Supporting the Associate Tutor through a Blackboard ‘Hub’

Two programmes in the Faculty of Education who rely on Associate Tutors to bring skills and expertise to their courses have created ‘Hubs’ or Tutor Areas to create a community of practitioners where they can discuss and share experiences, questions and receive support in a safe environment, as they are most usually away from campus.

The Inclusion Team at Edge Hill have explored different ways of supporting Associate Tutors on the Inclusion Award.  One of the ways of which has proved to be really successful is making an area available on Blackboard called the “Inclusion Associate Tutor Hub” to which all associate tutors on the award have access to.

This allows all associate tutors on the Inclusion Award a central area on Blackboard to participate in discussions, share ideas and discuss best practices.

It allows the programne leaders and course leaders to provide support and information/updates to all Associate Tutors (AT’s) on the award. The associate tutor hub has proved to be an excellent resource area for all AT’s to engage in. A comment received by an AT supporting the course;

 “The Associate Tutor Hub has proved to be a great resource area and also allowed me to keep in touch and share ideas with other Associate Tutors on the award through discussion forums.”


In Clinical Education, Associate Tutors are predominantly drawn from doctors, experts and practitioners in the medical context.  They have full time jobs in hospitals and clinics and so find it difficult to attend AT sessions during working hours.

The Associate Tutors’ Area has helped ATs keep abreast of any changes or developments as the course progresses and also allows them to obtain any workshop materials ahead of the day of delivery and review up-to-date PowerPoint presentations that are planned to be used.

The area is broken up into the courses and modules to make identification of the materials quick and simple and also has links (using the web tool ‘When Should We?‘) to allow the tutors themselves to offer their availability to attend, facilitate or deliver workshops should they be available.  Being a blended programme, not all the content is delivered and facilitated online and so allowing the ATs to offer their attendance is vitally important to the programme.

Links to Edge Hill contacts are also included to avoid any feelings of isolation and a convenient calendar is utilised to enable ATs to plan ahead and see when one of the numerous cohorts of modules is due to commence or when workshops are coming up.

Help is also included for technology FAQs and help with getting their own PC or device setup and ready to use.  The discussion forum allows ATs to share thoughts and ideas on the course and also make suggestions for improvement in regards to what they would like training or development-wise.


The Blackboard areas have really helped associate tutors feel more included in the on-goings of the behind the scenes workings of courses and programmes.  Having a forum for Associate Tutors can aid their development and improve their own skills in a supportive environment, even though they may be away from campus.

If you are thinking this is something you would like to develop for your own Associate Tutors but would like some help or advice getting started, give LTD Support a call on 7754 or [email protected]

Irfan Mulla

Irfan Mulla
Learning Technology Development Officer (SENCo)


Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer
(FAS and Clinical Education)

A collaborative experience that engages everyone, every time, everywhere

It is now possible to engage with your students wherever they are. Keep them engaged offering them collaborative and interactive activities and a learning experience. This can be done all through the new platform Blackboard Collaborate.

Blackboard Collaborate Overview

It allows you to create virtual classrooms to deliver presentations, show videos, show websites, communicate synchronously in real time, and engage students in activities that can be presented online.

Mobile support is also available so students can access the online session through an iPhone or an iPad allowing them to access the session wherever they maybe.








The sessions can also be recorded to allow students to view the recording again and again.

Below is a link to a demonstration by a Blackboard Collaborate Advisor that gives further information on Blackboard Collaborate and the different ways it can be used.

Blackboard Collaborate Demonstration

If you have any questions or would like to find out more information you can contact me directly on 01695 650755 or [email protected]

Irfan Mulla






Irfan Mulla

Learning Technology Development Officer (LTD)



Podcasting with Campus Pack

It is now possible to create podcasts within Learning Edge using the Campus Pack podcast tool.

So exactly what is a podcast?

A podcast is a type of digital media consisting of an episodic series of files (either audio or video) subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication (RSS Feeds)

Podcasting lets you automatically receive the latest episode of your chosen programme as soon as it’s available. With podcasts you can subscribe to RSS feeds allowing the files come to you rather than searching for the files

How can it be used in education?

  • To record lectures for revision purposes, special events, or flexible delivery to those at a distance
  • To provide a recap or précis of the week’s activities
  • Interviews with subject specialists
  • Assisting those with different learning styles
  • Listening/pronunciation practice for certain discipline e.g. language learning, phonetics
  • Providing feedback to groups on assessment
  • Student activities

Creating podcasts using Campus Pack

Podcasting: Skills and Techniques

Want to findout more about the podcasting tool?  Contact the Learning Technology Development Team on: 01695 650 754 (or internal 7754)

Irfan Mulla

Learning Technologist

Creating Accessible Content

Creating accessible content is an important aspect to consider when putting content in Learning Edge. It is important to make sure information is easily available to everybody.

By using a simple tool from the Web to create content and using this in Learning Edge it can transform your course pages.

The tool can be found on the Web and it is a simple HTML Editor Tool which allows you to customise your content and differentiate content using colour schemes.

There are many HTML tools available but the one that has proved to be the most useful is shown below

HTML Editor

Example of content created using the HTML tool 

Image 3

Colour coding the text allows the students to differentiate different areas such as readings, links to audio files, videos, discussions etc. and makes it easy for them to access the information.

Readings are linked directly to the library catalogue for easy access and by using the Learning Module option from Learning Edge this allows for easy navigation by providing a contents area.

If you would like to find out more information on how you could use to this tool to enhance your course pages contact the Learning Development Team on 01695 650 754 (or internal 7754)

Irfan Mulla
Learning Technologist