Technology Supported Learning – Submission Possible with SafeAssign

Mission ImpossibleLast year the Professional Education Team started to explore current options for electronic submission at Edge Hill University.

 

Mark Sutcliffe (Senior Lecturer in Professional Education) Good Practice Awardshares his experience of SafeAssign, part of the Blackboard Assignment Submission offer, in support of the challenges faced by students with academic writing.

“Prior to using SafeAssign I had known about anti-plagiarism software for some time. However, neither myself nor my colleagues in the undergraduate team I work with had ever attempted to use it. I believe the main reason for this is that we had heard stories of the technology not being as effective as it originally was and sometimes working on an inconsistent basis. As somebody who has been eager to promote IT-related innovation within my area I have always been aware that technology can be as easily rejected as accepted, especially if the initial experience of using it is poor.

In September of 2015 the team convened to discuss ways of further enhancing the effectiveness of practice, especially in relation to supporting academic writing, which often proves the most significant challenge to students’ studies. The additional ways that technology could help us and them was considered and following on from this I liaised with learning services to discuss ideas. A suggestion made by Martin Baxter and David Callaghan was SafeAssign, a recently integrated feature within Edge Hill’s VLE, Blackboard.

Safe Assign User TypesWhat quickly became apparent during the initial demonstration of SafeAssign was how straightforward it was to set up. A few simple clicks embedded this feature as part of creating a new assignment in a course/module area. However, what makes SafeAssign so effective is the way instructors and users can use this tool to check submitted work. SafeAssign initially provides an overall percentage, representing how much of the content connects to its global database, which includes uploaded work and published material. This can potentially provide a quick indicator of how much material has been used from external sources. In addition, SafeAssign generates a report, allowing instructors (and potentially users) to see exactly where such material has been used. I left the demonstration impressed with what I had seen and eager to promote the use of SafeAssign.Safe Assign Student View

At the next team meeting SafeAssign was discussed and demonstrated to my colleagues. It was trialled with work connected to a module submission in December of 2015. It was agreed amongst the team that we encouraged students not to view this technology with negative connotations, rather it was introduced as a supportive tool for their work. This was achieved through making sure that they could utilise the technology during the drafting process and self-check for any potential issues themselves. To assist in this process (and alleviate multiple submissions for a particular module) I created an additional submission point purely for drafts of work.

SafeAssign Logo

The feedback from the implementation of SafeAssign has been very positive. Staff are enthusiastic about having a tool to hand that provides quick assistance in investigating issues with submissions, whilst students recognise SafeAssign as a tool to help scaffold the development and quality of work. Because of its success, other degree programmes are now looking to utilise SafeAssign technology. I would strongly recommend its use.”

You can see and hear Mark talking about SafeAssign and how students embraced the technology in support of their academic writing.

YouTube Video Player

If you feel inspired by Mark’s story and want to use this or another technology to help you enhance and support your own teaching, please get in touch with the Learning Technology Team in Learning Services. We would be very happy to work with you.

Mark David Sutcliffe

 

 

Mark David Sutcliffe
(Senior Lecturer in Professional Education).

Digital Productivity for Health & Social Care Staff

DPL

This month the Faculty of Health & Social Care (FoHSC) – with the added support of their Senior SOLSTICE Fellow (Laura Taylor) – introduced a brand new resource to provide its staff with the latest in e-learning tools and resources to help deliver ‘technology enhanced learning’ to its students.

The Digital Productivity Lab is a quiet work space for all FoHSC staff that gives access to every available e-learning resource within the institution, including the provision of audio and video peripherals. Located next to the main reception within the faculty building, the lab offers services exclusive to both academic and support staff within the faculty. FoHSC staff can either book the lab to work independently or to schedule private bespoke 1-2-1 sessions with one of their Faculty Learning Technology Development Officers (LTDOs).

The Digital Productivity Lab currently offers all FoHSC staff a shared platform to….

  • …the latest technology enhanced learning software to build engaging and exciting learning resoruces (Panopto, iSpring and Office Mix).
  • …an array of multimedia and HD recording equipment (both audio and video).
  • …iOS & Android mobile devices to plan and develop ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) sessions.

To help faculty staff identify key people, places and processes currently in place. Learning Services and Laura Taylor have collaboratively developed a TEL Community reference tool (see below) to support staff who wish to seek support from specific advocates and enablers.

TEL Community FOHSC

Booking*

Bookings* for the lab are managed by the Customer Services Team (CST) and the FoHSC LTDOs within Learning Services.

  • For independent use: Please contact the Customer Services Team (Ext 7050) via the main reception to book the lab.
  • For 1-2-1 LTDO sessions: Appointments can be arranged via email or telephone on the following:

Picture of the authorPeter Beaumont
Learning Technology Development Officer (Undergraduate Programmes)
Ext 7749
Email: beaumonp@edgehill.ac.uk

 

Mark WilcockMark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer (Postgraduate Programmes)
Ext:7069
Email: wilcockm@edgehill.ac.uk

 

* Please contact at least one week in advance to secure your preferred time and date.

Technology Supported Learning – Using Student Journals to Understand the Student Experience

Good Practice AwardThe Journals tool in Blackboard is a private space where students can post opinions, ideas and concerns. This case study, shared by Maria McCann (Widening Participation Manager), describes how the Journals tool was used within a research project, to understand the living, learning and emotional journeys of around 100 new students’ in their first term at Edge Hill University.

When the Student Journal project was envisioned, Maria and the team hoped that a tool within the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE) could be used to help document the student journey. Maria felt it sensible to use, a system already set up, open to all students on any course, something that they would be getting introduced to anyway and would continue to use throughout the lifetime of their degree programme.

To learn more about the Blackboard tools available to support student participation and feedback, Maria contacted Mark Wilcock, a Learning Technologist within the Learning Services, Learning Technology Development Team.

Maria met with Mark, explained her ideas, described what she wanted to achieve and what her key criteria were – she needed something that would allow students to record their thoughts in a single, secure place, that they could access anytime and anywhere. It was from this starting point that Mark (Learning Services) and Maria (Student Recruitment) were able to work collaboratively, to identify the most suitable tools and settings for her project.

Mark recommended a ‘Blackboard’ Organisation, which is similar to a Course area but can be used for non-credit bearing activity to house the research activity, and the Journals tool, which would provide the private online space, for students to write and submit their journals each week. The Journal tool settings were also suggested as a way to ‘release’ and ‘lock’ the weekly journals, at the same time each week, to keep the students on track.

It was decided to theme each week in a way that would be relatable to each individual student, regardless of programme studied. The themes were planned to mirror the systems, processes and services most students would experience and provided a ‘loose’ framework for students to base their journal entry on each week. Students were encouraged to think about key aspects of the theme and further guidance was given breaking down the themes into key points; however students were encouraged to think and write in depth, rather than trying to address all the points listed. Although the guidance was used widely by the students, it was not intended to be prescriptive and students were encouraged to think about what they had experienced in that particular week, their ‘journey’, rather than trying to ‘fit’ the framework. This was reiterated to the students in the briefing at the start of the project as well as emails and ‘posts’ to the organisation on Learning Edge. The benefits to providing a framework allowed quick reading and analysis for the reader.

This combination of Organisation and Journals provided the perfect platform for the research. Participants (and the researcher) had 24 hour access via their tablet, smart phone, PC or laptop, as well as providing complete anonymity (except from the reader-researcher).

Here Maria talks more about her experience whilst working on the project:

Maria McCann YouTube linkInformation about the Student Recruitment Research Activity

The Student Journey Programme is being managed by the Director of Student Recruitment and Administration aims to:

  • Provide an equitable, consistent and seamless high quality experience for all students from first enquiry through to graduation.
  • Provide services, systems and processes which are recognised as sector-leading nationally by prospective and current students and staff.

Edge Hill University Main Reception

This Journal Project sits within the wider Student Journey Programme. Its aims are:

  • To map interactions, activities and events where students engage with the university through its services, systems and processes- encompassing pre-enrolment and through the first 8 weeks of term as a first year.
  • To understand students’ emotional responses, perceptions, views and behaviours in relation to those services, systems and processes.
  • To provide a platform for students (as participants) to define what has the most impact on them and their learning experience (both ‘good’ and ‘not-so-good’ as defined by them).
  • To identify areas of good practice across the university (at different student ‘touch points’) and make recommendations for further enhancement in services being delivered to students.

Want to find out more about Blackboard’s Journal tool and Blackboard Organisations?  Contact your Faculty Learning Technology Development Officer.

Maria McCann

 

 

 

Maria McCann
(Widening Participation Manager)

 

LTD_Staff_0054 Mark Wilcock

 

 

 

Mark Wilcock
(Learning Technology Development Officer)

Introducing Qwickly Attendance: A Whole New Way to Create and Manage Online Registers

Online AttendanceWe know that online attendance management for Blackboard Learn has been on your radar recently. We’re very happy to announce this week a new reliable, secure and efficient online attendance platform that ticks the box (literally). Let me introduce, ‘Qwickly Attendance’.  Qwickly will enable all staff to easily record/track (and grade – optional) student attendance in Blackboard, also allowing for students to self-check-in if required.

attendance-gradingattendance-checking

Attendance can be recorded in the Grade Centre – Qwickly will maintain a running total of a set number of points per attendance. The attendance data is presented in one of two styles – ‘list’ that is like a traditional register, or one student name at a time. You can also change previous registrations to correct mistakes. Perhaps the most significant feature is that students can ‘self-register’ – using a dynamic and secure 4 digit code that will allow students to enrol via their phones, tablets or laptops – and within a timed window that you determine.

Here is a snapshot of the main features:

  • All student attendance data is securely stored within Blackboard Learn.
  • Automatic grading via the ‘Grade Centre’ to keep a running grade for each student.
  • Student check-in (Optional adding a generated security code or a specific time period).
  • Email alerts: Qwickly attendance can send an email to students when they are marked as absent for the day.
  • Qwickly allows students to see when they have been present and when they haven’t.
  • All data can be exported to CSV (Microsoft Office Excel).
  • Add or amend past dates to any attendance record.

We are currently developing both staff setup and management guides for Qwickly, so watch out for new guide updates over the coming weeks. Before you take the tool for a test drive in your test area, why not watch the YouTube demonstration video provided below from Qwickly to fully experience the tool.

Qwickly Attendance Demo

As we approach the end of this academic year, Qwickly hope to implement more new functions periodically. As always staff and students are the main stakeholders of these types of technology and staff input is very valuable to us in this area! We would certainly welcome your suggestions for greater functionality. So please let us know if you can identify any requirements or new features that could enhance the product to your department/course needs!

Feel free to email LTDSupport@edgehill.ac.uk or phone us on Ext 7754 and we’d be more than happy to answer any questions or just get in touch if you would simply like to know more!

Mark WilcockMark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer

Edge Hill ‘Raises the Bar’ on the VLE Baseline

Baseline3dEHU have had a VLE baseline in place since 2008/9. Informed by advances in technology and student requests the baseline was reviewed, improved, and put out to the Faculties for consultation. In January a version reflecting Faculty feedback was presented to the Learning and Teaching Committee who endorsed the framework. During the process of consultation it was recognised that many colleagues already exceed the baseline.

The baseline framework establishes the minimum standards expected of taught courses with a VLE presence to meet student expectations ensuring:

  • Consistent course structure and navigation;
  • Consistent content location and format, and suitable for a range of devices;
  • Announcements are used for urgent course communications;
  • Materials are made available in a timely manner;
  • Clear guidance for electronic submission, assessment and feedback.

Learning Technologists are liaising with programme teams to outline what support exists to help colleagues to achieve or exceed the baseline – you should hear from us soon. Meanwhile, we are developing resources like this video and welcome your suggestions for other resources.

We’ll be in touch – and in the meantime you can contact your Learning Technologist.

David_Callaghan
David Callaghan
Learning Technology Development Officer (FoE)
David.Callaghan@edgehill.ac.uk
@dbcallaghan, @LTDatEHU

Technology Supported Learning – Making Use of BoB!

Good Practice AwardIn this case study you will hear how BoB (Box of Broadcasts) National is enhancing teaching and module content.  BoB National is a media rich online archive service that allows you to record and watch TV programmes from any internet enabled device including a Smart TV, PC, and mobile device. The services is widely available to staff and students here at Edge Hill University.

Charles Knight is a Senior Lecturer in Management in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.  Charles is a firm advocate of good technology, especially if it enhances his teaching and enriches the student learning experience.Students watching TV online.

It was therefore no surprise to us that Charles saw, instinctively, the benefits of using BoB (Box of Broadcasts) National with his students.

Charles makes extensive use of BoB (Box of Broadcasts) National to enhance his teaching and his use of Blackboard. BoB (Box of Broadcasts) National is an innovative shared online off-air TV and radio recording service for UK higher and further education institutions. BoB allows both staff and students to choose and record any broadcast programme from 60+ TV and radio channels.

In this short video, Charles discusses how he makes use of BoB and how it benefits both his own teaching practice and that of the students. He also discusses why BoB is a better alternative to making use of sites such as YouTube due to issues of copyright.

YouTube_BoB Box of BroadcastsDuring the video, Charles demonstrates how you can search and select content on BoB and then embed into Blackboard.

The recorded programmes are then kept indefinitely (no expiry) and added to a growing media archive (currently at over 1 million programmes), with all content shared by users across all subscribing institutions.

The user-friendly system allows staff and students to record and catch-up on missed programmes on and off-campus, schedule recordings in advance, edit programmes into clips, create playlists, embed clips into VLEs, share what they are watching with others, and search a growing archive of material.

BoB National LogoWant to find out more about BoB National, its growing media archive and how you and your course can benefit?

 

Contact your Faculty Learning Technology Development Officer or look through our PDF guide.

CK-Staff-profile

 

 

 

Charles Knight (Senior Lecturer in Management)

Have you ever wanted to…

  • Find the right online assessment tool?DDE_Blog
  • Learn the essentials to be successful with Learning Edge?
  • Investigate and control your online image?
  • Make rich engaging content for your students?

Over the next month, as part of the Digital Practitioner strand of the Developing Digital Excellence staff development programme, Learning Technology Development (LTD) are offering sessions to include these topics and more!

For full details and to book on a session, click on the appropriate title.


Electronic Management of Assessment – Using the right tools
Friday, 26 February, 2016 – 14:30 – 15:30
Electronic Management of Assignment (EMA) refers to the tools by which a student submits work online for storage and retrieval by academic, administrative or other staff for marking, feedback or review. One of the key aims of EMA usage is to enhance the student experience……….
EHU’s Baseline: This session addresses all the Baseline and Baseline + elements of the Assessment and Feedback categories.

…….. this is what recent attendees said;
“A supportive session on the benefits and possibilities of electronic submission. marking and data curation”
“Excellent intro to the systems available on Blackboard for EAM. Will take the info to inform my own development sessions for staff in FoE.”

 

Getting Started with Learning Edge – Essential Skills for Tutors Using Blackboard
Thursday, 10 March, 2016 – 10:00 – 11:30
This foundation workshop aims to introduce teaching staff to the essential skills necessary to navigate Learning Edge, upload and create files, set up student content and communicate with students………….
EHU’s Baseline: This session addressed most of the Baseline and some of the Baseline + elements across all seven categories.

…….. this is what recent attendees said;
“A straightforward introduction to blackboard that has given me the confidence to create blackboard pages.”
“another excellent session, well paced and delivered with useful follow up notes.”

 

Collaborate; Find out what it is and how it could help you? (Digital Practitioner)
Monday, 14 March, 2016 – 12:30 – 13:30
Blackboard Collaborate is a real time (live) web conferencing platform which allows the facilitation of teaching and learning, offices, conferences and meeting spaces on the web or on mobile. This rich platform is available for all Edge Hill staff and students ……..
EHU’s Baseline: This session addressed two elements of the the Baseline ++ Student Participation and Engagement category.

…….. this is what recent attendees said;
“Technology in action – taking the classroom out of the classroom!”
“A truly beneficial resource that could be the future for personal tutors and distance learners. As well as providing virtual work placement experiences and interviews.”

 

Digital Tattoo (Digital Practitioner)
Friday, 18 March, 2016 – 13:00 – 14:00
How we and our students present ourselves online can impact on our reputations and employability. In this session we will find out what is online about ourselves, have conversations about how we can improve our reputations ……….
EHU’s Baseline: This session addressed one element of the the Baseline ++ Student Participation and Engagement category.

…….. this is what recent attendees said;
“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”

 

All sessions within the Developing Digital Excellence programme can be booked via the HR Staff Development booking system.

You can view our programme and plan your sessions for the next few months by using the booking system. Most sessions are either held in the G2-ICT training room, Ground floor, LINC Building or as online webinar using Collaborate.

Can’t see what you want?

Beyond the advertised staff development programme, Learning Technology Development (LTD) can deliver fully tailored bespoke sessions on Learning Edge (Blackboard) and other online, mobile or classroom technologies. Through discussion LTD will, in partnership with yourself, develop a session to correspond exactly to your department’s and/or programme’s needs and processes.

For further information on anything relating to learning technologies or to arrange a consultation for a bespoke session, please contact either your faculty’s dedicated Learning Technologist or contact our (LTD) central support on LTDSupport@edgehill.ac.uk / 01695  650754 x7754.

 

NMC Horizon Report – 2016 Higher Education Edition

topicsThe NMC’s Horizon Report Higher Education Edition aims to identify emerging technologies that a panel of experts think will impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in Higher Education over the next five years, along with key trends accelerating adoption, and challenges impeding that.

There is a project wiki which allows exploration the creation of the report, and if you want to see how previous predictions worked out you can see the previous reports or Audrey Watters’ admirable overview.

The report contains an overview graphic which shows the topics covered this year. How you use the report will depend on your focus. I liked the ‘master set’ of technologies that the report creators had looked at as it gives a wider view of emerging technologies and strategies, and how they fit together. The Makerspaces section looks interesting; the idea of having a place that any students and staff could go and use laser cutters, 3D printers, and make things with Arduinos, seems exciting.

Have a look at the report and see what you find interesting. If there are one or more topics that anyone wants to talk about, we can easily arrange a meeting of interested minds online using Blackboard Collaborate.

Collaborate Ultra: Improved Features

Look who’s talking … 

On Saturday 20th February the web conferencing system, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra will be updated to ensure all Learning Edge users have the latest feature updates and of course to squash those pesky bugs!

Lets dig in to the top 3 improvements:

1) “See who is speaking …”

Microphone icons now appear next to the names of those speaking – outlined below in orange:

c2

 

2) See when you are “On Air”: If others can see your video there will be a small ‘Eye’ icon at the top of your preview window:

 

 

3) Feedback about participants having connectivity issues – visual and text information such as “Joining …” and “Error, redialing …”

 

 

For details about these and all the other improvements – please click here to see the Blackboard’s Release Notes.

David_Callaghan

David Callaghan
Learning Technology Development Officer (FoE)

 

 

 

PS – if you or your students need overview of Ultra here is an excellent series of short screencasts from Blackboard: Collaborating in Blackboard Collaborate.

Understanding our student and staff experience of learning technologies

‘Nothing endures but change’. Heraclitus. So true.

This time a year ago I was urging students to complete the 6th EHU Student e-Learning Survey and a whopping 798 actually did. Today I am able to publish the full report and recommendations based on the analysis of that survey’s results. We are very grateful for our students’ generosity with their time and feedback. It is our hope that we repay them with year-on-year improvements that show we are actually listening to what they are telling us.

students using a laptop. Cover of survey report

Cover from survey report

 

The survey’s findings shed light on a number of topics:

  • Access to technology
  • Trend analysis in the use/ experience of Learning Edge since 2008/09
  • Positive and negative features of Learning Edge
  • What students think makes for an ‘ideal’ digital learning environment

 

But there’s more …

 

In addition to publicising the student survey findings, this post is also a call for feedback via its sister survey into academic staff engagement with technology, library and services to support teaching. The survey is currently live until midnight on 29th January [now extended to midnight 5th February] and can be accessed from the Learning Edge home page. We’ve even been able to secure three lots of £15 Amazon vouchers for a free prize draw for entrants.

Please complete the survey and help us to better understand your experience of using technology and the services that underpin it. We have learned over many years that success in providing and supporting learning technologies doesn’t come from following a ‘how to’ guide, but is highly context specific, dependent upon properly understanding how people use them – and what it feels like to use them. Tell us how it is for you and contribute to the ongoing improvement.

Lindsey Martin Assitant Head of Learning Services

Lindsey Martin