LTD’s Good Practice Guides

Over 30 years of combined experience working with academic and administrative staff have been distilled into the many Learning Technology guides and other resources that now reside in the Learning Services Wiki.  These guides are aimed at saving you time and enhancing the student experience – ensuring a consistent quality and making your courses more engaging.  The wiki uses calendars accessed via the Administration and Building & Teaching tabs that detail what you may be working on at the various parts of the course lifecycle.

Here are three that have had the most impact on the staff and student experience:

Learning Edge: Good Practice in Building and Teaching your Course

This document contains some suggestions on how to enhance the educational value of your course, based on existing good practice and feedback from our Student eLearning Surveys.



Quick guide: Enrolling Staff from within a Course

Did you know that you can enroll colleagues as instructors into any course that you are an instructor on?  This single sheet guide shows you how this is done.

Quick Guide: Diagnosing Student Access Issues

This guide looks at some of the common problems that students may report when trying to access Learning Edge for the first time (or as a returning student).


The three documents above form part of a wealth of guides and resources accessed via calendars of activities.  We invite you to spend a few minutes browsing these calendars (from the Administration and Building & Teaching tabs), perhaps looking at the entries for this time of year – all focusing on enhancing the student experience.

David Callaghan
Learning Technologist
Katherine Richardson
LTD Operations Co-ordinator




Working under the radar … Blackboard 9.1 update

One of the lessons I am learning about implementing a major technology project is that there are quite long stretches of time when nothing really newsworthy happens – there is a huge amount of work going on but very little of it is of interest to the majority of our readers. I could write more about how Blackboard 9.1 now integrates with our student information database, or similar  … but I won’t.  Instead, here are a couple of snippets on progress in general.

As we move towards July, the number of academic and administrative staff  receiving training in the essentials of Blackboard 9.1 is picking up. All academic departments have arranged to attend workshops that will enable them to build their courses in 9.1. We are also timetabling mop-up sessions between now and the end of July for those colleagues unable to attend. If you want to arrange a place on one of these additional sessions, please email for information on dates, times and availability.

There are currently 110 modules in 9.1 that are ‘live’ with 1,624 registered users. We’ve been monitoring all requests for support and to date, the number of technical issues reported have been pleasingly low. I don’t think this is a matter for complacency, however, so if you are a student or a member of staff who is currently using Blackboard 9.1, or who used it last semester, your feedback would be very welcome.

As Blackboard has now achieved mainstream adoption across the University, the Learning Technology Development Division (part of Learning Services) have completely reviewed the processes that were in place to communicate with and support staff, students and other customers in the event of occasional dips in service or the system being down. Again, this activity is essential, largely invisible and only really of interest when there is a problem. Having completed the review, tested and introduced new, robust processes, we can now start publicising them. Staff can access the guidance from the  How do I report a problem? section (Blackboard) from the Learning Services wiki. Feedback on this is also welcome. I just hope we don’t have to put it into practice anytime soon!