Design and planning for online learning: 

College has developed two documents to help you as
 you develop teaching for this academic year  

Principles to build in: Principles for online and blended learning  

A checklist for applying to your course: Checklist for online modules  

Imperial Teaching Toolkit 

and particularly the section on online learning and teaching: 

This contains some useful guidance to think through when considering how/whether to combine synchronous/asynchronous content, as well as case studies which are helpful for seeing the range of activities that are possible.

If it is useful you could plan out each lecture using this (optional) template.  Its usefulness is that it makes concrete for each lecture your thinking about the intended learning outcomes and the engagement point you plan to use.

FONS Remote Teaching pages: is the College level page (also includes the other links above and links to pages from other Faculties) 

Collected feedback from the staff-meeting breakout discussions on online teaching can be found here

There is also assorted detailed technical information on Blackboard, Panopto, and Turnitin available on the FONS Edtech team’s DELTA wiki – if you are trying to find out how to do one particular thing, there is quite a good chance that there will be a page in the wiki.  If information on these topics which you are looking for is not there and is not further down this page, please email them on to ask.


A workflow for lecturers for the development of your material is:

Phase 1: Design and planning for online learning [online teaching planning 1]

  • Begin to design teaching appropriately for online learning
  • Access resources to help structure teaching for online learning
  • Appreciate minimum expectations set by College / Faculty / Department

Phase 2: Create content for online learning [online teaching planning 2]

  • Access guidance and support for creating lecture videos
  • Appreciate ’lecture videos’ from the students’ perspective, to produce videos to maximise learning potential
  • Understand workflow of video creation and organisation

Phase 3: Upload content

  • The new Blackboard module templates will be available by 24th August
  • Help will be available to curate/upload the content you have created
  • Try to go at a steady pace, if you are using Powerpoint be particularly mindful of not going too fast.

  • Please note that the reason for splitting is not just to encourage students to take a break but also to allow them to do something active between the videos (see engagement points below)

Please note in particular that online “lectures” should contain the following components:

  1. Online lecture content (videos, slides, notes)
  2. Engagement point (active learning content, e.g. Blackboard quiz)
  3. Interaction (discussion boards, synchronous contact e.g. online office hours)
  • Each video recording should cover a single topic.
  • The length of each video should be dictated by the material.
  • The equivalent of a standard 50-minute lecture, could end up as, for example, 3x10mins or 2x15min videos, corresponding to the main learning outcomes of the lecture.
  • Include approximately 10 minutes of ‘active learning’ per “in-person 50-minute lecture equivalent”
  • Total duration of one “lecture” equivalent should not exceed 50 minutes
  • Start by thinking of how to divide into topics

Support will be available for getting videos recorded and online.  Recordings made in previous years can be edited to give video segments, but only if they are high-quality recordings (this must be checked and verified)

Preparation of example week of material and review

Your initial aim should be to produce an example week of material that includes:

  • Fully typeset lecture notes where applicable
  • One week of lecture videos, quiz questions, problem sheets, solutions, + any other learning materials for that week
  • A plan for how office hours/Q&A sessions could be organised for mixed-mode delivery
  • A Leganto course reading list

You should get feedback from another member of staff on these materials. Ideally, this should be from a Department colleague who knows the course well, for example your course associate or another member of the teaching team for the module. 

Once you have these materials ready and have responded to your colleague’s feedback, please inform the module leader (for multi-lecturer modules in years 1 and 2) or otherwise the Head of Year. You should include the feedback you received from your colleague and describe how you responded to it.

The deadline for preparing your example week of material and responding to the feedback is

For teaching to be delivered in term 1: 1st September (example week posted), 8th September (reviewed updated version and feedback passed on)

For teaching to be delivered in term 2: 30th September (example week posted), 7th October (reviewed updated version and feedback passed on).

Support is available to help with the development.

Engagement points

Different styles of learning suit different students, so including different activities with the videos helps students to learn.  This could be a quiz but need not be: it could be a point in a video where you ask students to pause and think about a question, try a step in a derivation, make a summary in 1 minute of what they have learned from the video, find some other information or something else.  Include any other resources you think are useful!  Be creative!

With some forms if activity, like Blackboard quizzes, this gives feedback about how engaged individual students are and can be used to target additional support for less engaged students. 

Some examples of tools you could use are:

Features you may not be aware of tabs

Quizzes in Panopto

Simple quizzes can be embedded into Panopto videos.  The video will pause and there is the option to block continuing until students get the question right.  Guidance hereHowever, we recommend not blocking student progression because this can be an issue for students with a poor internet connection”.


An example of how to embed Mentimeter into Blackboard can be found here. It describes embedding a question of the free-text type, but you could try out other question types. Further guidance on this will be available soon.


Mobius is better and more flexible than Blackboard quizzes for integrating mathematical questions into quizzes. These can be algorithmic (which means they can be adaptive and different for different students) and can be embedded into or interleaved with teaching content.

An introductory Blackboard module called Mobius Resources and Templates is available for this and includes very straightforward introductory videos made by the Edtech teams.  To gain access to that Blackboard module, please email

Guidance on using Mobius from the manufacturer is available here.


Your plan for interaction for students could be synchronous or asynchronous.  Office hours and discussion boards are forms of interaction. Note that students will tend to only use discussion boards with good reason; e.g., if this is place where the lecturer answers questions promptly, or posts new material. Some other examples of apps you could use as a structure for interaction are given below:



Piazza is a wiki-style discussion forum which is less clunky than Blackboard’s native one.  It integrates into Blackboard.  It allows LaTeX formatting and can be configured to send you an email digest of any questions students have asked with a frequency of your choosing. This makes it easy to see that questions have been asked and to answer them quickly (again by email). Its support for equations is far better than Blackboard’s (Blackboard renders equations in a buggy and inconsistent way) and so Piazza is strongly recommended if equations are likely to feature strongly in posts. Piazza was formerly free software.  Although it has now switched to being a paid-for service, College has committed to pay for continued use at least throughout the current academic year.



Flipgrid allows students to share video/poster content.  This also integrates well into Teams.  Students are really adept at making videos and the current online format might be an opportunity to make more use of this, perhaps formatively rather than in for-credit assessments.  It could also be useful in building and maintaining community. You can see an example in the Video Tips tab of the Physics Remote Teaching Team.


Padlet can be used as an online noticeboard for sharing information such as in the staff meeting – it can be used with text or other kinds of content.  It is free to have up to three active Padlets at once. 

You can find fuller information about these features in the College’s Teaching Toolkit, linked to at the top of this page including links to more information on Padlet, OneNote, Mentimeter, Möbius and Piazza (links taken from the lower part of this page).

Recording online lecture content: 

Various different combinations will allow you to do this.  Using a tablet as a writing surface will be the best option for most people, but the details will depend on which tablet you have.  Details for several possibilities are given below:

1. Laptop/computer + tablet  [FONS AV guidance doc 1]

A tablet can act as a second video stream (in addition to your laptop webcam) with the right software to link your laptop and tablet. Apart from the ways described in the document, another way to do this is to start a Teams meeting and join it from your tablet, then share the screen from your tablet. 

2. Laptop/computer + drawing tablet [FONS AV guidance doc 1]

A drawing tablet does not have a screen of its own but is an affordable alternative and is preferred by some over using an iPad etc 

3. Laptop/computer + visualiser ‌[FONS AV guidance doc 1]

Low-cost visualiser devices are available and connect to your computer by USB 

4. Laptop/computer + iOS device as visualiser [FONS AV guidance doc 7a

5. Laptop/computer + Android device as visualiser [FONS AV guidance]

Some general guidance on setting up for online recordings is here

For more discussion and examples of producing content using different combinations of devices, please check the discussion in the Remote Teaching team here and here.

Short videos on aspects of setting up the technology for synchronous online teaching sessions have been produced by the FOE Edtech team and can be found here

Guidance on using Panopto Personal Recorder software

Collected guidance can be found in the introductory Panopto powerpoint the FONS AV team have produced.

Guidance on using Panopto Personal Recorder software

Installing Panopto Personal Recorder

Link below to Central ICT website on how to install Personal Panopto Recorder. 

Please email the FONS Edtech team at if you have any problems with setting a folder for recordings to be uploaded to.

Recording/editing recordings

Text-based instructions produced by the FONS Edtech team can be found here:

The FONS AV team have produced recordings on how-to videos: 

Moving/copying recordings

FONS Edtech team have created wiki documentation pages with instructions on how to move, copy recordings over: 

To get started with recording your own content you should also contact the FONS Learning Technology team ( to request a personal, named Panopto folder with creator access and also to confirm that you have the necessary permissions to make recordings in the general departmental holding folder.

The FoNS AV team are available to answer questions relating to recording lecture content.  Please email Niels and the team at

The EdTech team (  can advise on how to get your course up and running on Blackboard. You can ask them technology questions relating to the online format, especially ones related to Blackboard and other features used in Blackboard, embedding Panopto videos, adaptive release etc.

Kayleigh and Amy in the undergraduate office are able to assist you with configuring your course on Blackboard, including arranging video content on Panopto and Blackboard and scheduling release dates for content.  Please contact them on