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

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.

TEL Me More – Online Courses with Articulate Rise

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 third presentation will cover Articulate Rise, a collaborative authoring tool for creating online courses. The University licence for Articulate is owned by the TEL Unit and, in this presentation, TEL’s Gerry Beattie and Dr Peter Unwin from the Department of Social Work and the Community will discuss how they used the tool to adapt an in-person day-long course into a more comprehensive online course for social workers wishing to learn about disability.

Mutual Benefits: The Potential of Disabled Foster Carers as Foster Carers

Dr Peter Unwin and Gerry Beattie

Disabled people are largely absent from the fostering workforce and, in partnership with Shaping Our Lives Disability Network and Foster Care Co-operative agency, Dr Peter Unwin was awarded Big Lottery  funding wanting to find out why this is the case.

The research found that disabled people are resilient, have many skills and are well able to empathise and support young people in need. Yet their potential is largely ignored by fostering agencies, despite Fostering Network estimating that there is currently a shortfall of some 8000 foster carers in the UK.

We worked with four pilot sites and several disabled foster carers but still find it challenging to get the wider world interested in what is a cultural change. Making the video with Gerry Beattie is intended as a ‘marketing’ vehicle to help bring about this much-needed change.

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

Tel Me More – Going Paperless with PebblePad

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 next presentation will come from Lesley Parish of the Institute of Health & Society and TEL’s own Pete Thornton,  and will explore eliminating physical paperwork using PebblePad Workbooks.

Replacing paper Social Work Practice Documents with online PebblePad Workbooks.

Lesley Parish and Pete Thornton

This presentation will look at how the use of paper documents for recording students’ achievements on placement has now been superseded with an online version, using the PebblePad software. PebblePad enables the student to record their work while on placement with the ability for tutors and other assessors (Practice Educator (PE) and Workplace Supervisor (WPS) to view and sign off their work securely online. Although a PE or WPS can change at relatively short notice, it is a quick, easy and secure process for the student to share their work with a new PE or WPS.

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

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.