Students – keep telling us what you think!

There is still time to win one of our prizes (£50 Amazon vouchers, 2 x £25 Amazon vouchers or a 1GB USB wristband) by completing the fourth Students eLearning Survey. We have now had 327 responses to our survey so a big thank you to all those who have completed it so far, but we need as many more as possible to give a truly representative picture.

We’ve had a look at the results to date and thought we would share some early feedback with you. We’re delighted to see that a high percentage of students (79.2%) feel that Learning Edge enhances the knowledge and understanding that they get from lectures and tutorials. Last year this figure was 75.2% so it’s great to see that this has increased. Similarly 88.1% of students agree that Learning Edge enables them to learn at a place and time of their choosing; this has increased from last years figure of 83.4%.

Another positive finding is that technical difficulties experienced when using Blackboard (now Learning Edge) have decreased. Last year, 60.7% of students had problems off campus compared with 43.5% this year. 45.9% of students had problems when on campus last year, but this has reduced to 38%. This hasn’t happened by accident; Learning Edge is a more robust and reliable system, underpinned by high quality technical and learner support. We’ve also created lots of new guides for students so we hope this has contributed to the reduction in problems!

We know how important it is to many students to be able to submit assignments online (84.7% said so this year and 82.7% last year) and we’re pleased to report that there are developments underway to improve this process and to offer more options to both students and tutors….so watch this space!

If you are a frequent viewer of our blog you will have seen previous posts about Mobile Learn, the mobile app for Learning Edge. Many students have already downloaded the app which is great news, and we’re keen for more students to make use of the app. The results of the survey show that last year 36.1% of students had an internet enabled mobile phone, but according to this year’s results so far this has increased to 78%. The launch of our mobile app was obviously very timely! For more information about the app have a look at this post.

The results mentioned above are based on the responses so far, so if you’ve not already completed the survey please do so and contribute to our findings for this year. Remember, as an added incentive, we are offering a grand prize of £50 Amazon vouchers and two runner up prizes of £25 Amazon vouchers to the lucky winners of our prize draw. We are also giving away one of our very exclusive Learning Services 1GB USB wristbands for every 20th response. We’ve already given away 16 of our wristbands – complete the survey now for your chance to be the next winner!

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

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

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

Mobile Matters

Are you using the Blackboard Mobile Learn app yet? The mobile app for Learning Edge (Blackboard 9.1) has been available for a good few weeks now, so we thought it would be a good time to look at how much it’s being used. What we found makes fascinating reading!

The last month alone saw 9,343 visits to Learning Edge from a mobile device, but interestingly only 2,535 (27%) of these visits were made via the Mobile Learn app. This means a lot of users are navigating to the site using the browser within their mobile device rather than an app designed specifically for smart devices. Without the app you will have to enter log in details every time you want to access Blackboard; with the app you can save your log in details making it quicker to check into your course. The mobile app also makes navigating the VLE, viewing information and using tools such as the discussion board and journals much easier. Without the app, Learning Edge isn’t optimised for mobile use so if you haven’t already tried it, why not install the app now to see if it makes accessing Learning Edge on your mobile device easier for you? The app displays Blackboard in a different but more mobile-friendly way; the picture below shows how it might look:

Apple continues to be the most widely used with a total of 81% (5,527) of visits coming from Apple devices. The graph below shows the breakdown of the devices used:

You can set your notifications within Blackboard to be sent to either your Blackboard dashboard, your EHU email address, or your mobile app. This means anytime there is activity within your course (for example a new announcement or grade released) you’ll be notified, meaning you’ll always be up to date with what’s happening in your course. For notifications to be sent to your mobile device you need to have the app installed….so install it today!

For information on how to set your Blackboard notifications and for guidance on how to get the app have a look at our collection of mobile guides.

If you have any feedback about your experiences with using the app we’d love to hear from you, so please leave comments here.

Katherine Richardson
LTD Operations Co-ordinator

Learning Edge goes mobile!

We are pleased to announce some exciting news … Learning Edge (Blackboard 9.1) has an app!

The Blackboard Mobile Learn app can be accessed by anyone with a smartphone or tablet device (iPhone, iPod, iPad, Blackberry, Android) for easy and convenient access to courses and collaboration and communication tools whilst on the go.  The app gives you mobile ‘friendly’ access to your course dashboard, announcements, assignments, grades, discussions and handouts.  You’ll also be able to contribute to and comment on discussion and blog posts, and staff will be able to update announcements and journals and create new discussion threads.

This is a timely development for EHU as our 3rd annual Students eLearning Survey (January 2011) revealed that many of our students currently use their mobile phones to access and share information about their courses. They told us that they wanted to access Blackboard in this way too.  We anticipate student use of Blackboard Mobile via the app will really take off. There are a couple of reasons for this – firstly, national data from Ofcom suggests that smartphone ownership in the UK is growing at a rate of 70% a year, with about 45% of 16-24 year olds now having internet-enabled phones. Secondly, thanks to Google Analytics, we know that people are already accessing Blackboard 9.1 from their mobile devices.

August is traditionally our quietest month and yet we we had 598 visits to the Blackboard 9.1 site from mobile devices. This is amazing as 9.1 is not optimised for mobile use. The graph below shows the breakdown of the devices used:

As you can see, the operating systems most used were iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android and Blackberry.  Our Mobile Learn app is available for all of these devices.

You can download the app and start using it now by following these four simple steps:

1.  Search for “Blackboard Mobile Learn” in your app store.
2.  Once the app is installed, search for Edge Hill University using the search bar that automatically appears when you open the app.
3.  Select Edge Hill University.
4.  Log in using the same username and password you normally use to access Learning Edge.

You can find installation guides and helpful FAQs about Mobile Learn here –

Apple users click here
Android users click here
Blackberry users click here
Setting your Mobile Learn course notifications

The Learning Technology Development team will be offering some awareness-raising sessions throughout the coming semester for staff wanting to know more about developing mobile ‘friendly’ courses in Learning Edge, but if you would like to start sooner, contact us to find out more by emailing ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk

Katherine Richardson
LTD Operations Co-ordinator

Training and support

As many staff will be aware, we’re in the process of moving over to ‘Learning Edge’ (Blackboard 9.1). Many of our academic teams have already received training on the new system as part of the ‘systems migration’ and we are arranging additional sessions in consultation with each faculty….contact your faculty champions for more details of these sessions.

For those colleagues within support services, keep an eye on the staff development wiki for opportunities to attend training sessions on the new system. In the meantime, if you have any specific queries or need immediate support please contact the Learning Technology Development team at ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk – we’re always on hand to help.

There are many resources available to support you on the Learning Services wiki which can be accessed here: https://go.edgehill.ac.uk/wiki/display/ls/ under ‘How do I…? Use Technology Enhanced Learning

Training guides for Blackboard 9.1 can be found here, as well as a wealth of other information around technology enhanced learning. If you would like support with a technology and can’t find a resource there, please contact us on the above email and let us know what you would like to see!

Katherine Richardson
LTD Operations Co-ordinator

Elaine Czotter

Elaine Czotter
ICT Staff Development Co-ordinator