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 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

 

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

Brighton University ‘brings the pud’ and ‘burns the apps’ – Wednesday 20 December

A showcase of the best of Brighton University’s current academic practice using apps, web applications and other technology to enhance teaching and learning. Join in online on Wednesday 20 December!

Photo of the burning of the apps

From http://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/burningapps/

Perhaps you participated in one of the many fine examples of the 12 Apps of Christmas.  At the University of Brighton, we like to bring the ‘pud’.  Last year saw our first “Burning of the Apps” and we are repeating the pudding this year.

 

 

The Burning of the Apps will be held on Wednesday the 20th December at Falmer – at the Explore Studio (Checkland D132).  A day-long event,  you are welcome to attend, drop-in-to or participate online from anywhere in the UK or world, for that matter. We will showcase the best of our current academic practice using apps, web applications and  other technology to support learning and teaching.

We will again be live-streaming the interviews, from our various sites, of our talented academic staff discussing the ways they’ve utilised technology in their teaching to enhance learning at the University.

Stay tuned, and find us on Twitter at the hashtag: #brightlearn

 

 

Get ‘appy with the 12 apps of Christmas!

It’s nearly that time of year again! As the festive season approaches, it’s time to get ‘appy with the 12 apps of Christmas – a fun and quick way to learn about some educational apps that could help enrich teaching and learning and help further engage students.

12 apps of Christmas logo

 

 

 

 

There are a couple of these free online programmes you can sign up for this year:

The 12 Apps of Christmas by ETUG (a group of Canadian educators interested in teaching, learning & ed tech in post-secondary education)

  • Starts 4 December and runs until 19 December

Limerick University’s 12 Apps of Christmas

  • Started on 20 November and running covering 12 apps on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays.
  • You can still sign up to take part and find about the apps (but this one is already underway).

Enhancing Fieldwork logo

 

Read how staff in the School of Agriculture contributed a fieldwork app to a 12 apps activity at the Dublin Institute of Technology last year.

Make a note of this in your diary. Go on – get ‘appy this Christmas!