Questions posed around remote teaching at the university will be collected and added to this page regularly.

Getting started

I am a new online tutor - where can I learn more about how Brightspace works?

Now that you are teaching online, you will need to use the university's Learning Environment, Brightspace. To learn more and get started in Brightspace, check out our Quick start guide to teaching online as well as the Supporting Learning Online space in Brightspace. UHI also has Brightspace guidance which can be found in the Brightspace Guidance Portal and is regularly updated.

Does LinkedIn Learning have any resources related to remote teaching?

LinkedIn Learning is an online library of instructional videos which is available to all staff at UHI (from the homepage of the UHI web site). To help those teaching remotely they have put together themed playlists:

  • Learning to Teach Online
  • Teaching with Technology
  • Teaching Online: Synchronous Classes

Engaging your students

What can I do to ensure my students feel they have a way to communicate (with each other and me) about course work and social matters?

We suggest using the Discussions tool to create at least two forums: one called ‘Questions Forum’ and another called ‘Social Announcements’. Further guidance and suggested wording is available on the Recommended teaching activities page of this site.

Is there any guidance available on how to encourage students to engage in their online learning (synchronous and asynchronous activities)?

There are guidance and suggested activities on the Hints and tips for remote teaching page as well as on the Recommended teaching activities page of this site.We also have specific guidance for tools which can help you keep students motivated and engaged. 

We recommend that everyone should make use of discussion boards and regular announcements. We also recommend Video notes as a quick and easy way to add a personal touch to your module/unit/course to help students feel connected and engaged. More information on Brightspace Video notes can be found below.

For more confident users, we also recommend the use of Intelligent Agents to send automated emails to students congratulating them on their achievments and progress as well as to encourage them to keep up their good work. Brightspace Awards can be used in a similar way. We also recommend releasing certain content to them based on Brightspace Release conditions, or to engage students in the co-creation of some of their learning by using the Brightspace Glossary tool. In addition, think about using ClickView to provide students with videos that contain quiz questions and/or annotations.

What is a Brightspace Video note and what can I use it for?

If you would like to add a personal touch to content in Brightspace and create a connection between yourself and your students, you can use video notes in Brightspace. They can be part of announcements, descriptions or content files. More information can be found on page 18 of the Quick start guide to teaching online.

Please note that video notes should be no longer than 5 minutes, preferably shorter.

Synchronous/real-time delivery

I’m teaching synchronously online for the first time - which tool(s) should I use for synchronous delivery in real time and is there any best practice guidance?

The main virtual classroom tool at UHI is Webex Meetings which is fully integrated with Brightspace. Please refer to the Webex help pages if you have any questions about the tool. There is also a Webex student guide which you can sign-post to your classes.

Visit the Synchronous online teaching recommendations page for advice on how to make the most of synchronous online sessions.

Can a Webex session be made available to those outside a specific unit or module, i.e. for an external speaker?

Yes, you can invite an external speaker to a Webex session you have scheduled. For more information on how to do this, check out the section on "Scheduling and sign-posting Webex sessions" Webex help pages.

How can I record a lecture for my students to watch online before we meet for a tutorial?

Before you start, make sure you have a functioning webcam and a microphone to record audio and video. If you do not have access to a webcam or microphone, please contact your local IT department.

To record and store your lecture, use the UHI Streaming Server MEDIAL. Refer to the MEDIAL quicks start guide for step by step guidance on how to do so.

We recommend that your recorded lectures should be no longer than 30 minutes. For more information and best practice tips, please refer to the Synchronous online teaching recommendations page.


I’m not used to using the VLE for assessing my students. What options and guidance are there?

This might depend on regulations of your acceditation body and/or the nature of your module/unit. Please have a look at the page on Online assessment options and considerations and its subpages for further information.

If you are still unsure, have further questions or want help with this, please contact the EDU at edu@uhi.ac.uk.

What types of assessments should I use the Brightspace Quiz tool for?

Use the Brightspace Quiz tool for any assessments that require students to answer MCQs, short answer questions, essay questions, multi-select, fill in the blanks questions. These could be summative assessments, i.e. summative assessments (for a mark) at the end of a topic or semester, or formative assessments which students can use for self-assessment.

For more information and guidance about using the Brightspace Quiz tool, check out the Quiz tool guidance. We also have guidance on writing good quiz questions for online learning materials.

What types of assessments should I use the Brightspace Assignments tool for?

When you use the Brightspace Assignments tool, you are creating an assignment folder which students can submit essays, or other types of documentation too. Use the Assignments tool for any type of summative assessments (for a mark) at the end of a topic or the semester, which involve students submitting a document (MS Word, MS PowerPoint, etc.). You can also use assignment folder throughout the semester, though. They come in handy at any point you want students to submit something to you.

For more information and guidance about the Brightspace Assignments tool, check out our Assignments, feedback and grades guidance.

How can I check my students are not copying and pasting from the Internet and passing it off as their own work when they submit an assignment?

At UHI we have two tools for detecting plagiarism: Urkund (for FE) and Turnitin (for HE). Both tools are integrated into Brightspace and can be enabled during the assignment creation process.