer one to one mentoring for Higher Education Academy Fellowships applications

More details of this support can be found on the below link.