Inaugural TEL Fest – a success!

TEL Fest logo

“Really liked the event – thought there was lots of opportunity to chat with colleagues (both TEL and outside TEL) informally and share best practice. I learned a lot that will help me make my module better with relatively little effort. You should definitely do it again next year!” [TEL Fest delegate]

The university’s first TEL Fest, held 11-13 July 2017, has been hailed a great success with lots of positive feedback from staff who attended the 3 day event. Our festival of Technology Enhanced Learning comprised a range of 11 staff development sessions aimed at helping staff develop their awareness and use of technology to engage students and enrich their learning experience here at the university.

Staff from Blackboard and UCL joined TEL and CQSD staff along with colleagues from across the university to network, present and share TEL and Blackboard ideas and expertise to help enhance teaching, learning and assessment here at Reading. From tasty ‘TEL tapas’ and Blackboard Bootcamp, UCL’s ABC rapid design curriculum design workshop, TEL tools for teaching large classes, using video from Box of Broadcasts and sharing apps for teaching and learning, it was a varied programme with something for everyone!

Image of TEL Roadshow event

We also launched the new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra tool (live online classroom) for use in modules in the new academic year. Staff from UoR Malaysia and Blackboard joined us remotely along with early adopters to help launch the tool and, yes, there were party poppers! You can find out more information about this new tool and access self-help materials on the TEL Blog.

TEL Fest in numbers

Around 130 staff attended one or more of the sessions with Henley Business School, International Study and Language Institute (ISLI) then Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy being the top three schools in terms of staff attendance.

TEL Fest in tweets

View an account of TEL Fest in the tweets posted during the event at this TEL Fest Storify.

Thanks to all involved. TEL Fest 18 is already in the diary – watch this space for more info!

New Blackboard Instructor app

You may see notifications from Blackboard about Instructor, their new mobile app for staff.

Blackboard Instructor logo

This is part of a revamp of Blackboard’s mobile provision. Mobile Learn is being discontinued in favour of two “persona-based” apps:

  • a student app simply called Blackboard – see our guidance for students on the Student Help site
  • Blackboard Instructor for those with a staff role (e.g. Instructor or Teaching Assistant) on their Blackboard courses

Students are able to use the Blackboard app right now, but staff eager to try out Blackboard Instructor will have to wait until 7th August, after our system upgrade.

We will make sure we have some guidance material ready by then.

In the meantime you can get an idea of what the app can do from this short video

and on the Blackboard Help site: https://help.blackboard.com/Blackboard_App/Instructor

 

Initially the app provides limited functionality, but the range of features will increase over the coming months. In this first version you can

  • preview course content, including tests and assignments – this could be really useful to check how well students are able to view your course content on a mobile device
  • post announcements
  • post and reply to discussion forums
  • launch Collaborate Ultra sessions

Future releases will allow tablet users to view, mark and provide feedback on assignment submissions.

Revised date for Blackboard upgrade: 6th – 7th August

Colleagues will be aware that we had previously scheduled this summer’s Blackboard upgrade for 25th June, but this had to be postponed when Blackboard’s quality checks identified a software defect. This bug was quickly resolved, and we are currently testing the revised software version on our Staging system.

We are keen to take advantage of new features offered by the latest version, and have provisionally rescheduled the upgrade for 6th – 7th August.

The upgrade requires system downtime.

 

Blackboard and Turnitin  will be unavailable

from 7.20 p.m. on Sunday 6th August

until no later than midday on Monday 7th August

We will endeavour to complete all post-upgrade checks, and have Blackboard back online, by mid-morning on Monday 7th, but the whole of the morning should be considered as being “at risk”.

 

This downtime window has been planned to minimise disruption, and particularly to avoid any disruption to those resitting exams.

Our apologies if the revised schedule does cause any inconvenience for you and your learners.

Course rollover now complete

The annual course rollover took place at the weekend. A very big thank you to our colleagues in the IT TEL Support team who not only gave up their Saturday to get this done, but have also spent many hours over the previous weeks and months preparing for a successful rollover.

 

The following types of course copy have now taken place:

  • 2016-17 RISIS courses scheduled to run again in 2017-18
  • any other courses where a staff member had submitted a course copy request by 1st July

 

Other 2017-18 courses will have been created as a blank shell:

  • RISIS modules where the Module Convenor specifically requested this via the opt-out form
  • RISIS modules which were not in use in 2016-17, and no course copy request had been received
  • modules which have never run before
  • modules where the RISIS code has changed (unless you requested a copy from a previous course)

 

If you missed the 1st July deadline, but still have content you would like copied from a 2016-17 (or earlier) course, please fill out the Course Copy Request Form which you can find – along with many other Blackboard-related request forms – at http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/vle-support/

Please submit your request as early as possible, to make sure you have plenty of time to set up your course for the new academic year.

 

Staff enrolments

As part of the course copy process, most staff enrolments will have been rolled forward – all Instructors, Teaching Assistants and External Examiners.

In addition, staff identified in RISIS as Module Convenor for a 2017-18 module will have been enrolled on the corresponding Blackboard course.
This applies equally to courses which were copied, and to courses which have been set up as a blank shell.
If you are a Module Convenor for a module which runs both in Reading and Malaysia, you will see all 2017-18 occurrences of the module in Blackboard.

 

If you do not see all of the 2017-18 Blackboard courses you need

  • If the course has run before:
    Ask a colleague to enrol you. This could be

    • the Module Convenor
    • another colleague who is already enrolled on the course
    • the programme administrator in the Support Centre.
  • If the course has never run before (or has a new RISIS code):
    Ask Support Centre staff to enrol you. This could be

    • the Programmes Manager
    • the Senior Programme Administrator

You could also fill out this form – Request enrolment on a course – but it will probably be quickest just to contact colleagues in the Support Centre.

 

 

Preparing your 2017-18 courses for the new academic year

Course menu

If your course was created as a copy of a previous course, the menu will be exactly the same on the new course.

If your course was created as a blank shell, it will have the default course menu.

default Blackboard course menu 2017

In either case, please spend some time considering if the menu and underlying course structure

  • meet the specific requirements of your course
  • will be easily navigable by your learners

and then make any changes required.

Please see our guides on this:

The Blackboard course menu

The default menu for new modules/programmes, with suggestions for what each section should contain.

Customising a course menu

How to customise the course menu to include essential features & make it easy to navigate for students.

 

Course content

Courses which have been copied forward will include all course content except for announcements, discussion boards, and Blackboard blogs, journals and wikis.

Naturally, before you make the course available to students in the new academic year, you will need to ensure that preparation should include ensuring that all course materials, such as

  • module / programme handbooks
  • assignment briefs
  • lecture and seminar material

are up-to-date, and in the appropriate section of the course.

Talis reading list links – whether as part of the menu, or in a course content area – will have been copied, but you need to configure them for use by students in the new academic year. Please see http://libguides.reading.ac.uk/reading-lists/staff/blackboard

Module Evaluation – this is a new content area which has been added to the Blackboard course for all 2017-18 RISIS modules. Information for both staff and students is included within the Module Evaluation course content area. There is no need to make any changes to this area until later in the academic year.

 

Assessment

Blackboard Tests and Surveys will have been copied, and you will find them listed under Control Panel > Course Tools > Tests, Surveys and Pools. However they will NOT yet be deployed to users  (made available for students to take). You will need to deploy them with appropriate settings on the new course. Please see our guidance on Tests and Surveys.

Blackboard and Turnitin Assignments – these will not have been copied at all, and new submission points will now need to be created with appropriate settings on the new course. In most Schools, this work is done by programme administrators in the Support Centres.

 

Any Questions?

Please log a support ticket with IT and depending on the nature of your query, you’ll get a response from either the CQSD or IT TEL team.

*TEL Fest – TEL Roadshow, Tuesday 11 July, 13:00-14:00 in Carrington 201*

TEL Fest image

TEL Fest: Lunchtime Fringe – TEL Roadshow (with free light lunch!)

Tuesday 11 July, 13:00 – 14:00 in Carrington 201

Calling Academic & Administrative staff!

 

 Don’t miss this opportunity to meet, talk & munch with various TEL-related staff and teams from within and beyond the university, including staff from the Blackboard company, TEL CQSD, the Open Online Courses (OOC) team, ISLI TEL, TEL/AV Support, IT, the Library, Academic Development and EMA.

No need to book, just drop in at 13:00 for a bite to eat and a chat! This session in itself a TEL Fest with key staff all in one place!

Come along and find out, for example, how ILSI TEL staff have been using the Xerte tool to create interactive teaching materials. How can the Library help you with online reading lists? How can the TEL team support you to develop your use of technology to enhance your teaching? What is Office 365 that we all have access to? What’s an OOC? Who works ‘behind the scenes’ to help support TEL at the university and what do they do? Chat to TEL/AV Support staff about new audio-visual kit in teaching rooms.

Who’s Who at the TEL Roadshow: 

Team Staff Find out…
TEL CQSD Vicki Holmes (Head of TEL)

Adam Bailey

Lauren McCann

Bobbi Moore

Maria Papaethimiou

Andy Turner

How TEL staff can help you to use technology to enhance & enrich

T & L

Blackboard Anne Cross

Steve Hoole

About Blackboard from people who work for the company!
TEL Support / AV Helena Bampton

Jonathan Rajadurai

Mark Taylor

How TEL Support support TEL at UoR

Blackboard course rollover

What AV resources are available & the new kit available in rooms

IT Anton Lawrence

Steve Gough

Matt Gee

Robin Taylor

Jo Mortimer (Business Partner)

How IT can support you

Office 365

Windows 10 deployment

How your Business Partner can support you

ISLI TEL Jonathan Smith

Takeshi Adachi

How have ISLI TEL staff been using Xerte to create interactive

T & L materials

Library Kerry Webb

Natalie Guest

Online reading lists

Box of Broadcasts

Open Online Courses

(OOCs)

Nicky McGirr

Stasia Rattigan

Yen Tu

What is an Open Online Course?

How to get involved

Lessons you can learn from OOCs for designing your own blended and online learning

EMA

(Electronic Management of Assessment)

Emma Mayhew

Peter Hancock

Kat Lee

Siobhan Crathern

The latest on EMA at the university from the people who know!
Academic Development Deb Heighes

 

How the Academic Development team can support you & all about professional development

Hope to see you there,

Lauren & the TEL CQSD team