A changed World.

Immersive technology changing the boundaries.

Before lockdown and the onset of social distancing, classroom teaching was the norm with just a few innovators willing to experiment with technologies that are truly immersive and engaging.

Corona Virus - Covid-19.  Four circular cells with protruding blob like tentacles seemingly floating in a fluid.

Covid-19 and Social Distancing has meant we all have to think differently and about ways of delivering exciting and engaging taught sessions. When normally we would be rubbing shoulders with each other, on campus or journeying together on a shared learning experience such as a field trip or an on-location workshop. The new norm is working at distance and from home, for many of us.

For every generation there will be something radical that changes the way we view the world around us, like a movement, event, a moment or an advancement, be it technological or otherwise. The Corona Virus is devastating, having a profound effect on all our lives. And yet isolation has, for many, brought people much closer together. Working from home, relying on technology to stay connected with each other, to the weekly ritual of clapping key-worker heroes for keeping us safe and to those keeping the country moving has, for many, been an inspiration.

Arguably, less devastating but by no means less impactful, for me and those of my generation, was the battle for supremacy between Betamax and VHS video cassette “Tape Wars“. We all know how that ended! Being able to record TV programmes, purchasing the latest movie rentals from the corner shop whist at the same time, buying the family groceries for the weekend, was a revelation!

Before video was seen as mainstream in education, the viewer experience was one of, large group viewing events, and live broadcasts. Those of us of a certain age will remember watching educational programmes or significant events on an oversized television, that had to be pushed in to a large assembly hall, on a trolley, by the Head Master or Caretaker, whilst you and your fellow pupils huddled together on a cold wooden floor.

Old (1970's) CRT television in front of a red curtain backdrop.

With the advent of video, academics began to add recordings to their taught sessions, taking control of when to show videos that, in some cases, they had recorded themselves, usually on a VHS or Betamax tape cassette. Video recordings could now be linked to the topic and used as important viewing, aimed at supporting learning and following sessions for added context and explanation.

The latest video technology allows us to immerse ourselves in a whole new world and enjoy a completely different viewing experience.

Today’s immersive technology has the potential for delivering new and exciting spheres of learning. Academics are beginning to take advantage and are already deploying content such as 360-degree video into the taught curriculum, as an essential part of the student learning and experience. 

Here at Edge Hill University academics are encouraged to explore 360-degree VR technology.  Students can learn new skills, be introduced to real-world scenarios and conditions that they wouldn’t otherwise come across, because of, either an impairment or until graduating. 

Person operating the latest VR equipment in an immersive environment (the CAVE) within the University Tech Hub.
Computer Automated Virtual Environment (CAVE).

360-degree Policing.

Andrew Whittle (Programme Leader – Policing Degree) talks about how this technology is helping students on his courses come to terms with the complexities of being a Police Officer in today’s modern Police Force.  Andrew and his team take students through real-time scenarios, where they are faced with a crime scene, with real challenges and clues for solving the case.

Student (Police Officer) peering into the Crime House mock cell containing a student playing the part of a prisoner.  Andrew Whittle is pictured in the scene.  The caption says "360-degree technology: Immersing students in the reality of a crime scene.
Transcript
VR headset icon to mark link to 360 video.

Policing Students investigate the scene of a crime, in this short 360-degree video, set within the grounds of a Victorian detached property, Edge Hill University’s Crime House Training and Simulation Facility. When viewing the video, click and drag the image to view the whole scene, as a student explores every inch for clues to help solve the case (transcript).

360-degree collaboration.

The English, History and Creative Writing Department has partnered up with the country’s oldest repertory theatre, Liverpool’s Playhouse Theatre, formally the Star Music Hall.   The Department has worked with the University’s Learning Services to produce several recordings, including a series of 360-degree videos, artifacts and learning resources based in and around the building. Interviews with theatre staff provide a rich knowledge base, from which students can explore and use for research and course work. 

Professor Paul Ward (Head of English, History and Creative Writing), talks about his vision of using technology such as 360-degree video on his programmes. Students studying English, History and Creative Writing, will explore and engage in more innovative ways of working. Paul also explains the importance of internal and external collaborative relationships, such as those his department has with Learning Services and the recent partnership with Liverpool’s Everyman and Playhouse Theatres

360 view of Williamson Square Liverpool, Professor Paul Ward pictured in the scene, The caption says "360 degree technology: Expand and change your world".
Transcript
VR headset icon to mark link to 360 video.

Take a virtual tour of The Liverpool Playhouse Theatre, listen to Allan Williams’ (Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres, Learning Manager) commentary. Control this short video in every direction as you move through the recording toward and into the Liverpool Playhouse Theatre, situated on the eastern side of Williamson Square, before entering the auditorium views of the stage, stalls, circle and gallery space (transcript).

Inclusion and enrichment

Being able to challenge students with real-life situations and scenarios is increasingly possible. A major benefit of 360-degree video is inclusion, students can now access and experience challenging environments during lectures or from the comfort of their own home, anywhere they have access to the internet and at the click of a button.

360-degree creation can be as simple as using an app on your mobile device or with a standard 360 camera. Edge Hill University’s staff can call upon state of the art resources and expertise (Media Production Team). Developing external, collaborative partnerships, such as those forged by Faculties with local agencies, for example, North West Police Forces, NHS Hospitals Trusts and the creative arts industries, including Liverpool’s Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, contribute to enriching student’s experience and ultimately their learning.

Being able to explore immersive content that allows us to decide where to go, in storytelling isn’t new. However, with the latest video production techniques, it’s possible to move between spaces, access environments that might otherwise be too remote, activate portals (hot-spots) to more information and enter new unexplored realms that help tell the story on a number of levels.

Examples of 360 video used in education:

If you would like to learn more about using 360-degree content in teaching, talk to your Learning Technology Development Officer for more information.

Martin Baxter
Martin Baxter Learning Technology Development Officer

Get Ahead of the Game.

Inclusive by Design themed graphic announcing support for making accessible content.  Emphasis on getting ahead of the game (100% accessible content by Sept. 2020).

2020, kick-start the New Year with several staff development activities and resources, designed to help you make your content accessible.   

Learning Services are offering a range of sessions and resources to assist staff with issues raised by Blackboard Ally, from training sessions on making accessible documents, small steps videos that target a range of specific issues and guides that help with more complex document structures and conversions. 

Attend a Drop-in Session.

Orange filled circle containing an Accessibility figure set within a document page.

Sessions are being run from 8th Jan to 26th Feb, every Wednesday between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Catalyst Oak Room (session on Wed 12th Feb will run from 11-1pm).

No appointment necessary, drop into the Catalyst Oak Room (top floor) & get individual help with making your content accessible. Bring up issues you are having with particular documents and we will help you find a solution following best practice.

Book on a Digital Proficiency Staff Development Session. 

Grey filled circle containing an sample fonts represented by an "A" and "A underlined" .

Improve your ICT skills with software that you use frequently, sessions such as ‘PowerPoint: Get Creative with Presentations’ and ‘Microsoft Word: Making Documents Accessible’ sessions. These sessions are vital in making presentations and documents more accessible and inclusive to all users. 

View Small Steps Videos. 

Salmon coloured circle containing an tag/label.

Learning Services are producing a series of short how-to videos for the most common accessibility issues found in content uploaded to Blackboard Courses.  All videos will be available by February and will walk you through a step by step approach to resolving issues such as; adding alt text to an image, using Header Styles in Word, saving a Word file to an accessible PDF and linking to 3rd party resources.

How-to Videos:

(this blog post will be updated with more links to more how-to videos).

Access Good Practice User Guides. 

Purple filled circle containing an table with highlighted header cells.

Create documents that are usable to more people, follow some key tips to make PDF files and their alternative versions accessible for all your students.

Blue filled circle containing an Accessibility figure set within a document page being converted to braille.

LinkedIn Learning – Creating Accessible PDFs

LinkedIn Learning specifically focuses on professional development. Industry experts provide insights and guidance to you on what you should know about in the production and remediation of PDFs. ‘Creating Accessible PDFs’ course is broken down into six key areas: 

  1. Understanding Accessibility.
  2. Accessibility in PDF Files.
  3. Make an existing PDF File Accessible.
  4. Create an Accessible PDF from Word.
  5. Create an Accessible PDF File from PowerPoint and Excel.
  6. Create an Accessible PDF File from Adobe InDesign.      

Each category is delivered in short manageable chunks, between 2 – 12 minutes sections, this means you can dip in and out of your learning as and when it suits you.

Green filled circle containing colour swatch cards.

Want to know more about accessibility and what the new legislation means for your modules in Blackboard?

Portrait photographs of Learning Technology Development Staff.

Contact your Learning Technology Development Officer: AskLTD or Tel. 7755

   

Panopto at your service

Panopto logo followed by text "There's nothing you can't capture".  A series of images representing situations you can capture using Panopto.

Panopto at Edge Hill University

The Panopto System at Edge Hill University is the University’s video management system for secure scalable hosting of video and audio resources.

Seamlessly integrating with Learning Edge (Blackboard), all seminar and lecture theatres are fitted with the latest recording and capture equipment, making it easy for tutors to use and access the Panopto System no matter where they are on campus.  Capturing a lecture can be as simple as pressing a record button from within your computer desktop.

There are three key reasons why lecturers say it is important to provide students with Panopto recordings. These are:

  • To enhance student satisfaction. All students experience high quality and fulfilling University education that enriches their lives and careers.
  • To offer better provision for students with disabilities, medical conditions or other commitments that sometimes make it impossible for them to attend classes physically. Accessibility and inclusivity are becoming ever more important drivers for the adoption of this technology.
  • To improve student learning outcomes. Analytics show students are using Panopto recordings as a support mechanism and revision tool, to check key terms, concepts and understanding for a topic during the assessment period.

Safe learning for complex concept rules (Transcript).

Gichuru Phillip inset image of Person work on a laptop computer, charts and graphs appear on screen.  Caption text "Panopto: Safe learning for new and complex concepts".

How-to videos or video tutorials (Transcript).

Laura Riella inset image of student studying at a desk in campus accommodation.  Caption text "Panopto: How to use and edit styles in Microsoft Word".

The use of Panopto to create how-to videos is growing on campus. These types of video fall under two categories:

1. Practical videos to build-up skills or enhance the student experience:

  • Orientation and induction for first-year students.
  • Recordings that help explain assessment criteria and rubrics.
  • Explainer videos that teach students about key university systems.

2. Tutorial videos that relate to specific elements within a course or discipline:

  • Videos of laboratory demonstrations with multiple camera angles.
  • Tutorials on musical techniques.
  • Demonstrating software packages students need to use as part of their course.

New Research: Students’ Opinions and Expectations for Lecture Capture

Student Voice: Derek, 3rd Year Marketing Student (Transcript).

Derek Henry 3rd Year Student inset, image of students entering a lecture theatre. Caption text "Panopto: My Study toolkit and freedom to participate in taught sessions.

There’s a growing movement for online video tutorials, people are using platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo and Linkedin Learning and students are turning to these technologies to teach themselves new skills.  As a result, there’s an expectation that these types of resources will form part of their learning experience at University. Panopto provides staff with the tools that offer students a safe and secure way to engage with taught sessions and content.

With a simple tick of a box, Panopto will automatically generate a webcast link and stream your sessions live so that distance students can access them.

Live broadcasting (Transcript)

Person holding a mobile device to view a live broadcast of a Graduation with caption text "Panopto: Live broadcasting technology at Edge Hill University".

Opportunities for live broadcasting:

  • Streaming live lectures to overflow classrooms.
  • Sharing guest lectures with external audiences.
  • Hosting ‘live lounges’ for music performances or concerts.

Along with the latest classroom equipment, Panopto is helping to expand your reach beyond the physical campus and offers a ‘humanised’ digital experience that makes both existing and new audiences feel like they’re part of a community of learning.

If you would like to learn more about Panopto, talk to your Learning Technology Development Officer or to find out more about Panopto at Edge Hill and the level of support available, contact the panopto@edgehill.ac.uk.

Martin Baxter
Martin Baxter Learning Technology Development Officer

Qwickly Attendance LTI version launch

Qwickly Attendance is officially switching to the LTI version and will be live from Monday 9th September.

The LTI version uses a more up to date and universally compatible technology. In anticipation of the potential change a link was included in the Baseline template for all new 2019 course instances created.  

If you are using a ‘2019_’ course, you will initially see the two options as shown below.

Image showing 2 menu link options to be used in Learning Edge

As of Monday 9th September the ‘Attendance Register LTI‘ will work, while the ‘Attendance Register B2’ option will no longer function, in fact it should disappear. 

Actions

  • You should show the LTI link if students will need to access it for Check-In, and hide the B2 link if it is not already hidden.
  • If staff are taking attendance in pre 2019/20 Blackboard courses with, for example, the ‘2018_’ prefix, then a new Qwickly tool link will need to be added in the left hand course menu. When adding the menu tool link, please select ‘Qwickly Attendance LTI’ and then give it the name ‘Attendance Register LTI’ for consistency.
Imagine demonstrating how to add a tool link to menu in learning edge

Are there any key differences?  

The main differences are behind the scenes, in how it is set up and works. Any fixes and enhancements will happen seamlessly as Qwickly support will apply them remotely.  

Existing users 

If you have already been using Qwickly, then data added to Tableau will still be available there. We have retained a copy of the full set of data so if any specific queries arise we have this as reference.

New view options 

You will see two new options when viewing the Attendance Record.  

Reverse – reverses the order in which the register sessions are displayed

Image showing 2 new options when viewing the Attendance reord

Totals – shows a count of the different attendance statuses for each student, across all recorded sessions. Click ‘Records’ to return to the normal view 

Image showing new view option, showing totals for each student

Please contact LTD Support with any queries.

Digital Accessibility – Creating Accessible Content

Four images (left to right) representing hearing, braille, cognitive and visual. Image links to Wiki information pages.

New Legislation

New accessibility legislation means that Universities have to make improvements to the information on our websites and VLE.  This includes all of your uploaded documents.  The rules will apply to new online content from Sept 2019 and will be applied to existing content by Sept 2020. 

Basic process chart showing key dates for making content accessible from 2018 to 2021.

As you are setting up new modules over the summer this is a perfect time to check the accessibility of content.   For 2018/19 our content accessibility score was 64% which is a great baseline to start from.  If you would like to check how accessible a course/module is get in touch with ltdsupport and we can provide the information & a summary of the top issues.  

It is essential that all department managers ensure that accessibility is high on the agenda for any departmental meetings so that all staff are aware of their obligation to make their course materials accessible.  

With just a few quick and simple steps you can vastly improve the content you upload to Learning Edge, so that all students are able to use it in a way that suites them and their needs.  We have put together a resource kit in our wiki pages containing lots of information on how to make your content accessible. 

Image shows the different sections of information that the Wiki covers. This includes documents, PDF documents, Slides, Ally & Inclusive Practice, Websites, wikis and blogs and Multimedia.

 

 

 

 

Leah WilsonOperations Coordinator

Staff Development in June

Turnitin & Electronic Marking Awareness with Adrian Cain
12th June 19

Following an overview of all the EMA (Electronic Management of Assessment) tools used at Edge Hill, the session will then concentrate on Turnitin Feedback Studio the most widely used of all the EMA tools. It will look at EHU Guidelines, consistency of set-up and practice, student formative use for academic writing development, and it will offer a hands-on practical where attendees can mimic some of the electronic submissions process from both a tutor and students’ perspective.

Academic Staff Development Fortnight

From the 17th to the 28th of June Library and Learning Services invite you to a fortnight of events designed to update your skills and knowledge of the support we offer – from Research Support to Student Engagement, and everything in between. The full event timetable is available here and sessions can be booked through My View.
The Learning Technology Development (LTD) Team will be running the below sessions:

Give Your Course a Digital MOT with Adrian Cain
17th June 1pm-2pm & 27th June 11am-12pm

Have you booked your MOT?

A supportive peer review session aimed at helping you audit and fine tune your Blackboard course area to maximise its effectiveness and impact on student learning. Gain an objective assessment against critical agendas, such as:
-Inclusion
-Baseline
-Electronic Marking of Assessments
-Consistency of students’ experience
-Retention
Members of the LTD team will help you develop an individual action plan to help enhance your course areas now and in the future.

 

Using Panopto and Ally with Martin Baxter & Mark Wilcock
26th June 11am – 12pm

This session will review and offer insight into Inclusive/Accessible learning and the tools availability within the institution. We will demonstrate the benefits of Blackboard Ally and Panopto to enhance the student learning experience.

  • Review the level of content accessibility and systematically prioritise where improvements can be made.
  • Auto generated ‘Alternative’ formats and how they can support different learning styles
  • Going beyond lecture capture with Panopto

Catalyst 1st Year Anniversary Celebration

On Wednesday 19th June we’ll be celebrating a full year of Catalyst (already!!) with a celebratory day of competitions, exhibitions, activities and more from all of the teams based in Catalyst.

The LTD garage and show room will be located behind the help desk – visit us and find out why LTD have all your motoring needs covered.

Build the ideal course car (involves lego!), race it and win a prize.

Catalyst Opening Day Picture advertising Date and time

 

 

 

Leah WilsonOperations Coordinator

Turnitin and Panopto Training

The Learning Technology team are running two new essential training sessions Turnitin & Electronic Marking Awareness and Panopto – Recording and Utilising Video for Learning.

Turnitin & Electronic Marking Awareness
Facilitator – Adrian Cain (LTDO)

Following an overview of all the EMA (Electronic Management of Assessment) tools used at Edge Hill, the session will then concentrate on Turnitin Feedback Studio the most widely used of all the EMA tools. It will look at EHU Guidelines, consistency of set-up and practice, student formative use for academic writing development, and it will offer a hands-on practical where attendees can mimic some of the electronic submissions process from both a tutor and students’ perspective.

21/05/19 13:00-14:00 & 13/06/17 13:00-14:00 in Catalyst Oak Room. 

Panopto – Recording and Utilising Video for Learning
Facilitators – Mark Wilcock (LTDO) & Andrea Wright (Senior Lecturer/CLT)

This session aims to go beyond the generic use of lecture capture, with focus on the other pedagogical ways to develop content that all students can access in a way that enables them to be more effective learners.  We will demonstrate the different ways in which Panopto can be used.  Specifically, around generating media for weekly round ups, general revision, student recordings and online video submission.

Ideally your will have prior experience of setting up and using Panopto to benefit from this session.

20/05/19 10:00-11:00 in Catalyst Oak Room

Book through MyView (can be found under Learning & Teaching Technologies)

Email ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk for more information or to inquire about specific training for your Department.

 

 

 

Leah WilsonOperations Coordinator

The 8th Student Digital Learning Survey (and Amazon Prize Draw)

The 8th Student Digital Learning Survey is now live.  Tell us about your experience, expectations and use of technology-enhanced teaching and learning at Edge Hill.

This is your chance to have your say and make a difference.  We will use your responses to continue to improve existing services and inform new developments.

Over the last 10 years we have listened to your feedback, good, bad & ugly and made positive improvements.  We will publish a report of our findings & recommendations based on the analysis of the survey’s results later in the year.

If you are an Edge Hill student, please complete our survey. We realise that your time is precious – it will take no more than 10 minutes to complete and we have added an incentive of a prize draw of £100, £50 and £25 Amazon vouchers.

You can access the survey via your Blackboard course homepage, or from ehu.ac.uk/LSDigitalSurvey2019

We plan to close the survey on 30th April 2019.

 

 

 

Leah WilsonOperations Coordinator

Ally for Students

“Ally for Students” is a marketing campaign aimed at reminding students what Blackboard Ally means for them. The campaign runs alongside support for staff, helping them fine-tune skills to improve their content so that all students can use that content in a way that meets their needs and in ways they prefer to access it.

Ally for Students digital sign

Ally’s alternative versions mean students can go to Learning Edge, access instructor generated content in their Blackboard modules, in a format they want it. Students are often on the go and may require a version of a document that they can listen to.

The audio version means students can download an audio file (MP3), that they can then playback on a mobile device.

The HTML version allows them to access content through a browser and on their mobile device.

ePub files are supported by many e-readers, and compatible software is available for most smartphones, tablets, and computers.

The “Ally for Students” campaign will run for two months beginning March through to May 2019. Students will start to see information about Ally via the Student Portal and digital display screens across campus, explaining what can be downloaded and how they can download it.

Edge Hill University investment in Blackboard Ally is, in part, to help fulfil its obligation and government accessibility requirements in line with level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1). GOV.UK Digital inclusion and accessibility.

If you would like any further information about Blackboard Ally, and other learning technologies, please contact your Technologist via Ask LTD.

Martin Baxter

Martin Baxter
Learning Technology Development Officer

Lynda.com is Becoming LinkedIn Learning

Computer UserMany of you have used the Lynda.com video library to help you learn how to use new software, or perhaps to help you develop other skills.

You might also know that Lynda.com is owned by LinkedIn, who have been developing LinkedIn Learning as a new place to access the video courses.

Edge Hill University will be upgrading from Lynda.com to LinkedIn Learning on Sunday the 20th of January. You will still have access to the same resources, and LinkedIn Learning will look very similar to what you are used to. Following the upgrade you will be asked to agree to set-up a new account on LinkedIn Learning, and you can even link this to an existing LinkedIn account.

Things to remember:

  • The resources will be unavailable on Sunday 20th January 2019, while the upgrade occurs.
  • When logging in after the upgrade, you will be prompted to upgrade your account.
  • Any web links pointing to Lynda.com, will redirect to LinkedIn Learning, however we would recommend updating your links as soon as you have time.
  • Improvements following the upgrade include the ability to add links to external resources to playlists, and we will promote these developments in more detail after the upgrade.

Please get in contact with me if you have any questions.

Thanks


beaumont_smaller

Peter Beaumont
Learning Technology Development Officer