TEL team meet our new students at Welcome Week’s Academic Success Fair

Staff from the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team and Electronic Management of Assessment (EMA) programme enjoyed meeting our new students at Welcome Week’s Academic Success Fair.  

Pic of Pete & Chris

Pete Moll (L) & Chris Johnson (R) from the TEL team

We had some great discussions with students about Blackboard (our Virtual Learning Environment, VLE), submitting work and accessing marks and feedback online. It was interesting to hear about students’ previous experiences of VLEs, both anecdotally and via a survey we ran on the day.

The headline survey results showed that 54% of students have used VLEs prior to joining UoR and 60% have submitted assignments or coursework online before. It’s worth noting that although many students have prior experience of using a VLE, only 19% have previously used Blackboard.

We have some really useful resources to help students who are new to Blackboard and/or online submissions. These can be found via Blackboard’s Help tab; there’s a searchable site containing helpful resources on all aspects of using Blackboard and Turnitin. 

Congratulations to the 8 winners of our survey prize draw – we’ve emailed you with details of how to collect your Amazon voucher prizes (kindly donated by Blackboard)!

The TEL team would like to wish all our new and returning students every success for the forthcoming year! 

Chris Johnson / Lauren McCann (CQSD TEL) 

New-look Blackboard live this Friday (info for students)

Blackboard will look a little different from Friday morning (31 August), and there are a couple of things you will need to do before logging in for the first time.

In response to staff and student feedback, we’ve been working to improve Blackboard’s look, feel, accessibility and the experience of our staff and students when using it. We’ve also been keen to make it more responsive and give a better experience when using it on mobile devices. 

 

What will I need to do before logging in for the first time?

Edit 22/09/18: it should no longer be necessary to clear browsing data before logging on to Blackboard

Before logging in, you will need to clear the browsing data from the web browser you use, e.g. Chrome, Firefox. Don’t worry if you don’t know what this means or how to do it – just click for guidance on the link below for the browser you use: 

*You are advised not to use the Internet Explorer browser when using Blackboard*

Mobile browsers:

 

How will it look?

The new log-in screen will present like this (use your university user-name and password to log in):

Image of new Blackboard log-in page

Once logged in, you will find yourself on the My Blackboard tab (shown below) where you will find your modules, your organisations, relevant announcements and module evaluation surveys.  Continue reading

New-look Blackboard live this Friday (info for staff)

Blackboard will look a little different from Friday morning (31 August), and there are a couple of things you will need to do before logging in for the first time.

As you may remember from previous communications, we’ve been working, in response to staff and student feedback, to improve Blackboard’s look, feel, accessibility, responsiveness and the experience of our staff and students when using it. 

 

What will I need to do before logging in for the first time?

Edit 22/09/18: it should no longer be necessary to clear browsing data before logging on to Blackboard

Before logging in, you will need to clear the browsing data from the web browser you use, e.g. Chrome, Firefox. Don’t worry if you don’t know what this means or how to do it – just click for guidance on the link below for the browser you use: 

*You are advised not to use the Internet Explorer browser when using Blackboard*

Mobile browsers:

 

How will it look?

The new log-in screen will present like this (use your university user-name and password to log-in):

Image of new Blackboard log-in page

Once logged in,  Continue reading

New look Blackboard – coming September 2018

Following consultation with staff and students earlier this year, we are working to improve Blackboard’s look, feel and ease of use. We currently plan to launch this more user-friendly Blackboard in early September.

What’s changing?

Alongside Blackboard’s annual summer upgrade, this year we are making changes to its design and appearance to help make it a more user-friendly, visually engaging and accessible tool for staff and students to use. The image below gives an idea of roughly how it is likely to look. Please note that this is a work-in-progress and the final interface may look slightly different (the images and headings may change, for example).     

Proposed Blackboard interface (work-in-progress)

Why?

Results from staff and student surveys, along with anecdotal feedback, suggested that people were finding Blackboard ‘cluttered’, text-heavy and challenging in places to navigate. A need was identified to work with staff and students more closely to unpick this and to engage them in contributing to the re-design of a more user-friendly and accessible tool.   

When?

Work is taking place over the summer to implement the identified changes. It is planned to launch this new look Blackboard in early September. 

What will this mean for you?

These changes are designed to give an improved user experience for our staff and students. All the same functionality will still be available and Blackboard will work in the same way. 

If staff are planning to create any resources that require use of Blackboard imagery, it would be advisable to wait until the new look is available before doing so. 

Support/resources 

The Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team will be creating a short video suitable for staff to use to support students, new and returning, in getting started with (the new look) Blackboard. Details of this will be communicated towards the end of the summer.

If you have any questions relating to these improvements, please feel free to reply to this blog post or email me: l.j.mccann@reading.ac.uk

Lauren & the TEL CQSD team

 

Help us improve your experience of using Blackboard – staff workshops, 26/27 Feb (with coffee & biscuits!)

Have you used Blackboard and thought things like “this interface could look better”, “there’s too much information on this page” or, perhaps, “it would be better if THIS was THERE”? Do you think Blackboard’s look, feel and ease of use could be improved?

We are pleased to let you know that the TEL team will be undertaking an important piece of work with Blackboard Consulting around improving your experience of using Blackboard as a resource in teaching and learning here at UoR.

Blackboard logo

We will be running some workshops on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 February to give Blackboard users like yourself an opportunity to share your experience of using it and to suggest what improvements could be made to help it better meet your needs. Whilst we can’t currently change the functionality and features, we can improve the look and feel – the layout, branding, the organisation and presentation of information (the usability, if you will). We’d really like people who use Blackboard to help us to do this and would be delighted if you could be involved.

 

As a user of Blackboard, we’d like to invite you to attend one of the following workshops:

Monday 26 February

  • 11:30-13:00
  • 13:30-15:00
  • 15:30-17:00

Tuesday 27 February

  • 09:30-11:00
  • 11:30-13:00
  • 13:30-15:00
  • 15:30-17:00

*Tea/coffee and biscuits will be available at all sessions!*

Pic of cup of tea

 

 

 

 

 

I’m interested – what shall I do?

If you’d like to take advantage of this opportunity to help improve Blackboard, please complete this short online form by close of play on Friday 16 February, indicating which workshops you would be available to attend. Please indicate ALL sessions you would be available for and hold this availability in your diary – you will then be allocated to one workshop.

We will confirm your attendance by email by close of play on Monday 19 February, along with details of the workshop you’ve been allocated to join.

Will I need to do anything else?

Having analysed the feedback from these workshops, Blackboard Consulting will create some prototypes for the new look and layout of Blackboard. We will then invite you to preview and comment on the proposed improvements (likely to be sometime during April – June), and then to feed back on the improvements once they’ve been implemented (September-October).

We hope this is something you feel able to help us with and we look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks in advance for your help,

The TEL team 

 

Happy new year – Burning of the Apps TEL Showcase videos

Happy new year!

Photo of the burning of the apps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you missed Brighton University’s excellent online Burning of the Apps TEL showcase just before the festive break, you can access the videos of the 1 hour sessions here (or individually below):

New Learning Spaces at the University of Brighton (video)

From Lecture to Lego: Innovative teaching and technology (video)
Tricking out your Blackboard module areas (video)
Twine – Choose your own ad-learn-ture… (video)
The Student Nursing Affirmation ‘app’ (video)
Technology Showcase (video)

#brightlearn