Learn to produce a screencast ….. or find out how to support, tutor and teach your students online

During July, through the Digital Practitioner strand of the Developing Digital Excellence staff development programme, Learning Technology Development (LTD) are offering a range of sessions which can show you how to achieve all this and more!

For full session descriptions and to book on a session, click on the appropriate title below:

Quick and Easy Screencasting
Tuesday 30 June 2015 – 12:00 – 13:00
Screencasting has become far more accessible to everday users. You no longer need expensive software to capture your screen when doing demonstrations, inductions or in your general teaching and learning materials. This session will show you some of the tools you can download or access for free and once you’ve captured your video, where you can place the file.

Collaborate: Find Out What it is and How it Could Help You
Thursday 23 July 2015 – 12:00 – 13:00
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.

Collaborate: Online Teaching and Learning
Tuesday 28 July 2015 – 13:00 – 14:00
This online session will give you first-hand experience of being a participant on an online teaching webinar using Collaborate software. This virtual training session will give you a general overview of how a Collaborate session looks and feels. You will have the opportunity to interact in demonstrations of the essential teaching tools.

Collaborate: Online Personal Tutoring in a Private Virtual Office
Wednesday 29 July 2015 – 13:00 – 14:00
This online session will give you first-hand experience of personal tutoring in a private virtual office, using Collaborate software. You will have the opportunity to interact in demonstrations of the essential tutoring tools.

All sessions within the Developing Digital Excellence programme can be viewed and booked weeks in advance via the HR Staff Development 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 (including 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 [email protected] / 01695  650754 (x7754).


Linked Out…

Have you ever come across a broken link to an external website? Annoying isn’t it? Especially if the content you want to access has moved to a different location, requiring you to start searching all over again.

Fortunately in Blackboard this is now a thing of the past!

As a tutor you can check the validity of your external web links in your Blackboard course area.bb_link_checker

The External Links Validator lists all your course content links to external sites and displays whether they are valid or not.

The Link Checker can be launched from the Course Tools section under the Control Panel, on the left hand side of the course page.

Once the Link Checker is selected the tool will load all the external links contained in the course area.



You can then easily see which links are valid or not. There’s also the option to hide invalid links, to instantly remove them from your course and improve the student experience.

Learning technology Development (LTD) are always looking at ways to add functionality and improve the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Blackboard 9.1.

Please contact us if you have any comments or suggestions: [email protected]


John Langford

Learning Technology Development Systems Officer

Blackboard 9.1 summer upgrade 2015

The 2015 Blackboard upgrade will commence from 7:30 pm, 12th July (Sunday) to 7:30 am, 13th July (Monday). Blackboard will be unavailable during this period.

This upgrade will provide the annual updates to back-end functionality and security and ensure an even better stability of the system and its components.

Blackboard will be available from 13th July, 7:30 am, but will be deemed ‘at risk’ whilst we verify the functionalities of the upgraded features. This has been decided with the view of minimising disruption and enabling our users to access Learning Edge with the minimal interruption window.

If you have any enquiries relating to this, please email us at [email protected].

Finally, the last date for your diary is the 22nd June, when the LTD team will be undertaking the ‘closed doors’ testing to prepare for the system update and to ensure all the features fulfil their functionality ahead of the live upgrade.

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

Nina Unsworth

Learning Technology Development Operations Coordinator.

NU 2

LTD on Location – English and History

Recently, I popped into the Department of English and History to discuss the upcoming academic year (Yes! we really do start that early!) and as a result of a brief conversation about what the department needs from Learning Technology, we came up with a great idea for me to be based in the department for portions of time through the two upcoming busy marking weeks.

Turnitin, Grade Mark, Grade Centre and Learning Edge can become a little overwhelming when all those submissions land.  So the best way to support academics was for me (as the Learning Technology Development Officer for English & History) to be stationed in the department during certain times.

Quite often a problem or question can be solved so easily by simply saying – “could you just take a look at this?”  Usually at the end of a phone or email it seems like it’s a game of 20 questions just to get to the beginning so that you’re both at the some point.  Being able to quickly pop into a tutor’s office or to quickly bring it up on a PC together cuts out so much description time!

I also had the chance to meet some colleagues who I’ve never had the pleasure to meet before.  We worked through lots of interesting ideas and Learning Edge ‘wish lists’, tackled some little (and some bigger!) problems that staff had had and all in a very timely manner and no hot ear from being on the phone for 20 minutes!

I had the company of Sheila Lewis in the admin department and the staff made me feel very welcome while I was there. I was even treated to a home-made custard cream!  (Thanks Andy!)

As a result I now know the department even better than before!  They know the areas I can help them with and hopefully the marking regime was a little easy.  In addition, I’ve committed myself to a game of ‘Marrying Mr Darcy’ one lunchtime at the end of June!

If you have a particular interest in having a member of LTD stationed in your department at key times during the year, speak to your departmental LTDO (listed below) and find out if they can be on location for you to help ease any technology woes!

David Callaghan
Mark Wilcock
Education CPD and Health PPE
Peter Beaumont
Martin Baxter
Media, Geography, Biology, Business, Social Sciences, Psychology, Law & Criminology
Carol Chatten
Computing, English and History, Sports, Performing Arts, Clinical Education



Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer

More peer review = More feedback. What’s not to love?

A SOLSTICE discussion and webinar with Sarah Honeychurch and Gill Ferrell this Friday at 12pm.

Nicol-et-al-2013“Peer review is an important alternative to teacher feedback, as research indicates that both the production and the receipt of feedback reviews can enhance students’ learning without necessarily increasing teacher workload.” (Nicol, 2013:103).

A wealth of literature supports Nicol’s assertion: Zingaro & Porter, 2013; Mostert & Snowball, 2012; Nicol, 2010; Crouch, et al, 2007; Mitra, 2003 as well as experiences documented at Edge Hill (Juss et al., 2010).

Further, Nicol says peer review ‘ … should receive much greater attention in higher education curricula’ (ibid:102).  Hence, I’ve organised an online and face-to-face event at the SOLSTICE conference, where external experts will attend to discuss the technique and illustrate how technology can facilitate peer review.

Please come along to this event – either face-to-face in B004 at 12pm this Friday (please ensure you register for SOLSTICE):


… or to join us online, following this link:


The session will discuss some of the barriers to adoption, such as students’ lack of confidence giving feedback and concern about plagiarisism between students; to tutors disquiet about the quality of peer feedback provided.  The idea is to explore how insurmountable these barriers are and how we might overcome them.

Note that we’d be very interested in hearing from colleagues who are using the technique, especially online, exploring their drivers, approach and outcomes.

So – please come along, either in B004 or online.  Further thoughts sought too (leave a comment at the bottom).

Here’s my SOLSTICE abstract that gives further details:


Kindest regards to all, David



Crouch, H., Watkins, J. Fagen, A.P., Mazur, E. (2007) Peer Instruction: Engaging students one-on-one, all at once in Reviews in Physics Education Research, Ed. E.F. Redish and P. Cooney, pp. 1-1 (American Association of Physics Teachers, College Park, MD, 2007). Available from http://mazur.harvard.edu/publications.php?function=display&rowid=537 [Accessed 13th May 2015]

Juss, M., Chamberlain, V. and Callaghan, D. (2010) Moving Assessed Student Presentations Online: How a Change in Practice Brought “…a breath of fresh air” to the Student Experience SOLSTICE Conference 2010, Edge Hill University, ORMSKIRK, 3rd June 2010 [http://www.eshare.edgehill.ac.uk/1265/] last accessed 1st June 2015

Mitra, S. (2003). “Minimally Invasive Education: A progress report on the “Hole-in-the-wall” experiments”. British Journal of Educational Technology, 34(3), 367-371.

Mostert, M.; Snowball , J. (2012) Where angels fear to tread: online peer-assessment in a large first-year class Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education Vol. 38, Iss. 6, 2013 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2012.683770 [Accessed 13trh May 2015]

Nicol, D. (2010) The foundation for graduate attributes: Developing self-regulation through self and peer assessment. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.Scotland,

Nicol, D., Thomson, A, and Breslin, C. (2013) Rethinking feedback practices in higher education: a peer review perspective. Assessment and evaluation in higher education. 39(1),  102-122.

Zingaro, D., & Porter, L. (2014) Peer instruction in computing: The value of instructor intervention. Computers & Education, 71 , 87–96.