Spring clean your digital skills

Staff Development Programme – Developing Digital Excellence

Calling all staff, dust off your keyboard (sorry maybe taking the spring cleaning pun too far..)

Staff from across Learning Services are delivering sessions this month around a number of themes.  There are three sessions from our Digital Practitioner series – maybe you might want to start with the essentials skills in Learning Edge and then follow up with sessions looking at enhancing the online experience for your students using podcasting and also, how you can further support your students in a very positive way by using the tracking tool within Blackboard.

Digital Practitioner

Radio Ga Ga, Host Your Own Podcast

11/04/2013 12.00 – 1.00pm

Learning Edge Essential Skills

18/04/2013 10.00 – 11.30am

Big Brother Knows: Supportive Online Tracking

26/04/2013 12.00 – 1.00pm


Our librarians are here to support your research and information retrieval skills, which includes searching, critical analysis, storing and recording your references and copyright and intellectual property. 

Digital Researcher

Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights for Research

09/04/2013 12.30 – 1.00pm

Advanced RefWorks

11/04/2013 10.00am – 12.00pm

Critical Analysis of Information Sources

15/04/2013 1.00 – 2.00pm

A core component of our Developing Digital Excellence programme is ICT skills.  If you or staff you manage are keen to improve their skills, there is a ECDL induction on the 9th April.  You can come along and meet Elaine Czotter, the ICT staff development trainer who can tell you more about the qualification, our ECDL test centre and the programme she delivers.

Digital Office

ECDL Induction

09/04/2013 10.00 – 11.00am

POWERPOINT 1 – Introduction to On-Screen Presentations

16/04/2012 9.30 – 11.30am

Find out more about the whole programme and future sessions in May and June via the Learning Services wiki

Rachel Bury

Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communication

Developing Digital Excellence

Developing Digital Excellence – staff development and training in February

We have got a number of sessions for staff this month – many looking at some of the new ideas in the digital world, such as QR codes, data curation, and an interesting look at how you manage your digital identity.

Sessions are developed by various staff in Learning Services, utilising our skills and knowledge from our academic support librarians, learning technologists, our ICT trainer Elaine Czotter and specially trained staff from our media teams.

Digital Classroom

Sessions w/b 14th and 22nd February
Introduction to classroom equipment and lecture theatre technology
Please contact Glenn Allan direct ex 7227  or glenn.allan@edgehill.ac.uk

Digital Practitioner

12th February 12.00pm – 1.00pm
Learn and interact at the touch of a QR code

28th February 12.00pm – 1.00pm
Avoiding digital disaster in your presentations

Digital Researcher

12th February 12.15pm – 12.45pm
Web 2 and research

14th February 10.00am – 11.30am
Research data curation and sharing

19th February 12.00pm – 1.00pm
Your digital identity as a researcher

Digital Office

12th February 10.00am – 11.30am
Word – Managing paragraphs and page

25th February 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Excel – session 2

All of our training sessions are held in the staff training room, 2nd floor, Learning Innovation Centre.  You can find out more details via the Learning Services wiki, and you can book your place on line using the online booking link.

Learning Services wiki

New skills for a new year – January Staff Development

The Learning Services staff development programme – Developing Digital Excellence begins again in January.

We have got a wide range of sessions covering all 4 strands of the programme which will support staff across the university in their use of technology and hopefully enhance their knowledge and skills – and maybe learn something brand new.

Here’s the detail of what we have got coming up in January


  • Digital Classroom

HD TV Studio – have a tour and overview of the TV Studio and HD technology (top floor Learning Innovation Centre)
16th January 1.00pm – 2.00pm

Introduction to classroom and lecture theatre technology
W/B 21st January and W/B 29th January.

Please contact Glenn Allan direct to discuss suitable rooms and dates – ex 7227

  • Digital Practitioner

When is it and what did you say? – using the VLE to improve communication and organisation
18th January 12.00pm – 1.00pm

Help my mobile is smarter than me! – we all know how this feels!
28th January 1.00pm – 2.00pm

Technology road show and clinic – this is both for staff and students.  Please spread the word to your students about this road show
31st Jan The Hub 11.00am – 2.00pm.

No need to book, just come and see us in the Hub

  • Digital Researcher

Effective information search strategies – getting the best results when you search
15th January 12.00pm – 1.00pm

Research information feeds – make life easier by getting automatic feeds of all the things you are interested in
21st January 1.00pm – 2.00pm

Introduction to Refworks – a great training session to start your research project with
29th January 10.00am – 12.00pm

  • Digital Office

Folders and File management
15th January 10.00am – 11.00am

Powerpoint an introduction
17th January 9.30am – 11.30am

Advanced features of Word
28th January 2.00pm – 4.30pm

You can find out more about these sessions and also what we have coming up throughout the year via the Learning Services wiki


You can see at a glance the sessions we are delivering across all these areas and by using the link on the page, link through to book direct on the HR wiki.

All sessions, unless mentioned otherwise, take place in the Learning Innovation Centre (LINC) development room which is located on the top floor of the building. Teams across Learning Services can also deliver bespoke sessions to teams if there is something you would like to develop your skills in.  Please get in touch if you would like to know more.

Rachel Bury
ext. 7757



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

ICT saving you time on frequent tasks

We all want to make good use of the technology we have in the University and our ICT staff development workshops are built on improving efficiency with everyday tasks.

This blog will introduce you to some ‘time saving’ features and provides links to ‘quick reference cards’.

GroupWise Mail

Many of us often send out the same email message at different times, so why not use a GroupWise template file for these frequent messages? GroupWise will allow you to create a template file with the message content you frequently use and then you call up the file each time you wish to use it.

Microsoft Word Table of Contents and document Navigation

When you are working with a large document or report, Word provides a feature that will build an automatic table of contents.  This is based on using Styles which are a collection of text and paragraph formats and which you can modify for your own use.

Using Styles on your headings will also allow you to use the navigation pane to move swiftly through a large document to update and add content.

Microsoft Excel Multiple Worksheets

If you need to view more than one worksheet in an Excel workbook, you can use the New Window feature to view different worksheets at the same time. This is useful when comparing data across worksheets.

Photo Album with Microsoft PowerPoint

Have you photographed your students on a project, task or other event and wish to use the photographs in a presentation? Try the Photo Album command to insert multiple pictures.

Screenshot (2010): this feature is available to Excel, Word and PowerPoint

When you wish to use an image of something on your computer, the Screenshot feature allows you to capture the full screen or part of it with the Screen Clipping feature.

These and other features are reviewed more fully at our individual ICT workshops where you will get ‘hands on’ experience of using them.

Please see details of the following workshops and book an event at the staff development wiki

  • GroupWise Email
  • Word 3 Advanced Features of Word Processing
  • Excel 2 Functions and Worksheet Management
  • PowerPoint 2 Enhancing your On Screen Presentations

Elaine Czotter, ICT Staff Development  Extension 4214                                    

Enhancing your On-Screen PowerPoint Presentations – February 6th 2012

We are always striving to deliver interesting presentations to engage with our students and colleagues, so this workshop will give you ideas to improve your PowerPoint slide shows.

Using audio and visual objects in a presentation makes for a more interesting ‘watch’ but more importantly ensures your audience will remember the message. You can also use objects you have already developed.

Mixing both text and graphics we will be looking at customising slide shows for different audiences and building in links to other objects. We will also consider best practice in the production of PowerPoint slides.

‘Death by PowerPoint’ – No not here!

To book a place on this workshop, please register at the Staff Development WIKI

PowerPoint Logo

Upgrade to Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 – How does it affect you?

Staff Development Overview Sessions have been running since July to give staff a first look at the Windows 7 operating system with Microsoft Office 2010. Further sessions are scheduled and I would encourage you to come along as there is important information conveyed regarding file structures and where to find your files.

Sessions are just 40 minutes in duration and you get the opportunity to try out the new features for yourself. You can register for a session via the staff development wiki.

Venue: LiNC Open Access IT Lab 2
Monday 12th September 11:00 am
Wednesday 14th September 9:30 am
Thursday 15th September 2:00 pm

Venue: LiNC Development Room S 7
Tuesday 20th 9:30 am
Thursday 22nd 3:00 pm

As a result of the upgrades currently being deployed by colleagues in ITS and Learning Services, we will all soon have a new login screen which will take us to the Edge Hill University Desktop.


(Click image for expanded view)

Student facing PCs are being upgraded first so all teaching and lecture rooms will be running the Windows 7 operating system with Microsoft Office 2010.

As those of you who are Sunray (Sunny) users will already know, the move to Office 2010 is a painless one as it uses the same Ribbon interface which we know and now love in Office 2007. The Ribbon replaced the traditional menus and toolbars of previous versions of Microsoft Office and groups together commands and tools and provides additional ribbons when working with specific objects.

(Click image for expanded view)

The 2010 Ribbon has the addition of an old friend the File menu!! The File tab is the first on the left in each application, shown here in Microsoft Word. It is known as ‘backstage view’ and allows you to work with a number of features for managing your files within the application.

The layout of the Ribbon is very similar to that in Office 2007 with some new additional features. Some of those features are improved graphics handling for pictures and photographs, paste previews when copying information and screenshot options for capturing views of your computer screen. New professional themes and transitions are also available in PowerPoint and they are now on separate tabs.

So come along and be prepared for the change. Jenny Jordan and I look forward to seeing you at a session.

Elaine Czotter
ICT Staff Development Co-ordinator

Learning Services Staff Development – our first emerging technologies session of the new academic year

As we all prepare for the new year, Learning Technology Development would like to invite colleagues and staff 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

Campus Pack: more than just an ePortfolio

Over the past few months we have been evaluating Campus Pack: a powerful ‘building block’ to further extend the potential of Learning Edge. It offers all students a personal area where they can create blogs, wikis, journals and podcasts, and allows us to build templates for things like CVs, ePortfolios, and PDP.

As students own the content within their environments, they have full control over who can view and edit – they can choose to share elements with colleagues across the University, as well as externals such as mentors in work placements and even potential employers. Viewers/collaborators then have the ability Rating tool in Campus Pack to leave comments, discuss and ‘rate’ items; offering exciting opportunities for ongoing feedback and dialogue.

Other interesting features include the capability for tutors to embed Campus Pack content directly within their courses, and where necessary, link these to the Grade Centre for assessment. There is also the potential for mobile access to Campus Pack, which will add further flexibility to learners.

We are holding a number of awareness-raising sessions over the coming weeks – it is envisaged that the range of options through Campus Pack will be of interest to colleagues across the University, with direct benefits to teaching and learning, as well other areas such as Careers and Learning Services.

These sessions provide opportunity for staff across the University to give us direct feedback, and influence any decision regarding the purchase of a license. Please get involved, it would be great to see and hear from as many staff as possible.

Tuesday 24th May – 12:00 – 1:00 (SOLSTICE Green Room)

Thursday 26th May – 12:00 – 1:00 (H203)

Wednesday  1st June – 1:00 – 2:00 (SOLSTICE Red Room)

Sign up for one of the sessions here – http://campuspack.eventbrite.com/


If you are interested in Campus Pack and want to learn more about mobile access, contact Peter Reed (reedp@edgehill.ac.uk, #7756) for details about an upcoming webinar on Tuesday 24th May

Support for researchers

Are you a research student or a member of staff engaged in research? Do you want to know how to keep up to date in your area or need help searching a database? If so, Learning Services can help.
We offer both small group workshops and individual sessions at times to suit you. We also offer training in RefWorks, a bibliographic management tool, throughout the year. For further details of the range of support available see:


Andrew Fleming

Academic Liaison Manager – Faculty of Arts and Sciences