Online Assignment Submission: Final checks ✔

This week the Learning Technology Development team posted its annual ‘Keep Calm and Submit’ post on the Learning Edge blog, highlighting the latest tips and good practices to ensure your online submissions over the next week go as smoothly as you could possibly wish for.

As an additional treat for all students we’ve also put together 4 simple steps to help with some of the pre submission checks you might not have thought about before clicking the submit button.

Step 1 – Did you rememeber to add your frontsheet or SpLD coversheet?

If you are required to submit your assignment with a specific frontsheet/coversheet for academic or SpLD needs, please ensure you have added this before submitting. General frontsheets are usually supplied within your module/programme area on Blackboard. Please contact your tutor if you are unsure of its location online.

If you have a SpLD coversheet, this would have been compiled and provided by the SpLD Support Team prior to any online submission. If you are unsure or need further support with the SpLD cover sheet you have been provided with, please contact the SpLD Support Team:

  • In Person: Ask desk, 1st floor, University Library
  • Email: SpLD@edgehill.ac.uk
  • Telephone: 01695 584372

Step 2 – Is your file the correct type?

Any assignment submission through Blackboard accepts a wide range of file types for both Turnitin and the standard Assignment tool. You can find details of the accepted file types for each submission tool in the links provided below:

If you submit any other file types (or files with the incorrect file extension) you will receive an error message and will need to re-save your assignment in one of the permitted formats and begin the submission process again.

Step 3 – Is your browser up to date?

Another top tip is to always ensure that your browser is up-to-date. We recommend Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome upgraded to the latest version gives the best experience. If your laptop or PC uses Windows 10 as its operating system, be aware that the default browser may be set to ‘Microsoft Edge’  – perhaps OK for general surfing on the net – but when it comes to activities such as assignment submission please avoid using this browser. So, please if you havent already – download and install Firefox or Chrome and use one of these browsers when submitting your assignment(s) online.

Step 4 – Do you have a good internet connection?

Before uploading your work, you will need to have a good internet connection within a location that doesn’t have any security barriers such as ‘pop up blocker’ for your browser or a security firewall that’ll prevent you from uploading any data to the internet.

Pretty much all standard home Broadband connections are fine, but if you don’t have internet access at home please be mindful of submitting your work from a location such as a school or NHS Trust (placement setting) as you might run into problems due to security settings.

We know that when that deadline is approaching it’ll be stressful enough without unexpected niggles, so try not to leave your submission till the last minute. This echoes all points above but if done correctly will ensure the final moments before you click ‘Submit’ will be as stress-less as possible. Remember, if you have any problems Keep Calm and Ask Us!

Good luck with your assignments!

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Mark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer

#EHUGetConnected Taking Your Devices to the Next Level!

The new smartphones to buy in 2013

After the success of all the previous #EHUGetConnected events held in 2013, we are happy to announce more upcoming dates across different venues and locations for the coming weeks ahead:

  • 11am – 2pm Friday, 31st January 2014 (HUB, Ormskirk Campus)
  • 9am – 1pm Tuesday, 4th February 2014 (FOHSC Foyer, Ormskirk Campus)
  • 9am – 1pm Wednesday, 5th February 2014 (FOHSC CPD, Aintree Campus)

If you’ve never come along to one previously then you are in for treat! #EHUGetConnected gives you the chance to speak to our team of knowledgeable staff to help get the best out of your technology and the learning resources at your disposal.  Every year there are new and exciting upgrades to our systems, pushing the boundaries of online learning and communication.  In 2014 we will again be promoting and showcasing our favorite selection of mobile apps, campus WiFi connectivity and our learning resource ‘hall of fame’. This time we will be featuring the new Community Engagement upgrade within Learning Edge and show you how it can enhance your online learning practice.

Here are just a few examples of questions we can help you with:

General ‘How can I…?’

  • connect to WiFi on campus?
  • find a PC to use?
  • book a study room?
  • forward my Edge Hill emails to a personal account?

On my mobile (eReader/laptop/phone/tablet) ‘how can I…?’

  • sync my emails?
  • easily log into Learning Edge?
  • get the course notifications I want?
  • access my lecture notes?
  • search the library catalogue?
  • download journal articles and eBooks?
  • annotate journal articles or lecture notes?
  • save shortcuts to the library and my subject pages?
  • watch videos or listen to podcasts?
  • find useful apps?

In the library ‘how can I…?’

  • search for resources?
  • find online journals and articles?
  • access my reading list?
  • reserve a book?
  • build a reference using the Discover More ‘cite’ tool?
  • save a link to an eResource so I can go straight back to it later?
  • work out which databases are right for my subject?

In Learning Edge ‘how can I…?’

  • change the way my course list is displayed?
  • subscribe to discussion forums/threads so I know when a post has been made?
  • set up my own online blogs/discussion forums/podcasts/social or study groups?
  • find my grades and feedback?

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Events taking place in the Faculty of Health and Social Care are tied in with the Faculty enrollment and induction day for the newest cohorts, but all current students and staff are welcome to come and ask any burning questions you may have about your devices, gadgets or gizmos.  If you’re not at any of the campus locations on the day to speak to us in person, we have got that covered too!  You can contact us during the event (and beyond) via our social media channels using the #EHUGetConnected hash-tag:

FB  https://www.facebook.com/EHULearnService

twitter  https://twitter.com/EHULearnService or https://twitter.com/LTDatEHU

We would be delighted to talk to you about technology; let us demystify some of the things you’ve heard about but don’t know how to use, and let us help you get started using technologies maybe you haven’t even heard of yet!

See you there!

wordpresspenpicMark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer

Introducing Service Pack 12: A look at what’s next for Learning Edge – July 2013 upgrade

Whats-New-in-SP12-for-Educators

Over the years, there have been significant system upgrades implemented to Learning Edge (Blackboard 9.1) which have added many new features as well as an improved overall user experience. The next upgrade to Learning Edge is scheduled for July 21st-22nd 2013, this is when the system will be unavailable for a short time – However we will continue to update you with further information closer to the time. You can follow up to date status alerts of all Learning Edge systems via Twitter @EdgeHillVLE

Once the work is complete, you will be able to log in as normal but will notice a number of enhancements.This upgrade will provide an even more user friendly and modern experience for students and staff alike. Many existing features have been improved and some exciting new features added to make the user experience more efficient.

The following is a quick overview of the tools* that you can expect to be using soon:

*Some of these features are subject to change and agreement of social ‘cloud’ policy and testing.

Global Navigation

The new Global Navigation feature refers to the set of links that appears at the very top right of the Blackboard Learn frame. This set of links has been streamlined and becomes the entry point to My Blackboard and social learning tools. Access points to your courses and other information are organised in one place to provide a consistent, quick, and easy way to find information.

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My Blackboard

The new My Blackboard feature provides information from across Learning Edge for users. Users access My Blackboard via the new Global Navigation Menu at the top of the screen. My Blackboard has a navigation panel that quickly connects to the new My Blackboard tools – Profile, Updates, People, and Posts – as well as courses, organisations, and settings.

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Discussions

With this enhancement, Blackboard have thoroughly revamped the look and feel of this tool. The first thing you’ll notice are the large avatars or profile pictures, so it’s a lot easier to identify tutors or fellow students. And now you can see all threads on one page, but if this gets overwhelming, you have the ability to collapse and expand them.

Highlights include:

  • All posts on one page: The entire discussion thread appears on a single page, thereby maintaining the context of posts and replies to one another.
  • Avatars:  The user profile avatars are more prominent in the new Discussions.
  • Conditional highlighting of instructors’ posts: It is easier for students to find posts from instructors in a sea of other posts.
  • Respond to posts inline: When clicking “Reply”, the content editor appears in the context of the discussion so as not to disrupt the flow of the user.  The full content editor is available for the user to write a reply. When finished, submitting the post adds it directly into the page without losing context.

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Inline Assignment Grading

Inline Assignment Grading is a revision to the workflow for grading submissions via the Assignment tool. Now instead of downloading the files that you need to view, edit and grade, you can view the Word, Excel, PPT docs or PDFs “inline” within Learning Edge.   Instead of downloading student-submitted files to view or edit, you will now be able to view student-submitted files “inline,” i.e. in the web browser, without requiring any plugins, applets, or client-side applications.

Additionally, annotation tools will be made available as part of the inline viewer, enabling tutors to provide feedback including comments, highlights, and even drawings/annotations directly on the inline view of the document.

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Retention Center

The brand new Retention Center provides tutors with an easy-to-use data visualisation and pre-configured rules for identifying at-risk students in a course. Because it requires no set up on the part of the tutor or administrator, it automatically calls out students who may need the tutor’s attention, making it easy for tutors to catch and respond to risk factors quickly, while there is time to help the at-risk students succeed in the course.

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New Calendar

With this new calendar, you can spend less time organising your calendar and more time doing what’s on it. Consolidate your course items into this easy-to-use calendar. Add events, drag and drop to change due dates, input course reminders.

Students and tutors can view items that are past due, due today, or due this week by navigating to the overview capability in My Blackboard. From the image below you can see that it’s much more modern, in terms of both look and functionality.

You can select views (month, week, and day) and color-code the events to differentiate courses and personal items. Items with due dates automatically appear on the new Learning Edge calendar.  If you change a due date within a course area, the calendar gets updated for students as well.

Calendar events may be viewed at once– or filtered to show only the desired mix of class and personal events. Users can select which calendars to view, ranging from personal to institution to individual course listings.  These calendar items can also be exported via an iCal feed to Outlook, Google or other 3rd party calendars.

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Assessment Item Analysis

The new Item Analysis provides statistics on overall test performance and on individual test questions. This data helps faculty recognise questions that might not adequately discriminate between students who understand the material and those who do not. Faculty can use this information to improve questions for future tests or to adjust marks on current attempts. Ineffective or misleading questions are identified easily, corrected in the Test Canvas, and are re-graded automatically.

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We hope you like the look of these new features and would be happy to hear your thoughts via the comments section below.

If you have any queries regarding this upgrade please don’t hesitate to contact the Learning Technology Development team on 01695 650754 or via ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk

 

Mark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer

 

 

Highlights of the Technology Road Show & Mobile Clinic

Last month Learning Services and IT Services combined forces to bring the first ever Technology Road Show & Mobile Clinic to the University.  The event was hosted in the Hub, to which students and staff took the opportunity to see demonstrations of Edge Hill mobile applications, and to speak to us and obtain technical support for mobile devices (phones, tablets and laptops).

Road Show 2013

Application wise, we showcased all of the institutions’ mobile apps and online resources, and when we demonstrated our very own Edge Hill Central we found that many students didn’t know this was available, or what it could do.  The combination of having Blackboard Mobile Learn, Email and library access all in one place was quite a surprise to users – prompting them to download the app on the spot!

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In terms of the hardware issues we encountered, practically all the concerns were focussed on Wi-Fi connectivity.  Of course, with digital natives becoming the majority on campus and in the classroom, it’s vital we ensure your internet enabled devices are connected.  So to clarify and resolve this issue, please ensure you connect to eduroam.  Like the users we encountered, you’ll find that if you use EdgeNet it will repeatedly ask you to authenticate on a daily basis and even building to building. The new, and much easier way for continuous access is eduroam.

Eduroam will ensure you won’t have to enter your account details on a daily basis, your connection will roam around campus with you and will be active until you change/reset your network login password.  Make sure you connect your device to eduroam today. 

Mobile Flyer

For more information please take a look at the IT Services Wi-Fi pages.

Overall the Technology Road Show was a success and we’re pretty sure everyone we spoke to took something out of the event. If you missed out on the Road Show and have a question for us, please do get in touch on the following address: ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk

 

 

Mark Wilcock

Learning Technology Development Officer 

Student Top Tips: Mobile Learn & Learning Edge customisation!

Over the past month in LTD we have focused our attention to the eLearning survey in relation to the main student queries related to the Learning Edge.  This has given me the opportunity to assemble some information on certain areas of feedback received.  Two of the main areas that caught my attention was the request for a mobile app to gain access to Blackboard and consideration for more options to customise the way you can view your course list within Learning Edge.

One of the main questions that kept reappearing from students was the request for “a tablet/smartphone app to access Learning Edge”?

This is something that has been available since the beginning of this academic year. The app is called Blackboard Mobile Learn and can be downloaded from your device’s (iPhone, iPod, iPad, Blackberry, Android) local app store.

Learning Edge isn’t optimised for mobile use, so using the Mobile Learn app will display Blackboard in a different but more mobile-friendly way; the picture below shows how it looks on different devices:

 

The app will give you access to your Blackboard course dashboard, announcements, assignments, grades, discussions and handouts. You’ll also be able to contribute to and comment on discussion and blog posts, and create new discussion threads. You can even set your notifications within Blackboard to be sent to 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.

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

 

Learning Edge Customisation?

Another question that you’ve asked is “can I manage the display of courses listed on the ‘My Institution’ tab?” 

Yes, you can edit the display of courses and other information to make your view a lot clearer.

Just select the small ‘cog’ icon in the top right hand corner of the ‘My Courses’ module and select or deselect the options you wish to see/not see.

If you don’t want to edit the way your course list are displayed but you want to find your course a lot quicker you could even just try searching for the course. Hold down the ‘Ctrl’ key and press ‘F’ on your keyboard and you will get a ‘Find’ box pop up within your browser. Type the module code or part of the course ID and select ‘Next’ to find that text on the current page.
For further information on customisation, please refer to this guide LTD quick guide.

 

Mark Wilcock

Learning Technologist