ignite: access to IT equipment, facilities and support

Posted by nm365 at Sep 17, 2020 09:30 AM |
Ensuring you have access to IT equipment, study spaces and support.

With ignite, you will have more flexibility in deciding when, where and how you wish to learn. You will have the opportunity to learn in your own space, using your own equipment. We want to ensure that you have access to the equipment, facilities and services that you need to succeed. We have also created a digital learning guide to support you.

IT equipment for ignite

We are making innovative use of our digital learning environment to support your learning through ignite. There will be content that you can access and view at a time that suits you, and online events, such as live lectures and seminars.

To fully participate in online learning, you will need to have access to IT equipment. We have worked hard to ensure that our digital learning environment can be accessed on a wide range of computers:

  • To access online content to study in your own time you will need a computer and internet connection. We have tested our Digital Learning Environment to ensure that it works well on older web browsers, including the Mozilla Firefox Browser version 57, released in 2017, running on a machine with 2GB of RAM. If you have a laptop or computer that can run this browser or versions of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Apple Safari from the past two years and can watch videos on sites such as YouTube you will be able to get access to our online content.
  • Live, online teaching events will be provided through Blackboard Collaborate and/or Microsoft Teams depending on which will work best for your course. These are freely available to you. Participating in live events may require a more powerful computer as you may need to be able to interact with several students and/or teachers at the same time. Microsoft recommends 4GB of RAM for one-to-one meetings, such as personal tutor meetings, or 8GB for sessions involving more people. If you can videoconference with friends and family, your computer and internet connection are likely to be good enough for you to be able to join and take part in our live, online teaching events. A microphone or a camera (or both combined) will allow you to interact with the teacher and other students during these events.
  • We will provide you with a Windows virtual desktop that you can connect to from your own machine, to provide access to the software required for your course. This is a machine that runs in the cloud and can be accessed through a web browser or an app that you can install.

We want to ensure that all students have access to the equipment they need to succeed on their course. If you do not have reliable access to the required IT, there are two schemes available to support you.

Digital Hardship Fund

The Digital Hardship Fund is discretionary support provided by the University. It is there to provide access to a laptop, or other equipment that is necessary for your course, if you are experiencing financial hardship. If you are without access to the technology necessary for your course and are not in a position to buy it, you can contact our Student Welfare Service to apply for support from the Digital Hardship Fund. We recommend that you first get in touch with your school or department to ask if there are any special requirements for the equipment that you require for your course. While being assessed for their suitability for this scheme, you will be able to borrow a laptop for use at home.

Laptop Loan Scheme

Laptops are available for students to borrow and use on campus. We have laptops available from hubs located across the University. These will connect to the University network and run the same software that is available on our on-campus student desktop PCs. To find out how you can borrow a laptop visit the laptop loans website or contact our library.

Access to study spaces

The ignite blended approach to learning provides greater flexibility about where you study. A quiet space where you can attend live, online events or focus on your independent study will help you to make the most of your course. Where possible, arrange a personal study space in your home or accommodation or agree an arrangement with other members of your household to ensure you have a suitable quiet space and sufficient time for study.

There will be social and study spaces available in buildings on campus, including the Charles Wilson Building, Students’ Union and Attenborough Arts Centre. There are also short-stay spaces in some School buildings. The David Wilson Library will provide bookable study space for individuals and members of ‘Live and Learn’ Bubbles. These can be booked through our library website from Monday 28 September 2020.

Support and wellbeing

Academic and personal support will be available to you either online or face-to-face. We will check in with you to ask whether there is any guidance or support that we can provide. For most students this will come from your personal tutor and be an email, or a chat during a group session to ensure you’re settling in and to build your relationship with the academics who will support you throughout your time with us.

Support services for students are available and have been made easier to access, to ensure we can support you remotely. From general advice and guidance to financial support, counselling and disability support – we are here to help. We have launched MyWellbeing, an app offering advice and resources to help you thrive at university. Download from the App or Play stores.

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