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

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

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

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.

Introducing Qwickly Attendance: A Whole New Way to Create and Manage Online Registers

Online AttendanceWe know that online attendance management for Blackboard Learn has been on your radar recently. We’re very happy to announce this week a new reliable, secure and efficient online attendance platform that ticks the box (literally). Let me introduce, ‘Qwickly Attendance’.  Qwickly will enable all staff to easily record/track (and grade – optional) student attendance in Blackboard, also allowing for students to self-check-in if required.

attendance-gradingattendance-checking

Attendance can be recorded in the Grade Centre – Qwickly will maintain a running total of a set number of points per attendance. The attendance data is presented in one of two styles – ‘list’ that is like a traditional register, or one student name at a time. You can also change previous registrations to correct mistakes. Perhaps the most significant feature is that students can ‘self-register’ – using a dynamic and secure 4 digit code that will allow students to enrol via their phones, tablets or laptops – and within a timed window that you determine.

Here is a snapshot of the main features:

  • All student attendance data is securely stored within Blackboard Learn.
  • Automatic grading via the ‘Grade Centre’ to keep a running grade for each student.
  • Student check-in (Optional adding a generated security code or a specific time period).
  • Email alerts: Qwickly attendance can send an email to students when they are marked as absent for the day.
  • Qwickly allows students to see when they have been present and when they haven’t.
  • All data can be exported to CSV (Microsoft Office Excel).
  • Add or amend past dates to any attendance record.

We are currently developing both staff setup and management guides for Qwickly, so watch out for new guide updates over the coming weeks. Before you take the tool for a test drive in your test area, why not watch the YouTube demonstration video provided below from Qwickly to fully experience the tool.

Qwickly Attendance Demo

As we approach the end of this academic year, Qwickly hope to implement more new functions periodically. As always staff and students are the main stakeholders of these types of technology and staff input is very valuable to us in this area! We would certainly welcome your suggestions for greater functionality. So please let us know if you can identify any requirements or new features that could enhance the product to your department/course needs!

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