Posts by: achollo

This summer, we’re moving away from using the Panopto system to expand and extend the use of our Kaltura MediaSpace platform.

We have enjoyed an excellent service from Panopto, but based on a number of factors, including lots of feedback from staff, we’ve decided to move away from Panopto and instead use our MediaSpace platform to support all our video capture, storage and streaming needs going forward to Waterside. This means we’re going to migrate your content out of Panopto and onto MediaSpace over this summer. So, if you use currently Panopto, can we ask that you do not create any new materials from now on, and instead start using MediaSpace instead.

If you’re new to MediaSpace then there are some useful Help videos at, like this video and we are happy to run training sessions and 1:1’s on request, or you can email if you have specific questions.

Please note, you will not be able to access Panopto beyond 8th July 2016. The videos in NILE will still be viewable by students, but staff will not be able to record any new videos.

There will be more communication from us, to ensure your content is transferred smoothly and that you are confident using the MediaSpace platform but if you have any questions, then please get in touch.

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For anyone who doesn’t know, Blackboard is the software which powers NILE. We produce lots of our own Help guides and support materials and keep them under the NILE Help tab, but Blackboard also produce a lot of support which staff will find helpful. Right now, there is a YouTube playlist full of useful videos which you might want to take a look at. Some of the videos will be of more interest than others but there’s fifty-five of them so there’s sure to be some worth a peek at.

Click here to view the video playlist

If you want a suggestion then I’d point you towards the bottom of the list to Student Preview, which is a new feature on NILE. In fact, while you’re down there you could also look at how to upload Test questions to NILE using an Excel spreadsheet as it’ll make the process of setting up a Test on NILE much easier.

Have a look and get in touch with the team if you need any support from a real person.


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Written by Rebecca Heaton

On 10th July an art and ICT Teach Meet event /art exhibition was held at the Northampton Contemporary Art Gallery showcasing the work of students and local school teachers who have been influenced by the universities Innovation fund projects Stem to SteAm and Technology Outdoors, supported by the School of Education, colleagues from UCEE and the LearnTech team.









The event took the form of an artistic ‘happening’ bringing the outside inside to celebrate a year’s worth of work surrounding the projects. Everyone involved had an enjoyable evening, participants could take part in a number of workshops: light-trails, animation and batik whilst artist Emma Davis created collaborative work in response to the event. To explore and share the evening take a look at the storify created.

Prizes were awarded to many teachers at the event with Bridgewater school winning a set of resources to support iPad use in the curriculum donated by Rising Stars. The school developed a whole school project ‘Bridgecraft’ aligned with the Stem to SteAm agenda. The teachers presenting praised how the university supported and inspired developments in their practice by providing project websites, CPD network groups and media days as part of the innovation projects.


Thanks to everyone who was able to make this month’s App Cafe. I know it’s not always easy to find the time, but we’re very pleased eight people were able to come along and share their experiences, interests and views on mobile learning. In this session we took SIRI as the starting point for our session and began with a hands-on look at how accurate SIRI is. We talked about Dragon Dictate as an alternative PC-based voice-to-speech solution and the discussion then moved on to research ethics, accessibility and other issues which rose naturally amongst the group.







The App Cafe happens at 1pm on the first Monday of each month and anyone is welcome to come along and share. We have experience of iPad technology but these sessions are conversational rather than training-focused so if you use an Android or other mobile device, please come along and share.

We publicise the theme of each session a couple of days before as we like to be spontaneous. If you can’t make a Monday or you have an interest in a specific application or a learning and teaching question in relation to mobile technology, then get in touch and we’ll try and support you.




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When a member of staff suspects academic misconduct the University policy is that the student’s grade is exempted (or suspended) pending the outcome of the investigation. During this time the student should not be able to access their provisional grade. Prior to Submitting and Grading Electronically (SaGE) students whose grades were suspended due to suspected misconduct were allocated a ZZ Grade.






The Exempt Grade tool in NILE is the electronic equivalent of the ZZ Grade, and if you are considering using it for the first time we have already produced a useful guide, accessible via the NILE Help tab.

However, since writing the original guidance, a member of the teaching staff has helped identify a bug which is not detailed in the guide, but this bug is significant only if staff use the Exempt Grade tool where a rubric has been used to grade a student paper.

If the Exempt Grade feature has been applied to a paper marked with a rubric then once the Post Date passes, although the grade appears to be hidden from the student, they can still access the associated rubric via the Feedback and Grades link in their NILE module. This means a student can potentially access their provisional numeric grade from the rubric, and convert the numeric to a letter grade.

This bug has been reported to Blackboard, but it won’t be fixed for the 14-15 academic year so we have developed a technical workaround we can offer staff who need to exempt a student’s grade which has been marked using a rubric.

If you would like help relating to the Exempt Grade tool, or any other part of the Grade Centre, then please get in touch with and we will be happy to offer support and training.

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There seem to be more and more staff at Northampton getting their hands on a mobile device. It’s either something they’ve bought themselves, or they are borrowing an iPad or iPod from stock purchased by their academic school. This is great news. We think these devices have real value as tools for learning and teaching, which is why we’ve started our monthly App Cafe sessions.

On the first Monday of the month between 1-2pm in the tPod at Park Campus, we come together to share apps and examples of good practice, drink coffee and even snaffle a pastry or two. The agenda for these sessions is intentionally loose. We don’t know what level people are at, some might be very comfortable with their own device, others are totally new to mobile devices. We want to try and focus on a single app each session and look at the learning angle on it. We’ll bring along some of our devices for staff to play with, and make the sessions practical and active.

Our first session focused on iPad Essentials, which was hard to nail down as there are so many apps to choose from, but we had a go and here are links to our small selection:


Accessing your University emails from your mobile is something we find essential, it’s not strictly learning or teaching but it’s pretty much an essential in our eyes.


When you set up an email account, you can also choose to sync your Outlook calendar to your mobile, which is something we’d find hard to live without. The thing to be aware of with both email and your calendar is to if it’s not your machine then you need to delete your account when you’re finished with it. Speak to use if you need help setting it up.


You can use iNorthampton to find staff in the directory, check timetables, browse the library catalogue and access your NILE modules via the Blackboard Mobile Learn app. It even has a map of the campus if you ever get lost on the way to class!



More and more staff are recording their lectures for students to access outside of class and this app is a great way to view many of the excellent video recordings available.


Finally, my favourite. Flipboard is a superb way to pull together into one place all the latest news from websites you’d like to follow. It’s hard to find time at your PC to trawl through dozens of websites, twitter feeds and personal blogs which focus on your teaching interests. Flipboard brings all these sources together and can keep you updated on professional issues, relevant discussions and current trends. If you’ve been avoiding Twitter then get an account, install Flipboard and you’ll never look back.

Okay, that’s all for now. There are so many other apps we could have chosen, but I wanted to keep the list short. Apple produce a range of apps which include word processing and presentation tools, and though they’re not free like the ones I’ve listed, they are great ways to stay productive.

Come along to an App Cafe, if you have time, or bookmark our blog for updates if you’re not free on each first Monday of the month. We are also happy to run small school-focused group sessions if you’d prefer so get in touch with us at




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We meet on the first Monday of every month from 1-2pm, in the T-Pod, second floor of Park Library. The provisional programme is as follows:

  • November – Mobile Essentials
  • December – Assessments
  • January 2014 – Presentation Tools
  • February – Communication
  • March – iNorthampton / Mobile NILE
  • April – Focus on Audio-Visual
  • May – Collaboration
  • June – Student Feedback
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Al Holloway, Learning Technologist at University of Northampton talks to School of Health staff member Angie Bartoli on her use of Twitter for collaboration and communication in the field of social work.

Listen to episode 6

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Al Holloway, Learning Technologist at University of Northampton talks to School of Education lecturer Helen Caldwell on her use of Edublogs for student portfolios.

Listen to episode 5

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In this forth episode Al Holloway, Learning Technologist at University of Northampton talks to School of Education staff member Jean Edwards on her use of WordPress for student communication.

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