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

 

Turnitin Feedback Studio: Ready for marking

As we are swiftly heading on through this semester and towards end of term assessments we thought it would be helpful to once again highlight marking through Turnitin.

Turnitin recently released Feedback Studio; an updated and revamped way of marking papers with some nifty new features such as page navigation and Grading/Similarity layers.

Access to Feedback Studio remains the same way as you would mark before but just in case you need a recap:

How to access Turnitin Feedback Studio:

The same tools are still there but they have been tidied up and even better, have been combined into one view – no more having to switch between ‘Grading View’ or ‘Similarity View’ you can choose to see them both at the same time. This is useful for cross checking originality whilst making comments.

One of the most used features of Turnitin are the Inline Commenting Tools allowing you to leave annotations on pieces of work.  Quick Marks are also available to build up banks of commonly used phrases or corrections which you can drag and drop onto an assignment for quickly highlighting areas for improvement.  Rubrics have become popular to create and deploy across modules as they can reflect the marking criteria included in programme/module handbooks.  The new Rubrics function uses sliding scale bars to indicate a level that the student is working at.  You can also choose to mark using the Expanded Rubric Manager if you prefer to work in this way.  Rubrics can automatically calculate scores which can inform the overall grade.

Finally, should you wish to recap reviewing originality, take a look at the following guidance from Turnitin: Interpreting the Similarity Report.

Full guidance on Turnitin Feedback Studio can be found here: Turnitin Feedback Studio Full Guide.

Don’t forget the Turnitin app is available on iPad to mark assessments.  One particular benefit of using the app is that once all the submissions are in and you sync it to the iPad then you can mark offline.  Once you have re-established a connection all the marks and comments will automatically be uploaded back into Learning Edge including Grades into the Grade Centre!

 

 

 

As always if you need any help or support, contact the Learning Technology Development Team via ext.7754, ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk or Ask LTD knowledge base.

 

 

Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer
FAS & Medical Education

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

 

Turnitin for iPad has arrived!

What do a sofa and a bus have in common? They are both places you can use the new Turnitin for iPad app to give your students really good feedback! 

OK, so maybe you don’t imagine yourself on a bus… but a lot of you have been asking for an app to help you mark your students’ work at a time and place that suits you – so hopefully this will be exciting news.

This is fresh off the press so we’re just getting up to speed with the new features ourselves, but what we can say is that it looks good!

Tii appClick the image above to launch a video.

The app has lots of features to help you give your students really great feedback on their writing. You can view your students originality reports, grade with rubrics, and annotate with QuickMark, highlights, bubble, inline, voice comments, and more. You can even sync assignments to your device to carry on grading in those annoying no internet zones!

Learn More

Try it!

We have created a Quick Guide to Getting Started with the Turnitin for iPad App as you will need to change a few settings and generate an ‘access code’ to see assignment submissions in your courses. It’s a bit fiddly but you only need to do it once.

Let us know how you get on – we’d love to hear how and where you use the app to evaluate your students work and help them improve their academic writing skills.

Contact the Learning Technology Development team to share any queries or comments you have regarding the new app – leave a comment below, email ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk or call 01695 650754.

Meg Juss, Learning Technology Development Manager

 

 

 

 

Meg Juss
Learning Technology Development Manager

A collaborative experience that engages everyone, every time, everywhere

It is now possible to engage with your students wherever they are. Keep them engaged offering them collaborative and interactive activities and a learning experience. This can be done all through the new platform Blackboard Collaborate.

Blackboard Collaborate Overview

It allows you to create virtual classrooms to deliver presentations, show videos, show websites, communicate synchronously in real time, and engage students in activities that can be presented online.

Mobile support is also available so students can access the online session through an iPhone or an iPad allowing them to access the session wherever they maybe.

iPad

iPhone

 

 

 

 

 

The sessions can also be recorded to allow students to view the recording again and again.

Below is a link to a demonstration by a Blackboard Collaborate Advisor that gives further information on Blackboard Collaborate and the different ways it can be used.

Blackboard Collaborate Demonstration

If you have any questions or would like to find out more information you can contact me directly on 01695 650755 or irfan.mulla@edgehill.ac.uk

Irfan Mulla

 

 

 

 

 

Irfan Mulla

Learning Technology Development Officer (LTD)

 

 

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

 

Accessible and Inclusive Design: Session Notes

For those who couldn’t make it to this week’s session on creating accessible content I thought it would be worth making the session notes available.

In the session we looked at how content uploaded to Edge Hill’s Learning Edge online learning environment can be created in ways that make it more accessible to a wide range of students including those with SpLDs and those using mobile devices to access content.

Specifically we will look at Word and PDF documents, PowerPoint slides, audio and video recordings and content accessed through the mobile app.

Picture of the author

Peter Beaumont
Learning Technologist

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

Learning Edge goes mobile!

We are pleased to announce some exciting news … Learning Edge (Blackboard 9.1) has an app!

The Blackboard Mobile Learn app can be accessed by anyone with a smartphone or tablet device (iPhone, iPod, iPad, Blackberry, Android) for easy and convenient access to courses and collaboration and communication tools whilst on the go.  The app gives you mobile ‘friendly’ access to your course dashboard, announcements, assignments, grades, discussions and handouts.  You’ll also be able to contribute to and comment on discussion and blog posts, and staff will be able to update announcements and journals and create new discussion threads.

This is a timely development for EHU as our 3rd annual Students eLearning Survey (January 2011) revealed that many of our students currently use their mobile phones to access and share information about their courses. They told us that they wanted to access Blackboard in this way too.  We anticipate student use of Blackboard Mobile via the app will really take off. There are a couple of reasons for this – firstly, national data from Ofcom suggests that smartphone ownership in the UK is growing at a rate of 70% a year, with about 45% of 16-24 year olds now having internet-enabled phones. Secondly, thanks to Google Analytics, we know that people are already accessing Blackboard 9.1 from their mobile devices.

August is traditionally our quietest month and yet we we had 598 visits to the Blackboard 9.1 site from mobile devices. This is amazing as 9.1 is not optimised for mobile use. The graph below shows the breakdown of the devices used:

As you can see, the operating systems most used were iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android and Blackberry.  Our Mobile Learn app is available for all of these devices.

You can download the app and start using it now by following these four simple steps:

1.  Search for “Blackboard Mobile Learn” in your app store.
2.  Once the app is installed, search for Edge Hill University using the search bar that automatically appears when you open the app.
3.  Select Edge Hill University.
4.  Log in using the same username and password you normally use to access Learning Edge.

You can find installation guides and helpful FAQs about Mobile Learn here –

Apple users click here
Android users click here
Blackberry users click here
Setting your Mobile Learn course notifications

The Learning Technology Development team will be offering some awareness-raising sessions throughout the coming semester for staff wanting to know more about developing mobile ‘friendly’ courses in Learning Edge, but if you would like to start sooner, contact us to find out more by emailing ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk

Katherine Richardson
LTD Operations Co-ordinator