Are you September-ready?

How was your Summer? Good I hope. Well I’m afraid to tell you, that’s all over now and it’s time to limber up for a new academic year.

Do you have everything in place, ready for your students to arrive? Here is our checklist to help you to prepare.

Have you enrolled on your modules?

As has been the case for the last couple of years, you will need to enrol on your modules via the Blackboard 2021-22 form, which you will find on the staff portal after signing in. Please allow 24 hours for your request to be actioned. Please note that course leaders also need to complete this step.

There is also a Blackboard Access 2020-21 form still live on the staff portal. If you are taking over a module this year, it may be useful to enrol on last year’s module.

Have you familiarised yourself with the new navigation?

Yes, we have moved to Ultra-based navigation which has given Blackboard a sparkly new facelift. Give yourself a few moments to get familiar with the new layout. We have prepared a video for students, which should give you most of the information you need. Feel free to share this with your students too.

Have you transferred your content?

As ever, modules will be empty and you may want to transfer content from the 20-21 instance of the module. Do not transfer the Assessment page as assignments need to be set up afresh each year. Migrating assignments can cause serious problems in the grade centre of the new module, so it really is best avoided.

Instructions for transferring content can be found here.

Sharpen your skills

We run a range of courses designed to help you get the most out of Blackboard. These are published on the Staff Development Workshop page and will be advertised via our Twitter, blog and the staff newsletter.

If you require one-to-one training on a specific area of Blackboard, email us with details at TEL@worc.ac.uk

Changes to Blackboard Navigation

To all Blackboard Users,

In August we will be updating Blackboard to incorporate the new Ultra Base Navigation. This new navigation has a sleek, modern look and feel and will save you time with simpler workflows and easier access to important information.

Your courses will not change. They will look and operate exactly as they do now.

What is Ultra Base Navigation?

It is a modern, intuitive navigation menu that lives outside of courses. It includes links to new pages such as the Activity Stream, Calendar, Messages, etc. that provide quick access to the most critical information consolidated from all your courses.

What does this mean for me?

Your Blackboard will automatically be updated. UBN will bring a range of benefits:

  • Modern, intuitive user experience. You and your students will enjoy this simple, intuitive, engaging user experience.
  • Works well on mobile devices. This navigation is designed to work well regardless of which device you’re using.
  • Aggregates important information. All your course and organization information – like calendar, messages and grades – is now consolidated into one global view, minimizing the time spent navigating into each individual course.
  • Only one click away. See something that needs your attention? Just click on it and you will be taken directly there, minimizing clicks and saving time.

This is the first step in the roadmap that will ultimately allow users to trial Ultra courses.

You can view more detail about the benefits of UBN via the document below:

Base_Navigation_Datasheet_Educators

More information will be available from the TEL team at tel@worc.ac.uk

Blackboard Rollover 2021-22

Blackboard modules for the 21/22 academic year are now available and ready for you to start working on.
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
We have amended the standard template very slightly to include a link to the Panopto Video tool by default. If you don’t want to use this it can be removed or hidden from students but this is now widely used so we have included in the template for this year.
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.

You may want to consider migrating content from last year’s modules. If you do this, it is very important that you do not roll over the assessment tab or any of the assessments within, as this will cause problems within your grade centre. If you roll over any tests or quizzes please note that these will not be automatically deployed, so you will need to insert them into the appropriate area within your module.

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.

Collaborate Gallery View

Gallery view in Collaborate is now live! From April 2021 if you are the Moderator of a Collaborate session, you can make use of the new Gallery view, which enables you to see up to 25 participant videos on screen.

Click on the View icon in the top right of the screen to switch between views.

Collaborate view menu

Blackboard will extend Gallery view to all participants later in the year.

Find out more from this short video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2050HbWeBs&t=96s

Collaborate Recordings

Text from Judith Keene’s all staff email dated Monday 15th March 2021

The past twelve months have seen a massive surge in uptake of all of our learning platforms and the way in which staff have engaged with adapting to teaching online has been incredible.

We are now in a position where usage of our platforms is beginning to exceed our allocated quota from suppliers and, whilst we are keen for people to continue to use these technologies, there is a cost and management implication which we need to be mindful of.

With that in mind we are planning on removing all Collaborate recordings from the previous academic year. If you have any recordings you would like to keep please download them from your Collaborate area by 31st March and upload them to Panopto where they will have the added benefit of being automatically captioned. Please see our step-by-step guidance on how to do this. Any recordings made prior to 1st September 2020 will be removed from the system on 1st April. If you have questions or concerns about this, please contact tel@worc.ac.uk

We also have some suggestions for best practice to help make the best use of Collaborate:

  • Only record sessions which will need to be accessed again.
  • When recording a long session, stop the recording during breaks or activities offline or in breakout groups.
  • If running a session with little or no interactivity consider using the Panopto webcast feature.
  • Delete any old recordings which are no longer required (statistics show that the vast majority of recordings are only accessed within 30 days of the original event)

Please also refer to our recent blog post about managing files and videos within your Blackboard course.

TEL Workshops and Facilitated Discussions

Between now and the end of March, we will be running a series of online workshops to help staff get to grips with a range of learning technologies.  In addition to our familiar sessions, we will also be running five facilitated discussions covering topics such as moving tuition online, student engagement and best practice using PebblePad. Staff will have the opportunity to share their experiences and learn new approaches from colleagues, guided by members of the Technology Enhanced Learning Unit.

 

Blackboard Made Simple  25th January, 10.15 – 11.15 
Collaborate Virtual Classroom  27th January, 10:15  11:15am 
Using Tests and Surveys in Blackboard  3rd February, 10.15 – 11.30 
Blackboard Accessibility and Ally  5th February, 10.15  11.30 
Facilitated discussion – moving to online teaching: what works?  8th February, 11.15  12.15 
Camtasia  10th February, 10.15 – 11.30 
Using Blackboard for Blended and Mobile Learning  12th February, 10.15  11.30 
Recording from your Desktop using Panopto  17th February, 10.15  11.30 
Vevox Polling Software  19th February, 10.15  1130 
Facilitated discussion: Good practice with PebblePad  3rd March, 10.15  11.30 
Assessing student presentations online using Collaborate and Panopto  11th March, 10.15  11.30 
Facilitated discussion: approaches to online assessment 17th March, 10.15  11.15 
Facilitated discussion: recording teaching sessions tips and tricks  25th March, 10.15  11.15 

If you are interested in attending any of these sessions, please sign up via the Staff Development Workshops pages on the staff portal.

Blackboard Made Simple Workshop

Calling all new staff!

On Monday 25th at 10:15 am, we will be running our Blackboard Made Simple workshop. This session will cover the basics of using the Blackboard system from requesting access to modules to changing the basic template and uploading content in various forms. It will also provide participants with advice on effective design to support student learning. Aimed at users who are new to the system or who need a refresher.

Please recommend this workshop to any colleagues who are new to the University.

Anyone who is interested in attending this online workshop can sign up via the Staff Development Workshop pages.

Tel Me More – Panopto for Beginners

On Wednesday 16th December, the Technology Enhanced Learning Unit will be hosting our annual ‘TEL’ Me More Seminar. We have been providing more information about the topics that will be covered – see links to the other topics at the bottom of this post.

The final presentation is from Bill Davies, Head of the School of Law, covering the use of Panopto for recording and sharing lectures and other video content.

Panopto for beginners – by a beginner

Bill Davies

This presentation is designed to share experiences of the use of Panopto to support blended learning in Law over the last 3 months.  The session will compare the relative advantages of Panopto with Collaborate and other systems of electronic delivery and discuss experiences of using them simultaneously.

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

You can see details of the other presentations at TEL Me more on the previous posts in this series:

TEL Me More – Vevox Polling for Interactivity and Feedback

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.

In the next presentation, Dr Des McDougall, Principal Lecturer of Physical Geography in the School of Science and the Environment, will discuss his use of the polling software Vevox in his teaching.

Using Vevox to promote interactivity and obtain feedback during classes

Dr Des McDougall

The Vevox add-in* for PowerPoint provides a seamless and effective means of engaging with an entire class, whether face-to-face or online. Live polling can be used to test understanding (via multiple choice, open text, numeric, and star rating questions), with the results presented in the following slide – if desired. It also has a free text function, useful for more complex questions as well as obtaining feedback. As such, Vevox is presented here as a valuable addition to the lecturers’ toolkit. What sets it apart from other, more traditional approaches (e.g. informal Q&A) is its more inclusive nature; everyone can participate, as long as they have access to an internet-connected device.

* The Vevox add-in is currently only available for Windows. Those without access to the add-in can still use Vevox within a browser.

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