M03a - Making lecture materials available in advance

In 2017 UCL Education Committee approved a policy according to which lecture materials are to be made available to students 48 hours in advance. You can read background to the decision and a more detailed rationale on the UCL Teaching and Learning Portal.

As well as benefiting students whose first language is not English, this measure helps to fulfil our responsibilities for the 2010 Equalities Act. We need to ask ourselves:

  1. ‘Do all staff, when designing activities, whether in teaching and learning situations or in providing general services, automatically seek to ensure access requirements for disabled people?’
  2. ‘Do we have policies and procedures in place which ensure that those adjustments which can be anticipated in advance are addressed by all staff, for example providing handouts in advance in an electronic format?’

This page offers guidance for achieving this with minimum hassle.

Let students know

On the Moodle space itself and elsewhere, remind students that they can expect lecture materials 48 hours in advance.

In some cases where it is difficult to get materials in advance (for example if the presenter is a guest) then offering a link to the previous year's materials may be a working solution.

Moodle lets you drag and drop files

What you provide may take the form of files containing slides, notes, key tables and diagrams.

You can drag and drop files from your computer's file management program into Moodle's upload field, which should save you some clicks.

See the miniguide on uploading files.

To upload multiple files

You can either drag and drop multiple files into the upload field, or you can zip (compress and bundle) the files into a single file which you can upload to Moodle and unzip there.

See the miniguide on uploading files.

Link to material which is hosted elsewhere

If your materials are published rather than bespoke, then you can link students to them via ReadingLists@UCL embedded into Moodle.

You can also link directly to materials rather than reproducing them.

To invite questions on your materials

If students have the opportunity to ask questions in advance, you then have the opportunity to address these in your lecture. In Moodle use a HotQuestion activity for this, or in Lecturecast ALP (see below) post slides and explicitly encourage questions.

See the miniguide on HotQuestion.

Flipping your lecture

'Flipping' is the practice of moving all or most of the didactic material into resources which the students engage with outside their in-person sessions. Those sessions then become more participative; students may work through exercises or discuss ideas.

The Achilles heel of flipping is ensuring that students do the advance work - otherwise, the in-person session fails. One approach is to let students know that you will be using Moodle Reports to check access to the materials, and monitoring this as attendance. Another is to require students to ask questions about the materials (either through HotQuestion or through Lecturecast ALP) and monitor that as attendance.

The materials made available in advance could include, say, a 15-minute video presentation made on Lecturecast Personal Capture, along with materials, and instructions about asking questions.

Lecturecast ALP lets you make slides available independently of recordings

You can use Lecturecast ALP (Active Learning Platform) just for slides, without recording a lecture. It may suit you if you want to:

  • hide and unhide slides you need to wait to reveal, without needing to make separate uploads.
  • use its inbuilt interactivity to get early feedback in the form of notes, questions and flags.
  • include questions (short answer, multi-choice, ranking or click-on-image) to be used in advance, during the session, or afterwards.

See the guidance on linking to Lecturecast ALP via Moodle and for instructors working with slides and 'interactive activities'.

It is easy to rename any Moodle resource

Use  the toggle switch to turn 'Edit mode' on and click the edit (pen) icon next to the resource title which is the 'Edit Title' option. Type your amendments, then press Enter when finished and your new title will automatically save.

To swap files quickly

You may be leaving gaps in your materials e.g. because you have exercises to be worked on during the session. Lecturecast allows you to hide and reveal individual slides, but if you aren't using that then you may need to provide the complete slides afterwards.

If you need to overwrite a file you have already uploaded as a Moodle resource, you can do so by editing the resource, deleting the existing file and uploading the new one. You don't need to create the entire resource again from scratch.

Alternatively, you might prefer to use conditional release (see below) to automatically hide and reveal different resources before and after your lecture.

If you have several files, use folders

If you have multiple files then create a Folder for them, to avoid over-stuffing the front page.

See the miniguide on uploading files.

To hide until a certain date, use conditional release

If you have post-lecture materials to release which are different from the pre-lecture materials e.g. if they contain answers to questions, you can upload them and set them to automatically release at a certain date and time.

See the miniguide on conditional release.

To restrict access to certain groups

If you need to make materials available to some groups and not others, you can put those students into a group and restrict access to or from that group.

See the miniguide on conditional release.

Your questions or suggestions

 please contact the Digital Education team, or comment here.