This case study explores a collective response to the challenges of learning and teaching within the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Glasgow in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The College comprises seven diverse schools, each of which has a rich and heterogeneous pedagogical culture. As soon as national lockdown commenced, we identified an immediate priority to devise and implement a flexible approach to learning and teaching for the incoming academic year.Flexibility was an inherent requirement of our approach because of the uncertainties we facedin terms of changing government guidance which dictated student travel and presence on campus in Glasgow. This led to considerations such as whether students were able to connect andengage remotely worldwide. This narrative report presents our institutional strategy over nine months, from the formation of an interdisciplinary flexible learning committee, through the various stages of planning, to the successful delivery of a semesterof remote teaching. We explore various factors that contributed to this positive outcome. Activities to support our institutional pivot include: (1) developing exemplar specifications for model courses; (2)trialling early adoption of new technology platforms; (3) mediating central messaging to each teaching unit; (4) sharing good practice within and between teaching units; (5) developing remote labs; (6) incorporating student experience in a dynamic feedback loop; and (7) supporting student wellbeing. Thecommon theme running through these activities is the sense of a ‘campus collective’ with a ‘distributed leadership’ model.


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Bellamy, G., Brown, R., Cleland Woods, H., Labrosse, N., Senn, H., Singer, J. & Vezza, M. 2021, 'Togetherness: the central tenet of an effective institutional online pivot', Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 9(2), pp. 89-90. https://doi.org/10.14297/jpaap.v9i2.491

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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