Increased support for teaching online in light of COVID-19

Published: 24 February 2020

Update (20 March 2020): Teaching Remotely SharePoint Site for UNSW staff now available

Following the announcement of our University’s decision to cease all face-to-face teaching on Friday 20 March in response to COVID-19, the PVC (Education) Portfolio developed and launched a dedicated ‘Teaching Remotely’ SharePoint Site to help UNSW teaching staff quickly shift from face-to-face to online teaching.

The site is designed to be a one-stop-shop with resources and support available from the PVCE Portfolio. It collates new resources as well as many of our existing guides for online teaching and educational technology hosted here on the Teaching Gateway.  

Please note: The site should be accessed via Chrome – built on MS SharePoint, it will not render well on Safari.

Access the site here.


Original article published on 24 February:

In light of the increased needs to deliver teaching online in T1, support mechanisms for educators have been enhanced. 

In February, Faculty representatives, IT, Student Services and the PVCE Portfolio jointly conducted exploratory tests with our students from major tier 1 and tier 2 cities within China, to better understand what the user experience might look like for Moodle and Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. In their experience, Moodle, Echo and Collaborate Ultra all tested well. Chrome is recommended as the supported browser in accessing these platforms. Note, individual experiences may vary depending on a number of factors, including personal internet connection, bandwidth, network connectivity and firewall settings.
Following the tests, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is recommended to be used for Tutorials, where applicable, while Lecture Recordings+ can continue to be used to record and deliver interactive lectures. 

Blackboard Collaborate UltraResources for Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

  • A quick getting started guide infographic has been developed to help academics (two versions below) 
    Infographic on the use of collaborate using lectern
    Infographic on the use of collaborate using own laptop

    For academics broadcasting live from a classroom, printed versions of the infographics will be present on lecterns in the Collaborate enabled classrooms.
  • The Teaching Gateway has been updated with videos and detailed step-by-step pictorial guides on using Collaborate Ultra
  • A.I.D.E ChatbotThe A.I.D.E. Chatbot has been trained to answer questions about Blackboard Collaborate enquiries. While the Bot is still learning, it will help academics with answers or point them in the right direction. Look for the A.I.D.E Chatbot icon on Teaching Gateway’s Educational Technology pages to chat.

  • If students need assistance with Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, they can be referred to the Student Gateway page or use the Student Guide Infographic. There are also Quick-Start Tips for Students (PDF version can be shared with students on Moodle)

Lecture Recordings+Resources for Lecture Recordings+

  • Lecture Recordings+ Teaching Gateway section which is regularly updated
  • PDF guide for using Lecture Recordings+ (powered by Echo360) with students with limited internet access


If academics and education support staff need to discuss an issue or need help troubleshooting using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and/or Lecture Recordings+, they can:

  • Contact the Faculty/School TELT Admin in the first instance
  • Utilise the staff drop-in sessions offered by the Educational Technology Services within the PVCE Portfolio. These sessions are offered face-to-face and virtually every Tuesdays 10-11 am and Thursdays 2-3 pm. For more info visit ETS Drop in Sessions.

If students need help logging into Moodle, they can contact the IT Service Centre on Email: or Phone: +61 2 9385 1333