Coronavirus (COVID-19): Supporting our Members

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our way of living and working. We know that universities need to be able to rely on valuable teaching and learning resources during this period of unprecedented change. We are undertaking the following initiatives to help the education sector move to online teaching.

BoB – Free trial

BoB is Learning on Screen’s on demand TV and radio service for education. BoB’s academic-friendly and focused system allows staff and students, at subscribing institutions, to record programmes from over 75 free-to-air channels; and search our archive of over 2.2 million broadcasts dating back as far as the 1950s. To help UK educational institutions shift to online teaching, we are offering a free trial of BoB until the 31st of July*. To sign up to the free trial, please email the BoB team at

Bob Roaming

We have opened up our 'BoB Roaming' service for all universities using BoB for no extra cost, until the end of July. Students from subscribing institutions who have returned to any EU Member State can now access BoB until the end of July.

UK university students who have returned home overseas due to the pandemic can now access BBC News Channel too. International students enrolled at UK universities but currently continuing their studies overseas due to the Covid-19 crisis can temporarily access the BBC News Channel via BoB, the UK streaming service for education, for the very first time. with more programmes hopefully being added in the future.

For more on this development please click here

COVID-19 Broadcast Media Recording

As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic develops it is becoming clear that in addition to presenting the most challenging global public health emergency in the post-war period, its political and economic fallout will likely be felt decades from now. For researchers engaging with the meaning of these events understanding the unfolding media narrative will be central to investigating how the crisis has been publicly perceived and constructed. As such, Learning on Screen is expanding its broadcast media recording service (BoB) to document the coverage. In addition to our 24/7 automatic recording of BBC1, BBC2, BBC4, ITV1, Channel 4, Channel 5, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 4 Extra we are now recording the entirety of the BBC News 24 and Sky News output. We are also undertaking a close monitoring of all Freeview channels to ensure news and current affairs programming related to events is recorded, and, over the coming weeks, progressively extending the number of days users can view and request broadcasts from the BoB Electronic Programme Guide to forty days.

Teaching resources

To support lecturers and students in the process of adapting to online teaching, we have created a new Teaching Resources section on our website offering BoB playlists that are curated and constantly updated by academics from different disciplines. We hope these will offer inspiration and enrich your online classes.

Online copyright courses

Moving to online teaching presents various challenges, including those posed by copyright law. To help teachers and academics make informed decisions on copyright issues related to lawfully accessing, using and producing creative works within and beyond educational settings, we are offering new online copyright courses and sessions: which are free to book for our members.

What else can we do to help?

These are the immediate actions we have taken to respond to the crisis. If you have any suggestions on what else we could do to help the education sector during these difficult times, or you would like to assist our efforts please let us know at:

*Please note that educational institutions must hold an ERA licence to sign up to the free trial.