Online learning could continue at Sheffield Hallam University into new academic year, leaked email reveals

Online learning for students at Sheffield Hallam University is expected to continue into the new academic year, according to a leaked email.

Sunday, 24th May 2020, 8:46 am
Updated Monday, 25th May 2020, 10:50 am

All face-to-face teaching was suspended at the university in March following government advice on how to limit the spread of coronavirus, forcing lectures, classes, and exams, to move online or to be taught remotely where possible.

But, as restrictions begin to ease in the UK, it appears university bosses are now looking to the future beyond Covid-19 and are making plans on how to adapt teaching for the 2020/21 academic year.

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Part of the email sent to staff at Sheffield Hallam University

In the email, which has been sent to Sheffield Hallam staff, an unnamed source said that plans had been developed to provide “consistency” in teaching, stating that come September classes and lectures will be taught “predominately through remote and online delivery, for semester one at least.”

While the university is still finalising details of its plan going forward, the email suggests that some campus buildings will be opened to allow “sequenced access” to teaching staff so they can collect essential items – including personal items or those needed for teaching – that they were unable to retrieve before lockdown.

Access to specialised facilities to support students in completing their work may also be granted, while “limited” access may be given to research facilities – both, however, would not happen until after July 1.

The plan also suggests that academic staff will be given an eight-week timeframe in which they can record and prepare online lectures and other work for students in the new academic year.

Teaching at Sheffield Hallam University for the 2020/21 academic year is expected to be predominately delivered remotely or online for "semester one, at least."

Sheffield Hallam University confirmed the leaked information was part of an email sent to staff.

“Detailed planning is ongoing to finalise our teaching and learning methods for the new academic year,” a Sheffield Hallam University spokesperson added. “Our priority is to ensure the safety of our staff and students while responding appropriately to changing government advice and guidelines.

“Students will be informed of decisions about remote and online learning and teaching for the new academic year as soon as a decision is made.”