Open Policies for Learning and Teaching

The word policy being written by a hand with a blue pen

OE Global Open Policy Award badgeThe University of Edinburgh shares a number of its Learning and Teaching policies and associated guidance under Creative Commons licence to enable them to be reused by other institutions.

This collection of open policies won the 2021 Open Education Awards for Excellence Open Policy Award.

Accessible and Inclusive Learning Policy

Approved 2013. Amended 2023. CC BY-SA.

The purpose of this policy is the provision of accessible and inclusive teaching and assessment to all students, through consideration of their different requirements in the design, approval, delivery and review of programmes, courses and assessment. The policy contains principles for improving accessibility and inclusivity of teaching and assessment at the University. It provides some detailed baseline requirements, including mainstreaming some adjustments recommended for disabled students whose universal adoption benefits all students.

Lecture Recording Policy

Approved 2018. Amended 2023. CC BY-SA.

This policy has been developed to ensure that:

  • Provision of recorded lectures is comprehensive, consistent and efficient and enhances the student experience.
  • Students, teachers, visiting presenters and academic managers are clear on their rights and responsibilities when lectures are recorded.

The University of Edinburgh recognises the benefits to students of the ability to revisit all or part of a lecture. It recognises further the benefits for particular groups of students, for example those with certain learning difficulties or those whose first language is not English. The policy addresses the need to provide clarity on the rights of those involved in each recording and the conditions under which lectures should and should not be recorded, released to students or released publicly.

Open Education Resources Policy

Approved 2016. Amended 2021. CC BY-NC-SA.

This policy outlines the University’s position on Open Educational Resources (OERs) and provides guidelines for practice in learning and teaching. The University encourages staff and students to use, create, and publish OERs to enhance the quality of the student experience, increase the provision of learning opportunities for all, and improve teaching practices. It also recognises that the use and creation of OERs is consistent with the University’s vision and values; to discover knowledge and make the world a better place, and to ensure our teaching and research is relevant to society, diverse, inclusive, and accessible to all.

Virtual Classroom Policy

Approved 2020. CC BY-SA

This policy clarifies rights and responsibilities when delivering and recording teaching and learning using the Virtual Classroom service and other online communication and collaboration technologies. The Virtual Classroom service is used in the regular delivery of fully-online programmes, and, in response to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, has also permitted online and hybrid delivery of programmes normally delivered on campus. The intention of this policy is to help manage the potential risks posed by challenges and complexities in the arrangements for virtual classes. The policy extends existing principles agreed for lecture recording to this context, amending them or making separate provision where required.

Slides covering etiquette, identity and recording, designed for use in virtual classroom sessions are available to download under open licence here: Virtual Classroom Introduction Slides.

Digital Citizenship Guide

Approved 2020. CC BY-SA

The University also provides a Digital Citizenship Guide which should be read alongside the University’s Virtual Classroom Policy, which clarifies rights and responsibilities when delivering and recording teaching and learning using online communication and collaboration technologies.

Learning Analytics Principles and Purposes

Approved 2017.  Amended 2018. CC BY.

The document defines learning analytics, and sets out the University’s principles and purposes for learning analytics. It will be accompanied by a more detailed policy and procedure setting out how the University will manage data stewardship issues such as transparency, consent, ethics, privacy and access, retention and disposal of data in line with these principles and purposes.

Learning analytics has been defined as ‘the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimising learning and the environments in which it occurs’ (Society for Learning Analytics Research, 2012).

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Header image: Policy by Nick Youngson, CC BY-SA 3.0, Alpha Stock Images