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Student Update: Local Covid Alert Levels, Blended Learning and Accessing Student Support

15/10/2020
Student Update: Local Covid Alert Levels, Blended Learning and Accessing Student Support

The start of this academic year has been very different for everyone, and I recognise that this is an extremely unusual time to be a student. I want to thank you for everything you are doing to help stop the spread of the virus and protect our University community.  

This communication covers an update on the local Covid-19 restrictions and some guidance on getting the most out of blended learning.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you understand the alert level in which your campus is operating and how this affects you as a member of the local community.  Please familiarise yourself with the details below.

This communication also provides a general overview of advice and guidance for all students to get the most out of their studies; however, it is essential to engage with your Academic Coach or Personal Tutor who will be able to offer specific practical advice and help you achieve your best.

Latest Update for Local Covid-19 Restrictions

On Wednesday 14 October the UK Government introduced a new system called the local Covid alert levels which set out information for local authorities, residents and workers about what to do in the event of an outbreak in their area.

Our local Covid alert levels are:

  • Wolverhampton - Local COVID alert level: high
  • Walsall - Local COVID alert level: high
  • Telford - Local COVID alert level: medium
  • Burton - Local COVID alert level: medium
  • Stafford - Local COVID alert level: medium
  • Hereford - Local COVID alert level: medium

Education settings including universities, schools and nurseries remain open. For more information about our safety measures on campus, please visit our Road to Reopening @WLV. The University continues to monitor the national situation regarding Covid-19 closely, we are in touch with other universities to ensure we are all sharing best practice and liaising with our local councils and public health regarding the situation at a local level.

Visit our local restrictions web pages for more information.

Faulkland Street Test Centre: Walk-in Covid-19 tests to be available without appointment

From Friday 16 October the walk-in test centre at Faulkland Street, just off the Ring Road in Wolverhampton city centre, will take up to 50 people per day as ‘walk ups’ without prior appointment as part of a pilot project.

People who develop symptoms of Covid-19, no matter how mild, should, as previously immediately self-isolate and try to book a test online by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119. However, if they cannot reserve a slot for any reason, they will be able to attend the Faulkland Street centre without prior appointment. Up to 50 tests per day will be available on a first come, first served basis.

Find out more here

WLV Covid-19 Reporting Procedures

Anyone who experiences coronavirus symptoms or receives a positive test result must not come on to campus or must leave campus immediately, avoid touching anything and return to their home or residence. 
 
You should follow our Covid-19 Reporting Procedures and email: Covid-19help@wlv.ac.uk and provide your full name, student number and a contact telephone number. Students should also contact your personal tutor/line manager to inform them that you are self-isolating.

Top tips for making the most of studying online

Be Prepared

1. Get to grips with your IT Essentials.

Access to IT and learning technologies will form a significant part of your educational experience at the University this semester. There are a set of standard and core IT essentials that all students need to access, as well as specialist software for some courses. Access more information from our Digital Services here.

2. Familiarise yourself with Canvas, your Virtual Learning Environment.

You'll find more information below, and on our Canvas Self Help webpage. In Canvas, you have 24/7 access to your course materials and reading lists, as well as your online lectures.

3. Think about your workspace and develop a routine.

Find the best space for you to work in. If you live with others, is there a quieter room that you can use or can you use headphones to avoid any distractions? Developing a routine and time management is vital, especially when studying from home and online. Planning a regular study time and blocking out set hours each week may help you achieve this.

Be Proactive

4. Engage with your Personal Tutor or Academic Coach

Your Personal Tutor or Academic Coach can provide you with academic support and pastoral care, to help you engage with your studies and facilitate independent learning.  If you don’t already know who your coach or tutor, you can find out who this is on your e:Vision, under the 'My Details' section. All new undergraduate and Foundation students are required to meet with their Academic Coach within the first 50 days of starting their course, and you can find more information about their support here.

5. Access Skills for Learning

Our Library Skills for Learning team can help support the development of your academic skills, including referencing, digital and maths skills. There are many ways that you can get support, from online bookable workshops, study guides and one-to-one support. More information about Skills for Learning is available here.

6. Get involved with your face to face teaching

Large group sessions, like lectures, are pre-recorded so that you can watch them at a time that suits you. Smaller group teaching sessions, such as seminars, will take place face to face both online and on-campus. These sessions will allow you to interact with your tutor directly and other students in online discussions, ask questions and share ideas. It is essential to take advantage of this time.

7. Don't be afraid to ask for help and support

There is no such thing as a wrong question, so don't be afraid to ask. If you have queries, your lecturers, Personal Tutor or Academic Coach, and Course Reps are on hand to help. If you didn't understand something in class, whether online, in a recorded session or on campus, do not hesitate to ask the lecturer.

Engage and Interact

8. Connect with the other students on your course and in our University community

Connecting with other students is a positive step that can enhance your studies through learning from others and making new friends. It is also an essential step to avoid loneliness and to contribute to positive mental health. Your modules in Canvas will have a discussion area which is open all the time for students to communicate.

9. Attend virtual events and activities with the Students' Union

The University of Wolverhampton Students' Union offers many opportunities to interact with other students, be it through student societies, online activities and events, campaigns or student voice. You can find out more about Wolves SU here.

10. Stay up to date with the latest information

Students can receive a lot of emails, so you may find it useful to review your Canvas notification settings and mark your lecturers' email as a favourite to avoid missing out on crucial information. We are committed to keeping students up to date, and we do this by email, on our social media channels (InstagramTwitter and Facebook) and the University Student News web page.

Canvas

Canvas is the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) used here at the University of Wolverhampton. It's similar to other VLEs that you may have used in your previous school or college such as Moodle or Blackboard. You can use Canvas to do the following:

  • Access your course materials online 24/7
  • Submit assignments
  • Access grades and feedback
  • Find lecture recordings
  • Engage with virtual content and resources for learning at home
  • Discuss and share ideas with your lecturers and fellow students

Students have access to a Canvas Help and Guidance course which contains information on using My WLV, Canvas and other learning technologies that you will use while you are studying at the University of Wolverhampton. 

You can access Canvas via your web browser by signing in with your University username and password.

For more information and guidance on using Canvas, including how to access your modules, find your reading lists and access help and support, please visit the Canvas self-help page on our website.

Canvas Self Help

Support for students

Whether you are a new or returning student, things will no doubt feel very different as you commence your studies this year, but we are here to help you find your way and settle in.  The University has a vast range of support services available to you, and we understand that identifying the right support channel may not always be easy.

If you're not sure what support service you need, you should visit www.wlv.ac.uk/support where you can find more information and contact the student support and wellbeing team directly.

There might be times when you need a bit of extra support - whether that's with your studies, finding information, developing your skills or something more personal - we'll be here. Our flexible approach ensures that you have the information, support and advice you need from your first days at the University through to your graduation and beyond.

Visit: wlv.ac.uk/support

Alumni Mentoring

Tap into the global network of University of Wolverhampton graduates with our Alumni Mentoring programme. This scheme pairs you up with an alumni mentor who can provide insight and advice for discovering new opportunities and establishing your career.

To find out more about this opportunity, you can now book on to our Power of Mentoring webinar, which will take place on Thursday 22 October, 12: 15 – 12:45 pm.

The Power of Mentoring webinar will:

  • Explain what you are likely to get out of mentoring 
  • Demo the online platform you'll use to choose your mentor
  • Walk you through how to sign up
  • Enable you to meet the team running the Alumni Mentoring scheme
  • Give you a chance to ask questions

Sign up for the Power of Mentoring webinar here: https://www.wlv.ac.uk/alumni/get-involved/mentoring/the-power-of-mentoring-webinar/

To find out more about the Alumni Mentoring scheme, visit: www.wlv.ac.uk/mentoring.

Timetabling

Personal timetables for the remaining weeks of Semester 1 have now been published, including timetables for postgraduate programmes.

We sincerely apologise for the delay in releasing the full timetable, and your patience in these challenging times is appreciated.

It is essential that you consult your personal timetable on MyWLV, and only attend the sessions for which you are scheduled. Due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, your timetable may be subject to change, so you should regularly check for updates. Please ensure that you have provided us with an up to date mobile number so that you can receive timetable change notifications by SMS.

You must have fully completed your enrolment and module registration to access your personal timetable and on-campus teaching. This is to ensure the safety of our University community, more information on enrolment can be found here: www.wlv.ac.uk/enrol-online

Thank you, and stay safe.

Julia Clarke

Deputy Vice-Chancellor

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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