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)

Students, technology and study – still time to have your say!

The 6th EHU student eLearning Survey is an important means of gathering large-scale, detailed feedback on how students experience technology in teaching and learning. Past surveys have contributed massively to our development and support of technology-enhanced learning. The current survey has a couple more weeks to run but the responses already reveal interesting trends that I thought worth sharing. Do these reflect your own experiences? There is still time to complete the survey at http://surveys.edgehill.ac.uk/elearning_2014 (and be in with a chance of winning up to £100 in Amazon vouchers).

Trend 1. Mobile devices are essential tools to support your studies

This isn’t really surprising when you think that your smart phone has more computing power than Apollo 11 when it landed a man on the moon. Apart from money, your phone is the one thing you probably won’t leave home without. Survey responses so far tell us that smart phone access to Learning Edge now seems to be a mainstream activity for accessing notifications, presentations and course content. Just under a quarter of you are using Apps to support study – RefMe, PC Availability, Dropbox, Socrative, barcode scanners and note-making apps to name a few.

Table 1 shows how mobile access to Learning Edge has increased year on year alongside other activities. Table 2 shows the types of devices that are being brought onto campus (%).

Table 2. Devices students bring onto campus.

Table 2

 

Table 1. How students use mobile devices for study

Table 1

 

 

 

 

 

Trend 2: Accessing Learning Edge on and off-campus is a much-improved experience

The 2012/13 survey revealed fewer number of you were experiencing technical difficulties when using Learning Edge on and off campus – but oddly, the most dramatic improvement was in the reduction of off campus technical difficulties.

This prompted us to take a fresh look at on-campus access to Learning Edge and I’m pleased to say that it looks like the many #getconnected roadshows and promotion of Eduroam for reliable WIFI access on campus have had a big impact. Early data from the current survey shows a significant improvement in your on campus access to Learning Edge as illustrated by tables 3 and 4.

on campus access to Eearning Edge

Table 3

 

Off campus access to Learning Edge

Table 4

 

 

 

 

 

Trend 3. Learning Edge is essential for 27/7/365 access to your course

Past surveys told us that each year more of you agree with the statement that Learning Edge enhances knowledge and understanding gained at taught sessions. Early indications are that this year is no different – but with a pleasing improvement on 2012/13. There has been a similar improvement in the response to the statement ‘my tutors regularly update Learning Edge with course information and materials –currently 93.4% of student responses agree with this statement (tables 5 and 6 illustrate).

Table 5. tutors regularly update Learning Edge

Table 5

 

Table 6. Learning Edge enhances my learning

Table 6

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst much data has been obtained by this survey so far, it is important to capture the widest sample of experiences and feedback possible. This isn’t a vanity exercise – although praise is always welcomed. As well as the good, we also welcome the bad and downright ugly! This survey is an important part of our commitment to keep listening to you so we can continue improve year on year on what we do.

Lindsey Martin Assitant Head of Learning Services

 

 

Lindsey Martin, Assistant Head of Learning Services (Learning, ICT & Media Technologies)

 

 

iOS SOS: mobile users need your help!

As more of our students are using devices such as iPads and iPhones – which do not have Microsoft packages installed – we need to change the way we save items in eShare so that students can view them whichever device they are using.

 PDF is the way forward!

There’s a simple solution – save your document as a PDF, then upload it to eShare.

SOS_PDFs

 

 

 

 

 

If you already have a document saved in eShare in a Microsoft package such as Word follow these step-by-step instructions to swap the document without losing the URL.

Remember, if you want students to access documents, you must set the Viewing Permissions to ‘University’ or ‘World’.

viewing permissions eshare

If you have any queries regarding eShare or would like to arrange a group or 1:1 training session please contact eshare@edgehill.ac.uk.

Michelle O'Connell

 

Michelle O’Connell

Academic Liaison Librarian

Taking the online survey to the student.

How FM and LTD used tablet technologies for a student survey.

Taking the online survey to the student.In December Facilities Management wanted to know more about how students were using the HUB, and more specifically, the food services within the new building. They were considering how they could take a survey to the students, to encourage engagement, and maximise responses.

Danielle Doyle (FM Customer Service Team Leader) and Carol Austin (Facilities Manager for Customer Services) contacted LTD for advice on how to implement their ideas. LTD suggested using mobile devices to connect to an online survey, using the Bristol Online Surveys (BOS) service available to Edge Hill staff. The department loaned their own mobile devices to FM as a ‘pilot’ to learn more about using these mobile technologies.

Three students were recruited to conduct the survey for three days just before the Christmas break.  Two mobile devices were used – a first generation iPad and a Samsung Galaxy tab – the plan being to compare against the third student using paper copies of the survey.  Both devices were able to connect to and run the BOS service, though the battery of the Galaxy tablet ran out before the end of each session (10-3pm).  The interviewers said that the mobile devices were great at getting the engagement of students and the survey was completed in a similar amount of time as the paper version – the significant advantage of the mobile technology is the elimination of both transcription time and transcription errors.

Note, though, that the interviewers found the fastest way to gather the data was to get a group of students together and use one paper survey to record the responses from many students – though transcription time and errors need to be taken into account.

A later posting will discuss what LTD and FM learnt as a result of this pilot – and perhaps give some feedback on the results of this survey.

If you are considering how to use technology to enhance the student experience please contact the LTD team via ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk or 01695 650754.

Mobile Matters

Are you using the Blackboard Mobile Learn app yet? The mobile app for Learning Edge (Blackboard 9.1) has been available for a good few weeks now, so we thought it would be a good time to look at how much it’s being used. What we found makes fascinating reading!

The last month alone saw 9,343 visits to Learning Edge from a mobile device, but interestingly only 2,535 (27%) of these visits were made via the Mobile Learn app. This means a lot of users are navigating to the site using the browser within their mobile device rather than an app designed specifically for smart devices. Without the app you will have to enter log in details every time you want to access Blackboard; with the app you can save your log in details making it quicker to check into your course. The mobile app also makes navigating the VLE, viewing information and using tools such as the discussion board and journals much easier. Without the app, Learning Edge isn’t optimised for mobile use so if you haven’t already tried it, why not install the app now to see if it makes accessing Learning Edge on your mobile device easier for you? The app displays Blackboard in a different but more mobile-friendly way; the picture below shows how it might look:

Apple continues to be the most widely used with a total of 81% (5,527) of visits coming from Apple devices. The graph below shows the breakdown of the devices used:

You can set your notifications within Blackboard to be sent to either your Blackboard dashboard, your EHU email address, or your mobile app. This means anytime there is activity within your course (for example a new announcement or grade released) you’ll be notified, meaning you’ll always be up to date with what’s happening in your course. For notifications to be sent to your mobile device you need to have the app installed….so install it today!

For information on how to set your Blackboard notifications and for guidance on how to get the app have a look at our collection of mobile guides.

If you have any feedback about your experiences with using the app we’d love to hear from you, so please leave comments here.

Katherine Richardson
LTD Operations Co-ordinator

New Academic year..new technologies

As we all prepare for the new academic year, Learning Technology Development would like to invite colleagues to their new series of Emerging Technologies work shops.

The first of our new programme of work shops is on 7th September 2011 from  1.00pm 2.00pm. 

QR Codes: Are they Mainstream yet?

This quick, 1 hour interactive workshop will introduce participants to the world of Quick Response (QR) Codes these are 2D barcodes that can be scanned with a smart phone, iPod Touch or similar.  Anyone with a smart-phone can scan and read QR codes with the click of a camera, and anyone with access to a computer can generate QR codes themselves for free.

Workshop participants will have an opportunity to learn more about the potential of QR Codes and discover how to create their own. You won’t need a laptops but you will need to bring along your phone or mobile device (tablet, iPad etc. – make sure it has an inbuilt camera though).

If you wish to install a QR code app before arriving, you can start here: http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ (You can use your PC or apps store for downloading).

This session links with the next session on Emerging Technologies about ‘Blackboard Mobile Learn’.  You can use the QR code reader software to download the Blackboard Mobile app!

Please book your place via HR Staff Development team

Email staffdevelopment@edgehill.ac.uk

ps Learning Services has a QR code so our users can get quick, instant access to our website from their smart phone

Rachel Bury

Academic Liaison Manager for the Faculty of Health