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Inbuilt provision

Where a Faculty or Department has their own established alternative methods of presenting information to students, for example using Moodle, it may be appropriate to build content note provision into the system. The principles of providing as much specific information as possible, both as to the content and the particular items of material to which the note pertains, should be followed.

In addition, the content notes should be presented somewhere students in general are expected to access, rather than being placed in a location where the majority of students are unlikely to see them, or which places a large additional administrative burden on disabled students.


Non-explicit provision

It is also possible to fulfil the practical purpose of content notes without approaching them in these explicit terms, through the use of alternative methods of ensuring students are pre-warned about potentially sensitive content. This may already be embedded in policy and practice.

This approach is simplest in courses which are more 'information-based' than 'text-based', such as many STEMM courses, as a focus on taught material rather than (for example) literary texts means that the chance of unrelated, unexpected triggering material arising is less significant. For example, a policy from one Department:

Advanced knowledge of lecture content is provided to students in a number of ways. Firstly, the module title defines the broad areas to be covered. Each lecture series is accompanied by lecture-by-lecture synopses that give a more detailed indication of content.

Finally, we have a policy that lecture notes are supplied to students in advance so that they are able to pre-view detailed content in advance of attending the lecture.

This approach by one Department is a perfectly sound means of achieving the goal of content notes, provided that it functions smoothly in practice - i.e. that lectures are routinely uploaded in advance, that students find the lecture synopses to provide them with adequate information, etc - and that students are given opportunities to provide feedback and are encouraged to reach out if their needs are not being met.

You may also wish to use alternative language to present content notes in any context, such as 'synopsis of themes' or simply 'this lecture will cover...'. This is perfectly fine to do, and you should use whatever language you feel is appropriate; the important thing is that content notes are provided in some form.


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