Learning Services is holding a two-hour Fixathon 12-2pm (19th May), in person from the Catalyst ‘Oak Room’ and online via web conference, where you can drop in, ask questions about accessibility and bring any documents you want to work on.
Are you up for the challenge?
Get involved by making improvements to your content during ‘Fix Your Content Day’. Simply click where you see the red, orange or green Ally indicators next to the content you share with your students and follow the guidance to make those positive changes.
When the clock strikes May 19th in the first time zone on Earth (Kiribati), the global leaderboard is launched and the competition begins.
Leveraging usage data from Blackboard Ally, the Leaderboard ranks each participating institution by their total number of files improved out of their total number of students and also tallies the total number of files improved across all Blackboard Ally users over the 24 hours.
Earlier posts may help you on your accessibility journey.
to “reduce the burden of creating new content” (Chapter 1)
to help students learn to use audio editing software that the teacher was not familiar with (Chapter 2)
to replace ‘click-and-follow’ demos in class which weren’t working well (Chapter 3)
as a framework for student-led courses. This involved identifying knowledge gaps, looking at available resources, deciding on an area of focus, and developing a curriculum and study plan based on this (Chapter 7).
In Chapter 6 ‘Exemplary Practices for Integrating LinkedIn Learning Video Assets in Online Post-Secondary Courses’, Amanda Baker Robinson advises on three stages of using the videos with students, i.e. preparation, integration and consolidation.
Automatic captions can offer students a means to engage with academic content, the resulting editable captions can be improved so that recordings are meaningful to users.
It is important to note that automated captions are not entirely accurate and are not a substitute where communication support is required.
Five Student Advisors volunteered to try the new Caption.Ed app in ways that helps and supports them through their studies.
This is what our students had to say about Caption.Ed and how they are using it not only to generate captions, but also to create an editable transcript of a recording or live session, they also liked how simple Caption.Ed is to set up and use.
Callie is in the 3rd year of her BA (Hons) History with Politics degree. Callie used Caption.Ed during lectures to capture a transcript of what her tutor was saying. She described to us how it enabled her to fully listen to the lecture, knowing that Caption.Ed was working in the background capturing the transcript. “This meant I could fully listen to the content rather than desperately trying to note everything down”.
Alex is a third year BSc (Hons) Geography & Geology student. Alex used Caption.Ed to add captions to YouTube videos where the auto captioning feature may have not been accurate and also for online lectures. When asked about the benefits of the desktop and browser app his response was:“The desktop app can be used to caption any video, not just something in a specific browser which means its possibilities are endless…..The browser app is very useful due to its pure ease of access, once pinned in the top right hand side of your screen it can be used to caption anything within the browser almost instantly.”
Laura is studying MA English and Nineteenth-Century Studies. Laura used Caption.Ed to provide transcripts of meetings. She found this really helpful in preparing her research notes and found the timestamps particularly beneficial. When asked how Caption.Ed supported her studies Laura commented:“It also saves excessive notetaking, which would be handy in seminars/lectures.”
Is a third year BA Hons (Film and Television Production) Student. Maya used Caption.Ed to generate captions to add to films that she had produced in her course. Maya loved using the browser version and commented how the software is “Very clear and easy to use with quick results.”
Paula is studying her third year BSc (Hons) in Psychology. Paula used Caption.Ed to transcribe interviews which was part of her dissertation. She described to us how it really cut down her usual process of doing this and asked if she would recommend Caption.Ed to other students her response was:“Definitely, I think it is a really worthwhile tool and I will be using it in the future”.
“Members can login to TRILT with their institutional login and make an enquiry about a historical BBC broadcast by emailing the TRILT URL to the services team: [email protected]“
Two: Make Clips from Sections of Broadcasts using BoB
Three: Request Copies of Broadcasts as an MP4, MP3, or on DVD
As an example we’ve had requests for an MP4 version of a sports event so it could be analysed with software.
Four: Create Playlists of Videos Using BoB
Five: Get Notifications of Upcoming Broadcasts
Television and Radio Index for Learning and Teaching (TRILT) allows you to request email alerts for forthcoming programmes up to 10 days in advance of their broadcast. This helps ensure that you don’t miss the chance to record useful programmes.
To set an alert up, go to TRILT, click on ‘Sign in’ at the top right of the screen, and log in as you would to BoB.
Choose ‘Auto Alerts’ from the menu on the left hand side.
On the Auto Alerts page you can use the ‘set up your email address’ to set your preferences for the computing device you are on now. You can then save Auto Alerts which will be emailed to you on a selected day of the week.
If the programme is broadcast on one of the channels that BoB records, you can then make a note to log in to BoB to search for it and request that it is saved.
Six: Access films you were struggling to get hold of
While the TV broadcasts are sometimes edited, it may be your only free (legal) option. I’m tempted to say that it’s one of the few places where you can see a pre-special edition version of Star Wars, but the quality is too poor for you to get your hopes up. I can honestly claim that you’ll be getting the experience I got when watching it for the first time as a kid.
The group tool in Blackboard has been around for a while but did you know it can be used for more than just giving students access to group tools? Groups can also help you control access to content items and make lots of admin tasks so much quicker too!
Below we have picked out the top 5 reasons why you will find Groups a useful tool…
1. Student Collaboration
Groups allow students to collaborate using various features and tools within Blackboard, such as discussion boards, journals and Blackboard Collaborate. Think of a group as a room which you populate with various tools and only the members of that group have access to these tools.
To do this, simply create your groups and choose which tools you would like them to access. For example, you might want different groups of students to work together on different topics in their own Discussion Board. Only the members of the group and the instructor can view the content so it’s safe and private for them.
2. Using groups with Blackboard Collaborate for Break Out Rooms
You can now use Groups created in your course or module to auto-create groups for breakout rooms in Collaborate, which will save you time when in the flow of teaching.
Students can stay in their same groups without any extra work for the tutor or facilitator however there is also flexibility for the tutor to adjust groups as needed during the session without altering the groups in Blackboard.
When you start a breakout group (Open the Share panel and select Breakout Groups), go to the Assign Groups menu and select Course Group Set. Choose the set of groups you want to use and start the breakout.
N.B. You can only use group sets (not standalone groups).
3.Using with Tests & Adaptive Release for Content
Tests are often time and date limited. Groups are an easy way to give certain students a different set of constraints to the rest of the class. For example if a number of students have special dispensation for an extra 25% time, putting these students into a group saves you having to manually enter them one-by-one every time you create a Test.
In this scenario, once you have created your group & created and deployed your Test, follow the steps below:
Find the Test and use the chevron to open the Context menu.
Select Edit the Test Options.
On the Test Options page, scroll down to the area labelled Test Availability Exemptions and click Add User or Group.
On the Add User or Group page put a checkmark next the group you want to apply and click submit in the bottom right hand corner.
You can also use Groups with Adaptive Release to control how content is released to Students. Simply click on the grey chevron next to an item title and select Adaptive Release (or Adaptive Release Advanced).
In Adaptive Release, scroll down to Membership and select the groups you want to view the content. Once a Membership criterion is created only those specified will be ale to view the content.
4. Self-Signup for picking a topic
You may be running several sessions and want students to pick a topic or session time to attend. You can manage this by creating self-signup groups where students add themselves to a group rather than being allocated. This might be a group set or single groups depending on the situation. Students get to make their own choice and you can limit the maximum number of students selecting each group. Note, you can tweak the groups if you need to move students around!
You can use ‘Smart Views’ to help filter the Grade Centre screen to only see certain students or groups of students.
Create the Smart Views whilst creating the group or at any other time by following the below instructions:
How to Create a Smart View
From your course Control Panel expand the Users and Groups section and click on Groups.
You are presented with a list of the groups set up on your course.
Place ticks in the tick boxes beside any groups for which you wish to create Smart Views.
Hover your mouse pointer over the Bulk Actions button and choose Create Smart View for Group.
Once a Smart View is set up you can apply it to the Grade Centre.
Using Smart Views to Filter the Grade Centre
From your course Control Panel open the Grade Centre
Select Manage – Smart Views.
You will be presented with a list of any existing Smart Views. From here you can edit, copy, delete or favourite a smart view (‘Favourite’ smart views will appear as short cuts within the Grade Centre menu under Control Panel).
To create a new smart view, click Create Smart View.
Enter a name and description. If you tick ‘Add as Favourite’ it will appear with the Control Panel for easy access.
For the purpose of this exercise select Course Group – this will show selected groups that have been set up in your course.
Select which data should be shown in the view by selecting Filter Results from the down menu.
Click on Submit to finish.
You only need to do the above once. Now that the Smart View is created you can view it from the Grade Centre by clicking on the Filter button.
**Do not set a custom Smart View to be the default view – if a student drops out of the course the view will become inaccessible and you will locked out of the Grade Centre.
Caption.Ed is a real-time automatic captioning tool for live online events, recorded media and operates cross-platforms. Caption.Ed works on your desktop (Windows and Mac) and in your browser.
Why do I need Caption.Ed?
Captions are useful for everyone, to aid understanding, help you retain focus and might help if you’re accessing video content in noisy environments.
Learning Services has invested in Caption.Ed so that students can have a free account.
What makes Caption.Ed standout from similar services?
Ease of use, it works within your browser, improved accuracy, select specific dictionaries such as Social Sciences and Law, Health and Life Sciences, change how your captions appear to you by choosing a suitable text size and theme.
Situations Caption.Ed can be used, In including live teaching sessions on Blackboard Collaborate, YouTube and when videos have no captions, where captions are available but they’re inaccurate and for reviewing a video on a module in Blackboard.
Caption.Ed also produces a transcript you can download and edit to support your own note-taking strategy.
It really does not feel like it’s been 9 weeks of this internship. It pains me to say, in 4 more weeks this internship will be over. However, I always try to look at the positive side of things, when this internship is over I will have made a massive positive impact on the module areas on Blackboard for my department, learning episodes will have been created, the accessibility rating of each module will have been improved, tutorial videos created for how to download specialist software, a navigation video of how to navigate around the Blackboard module areas and improved the captioning of the lectures.
Overall, I cannot wait to get started with this week. Keep on reading to find exciting, events that happened throughout the week.
I woke up on a lovely Monday morning, with a cup of Coffee at hand – I prefer my coffee with milk. I opened my laptop at 8:45 and got started with today’s task. I feel that accessibility is extremely important because no students will be at a disadvantage of learning the content on Microsoft Word documents, PowerPoints (Where the lectures and seminars are created) and on Portable Document Format (PDF)s – that was this morning’s focus. Whilst doing it I realised how much progress Andrew (my colleague) and I have made on accessibility -everything is now 90% or more accessible and I am extremely joyful about that! Not only have we done a fantastic job but all of the students will be able to learn the content easily. It just amazing how much of a difference we have made.
For the rest of the day, I focused on learning episodes. Learning episodes is another important aspect to learning because then students will be able to follow a pattern and be able to learn the content in the order the module leader intended the students to follow.
Today has been the busiest day so far!
Some students find it difficult to install the software some modules required to complete the module. So today I had to create an installation video for Anaconda, which is a software used in data science. It uses the programming language Python. To complete this task, I had to learn how the software works. This meant having a play with the software and following the instructions provided in one of the lectures. It took most of the day to create to the video as the software’s installation process required some packages and specific settings.
For the final hour of the day I attended an extremely useful Careers webinar. This one was called ‘Spring into Success – The Graduate Job Interview – What to expect and how to prepare’. I found this incredibly useful because every time I have an interview, I always get a bit nervous. The techniques about reducing stress were great and they shared an important tip to make a plan for travelling to where the interview is going to take place and note down how long it takes you. I also learnt some common mistakes which I am to ensure I avoid in my next interview such as waffling on or saying too little, not drawing on experience, talking too fast or too little.
Motivation is really important whilst you are working. The less motivated you are the quality of work you produce will decrease. Throughout my internship there have been times where I question my motivation. I have two solutions to this. One is take a quick ten minute break (breaks are mega important). You need time to breathe to relax as then your brain is not focusing on work. I normally sit down with a cup of tea and listen to one or two songs. Listening to Carly Rae Jepsen often helps keep my motivation levels up. The other solution is to mix things up and get on with other tasks.
I felt amazing in the morning because my motivation levels have increased significantly from yesterday. Doing the captioning of the lecturers doesn’t just benefit the students and lecturers, it also benefits me as well because I get the chance to learn about topics taught in the Master’s program. The module my colleague and I worked on today is a Masters Dissertation Preparation module – I will be producing a dissertation in my 3rd year.
Proving you have a particular skill is incredibly useful for when you are trying to get a job, because of this I thought it would be extremely useful to spend some time completing a LinkedIn Learning course. One piece of software we all use is Microsoft Word and this LinkedIn Learning course is about learning the basics of Microsoft Word. The course is called Learning Word 2019. So when I’m applying for a job and in the future if the person specification says I need to have knowledge of Microsoft Word then I can show them the certificate to prove it!
Today is the final day of the week. I sat down with a glass of water and turned on my laptop on at 8:45 excited to get on with today’s task. Today my colleague and I decided to continue with the captioning of the lecture slides. This is a very important task to continue with because the current lecture slides needed to be replaced with the accessible template. So this task kept me busy for the rest of the day.
Reflection is an extremely important process because then you can identify your strengths and weaknesses. For me, the skill I want to improve on is my working speed. I am a bit of a perfectionist so this sometimes causes me to be careful in my work because I like to ensure that my work is done correctly. However, the disadvantage to this is I tend to take longer than necessary and I don’t often realise how long the job is taking me. In my reflection I have said my action plan is to time myself in how long I spend on a particular task, that way I will be able to see if I am spending too long on a task and need to move onto the next one.
Overall, I have enjoyed this week a lot and I can’t wait to enjoy the rest of it and help make a difference to some of the module areas that the lecturers will use to teach their students.
Microsoft Innovative Educator is a free service Microsoft offer which offers educators, or even those interested in using technology, certifications to prove they have bettered their learning.
The Microsoft Educator Center offers access to many courses that let you earn professional development credit in the comfort of your home and your own time. Whether you are an educator or anyone looking to enrich your skills to offer your students the best possible learning experience or a student yourself, the Microsoft Educator Center will have activities that will help you improve your use of Office 365, Flipgrid, Microsoft Teams and many more.
Microsoft Educator Center has a variety of different courses and just like LinkedIn Learning, have learning paths you can complete which aims to improve your skills at a particular topic such as the learning path we completed ‘Getting started with Office 365 and Windows for leadership’. This learning path shows how to efficiently organise and communicate frameworks by using the tools the software’s offer. Many of the beginner and intermediate learning paths will also offer recommendations of other learning paths which will help with furthering your knowledge on a particular subject.
What does it offer?
The Microsoft Educator Center also offers badges which will be given once you have completed courses, and these can also be shared with peers or other students to show your achievements. To earn learning path badges, you will need to complete earn all badges within that learning path by completing all the quizzes each course will provide. When 2 hours of courses have been completed, you will also earn the Microsoft Innovative Educator badge which is the first step in becoming a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. The Microsoft Innovative Educator Programs will be further explained below.
Excluding courses and learning paths, the Microsoft Educator Center also offers learning through its resources. Unlike courses and learning paths a resource doesn’t offer badges, what it does offer is resources you can use to further educate yourself on different topics. One resource I found interesting was the ‘Introduction to Excel’ resources, as this offered helpful tips which will increase my efficiency when using Excel in the future.
Microsoft Educator Center also links and post your qualifications onto your LinkedIn profile, where you can show your certifications to potential employers. This is also great as during your interviewing process you can provide certifications of being competent in the required Microsoft office programmes.
What is the Microsoft Innovative Educator Programs and what to do?
The Microsoft Innovative Educator Programs are great and are not necessary for just educators, I am hoping when I go to gain employment after university that these accreditations will stand as I do have the knowledge regarding Microsoft and it’s products that I have stated on my CV.
I found theses course to be educational and engaging. The Microsoft innovate educator courses are online and therefore were easy to fit around my busy schedule.
These courses are mostly videos with an interactive quiz built into the video itself. Therefore, as the video plays along you must follow along within a new document within the website page.
I chose to complete a course pathway first which included “Getting started with OneNote” and “Getting started with Office 365 and Windows” I found these to be simple and faster than the 1 hour time Microsoft had said they would take to complete. I find these useful and there was many hints and tips I did not know about this software.
To gain your Microsoft Innovative Educator badge you need to complete 2 hours training and therefore by passing these courses I had done this. I found some of the learning pathways to be interesting and therefore chose to continue on with these. Below is some of the certifications I have gained through this programme.
By Katie McCarthy and Daniel Bresnahan (Student Interns)
In the world of finding a job, there are many candidates competing against each other for a small pool of jobs. But there is a way that candidates can stand out amongst the crowd…. it’s a handy social media platform called LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a social networking site where you can show off your abilities and network with top professionals from all over the world. It might assist you in landing direct internships and career possibilities by referring you to your network.
To take use of LinkedIn’s power as a student, you’ll need a great LinkedIn profile that can attract the attention of professionals on the platform.
So here’s some steps to create the best LinkedIn profile.
Step 1: Add a profile picture
Did you know that profiles with a picture are 11 times more likely to be clicked on? So first impressions, even online, make a real impact. Don’t forget to make sure the background is clear, and your face is in the centre with nothing obstructing your face.
Here’s an example of the most beautiful profile you’ll ever set your eyes on
Step 2: Create an eye-catching header
A great headline showcases your current position and also your interests, this is the best way to highlight your current area of study and also what you may want to do in the future. So be yourself and show off who you are!
Step 3: Show off how professional you are with a summary
Your summary should include an introduction to yourself as well as an overview of your academic and extracurricular accomplishments.
Here’s an example:
When you’re just starting out in the professional world, it’s a good idea to add industry-specific keywords to your profile summary. Recruiters and hiring managers will be able to locate you more easily in search results as a result of this.
Don’t be afraid to sell yourself and show your best self, you never know when a recruiter comes across your profile and would like to interview you, so having a great summary to present yourself will attract the right people to you.
Step 4: Show off your brilliant mind with your education
Create a list of all of the schools and colleges you’ve attended, along with their descriptions.
It is always useful to add your university to your LinkedIn profile as it makes it easier to locate uni alumni, faculty and friends. You’ll be able to communicate with each other and keep track of what they’re up to this way. There could also be a chance that a person that attended the same uni is also in the company you want to work for, so you can now network with those people to ask questions and build a relationship.
Step 5: Showcase your volunteering and experiences
Let your volunteering and experiences do all the talking when it comes to how much you have worked hard to gain valuable transferable skills. If you don’t have volunteering experience or a job yet, it is a good idea to start building up experiences as all industries want people to have experience.
Step 6: What skills do you have?
Keeping track of important skills on your profile can help you locate better internships and career connections. Here’s an idea, get your friends that have worked on group projects with you to endorse your skills, or even a previous employer. The skills you emphasise will make you stand out amongst other people.
Step 7: Add languages you are fluent in
To add a language to your profile, first click on ‘Add a section’, then ‘Accomplishment’ and ‘Languages’ can be found under this section.
Knowing languages other than your native tongue is incredibly advantageous in today’s world since being able to converse in different languages allows you to build genuine communication with others.
So, if you’re multilingual, list those languages in the accomplishments area. Select your language proficiency level as well.
Step 8: Don’t forget your certificates and award
If you’ve earned any certificates or LinkedIn Learning courses, this is a great way to show off your extra-curricular activities, and your dedication to other activities other than school. It shows that you are interesting and that you have a life outside of just school or work.
Step 9: Join LinkedIn Groups
Put your self out there and start joining groups so that you can build a community on LinkedIn this will only further your profile as a student and gain you more connections. Join groups that you are interested in and start conversations and build relationships.
Step 10: Start connecting with professionals and friends
It’s so important to connect with classmates, teachers, and alumni, they should definitely be at the top of your priorities list when connecting with others. There are so many opportunities that will be open to you career wise when you are contacting people that have also attended your university or college – they can provide some advice and tips on how they got into the industry they are in. Later on, you might want to seek out more industry professionals and build contact with them. It’s always nice to respond to your contacts’ postings and professionally ask relevant questions.
If you need any career help, Edge Hill provides a lot of help for students that want to prepare for the working world whether it’s interviews to gaining more experience or even discussing career options.
It’s Monday morning… I got out of bed, had a morning cup of tea and got ready to greet my favourite team members.
After our Monday run down and a quick catch up, we logged off the meeting and got to work which for me was to make some changes to ‘meet the team posters’. A task myself and Reece (You would have read some his blogs around mental wellbeing, if not make sure to check them out!) have been working on.
This task requires us to create a fun yet professional poster introducing every member of the Faculty of Education to new students. Not only do we have to make sure their 100% accessible but that they meet a professional standard, and the staff are happy with their own individual poster.
Yet this week, we have made so much progress because we have completed 30 out of 63 ready to schedule for tweeting in September!! This took up most my morning and by the time we had fixed some issues, it was time for my lunch.
After my lunch, (cheesy pasta is always a go to) I was focusing on finishing up my digital escape room, well my third, I definitely got the hang of it!! I have created three surrounding Greek Myths, such as Theseus and the Minotaur, Perseus and Medusa and finally Odysseus’ Odyssey. The escape rooms ask students to escape through their knowledge of Edge Hill and the services the university provides as well as some creative riddles – which confuddled some of my teams’ heads.
By five all three escape rooms where perfect and I couldn’t have been prouder of myself.
I always think Tuesday’s go by in a flash. A task I have been given is to identify the sixth form providers in the Northwest of England and see if they are active on Twitter. This task meant one thing… a spreadsheet. Now if you’ve been reading my blogs since the start of the Internship then you’d know that me and Excel were not the best of friends… well now we’ve brought a house and are living happily ever after. I got into the routine of copying, pasting, searching and repeating to the point where this task which at first seemed huge took me a day!
I think this shows how when you can get in the groove of working, you can lose yourself a little. So, right now I’m going to remind you to make sure you’re drinking plenty and that you get yourself some fresh air, especially if you’re working from home!
On Wednesday I worked with Reece on the meet the team posters, completing some amendments and using Canva to make them look visually appealing. I’d like to think that Canva is following me, because if I’m not on it at work, then I’m seeing the advert everywhere!
Through creating the meet the team posters, I have definitely become more creative and can make posters for most tasks, I especially love using all the different elements they provide to create the perfect poster for my idea. For those interested there is great course available on Learning LinkedIn called Learning Canva – https://www.linkedin.com/learning/learning-canva-2/what-you-can-use-canva-for?u=35744052
Of course, we got the amendments done quickly, after that I dove into create some content for A Level Results Day to welcome new students to the Faculty of Education.
Thursday always goes quickly. My Thursday consisted of planning for a new task, but first my morning meeting followed by a meeting with the lovely FoE Reading for Pleasure ambassadors, who work together to encourage teachers in training to get children reading for pleasure rather than just at school and as an aspiring author I adore the idea.
Following this meeting I began to research all kinds of different books which could benefit children. I was also tasked to create a thread of books which explore diversity and inclusivity for each stage of education, Early Years, Primary Education and Secondary Education. I found this task very exciting as I love to read.
After researching I moved onto a new task, which Sarah set us that morning creating a brand for the work we produce so they cohesively and collectively fit together.
The team quickly created our own brand kits and presented them to each other, we realised that we all had used a shade of blue, therefore blue was to be in our palette. We drew other colours such as a seafoam green from the Digital Internship logo and added base colours such as white and black and our colour palette was made!
Finally, Friday! I started my morning with ordering a caramel macchiato and saying good morning to my team.
We discussed which font to choose for our brand image and we found this a little hard as two members of our team, myself included have a visual impairment, and we often found ourselves in the situation where one font was accessible for one of us but not for the other. Personally, I find fonts such as Cambria and Bookman Old Style easy to read but I would stick to Arial if you’re unsure.
So once our brand was confirmed, we could get back to work and today’s task was to create a social media good practice guide for future teachers in training in compliance to the Edge Hill Social Media Compliance Policy. I found this task quite refreshing as I understood most of it due to my experience within the field of Health and Social Care.
But that was my Friday, I logged off at five and enjoyed my weekend which included dinner at a local Italian and shopping!