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Accessing digital tools: Core, Supported and Managed Use

Coventry University Group provides access to a wide range of Digital Teaching and Learning Tools to help its educators deliver outstanding student experiences. On this knowledge base, you’ll find an article about each tool to help you understand what it is and how you might use it along with its status as either a Core, Supported or Managed Use tool.

This page will explain the key differences between Core, Supported and Managed Use tools in the EdTech Ecosystem.

A diagram of the range of EdTech tools of the Coventry University Group – from https://cto.coventry.ac.uk/architecture/csa/applications/learning-ecosystem.html

To help you make decisions about what approach to use with your students, the tools have been divided into the following categories:

  • Core
  • Supported
  • Managed Use

We’ll take a look at what each one means to help decide which tools are right for you.

Core tools

Certain tools are well-integrated with Aula and, according to the diagram above, “central to teaching and learning” and “considered vital to our delivery”. If a tool is marked as Core, then you can have confidence over the following:

  • You’ll be able to access the tool – typically with your single sign on (SSO) credentials
  • Your students will be able to access a corresponding version of the tool
  • Embedding or linking into Aula will be possible
  • Help from ITS or a member of the Learning Enhancement Team (LET) will be available if you get stuck

When should you use Core tools?

Core tools should be your first choice as they’re widely available, well-supported and easy to access. However, they don’t cover all use cases, which is where the other categories come in.

List of all Core tools in the EdTech Ecosystem

Supported tools

While Core tools are the first place to look, you may find that your module has some more specific needs that require a different approach. Luckily, other help is available.

A Supported tool may or may not integrate seamlessly with Aula, but it might offer the functionality you need to get the job done. With Supported tools, you can be confident of the following:

  • You’ll almost certainly be able to access the tool – either via Single Sign On or with the help of someone from the LET
  • Help from ITS or the LET will be available if you get stuck

When should you use Supported tools?

Supported tools offer a few more possibilities than the suite of Core tools alone, so you should look to see how they might offer your students a better experience. You’ll likely be able to access the tools and receive support if you get stuck. While they may or may not integrate closely with Aula, you’ll very likely be able to insert links in Aula to content created with a Supported tool, so using them shouldn’t be an issue for you.

List of Supported tools in the EdTech Ecosystem

Managed Use tools

For more custom experiences or niche use cases, nothing in the Core or Supported categories will do. This is where Managed Use tools come in.

With Managed Use tools in our EdTech Ecosystem, you may or may not have access to them – it depends on whether the tool is free or whether your part of the university group has obtained a licence for you (be it a school, faculty or campus/subsidiary). This is because either a group-wide licence hasn’t been obtained for the tool, or such a licence isn’t required to use it.

Also, it’s possible that Managed Use tools might be used in such a way that infringes on the group’s Social Media Policy and supporting guidelines, so you’re asked to inform your Associate Head (Student Experience) when using these tools in your module.

When to use a Managed Use tool

Use these tools whenever your school/faculty/subsidiary has indicated you need extra functionality that can’t be supplied with the tools in the Core or Supported categories. Just make sure that you’re using them appropriately and that the right people are contacted before you use them.

List of Managed Use tools

About the author(s)

  • Noah Mitchell

    I work at Coventry University's Disruptive Media Learning Lab where I focus on digital projects such as Coventry.Domains. I'm passionate about digital fluency, design and user experience.

Updated on January 14, 2021

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