Learning Edge – Successful Upgrade!

The scheduled summer upgrade has been completed successfully and you can now login to Learning Edge as normal.

The upgrade introduces a number of improvements, which we hope you will like!

You can follow this link to learn more about the new features, including a major product update to Turnitin called Feedback Studio.

Please Feedback

Contact the Learning Technology Development team to share any queries or comments you have regarding the upgrade – leave a comment below, email ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk or call 01695 650754.

Learning Edge Upgrade July 2017 – What’s coming this summer

This summer, Blackboard will be upgraded to include a number of new & exciting features!

The upgrade will take place from Sunday 23rd July 2017 (2:30 pm) until Monday 24th July 2017 (2:30 pm).  During this time, please note that the VLE will be unavailable.

We are busy testing all of the new features and if successful these may include:

Mobile Access – More Responsive Design

This release includes a new theme that provides a more modern look and feel (colour, font & spacing enhancements) and it significantly increases the responsiveness of the interface for small devices.  This upgrade feature will improve accessibility and functionality with the Blackboard Instructor App which is coming soon!

Assignment Submissions

Drag & Drop

Students:  Can drag & drop files to upload when they submit assignments instead of using the ‘Browse my Computer’ option!

Staff: Don’t forget staff can host content files in our digital repository – eShare!

Submission receipts

Administrators & Module/Programme Leaders can keep track of all student submissions, regardless of whether the attempt or assignment is deleted or the submission history is changed. A submission receipt is captured at the time of submission and includes information such as attached file information, date, time, etc.

A receipt is generated for each group member when a student submits on behalf of the group.

When students submit assignments successfully, the Review Submission History page appears with information about their submitted assignments and a success message with a confirmation number. Students can copy and save this number as proof of their submissions.

You can also email submission reminders to students and members of groups who have missing coursework!

Turnitin Feedback Studio

This will provide both staff and student enhancement highlights – more details to follow in another post.

 Online Collaborate

Course tool links to ‘Blackboard Collaborate Ultra’ are now available. This offers a new interface & more functionality than the previous ‘Blackboard Collaborate Scheduling Manager’ tool link.

Library Support and Resources

My Library tab content refresh based on feedback from staff & students & transition from Rebus to Talis Aspire (coming soon) which will bring a more intuitive interface, dashboard for staff, & potential for deeper / more granular integration with Blackboard in the future.

 Course Activity Reports

The Course Activity Overview report has been updated to improve the experience for larger enrolment courses. You can filter the report and break down the calculations of student activity by course groups.

For the full list of new features please refer to the release notes here.

Once we have successfully tested these features we will keep you updated!

Did you know…….   Learning Edge Baseline and Course Templates have been updated? Info and guides are available on the staff tab:

2017-18 Baseline: http://eshare.edgehill.ac.uk/6892/

Guide to the Baseline and Course Templates: http://eshare.edgehill.ac.uk/11183/

Feel free to email LTDSupport@edgehill.ac.uk and we’d be more than happy to answer any questions.

 

 

 

Leah Wilson 
Learning Technology Development Operations Coordinator

Blackboard Upgrade: Summer 2016

blackboard-learning-edgeThis summer, Blackboard will be upgraded to a new and much improved release. The upgrade will take place from Sunday 17th July 2016 (7.30pm) until Monday 18th July (3.30pm). During this time, please note that the VLE will be unavailable.

A number of exciting interface changes will be added to Blackboard Learn, Qwickly Attendance and Blackboard Collaborate. You will also experience an array of bug fixes and some functionality improvements to all of these. We do not expect this upgrade to have a significant impact on existing course content or activities.

This page summarises what staff and students at Edge Hill University need to know.

Blackboard Learn – General Updates:

  • Thread to thread navigation within discussion forums;
  • A description of the forum is shown when making a new discussion thread;
  • New default duration setting for announcements: “Not date restricted” is now the default, so please remember to still use date restriction settings to remove announcements when they are no longer needed;
  • Spell check within the text editor is now enabled by default;
  • Support for Chromebooks.

For the full list of new features please refer to the release notes here.

Blackboard Learn – Interface Changes:

To ensure that we deliver the best VLE experience to reflect what our users want we have undertaken a very informative User Experience (UX) study. With the help of our students and staff, we identified several areas which we wanted to make better based on the feedback we received.

  • We have de-cluttered, removed duplicate links and simplified the look of your VLE.
  • ‘Your Faculty Resource’ tab becomes ‘My Library’. The tab layout has also been refreshed and streamlined to improve navigation and information discoverability.
  • All of our cross faculty colleagues will also now benefit from the new Staff Tab which includes the key features such as a quick access to the Baseline, templates guidance, staff development events and many more. This is a 1st release of the tab, so we want your feedback. Please tell us what you like, what you don’t like and any ideas you have for new content, by completing this quick Staff Tab Survey.

Qwickly Attendance Update (Online Register Tool):

Qwickly Attendance enables staff to take and manage attendance within Blackboard. Staff can take attendance online using the attendance list on screen or allow students to self check in on their own browser, complete with a PIN and countdown timer. All data is stored online within each blackboard course and is available to download in CSV (Excel) format.Additional new features for this tool include:

  • Custom statuses (excused/absences)
  • Record multiple registers for a variety of sessions running throughout a single day
  • Re-generate automatic (custom) emails to students that are absent

Blackboard Collaborate (Virtual Classrooms):

Breakout out Groups:

Instructors can now create groups (online breakout rooms) within the virtual classroom. In a group, participants experience a face-to-face collaborative environment. They can use Collaborate’s high quality video and audio. They can chat just in the group or send messages to the whole class. The can share files and whiteboard together. And if they use Google Chrome, they can also share applications with each other.

Polling:

You will now be able to poll participants in a session to add more engagement and interest. You can use a poll where participants choose yes or no as their answer. You can also select to give participants two, three, four, or five responses to choose from.

If you choose one of the numbered choice polls, participants see numbers as their choices. Tell your participants what they are choosing with each number. Share an image or PowerPoint with the numbered choices and related response listed.

Feel free to email LTDSupport@edgehill.ac.uk or phone us on Ext 7754 and we’d be more than happy to answer any questions or just get in touch if you would simply like to know more.

Mark WilcockMark Wilcock

Learning Technology Development Officer

 

 

nina_unsworthNina Unsworth

Operations Coordinator

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 ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk.

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 ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk

Nina Unsworth

Learning Technology Development Operations Coordinator.

NU 2

New Bristol Online Surveys (BOS) is coming this February 2015

BOS banner

The new version of BOS is coming this February 2015. Please refer to my earlier blog to catch up on the new and enhanced features which are coming with the upgrade: http://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/learningedge/?p=3721 

The migration dates are confirmed as follows:

Wednesday 25th February & Thursday 26th February 2015.

Please note – there will be no access to the BOS survey tool on these dates.

If a survey respondent attempts to access a survey on these dates they will receive an automatic message advising them to return to the survey link later (it will not specify a date).  Consequently, if you have a survey which is open during the two migration dates above, you may choose to notify your survey audience that your survey will not be accessible on these two dates.

Normal service will resume on Friday 27th February 2015.

What to do next:

I would advise you to log into your BOS account to check your contact details are correct. Once your account is migrated you will receive an email invitation from BOS with an account activation link. You will need to complete this step to validate your account and to choose a new password.

The new version of BOS uses email addresses as the username.

Please remember that any unlaunched surveys with a closing date that is two or more years in the past will not be migrated. If you want to keep that survey, you can edit the closing date to ensure the survey is moved across.

It is worth noting that if you are collecting personal information about individuals, you have a number of legal obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998. Principle 5 of the Data Protection Act is particularly pertinent here:

“Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.”

If you don’t have any specific reasons to hold on to the data, then it should be deleted. For more information about your data protection responsibilities see the ICO’s Guide to Data Protection.

 Final points to remember:

All your existing survey links will still work by being redirected to the new location, and do not hesitate to contact me at ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk or via the phone on 01695 650754 for any further questions or support and guidance following the migration.

 

nina_unsworth Nina Unsworth

LTD Operations Coordinator

 

 

Bristol Online Survey (BOS) – New Features Coming Soon

BOS logo

The team behind Bristol Online Surveys have been working on the new and enhanced version of BOS which will be released later this year. BOS is the University supported survey tool which is easy to use and allows you to create, deploy and analyse surveys.

BOS featuresThe new version will look and feel different, with many features which will enhance the functionality within the survey design, completion and analysis.

BOS will also be mobile friendly which makes it easier for participants to complete surveys on their mobile phones or tablets – hopefully this will increase your returns!  You can even allow sharing of surveys via Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

So, what do I need to do in preparation?

 If you already have some surveys in your BOS account, please review them and close or delete any that you no longer need. This will greatly help to reduce the migration time.

We have also been advised that any unlaunched surveys with a close date set at over 2 years ago will not be migrated. If you need to keep a survey that this applies to, please ensure you modify the close date.

The Upgrade Process

The upgrade will happen towards the end of October this year. During this time, we will experience some downtime (estimated to be a day) on our University BOS account and all active surveys will be temporarily unavailable. The participants will see the message advising them to come back shortly.

Once the migration has been completed, you and your respondents will see the new updated interface.  The link to your survey will remain the same.

For more information about the upgrade date and a sneak peek into the new features and enhancements to BOS, keep checking this blog.

If you would like any further information or if you have questions regarding this, please contact us via the email at ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk or call us on 01695 650754.

 NB: Surveys containing personal information

It is worth noting that if you are collecting personal information about individuals, there are a number of legal obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998. Principle 5 of the Data Protection Act is particularly pertinent here: “Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.” If you don’t have any specific reasons to hold on to the data, then it should be deleted. For more information about your data protection responsibilities see the ICO’s Guide to Data Protection.

nina_unsworth

 

Nina Unsworth

Learning Technology Development Operations Coordinator

 

Mobile Matters! Who’s using an app?

Mobile-matters-header

The way Edge Hill students and staff are choosing to access Learning Edge appears to be changing, and more than ever we’re seeing usage patterns that show how important mobile access is.

There is an increasing trend for users to access Learning Edge via tablets and smart phones rather than the traditional PC. VLE use in general has increased – up by 33% compared with last September, but it’s even more interesting to see how mobile access has rocketed – up by a whopping 175%!

Over the last 12 months almost 17,000 individuals used the Mobile Learn app to access Learning Edge – with an impressive 6,000 in the first few weeks of term. Use of the app itself is even more impressive. Visits via the app in September 2012 totaled 17,703 compared with 53,785 in the same period this year – an increase of 204%!

It is good to see that both staff and students are taking advantage of the flexibility and ease of access that the mobile app offers.

Raising Awareness

At the start of term, to help students #Getconnected to the mobile technology available to them, Learning Services and IT colleagues spoke to over 1600 students at the freshers fair. With improved awareness of the Mobile Learn app, and better than ever features, steadily more users are opting to use the app (66%), as opposed to their mobile browser.

Mobile-matters

Advice for Staff: Recommended Practices for Mobile-Friendly Courses

As more and more students choose to access Learning Edge on their mobile devices, making sure your course is optimised to work with the Mobile Learn app will improve your students’ experience and ability to engage with the course wherever they are. The Mobile Learn app doesn’t replace the need for students or staff to access Learning Edge via a PC, but it does offer new opportunities to access features that work well on the go. So any time you edit or develop your Learning Edge Course, ask yourself, “is this mobile friendly?”

The following guides from Blackboard offer useful guidance:

  1. Getting Started
  2. Designing Content
  3. Mobile Learn Tools
  4. Quick Reference

The Learning Services Learning Technology Development team are also here to help. If you’d like advice on developing your course to make best use of the Mobile Learn app contact your learning technologist, come to one of our Developing Digital Excellence staff development sessions and browse the Learning Edge: Blackboard Mobile Learn guide collection available on eShare.

nina_unsworth

 

Nina Unsworth

Learning Technology Development Operations Coordinator