Summer’s over… Let’s welcome the new term!

We wave goodbye to the long days, sunshine(?!) and quiet campus but instead we greet our new students and all the fun – and challenges – that the new term brings!

So what’s been happening lately in the world of learning technology? Well, possibly not much that you can actually see but plenty has been going on behind the scenes as well as enhancements to what was already there.

LEHomeYou may have firstly noticed that we’ve gone purple! Yes, in keeping with the Learning Services chosen corporate colour we have matched this in the Learning Edge look.  We think it looks rather smart – let us know what you think…

Momentum has picked up in our Faculty Resources areas in Learning Edge (you will see these as ‘Your FoE Resources‘, ‘Your FoHSC Resources‘ or ‘Your FAS Resources‘, with new ‘panels’ being created all the time to host useful information for students including job updates, events on campus and pinpointing handy learning resources.  Lots of departments have asked for their Twitter feeds to be added to the Learning Edge Homepage too.  If you want yours on there get in touch with LTD to find out how!

Possibly for the first in quite some time we didn’t apply a major update to Learning Edge.  We still carried out an update to the system to ensure it’s as robust and reliable as possible for this coming year.  The update fixed a number of ‘bugs’ and also streamlined some of the processes to hopefully make everything work faster.

Qwickly continues to be a popular tool for staff to ‘qwickly’ make their courses available.  Don’t forget to do this so your new students can see their modules or programme areas! You can find it at the bottom of your Course list on the Learning Edge Home page.

With any luck before Christmas we will welcome the new Learning Edge/Blackboard Mobile App for students.  This will bring an updated and improved experience to students who prefer to use their mobiles for their learning.  Watch this space for further information! We may also soon see a Blackboard Mobile App specifically for Instructors! Again watch this space for further information.  (If you are using the Learning Edge/Blackboard Assignment tool for submissions don’t forget you can download the ‘Grader‘ app to mark students’ work on your tablet) or for iPad users, you can get the Turnitin marking app.

The new BOS (Bristol Online Surveys) interface came in before summer and we hope that you’re enjoying using the additional functionality it came with, the easy to use face-lift and mobile friendliness!  If you aren’t currently using BOS – you might wish to take a closer look at what it can do for you here: BOS Help & Support.
Get in touch with LTD to get a free account to use for whatever you need it for – student surveys, evaluations, research, opinion gathering and much more!

Other little goodies…
eShare continues to grow in popularity for staff to host their teaching materials.  Every member of staff has an account using their staff login details to access it.
www.eshare.edgehill.ac.uk

ispringExampleiSpring for rapid e-learning content development using PowerPoint has taken off in a number of departments.  If you want to find out more contact LTD for some examples or find out if we’ve got a license we can allocate to you.  In addition to this we should hopefully be welcoming Office Mix too… again, watch this space!

In LTD we’ve got some really exciting projects already kicking off.  These include work around User Experience testing, Reading List integration with Learning Edge, Staff Knowledge Base plus much, much more (In the region of 40+ projects in fact!)
One project in particular will see the development and deployment of a TLA (Teaching Learning and Assessment) Tab that will join the others in Learning Edge.  We aim to include exciting and informative help, guidance and support in regards to all things Teaching and Learning.  We’ll be approaching as many departments as possible for their input so please share with us your ideas!

This is a really exciting year coming up and we are looking forward to working with as many of our wider colleagues as possible over the coming year.  Contact your Learning Technologist for all your Teaching and Learning with Technology needs (not just Learning Edge!) The earlier you get them involved with their skills and expertise the greater the satisfaction you will have when your ideas come to fruition!  Details of your Learning Technologist can be found by clicking here.

Have a fantastic 2015/16 academic year and keep in touch!

LTD_Carol_Chatten

 

 

Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer

 

Blackboard Collaborate Case Study 2 of 3

Blog 2 Bb Collab Case Study cropLesley Briscoe, Senior Lecturer on the International Midwifery Programme.  Lesley explains in this the second in a series of three video case studies (click to view the first in the series), the challenges of delivering a programme aimed at both conventional students and those accessing the programme online and from overseas.

She goes on to mention the solutions Blackboard Collaborate provided her, the Midwifery Team and the students studying the programme, particularly those attending from all corners of the world.

Lesley’s video outlines her personal experience and the significance that technology can play to instil confidence in developing an online course that is able to deliver all that it promises.

Click the YouTube image below to hear more about Lesley’s experience…LB youtube_player

If you feel inspired by this and other videos in the series and want to learn more about web conferencing (Blackboard Collaborate), your Learning Technologist can help.

In addition, you can access to Blackboard Collaborate training, talk to your Learning Technologist for more information.

Martin Baxter
Martin Baxter
Learning Technology Development Officer

Blackboard Collaborate – Video Case Study 1 of 3

David Callaghan is a Learning Technologist and an Associate Tutor for the Faculty of Education on the Undergraduate Professional DevelopmentStudent participating in an online video conference session. Programme, a blended course – delivered mostly online – via our Blackboard VLE and the Collaborate web conferencing system, with some face to face conference days.  So, he can also practice what he preaches.

Collaborate is used by David and his colleagues for student inductions; it’s also used for tutorials giving an equivalent experience to that of distance learners. The feedback from students indicates that Collaborate has made them feel part of the University community.

David Callaghan Associate Tutor

David’s video tells us how using web conferencing can help create an equitable experience – by bringing students together online they are able to support and challenge each other and build a community of inquiry, as they would do in an on-campus classroom.

Learning Edge Blog Post – Student account:
“The experience for me was absolutely invaluable on every level and absolutely without a doubt was a contributing factor to achieving a first class honours.”

Read more in this blog post: Technologies are an “absolute lifeline” for our students!

If you feel inspired by this and other videos in the series and want to learn more about web conferencing (Blackboard Collaborate), your Learning Technologist can help.

In addition, you can access to Blackboard Collaborate training, talk to your Learning Technologist for more information.

Martin Baxter
Martin Baxter
Learning Technology Development Officer