TEL FEST: 11 – 13 July 2017 (Save the date!)

TEL Fest, 11-13 July 2017

SAVE THE DATE!  

Image of festival flags

As the festival season approaches, we thought we’d host a festival of our own this summer: TEL Fest – A festival of Technology Enhanced Learning. TEL Fest is designed to help academic and teaching staff make the most of technology to enrich teaching and learning. A series of bookable sessions, and something a little different from our TEL staff development provision during the year, it will draw on expertise from colleagues across the University and external speakers, and will comprise a range of TEL-related demonstrations, practical workshops, a roadshow and sharing/showcase sessions. Whether you come along to one or many ‘gigs’, and regardless of your previous TEL experience, the festival is being developed to ensure that you leave both inspired and equipped with the skills you need to enhance your current practice.

To whet your palate, here’s a taste of the current programme:

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/flags-pennants-red-yellow-blue-425046/ [19/5/17]
  • Telling ‘TEL’ Tales and TEL Tapas: A taster session. What are they doing elsewhere with TEL and Blackboard? Examples of interesting & innovative practice at other institutions (Steve Hoole, Blackboard)
  • Blackboard Bootcamp: Whip your Blackboard course in to shape! A practical workshop to help you develop your Blackboard module (Steve Hoole, Blackboard)
  • Open Online Courses (OOCs): Lessons from UoR’s successful OOC team for designing blended learning/Blackboard courses and promoting participation and engagement (OOC team)
  • ABC Curriculum Design workshop With links to the Curriculum Framework initiative, a rapid-design workshop useful for new programmes and those being reviewed and changing to a more blended format (Clive Young & Natasa Perovic, University College, London)
  • Blackboard Collaborate: Live Classroom – Official launch of this new online collaboration/live online classroom tool and tales, hints and tips from the pilot case studies
  • Box of Broadcasts: Demonstration of this on-demand TV and radio service for education (Library/Learning on Screen)

 

We’re also planning a series of bookable lunchtime festival ‘fringe’ events (possibly catered), including:

  • TEL Roadshow – Come, meet & talk to staff from TEL-related teams including Blackboard, TEL CQSD, OOCs, TEL/AV Support, IT, ISLI TEL & more…
  • Show and TEL – find out how colleagues are using different aspects of TEL to enrich teaching and learning
  • APPetite – sharing apps to help promote active learning and student engagement

With a raffle and festival freebies too, it promises to be a great event! More information and booking details to follow shortly but be sure to SAVE THE DATE and ‘tel’ your colleagues!

#uortelfest17

Image of technology

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/technology-information-digital-2082642/ [19/5/17]

Blackboard Teaching & Learning Conference: Bocconi University, Milan, 21-24 March 2017 #BBTLC17

Blackboard Teaching & Learning Conference logo

I was delighted to attend Blackboard’s Teaching and Learning Conference held this year at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. This is a key annual event that brings together Blackboard users from HE institutions across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South Africa. I was accompanied by TEL colleague, Maria Papaefthimiou, TEL/AV Support Manager, Helena Bampton, and Real Estate and Planning (REP) DTL Angelique Chettiparambil-Rajan. We spent an interesting few days attending presentations and workshops about Blackboard and technology enhanced learning, and were pleased, this year, to present on some of the TEL developments we’ve achieved at UoR. Maria and I presented a paper sharing the TEL team’s strategies for successfully engaging and supporting UoR academics in using TEL. Angelique also shared REP’s experiences of piloting a whole-school move to electronic submission, online marking and e-feedback. Both presentations were well received and feature in an article in Blackboard’s eLearn magazine, to be published shortly both in print and online.

Photo of Blackboard Conference welcome

It’s not rocket science! 

The opening keynote was delivered by the ever-engaging education consultant, Eric Stoller. You can access his presentation below. (The reference to rocket science is linked to Blackboard’s CEO, Bill Ballhaus’ background in astronautics!)

Virtual poster presentations from the conference can be accessed here.

Post-event resources, including presentations and photos, are available on the Blackboard Community website. (You will need to create an account to access the Community site.)

Link to Conference resources via Blackboard Community site

What were our key findings?

Looking at the usability of Blackboard through student eyes 

Meg Juss shared Edge Hill University’s experience of surveying the student experience of using Blackboard. Their 7th bi-annual learning survey asked students questions about Blackboard and subsequent comprehensive usability testing established that students found aspects of Blackboard ‘confusing’, ‘jumbled’ and ‘overwhelming’. ‘A user interface is like a joke: it’s not that good if you have to explain it!’, asserted Meg. With this in this mind, findings helped Meg and her team to improve the Blackboard experience for students by standardising course templates, improving navigation and re-designing their ‘My Library’ tab. As a result, usage of the library tab increased by 12% and 82.5% of respondents agree or strongly agree that, ‘using Blackboard has enhanced the knowledge and understanding I get from lectures, tutorials and practical sessions.’ (7th Student eLearning Survey (2016-17) ~ 576 responses)

Gamification

Staff from Durham and Saxion University in the Netherlands shared how they have brought elements of gamification, such as progression, rewards and use of Blackboard’s adaptive release feature, to Blackboard courses to help engage and motivate their students.

A search engine for Blackboard 

Staff from the University of Leuven, Belgium, described how they have used their technical expertise to develop an in-house search engine to enable users to search for content within Blackboard. This is a feature that is currently missing from the off-the-shelf Blackboard Learn platform but which Blackboard are looking to develop.

eAssessment

It was interesting to hear the experiences of other institutions of electronic submission and online marking and feedback. TEL Manager Mark Gamble from Bedfordshire University shared his experience of staff trying to use the Blackboard Assignment tool for blind double marking. This information will be useful as we here at UoR progress with our EMA programme.

Roadmap – where next? 

Photo of map - where next?

It was good to see Blackboard’s roadmap and hear about improved features coming soon. These include increased drag and drop options in some of the learning tools, and a better experience using Blackboard on mobile devices.

#BBTLC17

 

 

‘Appy Christmas from TEL CQSD!

Festive Apps to download during the festive season

Christmas is almost here!  Here’s our pick of  the fun Christmas apps available for you to download for an ‘appy Christmas! (They’re free and available for both Apple and Android unless otherwise stated.)

The TEL CQSD team in their festive jumpers

The TEL elves

1. Elf yourself

It’s been a favourite for several years but the fun never seems to wear off! Turn yourself, your family and friends into a group of dancing elves with your own faces! Simply upload the images from your camera roll and away you go!

2. Official NORAD Santa Tracker

A great app if you’re entertaining children over the festive period. The NORAD Santa Tracker does what it says: you can track Santa from his North Pole journey all over the world on Christmas Eve.

3. Inkly

Create and send Christmas cards in under three minutes with Inkly. There are hundreds of designs to choose from or you can even create your own by uploading your favourite photos. Inkly uses handwriting technology too. Write your message on a piece of paper, take a picture of it with your phone and transfer your handwriting (and sketches) inside your chosen card. You can then add the address, choose from seven different coloured envelopes and Inkly prints and sends them in the post on the same day! (Price per card is £2.99 plus 69p for first class delivery.)

4. Fireplace 3D Lite (Free and available for iPhones and tablets only)

Fireplace 3D Lite from iTunes will make you feel cosy this Christmas with an image of a real log fire. There are three different fireplaces to choose from: rustic, traditional and Victorian, which each have realistic images to make you feel warm and cosy.

5. Santa Claus Yourself Xmas Photo Booth (Free and available for iPhones and tablets only)

How will you look with Santa Claus’ beard? Or what about your family in a Santa hat? You can find out using this app. Simply upload a picture from your phone and give it a Christmas makeover then share your masterpieces on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

6. Christmas Music (Free and available for iPhones and tablets only)

Do you love a Christmas tune or two? You can listen to thousands of free holiday songs with the Christmas Music app. All of the apps’ music is vetted to be from Creative Commons or independent musicians which means they are all completely legal for you to enjoy!

Wishing you a very happy Christmas & a fab 2016. Enjoy the festive holiday!

Vicki, Adam, Maria, Andy, Shirin & Lauren

TEL CQSD

TEL Team talk Blackboard at 2015 Module Fair

TEL CQSD team

The TEL CQSD team ready & eager to advise new students about Blackboard

As the rain splashed down on Welcome Week’s inflatable Dome, the TEL CQSD team were excited to participate in our first Module Fair. Plenished with a plethora of Blackboard freebies, our mission (which we chose to accept) was to distribute as many of our advisory postcards and talk to as many new students about accessing Blackboard as we could. As the doors were opened (or, more precisely, unzipped!), fresh-faced students flooded in to an expectant arena to select their modules and chat with staff from a range of the university’s support services.

We all thoroughly enjoyed meeting and advising our attentive students about how to log in, when they’d see their modules and where to find help. It was a perfect opportunity to also alert them to the new Blackboard Student app (coming soon!) which will give them anywhere and any time access to their course materials via their mobile devices. We were encouraged to find that many of the students were already aware of Blackboard and keen to find out how to access it.

Continue reading

‘Social Media for Teaching & Learning’ Event @ UoR, Thursday 30 July 2015

Social media event pic of delegates

UoR staff gathered, last Thursday, at the Innovation Works for an event kindly organised by Botany Associate Professor, Alastair Culham (@BotanyRNG) examining our use of social media in teaching and learning.

Delegates from around the university were treated to a keynote from James Kieft (eLearning Manager at Reading College, @James_kieft) who reflected on how technology can enrich learning and engage students, and how Reading College has engaged in its practice Google Apps for Education.

James shared his resource-rich blog: http://james-thinks-its-worth-a-look.blogspot.co.uk/ – a useful resource providing access to a plethora of tools for all sorts of aspects of teaching and learning. He concluded his presentation with a fun, interactive logo quiz made using Quizizz.com.

Continue reading