MHFA Adult Instructor.
Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing.
Lecturer in Practice Development
Faculty of Health and Society
Blackboard Learn (NILE) is being upgraded on Saturday 18th August 2018 and will be unavailable from 22:30 BST until 10:30 on Sunday 19th.
The upgrade is necessary to maintain performance, stability, and security. This upgrade will also bring a new look to NILE, designed to work better on small screens and mobile devices. Some of the colours and layout will be slightly different and there will be standardised colours across all sites. If you have previously used fontawesome icons in your NILE sites, these will no longer be displayed after the upgrade, but the surrounding content will be preserved.
We are pleased to announce that your 1819 module and programme sites have been created and are now ready to receive your content, so you can self-enrol now.
This year (as last) we have again chosen to differentiate between courses taught at the University and those delivered by our academic partners, to reflect the different needs of all concerned and so LearnTech has developed and updated separate templates, making for a more tailored student (and staff) experience.
The template and NILE Standards have been updated for 2018-19 following recommendations approved at the University’s Student Experience Committee and Faculty SECs. Please refer to these for up-to-date guidance on what to include in which section of your NILE sites when preparing them for the coming academic year.
You will note that in-site guidance has again been streamlined to allow for any necessary dynamic updates throughout the academic year, incorporating links to existing support, thus avoiding duplication and avoiding potentially conflicting advice. We have again included the ‘Support for Tutors’ and ‘Support for Students’ resources lists, so please also refer to these for your own assistance and for that of your students.
The template is designed to build on last year’s updating of content: you should therefore all find yourselves in a strong position for this year’s plan to copy over only what is required for the coming years teaching. N.B. If you are using Pearsons content, please do not copy over any site content without first contacting Learning Technology.
For those of you unfamiliar with the process of preparing your sites for the coming year, we have provided updated guidance on how to do this, as well as having Learning Technology team members on standby should you require extra support and assistance. Please email LearnTech Support in the first instance or contact your designated LearnTech.
NILE is integrated into the Active Blended Learning (ABL) process at The University of Northampton and we need to ensure that it is being used effectively by staff in order to provide a quality student experience.
Building on the guidance which was initially produced in January 2012, the framework has now been updated to cover the minimum standards which are expected on a NILE site. This was approved at University SEC on 28th February, 2018 and is subsequently being used as the basis for the new NILE templates which have been developed for the 2018/19 academic year.
The LearnTech team is pleased to share some updates and improvements around assessments and related processes in NILE.
Firstly, the Team had been tasked with exploring existing options for applying prompts for students within NILE for both Turnitin and Blackboard assignments as soon as the submission deadline had passed, and non-submission of assessments had been identified. The following solution will provide consistent standardised responses and so allow for appropriate action to be taken to support students. The text going out to students has been approved at the Student Experience Committee.
Updated guidance has been produced as a result and is now available. For Turnitin and Blackboard assignments, tutors have an option to send emails to students who have not submitted an assignment by the due date (including tests, surveys, graded discussion boards, journals or blogs):
While staff may have used Turnitin’s ‘Email non-submitters’ option previously, you should be aware that students who are unavailable in your NILE sites will still receive these notifications. Our recommended guidance avoids this outcome.
Secondly, tutors will notice that they now have another option available to them when setting up assessments in NILE – Qwickly Jot. This tool allows you to select an image for students to markup and submit as a piece of work: for example, you may want your students to label a biological diagram or plot a graph. The submissions are linked directly with the Blackboard grade centre, so they can be viewed and marked directly from your module site. Further information and guidance on how to use the tool are available here:
And finally, those of you who are familiar with the LearnTech FAQs may have noticed that they have migrated to a new home, LibAnswers - a central place for Library and Learning Services help.
You can find these along with our NILE Guides by clicking the HELP tab at the top of NILE.
As an advocate for using technology enhanced learning Senior Lecturer in Cross Cultural Management Diepiriye Kuku-Siemons discusses his motivations, process, and reflections for integrating mobile technologies into the classroom.
In this first video, he provides some guidance on how he facilitates the use of mobile technologies when students are working in groups and describes his role as a facilitator in learning sessions. The purpose of this video was to share his own thoughts about the use of mobile technologies in teaching and learning with the wider academic community via the UN Staff Facebook group.
His second video describes how using mobile devices allows students to interact with research in a more immediate and accessible way and advises that activities should be structured in a way that ensures students are mindful of the purpose of the learning activities and are not distracted by existing social media channels.
To give a full picture of the activity, students from the group volunteered to provide feedback of their experiences using mobile devices in the classroom.
The film was produced with Learning Technologist, Richard Byles, during two sessions; in the first session students used mobile technology for research and brought them back to the group for discussion. In the second Diepiriye facilitated a classroom activity in which students discussed how mobile technology provides both opportunities and challenges for business.
If you would like to see Richard Byles and Deipiriye Kuku-Siemons speaking about their ongoing work please register for the forthcoming LLS Conference on the 4th of May where they will be giving a presentation on ‘Facilitating mobile technologies in the classroom’.
On Monday 8th January around 1pm there was a routine housekeeping check on NILE to ensure that it was in line with the student record system data. Unfortunately, this did not work correctly and as a result, some students were made unavailable on sites. The students were not removed from the sites but just lost the ability to view these on their NILE list. Any assessment work previously submitted by the student to the site was retained.
The Learntech team along with IT Services worked on the problem as soon it was identified and finally corrected the problem for all students at 8pm on the 8th January. A number of students were directly in touch with the Learntech team during the afternoon / evening and access was restored for them during the day. We are working with the supplier to ensure that there is no repeat of this problem.
Kathryn Kendon has agreed that for students impacted by this problem with assignments due in 8th January and 9th January, revised deadlines of 10th January (for those with deadlines of 8th January) and 11th January (for those with deadlines of 9th January) will apply. The list of modules which were impacted by the problem have been identified and module leaders were contacted on Tuesday 9th January by the Student Records teams. The extensions will only apply to students impacted by the problem on the affected modules.
Welcome back and happy New Year from the LearnTech Team!
We are delighted to announce the new cycle of LearnTech lunchtimes. For those of you as yet unfamiliar with this training and as a reminder for everyone else, LT lunchtime sessions currently introduce some of our core NILE tools and some specific SaGE elements, including their potential applications and how these technologies can enhance your teaching and learning.
Please note, where more than one session per tool is being offered in the next cycle, the first (and where appropriate third) will be run in the Tpod at Park and the second offered virtually in a Collaborate virtual classroom. In addition, we will happily offer parallel sessions at Avenue Campus on a request basis; please contact Vicky Brown, Learning Technology Manager to arrange.
Please see below for the full schedule of offerings and booking links:
Kaltura/ MediaSpace (video)
Kaltura is the University’s single video solution; this is a chance for those who have already started to engage with this tool and those as yet to experience it. Areas covered include an introduction to MediaSpace; video capture using CaptureSpace; uploading video to MediaSpace; embedding video content in NILE; using quizzes in Kaltura.
Friday 19 January – 12:30-13:30 – Park Campus, Library, Tpod
Monday 12 March – 12:30-13:30 – Collaborate Virtual Classroom (link will become live ahead of session)
Tuesday 8 May – 12:30-13:30 – Park Campus, Library, Tpod
Please sign up here: http://bit.ly/2fWkTbG
Collaborate (Virtual Classroom)
This session will introduce those new to using online virtual classrooms (Northampton is licensed for Collaborate: Ultra Experience until 2020) as well as for those who are curious to learn about new functionalities now available in the tool. Topics may cover some of the following: setting up the tool in your NILE sites; inviting attendees; sharing files/ applications/ the virtual whiteboard; running a virtual classroom session; moderating sessions; recording sessions; break-out rooms.
Monday 12 February – 12:30-13:30 – Park Campus, Library, Tpod
Thursday 12 April – 12:30-13:30 – Collaborate Virtual Classroom (link will become live ahead of session)
Thursday 7 June – 12:30-13:30 – Park Campus, Library, Tpod
Please sign up here: http://bit.ly/2eG7mZR
Edublogs / MyPad (blogging tool)
Edublogs (MyPad) is the University’s personal and academic (WordPress) blogging tool and can be used in a number of ways to communicate and share learning resources. Topics covered may include: creation of individual / class student blogs; use of menus/ media; blog administration within modules; creation of class websites.
Wednesday 28 February – 12:30-13:30 – Park Campus, Library, Tpod
Wednesday 25 April – 12:30-13:30 – Collaborate Virtual Classroom (link will become live ahead of session)
Tuesday 19 June – 12:30-13:30 – Park Campus, Library, Tpod
Please sign up here: http://bit.ly/2f4BEUM
Have you heard about the use of rubrics in NILE and wondering what all the fuss is about? Want to find out how to grade your assessments electronically using rubrics? Curious to know how you can streamline your marking by using quantitative and/ or qualitative rubrics?
Come along to this LT lunchtime session to find out more about how to enhance and enrich feedback for your students using these tools in NILE.
Thursday 29 March – 12:30-13:30 – Park Campus, Library, Tpod
Please sign up here: http://bit.ly/2pNL0H8
Groups are a powerful tool in NILE that can be used to facilitate and manage group assignments, and enable communication and collaboration for students.
If you are interested in seeing how to easily create groups, set an assignment (e.g. Group Presentation or online Debate), AND potentially reduce administration and marking time, whilst still maintaining quality of feedback, then please sign up ….
Tuesday 30 January - 12:30-13:30 – Park Campus, Library, Tpod
Wednesday 23 May – 12:30-13:30 – Collaborate Virtual Classroom (link will become live ahead of session)
Please sign up here: http://bit.ly/2pNRmXb
In addition the following training sessions are currently scheduled for Xerte – N.B. these are 2.5 hours in duration:
Xerte (online content creation tools)
Xerte is a University supported tool used to create interactive e-learning and online content.
In this training session you will be introduced to the software templates, page types, features and tools available to enable you to produce an interactive e-learning session or online content provision.
You will also learn about the importance of instructional design for your e-learning and online content projects, and benefit from some useful hints and tips, technical advice and items relevant to developing e-content generally.
Park Campus, Library, LLS IT Training Room
Wednesday 24 January – 10:00-12:30 (LLS IT Training Room)
Thursday 1 March – 13:30-16:00 (LLS IT Training Room)
Wednesday 25 April – 13:30-16:00 (LLS IT Training Room)
Please sign up here: http://bit.ly/2fYwKpY
Further to our post advising on forthcoming changes to inline grading in Blackboard (NILE), a reminder that the new service, New Box view, will be available from 3 January 2018.
In preparation for this, LearnTech has begun to publish some FAQs for staff and students to provide further guidance on some of the functionality of the new tool which you are welcome to view now and of course to refer back to when the new system goes live.
Upcoming changes to Inline Grading
The third party service (known as the Crocodoc plug-in) used by Blackboard’s inline grading tool is being discontinued and replaced. If you are using Blackboard’s inline grading to give students feedback, this information is for you.
Box, the provider of the service used by inline grading, have announced that Crocodoc will no longer be supported after 15 January 2018, and that all users will therefore need to start using the replacement, New Box View.
What is inline grading?
Inline grading is the ability to use a web browser to annotate student attempts on a Blackboard assignment. The screenshot below shows a student’s assignment attempt:
Are you affected by this?
You are only affected if you use Blackboard assignments to collect and feedback on your students’ work, and if you use the inline grading tools to annotate.
The ‘Feedback to Learner’ box (right hand side of the screenshot, above) is not affected.
Does this apply to Turnitin?
No, Turnitin is a separate plug-in.
What is going to happen next?
The LearnTech team have been testing the New Box View, as well as how it will affect the other features of Blackboard, prior to making the switch.
We will update you with further guidance via the LearnTech blog prior to switching over, so watch this space.
New Box view will be activated on 3 January 2018; we wanted to give you some advanced notice so that you can make any necessary adjustments, as guided by the following information.
What about existing work marked in Crocodoc?
Any assignments currently graded with the Crocodoc function will be migrated automatically over to New Box View.
|Annotations made in Crocodoc will not be editable once they have been migrated to New Box View– they will be burned into the document.This applies to all existing annotations on a submission in Crocodoc – regardless of whether it has yet been released to students or not.|
What will change?
|Comparison of New Crocodoc and New Box View|
|Crocodoc||New Box View|
|File types||.pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .xls, .xlsx, .doc, .docx||Over 100 different file types|
|Annotation types||Text and point-based comments, highlighting, and drawing||Point-based comments and highlighting|
|Download||You can download a copy of a student file with the option to download in the original format or in a PDF version that includes the annotations||You can download a copy of a student file, but annotations won’t appear|
Where can I read more?
Blackboard’s Help site has more detailed information on the transition from Crocodoc to New Box View.
As previously mentioned, we will be posting more information on the LearnTech blog, as well as the NILE welcome page for staff.
Who can I contact?
Contact the Learntech Support team with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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