Office Mix end of Service Reminder – 2 Weeks Remaining to Migrate Content

What is Happening?

Microsoft have recently notified any staff that have used Office Mix that it it will be retired on M‍ay 1st, 2‍018. On this date the Microsoft Office Mix site and all its content will be officially discontinued. The site will no longer be accessible after that date. Any links or embedded content to your Office Mix content in your Learning Edge courses will stop working after this date.

What do I need to do?

A number of staff at Edge Hill University have been using Office Mix as a tool to create interactive multi-media presentations for their Learning Edge (Blackboard) courses. If you have been using Office Mix, you will need to download any files you wish to keep before May 1st, 2018.

If you would like to save your content, you can download your Mixes as PowerPoint files (.pptx), and your analytics data as Excel files (.xlsx) to save to your local storage device.

We recommend that you now re-publish your Mixes as videos and upload them to Panopto. If you have quiz questions in your Mixes you will need to recreate them using the Panopto interactive quiz tool. Please contact your faculty Technologist for support with this procedure.

Will Microsoft replace Office Mix?

Microsoft have said that “Over time, we will be adding the best experiences of Office Mix across PowerPoint, Stream, and Forms to make it even easier for you to create and share interactive online videos.”

Microsoft has also published an information page. Edge Hill University staff should note that we do not currently have access to Microsoft Stream. Our Panopto service will offer the exact same experience for these types of online materials.

Desktop Recording alternative

The Learning Technology Development team recommend that all staff use Panopto as a desktop recording replacement. Please check the Learning Services Lecture Capture page for further information on this service and how if can be used as a guide to Desktop Recording.

FAQs

Can the current Mixes in my course continue until 1st May 2018?
Yes, but we recommend that you ensure that you have downloaded a copy of all your presentations. Links that have been copied forward from a previous semester will still work in Learning Edge. An automatic message about the retirement of Office Mix, will be display every time a staff member or student clicks on an Office Mix link in their course.

Can I still publish Mixes to the Office website until 1st May 2018?
No, the publishing functionality has not been available since 1st January 2018.

Can I continue to use Office Mix to produce videos?
Yes, only the Office Mix publishing site is not available. Office Mix PowerPoint plug in though may not work with future versions of PowerPoint or Windows. Note, the Office Mix PowerPoint plug in is no longer available to download.

Could I migrate my Office Mixes to a private Mircosoft Stream account?
Yes, but this does not have any advantages over uploading the content to Panopto. Your Office Mix will be converted to a video and the navigation and quizzes features will not be available.

Do Microsoft have any support pages?
If you have questions or need help with your account, please visit their help article or contact Microsoft Mix support here: https://aka.ms/mix-support

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Mark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer

 

 

Keep Calm and Submit this Christmas

LS0391-Submissions-Blog1

Christmas comes around quick doesn’t it!? One minute you’re moving in to halls for the term, the next you’re back off for a fortnight!

It’s hard work being a student but before you pack your Christmas hat, Playstation and elf onesie don’t forget your end of term submissions!

During November our team of Student Advisors ran a series of 10 drop in sessions to answer all your queries about online submission. If you missed these, don’t worry! Our Student Advisors are based at the Ask Desk and are available 11-4pm during weekdays and we’ve also drawn together some good practice in this blog post to ensure that your submissions over the next week (or so) go as smoothly as you could possibly wish for. There are always chances of uncertainty, but with a little thought and preparation (like a good Christmas present) you’ll be riding as high as Father Christmas himself as opposed to slipping up on black ice.

1. On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

…advice on where to submit your work

Your first port of call for help with submission should always be your tutor.   They know where the submission dropbox is in Learning Edge and will be able to point you in the right direction.  Please ensure you follow any guidelines you have been provided with. If you need further help submitting your work online, you can also speak to a member of staff at the Ask Desk (9am-7pm weekdays) or you can Ask Us online.

Keep your tutor informed of any problems you may have, especially in the days leading up to a deadline – it helps them to keep track of your progress and ensures they can help you quickly if need arises.  If you can’t get hold of your tutor, give your departmental administrators a visit.

 

2. On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

…two places to get help (Twitter and Ask Us!)

Have you ever encountered a Learning Edge or Turnitin issue during submission? If you think this could be system related, we do have preferred Twitter feeds for you to follow that will highlight any known issues:

@EdgeHillVLE provides scheduled Learning Edge maintenance alerts and up to date system notices around different technologies used within the VLE such as Turnitin.

@Turnitinstatus is the official feed for Turnitin system status, you may find that Learning Edge is fine but Turnitin is unavailable.  Checking this feed will help you diagnose an issue with Turnitin submissions.

Let’s say everything is OK technically and you have an issue around the online submission process and Learning Edge? A good starting point would be to head over to the Ask Us service and see if your question can be answered here. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, you can simply type your question and we will discuss it with you in real time using our live chat facility.

 

3. On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

…three web browsers

Why is it you get a technical problem right at a critical moment?  If you have given yourself time, you should be able to try another PC if you run into problems. We know that anything could happen at any moment; internet dropping out, PC crashing, wireless not connecting the list goes on, so give yourself a break and some time to try out another computer – in university, in work or even your mate’s PC. If it’s just not happening for you, see the first point (keeping in touch with your tutor).

One quick solution could be to try a different browser.  The common ones are Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome (although you may wish to try Safari on a Mac).

Often, tutors will allow multiple submissions to an online drop-box, so you may be able to use this to your advantage. Check with your tutor and if this is the case, try submitting your work, even if not quite finished yet, to the drop-box a few days before the deadline just so you’re up to speed with the process before your final submission.
Waiting until 1 minute before the deadline isn’t the time to start figuring out how everything works!

 

4. On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

… (twenty) four hours

It may come to the time of doing your ‘final’ submission but if in Turnitin you have submitted an earlier version you will find that when you submit again everything looks the same…at least for 24 hours. You will have to wait until the next day to see your new originality report and the preview of your updated document – another good reason to be organised and get your work in handy! tiiRemember at the second stage of submitting to Turnitin you can check what you are about to submit just to be certain you’ve attached the right file.

 

5. On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

… 5 UniSkills Packages!

The Uniskills online submission page is something definitely worth bookmarking to your browser favorites. Here you can gain access to all online submission guides and the online Turnitin toolkit (see below).

TiiPackage

In addition on ‘Your FoE Resources‘ or ‘Your FoHSC Resources‘ or ‘Your FAS Resources‘ tab from the Learning Edge Homepage you get access to ‘UniSkills Online Toolkits‘:

  • Referencing
  • Planning Your Assignment
  • Finding Academic Information
  • Dissertations

 

We know that when that deadline is approaching it’ll be stressful enough without unexpected niggles, so try not to leave your submission till the last minute. This echoes all points above but if done correctly will ensure the final moments before you click ‘Submit’ will be as stress-less as possible.

Once all done, sit back, put your feet up with a nice cuppa and enjoy your Christmas holiday. Remember, if you have any problems Keep Calm and Ask Us!

 



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Carol Chatten & Mark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officers

 

 

Keep Calm and Submit this Christmas

KeepCalmBanner

Christmas comes around quick doesn’t it!? One minute you’re moving in to halls for the term, the next you’re back off for a fortnight!

It’s hard work being a student but before you pack your Christmas hat, XBox and onesie don’t forget your end of term submissions!

We’ve drawn together some good practice to ensure that your submissions over the next week (or so) go as smoothly as you could possibly wish for. There are always chances of uncertainty, but with a little thought and preparation (like a good Christmas present) you’ll be riding as high as Father Christmas himself as opposed to slipping up on black ice.

1. On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

…advice on where to submit your work

Your first port of call for help with submission should always be your tutor.  They know where the submission dropbox is in Learning Edge and will be able to point you in the right direction.  Please ensure you follow any guidelines you have been provided with.

Keep your tutor informed of any problems you may have, especially in the days leading up to a deadline – it helps them to keep track of your progress and ensures they can help you quickly if need arises.  If you can’t get hold of your tutor, give your departmental administrators a visit.

 

2. On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

…two places to get help (Twitter and Ask Us!)

Have you ever encountered a Learning Edge or Turnitin issue during submission? If you think this could be system related, we do have preferred Twitter feeds for you to follow that will highlight any known issues:

@EdgeHillVLE provides scheduled Learning Edge maintenance alerts and up to date system notices around different technologies used within the VLE such as Turnitin.

@Turnitinstatus is the official feed for Turnitin system status, you may find that Learning Edge is fine but Turnitin is unavailable.  Checking this feed will help you diagnose an issue with Turnitin submissions.

Let’s say everything is OK technically and you have an issue around the online submission process and Learning Edge? A good starting point would be to head over to the Ask Us service and see if your question can be answered here. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, you can simply type your question and we will discuss it with you in real time using our live chat facility.

 

3. On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

…three web browsers

Why is it you get a technical problem right at a critical moment?  If you have given yourself time, you should be able to try another PC if you run into problems. We know that anything could happen at any moment; internet dropping out, PC crashing, wireless not connecting the list goes on, so give yourself a break and some time to try out another computer – in university, in work or even your mate’s PC. If it’s just not happening for you, see the first point (keeping in touch with your tutor).

One quick solution could be to try a different browser.  The common ones are Internet Explorer (10+), Firefox and Chrome (although you may wish to try Safari on a Mac).

Often, tutors will allow multiple submissions to an online drop-box, so you may be able to use this to your advantage. Check with your tutor and if this is the case, try submitting your work, even if not quite finished yet, to the drop-box a few days before the deadline just so you’re up to speed with the process before your final submission.
Waiting until 1 minute before the deadline isn’t the time to start figuring out how everything works!

 

4. On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

… (twenty) four hours

It may come to the time of doing your ‘final’ submission but if in Turnitin you have submitted an earlier version you will find that when you submit again everything looks the same…at least for 24 hours. You will have to wait until the next day to see your new originality report and the preview of your updated document – another good reason to be organised and get your work in handy! tiiRemember at the second stage of submitting to Turnitin you can check what you are about to submit just to be certain you’ve attached the right file.

 

5. On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

… FIVE VIDEOS!

 How do I submit  HOW DO I SUBMIT?
 How do I save my digital receipt  HOW DO I SAVE MY DIGITAL RECIEPT?
 Viewing your Turnitin Report (in Turnitin)  HOW DO I SAVE MY REPORT?
 How do I save my report  VIEWING YOUR REPORT
 Viewing your mark and feedback VIEWING YOUR MARK AND FEEDBACK (if your tutor marks online)

 

We know that when that deadline is approaching it’ll be stressful enough without unexpected niggles, so try not to leave your submission till the last minute. This echoes all points above but if done correctly will ensure the final moments before you click ‘Submit’ will be as stress-less as possible.

mini_fist_pump

Once all done, sit back, put your feet up with a nice cuppa and enjoy your Christmas holiday. Remember, if you have any problems Keep Calm and Ask Us!

 

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Mark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer

 

 

Carol_Chatten

Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer

Top tips for Learning Edge Part 2

It’s been over two months since Carol’s ‘Top tips for Learning Edge’ post back in 2011, since then more and more support centred answers have been assembled from the user queries and feedback we’ve received.  There’s something for everyone in this collection to enhance ‘your’ experience on Learning Edge – ranging from areas such as Course Management, Groups and Content.

Course Management Tips

1. I have a lot of files to upload into my module area, how much file space is acceptable within my module area?
No need to panic, the allocation of file space for each module will be monitored by LTD in the near future. In the meantime, to ensure an acceptable standard – it is best practice to utilise the tools and building blocks available to minimize any bulky file uploads. A good place to start is to embed any content through eShare or any of the multimedia (YouTube, Flickr) mash up tools within Learning Edge.

2. I can‘t see my module(s) when I login?
To access a module in Learning Edge, you need to be enrolled with the required user rights from within the area. Ask your department administrator to enrol you.

3. As module lead, can I enrol fellow tutors to my module?
Of course, tutors can enrol fellow tutors. Follow these instructions from your area:

  • In your ‘Control Panel’ for your course
  • Click on ‘Users and Groups’
  • Click on ‘Users’
  • Place your cursor over ‘Enrol User’ and click ‘Find Users to Enrol’
  • Click on ‘Browse’
  • Now leave all fields as default and enter the desired username or surname in the blank field and click on ‘Go’
  • Now select the check box on the desired row and click ‘Submit’
  • From the drop down menu next to ‘Role’, now select which role you require
  • Click ‘Submit’

4. Can I manage the display of courses listed on the ‘My Institution’ tab?
Yes, you can edit the display of courses and other information.

Just select the small ‘cog’ icon in the top right hand corner of the ‘My Courses’ module and select or deselect the options you wish to see/not see.

For further information, please refer to this LTD quick guide.

5. Why are my courses marked as ‘unavailable’?
This is because all new Blackboard courses are created as ‘unavailable’ by default. When a course is unavailable, instructors can access it, but students cannot. This is to prevent modules going live then they are still being built.

Information on making your course available can be found in the previous ‘Top tips’ post.

6. It’s hard to find a course on the ‘My Institution’ tab as I have so many listed?
You can try searching for the course. Hold down the ‘Ctrl’ key and press ‘F’ on your keyboard and you will get a ‘Find’ box pop up within your browser. Type the module code or part of the course ID and select ‘Next’ to find that text on the current page. You could also try hiding the modules that you don’t often use, see tip 4 above.

Groups Tip

1. Can I assign students into more than one group?
Yes, you can put students into as many different groups as you like, however you will need to create each group and then add students to each group individually. Information on setting up groups can be found in the previous ‘Top tips’ post.

Content Tips

1. My students state that streamed audio files within Learning Edge won’t play on Macs?
Apple Mac users can install the Windows Media Components plugin for QuickTime, which will allow users to stream .wma and .wmv file formats within Learning Edge.

2. Can I use large multimedia files in my Module area?
As mentioned earlier, instead of taking up large areas of disk space. Large multimedia files should be embedded and streamed online via YouTube, which can be incorporated into Learning Edge areas through the mash up building block. If you need to host media more securely, contact us for more information about the institutions streaming server ‘eStream’.

Any further questions please email them to one of the team and we will endeavor to answer them for you. If you would like to arrange a meeting with one of the team, please ring 01695 650 754 (or internal 7754).

Mark Wilcock
Learning Technologist

Adaptive release – Getting the right content to the right students at the right time

Did you know that content displayed in Blackboard 9.1 does not have to be released to all the students all at once. The ‘Adaptive Release’ and ‘Adaptive Release: Advanced’ tools allow an instructor to customise the release of any content, making its availability determined by a series of criteria, including, date, membership and grade.

Adaptive Release Menu

By deploying your chosen criteria individually, in simple sets, or through the creation of ‘rules’, controlled access to any content can be simply tailored to meet very basic requirements, such as releasing weekly teaching, right through to exceptionally sophisticated requirements.

An example of a more sophisticated use is the Anatomy and Physiology exam in the PUP1147 Stepping into Nursing module which has been delivered online for many years now. The diverse nature of this Inter-Professional Learning practice module demands that predetermined student groups (based on level, discipline and administration), sit one of two versions of the exam (standard and extended) in a controlled environment at two set times on the same day. This makes for a complex administrative process, which in the previous version of Blackboard (CE8) demanded a high level of attention to detail and many test and mock set-ups for final assurance. However, in Blackboard 9.1 by setting a series of criterion to create ‘rules’ and then ‘subsequent rules’, the same can be achieved in a much less demanding and complex way. Below is an example of the adaptive release criteria for two sittings of the same exam on the same day to selective students.

Adaptive Release Rules Screen Shot

The following 5 minute video Create Multiple Rules to Release a Content Item from Blackboard’s On Demand Learning Centre, takes you through the process to set up both simple and complex release criteria.

With the ever-increasing adoption of technology enhanced learning, the demand to control the equitable access and release of teaching, learning and assessment contents becomes more and more fundamental. Therefore, the ease of use in the creation of flexible and robust release criterion in Blackboard 9.1, offers a more secure approach which is critical to success, especially in the control of high value summative processes such as exams and assignment submissions.

Additional note: The ‘What’s New’ module (typically displayed on the default Home Page of modules) highlights new content that is made available to the entire course. Adaptive Release Content that becomes available after certain criteria are met is not reported in this module.

If you would like any further information on this, please email ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk

Adrian Cain

Adrian Cain
Learning Technologist

Top tips for Learning Edge

In LTD we get asked a lot of questions by staff and students about various ‘hot topics’.
We have tried to gather as many of these current issues in the hope of answering them here.

1. Can I forward emails from my student email address to an external address?
Of course! Just like your personal email address, you can forward your student emails out of your student account so you can read them in your preferred email client (such as Hotmail, Yahoo, BT etc.  Follow this document – Forwarding Email – for the steps to do this (the document is for Gmail student accounts).

2. I know I now need to make my course available for my students. How do I do this?

  • In your ‘Control Panel‘ for your course
  • Click on ‘Customisation
  • Click on ‘Properties
  • Set Availability to ‘Make Course Available – Yes
  • Click Submit.

3. Where is the best place for me to mark my students’ Turnitin assignments?
The best place to mark Turnitin assignments is through Turnitin itself (rather than ‘Grade Centre’)

  • In your ‘Control Panel‘ for your course
  • Click on ‘Course Tools
  • Click on ‘TurnitinUK Assignments’
  • Click on the assignment you wish to mark
  • Your list of students will now appear
  • Click on the pencil next to the student you wish to mark the work of.

4. I’d like to get some kind of interactive classroom in my course on Learning Edge What is available to me to do this?
We have a few options for you so that you can really interact with your students in a virtual classroom.  There is a basic tool within Learning Edge itself and we also have some ‘seats’ available for Wimba Classroom.  We like to keep track of who is using Wimba in their course so if you are interested in this option, please come and speak to one of your Learning Technology Development Officers and we can discuss how to make it work for you in your course for your students.

5. Is there a way I can embed audio in my Powerpoint?
Yes! Follow this document – embed audio – to discover how to do this.  If you are having trouble, come and speak to one of the Learning Technology team.

6. I have some videos of my lectures that I’d like to share with my students.  Can I put them into Learning Edge somehow?
We have university systems that can offer you secure ‘hosting’ of your video content (a little bit  like YouTube, but just for our staff and students!) If you speak to the Media Development team or to any Learning Technology Officer they will be able to help you out in getting your videos onto this system and then getting it into your course content in Learning Edge.
(Make sure you give us some time to prepare your videos as sometimes it can take a little while).

7. The work that I need my students to submit doesn’t really fit in Turnitin. are there any alternative tools that I can use?

Yes! You can use the Blackboard 9.1 Assignment tool as an alternative to Turnitin.  This allows a greater number of file formats to be submitted including Powerpoint, Images and more unusual file types.

  • From your course, within a content folder
  • Click on ‘Create Assessment’
  • Click on ‘Assignment’
  • Give the Assignment a name
  • Complete the details on the page (any that are starred as compulsory!)
  • Click submit when you are ready.

8. I would like to set a group activity for my students.  I’d like to split them up into groups in Learning Edge – is this possible?
Yes!  You can use groups for a number of tools such as creating group blogs, wikis, discussion boards or even set tasks and activities for individual groups. The following instructions are just to get you started. Please ask a member of Learning Technology if you wish to find out what else you can use groups for.

  • Under the ‘Control Panel‘ of your course
  • Click on ‘Users and Groups
  • Click on ‘Groups
  • Click on ‘Create Single Group
  • Click on ‘Manual Enroll
  • Give the group a name
  • Decide which tools you want the group to contribute to (only that group will be able to see and contribute to the group’s tools).
  • Add the students into the group by selecting the student and then clicking on the arrow to add or remove them.
  • Click Submit
  • Repeat the process to create more grouped activities.

Any further questions, please email them to one of the team and we will endevour to answer them for you.  If you would like to arrange a meeting with one of the team, please ring 01695 650 754  (or internal 7754).

 

 Carol Chatten, Learning Technology Development Officer

Common misconceptions in Blackboard 9.1 (Learning Edge) part 1

Over the past few months we have had a few queries arise from members of staff about what to expect in Blackboard 9.1 Learning Edge.  We have started collating some of these and hope to answer them here.

“I have to let my Learning Technologist know about which areas I need creating for next year”

All areas are being created automatically according to the Student Information Database (SID) so if your programme, course or module exists there, it will automatically exist in Blackboard also! You will need to liase with your administrative staff to arrange access to these areas (see next question).

“I will automatically be given access to my Blackboard Courses”

All student enrollments into the new system are now automated as a result of the successful integration of the Student Information System (SID) and Blackboard.

Staff enrolments into Backboard courses will be managed manually within the Faculties. Faculty Course Administrators will, on request, grant access to primary course contacts ie. Programme/Course/Year/Module leads who will then be able to give their teams the required access.

“I have to teach in modules now”

Many will choose to teach in a modular form, but many other possibilities are available.  You can teach your subjects in year groups or by programme or course amongst other options.  Speak to your head of department or faculty and administrators to decide what would be best to suit your needs and teaching requirements.

“I need to have technical skills to use Blackboard”

Basic IT skills are all you need to get started using a virtual learning environment (VLE) like Blackboard. Blackboard 9.1 has been designed for teachers who don’t have a technical background and is even more intuitive and easy to use than before. As with all new technologies, it might take a bit of getting used to at first, which is why the Learning Technology Development team are working with staff from across the University to ensure they are ready to make the most of the new system.

“Do I still need to send lists (to LTD) to get students enrolled?”

Not any longer.  Student details of where they are enrolled are taken from SID and matched in Blackboard.  When a student is enrolled, they will then be added to the appropriate area in Blackboard 9.1.  This makes it ever more important communication between  Academic Registry and your Administrative teams are kept up to date about student movements between modules or possibly courses, as it will affect what they can access in Blackboard 9.1  There will be no way to add students into a module that they are not enrolled on!

“It’s hard work to get my content across to the new version (Blackboard 9.1)”

Depending on the complexity of your modules or courses, this is a relatively straight-forward process.  If you have a basic level of content, you may wish to take the opportunity to have a ‘spring clean’ of any old documents to make sure your material is up-to-date.  This may involve starting fresh in your new module/course area.  If you have a complex course, we have the opportunity to ‘migrate’ the content across (this will still require a little tidying up afterwards).  Decide on which is the best option for you, but remember, the Learning Technology Department is here to help support you in this transition.


Please contact the Learning Technology Department on ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk

Carol Chatten
Learning Technologist

 

Blackboard 9.1, behind the login page…

We’ve talked about data systems integration, staff development activity and the imminent “people systems integration”, but what can students expect to find on the other side of the login page?

Bb9.1 My Institution screen capture

Once logged in, Blackboard 9.1 provides an instant overview of each course a student is enrolled on and any related announcements or upcoming events. Students can customise the look and content of this page to make it their own. There is also a range of tools they can draw on to help manage their learning, for example planning study in Calendars and Tasks, checking results in My Grades or building a directory of useful contacts in the Address Book.

Tutors can change which page students see on entering a course.  The default is the course Home Page, a “dashboard” which summarises the status of the course from the individual student’s perspective …

Bb9.1 Course Home Page screen capture

… however, tutors can set the Module Content, Discussions or any other course page as the starting point to fit with course delivery at any time.

There are many technologies that can be used to support learning, and back in December we talked about the wide range that LearningEdge embraces. Some of these are part of Blackboard 9.1, while others are separate “plugged in” applications. In either case they can be accessed seamlessly via the Tools page.

Bb9.1 Course Tools screen capture

These tools give tutors a wide range of learning support methods including:

  • On-line assignment submission (including TurnItIn)
  • Blogs, wikis and personal journals
  • Access to the eShare repository (coming soon)
  • Course content creation tools

Over the coming weeks we’ll be taking a closer look at some of these, their benefits to students, and how good practice developed in Blackboard CE8 can be transferred and built on in 9.1.