Learning how to share

Staff Development: eShare: Making the most of your Digital Repository

What is eShare? Why do we have it? How can it benefit me? Come along for an introduction to our digital repository for teaching and learning and see how you can make the most of eShare.

eShare offers you the opportunity to showcase your work to the world, store presentations, video clips and images in an easily accessible way and find ready-made, adaptable materials for your teaching.

In this hands-on session you will:

  • Create a profile – your profile can then be used for departmental webpages, EHRA and CV creation.
  • Learn how to search the repository for teaching resources, guides to technologies and learning resources.
  • Upload your own items – copyright and creative commons will be explained and demystified.

Book on to this session online via the Staff Development Booking system.

Michelle O'Connell




Michelle O’Connell

To arrange for a bespoke or 1:1 eShare session please contact me on x7229.

Discover Free to Use Software

In today’s climate when the cost of things seem to be on the increase, it can be a relief to hear about something with the potential of making your studies more affordable.

We all know how software can help us with our studies.  Occasionally we need to purchase specific software to do a particular task, such as word-processing to write an essay or editing software to develop a project…

…but do you know about Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) that you can download and use?  Software that may do exactly what you want and more to help with your studies.

We’ve taken a look at some software and believe it can benefit most people in a number of situations, software that is affordable, accessible, assistive and flexible.

Programmes assembled in to portable collections so that you can use them with almost any computer anywhere.

In certain cases you can handpick from several items tailoring the software bundles to your individual needs.

All this including technical support, guidance and regular updates from reputable software developers and providers within the freeware and open source communities.

Discover more about free software by visiting us here: ehu.ac.uk/freesoftware

Martin Baxter - LTD Officer

Martin Baxter

(Learning Technology Development)

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!

Make the Web Come to You: Simple tools and techniques that keep you in the loop

Do you want to keep track of the online debates and conversations taking place in your community of practice and beyond? Do you struggle to find time to check what is being said through all the relevant web sites, blogs, journals and social networking sites?

As part of the Emerging Technologies series this 1 hour session is an introduction to using things such as feed readers, RSS feeds, social networking and micro-blogging sites to follow topics, people and conversations on the subjects that interest you.

Although aimed at those relatively new to this way of keeping up to date, if you have already been using these tools feel free to come along and share your own experiences and tips for making good use of them.

The session will be delivered by Peter Beaumont at 1pm, 22nd June.

Edge Hill University staff can book by clicking here.

If there are technologies you’d like to see covered in future sessions of this series please suggest them in a comment.

Mark Ayton

Learning Technology Development Manager

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 ([email protected], #7756) for details about an upcoming webinar on Tuesday 24th May

Did you know… We’re keeping up with Emerging Technology

We’ve been using technology in teaching for years, some of it for so long that we don’t even think of it as technology any more. Keeping up to date with delivery techniques helps ensure a good experience for our students.

Here in the Learning Technology Development team we look for up and coming ideas that are attracting the interests of academic staff and students. Although new technology is sometimes seen as the answer to a question that was never asked, after a while someone will attempt to use it to help learning. By following the experiences of these early adopters we are able to assist the uptake of new technology, and the development of techniques to use it for a wider audience.

So where does technology emerge from and how can you keep up to date?

There are many web-sites, and social / professional networks that can provide insight into what’s happening now and what’s coming up…

The Learning Technology Development team have recently been delivering sessions to showcase Emerging Technologies. The first covered applications for QR-Codes, the second shared experiences with Professional Blogs, and we have a third planned for 20th May on using the iPad (Edge Hill University staff can book here). We also have ideas for future sessions including Cloud Computing, Creative Digital Technologies, Assessing On-line and Staying Technology Aware, but what we’d really like to know is…

Are there Emerging Technologies that you’d like a closer look at? Let us know in a comment.

Alternatively contact us directly at [email protected]

Mark Ayton

Learning Technology Development Manager (ext. 7758)

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…..so 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!

Learning Technology Blogs

As part of getting this new Learning Services blog going, we’ve been asked to link to a couple of blogs in our professional area, that we use a lot.

As an overview of the Learning Technology area, I’d always recommend subscribing to George Siemen’s eLearnspace blog. This is a very frequently updated record of most of the major developments in the area.

Apophenia is the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. It’s also the name of Dana Boyd’s blog which focusses on her work around social networks. She knows her stuff, and if you want links to some of her talks on the subject have a look at Dana’s Wikipedia page, and the best of Apophenia page.