The majority of your communication, with the university, will be via digital services and platforms. Please familiarise yourself with these tools and contact the IT Service Desk if you have any problems firstname.lastname@example.org
Where possible, please use your student email account to contact the university, support services and tutors. Your student email address helps us to easily identify you and saves time in us responding to you.
Further information about getting the most from your email account is available here: Office365 Student Email
Skype for Business
Whilst working from home, it is possible that you will need to use Skype for Business (Skype4B) to have chats, phone calls or video conferencing with your tutors and/or student support officers. You will receive an email invite for any pre-arranged Skype session - which you can accept and use directly from your student email account.
Skype for Business works in much the same way as normal Skype, but we have a page of guidance available here: Skype for Business and Video Conferencing
You can use Skype4B for:
- Instant Messaging - chat window in Outlook online or using the full desktop app or mobile app
- Video Conferencing / Video Chat - using the full desktop app or mobile app
- Phone / Audio Chat - using the full desktop app or mobile app (but with camera off)
- Webinar - using the full desktop app or mobile app (camera on or off)
Skills@Cumbria and some tutors will make use of webinars. These will usually be done using Skype4B and will allow the organiser to invite multiple people into a Skype conversation that they will lead. These work much like an online classroom with one or more tutors and multiple students viewing the same same content as it happens. Questions and comments can be posted via a chat window and the whole thing can be recorded for later viewing.
You do not need a webcam or can leave it switched off if you just want to watch. The ability to contribute vocally (via built in microphone or headset) is recommended.
See the guidance for Skype for business and always arrive a few minutes early for a webinar, just so you can check that everything is working ok.
Discussion Forums (usually in Blackboard) allow for asynchronous conversations (not everyone has to be there at the same time, but can join in the conversation at a convenient time). They work much like social media conversations.
You will probably be using discussion forums in Blackboard as part of your studies, which will involve things like:
- Read a passage or question posted by a tutor
- Discuss (with the forum) your thoughts or answer(s)
- Discuss other people's responses
- Write up your conclusions outside of the forum
- Submit your conclusions via Turnitin
Basic instructions are available from the Blackboard page of My.Cumbria: Discussions / Forums in Blackboard