For staff interested in developing their digital skills or looking for some staff development opportunities, the new ‘Getting Digital Ready’ Wiki pages have launched.
Since working from home it is fundamental that staff are still provided with the opportunity to develop their digital skills and get involved in staff development. Developed as part of the ‘My Staff Development‘ offer, ‘Getting Digital Ready’ has launched, aiming to provide staff with high quality interactive booklets, guides and videos to support them whilst working from home.
These newly developed Wiki pages by Library & Learning Services aim to support staff working from home with digital staff development opportunities. These pages include a variety of materials for staff to engage with, including bespoke interactive guides, support materials, videos and recommended LinkedIn Learning courses.
The interactive guides have been designed to support staff, enhance their digital skills and provide them with the opportunity to engage in staff development.
The guides have received much praise and success, with staff across the university accessing the guides over 500 times and spending on average 33 minutes engaging with the materials. Within these guides (divided into parts) staff will be able to develop their skills in focused areas, with videos to watch, links to webpages, guides and more.
The guides are being developed weekly in response to staff training needs and digital advancements. Content has included: Top tips for working from home; Microsoft Teams; Making documents accessible; PowerPoint: Recording and adding voiceovers; Microsoft Sway: Creating interactive presentations.
Staff have praised the guides, commenting:
“Really great bite size sessions you can explore”
“I have really enjoyed the opportunity to enhance my digital skills. I hope to learn lots more.”
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is the virtual classroom platform for the institution. It can be used via a web browser on a computer or an app on a phone or tablet. The tool is available within every Blackboard course at Edge Hill University. Each online classroom contains web conferencing tools that will allow you to perform two-way audio, multi-point video, interactive whiteboard, application and desktop sharing, breakout rooms, transcripts and session recording.
At present, you may find that your face to face sessions are now being delivered online through this platform. We have created this blog post to help students student prepare and engage with the virtual classroom at Edge Hill University.
Tips on Participating in a Session
Ensure your using a compatible browser. Please refer to the browser support page for further guidance.
Find a comfortable place with no distractions.
Before your first session, visit Blackboard Collaborate Help – Getting Started.
Plugin your webcam and microphone, if they are not built into your computer. For best results, use headphones with a built-in microphone.
Accessing Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Session:
You may be
provided with a link to the Blackboard Collaborate Session from a Blackboard
course, or you may have been sent a link in an email. In either case, click on
the link provided.
From your course menu on the left, click on the ‘Collaborate’ link which is usually under ‘Module Communication’.
Click ‘Course Room’ (shown below) or the title of a designated room, then ‘Join Course Room’ to join the session.
Find your way around:
Take a quick tour of the video below before you start engaging. This video is designed to give you a quick tour of all the important features and controls in the user interface.
Be sure to join your session 5 – 10 minutes prior to the start.
Set up your audio and video when you first join a session.
Participate in the session by responding to polls and providing feedback to the moderator.
Raise your hand by clicking the hand icon when you have a question or a comment.
Use Chat to send text messages to other participants and the moderator during the session.
Remember that running other applications on your computer can slow your connection to the session.
Should I mute my microphone?
Best practice for a synchronous course is to have your microphone on mute unless you want to speak. If you are participating with an online session, watching and listening is all that will be required unless you need to engage, it only takes an instant to unmute your microphone.
Can I use my Phone or Tablet?
You can participate in a Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session directly from your mobile device (Apple or Android) with the free Bb Student app. Within the app, you are able to fully interact during the session:
Join live classes
Share audio and video
Interact via text chat
View content shared by the instructor
Use whiteboard tools
Use emoticons, hand raising, polls, breakout rooms
When participating from a mobile device, you will have the best experience over Wi-Fi. Devices running operating systems prior to iOS 8.4 and Android 4.4 can experience rapid battery drain, so it is recommended that you are fully charged or plugged in.
Mark Wilcock Learning Technology Development Officer
We are very pleased to announce that in the Learning at Work Week Impact Awards 2019 we have won in two categories ‘Shaping Digital Futures’ and ‘Innovation in Learning & Development’!
at Work Week took place in May and provided staff in Catalyst with an
opportunity to not only get to know each other but develop their skills and
express their interests.
During Learning at Work Week 28 creative and informative sessions took place, delivered by both internal and external members of staff. These sessions were predominantly delivered by staff within Catalyst, as it gave staff the opportunity to inform colleagues about their services’ developments and an opportunity to share their skills and interests. Sessions included: ‘Creative Card Making’, ‘Rubber Stamp Printing’, ‘Sign Language’, ‘Writing for the web’ and ‘Pocket Photography’
We also added in a range of informative sessions, which allowed staff to learn more about other teams, networking with colleagues and promoting a workplace learning culture. The sessions were very well received with staff commenting on there being ‘plenty of variety’ and ‘something for everyone’.
Alongside face to face activities we also launched DigiQuest 2.0. This year’s quest prompted staff to explore and investigate new pieces of digital technology, allowing them to enhance and develop their digital capabilities. Activities included creating an infographic, learning the basics of Excel, analysing their digital footprint, making online quizzes and participating in Twitter chats. The choice of tasks were described as ‘varied’ and staff relished the opportunity to try out tools they had never explored previously. The theme for DigiQuest 2.0 was around space exploration, selected to coincide with the theme of Learning at Work Week. The exploration of space links to ‘Shaping the Future’ as they both revolve around progression, development and progress. Staff enjoyed the ‘inventive’ space theme and found the opportunity to achieve digital badges ‘motivating’. The variety of sessions on offer and focus on innovative staff development therefore meant that staff had the opportunity to take an active hold of their learning with a blended learning offer.
Learning at Work Week has successfully helped establish a positive
learning culture and colleagues are keen to develop their digital skills
further by getting involved in professional development initiatives. It has
shown that learning and staff development works best when embedded in the
culture of the department, so we have recently delivered ‘Learning at Work Week
– Halloween Spectacular’ to continue the blended learning approach and further
build a culture of learning at work.
We believe that listening to staff feedback is vital! It helps us to shape our sessions, develop new and exciting initiatives and respond to your needs and interests.
The Digital Workplace Technologies offer has now been active for over 6 months. During this time we have worked hard to develop a comprehensive and responsive offer, that has been adapted to suit staff’s digital needs and technological advancements. This year the current Digital Workplace Technologies offer has been restructured and refreshed in order to provide all staff with a clear pathway to increase and enhance their digital knowledge and capabilities. Learning Services aims to provide staff at Edge Hill University with a high-quality learning and development experience, enhancing staff digital capabilities through a variety of staff development sessions, online guides and resources.
So, what’s the word? Since launching in early 2019, over 350 members of staff have attended sessions and 100% of staff in the online feedback evaluation form said that ‘Overall the session’s objectives were met’. This is great news to hear and we are glad that we are making an impact!
Feedback has been a vital way in order to gather ideas, collate data and further develop the offer.
Staff have made the following comments about sessions that they have attended:
As a result of the feedback received, changes have been made to the structure of sessions, amount of participation and length of activities.
Also, due to staff feedback even more sessions have now been added! Some of these include: ‘Digital Participation: Encouraging Student Involvement’; ‘Word: Mail Merge 2016’; ‘Visio: Learning the Basics’; ‘Cultivating a Growth Mindset with Digital Technology’ and ‘Annotating the Web: Encouraging Collaboration’.
Are you looking to boost your digital skills? If so, then
there are a range of Digital Workplace Technologies sessions taking place
throughout August and September.
These sessions aim to boost staff’s digital capabilities, developing staff into digitally proficient learners and thinkers.
Take a look below at the upcoming sessions, including a brief summary of the session and dates/times. All sessions can be booked on MyView.
The modern world is a hyper-connected digital place where everything is just a click away and is available 24/7. Digital mindfulness promotes the presence of mind and is defined as the conscious awareness and acceptance of present experience. This session will provide staff with the opportunity to apply this approach to our use of digital tools and technology, evaluating why it is important to be digitally mindful.
Tuesday 13th August
This session will focus on using the features of Microsoft Word to put together long documents or formal reports, including using styles, creating tables of contents and applying section footers and working collaboratively with master documents.
Tuesday 13th August
practical session will show staff how to perform complex sorting, filtering and
sub-totalling lists of data, along with creating and manipulating pivot tables.
Wednesday 14th August
It is important that when producing documents using Microsoft Word that you follow a few simple steps to make sure that your document is accessible by all users. This session will consider how to reach all of your audience, how to make effective use of accessible communication formats (also known as alternative formats), how to add Headings and Subheadings, add alternate text (Alt Text) for images and use tables wisely.
Monday 2nd September
session will be a key starting point for staff wishing to gain more knowledge
about how to collaborate with colleagues using project management software.
This session will cover project management software such as Trello and
Friday 6th September and Thursday 26th September
session will introduce staff to using Kahoot, a game-based platform that can be
used for quizzes and games. Popular in educational institutions, Kahoot can
also be utilised with staff members as a way to encourage group participation,
gather feedback and conduct surveys.
Thursday 19th September
Getting The Most
Out Of Outlook
session will introduce staff to useful features in Outlook email and calendar
that can enhance productivity and organisation. By the end of the session staff
will be able to categorize their emails and calendar events, set up follow up
messages on emails, create and schedule appointments and meetings and add
meeting notes using OneNote.
Friday 20th September
session aims to introduce staff to Eventbrite, an online event management and
ticketing website. By the end of the session staff will be able to create
events, manage and track attendees and promote the event using the custom
Friday 20th September
session will cover the basics of using Sway, a presentation software available
as part of Office 365. Staff will learn how to navigate the application, how to
add, edit and embed material, and how to publish their finished presentations.
Monday 23rd September
Photography Skills and Camera Apps
is a popular and simple way to capture, edit and share videos, photos and
messages. A photo and video sharing social networking platform, Instagram is a
great way to share eye-catching and stunning photographs with your followers.
This session will introduce staff to some simple tips and tricks that will
allow you to take stunning photographs and introduce you to some beneficial
camera apps to further improve your photography skills.
Sway is part of the Microsoft Office 365 package and can be used to create presentations, newsletters, portfolios and many more. A story-telling app that allows you to combine text and media, Sway is a powerful and versatile product that can be used in many different ways.
The below case study, will look at how a member of staff at Edge Hill University used Microsoft Sway to create a Faculty Newsletter.
Faculty Partnership Officer
Why did you decide to use Microsoft Sway?:
We wanted to introduce a faculty newsletter as a way of improving communication across the Faculty. I was looking for a way in which I could present key information in an appealing way but as well monitor readership and engagement rates.
What have you created as a result?:
The end result was a faculty newsletter distributed to all staff. Since it was distributed I have had other colleagues from across the institution approach me to ask what software I used, would I recommend it etc and that it was impressive.
What have you liked about Microsoft Sway?:
I really value the analytics I find that helpful to report on to the management team. I also like the way the text is displayed and appears interactive.
Would you receive further training on Digital Workplace Technologies?:
Yes, absolutely. There are always new things to learn, I consider myself quite computer literate and thought I was ok, but there is always new software and little tips to make working life easier!
If you are interested in using Sway to create a presentation or newsletter, then please take a look at the upcoming sessions. The session aims to guide staff through how to navigate the application, how to add, edit and embed material, and how to publish their finished presentations.
The next session takes place:Thursday 25th July – 11am-12pm
As part of the Digital Workplace Technologies offer, staff have the opportunity to achieve a digital badge for each pathway that they complete. These pathways have been specifically designed to allow staff to enhance their knowledge in that area in more depth. Alongside face-to-face sessions, there will also be online guides, videos and links to useful LinkedIn Learning courses that will allow staff to be independent learners.
After attending the sessions as part of the pathway and engaging in discussion, you will receive a digital badge and personalised certificate that recognises that you have completed this pathway.
Please see below some case studies from members of staff who have successfully completed one of the pathways and achieved a digital badge.
Student Journey Project Officer, Student Experience Team
Laura has been a passionate advocate of the digital workplace technologies and is able to tailor sessions to individuals needs. You are given the basic tools to explore the software, in a practical, hands on manner.
The digital collaboration pathway explores functionality of different programmes that have a focus on project management. As part of the Students Systems workstream I support internal teams through management and implementation of change projects. This pathway has given me a broader range of knowledge on software which encourages collaborative, project work. In completing the training sessions I have been able to approach projects from a different angle using new, digital workplace technologies.
HR MI & Systems Development Advisor, Human Resources
I attended both the Microsoft Teams and Project Management courses hosted by Laura Riella w/c 20th May 2019. This was my first week at my new job, and these sessions were recommended by my manager.
HR uses Microsoft Teams for the majority of communication methods and project work, so it was vital I learnt how to use this quickly and effectively. The session was laid out really well, with a clear explanation of how/ why this is used, handy hints and tips provided, and a chance to ‘have a go’ yourselves at the end. I found it tailored well to both new users (like myself) and several colleagues who were there to learn how to get the most out of this technology.
The Project Management session was particularly useful for me, as part of my role requires the organisation and ongoing maintenance of various HR System projects. Understanding how to use both Microsoft Project and Trello gave delegates the option to choose which one suited their working style best. Advantages (and potential disadvantages) to both were highlighted – and Laura was really helpful in discussing how this could relate to our specific departments/ goals throughout the session.
Personally, I found that MyTeams and Trello compliment each other really well – and have already created several project groups and assigned tasks via this technology. I’ve found that this has helped me organise my work efficiently, encouraged collaboration across the HR team and inspired other team members to do the same! The Digital Collaboration Pathway was an invaluable part of my introduction – though I’d highly recommend to all staff members.
Stay up-to-date with our latest developments on our blog and WIKI.
The internet, social media and the media have now become an essential part of our everyday lives. Digital Communication is forever changing and evolving, with the sector becoming more dynamic and diverse in the way it creates and publishes digital content.
The Digital Communication pathway aims to provide staff with an understanding of how to communicate across various platforms, such as social media platforms and internet technologies, using new and exciting technologies to stay connected with others. It is important that staff are able to deliver quality content and information to a range of digital audiences in a way that is accessible and easy to navigate.
Presenting Yourself Online: Digital Footprint
It is important to be aware of your presence online, and to create a positive image of yourself for current and future employers to see. This session will help you to consider how to communicate effectively through a variety of digital tools to achieve this, as well as looking at the importance of online etiquette and online security.
This session will introduce staff to online tools and strategies for creating engaging promotional material for Twitter. Social media is a key way to communicate with different audiences and it is important to know how to successfully create engaging promotional marketing material that will impact visual communications.
This practical session will enable staff to create an eye-catching digital newsletter which can be shared online using Adobe Spark. Adobe Spark allows you to create your own unique and custom newsletter for your department or team in minutes, with a variety of templates, images, text and interactive features.
This session aims to introduce staff to email marketing and how to make it exciting and eye-catching using MailChimp. By the end of the session staff will be able to create an email campaign using a variety of features (including text, images, links to websites and social media), send an email campaign to subscribers and track the success of the campaign.
Whether you are an academic member of staff and want to use social media to connect with other academics and professionals in your field or you are a support member of staff looking to inform colleagues about new developments, then these sessions will give you an advantageous starting point to further improve your digital communication skills.
Don’t forget that you can now achieve a digital badge – so why not attend these sessions as part of this pathway?
Stay up-to-date with our latest developments on our blog and WIKI.
This blog post will focus on a recently delivered session – Word: Formatting Long Documents, which is part of the new Digital Workplace Technologies offer.
What were the objectives of the session?
This session focused on using the features of Microsoft Word to put together long documents or formal reports, including using styles, creating tables of contents, applying section footers and working collaboratively with master documents.
Formatting long documents can be tricky, particularly when working with multiple pages of text, figures and tables. This session aimed to navigate staff through the features of Microsoft Word that will successfully enable them to create a professional document that is clearly organised, structured and accessible. Page numbering can also make many people apprehensive, especially when you need the first few pages to be in Roman numerals and the rest of your document in Arabic numbers. Again, this session aimed to guide staff through this process, with lots of opportunities to practice and ask questions.
This type of session lasts 60 minutes and enables staff to cover many areas of Microsoft Word and put their new knowledge into practice.
At the end of the session staff should be able to do the following in Microsoft Word:
Use styles to apply headings to a document
Create a table of contents for a document
Add captions and create a table of figures
Use section breaks and apply section formatting
Add custom headers and footers
Work collaboratively on a document
Work with master documents and subdocuments
The session took place in Oak room, Catalyst and provided staff with the opportunity to use computers to have a go themselves at formatting long documents. Modelling examples on the board, staff could then follow steps to format several long documents.
Personal Reflection Activity
At the start of the session I asked staff to write down on a post-it note how they currently felt about formatting long documents.
Staff responded with a variety of feelings towards the prospect of formatting long documents, with many using this session as an opportunity to develop their skills and refresh their current knowledge.
After the session I asked staff to complete the same activity, instead now writing down how they feel after the session about the prospect of formatting long documents. The responses were dramatically different, with many staff feeling more confident, happier and sorted!
Members of staff said:
“A very clear and informative delivery while maintaining a friendly approachable setting.”
“It was brill and really informative! I found it really helpful.”
If you are a member of staff and are interested in improving your knowledge of formatting long documents on Microsoft Word, then take a look below at the upcoming sessions.