Deputy Principal (Learning and Teaching) Weekly Update - Consolidation Week



This is the first in a series of weekly articles in which I aim to highlight some of the key decisions and developments that will shape how we will be delivering learning and teaching across the University in the new academic year.

This week’s topic – Consolidation Week.

On Monday 13 July the University’s Learning and Teaching Covid19 Group endorsed the decision to introduce a Consolidation Week (or Reading Week) across all Schools and campuses in Semester 1. This will be the week beginning 19 October 2020 (Week 6 in Scotland and Dubai, Week 7 in Malaysia).

What is Consolidation Week?

Consolidation Week, is an opportunity to pause within the semester. It is a chance to slow the pace of delivery to allow time and space for reflection and the consolidation of learning. 

Typically this will enable our students to catch-up on outstanding pieces of work, review their learning from material that has been covered in the first half of the semester, and determine aspects of their courses that may need to be revisited or revised.

This means that assessment deadlines for submission of coursework should not be set during this week. And whilst Schools can and should continue to actively support student learning – for example through laboratory, studio or workshop sessions – the aim should be to consolidate and complement theoretical learning rather than introduce new material.

Why do we need a Consolidation Week?

Consolidation Week is one of the ways in which we deliver on our commitment to supporting the wellbeing of our staff and students across our University community. Whilst a number of academic disciplines already have this arrangement in place it is only by committing to doing this across all Schools and all campuses at the same time that we unlock its benefits. We will take the opportunity of the week to deliver additional wellbeing activities for all, with ongoing induction, careers and other events (online and face to face) for our students.

Will we have a Consolidation Week in Semester 2?

There was broad support from School and student representatives on the Learning and Teaching Covid19 Group to embed a Consolidation Week in Semester 2. A decision will be made on that next week. 

Updates on the University’s Learning and Teaching Covid19 Group’s work?

Staff can access a summary of all the decisions taken to date by the University’s Learning and Teaching Covid19 Group. This log is updated on a weekly basis.

For more information about our preparations for the new Academic Year 2020/2021 please join our staff Town Hall’ meeting (via Teams) on Tuesday 21 July. During the session we will provide a progress update across a number of key areas including:

  • Timetabling
  • Campus opening
  • Responsive blended learning
  • Induction and student support
  • Access to Technology

John Sawkins
Deputy Principal (Learning and Teaching)