Your Digital Tattoo: What the web says about you! – For Staff

DT_square_smallIs how you present yourselves online important? When people search for information about you what might they find, and how does that affect your reputation and employability? How can you take control of what people can find about you online?

Over the last few years we’ve spoken with hundreds of Edge Hill students about issues these questions bring up, and we’ve helped many to develop their online presence to make it look more professional. Now it’s your turn to look at your own online presence, your ‘digital tattoo’ as some call it, and to think about how you could talk about this important subject with your own students.

We’re running a session on Thursday 5th March 2015 from 12:00-1:00pm, in the LINC ICT Training Room (room G2 on the ground floor).

Please book on the session via the Staff Learning and Development booking system.

Quotes from previous attendees:

  • “I think this is a session that everyone can benefit from and provides useful information that we can pass on to students with regards to developing a positive online presence.”
  • “I really enjoyed the opportunity to discuss the elements of this presentation / session and the potential impact for myself and the student experience. A thought provoking session”

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Peter Beaumont
Learning Technology Development Officer

New Bristol Online Surveys (BOS) is coming this February 2015

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The new version of BOS is coming this February 2015. Please refer to my earlier blog to catch up on the new and enhanced features which are coming with the upgrade: http://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/learningedge/?p=3721 

The migration dates are confirmed as follows:

Wednesday 25th February & Thursday 26th February 2015.

Please note – there will be no access to the BOS survey tool on these dates.

If a survey respondent attempts to access a survey on these dates they will receive an automatic message advising them to return to the survey link later (it will not specify a date).  Consequently, if you have a survey which is open during the two migration dates above, you may choose to notify your survey audience that your survey will not be accessible on these two dates.

Normal service will resume on Friday 27th February 2015.

What to do next:

I would advise you to log into your BOS account to check your contact details are correct. Once your account is migrated you will receive an email invitation from BOS with an account activation link. You will need to complete this step to validate your account and to choose a new password.

The new version of BOS uses email addresses as the username.

Please remember that any unlaunched surveys with a closing date that is two or more years in the past will not be migrated. If you want to keep that survey, you can edit the closing date to ensure the survey is moved across.

It is worth noting that if you are collecting personal information about individuals, you have a number of legal obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998. Principle 5 of the Data Protection Act is particularly pertinent here:

“Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.”

If you don’t have any specific reasons to hold on to the data, then it should be deleted. For more information about your data protection responsibilities see the ICO’s Guide to Data Protection.

 Final points to remember:

All your existing survey links will still work by being redirected to the new location, and do not hesitate to contact me at ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk or via the phone on 01695 650754 for any further questions or support and guidance following the migration.

 

nina_unsworth Nina Unsworth

LTD Operations Coordinator

 

 

Too good to ignore!

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Users of Learning Edge! We have an exciting new addition to the family!

Ok, so it might not be the most exciting thing for some, but we will shortly be switching on a fantastic new tool within Learning Edge to help make your academic communication easier between staff and students.

Qwickly is a tool used to streamline some of those monotonous processes that we’ve heard have been grinding the gears of Learning Edge instructors for sometime…

So what does it do exactly?

Well, this is the good bit… You know all those times that you have to go into each course or module, one at a time, and sometimes create the same announcement? Well, no longer! Qwickly allows you to create one announcement and send it to multiple courses in one click!  Qwickly knows which courses and modules you’re enrolled in and will allow you to select it from a list, create your announcement and send – It’s that easy!

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But wait! That’s not all!

That annoying quirk of trying to remember which course or modules you’ve released to students? Yes! It’s now even easier to do a quick check of which one’s are available and which one’s aren’t and with the click of a button release it to students.

And finally!

You will also be able to send an email to students in multiple courses or modules in the same way as the announcements – super quick for those urgent moments.

So is that it?

Not quite… Additionally, you can ‘qwickly’ see how many papers you have still to mark and also customise the tools that you want to see in the control panel, so if you’re not interested in the email function just remove it from the Qwickly list.

Qwickly

Wow! I can’t wait! So when can we have it?

On Monday 9th February Qwickly will be launched to all members of staff using Learning Edge.  You’ll be able to see the panel at the bottom of your course list on the Home tab.  Sorry it’s all the way down there but we didn’t want it to interfere with any other panels that you can see in the 1st and 3rd columns of your Learning Edge Home tab.

An important note:

Please use this tool responsibly! Please remember that whatever you do has an instant effect.  If you send an announcement, all those students will receive it instantly, this is the same with email.  Once it’s been sent we cannot retrieve it! So please don’t come crying if you send it to the wrong students.

Remember! Just because you can ‘qwickly’ communicate, doesn’t mean you always should. Before hitting send, ask yourself if an announcement or email is the right way to communicate your message!

Equally, if you ‘test’ the availability button, your students will instantly lose access to that course… so please don’t play with the tools unless you know you definitely want a course released (or hidden!)

If you want to see some previews of Qwickly or would like to learn more take a look at these help videos to get a flavour of how easy it is to use.  You can also find out more information in the FAQ area

*Hot hint*

If you don’t want to scroll down a massively long list of courses to get to the Qwickly panel, do you know about tidying up your course list? You can access the guide on how to do this here or watch a video about it here. You can also eliminate seeing the list of instructors should you wish, which saves vital pixel space on the page!

And if you’re feeling really kind, you might want to let your students know about the course list tidying up – it probably annoys them still seeing their 1st year modules when they’re nearing the end of 3rd year as much as it annoys you!

So that’s it! We’re looking forward to switching this tool on and hope you’re looking forward to it too.  Get in touch with LTD if you would like any further details.  We’re more than happy to answer any queries you may have.

If you like, leave a comment on this blog post so you can share your views.

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David Callaghan
Learning Technology Development Officer (FoE)

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Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer (FAS)

Technologies are an “absolute lifeline” for our students!

Blackboard Collaborate and discussion forums help build community and meet students’ emotional and learning needs.

Readers of this Learning Edge blog will be familiar with our Best of TEL series, where we invite colleagues from across the university to guest author posts about their practice, to inform and inspire others. This post has a guest author, but is slightly different, as this time we hear from one of our recent graduates.

Lisa Corcoran, a student on the BA (Hons) Teaching, Learning and Mentoring Practice in 2012-13 and talks about her experience of the TMP3000 Work-Based Research module which incorporated the use of discussion forums and weekly webinars via Blackboard Collaborate:

“Distance learning for me was a very isolating experience, TMP3000 was the final milestone of a long and arduous journey. At times the daily slog of work, family and study seemed relentless with no light at the end of the tunnel. I was at the end of four years study and had found communication a barrier in most of the other modules I had completed.

I think universities who offer distance learning don’t always consider these emotional factors, Edge Hill certainly offered great resources in terms of its library postal service, taster days and written material. But nothing compares to human contact and being able to have that reassurance that you are on the right track.

Whilst completing TMP3000 my feelings are that the communication and support was outstanding and as a learning community we all came together in the final hour though the discussion boards and the webinar to support each other. That learning community was only facilitated because of those discussion boards and webinars, for some people it was an absolute lifeline and the importance should not be underestimated as very important emotional needs and learning needs were met daily on those discussion boards.

On a personal note the webinar sessions were most helpful, the experience I was having with distance learning was very abstract and the webinar made it a concrete tangible process which brought about a change in my state of mind that yes I was on the right track, yes other people were feeling the same way and yes there was somebody there (David) to reaffirm I wasn’t going mad.

I cannot emphasise how important it was for me to take part in live discussions without the misinterpretation of email and the long text, to be able to speak rather than type a question and be part of a discussion with real live people. The experience for me was absolutely invaluable on every level and absolutely without a doubt was a contributing factor to achieving a first class honours.”

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Lisa’s story powerfully illustrates the positive effect that technology can have.  Her words describe how the use of technologies, and particularly the web conferencing tool, helped connect her with her fellow students and tutor, and offered ‘human contact’, which addressed her need for emotional support during learning.

At Edge Hill we have built up a critical mass of good practice that can be accessed by staff who are thinking of incorporating these technologies into their courses. If you have been inspired and would like to learn more your Learning Technologist can help.

You are also invited to join a Developing Digital Excellence staff development session:

…and you have access to a wide range of user guides on eShare:

If you enjoyed this post, you might also be interested in some of our previous Best of TEL guest entries:

Turnitin Grades – What Has Been Seen Cannot Be Unseen!

It’s that time again… marking.

Very few would actually admit to enjoying marking reams of students’ work right after the Christmas break but it is a necessary (evil) task.

And to make things worse, students seem to be finding their grades out early! How on Earth did that happen? You’ve done everything you thought you needed to, so how are they getting them!?

Yes, the process to hide grades and marks from students is a little convoluted. Ideally we’d have a single button that we could use to hide and then un-hide whenever we want (or even better, on a specific date!) but alas, no such magic exists… yet.  Whilst we await with fingers crossed for a better way, there are a couple of things you need to do now to get it right.

Here’s our top 5 tips for hiding grades:

  1. Remember the Post Date (This is the date on which TURNITIN gives access to any marks and comments you have left via the Turnitin Grade Mark feature).
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  2. Remember the option (within Optional Settings when setting up Turnitin) for ‘Reveal grades to students only on post date? > YES
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  3. Remember to hide the relevant column in the Grade Centre also (Turnitin is a separate programme to Blackboard, so don’t forget that not only do you have to hide in Turnitin, but also in Blackboard!)
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  4. Check that the grade isn’t being fed through to another column that ISN’T hidden! For example Total or Weighted Total column.
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  5. The final one that can be very annoying… if you forget to hide the grades until after you’ve entered marks, then even if you hide the columns retrospectively, if a student has already been in and seen their grade then it may have ‘cached’ on their web browser so regardless of what you do, they’ll still get to it!

If you have any questions at all about this information get in touch with your local friendly Learning Technologist for your department who will be more than happy to help our with any queries or niggles you may have with using Turnitin or Blackboard (or any other learning technology for that matter!)

Oh, still here? Excellent! How about a few more nuggets of information about online submissions?

  • Remember that Turnitin is an individual tool for checking originality in writing.  You don’t need to use it for Images, Videos, Audio, most presentations, or other work that is not predominantly text.  It’s also not designed to take group submissions, unless one person is submitting on everyone’s behalf and you know who that person is!
  • If you genuinely have a group submission, consider using the Blackboard Assignment tool which does allow submission by group (which you can also set up in Blackboard)
  • Also use Blackboard Assignment for ‘other’ file types.  Turnitin only like text files, so if you are submitting a file of a more unusual type, use Bb Assignment
  • Also with that in mind, Blackboard Assignment allows multiple file submissions – so may well be the best option if you are expecting more than one file from students.
  • Remember that Turnitin only accepts files up to 20mb in size!  Any bigger and it will be rejected!
  • Turnitin GradeMark is marking online – don’t forget that you can lose your comments if your connection is flaky (e.g. wireless) as the connection to the server will drop.  It’s probably best to make notes offline and then copy and paste them in to ensure there are no tears at the end of an epic marking sesh!
  • You can ‘navigate’ through students’ submission when marking using the arrows at the top of the page (this goes for Turnitin and Bb Assignment).
  • Don’t forget you can always download work if you find it easier for marking, or need to work offline.  Turnitin won’t allow you to upload a marked paper – so remember to make those comments so you can copy and paste, but Bb Assignment does, so you may wish to consider changing your assignment submission method.
  • It’s worth noting that we have a new feature in Blackboard Assignment called ‘Safe Assign‘.  This is an emerging originality checking tool that may in time replace Turnitin.  If you fancy giving it a go (possibly on a submission that’s not critical to having Turnitin features) then feel free to check it out in your Test Course or come and have a chat with LTD!

Carol_Chatten

 

 

Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer

Students, technology and study – still time to have your say!

The 6th EHU student eLearning Survey is an important means of gathering large-scale, detailed feedback on how students experience technology in teaching and learning. Past surveys have contributed massively to our development and support of technology-enhanced learning. The current survey has a couple more weeks to run but the responses already reveal interesting trends that I thought worth sharing. Do these reflect your own experiences? There is still time to complete the survey at http://surveys.edgehill.ac.uk/elearning_2014 (and be in with a chance of winning up to £100 in Amazon vouchers).

Trend 1. Mobile devices are essential tools to support your studies

This isn’t really surprising when you think that your smart phone has more computing power than Apollo 11 when it landed a man on the moon. Apart from money, your phone is the one thing you probably won’t leave home without. Survey responses so far tell us that smart phone access to Learning Edge now seems to be a mainstream activity for accessing notifications, presentations and course content. Just under a quarter of you are using Apps to support study – RefMe, PC Availability, Dropbox, Socrative, barcode scanners and note-making apps to name a few.

Table 1 shows how mobile access to Learning Edge has increased year on year alongside other activities. Table 2 shows the types of devices that are being brought onto campus (%).

Table 2. Devices students bring onto campus.

Table 2

 

Table 1. How students use mobile devices for study

Table 1

 

 

 

 

 

Trend 2: Accessing Learning Edge on and off-campus is a much-improved experience

The 2012/13 survey revealed fewer number of you were experiencing technical difficulties when using Learning Edge on and off campus – but oddly, the most dramatic improvement was in the reduction of off campus technical difficulties.

This prompted us to take a fresh look at on-campus access to Learning Edge and I’m pleased to say that it looks like the many #getconnected roadshows and promotion of Eduroam for reliable WIFI access on campus have had a big impact. Early data from the current survey shows a significant improvement in your on campus access to Learning Edge as illustrated by tables 3 and 4.

on campus access to Eearning Edge

Table 3

 

Off campus access to Learning Edge

Table 4

 

 

 

 

 

Trend 3. Learning Edge is essential for 27/7/365 access to your course

Past surveys told us that each year more of you agree with the statement that Learning Edge enhances knowledge and understanding gained at taught sessions. Early indications are that this year is no different – but with a pleasing improvement on 2012/13. There has been a similar improvement in the response to the statement ‘my tutors regularly update Learning Edge with course information and materials –currently 93.4% of student responses agree with this statement (tables 5 and 6 illustrate).

Table 5. tutors regularly update Learning Edge

Table 5

 

Table 6. Learning Edge enhances my learning

Table 6

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst much data has been obtained by this survey so far, it is important to capture the widest sample of experiences and feedback possible. This isn’t a vanity exercise – although praise is always welcomed. As well as the good, we also welcome the bad and downright ugly! This survey is an important part of our commitment to keep listening to you so we can continue improve year on year on what we do.

Lindsey Martin Assitant Head of Learning Services

 

 

Lindsey Martin, Assistant Head of Learning Services (Learning, ICT & Media Technologies)

 

 

Keep Calm and Submit this Christmas

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Christmas comes around quick doesn’t it!? One minute you’re moving in to halls for the term, the next you’re back off for a fortnight!

It’s hard work being a student but before you pack your Christmas hat, XBox and onesie don’t forget your end of term submissions!

We’ve drawn together some good practice to ensure that your submissions over the next week (or so) go as smoothly as you could possibly wish for. There are always chances of uncertainty, but with a little thought and preparation (like a good Christmas present) you’ll be riding as high as Father Christmas himself as opposed to slipping up on black ice.

1. On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

…advice on where to submit your work

Your first port of call for help with submission should always be your tutor.  They know where the submission dropbox is in Learning Edge and will be able to point you in the right direction.  Please ensure you follow any guidelines you have been provided with.

Keep your tutor informed of any problems you may have, especially in the days leading up to a deadline – it helps them to keep track of your progress and ensures they can help you quickly if need arises.  If you can’t get hold of your tutor, give your departmental administrators a visit.

 

2. On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

…two places to get help (Twitter and Ask Us!)

Have you ever encountered a Learning Edge or Turnitin issue during submission? If you think this could be system related, we do have preferred Twitter feeds for you to follow that will highlight any known issues:

@EdgeHillVLE provides scheduled Learning Edge maintenance alerts and up to date system notices around different technologies used within the VLE such as Turnitin.

@Turnitinstatus is the official feed for Turnitin system status, you may find that Learning Edge is fine but Turnitin is unavailable.  Checking this feed will help you diagnose an issue with Turnitin submissions.

Let’s say everything is OK technically and you have an issue around the online submission process and Learning Edge? A good starting point would be to head over to the Ask Us service and see if your question can be answered here. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, you can simply type your question and we will discuss it with you in real time using our live chat facility.

 

3. On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

…three web browsers

Why is it you get a technical problem right at a critical moment?  If you have given yourself time, you should be able to try another PC if you run into problems. We know that anything could happen at any moment; internet dropping out, PC crashing, wireless not connecting the list goes on, so give yourself a break and some time to try out another computer – in university, in work or even your mate’s PC. If it’s just not happening for you, see the first point (keeping in touch with your tutor).

One quick solution could be to try a different browser.  The common ones are Internet Explorer (10+), Firefox and Chrome (although you may wish to try Safari on a Mac).

Often, tutors will allow multiple submissions to an online drop-box, so you may be able to use this to your advantage. Check with your tutor and if this is the case, try submitting your work, even if not quite finished yet, to the drop-box a few days before the deadline just so you’re up to speed with the process before your final submission.
Waiting until 1 minute before the deadline isn’t the time to start figuring out how everything works!

 

4. On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

… (twenty) four hours

It may come to the time of doing your ‘final’ submission but if in Turnitin you have submitted an earlier version you will find that when you submit again everything looks the same…at least for 24 hours. You will have to wait until the next day to see your new originality report and the preview of your updated document – another good reason to be organised and get your work in handy! tiiRemember at the second stage of submitting to Turnitin you can check what you are about to submit just to be certain you’ve attached the right file.

 

5. On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

… FIVE VIDEOS!

 How do I submit  HOW DO I SUBMIT?
 How do I save my digital receipt  HOW DO I SAVE MY DIGITAL RECIEPT?
 Viewing your Turnitin Report (in Turnitin)  HOW DO I SAVE MY REPORT?
 How do I save my report  VIEWING YOUR REPORT
 Viewing your mark and feedback VIEWING YOUR MARK AND FEEDBACK (if your tutor marks online)

 

We know that when that deadline is approaching it’ll be stressful enough without unexpected niggles, so try not to leave your submission till the last minute. This echoes all points above but if done correctly will ensure the final moments before you click ‘Submit’ will be as stress-less as possible.

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Once all done, sit back, put your feet up with a nice cuppa and enjoy your Christmas holiday. Remember, if you have any problems Keep Calm and Ask Us!

 

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Mark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer

 

 

Carol_Chatten

Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer

The 6th Student eLearning Survey (and Prize Draw)

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Where does the time go? The sixth EHU student eLearning survey is now live. Telling us your experiences and expectations of the technology you use to support your learning helps us to understand what works and what doesn’t.

The survey isn’t just a tick box exercise, it drives change – as well as the good, we want to know the bad and the downright ugly so we can continue to improve the features, access and support of EHU systems like the Learning Edge virtual learning environment. Since the last survey we have, amongst other things, dramatically improved the look and feel of Learning Edge based on your feedback – including 1-click access to its home page from the Go Portal and enabled access to your subject library resources.

If you are an Edge Hill student, please (please!) complete our survey. We realise that your time is precious – especially with end of term assignment deadlines looming – and so we have added a sweetener of a prize draw of  £100, £50 and  £25 Amazon vouchers.

The survey may be accessed from the home page of Blackboard, or direct from http://surveys.edgehill.ac.uk/elearning_2014. We plan to close the survey on 23rd January 2015 and in the meantime, we look forward to hearing from you …

Lindsey Martin Assitant Head of Learning Services

 

 

Lindsey Martin, Assistant Head of Learning Services (Learning, ICT & Media Technologies)

What Does Your Blackboard Course Look Like to Students?

The Enter Student Preview buttonAcademics sometimes want to check what students can see and do within their Blackboard Courses. One way to see a student view is to select the ‘Enter Student Preview’ button at the top right of the screen.

An alternative is to set up a student account for long term use. This can be done using the ‘Add Test Student’ tool, which is available from Course Tools in the Control Panel.

The short video below talks you through the options.

Viewing Your Blackboard Course as a Student video

Test link

Using Classroom Voting Systems

Optivote HandsetsLearning Services have been supporting the use of the Optivote and TurningPoint classroom voting systems over the last eight years. Recently the sets have been moved from the Learning Technology Development offices in the LINC to the University Library.

This change means that the systems can now be booked via the Loaning Equipment page on the Learning Services Wiki and you will need to go to the Ground Floor helpdesk in the University Library at Ormskirk to collect and return the sets.

Please get in touch with us in Learning Technology Development if you need any help or guidance on the use of the systems. Our contact details and our voting system guides are available on eShare.

Finally, if you are interested in using these systems you might enjoy the recent post by Elaine Hughes about her experiences using Optivote, and I’ve recently put together a video looking at the use of Kahoot as an example of a system that allows the use of student mobile devices.