Create a Profile on Blackboard

01Blackboard’s ‘Social Learning Tools’ form a small scale social networking style environment within Blackboard, which students can use outside of their course areas. They include the Profile tool, People tool, Messages tool, and Spaces tool.

The Profile tool is the one you are most likely to be interested in. This allows you to add a photo of yourself which shows up in other places such as the Blackboard Discussion Board tool, which makes it easier to follow conversations and see who posted what.

02 When logged into Blackboard, your name can be seen near the top right of the page, as shown in this image. Click on your name and a drop down menu will appear. At the top of the menu is a grey head shaped icon by default, and if you click on this you will see your empty profile page.

03Click on the ‘Edit My Blackboard Profile’ to get started adding photos and any information that you might want to share about yourself.

04The Spaces tool is one of Blackboard’s Social Learning Tools, and is linked to using the icon that represents a network. We have written a guide to using the Spaces tool in case the tool is useful as a simple discussion space for anyone doing group work.


A recent update to the Social Learning Tools adds important features. The update ensures that you have agreed to Blackboard’s terms of service before you use them, and you will be reminded of the section of Edge Hill University’s IT Acceptable Use Policy that relates to social networking type activity. You will also have more control over your own information, as you will be able to completely delete your profile while you are a student with access to Blackboard. Even if you don’t get round to deleting your profile, inactive accounts will be removed after about a year, so they won’t be there forever.


If you find that your profile picture (and others’!) have disappeared, it may be you added your photo before the terms came in.  To ‘reactivate’ all the profile pictures in your account, click back to your profile picture (as if you’re uploading your photo again) and ensure you click to accept the agreement.  All the photos will automatically re-appear!

Award Winning Leadership in Mobile Teaching and Learning!

Learning Services have been awarded a Mobile Innovation Award as part of the 2013 Blackboard Catalyst Award programme. This exciting achievement recognises the impressive growth of mobile enhanced provision and practice at Edge Hill University and specifically, Learning Services’ strategic approach to supporting all staff and students to embrace the educational affordances of mobile technology.

BB_Catalyst_AwardIn September 2011, evidence of increasing mobile device ownership and student feedback about the potential of mobile technology led the university to invest in the Blackboard Mobile Learn app and our journey to mobility began! Following installation, set-up and testing, a strong communication and marketing campaign was initiated to promote and encourage uptake. Resource guides and support events like the technology roadshow mobile clinics were provided to help students and staff get started downloading apps, connecting to the campus wifi and using the vast range of mobile compatible library resources, such as the Library Catalogue app, Discover more and Ebrary eBooks. Concurrently a comprehensive staff development programme, which included innovative workshops like ‘A Mobile Field Trip’ & ‘Help My Mobile Is Smarter Than Me’, began, in order to support the effective adaptation and development of new mobile friendly teaching and learning practices – with areas such as Postgraduate Clinical Education, HEA4065 Clinical Research, SENCo, Dyslexia, and Sports Therapy leading the way to design and develop course environments that work seamlessly with the Mobile Learn app and enable their students to engage and learn at a time and place that is convenient to them.

Over the last 18 months mobile usage has increased dramatically and pockets of mobile friendly practices are expanding to become the standard modus operandi, accordingly both the service and the university have continued to invest in a portfolio of mobile facilities and activities to develop staffing expertise in order to positively enhance the student experience.

Mobile_Learn_Users_ComparisonFigure 1. Yearly Comparison 2011-12 2012-13 : – Number of Mobile Learn app users

Mobile_Learn_ComparisonFigure 2. Yearly Comparison 2011-12 2012-13 : Number of visits to the VLE via Mobile Learn

The mobile landscape continues to shift and provide new opportunities to enhance education and we’re working to build on these strong foundations to explore and exploit these exciting  developments. (Augmented reality is next on our agenda so watch this space!) Ongoing evaluation through analytics, user feedback, research and benchmarking is helping to ensure we are in a position to respond to changing behaviours and continue to implement a progressive mobile strategy.

This Blackboard Catalyst Mobile Innovation Award celebrates the hard work and achievement of many colleagues and students across the university. The product of constructive relationships and collaboration makes innovation and transformative teaching and learning practices possible- so this award goes to everyone at Edge Hill who is involved, engaged and working together to embrace mobile learning!

The awards ceremony will take place amongst a global community of peers at the Blackboard World 2013 Education Technology Conference this July in Las Vegas. As Learning Technology Development Manager I have been lucky enough to be invited to represent Edge Hill and Learning Services to accept this prestigious Mobile Innovation Award.

Congratulations everyone – keep up the good work!

Meg Juss, Learning Technology Development Manager





Meg Juss
Learning Technology Development Manager

The Blackboard Catalyst Mobile Innovation awards honour those who have pushed boundaries and embraced mobility to positively impact the educational experience at their institution.

For more information about the award visit the Blackboard Catalyst Awards web pages.

Edge Hill has its very own Mobile App!

After some careful time in development the very first dedicated Edge Hill University app is now available on Android as well as iOS!

Available via free download from the Apple Apps or Google Play stores, the new app brings together useful and interesting features, functions and fun – from Flickr and YouTube to Blackboard Mobile and a Mobile (friendly) library catalogue.


Lets have a look at what’s included…


Events lets you browse what’s coming up on campus – including the Arts Centre, Open Days, Sports events plus much more.  Change the view so you can see what’s coming up over the next few days or browse month by month.


Videos lets you view all of Edge Hill University’s videos available on YouTube.  Show your friends and family on your mobile exactly what goes on at Edge Hill!


News keeps you up to date with departments’ latest updates and developments – choose from most recent or browse for a particular subject or department.


Images allows you to browse through our Flickr gallery – everything from open days to celebrity visits.  Even if you couldn’t make it, don’t miss out on seeing what happened!


Blackboard Mobile Learn is our brilliant app for accessing your module or programme info via your mobile.  You can receive updates, announcements, post on discussion forums – plus much, much more! Make studying easy, and take it with you wherever you go!

(iPad users may still wish to install the dedicated Blackboard Mobile app as it displays slightly differently)

Get Help provides every useful number you should ever need for the university – academic support, facilities, IT… the list goes on – you’ll find it all here


Library gives you access to the mobile friendly library catalogue.  Use it to search for books or journals, place reservations or check your loans (or fines!)


Mail allows you to log in to your student email account.  Most students are now on GMail, so you can access your mobile friendly version of your email, direct from your smart device!


The partnership between Learning Technology, IT Services and Blackboard has enabled us to bring you this app, but remember – this is only the first step! We are looking for some innovative ideas on how it can be improved as we have already started work on the next version! So please, leave comments here on what you would like to see included, updated or improved – we would love to hear from you!


Carol Chatten

Learning Technology Development Officer

Emerging Technologies Staff Development Monday 21 November 2011 – The Right Image For Blackboard

Want to learn how to make your images more accessible?

By optimising them you are creating a resource which is both less demanding on Blackboard and eShare storage and also more usable by your intended audience.

Image optimisation is using the most compressed (smallest file size) which remains visually acceptable for the specific role of the image.

This session aims to demonstrate some simple techniques to optimise images using Microsoft programmes.

Book on to this session by emailing Staff Development.

[email protected]

Winners of students e-learning survey!

We are pleased to announce the winners of EHU’s third annual e-Learning survey!

First prize of £50 Amazon vouchers went to Helen Gadie, a 3rd year Psychology student.  She popped into the SOLSTICE office to pick up her prize and is pictured here with EHU’s e-Learning Strategy & Development Manager, Lindsey Martin.  The two runner up prizes of £25 Amazon vouchers went to Rachel Harrison, a 1st year Biology student, and Carl Wright, a 2nd year Geography student.  Congratulations to all three winners!

This year we had 750 responses which was close to last year’s total of 775.  The information gathered from the survey is fundamental to our planning for the coming academic year, particularly with the move to the new version of Blackboard – Learning Edge.  Thank you to everyone who completed the survey!

The results show that Blackboard continues to be used extremely frequently, with 95% of students logging on once a week, and around 75% of students logging on three times a week.  78.9% of students feel Blackboard is very important – a slight increase on last year’s figure of 75.9%.

Comparing responses from the 2008, 2009 and 2010 surveys shows that there has been a continuing increase in the number of students owning an internet enabled mobile device.  These students are wanting to make use of the university’s wifi access and are actively looking for more and consistent online provision.

There are many, many more interesting findings and emerging trends; a full report of the results will be available shortly….watch this space!

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 –


If you are interested in Campus Pack and want to learn more about mobile access, contact Peter Reed ([email protected], #7756) for details about an upcoming webinar on Tuesday 24th May

Students – last chance to win Amazon vouchers!

We now have 740 responses to our third annual students e-learning survey and only need another 35 to match the number of responses we had last year… please take a few minutes to complete the survey if you’ve not already done so.  A grand prize of a £50 Amazon voucher and two runner up prizes of £25 Amazon vouchers will be awarded to three lucky winners.  The prize draw will take place shortly after the survey closes which is midnight tomorrow, Friday 28th January!

You can access the survey here

You have one day left!

Students, time is running out! Have your say with the EHU students e-learning survey…

We’re now in the last week of our third annual EHU students e-Learning Survey and would like to encourage any student who hasn’t already completed it to do so before it’s too late!  692 students have already responded (thank you!) and last year we had a total of 775 respondents so we would love it if we were able to come close to matching that this year.  The more responses we have, the more powerful the survey will be when thinking about developments for Edge Hill’s VLE, and with the new version of Blackboard coming soon, these developments are important for all students.

Looking at the results so far, we can see how important Blackboard still is for students.  We can also see that many of you have ideas about how certain tools, for example facebook (or other social networking sites) and text messages could be used to support your learning. The last 12 months has seen a huge change in the market for Smartphones and other devices (such as iPads) and the survey is giving us lots of information on how you would like to use them in your learning. It’s ideas like this that can help us to really improve your student experience so if you are an EHU student please complete our survey if you’ve not already done so…time is running out! To thank you for sparing the time to help us we are offering a prize draw of one £50 and two £25 Amazon vouchers for three lucky winners (the draw will take place after the survey has closed).

The survey is open until Friday 28th January and can be accessed from Blackboard, from email or from the link here.

Thank you!