TEL Me More – Using Blackboard for Distance Learning

On Wednesday 16th December, the Technology Enhanced Learning Unit will be hosting our annual ‘TEL’ Me More Seminar. Over the coming days we will provide more information about the topics that will be covered.

The first of our presentations will come from Isabelle Latham and Jennifer Bray from the Association for Dementia Studies and will cover the use of Blackboard for delivering a PG Cert entirely online and how the principles of this can be introduced to your own teaching and learning.

Person-Centred Dementia Studies on Blackboard – Delivering a PG Cert at a Distance

Isabelle Latham and Jennifer Bray

“The course is entirely delivered online via the Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment. Students engage with online lectures, videos, research literature and discussions to facilitate their independent study. This course provides regular interactive learning opportunities via seminars in the Collaborate virtual classroom and engagement with students and tutors via unscheduled discussion forums.”

If you are interested in finding out more, you can sign up to attend TEL Me More via the Staff Development Workshops pages.

Technology Enhanced Learning Support Sessions for Academics

Following the government announcement that Universities should move to online teaching by 9th December, we thought it would be a good time to reinstate the TEL drop-in sessions for academic staff via Collaborate.

 We know that it can be daunting moving your tuition online and sometimes it’s not always clear where to begin, or how to effectively adapt your materials for online delivery so that your students still get the most out of your sessions.

That’s why the Technology Enhanced Learning Unit will be offering drop-in sessions over the next four weeks for academics to pop in and speak to us. We’ll be there to listen to your requirements and help you bounce ideas around for moving your sessions online successfully. We’ll be able to offer suggestions on various tools that you can use to achieve your learning objectives and offer expertise on how to adapt your existing face to face sessions so that they run smoothly when you come to delivering them online.

Sessions will run from 10am-11am every Tuesday and Thursday, with the first taking place on Tuesday 24th November and the final session on Thursday 17th December. There’s no need to book. Just click on the link below to access the sessions:

Join Drop-in Session

As ever, make sure that you are using either Chrome or Firefox to join.

Save the Date! – ‘TEL’ Me More Seminar

On Wednesday 16th December, the Technology Enhanced Learning Unit will be hosting their annual ‘TEL’ Me More Seminar.

The event, which was originally planned for March, will be fully online and colleagues from across the University will be showcasing their use of technology as part of their learning and teaching.

With the current environment, online teaching has grown significantly over the past several months and this event will provide a fantastic opportunity to network with colleagues from different areas of academia, generate ideas and learn new skills, which you can take forward in to your own learning and teaching.

To secure your place, sign up via the ‘Staff Development Workshops’ page.

Full programme details will be released shortly.

Are you interested in presenting at the seminar? We currently have one slot available. If you would like to present (no more than 10 minutes), please email tel@worc.ac.uk with a short summary of your presentation.

Blackboard Housekeeping

A little later than usual, it is time for our annual Blackboard Housekeeping.

Please be aware that we will be deleting modules from the academic year 16-17 on 16th November. We will also be deleting all organisations with a 2016 or 2017 date against them. If you have any resources that you need to rescue, please log in and download them (or migrate to a newer module) before 16th November.

TEL November Workshops

Following the fantastic response to our September workshops, we will be running another series of online training sessions throughout November.

All sessions run from 10:15 to 11:15 and will take place online via Collaborate. Guest links will be emailed to the attendees before the session.

  • Thursday 5th November – Using tests and surveys in Blackboard
  • Monday 9th November – Recording from your desktop using Panopto
  • Tuesday 10th November – Blackboard accessibility and Ally
  • Wednesday 11th November – Camtasia
  • Tuesday 17th November – Collaborate Virtual Classroom
  • Thursday 19th November – Vevox polling software
  • Tuesday 24th November – Using Blackboard for blended and mobile learning
  • Thursday 26th November – Assessing Student Presentations online using Collaborate and Panopto

If you are interested in attending, please sign up via the Staff Development Workshops pages on the Staff Portal. Places are set at 20 but, if overbooked (within reason), will likely be extended to include the waiting list.

Changes in Turnitin

You should all by now be aware of the changes to Turnitin this year (see Judith Keene’s all staff email from 8th September for more information) and we thought it would be useful to go into more detail about a few things that you need to know.

Turnitin has moved

The most obvious change is that the link to add Turnitin has moved from the Assessment tab to the Build Content tab.

The icon has been replaced

When you create a submission point, the Turnitin logo is no longer displayed and has been replaced with a Blackboard link icon. To make it clearer for students, it may be a good idea to include the word ‘Turnitin’ in the title. We would strongly discourage naming a submission point ‘Turnitin’ alone however, as assignment names should always be clearly descriptive.

Adaptive Release

You may notice that, when you create a submission point, you will now see a message like the one below.

Adaptive Release message on Turnitin submission point

There is no need to be concerned by this. As the new installation works slightly differently, this just means that a start date has been set. Contrary to what the message suggests, all students will be able to see the submission point.

You need to hide the assignment in the grade centre

Either at the point you set the assignment up, or before you start marking, you will need to manually hide the Blackboard Grade Centre column from students – otherwise they will be able to access their grades as soon as they have been entered. See the Post Setup Actions section of out Turnitin Guidance for instructions.

Student preview isn’t available

When you try to check your submission point in student preview, you will receive an error message. This is because it is no longer possible to enter a submission point in student preview mode. It does not mean that there is a problem with the submission point.

Error when using student preview

The due date can be altered more easily

Although you enter the due date as normal, should you make a mistake, or if the date changes, the date must be changed from the edit menu rather than from the settings within the submission point. This has been introduced to make it quicker to make such changes.

Editing Turnitin Due Date

It is better for monitoring submissions and reminding students to submit

One of the best features of the new installation of Turnitin is the capacity to monitor which of your students have not submitted. When you look in the assignment inbox, on non-anonymous assignments all students will be listed and it will tell you whether they have submitted or not. You can even send an email reminder to students who have not submitted, including on anonymous submission points.

To do this, go to the Grade Centre, locate the column that relates to the assignment, hover over the column header and click the arrow icon. Then select ‘Send Reminder’.

Send Reminder function in Grade Centre

Some staff have found that the first time they set up a Turnitin submission point, they receive an error message. Clearing your history and cookies will usually resolve this issue. As always, make sure you are using Chrome or Firefox.

If you have any further queries, please contact the Technology Enhanced Learning Unit at tel@worc.ac.uk 

Collaborate Attendance Reports

In recent months Collaborate has moved from the chorus line to centre-stage as online tuition itself has gone from niche to mainstream.

By its very nature, teaching online is a very different experience for both tutor and student. One key difference that you will no doubt have noticed is that it’s much harder for you as a tutor to see all of your students. They may switch their cameras off; even with cameras turned on, Collaborate only displays four faces at a time and, in groups larger than five members, defaults to follow the speaker mode.

A number of  you have asked about obtaining a register from Collaborate. Happily, this is quite straightforward, so we thought it would be a good idea to share this advice more widely.

How to Access Reports

  1. Go to Virtual Classroom and locate the session you would like a report for by going to the burger menu, then Sessions.
  2. Hover over the session and click the circular icon to the right to bring up the Session Options Menu
  3. In this menu, click View Reports. This will take you to a list of all the reports associated with this session. On an open-ended session there will be a report for each time anyone logged in to the room.
  4. Click the View Report to bring up your register.

Additional notes

  • Please be aware that reports do not appear immediately after a session. It can be a little while before they are accessible.
  • You can export your reports to a CSV file, which can then be saved as an excel file. Alternatively, you can download in a printable format. You will see both options to the left of your report.

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

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.