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StudySwitch - Making the Most of your Virtual World

At UCLan we have used established systems for several years to support online teaching and learning. This academic year you’ll likely be engaging with your learning online more often than you may have done previously and this section will give you some pointers on how to embrace your virtual world and make it work for you.

Learning and Information Services (LIS)

LIS look after all your technological needs whilst at UCLan. They work behind the scenes ensuring our university runs smoothly both on and off-campus - from assisting with student log-ins and arranging wi-fi access and printing services, to enabling remote access to networked areas and getting everyone up and running with Office 365 and Microsoft Teams. You will be able to contact them through your Student Portal and their Customer Service area, and they provide useful help pages and informal training sessions for extra support.

Student view:

Maria (First Year BA Journalism) “The team at LIS are really good. It may be a good idea to have their phone number or email on hand so that if you encounter any problems then you can get the issue sorted as soon as possible.”

Library Online Services

The UCLan Library is a complete study environment, physically and virtually. Although the library does house thousands of books and provides in-person services, there are also many ways students access materials remotely, for example when accessing academic journals or accessing materials from other libraries around the country. It is easy and convenient to get to what you need at the touch of a button.

Some examples of library services which you can use remotely:

Electronic Resources
UCLan Reading Lists
SCONUL Access

Student view:

Maria (First Year BA Journalism) “The UCLan library is amazing. There are thousands of books in the building itself but also online, so don’t worry if you can’t get to the library as most of them are accessible remotely. You may be able to check out your reading lists on Blackboard before even term try starting, to get yourself ahead of the game a little bit.”

Your online learning environment

Blackboard

Blackboard is the virtual learning environment (VLE) that we use at UCLan, where you are able to:

  • View your modules and course programme structure.

  • Access your modules’ content provided by your tutors.

  • Submit assessments through ‘Turnitin’ and view subsequent feedback.



Student view:

Maria (First Year BA Journalism) “As you should have your Blackboard log-in, it’s a good idea to get on and just have a look on what’s on their- your timetable, reading lists and UCLan things in general! It may seem a little confusing at the start but the more you use it the better and the more familiar you will come with it.”

Microsoft Teams

UCLan will be using the Microsoft Teams platform for the vast majority of our online delivery of lectures, seminars and tutorials. It’s a fantastic tool which provides a collaborative environment and real time and real-life communication. When you join us in Welcome Week we will provide specific training about this so that you are fully prepared but here are some tips for you to think about to get started:

  • Mute your microphone when you’re not talking – that way, background noises won’t be heard by others and everyone will get a great listening experience.

  • Give others full airtime to make their point, before interrupting – this is applicable to the physical world too, of course, but be sure to let the other person finish what they’re saying, so that the audio doesn’t switch off before they have finished.


Microsoft Teams has some useful functions to assist smooth communication online. For example:

  • There is a ‘hands up’ button which allows you to signal to others in the group that you have something to say.

  • There is a ‘chat’ function on the side bar during video calls, which means that you can make comments by text, which can complement your verbal input.

  • There are ‘Files’ areas where you can share files with people in your groups.



Student view:

Shannon ( Second Year Sports Therapy ) “When working in a group, a group chat will help communicate when, where and what studying you will be doing. If you create this on Teams, it will also mean you can share files and hold face-to-face video call meetings if not everyone can meet in person.”