Improving Participation – Inclusive Digital Practice Toolkit

Teaching Essentials Toolkit

The “Inclusive and Accessible Practice (IAP) Project”, brought together expertise from Learning Services’ Assistive Technologies and Learning Technology Development Teams (John Haycock and Martin Baxter).

Both Martin and John have come-up with a Toolkit for staff, supporting them in the production of inclusive resources.  The aim is to enable all students to participate equally with digital content whilst studying.  The Toolkit is called “Inclusive Digital Practice”, and is a collaboration between Learning Services and the Centre for Learning and Teaching, John Bostock (Senior Lecturer in Teaching & Learning Development).

Student studying, Edge Hill and Learning Services logo.

Within our student groups it is increasingly likely that some will have a disability or learning difficulty.  According to our records, approximately 14% of our students disclosed a disability, the true numbers are likely to be higher, as some students prefer not to disclose a disability, or they may just want to keep it hidden.

The toolkit provides support for staff in creating teaching and e-learning materials that are accessible and inclusive by design; describing some of the steps for adopting an inclusive practice, how to achieve them and instances (case studies) where good practice is already taking place at Edge Hill University.

The Inclusive Practice Toolkit is made up of the following resources;

Want to learn more about the toolkit?

Visit the Learning Edge “Staff” tab, and the Inclusive Digital Practice panel at the top of the page.Learning Edge Staff Tab displaying the Inclusive Practice Panel.Adopting an inclusive approach and producing ‘barrier-free’ learning, gives everyone, regardless of their background or circumstances, the chance to study at higher levels of education (Inclusive Teaching and Learning in Higher Education as a route to Excellence).

John Haycock Profile.

 

 

John Haycock
Learning Support Officer (Assistive Technologies)

 

Martin Baxter Profile

 

 

Martin Baxter
Learning Technology Development Officer

 

Do you have a story to tell about your Inclusive Practice?  Let us know, click the linkMy Inclusive Digital Practice.  We want to share good practice so that more people can learn about it.

Getting Your New Course Ready: Three Things to Remember

Many of you will be getting your Learning Edge courses ready for the 2017-18 academic year, so here are three things to hep you.

1. Don’t copy Turnitin dropboxes

The Blackboard ‘Course Copy’ tool can be used to copy a whole course over, but we’d recommend that you take a moment to consider what you need to copy over. Turnitin dropboxes should never be copied over. They are linked to a particular area, and if they are copied to a new area it could potentially lead to loss of data.

A Turnitin dropbox link

If you are using the Course Copy tool, you need to avoid copying areas with Turnitin dropboxes in, for example the ‘Submission Dropbox’ Content Area.

Submission Dropbox link

2. Release the course to students when you have finished

Course areas are hidden from students by default. If you see the message ‘Course is unavailable to students’ at the top left of your course, you still need to make it available.

Course is unavailable to students message

To make it available go to Control Panel > Customisation > Properties.

Properties link

Under ‘Set Availability’ set ‘Make Course Available’ to ‘Yes’, then click the ‘Submit’ button.

Set Availability options

3. Consider how you can make your resources and practice more inclusive

It is important to consider the needs of all our students when creating online resources, and planning for the new year. On the Learning Edge ‘Staff’ tab, there is now an ‘Inclusive Digital Practice’ section, linking to resources on this topic.





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Peter Beaumont
Learning Technology Development Officer

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.

Turnitin Feedback Studio – Coming Very Soon!

This summer’s upgrade to Learning Edge (due on Monday 24th July 2017) includes a major product update to Turnitin called Feedback Studio which significantly enhances the experience of staff and students when accessing essay papers in the document viewer.

Feedback Studio offers all the functionalities of Turnitin, including Originality Check, GradeMark, QuickMarks, voice comments, rubrics, etc., but with a simplified, more intuitive and responsive interface with significantly improved usability on the mobile devices. This should offer greater ease of use and speed for staff when grading and commenting and for students to interpret similarity scores and receive feedback.

You won’t need to do anything, the change will happen automatically, and we will blog again with more details once Feedback Studio has gone live.

In the meantime you can use the following resources to become familiar with all the new enhancements

View the Turnitin Feedback Studio Walkthrough video (2:56)

View the Comparison of Feedback Studio and Turnitin Classic video (4:24) 

Try the Turnitin Feedback Studio Demo

View this 1 page guide to the Feedback Studio interface
(produced by colleagues at the University of Reading), which gives a simple visual summary of all the new features you’ll need to know about.

Adrian Cain
Adrian Cain
Learning Technology Development Officer

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

Curious and Creative – Learning Services celebrate Learning at Work Week 2017

Learning Services are always looking for innovative ways to increase engagement in staff development activities. We have a large and diverse team of staff and we are keen to ensure we provide opportunities for everyone to get involved and learn something new.

This year we celebrated national Learning at Work Week within our department. 198 places were booked on 20 different events over the week, and 65 members of staff engaged in our online course DigiQuest in the six weeks leading up to Learning at Work week itself.

Throughout Learning at Work week, we ran a fantastic and varied programme of events around the theme of ‘Curious and Creative‘. These included a session on Makerspaces in libraries, where staff explored technologies such as Raspberry Pi and Google Cardboard, a workshop on how to create a GIF from scratch and a session on using the more advanced features of Instagram. Staff also took part in a digital treasure hunt using the app Actionbound, learnt how to use their phones to create a stop motion animation, explored a virtual reality version of the plans for our new building, and discovered accessibility features on Apple devices.

Six weeks prior to the official Learning at Work week, we released our online course DigiQuest to Learning Services staff. The aim of this online course was to increase Learning Services’ staff confidence and skills in using a variety of digital skills for both personal and professional use. Staff took part in a variety of digital tasks over the six weeks and those who completed the course were placed in a draw to win a prize!

The week ended with a collective break, where staff came together for a cup of tea and a biscuit, celebrated the prize winners of DigiQuest and joined in with our game to guess the merged faces of library staff!

                  

 

68 Things to Help You Find and Use TV and Radio Broadcasts

I don’t know if any of you have wanted to share broadcast materials with students. When I started working at Edge Hill the only legal way to do this was to get in touch with Jim in Learning Services, who would record the programme and put it on a VHS tape for you to show in class.

Box of Broadcasts Guide Page

This system has now developed into a much more advanced online service called Box of Broadcasts, which allows you to link to programmes from, and embed them directly in, Learning Edge.

Instead of having to find out about the programme beforehand and ask someone to record it, the main channels are now recorded automatically and kept indefinitely. You can use the website to request programmes on other free to air channels up to 30 days after they air.

Programme Embedded in Learning Edge

Once you find a programme that you want to share, you can share it using what is called a WAYFless link that takes students directly to the EHU login screen, or you can embed the video in Blackboard. If only part of the programme is relevant you can create a clip and share that, and you can add programmes and clips to playlists and share those.

To help you get started we’ve put together a document with (at the time of writing) 68 playlists, tips, links to articles and guides, etc.


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Peter Beaumont
Learning Technology Development Officer

Upgrade to the eShare repository

Please make a note in your diaries.  On May 2nd 2017 our eShare repository will be upgraded to the latest version of the core ePrints repository software.  We have been informed that for 48 hours, the repository will be ‘at risk’.  Access to the repository will be frozen, therefore staff will be unable to upload or edit resources, however, it will continue to provide access to resources as read only. The upgrade will begin on the morning of the 2nd May and should be completed by the end of 3rd May.

We wanted to provide advance warning as the there will be an element of disruption and apologise for any inconvenience but hope the new features within the upgrade will be beneficial for staff.

Along with some workflow and interface changes the upgrade will feature:

  • Improved video and audio playback using a HTML 5 player for cross browser and greater device support.
  • Inline Previews – Updated inline previews of video, audio, PDF’s and office based documents, removing the need to download the file first.
  • Version Control – Versioning of documents now provides a true visible catalogue of uploaded documents to your resource within eShare.
  • Creative Commons 4.0 – Apply the latest creative commons licences to your work to permit use, reuse or redistribution by others.
  • Share your learning materials quickly and easily with anyone with a simple submission and lightweight metadata collection
  • Upload any type of file (Video, Audio, Images, Powerpoint, Word, Zip, iSpring etc.)
  • Use tags and collections to organise your learning materials according to their subject matter

Rachel Bury – Learning Services Academic Liaison Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make a date with Lynda and Bob

Learning Services are inviting you to make a date to get to know Lynda and Bob, and explore what these resources can offer you and your students.

Lynda
Lynda.com contains a wide variety of online courses, on topics including IT software, media, business, design, educational tools and soft skills such as communication, teamwork and productivity.
The session will cover how to access Lynda, how to create playlists to share with other members of the university and how to embed useful courses for students within Blackboard.

BOB
Box of Broadcasts is an on demand TV and radio service for education, with an archive of over 2 million broadcasts.
The session will cover how to access BOB and how to create clips and playlists from the available videos, and embed these into Blackboard.

The Lynda and Bob sessions are being held in G2 in the LINC at the following times…
Thursday 16th Feb 12:00 – 12:45
Monday 20th Feb 13:00 – 13:45
Friday 24th Feb 12:00 – 12:45
Weds 1st March 13:00 – 13:45
Book your place here!

New Upgrade for Qwickly Attendance Introduces Split Registers and Much More…

We’re pleased to announce that Qwickly Attendance for Blackboard will receive a fairly big update on Wednesday 18th January. The update is better known as version 3.6 and is jam packed with some really exciting new features which we think you’ll like a lot. Here is an exhaustive list of things that have been included.

Register Enhancements:

  • Registers can now be split (click for user guide) by using the Blackboard group’s tool. This features allows instructors split a single register into as many groups as they like.
  • Instructors can now name ‘Student Check-In’ Sessions like other sessions.
  • Instructors can now choose to show disabled and unavailable students in the attendance record. These students will still be hidden from the taken attendance screen and always receive and excused for any dates attendance is taken while they are not active in the course.
  • Unavailable students are now marked as excused instead of absent when taking attendance.

Student Check In Enhancement:

  • Absent emails are now sent to absent students when using student check-in.

General Interface & Data Enhancements:

  • A new streamlined tabbed interface.
  • Excel export (CSV) improvements now show the title of the session, if it was given.
  • The method of taking attendance is now recorded (i.e. Manual, Student Check-In).
  • Users can now click the heading of a column to see more details about the session (including the method of taking attendance and the date it was taken), as well as renaming the column or deleting it.

This is probably the biggest and best update yet, which also makes it a good time to take a look at Qwickly Attendance for your course or module and give it a try! 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.

We hope you enjoy the new features!

Mark WilcockMark Wilcock

Learning Technology Development Officer