From the 8-10 April, 2013, three members of the LearnTech team presented papers at the European Blackboard Teaching and Learning conference. The annual conference allowed the team to network with teams from other institutions who also use Blackboard and ensure that Northampton was making best use of the technology available.

As with most large conferences, there were often multiple stands covering different areas available at the same time. These covered subjects such as the increasing use of mobile devices; Analytics; benchmarking of courses; quality of courses; product roadmaps;  e-submission and marking techniques; and integration tips.

Adel Gordon teamed up with Pepijn Kalis of Blackboard to present a session on using rubrics to enhance and augment the marking process – their presentation, hosted on Slideshare, demonstrated a number of different approaches to the use of this tool.

Rob Howe presented a session which explained the audit process which was used to inform the development of NILE site templates. The Powerpoint (also on Slideshare) used an analogy of students finding content being similar to the problem of finding Wally in the “Where’s Wally” books.

During the final session of the conference, Rachel Maxwell was joined by Kardi Somerfield from Northampton Business School to present a session on how to develop engaging / sticky NILE sites which encourage students to return. The presentation built on the research conducted during an URB@N project to identify what students wanted from NILE areas.

All of the Northampton sessions were well attended and the feedback very positive. Subsequent requests for further follow up discussions with many of the European institutions which attended based on our presentations show the relevance of our work. For further details on any aspect of the conference please contact

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