An Image of a student working online and different thoughts during the process.

 by Jon Cheek
, posted On 2 Aug '21

A school and college guide to how universities responded during the lockdown

Please note, this content was kindly provided by Arione McQueenie whilst she was working with the University of Buckingham. This has been republished from the UniTasterDays Teachers' Guide to University brochure.

Moving university teaching online - how did universities teach online?

On March 16th 2020 the UK went into lockdown - and our students found out that all teaching and learning would be moving online. So how did universities respond to this? Here, Venessa, one of our students will share her first-hand experience of learning virtually.

“A few months ago, virtually every student worldwide was forced to transition from studying in class and in person to an online platform. When I first found out about the news, I was quite scared: I was concerned about missing out on university life, on social life, on university networking and if this would have an impact on my grades. Luckily the university put measures in place to make sure the students still received quality education, even though it couldn’t be in person.”

“We started using video calls, which really helped because I could see my classmates and interact with them, so I didn’t feel like I was completely missing out on that social interaction. Our libraries also transitioned online so we still had access to all of our books. Meetings with lecturers and personal tutors were also all moved online, so we weren’t just interacting through email. You could also book appointments with other departments online such as student welfare, so if you needed to speak to a counsellor you could book a meeting with them and know you could still have the conversation that you would have had if you were on campus”.

Studying during lockdown – Venessa’s top tips for your students should they take part in online learning in the future:

1. Scheduling and organising every day.
2. Imagining you are in an actual classroom during lectures. Including access to a notepad and pen - just like on campus.
3. Staying involved with all the different virtual events that the students’ union are putting on.

“Overall, transitioning to online learning wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be! Even though it is not the same as an in-person university experience, it is still a really good quality learning experience”. “In terms of focus and concentration, just remember that as long as you’re doing your best - that is okay. The simple fact that you are out there and doing your best needs to be applauded. So keep going, we have got this!”

Teachers, careers colleagues and support staff: request your FREE UniTasterDays Teachers' Guide to University brochure.

This brochure has been produced by in collaboration with HELOA - to support the university guidance that is provided in secondary schools and colleges.

Editorial has been provided by over 35 colleagues at universities and higher education institutions throughout the UK. On topics covering how to support students with their university decisions, university events, widening participation & fair access, UCAS applications (including writing school references) and more. It also includes the key student finance facts from Martin Lewis.

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