Edge Hill Central – Edge Hill University in the palm of your hand

The updated Edge Hill Central app was launched at the end of November and has a fresh new look, more features and is easier than ever to navigate on mobiles and tablets.  More social media links have been introduced including Instagram and Facebook but all the features you know and love are just as easy to access such as PC Availability, the Library Catalogue and Edge Hill University Email.

The app is currently available for Apple and Android platforms.  It is available for free via the respective apps stores:  Apple  /  Android

What can it do?

Events – Always know what’s on, in and around Edge Hill University. Browse cinema screenings, comedy shows, theatre productions, open lectures, and more. There is something for everyone and you can save the events you are interested in straight to your calendar.

Learn – Take your learning environment with you. With quick and easy access to your courses in Learning Edge (Blackboard) you can check the latest announcements, look up lecture notes, participate in discussion groups, update your blogs, and much, much more.

Email – Stay up-to-date with your university communications. Sign into your University email account to check emails from your course tutors and colleagues.

News – Read about university news as it happens. Browse articles published by the university on faculty activity, campus developments, research projects, awards, events and other interesting stories.

Library – Start your reading and research wherever you are. Explore the complete library catalog to check the availability of books, journals, newspapers, etc. and make reservations. Even review your account status to see what items you have on loan and when they need to be renewed.

Get Help – Access important numbers when you need them. Contact a help desk, report an emergency or get information from the general switchboard.

Images – Search, browse, download and share images from Edge Hill University’s collections.

Videos – Watch Edge Hill University YouTube content whenever – and wherever – you like.

Statistics

Averages over the past 6 weeks since the app launched (This includes the ‘quiet’ Christmas period):

Screen Views: 2081
Screen Sessions: 1309
Unique Users: 493

It is hoped that the app will continue to be developed over time with more features and items being added tailored towards prospective and current students and staff.  If you have any time to offer some feedback after using the app, please leave a comment at the bottom of this blog.

 

 

Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer

 

Blackboard Student Mobile App

The summer brought a number of changes to the learning technologies used in the University and one in particular I wanted to highlight here is the new Blackboard Student Mobile App available for iOS, Android and Windows mobiles and tablets.

It is radically different to the previous app (Mobile Learn) having had a complete redesign. Here is a run down of what to expect in the new app:

Notifications
Students can choose to receive a notification when new content is added to their courses.  Specific ones they wish to receive is controlled via the desktop version whilst on/off choice is set via the device.

Content
Many formats are now supported natively including most types of image, audio (MP3) and video (MP4).  PDFs, websites and ‘mashups’ are also able to be opened within the app.  Additionally to this, it will look for the appropriate app on the device to open Word, Excel, PowerPoint or similar file attachments.

Tools
Tests created using the Mobile Compatible Tests tool work really well and are easy to work through whilst Discussion Forums are clean and simple to use.
Blackboard Assignment submission is incorporated into the app as it is compatible with Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive to access documents and materials that students have produced.

Online Lectures
A separate app is no longer required to use Collaborate as it has been built in to the single app – great news for users of webinars and online lectures!

Grades and Feedback
If work has been submited via the Blackboard Assignment tool, grades and feedback can be obtained via the ‘Marks‘ area in the app where a break down of individual assignments can be found.  Be aware though, if using Turnitin for submissions only grades that are fed through to the Grade Centre can be viewed via the app (no feedback is included).

 

Currently unavailable or unsupported
As the app is still a fairly new version there are a number of areas that are yet to be developed and you may find this renders it unsuitable for your use:

Turnitin is not yet integrated into the app and as such submissions are unable to be made and due dates and feedback can’t be displayed.

Groups are currently not supported as are any tools within a group (such as a group discussion board or wiki) although thanks to the new responsive design implementation over summer these tools will open reasonably well in a web browser.

Blogs, Journals and Wikis are also not currently supported and these will open in a web browser if clicked on from within the app but it is hoped that these will be supported soon.

Standard Tests cannot be taken through the app.

If you would like any further guidance or advice in using the new app please feel free to contact the Learning Technology Development Team on ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk

PLEASE NOTE:
Blackboard Mobile Learn has now been removed from the app stores and is no longer supported by Blackboard.  If a student uninstalls the old app they will no longer be able to reinstall it.

If you are a tutor you may find the following PowerPoint slides useful to show to other members of staff or your own students.

There is also an ‘Instructor‘ app available that can be used by tutors to build certain content and can be used in delivering materials such as webinars and online lectures.

 

 

Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer

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

Time to get Appy!

Smartphones and Tablets get better every year and more of you are using your mobile devices to engage with Edge Hill content on the go.

With the start of term only a few weeks away, what better time to showcase the apps available to you…

Edge Hill Central

EHU Central logo
EHU Central

 

 

 

Stay connected with Edge Hill University wherever you are.

Look-up course information, search the library catalogue, check your emails and stay up-to-date with the latest university news, videos, images, and more.

iTunes link | Google Play link

Blackboard Mobile Learn

BB Mobile
BBMobile2

 

 

 

Blackboard Mobile Learn makes it easier for you to keep up with your courses by letting you access them whenever and wherever you want – now on WiFi and cellular!

We have also bundled a copy of this in to the Edge Hill Central App – so there is no need to install separately.

iTunes link | Google Play link

Blackboard Collaborate

CollaborateCollaborate2

 

 

 

Blackboard Collaborate is Edge Hill’s web conferencing tool. Collaborate provides an online environment where students and staff can engage in a live web conference for online classes, meetings, one-on-one tutoring, and much more.

In order to attend a Blackboard Collaborate session your tutor will need to schedule a session or create a room.

iTunes link | Google Play link

For more information on mobile enabled content available at Edge Hill University can be found here

As always, any questions on whats happening please contact LTD Support on 01695 650754 or email ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk.

JL_Blog

 

 

 

 

John Langford

Learning Technology Development Systems Officer

Are you appy with your mobile?

Tree with tags editHelping you get the most out of educational apps

In the summer we asked you (our students) about how you use your mobile phones and we received some great feedback. In relation to one particular question of use, you told us that on the whole you used apps, but aren’t sure which ones may help you with your study.

From this we felt it would be great to hear about how students are using apps whilst here at Edge Hill, with a future plan to share this knowledge so that it might help others.

So our first venture was at last Friday’s Get Connected roadshow in the University Library, where we asked you to make our Christmas tree appy. Which you did in your masses, aided no doubt by the offer of a free chocolate or pen. In total 117 students noted on a gift tag, both their favourite app and a study app that they would recommend to other students, and these suggestions decorated our tree. As you can see from our picture, you made our Christmas tree very appy indeed.

This is what you told us:

Favourite Mobile Apps
Favourite AppsNo prizes for guessing what your favourite app was – Facebook with 25% of all decorations.

Twitter came in second with just over half the votes of Facebook at 13%.

Interestingly, there was a wide range of other favourite apps, with 39 different ones nominated, showing a real diversity to your usage of mobile apps.

Recommended Study Apps
Recommended Study AppsThe most popular app that you would recommend to your fellow students was Google with 11% of all results.

Second was Dropbox with 9%, then ReferenceME at 5% and Dictionary taking fourth place with 4%.

31 different study apps were recommended, however 38% said that they hadn’t ever used an app for study.

Empty chocs edit

 

Not surprisingly 100% of the chocolates were appy’ly consumed!

Following this successful start, we really want to continue hearing of your experiences with apps – especially the ones you use in your studies which you think might be a good recommendation to others. If you want to help, please email adrian.cain@edgehill.ac.uk with the title ‘Are you appy with your mobile?’, or add a comment to this blog post.

Catch further updates and information on study apps through this blog, or our social media.
Facebook EHULearnService
Twitter @EHULearnService

Wishing you a very appy Christmas
From the Learning Services Apps Review Team

Facts and Figures about Mobile Technology

Over the last 40 years, mobile technology developments have changed the way we engage with content, communicate, collaborate and learn. Device ownership has reached a critical mass globally, with CISCO (2013) reporting that by the end of this year there will be more mobile-connected devices than there are people on earth!

In the UK, 61% of over 16s use a smartphone (Nielson, 2013) and at Edge Hill, our 2012 annual student eLearning survey revealed comparable results – 63% use an internet enabled mobile phone and 32% use tablet devices. This increasing ubiquity of access to advanced mobile technology is important to us as educators, as we strive to leverage the benefits for teaching and learning, through improving our infrastructure, services and support. Huge advances have been made at Edge Hill in reccent years, and staff and students now have a mobile rich environment to work in. Here are some of the highlights:

The Blackboard Mobile Learn app, introduced in September 2011, has proved a real hit with our students. They tell us that easy access to announcements, lecture notes and grades is really important to them and usage data backs this up, as we can see the app is being used now more than ever – visits to Learning Edge via the app in September 2013 totalled 53,785 compared with 17,703 in the same period in 2012 – a 204% increase.

Users of Blackboard Collaborate have enjoyed taking advantage of the Collaborate Mobile app to participate in live web-conferencing sessions from their iPhone and iPads, and in May 2013 we upgraded the service to support Android and Kindle devices as well. In October 2013, an inbuilt recording conversion feature was also added, allowing instructors to easily create industry standard MP4 and MP3 formats of their session recordings for playback on mobile devices.

During the summer, the EHU Central app (also known as Edge Hill Central) was redeveloped to include a number of improvements including three fantastic new tools: computer availability, campus map and Ask Us. The new release of Edge Hill Central is available for Android users (with iOS and web app versions to follow) and early feedback has been incredibly positive. Students love that they can find a PC, find their way around campus and ask for help from wherever they are.

Students have also found the mobile-friendly library resources invaluable. As well as the mobile compatible catalogue search tool, we now have Discover More on mobile and over 80,000 downloadable eResources – from Ebrary, DawsonEra (on iOS / Android) and MyiLibrary.

In August the Turnitin for iPad app arrived allowing academic staff using iPads to access student assignments and provide feedback, with options to view originality reports, grade with rubrics, and annotate with QuickMark, highlights, bubble, inline, voice comments. Assignments can even be downloaded to enable offline working.

Students are regularly using their smartphones in EHU’s WIFI spaces (65% of respondents to the 2012 student e-Learning survey) and student enquires suggested connecting to campus WIFI had presented some challenges. As a result, Learning Services initiated a #EHUGetConnected campaign which has seen 16 roadshow events in the first term help around 2000 students access the Eduroam WiFi service and learn all about our fabulous mobile facilites!

The next #EHUGetConnected event is this Friday, 29th November, in the University Library, where we’ll be talking about using apps and eBooks. Get your questions ready, we’re looking forward to seeing you (both staff and students) there!

If you’d like to discuss how you could exploit the potential of mobile technologies in your practice, leave a comment below, contact your learning technologist or come to one of our staff development sessions.

Meg Juss, Learning Technology Development Manager

Meg Juss, Learning Technology Development Manager

 

Blackboard Mobile and Clinical Education

I was recently asked to present on how the Clinical Education programme uses Blackboard Mobile to deliver their blended learning courses to students.  Unfortunately I couldn’t be there on the day – so I made a video to demonstrate instead.

The video demonstrates how the Clinical Education programme organises it’s Blackboard course to be mobile friendly to the students studying on the modules.  As busy doctors, working long days and looking after families they find it difficult to get dedicated time to study and so the introduction of Blackboard Mobile Learn has enabled them to record their reflections at times that may ordinarily be lost – travelling, in between shifts or at coffee breaks.

Using the mobile friendly tools enables an excellent user experience for the students where they are able to communicate with each other through online discussion forums or profile blogs, keep up to date with reading materials from the PDF content or receive announcements about upcoming key dates or activities.

Watch the video to see and learn how clinical education do things the mobile way!

 Clinical Education iPad Tour – Edge Hill University

 

 

Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer

 

Developing Digital Excellence – Come with us on a mobile field trip

Are you a member of staff who wants to connect even more with your students who are using their mobile devices?

This development session, as part of the Learning Services Developing Digital Excellence staff development programme, could be perfect for you.

Join us on Thursday 25th October 12.00pm – 1.00pm.  We are starting in the Staff Development training room on the 2nd Floor of the LINC but from there it’s out on a field trip. 

Blackboard Mobile Learn has now been available for over a year and we have seen use by both students and staff increase significantly in that time.

This session will take you through where you can use mobile potentially in your teaching, learning, training and support to demonstrate the appeal it has to its users.

We will be taking you on a mobile field trip to collect resources, materials and ideas using your mobile phone or device (or you can borrow one for the session) to upload to Blackboard.

Book your place via the HR wiki

 Rachel Bury Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Communications and Marketing

What technologies did you get for Christmas?

Many of you lucky folks will have been fortunate enough to have received amazing new personal technologies or tools this Christmas and we’d love to hear about what you’ve got and how you’re using them in your studies, or for your teaching. You can use the comments box below to tell us all about how you’re using your iPods and Kindles, your digital recorders, tablets and favourite apps!

For those of us (myself included) that didn’t get a shiny new iPad2, I thought I’d highlight some of the great technologies we’ve now all got access to through Learning Edge. After all, Learning Edge got lots of really exciting new tools from Santa too!

Learning Edge is more than just Blackboard; it includes a whole range of teaching and learning systems. The list is long and it’s growing … this Guide to Learning Edge gives you a quick overview of all the facilities that are currently included, and remember, this lists only the core online technologies you have at your disposal – we’ll talk about classroom technologies, portable devices, web tools and apps another time!

Just before the New Year we introduced a number of new features to Learning Edge when we updated Blackboard Learn 9.1 to Service Pack 7, including enhancements to the Grade Centre, Interactive Rubrics and Timed Assessments.  A student Blog now, for instance, might be set to only appear in ‘Needs Grading’ status after a student has made three posts, rather than with each individual post.

We’ve also added additional functionality with Building Blocks such as, ‘Blackboard Mobile Learn’, ‘Paste From Word’ and ‘Add Test Student’.

Log In ScreenshotBLACKBOARD MOBILE LEARN
The Mobile Learn app provides quick and easy access to courses in Learning Edge.

For staff and student guides on getting the most from the Blackboard Mobile Learn app, visit the eShare Mobile Collection.  Here, you will find information on downloading the app to your device, setting the course notifications you want to recieve on the go and, for teaching staff, information about building mobile friendly courses.

 

Paste From WordPASTE FROM WORD
The Paste From Word mashup is another useful enhancment for both staff and students as it helps overcome formatting problems when copying and pasting text from Microsoft Word into the Blackboard visual textbox editor (VTBE). For a guide on using this functionality visit the eShare Learning Edge: Paste From Word Guide.

ADD TEST STUDENT
For staff wanting to  view their courses as their students see them, the Add Test Student enhancment is perfect. To learn more about using this functionality visit the eShare Learning Edge: Add Test Student Guide.

Campus Pack Tools ScreenshotCAMPUS PACK
Finally, in addition to all this, we’ve got a brand new ePortfolio system called Campus Pack!

Campus Pack will provide students and staff with their own personal online portfolio space within Learning Edge, with facilities such as blogs, journals, podcasts and wikis as well as PDP, CV and other portfolio template solutions. Tutors will also be able to embed Campus Pack content within Blackboard course areas.

We’ll be blogging about Campus Pack a lot more in the coming weeks but if you are interested in learning more about this tool, there is an online webinar running on Monday 16th January at 3pm 2:30-3:30pm. The webinar is aimed at staff involved in Campus Pack projects this term and next, but this is an open session, and anyone (staff or student) who is interested is welcome to join.

Email ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk and the webinar joining instructions will be provided.

I hope you’re making the most of all these fantasic technologies at your finger tips – remember if you need any help at all, Learning Technology Development are here to help.

Megan Juss Profile Picture

Meg Juss
Learning Technology Development Divisional Co-ordinator