TEL Workshops for Semester 1

We’ve had a very busy summer so far, with all of our workshops being fully subscribed. Don’t worry if you missed out though as we’re planning plenty more training opportunities from September and beyond.

We know that many of you are starting to think about how you will be delivering your learning and teaching next year and might be wondering what you can use to support your blended and online elements.

With that in mind we’ve put together a programme of workshops that cover various tools which can help support online learning and teaching and, whilst the focus of the workshops will be on using a particular technology, we will of course include use cases and scenarios of where this will be useful, and provide examples of good practice.

All the workshops will be delivered online and you can sign up for them from the staff development booking page.

Here’s a quick summary of what’s available, and when:

  • 3/9/20 10.15 -11.30, Blackboard made simple
    This workshop is ideal for those of you wo are new to Blackboard, or who may need a refresher.
  • 8/9/20, 10.00 – 11.00, Vevox online polling
    Vevox is our new online voting tool and can be used in conjunction with Collaborate to engage your students in polling and online question and answer sessions.
  • 9/9/20 and 23/9/20, 10.00 -11.00, Collaborate
    Collaborate has become the go-to technology for delivering live online sessions. If you’ve not yet tried it or would like to build a bit more confidence this session is for you.
  • 15/9/20 and 24/9/20, NEW – Recording from your desktop using Panopto
    Panopto is our new video platform which allows you to record presentations from your desktop and make them available to your students via Blackboard.
  • 16/9/20, 10.15 -11.15, Accessibility and Ally
    The new accessibility guidelines come into force in September and Ally is now available in all Blackboard modules for staff and students. This session will show you how you can use it to improve the accessibility of your module.
  • 22/9/20, 10.15-11.30, Using tests, quizzes and surveys on Blackboard
    Quizzes are a great way to engage students and can provide formative feedback on their learning. This session will show you how to set up and deliver quizzes and surveys within your module.
  • 30/9/20 10.00 -11.00, Assessing student presentations online using Collaborate and Panopto
    Assessing student presentation online presents a number of challenges and opportunities. This workshop will look at the options available and discuss the practicalities of assessing student presentations in an online environment.
  • 01/10/20, 10.15-11.30, Camtasia
    Camtasia is a great tool for creating learning resources for your students which can be interactive and engaging, and accessed at a time convenient to the student
  • 7/10/20, 10.00 -11.00, Tracking student engagement in Blackboard
    Retention and engagement is even more critical when students are working remotely. This session will show you how you can use the tools within Blackboard to check how your students are engaging with the module.
  • 8/10/20, 10.15-11.15, Blended Mobile and Flipped learning
    This session will look at how to make best use of Blackboard to facilitate flipped and blended learning. It will also consider how to comply with the new accessibility guidelines which come into force in September 2019. There will also be a discussion regarding how best to structure your Blackboard module to make it compatible with the increasing use of mobile devices by students.

We also now have a fully online, interactive training package for Turnitin which is hosted on LearnUpon. Just login via the staff homepage and work through the package – it should take no more than an hour and covers everything you need to know about using Turnitin for assignment submission, marking and feedback.

If you have any queries, please email tel@worc.ac.uk

Blackboard Made Simple – Online Workshop

Thursday 3rd September, 10:15 – 11:30

Are you new to Blackboard? Or do your skills need brushing up a little? Then we have the perfect workshop for you!

Blackboard Made Simple will cover the basics of navigating the VLE, adding content and structuring courses to enhance the student experience. The workshop will also introduce staff to delivering tuition online with blended and mobile learning.

Sign up via the Staff Development Workshop pages.

Organise Blackboard Modules by Term

Having all of your modules in one long list can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. Thankfully, it is now possible to organise your modules on Blackboard by term!

This is very simple to do:

  1. Click the cog icon above My Courses
  2. Under ‘Terms’ click ‘Group by Term’
  3. Click Submit

This will then organise all of your modules into a collapsible list for each period.

Here’s an animation we have prepared to demonstrate this (click to view):

Gif showing how to change to Terms view

Many thanks to Mark Jones for facilitating this.

TEL Team in Lockdown

It’s been 15 weeks since lockdown began and during that time, we have all had to find and manage new ways of working. Online learning, teaching and assessment have become more important than ever and, here in the TEL Unit, we have been busily working away to support all colleagues and students across the University with their transition in to the world of online learning, and to help make that transition as smooth as possible.

What have we been up to?

We’ve been a little quiet on the social media front recently, and with good reason! The last four months have been the busiest our small TEL family has ever experienced and we’ve worked hard on a range of activities to support the University:

Collaborate Training

  • Just before lockdown we anticipated the move to online and put on 9 ‘emergency’ Collaborate workshops with 106 staff attending.
  • We’ve also carried on providing training and support for Collaborate as more and more colleagues started teaching online.
  • The recent all staff meeting was also carried out using Collaborate with our biggest ever audience of over 500 at one point.
Infographic about Collaborate

TEL Website

Infographic about TEL website usage

Day to day support

  • Online drop in sessions were held twice a week, every week for 10 weeks giving staff the opportunity to drop in and get help from our Academic Learning Technologists along a range of topics, including using the virtual classroom, creating videos, populating materials online, Camtasia and accessing support materials.
  • Our calls for support through our dedicated TEL@worc.ac.uk email and through the IT Services desk were busier than ever.
Infographic about TEL queries received January to June 2020

Dementia project

  • Prior to lockdown, we were commissioned by Dementia UK to work in partnership with them to produce an online course aimed at people interested in becoming Admiral Nurses. We worked on this project alongside supporting our own staff and students during lockdown and are very proud of the results. Paul Edwards, Director of Clinical Services at Dementia UK outlines the rationale for the module on their web site https://www.dementiauk.org/our-new-admiral-nurse-module/ and you can access the resource itself which is openly available here https://www.dementiauk.org/elearning/#/

Open Days

  • We’ve assisted comms with moving open days online, utilising tools such as Camtasia and Collaborate and provided specific staff training for this.
  • We also ran some specific drop-in sessions to help staff prepare their video presentations for the virtual open day.
  • A new project to open up Blackboard to allow prospective students to self-register and attend virtual events and taster sessions is now underway and should be ready for pre-sessional teaching on request

Blackboard Ally

  • With new accessibility guidelines coming into force in September 2020, it’s more important than ever to ensure that our online content is fully accessible for all our students.
  • In preparation for this we have implemented an extension to Blackboard which allows students to download content from the VLE in alternative accessible formats depending on their needs.
  • Ally also allows tutors to see at a glance how accessible their content is using a colour coding format and providing directions on how to improve accessibility. It’s also possible to produce a course report to track all the content in your course. (this is only visible to tutors)
Image of Blackboard Ally scores
The Blackboard Ally accessibility colour coding system

Online Exams

  • With assessment weeks falling in the middle of the lockdown it was necessary to move all the exams and resits online at very short notice.
  • This involved urgent liaison with colleagues across the University including Senior Management, Academics and Registry Services to ensure a consistent and useable system was in place.
  • In May 78 online examinations took place with the vast majority running smoothly, with a further 172 resits and deferrals taking place in July.
Infographic about use of Turnitin from January to June 2020

Turnitin Training

  • We have also developed a bespoke learning package to help staff in the use of Turnitin. This is available through the staff development Learn upon portal and can be accessed at any time.
LearnUpon logo

Of course, our support doesn’t stop there. If staff have any queries about implementing their classes online next semester, or general questions about any of the tools we support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team by emailing tel@worc.ac.uk

The easiest way to keep up to date with all of the news, guidance and support we offer, subscribe to our blog here. You can also follow us on twitter @UW_TEL

As always, check out our webpages at www.uwtel.co.uk for guidance on what tools we have to offer and how to use them.

Infographic of TEL contact details

Online TEL Workshops

With the Covid 19 crisis preventing our usual face to face training workshops, we will instead be running a series of sessions online during June, July and August. These will be a mixture of our most popular regular workshops and sessions that will help you adapt your teaching to the brave new world of working online.

Upcoming Sessions

All sessions will run for an hour from 10:15 until 11:15.

  • 16/06/20 – Camtasia – learn how to create video resources to support learning online
  • 26/06/20 – Blackboard Made Simple – an introduction to using Blackboard, ideal for those who are new to the system
  • 01/07/20 – Collaborate Virtual Classroom – discover how to run lectures, seminars and tutorials via Blackboard
  • 08/07/20 – Vevox – an introduction to the university’s new online polling software
  • 15/07/20 – Designing Accessible Blackboard Courses – find out how to make your modules and online resources accessible to all, including the use of the new Blackboard Ally plugin.
  • 22/07/20 – Tracking student engagement in Blackboard – discover how to monitor your students’ activity in Blackboard, as well as strategies for re-engaging students and promoting active learning.
  • 28/07/20 – Using quizzes, tests and surveys in Blackboard – learn how to utilise Blackboard’s extensive range of testing tools.
  • 04/08/20 – Adapting Student Presentations for online assessment – this session will provide suggestions on how student presentations for assessment can be managed in an online environment.
  • 11/08/2020 – Using Blackboard for Mobile and Blended learning – flipped, blended and mobile learning are now more important than ever. This session will cover how to approach online delivery.

If you are interested in attending any of these workshops, please sign up via the Staff Development Workshop pages.

There is also a new online course covering the use of Turnitin for assessment on LearnUpon.

Blackboard Early Rollover

To All Blackboard Users

The Covid 19 outbreak has meant that we have had to move our learning, teaching and assessment online very quickly and the response from everyone has been amazing.

Many of you are now starting to plan ahead for next semester and with that in mind we have brought forward the rollover of Blackboard modules for academic year 20/21, to allow you some extra time to plan and prepare for next semester.

As in previous years you will need to re-register for access to the new modules from the staff web pages – instructions can be found here:

 https://lttu.uk/support/Blackboard/Manual/accessing-new-courses.html 

With the uncertainty of how much face to face teaching will be possible next semester we would encourage you to think carefully about the design and layout of your modules this year and although there is still the option to copy course materials over from a previous version now is a good time to reconsider the presentation, content and activities you provide for your students through the VLE.

All modules have the basic template with pre-populated menu items which relate to the University baseline standards . This ensures a level of consistency which is one of the top priorities that students have requested – see our Students’ top tips for Blackboard.

Whilst consistency is an important factor, we recognise that all modules are individual and you may want to look at some of the other tools and functionality available in Blackboard – we have a full online Blackboard guide but if you need any further support from the TEL team, either individually or as a course or module team please contact TEL@worc.ac.uk to arrange a session with an Academic Learning Technologist.

All the best,

The TEL Unit

Blackboard Ally is Here!

Ally is a tool which can help promote accessibility and supports both staff and students when using Blackboard.

Blackboard Ally logo

Ally for Students

Students will now be able to access alternative formats for any documents that’s been uploaded to Blackboard by clicking on the icon. A quick start guide can be accessed here:

https://help.blackboard.com/Ally/Ally_for_LMS/Student/Quick_Start

Ally for Staff

Tutors will be able to see coloured indicators next to the content they’ve uploaded reflecting the level of accessibility for that item.

Ally does not affect the workflow for adding new content to modules and you don’t need to do anything differently when using Blackboard – this is just and extra tool to help manage how accessibility your content is.

The accessibility indicators are only visible to tutors in the module so students won’t see them and are not a reflection of quality, only indicators of accessibility.

More information and training will be provided over the next few months but it you’d like to try this out for yourself the functionality is now there and a quick start guide is available here:

https://help.blackboard.com/Ally/Ally_for_LMS/Instructor/Quick_Start

Turnitin Online Training via LearnUpon

NEW! Turnitin training is now available to all staff on LearnUpon.

While we are in lockdown, it isn’t possible to deliver our normal training workshops to staff. At other times, staff may need training on Turnitin, but are not able to attend workshops in person due to geography or other commitments.

We have just completed an online training pack on how to use Turnitin for assessment and this is available from the HR learning platform LearnUpon.

To access this training go to the Staff Homepage and click on the LearnUpon logo.

LearnUpon logo

On your dashboard you should see the Turnitin Training course (you may need to scroll down if you have several courses).

Turnitin training course within LearnUpon

Simply click Start to begin training and work through the screens. Training can be paused and restarted, and revisited as required.

If you have any questions, please email tel@worc.ac.uk.

Tips for using Collaborate

Many people are now well up and running with using Collaborate for online teaching so here are a few additional tips and ideas for moving forward with your online teaching:

Before your session

You can schedule a session in Collaborate and send the link out in advance to your participants – remember you can’t enter the session or upload files until the start time so allow early entry in the settings to give yourself time to prepare.

Image of required settings on Collaborate

Send students the guest link to the session – this will effectively give them a short-cut to the session and make it easier to access. Tutors should access the session via the Blackboard module to ensure you have moderator permissions.

You can also send the guest link to external people such as guest lecturers – once the session has started you can then “promote” them to enable them to present.

Send a reminder an hour or so before the session is due to start with the guest link embedded again.

During the session

Remember to use the record function so your session is available for those who couldn’t attend.

Image of Collaborate in-session settings menu, including the record function.

If you find the connection is poor turn off your webcam to save bandwidth. It’s also a good idea to ask students to turn off their cameras and microphones while you’re presenting to save bandwidth and prevent background noise. If students are having trouble hearing you they can dial in using a phone.

Image of Collaborate camera and microphone settings

If for any reason your session drops out – don’t panic! Make sure you close your browser down completely, then go back into the session again – if you don’t close the browser you may still be logged on in another window.

Breakout rooms are great for group work – here’s the Blackboard help on using breakout groups:

https://help.blackboard.com/Collaborate/Ultra/Moderator/Moderate_Sessions/Breakout_groups

Unfortunately the TEL Unit don’t have capacity to investigate individual student issues however our ‘Getting Started’ video can be found here:

https://vimeo.com/359000224

General help for students is provided by Blackboard here: 

https://help.blackboard.com/Collaborate/Ultra/Participant

After the session

Recordings won’t be available immediately after the session as they can take a while to process, however you can access your recordings from the burger menu on the top left hand side of the virtual classroom page.

Image of the Collaborate Sessions menu

You can also access a register to see who attended the session and how long they were signed in for. From your sessions page change the filter to all previous sessions:

Image of Collaborate Filter Sessions function

Click on the button at the end of the session you want to access and choose “View reports”

Image of Collaborate Session sub-menu

For more general guidance on remote working IT have produced this useful guide:

https://www2.worc.ac.uk/it/documents/Homeworking_Tips.pdf

Uniview Downtime

With the increased use of video for learning, teaching and assessment, IT will be carrying out an essential upgrade to the Uniview/Planet E-Stream media streaming server on Thursday 9th April from 13.00.

This means that users will be unable to upload any new files or watch videos hosted on this service until the upgrade is complete. At the same time we will be removing any videos that have not been accessed for the past 18 months so please check any content you have previously uploaded.

The upgrade will allow increased capacity and improved functionality of this system so please bear with us while we complete this essential work.

‘Have a TEL related query? The TEL team are offering staff support drop-in sessions online; Tuesdays & Wednesdays 10am – 11am. You can access the drop-in here: https://eu.bbcollab.com/guest/5ec551fb8282487eb0a115a4c4bea6b1