Key information for Staff

This is a handy guide to information and resources that you may find helpful in preparing for the start of teaching

It generally takes some time to develop confidence with learning and teaching online, both for students and staff. Please look after yourself, be patient with and supportive of others, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

If you are new to Blackboard, speak to colleagues and ask for support. You will find detailed information and guidance on the Blackboard TLC site.

Further information about the Blackboard module environment and tools for learning, teaching and assessment is available.

WASS, Aston’s Web Appointment Scheduling System can be used by students to sign up for touch point events such as labs, tutorials and workshops. A step-by-step guide for staff in how to create calendars for modules and bookable sessions is available.

When teaching online, it is recommended that you practice in advance, are careful in managing student expectations and your expectations of students and prepare for different eventualities and potential problems.

  • For example, it is a good idea to provide students with information at the start of sessions and via the relevant module area in Blackboard about what to do if they experience any technical problems, as well as information about managing expectations for engagement and participation. Note that some students may be unable or unwilling to participate directly in some cases. Detailed guidance is available for students and can be sent to them by sharing this link.
  • We also recommend setting up an out-of-office/automatic email reply that highlights you are currently teaching online and including key links for students in case they get in touch directly whilst you are running a session.
  • You may also need to clarify for students what you will do and what students are expected to do should you experience technical problems. Further information including guidance about managing student expectations is available.
  • Specific information about how to schedule a Collaborate webinar session is available.
  • Details about how to download an attendee list for a Collaborate session is available.

Should you experience a technical difficulty that you are unable to resolve yourself, please make a  technical support request through Solve. You can also contact the Technology Enhanced Learning Team directly at

Note that detailed guidance and information for students is embedded directly in the Institution page and module areas on Blackboard, and key Student Support Services also signposted directly in learner analytics dashboard. If students cannot access either of these systems, the same information for current students is available online here: