Learning Edge Maintenance: System Unavailable Overnight – 29th & 30th December

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Learning Edge, Blackboard Learn (version 9.1.7) will be unavailable overnight (from midnight to 8:00 a.m) on the 29th and 30th of December while Blackboard Managed Hosting carry out essential maintenance in the AMS datacenter. This proactive maintenance will ensure the highest level of network performance and stability.

The Blackboard engineers hope to complete the work within the first maintenance window (29th December) but have reserved the second window (30th December) to ensure they can complete the maintenance without any unscheduled disruption.

Please note this work is in addition to the Learning Edge Upgrade which took place between 19th and 21st December.

We apologise for the inconvenience this set of maintenance windows may cause to you.

If you have any queries regarding this work please don’t hesitate to contact the Learning Technology Development team on 01695 650754 or via [email protected]

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Meg Juss, Learning Technology Development Divisional Coordinator.

Using Audio and Video in Teaching and Learning: Session Notes

For those who couldn’t make it to last week’s session on using audio and video in teaching and learning, I thought it would be worth making the session notes more widely available.

The notes cover the main areas that we talked about. They will be developed further over time, and as we run the session in the future. We’ll let you know both here and on the Staff Development pages when the session does run.

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Peter Beaumont
Learning Technologist

You’ve got to be in it to win it …

Our fourth Students eLearning Survey has only been open for a week and we’ve already had 180 responses – thank you to everyone who has completed it so far!

As you know we are giving away one of our Learning Services USB wristbands for every 20th response so this means we have given 9 away already – check your student email to see if you’re one of the lucky winners.

Have a look at the picture below to see what these exclusive wristbands look like and complete the survey quickly so you don’t miss out on your chance to win one!

Don’t forget that the main prize draw will take place when the survey closes at the end of January 2012, with a grand prize of £50 Amazon vouchers and two runner up prizes of £25 Amazon vouchers!

On a more serious note, the survey really does help to inform developments and in fact one of the main drivers for moving to Learning Edge was the feedback from last years survey that told us you wanted a more reliable, stable and professional system. We think Learning Edge has provided these but want to hear your views .

Current EHU students can access the survey from Learning Edge, the GO portal, your email or from http://surveys.edgehill.ac.uk/elearning_survey_2011/.

Katherine Richardson
LTD Operations Co-ordinator

Learning Edge Upgrade: System Unavailable – 19th-21st December

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Learning Edge (Blackboard 9.1) will be unavailable from 21:30 pm on Monday 19th December to 12:00 pm (midday) on Wednesday 21st December whilst the system is upgraded.

This work will introduce several fixes to minor bugs and glitches and provide you with a more stable, reliable and feature rich system.

For more information about the improvements this upgrade will bring please read our briefing note:  IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR STAFF

Please use this advance notice to ensure you and your students are prepared for this service disruption – we advise you to download any information required during this period, before the 19th December.

If you have any queries regarding this upgrade please don’t hesitate to contact the Learning Technology Development team on 01695 650754 or via [email protected]

Megan Juss Profile Picture

Meg Juss, Learning Technology Development Divisional Coordinator.

Join the Slim-Down Revolution….Image Optimisation for Everyone

Part of the “55 Minute Learning Bites” series.

Looking at the basics of producing images which are small in file size and without compromising on quality can also be more accessible to your audience.

This session is aimed at anyone who wants to make their image files less demanding on documents and storage space – a useful skill for anyone using Learning Edge, Blackboard and eShare.

Images which are smaller in file size are much easier to share, your documents become more accessible and quicker to upload by those you are teaching.

To find out more the session will run on Monday 12 December 2011, 11:30 – 12:25 and you can book on the staff development pages.

Students – win £50 Amazon vouchers!

Believe it or not the time has come again for us to launch our annual students’ e-Learning survey! This is the fourth year we’ve ran this survey and it’s great that we’re able to build up a picture of our students’ experiences and expectations of technology and see trends emerging over the years.

The survey informs change and developments and we really do take on board all of your comments and suggestions. As an example, last year you told us you wanted a mobile App for Learning Edge (Blackboard 9.1)…..Mobile Learn was launched in September 2011 and as you can see from previous blog posts we have a lot of students now using the app and feedback so far has been extremely positive which we consider to be a resounding success! Keep an eye out for blog posts over the coming weeks telling you more about what changes we’ve made based on the results of last year’s survey.

Learning Edge (Blackboard 9.1) was introduced this academic year and so it’s the perfect time to have your say and tell us your experiences of using it. We know how precious your time is, especially during the assessment period, so as a thank you for completing the survey we are offering a grand prize of £50 Amazon vouchers and two runner up prizes of £25 Amazon vouchers. We are also giving away one of our very exclusive Learning Services USB wristbands for every 20th response!

Current EHU students can access the survey from Learning Edge, the GO portal, your email or from http://surveys.edgehill.ac.uk/elearning_survey_2011/. We plan to close the survey on Friday 27th January 2012.

We look forward to reading your responses!

Katherine Richardson
LTD Operations Co-ordinator

Top tips for Learning Edge

In LTD we get asked a lot of questions by staff and students about various ‘hot topics’.
We have tried to gather as many of these current issues in the hope of answering them here.

1. Can I forward emails from my student email address to an external address?
Of course! Just like your personal email address, you can forward your student emails out of your student account so you can read them in your preferred email client (such as Hotmail, Yahoo, BT etc.  Follow this document – Forwarding Email – for the steps to do this (the document is for Gmail student accounts).

2. I know I now need to make my course available for my students. How do I do this?

  • In your ‘Control Panel‘ for your course
  • Click on ‘Customisation
  • Click on ‘Properties
  • Set Availability to ‘Make Course Available – Yes
  • Click Submit.

3. Where is the best place for me to mark my students’ Turnitin assignments?
The best place to mark Turnitin assignments is through Turnitin itself (rather than ‘Grade Centre’)

  • In your ‘Control Panel‘ for your course
  • Click on ‘Course Tools
  • Click on ‘TurnitinUK Assignments’
  • Click on the assignment you wish to mark
  • Your list of students will now appear
  • Click on the pencil next to the student you wish to mark the work of.

4. I’d like to get some kind of interactive classroom in my course on Learning Edge What is available to me to do this?
We have a few options for you so that you can really interact with your students in a virtual classroom.  There is a basic tool within Learning Edge itself and we also have some ‘seats’ available for Wimba Classroom.  We like to keep track of who is using Wimba in their course so if you are interested in this option, please come and speak to one of your Learning Technology Development Officers and we can discuss how to make it work for you in your course for your students.

5. Is there a way I can embed audio in my Powerpoint?
Yes! Follow this document – embed audio – to discover how to do this.  If you are having trouble, come and speak to one of the Learning Technology team.

6. I have some videos of my lectures that I’d like to share with my students.  Can I put them into Learning Edge somehow?
We have university systems that can offer you secure ‘hosting’ of your video content (a little bit  like YouTube, but just for our staff and students!) If you speak to the Media Development team or to any Learning Technology Officer they will be able to help you out in getting your videos onto this system and then getting it into your course content in Learning Edge.
(Make sure you give us some time to prepare your videos as sometimes it can take a little while).

7. The work that I need my students to submit doesn’t really fit in Turnitin. are there any alternative tools that I can use?

Yes! You can use the Blackboard 9.1 Assignment tool as an alternative to Turnitin.  This allows a greater number of file formats to be submitted including Powerpoint, Images and more unusual file types.

  • From your course, within a content folder
  • Click on ‘Create Assessment’
  • Click on ‘Assignment’
  • Give the Assignment a name
  • Complete the details on the page (any that are starred as compulsory!)
  • Click submit when you are ready.

8. I would like to set a group activity for my students.  I’d like to split them up into groups in Learning Edge – is this possible?
Yes!  You can use groups for a number of tools such as creating group blogs, wikis, discussion boards or even set tasks and activities for individual groups. The following instructions are just to get you started. Please ask a member of Learning Technology if you wish to find out what else you can use groups for.

  • Under the ‘Control Panel‘ of your course
  • Click on ‘Users and Groups
  • Click on ‘Groups
  • Click on ‘Create Single Group
  • Click on ‘Manual Enroll
  • Give the group a name
  • Decide which tools you want the group to contribute to (only that group will be able to see and contribute to the group’s tools).
  • Add the students into the group by selecting the student and then clicking on the arrow to add or remove them.
  • Click Submit
  • Repeat the process to create more grouped activities.

Any further questions, please email them to one of the team and we will endevour to answer them for you.  If you would like to arrange a meeting with one of the team, please ring 01695 650 754  (or internal 7754).

 

 Carol Chatten, Learning Technology Development Officer