Unit Preparation Know How

It’s that time of year when the new curricular units are available on Brightspace (units available from 19th July) and thoughts turn to preparing units for the next academic year. As you start to think about populating your units (with the good intention of making an early start and not leaving it too late in the day!) here are five key tips to help you get started. Preparing your units for 2022/23

1. Check your unit access

All the new curricular units for 2022/23 are now available to staff on Brightspace. If your unit is missing, it might just be that you haven’t been added as teaching team onto the unit yet. Unit Leads are responsible for adding staff to units, so check with your Unit Lead. But if they’re not available (or if for any other reason you don’t have visibility of the units you expect to see) contact the IT Service Desk on 01202 965515 or raise a ticket online.

2. Where is my Lessons content experience?

If you had the Lessons content experience on your unit last year (with the coloured module buttons) it will be automatically added to your units for this year. This is a manual process so don’t worry if your unit looks like it is in the standard content experience – it will be transferred across as quickly as we can.

3. Populate the default template areas and say hello!

As a minimum, it’s good practice to populate the Unit Information & Organisation content areas. Units will be visible to students from one week prior to the start of Semester 1 (for the majority of programmes this will be 19th September). This will reassure students that they have access to everything they need to begin the year. Don’t forget to unhide your content as you populate it, and to add a Welcome or holding announcement for students.

4. Hide your content

You may not have everything on your unit in place by 19th September, but remember that whilst you continue to build your unit you can add your learning materials but keep them hidden from student view. You can then make them available when you’re ready, or you could add a date release condition to them so they become visible automatically.

5. Make use of the Digital Pedagogies Framework checklist

The Digital Pedagogies Framework has been devised to provide structured guidance for staff when building out their units. To help with its application, make use of the accompanying Checklist under each theme. The checklists make it easy to work through each section of your unit, making sure you’re covering all the bases, and will help you keep tabs on your progress by ticking off as you go. And if you see any tools that you haven’t tried yet and are interested in exploring, you can follow the links off to the online guidance.

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Further guidance and support

At the top of the Brightspace Staff Resources page (found under Help in the nav bar of any unit on Brightspace) you’ll find a link to Preparing your units for 2022/23. You’ll find everything you need here to get you started on preparing your units for the new academic year. And if you need any further help, you can always talk to your Faculty Learning Technologist.

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