Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Helpful tip!Information for staff delivering teaching to students in China during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Introduction

For advice on delivering teaching and learning remotely in 2020/21, please see the Online Teaching Toolkits on the TEL website.

This page provides colleagues with specific considerations when delivering teaching and learning to students in China, whether at a partner institution such as BIT or NUIST, or students who would be studying at Reading but are not currently able to return to the UK.

One key message is that, wherever possible, students should be advised to use a wired, stable, high speed internet connection. However, it is important to recognise this is not available to all students in China, particularly those studying off-campus. Therefore, it is advised to provide asynchronous delivery where possible.

Delivering teaching and learning

Access to Blackboard and the students’ experience is dependent on their computer set up, speed of their internet connection and location. Due to these local variables user experience may vary.

 

Due to variable connectivity in China, it is strongly recommended that you keep file sizes small by making short recordings.

Please see the Making Screencasts toolkit.

 

Please note:

  • Videos hosted in Youtube are not accessible to students in China, so alternative content will need to be found.
  • You should upload all video content to Microsoft Stream, not to Blackboard.
  • If you are recording PowerPoint presentations with video or audio narration these should be uploaded directly to Stream, not to Blackboard.

We can confirm that users in China have access both to Blackboard Collaborate and MS Teams, but access is dependent on the quality of the internet connection and this varies in different parts of China.

For more information on using Collaborate please see Considerations when using Collaborate Ultra in China.

Important information!If you are delivering courses for BIT or Guangdong, you can set up Collaborate sessions inside your Blackboard course as normal.
If you are delivering courses for NUIST, you can still set up Collaborate sessions through the University of Reading Blackboard (for instance on your Practice Course), and then share a Guest link with the students in China - see Invite Guests to join a Collaborate session.

Technical considerations

Google Chrome is not available to download in China. Firefox is normally available in China, but many students will use Chinese browsers such as QQ, and it is unlikely that these have been tested for compatibility with Blackboard or Turnitin.

Students accessing Blackboard may be using a mobile device, via the Blackboard App or through web browser.

The Blackboard App, although providing an optimised view on a phone, has known limitations. Therefore students may need to switch between the browser view and the app as needed. To check which content is supported in the Blackboard App please see the Blackboard Help page Supported Course Content in the Blackboard App.

Some students using WiFi or Mobile Data connections may experience internet speed related issues. Where possible, we recommend students use a wired internet connection available through desktop / laptop functionality.

If using an Android phone, students may not have access to the PlayStore in China to download the Blackboard App. Therefore, we recommend using the Blackboard through the device browser.

Some sites are blocked in China. This includes Google and YouTube - so if your UK course relies on any YouTube content you will need to rethink this when planning delivery in China.

Turnitin is available in China (including via the NUIST Blackboard system), although users may experience issues if their internet connection is slow or unreliable.

If you are thinking of  using other third party tools, such as Campus Pack, it will be necessary to confirm with colleagues in China that access to the service is not blocked.

Content from some publishers may not be accessible in China and other overseas territories because of licensing restrictions.

While China has the largest number of internet users in the world, internet connectivity and speed can be poor and/or inconsistent. This should be kept in mind when preparing materials for use in China - please keep file sizes to a minimum, in accordance with the guidance below.

Video files

  • Videos hosted in Youtube are not accessible to students in China, so alternative content will need to be found.
  • You should upload all video content to Microsoft Stream, not to Blackboard.
  • If you are recording PowerPoint presentations with video or audio narration these should be uploaded directly to Stream, not to Blackboard.
  • Keep your videos short - if necessary split a longer screencast into several 5 minute chunks.

Audio files

  • Audio files should always be saved in MP3 format. You can use VLC Player (available via Apps Anywhere) to convert files e.g. from WAV to MP3.
  • Keep your audio files short - if necessary split a longer recording into several 10-15 minute chunks.

Images in Office and Acrobat files

Helpful tip!Read more about reducing the size of image, audio and video files.