Learning Remotely FAQs
Find out more about learning remotely with COL.
With uncertainty still surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, we know there’s never been a more important time to stay connected. With no on-campus teaching being considered currently, we've decided to offer all of our courses remotely using online platforms appropriate to the subject area being taught.
We've all experienced challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic and many of us have been thrown into a world of remote communication, working and staying in touch with family and friends in an online environment. We hope this means the prospect of learning with us remotely isn't too daunting, however if you do have any queries or concerns, we've put together some FAQs that can help you find out more about remote learning with the Centre for Open Learning.
Why are courses still being taught remotely?
All 21/22 Term 1 Short Courses (running from September to December 2021) will be taught online.
This is due to the latest government guidance that the University has received. The current social distancing requirements makes group work and rooming very difficult and the safety of our students remains our number one priority. We hope that we will be able to offer our Short Courses on campus soon but again, we will be guided by the latest government advice.
If you’re new to the internet, it can be overwhelming... However, the University of Edinburgh's Digital Ambassadors can help! Our team of friendly staff and student volunteers can chat you through things like sending email, making safe online payments, finding information online and making or joining video calls. If you're interested in speaking with a Digital Ambassador, please contact the Centre for Open Learning on COL@ed.ac.uk or 0131 650 4400. Please state briefly what you need help with along with a telephone number that you can be reached on. Please also advise whether it would be best to call between 14.00 and 15.00 on a Tuesday or 16.00 and 17.00 on a Wednesday. One of our volunteers will then call you back during the specified time slot. Volunteers will always try to call you back within 7 days of your initial inquiry, however this is not always possible. Find out more about the University of Edinburgh's Digital Ambassadors here >
To successfully participate in our online courses this term, you will need some basic digital skills and confidence with using technology.
In addition, there are some basic equipment requirements:
- A reliable internet connection
- A computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone; equipped with a camera and mic (please note, we do not recommend using a smartphone for our language courses due to the small screen size.)
- A headset or earphones
- If you are taking a Languages course, you’ll also need the Zoom app/software installed and set up on your device (more guidance on this can be found on our Remote Learning: Zoom help page)
We recommend that your device runs a modern operating system, to avoid potential compatibility issues. For example, Windows 10 or the latest Apple software if you are using a computer or laptop.
Classes will take place on a designated day and time, just as they did in our classroom based model. You will be sent information prior to the course start date, with details on how to join your class online. Participants in all of our language courses will be required to use Zoom (and in some cases the University of Edinburgh's online platform Learn) and those studying on our Arts, Humanities, Social Science and Science and Nature courses will be asked to use the University of Edinburgh's online learning platforms, Collaborate and Learn.
If you're unfamiliar with how to use Collaborate and want to take find out how it works, take a test run in Collaborate here.
How you access the course content in Learn will depend on whether you are enrolled on a Credit or Non-credit course.
- For Credit courses you can access Learn via Myed using your matriculated student log in.
- For Non-credit courses you can access your content via a link sent to you by email from COL.
We may be delivering things a little differently but our course content and dedicated tutors haven't changed at all! Undoubtedly the lack of in-person social interaction during your course will be a change - one that we've had to adopt in many areas of our lives at this time - however, we can assure you that the content and dedication to supporting your learning experience remains the same!
We understand that sometimes technical issues may occur which are beyond our control. Unfortunately, we're unable to provide all students with technical support on an individual basis, however we have created some information pages that may be useful if you're having technical difficulties or you can take a look at common troubleshooting issues below:
Missing link: Links are sent out around 48 hours before your course starts. If you don’t think you have received your links, please check your spam/junk folders. If you still cannot find it, contact reception at email@example.com
Password: If you have trouble logging into your Zoom class, make sure you are inputting the password correctly with no spaces. Sometimes when passwords are copy and pasted, there is a space at the end which you cannot see. Delete the last character after you have copy and pasted the password and hit enter.
Issues with Collaborate: For Collaborate, please make sure your operating system is up to date and that you have tried using Chrome for best experience. You can read more about using Collaborate here.
If you still have issues, please contact reception at firstname.lastname@example.org. We ask that you answer the following questions when emailing us for technical help as this information will be needed:
- Please provide a screen shot of any error message (s) you are encountering
- Are you using Mac or Windows?
- What operating system version, ie Windows 10?
- Are you using WiFi, Ethernet cable or 3/4/5G
- What browser are you using? ie Firefox, Chrome, Safari. Please also try using an alternative browser to see if this issue still remains.