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

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 4 and elf onesie don’t forget your end of term submissions!

During December our team of Student Advisors will be available, offering students a flexible support service to answer all your queries about online submission. Our Student Advisors are based at the Ask Desk and are available 11am-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 Santa Claus 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 Blackboard 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:

@VLEStatusEHU 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….

… five UniSkills packages!

The Uniskills online submission page is something definitely worth bookmarking to your browser favorites. Here you can gain access to the online submission guides for both the University’s submission tools – Turnitin and the Blackboard Assignment tool .

submission tools

In addition on ‘My Library‘ tab from the Blackboard 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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Mark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer

 

 

Tab-tastic! Blackboard now has staff specific resources!

We’ve received many suggestions from both students and staff over the years in relation to the development of Blackboard and its customisation. Since the University acquired the Community Engagement component for Blackboard in 2013 we have been able to tailor the online experience for all different users across the institution. Since the summer you will have noticed the enhanced information, tab areas and the more appealing visual look to the VLE overall.

Courses Screenshot

One of the tabs we added was specifically designed for University Staff. When you go into Blackboard, you’ll notice a new tab labelled ‘Staff’.

staff tab image

This area features a range of useful resources with useful e-learning information, staff development, recent topics, user guides, including a best of TEL spotlight showcasing examples of good teaching practice. There is also enhanced help for faculty specific areas, with additional sub tabs embedded at the top of the staff ‘Tab’.

Staff Tab

Here you can gain access to targeted information and also view your Learning Technologist contact details.

FOE Tab

As this is a new feature for staff, we are always looking for your feedback into its future development. With this, you may notice we have added a ‘Staff Tab Feedback’ item on the right side of the page. Here you can send us any suggestions or ideas by clicking on the small plus icon in the corner.

We hope you’ll find the tab useful and we look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions soon!

Mark WilcockMark Wilcock

Learning Technology Development Officer

Technology Supported Learning – Advanced Grade Marking and Grade Centre use

Clinical Education, now housed within the Faculty of Health and Social Care, re-won a tender in March 2015 to deliver the Postgraduate Certificate in Workplace-Based Postgraduate Medical Education from September 2015.  With this came an overhaul of the way that the marking and grades were managed within Learning Edge and as a result a more streamlined, transparent and efficient way of working has been adopted.

Electronic marking had been used for some time but results were calculated on a feedback sheet and manually emailed back to the student.  This was excessive work that had the potential for error for the bank of Associate Tutors (ATs) that taught and marked on the course.

As of September 2016 Turnitin was used as the primary platform for submission and included formative and summative use of the tool – formative for students to check their originality report and summative for the staff marking the work.

GradeCentre

Intelligent use of the Grade Centre also followed.  Here is a summary of the tools and functions that were integrated into the process:

Smart Views;

Enables filtering of the Grade Centre so that each tutor only has to display their own students.  In the module, each tutor has approximately 15 students within a group and it is the ATs role to manage, track and mark these students.  The groups are called Learning Sets (LS) and there may be as many as 12 LS in a cohort!  Being able to filter this list of 180+ students is highly beneficial.

Creating Columns

Extra columns are created to track the completion of ‘Compulsory Discussion Activities’.  It’s a requirement that all students on the module complete 75-80% of the discussions to complete the course.  By putting a mark (usually a ‘Y’) in the cell for that student in the Grade Centre, a quick glance is all it takes to see which students aren’t engaging and who might need a ‘nudge’.  A column is also created for the students’ Learning Set number so that when viewing the Full Grade Centre you can see who may not have been allocated to their Learning Set Group – especially helpful as sometimes students can be quite late to enrol and may miss being placed in a Group.

Deleting the Total Column

The ‘Total Column’ is a default creation and Clinical Education doesn’t use it – so it has to go!  The Total Column can be removed once the ‘External Grade’ function is moved elsewhere – we move it to the ‘Weighted Total’:

Weighted Totals

The Weighted Total is thus made the External Grade.  The Weighted Total is set up so that the 2 assignments that students are required to submit are given a weighting coordinated with the Module Handbook (for example 50%-50% or 70%-30% etc).  This helps with calculating an overall grade average – especially if one assignment is good and the other not so good.  The only issue here is that if one assignment fails then the Weighted Total may still record a pass overall as the ‘other’ grade might pull the calculation up.  This involves checking that both assignments are at least a pass before assuming that the student has passed overall.

Grading Schemas

In Clinical Education we make use of the ‘Primary’ and ‘Secondary’ displays for results.  The Primary is the figure given to the assignment (out of 100%) the Secondary display converts this into a Postgraduate scale that will identify ‘Distinction’, ‘Merit’, ‘Pass’ and ‘Fail’.  The Grading Schema works this out across the columns its applied to in the Grade Centre.

Grading Colours

This makes quick glances easy! Colour coding the cells in the Grade Centre helps identify where there is a submission requiring marking, and where students have achieved a Distinction, Merit, Pass or Fail.  In conjunction with the Smart Views, tutors marking can be tracked easily by the Module Leader.  It can also produce a nice overview of what the students are achieving.

Tidying up

Finally, a bit of tidying up.  As the Grade Centre is quite busy then any unnecessary columns may as well be removed.  The only column that we remove is the ‘User ID’ which is in fact a duplicate of the Student ID although the ‘Availability’ and ‘Child Course’ columns could also be reasonably removed.

GradeMark in Turnitin has also helped streamline the marking process.  Using quick comments, general comments and particularly utilising Turnitin Rubrics tutors have found an ideal way to create and leave feedback for their students.  Using the Smart Views in the Grade Centre helps tutors to focus just on their own Learning Set of students.

So as can be seen a number of mechanisms can be used (you don’t have to use all of them by-the-way!) to help with the management of a module or course.

Learning Technology Development have created a number of e-packages and guides to help you incorporate the above tools into your own courses:

“GradeMark has been a really useful innovation on our programme.  I run a module where we have multiple associate tutors engaged in the first marking process.  It’s been really helpful for them from a quality assurance process point of view to be able to look at the rubrics as they are marking ensures a more rigorous and equitable application of the grading criteria.  It also, as module leader, helped me to quality assure the marking process because I can see how first markers have arrived at the grades that they have through the use of the rubric.

 It’s also been a useful development tool for the associate tutors themselves.  They’ve been able to look at the feedback added by other associate tutors and that helps them benchmark the quality and quantity of their own feedback against that of other markers on the module and also ensures a more consistent experience for students and its allowed me to evaluate and quality assure the marking process much more thoroughly than I would have been able to do previously.”

Helen McNeill, Module Leader CPD4706,
Programme Leader PGCert in Workplace-Based Postgraduate Medical Education.

LTD_Carol_Chatten

Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer

Qwickly Attendance: Call for Early Adopters

Qwickly Early Adopters Pilot

It was only a few months back when we introduced the new update for Qwickly Attendance (online Register System) to our 2016 Learning Edge Summer Upgrade. Many of you attended the staff development sessions we delivered back in August and the feedback we’ve received about the new features has been superb . Though many of you might already be using Qwickly Attendance to simplify, manage and monitor student attendance. We’d like to invite you staff to join our Early Adopters Pilot for Qwickly Attendance (click to open pilot brief).

Over the next few weeks we are looking for staff to join this pilot! All staff involved will receive close support from the LTD team to work with you and explore how it can improve your register workflow and provide you with all the training and support you’ll need along the way (either group or 1-2-1).There is not preference if you have starting using the tool or simply just thinking about starting to use it in your course or programme.

What are early adopter’s committing to?

In return for participating in the pilot you will be asked to provide feedback on your experience and the technology in Janurary 2017. We’re hoping your suggestions will provide product feature enhancements! Your feedback will also be shared with colleagues across the University. Exampling how it was used and what impact it had for staff and students.

So how to get involved?

Email: ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk with the subject line: ‘Qwickly Attendance Early Adopter Project – Expression of Interest’ & provide the following details in the body of your message:

  • Name
  • Faculty
  • Department
  • Programme Area

We really hope to hear from you soon! 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

Technology Supported Learning – MaST Programme Embedding Technology

Edge Hill University Western Campus lake view

Mark Wilcock (Learning Technology Development Officer) has, over the last few years, been working with the Faculty of Education’s MaST Team, providing support and guidance with the introduction of a number of key technologies including:

  • iSpring (a rapid learning authoring toolkit for developing professional e-learning courses in Powerpoint.
  • Blackboard Collaborate (browser-based web conferencing solution).
  • Panopto (lecture capture software).

In this case study, Mark tells us about his work with the MaST Good Practice AwardTeam and explains how and why they began to explore the available technologies, the benefits to the department and the students on the courses here at Edge Hill University.

This is what Mark says about the project and working with the MaST team to introduce these technologies;

“For many years now I have worked with the MaST team. I’ve delivered various staff development sessions and raised awareness and confidence in using technology in teaching and learning. More recently I have worked alongside them in the adoption of new learning technologies such as iSpring and Blackboard Collaborate. As a Technologist I’ve always recognised the need to respond to the changing demands of the student expectation and of course the opportunity to collaborate with staff towards enhancing the learning experience overall with the use of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). Starting back in 2014, MaST explored the use of iSpring as a tool to develop and enhance their current online induction resource for students. Here they created an accessible and interactive course induction resource that included a variety of multimedia (audio narration, video guides, information & social media links and supplementary attachments) to give students the best start to the course and to accommodate for all the diverse range of learning styles of the online students. This project enabled me to not only reach out to academics, but to also understand and build even stronger relationships with the team and the course the MaST programme itself. It also demonstrated the benefits that the iSpring as a technology brought to the online student experience, highlighting the student rewards and usability for staff.

iSpring, Blackboard Collaborate and Panopto logos

Moving into 2015 and 2016, the MaST team introduced Blackboard Collaborate and Panopto into their programme. The team required a platform to support online lecture streaming and video capture. Prior to the institution having Panopto (lecture capture) at its disposal, the only tool that could deliver such an ability was Blackboard Collaborate. For those new to Collaborate, it is a real-time video conferencing tool that lets you replicate the physical classroom into a virtual one with the option to share applications and a whiteboard. Though Collaborate was not actually a dedicated lecture capture product and more of a online classroom tool, it did however provide a short term fix to live streaming for the MaST Conference days until Panopto was introduced in 2016. However, the benefits of the team using Collaborate prior to Panopto, actually worked in their favour for their future endeavours as they had already obtained an initial understanding of this tool it is now currently being considered as a communication platform for online group and one to one meetings with students.

Student with Laptop

I strongly believe that the benefits of our collaboration has supported this application of technology into the online elements of their programme, which has enabled them to replicate the traditional teaching and learning activities for blended and distance learning, meeting the modern day expectations of the online student. For me personally, the ability to transfer knowledge and key understanding to academic staff working together with the technologies provided can only improve the student learning experience by improving teaching and learning within Edge Hill University is extremely rewarding. Overall my view is that Staff who develop good digital capabilities in technology enhanced learning can offer new opportunities for their students through improved access to resources, increased interaction between staff and students, changes to learning and teaching styles and more flexibility in their choice of place and time.”

You can here from Mark in this short video about his work with the MaST Team;

YouTube Video Player

…this is what Andrea Taylor (Senior Lecturer MaST) said;

“MaST have been working with Learning Services’ Mark Wilcock for a couple of years on ways to develop and deliver blended learning session for our students, some of whom are based on campus with others at locations across the country. Initial trials with Blackboard Collaborate were very promising, this allowed us to offer face to face sessions whilst students in Birmingham were able to join the session remotely from a device or their computer.  Working with Mark was also important in developing a number of iSpring packages which allowed us to create interactive multimedia e-earning content.  As we grew in confidence, in terms of using the technology, we were made aware of lecture capture software.  

The MaST Team approached Mark again to find out more about this new resource called ‘Panopto’ to see what it offered as an alternative.

It was important the technology is easy to use and allowed us to capture the lecture electronically and live screen to the second venue without any issues, and to create accessible recording we can upload quickly to the VLE so that students have almost immediate access to this resource.  Panopto allows our students to view the keynote address after the face to face day to follow up on their learning and to encourage further reflection.  We would recommend that other departments incorporate this technology into their courses.  The support for its use had been fabulous and although we have used it at a very basic level, we look forward to utilising many of the other features that are available through Panopto”

The MaST Team;
Mary McAteer, Andrea Taylor, Victoria Grinyer, Ann Barker, Philip Rowe, Stephen Williams

If you feel inspired by Mark, the MaST Team and want to use these and/or other technologies to help enhance and support your own teaching, please get in-touch with the Learning Technology Team in Learning Services.  We will be very happy to work with you.

Mark Wilcock

 

 

Mark Wilcock
(Learning Technology Development Officer)

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

Technology Supported Learning – Submission Possible with SafeAssign

Mission ImpossibleLast year the Professional Education Team started to explore current options for electronic submission at Edge Hill University.

 

Mark Sutcliffe (Senior Lecturer in Professional Education) Good Practice Awardshares his experience of SafeAssign, part of the Blackboard Assignment Submission offer, in support of the challenges faced by students with academic writing.

“Prior to using SafeAssign I had known about anti-plagiarism software for some time. However, neither myself nor my colleagues in the undergraduate team I work with had ever attempted to use it. I believe the main reason for this is that we had heard stories of the technology not being as effective as it originally was and sometimes working on an inconsistent basis. As somebody who has been eager to promote IT-related innovation within my area I have always been aware that technology can be as easily rejected as accepted, especially if the initial experience of using it is poor.

In September of 2015 the team convened to discuss ways of further enhancing the effectiveness of practice, especially in relation to supporting academic writing, which often proves the most significant challenge to students’ studies. The additional ways that technology could help us and them was considered and following on from this I liaised with learning services to discuss ideas. A suggestion made by Martin Baxter and David Callaghan was SafeAssign, a recently integrated feature within Edge Hill’s VLE, Blackboard.

Safe Assign User TypesWhat quickly became apparent during the initial demonstration of SafeAssign was how straightforward it was to set up. A few simple clicks embedded this feature as part of creating a new assignment in a course/module area. However, what makes SafeAssign so effective is the way instructors and users can use this tool to check submitted work. SafeAssign initially provides an overall percentage, representing how much of the content connects to its global database, which includes uploaded work and published material. This can potentially provide a quick indicator of how much material has been used from external sources. In addition, SafeAssign generates a report, allowing instructors (and potentially users) to see exactly where such material has been used. I left the demonstration impressed with what I had seen and eager to promote the use of SafeAssign.Safe Assign Student View

At the next team meeting SafeAssign was discussed and demonstrated to my colleagues. It was trialled with work connected to a module submission in December of 2015. It was agreed amongst the team that we encouraged students not to view this technology with negative connotations, rather it was introduced as a supportive tool for their work. This was achieved through making sure that they could utilise the technology during the drafting process and self-check for any potential issues themselves. To assist in this process (and alleviate multiple submissions for a particular module) I created an additional submission point purely for drafts of work.

SafeAssign Logo

The feedback from the implementation of SafeAssign has been very positive. Staff are enthusiastic about having a tool to hand that provides quick assistance in investigating issues with submissions, whilst students recognise SafeAssign as a tool to help scaffold the development and quality of work. Because of its success, other degree programmes are now looking to utilise SafeAssign technology. I would strongly recommend its use.”

You can see and hear Mark talking about SafeAssign and how students embraced the technology in support of their academic writing.

YouTube Video Player

If you feel inspired by Mark’s story and want to use this or another technology to help you enhance and support your own teaching, please get in touch with the Learning Technology Team in Learning Services. We would be very happy to work with you.

Mark David Sutcliffe

 

 

Mark David Sutcliffe
(Senior Lecturer in Professional Education).

Digital Productivity for Health & Social Care Staff

DPL

This month the Faculty of Health & Social Care (FoHSC) – with the added support of their Senior SOLSTICE Fellow (Laura Taylor) – introduced a brand new resource to provide its staff with the latest in e-learning tools and resources to help deliver ‘technology enhanced learning’ to its students.

The Digital Productivity Lab is a quiet work space for all FoHSC staff that gives access to every available e-learning resource within the institution, including the provision of audio and video peripherals. Located next to the main reception within the faculty building, the lab offers services exclusive to both academic and support staff within the faculty. FoHSC staff can either book the lab to work independently or to schedule private bespoke 1-2-1 sessions with one of their Faculty Learning Technology Development Officers (LTDOs).

The Digital Productivity Lab currently offers all FoHSC staff a shared platform to….

  • …the latest technology enhanced learning software to build engaging and exciting learning resoruces (Panopto, iSpring and Office Mix).
  • …an array of multimedia and HD recording equipment (both audio and video).
  • …iOS & Android mobile devices to plan and develop ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) sessions.

To help faculty staff identify key people, places and processes currently in place. Learning Services and Laura Taylor have collaboratively developed a TEL Community reference tool (see below) to support staff who wish to seek support from specific advocates and enablers.

TEL Community FOHSC

Booking*

Bookings* for the lab are managed by the Customer Services Team (CST) and the FoHSC LTDOs within Learning Services.

  • For independent use: Please contact the Customer Services Team (Ext 7050) via the main reception to book the lab.
  • For 1-2-1 LTDO sessions: Appointments can be arranged via email or telephone on the following:

Picture of the authorPeter Beaumont
Learning Technology Development Officer (Undergraduate Programmes)
Ext 7749
Email: beaumonp@edgehill.ac.uk

 

Mark WilcockMark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer (Postgraduate Programmes)
Ext:7069
Email: wilcockm@edgehill.ac.uk

 

* Please contact at least one week in advance to secure your preferred time and date.

Technology Supported Learning – Using Student Journals to Understand the Student Experience

Good Practice AwardThe Journals tool in Blackboard is a private space where students can post opinions, ideas and concerns. This case study, shared by Maria McCann (Widening Participation Manager), describes how the Journals tool was used within a research project, to understand the living, learning and emotional journeys of around 100 new students’ in their first term at Edge Hill University.

When the Student Journal project was envisioned, Maria and the team hoped that a tool within the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE) could be used to help document the student journey. Maria felt it sensible to use, a system already set up, open to all students on any course, something that they would be getting introduced to anyway and would continue to use throughout the lifetime of their degree programme.

To learn more about the Blackboard tools available to support student participation and feedback, Maria contacted Mark Wilcock, a Learning Technologist within the Learning Services, Learning Technology Development Team.

Maria met with Mark, explained her ideas, described what she wanted to achieve and what her key criteria were – she needed something that would allow students to record their thoughts in a single, secure place, that they could access anytime and anywhere. It was from this starting point that Mark (Learning Services) and Maria (Student Recruitment) were able to work collaboratively, to identify the most suitable tools and settings for her project.

Mark recommended a ‘Blackboard’ Organisation, which is similar to a Course area but can be used for non-credit bearing activity to house the research activity, and the Journals tool, which would provide the private online space, for students to write and submit their journals each week. The Journal tool settings were also suggested as a way to ‘release’ and ‘lock’ the weekly journals, at the same time each week, to keep the students on track.

It was decided to theme each week in a way that would be relatable to each individual student, regardless of programme studied. The themes were planned to mirror the systems, processes and services most students would experience and provided a ‘loose’ framework for students to base their journal entry on each week. Students were encouraged to think about key aspects of the theme and further guidance was given breaking down the themes into key points; however students were encouraged to think and write in depth, rather than trying to address all the points listed. Although the guidance was used widely by the students, it was not intended to be prescriptive and students were encouraged to think about what they had experienced in that particular week, their ‘journey’, rather than trying to ‘fit’ the framework. This was reiterated to the students in the briefing at the start of the project as well as emails and ‘posts’ to the organisation on Learning Edge. The benefits to providing a framework allowed quick reading and analysis for the reader.

This combination of Organisation and Journals provided the perfect platform for the research. Participants (and the researcher) had 24 hour access via their tablet, smart phone, PC or laptop, as well as providing complete anonymity (except from the reader-researcher).

Here Maria talks more about her experience whilst working on the project:

Maria McCann YouTube linkInformation about the Student Recruitment Research Activity

The Student Journey Programme is being managed by the Director of Student Recruitment and Administration aims to:

  • Provide an equitable, consistent and seamless high quality experience for all students from first enquiry through to graduation.
  • Provide services, systems and processes which are recognised as sector-leading nationally by prospective and current students and staff.

Edge Hill University Main Reception

This Journal Project sits within the wider Student Journey Programme. Its aims are:

  • To map interactions, activities and events where students engage with the university through its services, systems and processes- encompassing pre-enrolment and through the first 8 weeks of term as a first year.
  • To understand students’ emotional responses, perceptions, views and behaviours in relation to those services, systems and processes.
  • To provide a platform for students (as participants) to define what has the most impact on them and their learning experience (both ‘good’ and ‘not-so-good’ as defined by them).
  • To identify areas of good practice across the university (at different student ‘touch points’) and make recommendations for further enhancement in services being delivered to students.

Want to find out more about Blackboard’s Journal tool and Blackboard Organisations?  Contact your Faculty Learning Technology Development Officer.

Maria McCann

 

 

 

Maria McCann
(Widening Participation Manager)

 

LTD_Staff_0054 Mark Wilcock

 

 

 

Mark Wilcock
(Learning Technology Development Officer)