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

Too good to ignore!

qwickly1

Users of Learning Edge! We have an exciting new addition to the family!

Ok, so it might not be the most exciting thing for some, but we will shortly be switching on a fantastic new tool within Learning Edge to help make your academic communication easier between staff and students.

Qwickly is a tool used to streamline some of those monotonous processes that we’ve heard have been grinding the gears of Learning Edge instructors for sometime…

So what does it do exactly?

Well, this is the good bit… You know all those times that you have to go into each course or module, one at a time, and sometimes create the same announcement? Well, no longer! Qwickly allows you to create one announcement and send it to multiple courses in one click!  Qwickly knows which courses and modules you’re enrolled in and will allow you to select it from a list, create your announcement and send – It’s that easy!

Qwickly2

But wait! That’s not all!

That annoying quirk of trying to remember which course or modules you’ve released to students? Yes! It’s now even easier to do a quick check of which one’s are available and which one’s aren’t and with the click of a button release it to students.

And finally!

You will also be able to send an email to students in multiple courses or modules in the same way as the announcements – super quick for those urgent moments.

So is that it?

Not quite… Additionally, you can ‘qwickly’ see how many papers you have still to mark and also customise the tools that you want to see in the control panel, so if you’re not interested in the email function just remove it from the Qwickly list.

Qwickly

Wow! I can’t wait! So when can we have it?

On Monday 9th February Qwickly will be launched to all members of staff using Learning Edge.  You’ll be able to see the panel at the bottom of your course list on the Home tab.  Sorry it’s all the way down there but we didn’t want it to interfere with any other panels that you can see in the 1st and 3rd columns of your Learning Edge Home tab.

An important note:

Please use this tool responsibly! Please remember that whatever you do has an instant effect.  If you send an announcement, all those students will receive it instantly, this is the same with email.  Once it’s been sent we cannot retrieve it! So please don’t come crying if you send it to the wrong students.

Remember! Just because you can ‘qwickly’ communicate, doesn’t mean you always should. Before hitting send, ask yourself if an announcement or email is the right way to communicate your message!

Equally, if you ‘test’ the availability button, your students will instantly lose access to that course… so please don’t play with the tools unless you know you definitely want a course released (or hidden!)

If you want to see some previews of Qwickly or would like to learn more take a look at these help videos to get a flavour of how easy it is to use.  You can also find out more information in the FAQ area

*Hot hint*

If you don’t want to scroll down a massively long list of courses to get to the Qwickly panel, do you know about tidying up your course list? You can access the guide on how to do this here or watch a video about it here. You can also eliminate seeing the list of instructors should you wish, which saves vital pixel space on the page!

And if you’re feeling really kind, you might want to let your students know about the course list tidying up – it probably annoys them still seeing their 1st year modules when they’re nearing the end of 3rd year as much as it annoys you!

So that’s it! We’re looking forward to switching this tool on and hope you’re looking forward to it too.  Get in touch with LTD if you would like any further details.  We’re more than happy to answer any queries you may have.

If you like, leave a comment on this blog post so you can share your views.

David_Callaghan

 

 

David Callaghan
Learning Technology Development Officer (FoE)

Carol_Chatten

 

 

Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer (FAS)