Accessing LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning logoWe are excited to announce that the LinkedIn Learning video course library is now available to all students and staff.

The courses on LinkedIn Learning cover many things, including using a wide range of software, and personal development skills like leadership and communication.

An easy way to get an account set up is to go to linkedin.com/learning, choose to ‘Sign In’, ‘Sign in with your organization account’, and follow the instructions.

If you already had a Lynda.com account through Edge Hill and want to copy over all your activity and certificates, you can sign in from lynda.com choosing to ‘Sign In’, ‘Sign in with your organization account’, and follow the instructions to move your account over to LinkedIn Learning.

If you have any problems or want to know more, please get in touch with us at ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk.

Once you have logged into LinkedIn Learning you can look through the How to Use LinkedIn Learning course to learn about the features available you you, and there is extra advice in the Gaining Skills with LinkedIn Learning course.

Lynda.com is Becoming LinkedIn Learning

Computer UserMany of you have used the Lynda.com video library to help you learn how to use new software, or perhaps to help you develop other skills.

You might also know that Lynda.com is owned by LinkedIn, who have been developing LinkedIn Learning as a new place to access the video courses.

Edge Hill University will be upgrading from Lynda.com to LinkedIn Learning on Sunday the 20th of January. You will still have access to the same resources, and LinkedIn Learning will look very similar to what you are used to. Following the upgrade you will be asked to agree to set-up a new account on LinkedIn Learning, and you can even link this to an existing LinkedIn account.

Things to remember:

  • The resources will be unavailable on Sunday 20th January 2019, while the upgrade occurs.
  • When logging in after the upgrade, you will be prompted to upgrade your account.
  • Any web links pointing to Lynda.com, will redirect to LinkedIn Learning, however we would recommend updating your links as soon as you have time.
  • Improvements following the upgrade include the ability to add links to external resources to playlists, and we will promote these developments in more detail after the upgrade.

Please get in contact with me if you have any questions.

Thanks


beaumont_smaller

Peter Beaumont
Learning Technology Development Officer

Blackboard Ally is being rolled out January 2019

Blackboard Ally Banner

To support our commitment to a more inclusive campus, we’re introducing a new tool called Ally!

What is Blackboard Ally

Ally helps your students get the most from their course resources, and help you make your Blackboard space inclusive for all. Blackboard Ally automatically converts course resources into a variety of formats, from HTML and e-book for reading on mobile devices, to Electronic Braille for the visually impaired, and audio for learning on the go.

Ally also helps you make small changes to resources you upload to make them more accessible, in easy-to-follow steps.

Instructors will see a small dial icon next to any uploaded content giving an indication of how accessible it is. Clicking this icon will detail issues along with helpful guidance and a simple interface to fix them. Students do not see these accessibility indicators, the only interaction they have with Ally is downloading automatically generated alternative formats.

Ally accessible score icons.

Ally is being rolled out in the New Year (January 2019): to find out more, explore these quick guides from Blackboard to get you started.

For Instructors – get to know Ally

For Students – How to access usable resources

Twitter users can also follow #BbAlly to see how others across the HE sector are using Ally.

If you would like any further information about Blackboard Ally, and other learning technologies, please contact your Technologist via Ask LTD

wordpresspenpic

Mark Wilcock
Learning Technologist

 

 

Inclusive by Design

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

As part of Learning Service’s “Inclusive by Design” initiative and on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Learning Technology Development (LTD) want to mention some of the things we are doing to support staff to generate content and resources that are usable for all.  The team are working with others to improve content across all areas but more importantly for students to be able to use resources in a way that suites them and their needs.

Introducing Blackboard Ally (coming January 2019).

  • Ally provides you guidance on how to correct accessibility issues with your digital course content. Students are able to download a version of the file most appropriate for their device and need.

Social Sites – VLE Skip Link option.

  • Important for keyboard-only users to navigate VLE content without getting bogged down in a seemingly never ending series of clicks before they are able to move on to the next item.

Transcripts and Closed Captions.

  • The latest LTD video productions contain transcripts for those who prefer to follow the action in word form.  Closed captions offer everyone the ability to follow what is being said, especially good for those when English isn’t their first language.

Our Staff Development Programme.

  • Aims to support staff in the production of content that means all students can benefit from your content, in a way they prefer and suites their learning style.

Want to learn more about these and how they and other technologies can support student learning, contact your Learning Technology Development Officer.

Summer Upgrade (Blackboard)

The summer 2018 upgrade has been quite a big deal for the Learning Technology Team.  We have been months in planning for the latest upgrade with the idea in mind that if we do it right then you shouldn’t see any difference!  It does make sense… honestly… let us briefly explain;

For a number of years Blackboard Learning Edge has been provided from a ‘hosted service’ but we have now moved to a SaaS (Software as a Service) model.  This means that, whereas before we had to carefully manage modifications, updates, bug fixes and upgrades this is now handled at the core by Blackboard and so we will have significantly less downtime in the future as updates and upgrades can happen subtly with less end-user inconvenience.

So as mentioned, you shouldn’t actually see any difference but what this will allow us to do is introduce more interesting features and functions over the next year or so rather than one big summer bang!

So what is there to come?

We’re aiming to bring in an improved way of managing content within Learning Edge which should make it easier to manage files and share them across courses and modules.  Also on the timeline are tools such as Panopto quizzes, improvements to Qwickly (with Qwickly Attendance Pro) and also the potential for a (basic) portfolio tool within Blackboard.  We are also beginning pilots with a few users to try out some new accessibility tools to give students the best possible experience when studying in your course areas and modules.

What can I use now?

There have been a few noticeable changes, like you now have access to an improved Grade Centre view including:

  • An ‘expand‘ button in the top right-hand corner so you can see more Grade Centre ‘real-estate’:

  • also responsive column headers so that they will stack if they are long and need to go onto two lines or more:

  • and a tool that we think will come in very handy is the new ‘Availability‘ button for quick on/off access to the course or module.

If you would like any further help or advice on your use of Learning Edge, Blackboard or any other learning technologies then please get in touch with your departmental Learning Technologist.  Details can be found within the Staff and/or Help tabs within Blackboard:

…or you can drop a line to ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk

Supporting your students using Reading Lists Online

Edge Hill academic staff have been using Reading Lists Online since November 2017 to create up-to-date dynamic resource lists for their students.

As Reading Lists Online is a web-based tool, lists can be updated and published to your students immediately; there is no longer any need to wait for your lists to be updated. You can direct your students to any type of material, including webpages, Lynda.com tutorials and Box of Broadcasts playlists, as well as traditional books and journal articles.

You can use Reading Lists Online to instruct Learning Services of the new titles you want to purchase for the library collection.

Watch the video below to hear what a member of staff from Sport & Physical Activity has to say about using Reading Lists Online.

You can find additional information on Reading Lists Online on the Learning Services Wiki or please contact your Academic Engagement Specialist.

Hosting all around – 360° video content.

360° content is increasing in popularity.

360 video on smart phoneThe production of 360 degree content couldn’t be easier; most of us have access to devices capable of capturing images that software or apps can stitch together to give an immersive viewing experience.

Lecturers across the university continue to explore this technology, generating good quality content for students to access through their devices whilst studying a module.

However, our own Media Production Team have invested Sample of 360° video camerasin the latest Insta360 Pro 360º professional camera, which they explain, presents a whole range of new possibilities when filming around campus. To learn more about the Media Production Team and the Insta360, visit the Learning Services wiki pages.

Examples of use: Areas across campus where 360° video is being used and generating interest:

  • Faculty of Health and Social Care – Paramedics and the 360° Experience. An ambitious project which aims to expose students to a variety of environments, giving them a sense of being present at a scene without actually being there in person (virtual practitioner).  Barry Mathews (Lecturer in Paramedic Practice and Pre-hospital Care) is exploring the potential of 360° images to simulate hazardous and clinical settings. Students will practice their observational skills and identify individual hazards and use this to influence their dynamic operational risk assessment.
  • Whilst on field trips with her students, Susan Jones (Lecturer – Geographical Information Systems) produced a series of 360° photographs of locations visited along the Northwest Coastline of scientific interest.  For Sue, who is keen to start using immersive content on her modules, this was an exciting time to (metaphorically speaking), tentatively dip a toe into the immersive water. Initial thoughts suggest there is value in producing content that students can use for revision, that gives them the means to study and explore areas of interest and identify points of reference.
  • The University Library, as part of its introduction to staff and students, has produced a 360° tour. People can take a virtual look around the different spaces and facilities before actually visiting in person. Interactive hot-spots provide information whilst red target-like buttons make it possible to move from room to room and between floors.

Other uses of 360 content:

  • Capital Projects site walk-through (CATALYST). Experience Edge Hill University’s newest £26m building, go on a tour with others and see how the building looks during its construction.
  • Aintree Library IT Suite and Issue Desk 360° Images. Never visited Edge Hill University’s Aintree Library? These photosphere images give you an all-round view of the IT Suite, Issue Desk, study space and shelf stock.

Plans for future use:

  • Paul Ward’s (Head of English and History) interest in 360 content, to make resources that are fun and interactive.  It also enables the department to address all the disciplines; so for example, a virtual fieldtrip using 360 would allow historians to look at developments across time, linguists to look at language use in different contexts, creative writers to visit new settings for fiction, and literary critics to explore literary connections or literary settings.  Paul goes on to say, “It also shows students how digital technologies that they are familiar with are learning and research tools”.

Options for hosting your 360° video content.

There are many hosting options around, the trouble is most offer hosting at a price, via a subscription, or they have free versions that are limited in features or for a limited time.

Here, we look at three of the most popular services used by staff at Edge Hill University.

About each platform

Online option: YouTube

YouTube Logo

A free video sharing/social website where anyone with an account can view, upload and share content.

If you need your content to be shared worldwide, YouTube is the second largest search engine. However, if you wish to target your audience, for instance within a module, by hosting your videos on YouTube, you are sending your audience to a third party site. This means that YouTube videos will be more visible within Google, compared to the videos embedded on your modules.

Unwanted content, clutter can be distracting for some, particularly those with a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD). YouTube’s auto play function means students may view unrelated content based on their own search criteria and pattern.

Online option: Vimeo

Vimeo Logo

Aimed at giving filmmakers a platform to present and promote their work.

Unlike YouTube, Vimeo doesn’t rely on funding from ads, preferring to offer a service which has less clutter, charging a membership fee for 500MB of space per month. Unless you opt for Pro membership, Vimeo’s video player incorporates its logo alongside your content.

Institution option: Panopto

Panopto LogoInstitutional platform to manage, live stream, record, and share videos across an organisation and/or a specific module in Learning Edge.

A secure platform for educational content, you manage access and take control of what your audience can see, no adverts, or suggested videos and no more clutter.  Unlimited space, full feature and no additional cost implications.

The University offers dedicated support and staff training. Guides and FAQs provide just-in-time resources at the point of need. Students can benefit from using assistive tools, with Panopto’s playback viewer, such as:

  • A graphical and textual index of PowerPoint slides.
  • The ability to slow down or speed up the recording.
  • The ability to make time-stamped typed notes and bookmarks.
  • A search tool that indexes on-screen text as well as spoken audio.

For a comparative view of the three services covered in this post, click the image below:

360 video hosting comparison matrix

Alternatively, download a PDF version: 360° Video Platform Comparison Matrix.

If you are interested in finding out more about creating your own 360° content and hosting options, contact Learning Technology Development Team via ext.7754, ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk or Ask LTD knowledge base.

Martin Baxter

 

 

Martin Baxter
Learning Technology Development Officer

Moving forward with Reading Lists Online

Reading Lists Online provides you with the autonomy to drive selection and purchasing of the resources you want for your library collection.

Since November 2017, the Academic Engagement team have run small group training sessions, which have led to many Academic staff instantly creating, publishing and personalising lists to suit their module structure and enhance teaching and learning.

As this is a web-based tool many Academics have not just been adding e-books and full-text journals etc. but also links to online training resources such as Lynda.com.

Engaging with Reading Lists Online not only provides advantages for yourselves but your students will benefit from your lead by having:

  • Up-to-date module reading
  • Library stock available in time for learning
  • Integration into Blackboard
  • Click-through to digitised chapters and articles
  • Guidance notes
  • Personal reading record
  • Enhanced study experience

Watch the video below to hear what a member of staff from Performing Arts has to say about using Reading Lists Online:

You can find additional information on Reading Lists Online, including how to get started on our Learning Services Wiki or please contact your Academic Engagement Specialist.

Marking with Marky Mark – Managing the marking period stress free

Mark avatarYes, it’s that time of year again… Exams are in full flow, the academic year is beginning to come to a close (for students perhaps!) and that means one thing… marking!

It can be a stressful time for tutors with the (virtual) mountains of papers requiring a critical eye cast over them, for this reason we have put together some hints, tips and reassurances to ease you through the period.

Downtime

We don’t schedule any maintenance during the marking period so you should find the systems up 100% during the marking period.  Any issues you experience are likely to be local – meaning that they should be able to be fixed by one of your friendly Learning Technologists (or one of their Learning Services or IT Services colleagues!)

Exceptions are only made for urgent security updates – these will be done as quickly as possible and at ‘off-peak’ times (3am in the morning anyone!?)

Errors (when marking)warning cone icon

You may very occasionally experience problems when marking – usually via Turnitin.  If this is the case, try the following before contacting Learning Technology.

  • Close the window
  • Log out of Blackboard
  • Clear your browser cache
  • Try a different browser
  • If possible try a different PC
  • Try using a Windows machine wherever possible

Plan B

It’s important that you have a Plan B, just in case of the worst scenario! (When you have a Plan B you usually don’t need it but when you don’t… well!)

What will you do if a student or students can’t submit? This may be due to an issue their end or could be some other factor…

  • Will you offer paper submission?
  • Will you offer an extension?
  • Will you allow the to email it and then you submit on their behalf?
  • What time are they due to submit? Is it during office hours so it can be dealt with?

Notificationsnotification icon

For your sanity and students’ don’t forget to keep communicating!

  • Do you make use of the Announcements feature in Blackboard?
  • Do you have a communication plan? Is it via email? Word of mouth? a Twitter account? Do your students know what method you use?
  • Do students have notifications switched on in the mobile app? They need to have allowed ‘push’ notifications… this can’t be set for them!

 

Online Hints and Tips

Turnitin App

Do you have an iPad? You can download the papers to mark offline if so.

Convert Comments to QuickMarks and save them to your library for easy reuse.

For easy reuse in the assignment you’re grading or in other assignments, you can convert a ‘Bubble Comment’ into a QuickMark. QuickMarks allow you to create your own library of feedback that might be applicable, on multiple occasions, to multiple students, across multiple classes and assignments.

Drag and Drop QuickMarks Anywhere on the Paper

You can access a library of feedback by selecting the QuickMark icon from the navigation bar. Use the search box to find a specific QuickMark. Once you’ve selected the QuickMark you’d like to add to the paper, drag it from the panel and drop it onto the relevant part of the paper.

Highlight Tool

Use text highlight together with comments in order to clarify to students what comments refer to.

Taking a break…coffee cup icon

Please note that when using Turnitin, it will timeout after 1 hour of inactivity. ‘Inactivity’ means not interacting with any part of the Turnitin interface, be aware though, scrolling up and down a student submission does not count as activity! Only actual clicking, typing etc. in Turnitin counts as activity.

If you need to take a break or will be away from marking for a little while (grabbing that well earned cuppa!), be sure to close the Turnitin window so that the work that you have done is saved.

As usual, any problems, contact ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk

Mark avatarMark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer
Faculty of Education

 

 

Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer
Faculty of Arts & Science, Medical Education

Learning with Lynda.com – Computer Science

Edge Hill staff and students have free, unlimited access to Lynda.com, which includes thousands of high quality online courses and video tutorials written by industry experts.

We caught up with two members of staff from the Computer Science department to discuss how they use Lynda.com to enhance their own skills and the learning experience of their students.

Chris Nicholas is a Computer Science Research Assistant. He has used Lynda.com extensively to improve his knowledge of software development.

Oladotun Omosebi is a Computer Science Doctoral Tutor. He has used Lynda.com with his students to help them improve their skills in using various software.

Learn more about Lynda.com through our Lynda web-pages and explore the wide range of content for yourself.