Multi-mode lecture theatre

Multi-mode study enables interactive learning for all Imperial students

Utilising the expertise of our educational technology department and applying some innovative thinking, Imperial College Business School was able to create a new teaching method for our students that combats the challenges posed by COVID-19 to traditional teaching.

We created our innovative multi-mode delivery method to enable Imperial students to learn safely via a mixture of on-campus and remote online teaching. This new way of teaching takes into account for the government COVID-19 regulations around social distancing and reduced capacity in lecture theatres, and most importantly, prioritises the safety of our students, faculty and staff.

We’re fortunate to have an award winning education technology team in the Business School, the Edtech Lab. They are experts in designing and delivering online programmes, having built from the ground up our top-ranked Global Online MBA and two online Master’s programmes.

Their expertise has facilitated multi-mode to work effortlessly, seamlessly integrating this new technology into our teaching spaces.

What you need to know about multi-mode delivery

Multi-mode teaching allows students the flexibility to move between being on-campus and remote learning. Here is key information about how multi-mode teaching works:

  • We worked individually with each student to accommodate their needs and ensure timetables were built depending on whether they were going join the remote mode or on campus mode.
  • Students can come onto our campuses to learn in a socially distanced teaching space, when government restrictions allow. All students and staff on campus are encouraged to make the most of our asymptomatic COVID-19 testing facilities to ensure that the experience is as safe as possible.
  • Students who cannot or do not want to travel to the UK, at any time during the academic year, can continue to attend their classes virtually and be part of the classroom.
  • There is flexibility for students who may need to leave or return to the UK due to implications of COVID-19 on travel or other plans. Students can seamlessly transition to full remote teaching if restrictions prevent on campus teaching.

The Business School adapted teaching facilities with technology that enables students to join on-campus in a reduced capacity – in adherence to social distancing regulations. All other students join remotely to participate in the class in real-time. They are beamed into the lecture theatres on screens, as they join the class from the comfort of their home.

To ensure this new teaching method runs smoothly, the Business School has welcomed co-pilots for each classroom. The co-pilots help bridge the experience between our students joining both the remote and on-campus modes.

For students in the classroom, face coverings are now essential, hand sanitisers and multi-surface cleaning wipes are available around the campus and social distancing measures are in place. Imperial’s COVID-19 Contact Tracing Hub complements the NHS Test and Trace service and assists with contact tracing for students and staff.

This comic strip, created by two of our MSc International Health Management students, visualises the multi-mode study experience:

Multi-mode study comic strip
Multi-mode study comic strip

What distinguishes multi-mode to virtual teaching?

Multi-mode offers flexibility to students, which is important during this period of uncertainty and frequent change.

As opposed to fully virtual teaching, this teaching method gives students the option for an in-person classroom experience when possible. For those who are joining remotely, the multi-mode experience gives a heightened classroom experience as opposed to a fully online class.

Find out about the multi-mode experience and what it’s like to study at Imperial College from our students

These videos show the experience of students studying completely remotely.

These were filmed before we launched our multi-mode delivery, but it is representative of the learning experience when government regulations in the UK do not permit on-campus teaching.

Multi-mode delivery has really enhanced our flexibility to choose when and where we are comfortable to study. The programme team offered their support right from the beginning and have done their best to understand everyone’s individual’s circumstances. I found the experience actually enabled me to more efficiently manage my own time under the difficulties of COVID-19.
MSc International Management 2020-21
Yilian Zhao MSc International Management 2021
The multi-mode teaching this year has allowed me to benefit from in-person teaching in a safe environment despite the challenging conditions that we have all faced. Remote lectures have been adapted well so that students can still have an enjoyable and informative experience.
MSc Finance 2020-21
Govind Grewal, MSc Finance 2020-21, student at Imperial College Business School