Transcript Document
Learning Edge – The Students’
Ideal VLE
Adrian Cain
The VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) today
Infrastructure – The VLE, it usage and other technologies
Student views - Headlines from EHU eLearning Survey
Considerations of your design
Student informed VLE – Enhancing your online practice
Specifics (and solutions (Handout))
Ideal VLE question (Students’ voice)
NSS Comments
How to stay informed
Tip and tricks
Staff development
Considerations of your potential design
The VLE of the future
Change – Can we predict it? What do we look at?
Analytics – Informing the future
• 2011-12 Annual Edge Hill University Student eLearning Survey – (4th
Annual survey. Est. 2008)
• ‘The 5 Most Important Things My Lecturer Does’ (CLTR Conference
2012) - Colin Gibson, President, Edge Hill University Students
Union (Prime data sources – Personal EHU Research and EHU
Teaching Awards)
• 2012 NSS – EHU Students comments
• BB Exemplary Course Rubric
• Data stats – Google analytics
EHU students voice - No staff opinion or other external sources or publications
The VLE (Virtual Learning
Environment) today
Growth of the VLE
Other technologies
The Students’ Views
Some Headlines from the
2011-12 Annual Edge Hill University
Student eLearning Survey
Insight into our students’ experience and
expectations of TEL
The EHU Student eLearning Surveys:
Headlines from the 4th EHU Student eLearning Survey:
Learning Edge
78.7% agree that it enhances the knowledge and understanding
they get from lectures, tutorials and practical sessions.
74.9 use it ‘a lot’
95.7% think it is important
“This is the first time I have used eLearning and I love it, it gives me
freedom to log in wherever I have time and continue my study with
ease and it is fast and effective.”
87.6% agree that the announcements enable them to keep track
of changes to the delivery of modules.
51.4 % agree that online discussions are important
“Tutors being able to keep us up to date on any changes. I get them
emailed to my phone so I always receive them as soon as they are sent
so I have the information on me at all times.”
“Being able to communicate with others on my course is important, to
be able to discuss ideas and thoughts on lectures”
“When the lecturer fails to update with recent lecture notes, or fails to
provide regular announcements to keep us informed of assessment
dates/date changes/lecture changes etc”
Content/Lecture Notes
94.7% agree that Accessing lecture notes & presentations is
important to them
65.2% thought it was important to access video or audio clips
“Availability of lecture notes prior to lecture so that I can print out and
add my own notes to them during the lecture.”
“It is a more practical way of being able to look at previous lectures as
well as having your notes because you cannot write everything down.”
84% agree that it is important that they can submit/collect
assignments online.
42.7% agree that Online self-tests & quizzes are important
“I find having access to lecture notes/slides enables me to reinforce any
learning I have partaken in, and the quizzes/mocks are a useful way of
checking learning is up to date.”
Design and Layout
“Consistent format across all modules means I know where to look for
“Inconsistency of layout between modules e.g. where TurnItIn is located
varies and can be difficult for some to find.”
“Layout and colour changes make it more personal and colour which
suits you for looking at the screen”
Learning Edge has a 99.9% availability record and is linked directly to the
Student Information System
Students concerns around the consistency and application of Learning Edge
features and tools are becoming more apparent as access or other technical
issues reduce.
Other Technologies… Facebook
54.8 % agree that Facebook could be used to support student
Student 'owned' technology to support informal learning – the
idea of a Facebook 'Hub' (drawing there own materials in)
compared to the Learning Edge 'classroom/ Library‘
There are some references to tutor participation in student Facebook
groups but these areas are largely student-owned and managed.
Staff wishing to participate in Facebook groups should be aware of the
potential risks in befriending students as advised by JISC Legal in Facing up
to Facebook: A Guide for FE and HE
Other Technologies… Mobile
50.5% agree Mobile Technologies could support student learning
59% of Mobile Learn app users found it useful
55.8% of participants own a smartphone (36.1% in 2011)
“Can look up lecture notes (on Mobile Learn App) while in lecture if
lecturer is going too fast and still manage to copy down notes.”
“The announcements on a mobile device are not very easy to navigate.”
45% of total internet use was conducted via a mobile device
6 million people accessed the Internet over their mobile phone for the first
time in the previous 12 months
Source: Data from Office for National Statistics ‘Internet Access - Households and
Individuals, 2011 Bulletin’
Discuss your use of the VLE and other technologies. Share
your practice with your group; talk about what you think
works well, and why.
Use the BB course evaluation rubric handout to frame your
discussion/thoughts around your use of the VLE
Student informed VLE Enhancing your online practice
What would an
Learning Edge contain?
Student comments from the 4th EHU Student eLearning Survey:
Student Survey – Themes
Contacts: names, office hours, contacts (staff & student)
Content: instructions, lecture notes, handbooks, journal articles,
eBooks, calendar, sample assignments, past exam paper
Communication: announcements, notifications, updates,
dynamic information
Communities: messaging, chat tools, forums for discussion,
instant messaging, mail, social network
Challenges: blogs, journals, wikis, turnitin, self study quizzes
(formative support, progress checks)
The Students’ Ideal VLE (Student eLearning Survey)
 “access lectures via skype”
 “an option to watch the lecture later”
(Collaborate Archive)
 “make the mark available online”
(My Grades/Grade Centre Tool)
 “a notification or an email would reduce the need to constantly
check for updates”
(Discussion Subscription, Retention Centre (Early Warning
The Students’ Ideal VLE (Student eLearning Survey)
 “Direct access to ebooks…”
(Persistent Links - Discovery Tools)
 “…specific library catalogue for the specific course that you are
(Consistent approach, Persistent Links - Library Catalogue)
“…user interface that knows what you've read/need to read”
(Set Review Status)
The Students’ Ideal VLE (Student eLearning Survey)
 “… a clearer list of my tutors…”
(Contacts –Tool Link, Word Doc, Item)
 “… Group Creation tools allowing collaboration for coursework
but keeping my group work private.”
(Groups Tool – Private Blogs, Wikis, Discussion, Content etc.)
 “…forums to chat with people from the same course”
(Discussion or Chat)
 “…due dates of any assignments in a calendar”
(Calendar Tool – Course and Programme)
The Students’ Ideal VLE (Student eLearning Survey)
 “… More tests, maybe through multiple choice.”
(Test and Survey Tools)
 “… Booking form for tutors” A trial took place!
Students Control My Life
(Charles Knight - JISC Elevator idea pitch)
The 5 Most Important Things My Lecturer Does
Colin Gibson, SU President, Edge Hill University Students Union
‘… important the basic things are to students….’
• 3.8 (Likert 1-5) of all students mainly use LE for information;
such as revision notes and recommended reading
…….so not just PowerPoints!
• Submit online “… a little thing we changed which made a big
difference to our student’s lives.”
• Students felt that the open calendar idea was very accessible
and approachable and recognised it was a ‘big ask, … and
student focused’
• Is there anything your lecturer doesn't do? …. Understand LE
‘…really, really powerful tool if its just used right’
NSS (2012)
EHU 1st in North West for 7 out of 21 questions
Organisation and Management (11/14 – North West)
13. The timetable works efficiently as far as my activities are
14. Any changes in the course or teaching have been
communicated effectively
15. The course is well organised and is running smoothly
Important note of balance for the next few slides
A summary of (potentially) associated negative comment …… but we got lots of
really good ones too!!
NSS Comments (baseline)
‘The online Blackboard teaching can be unreliable’ (FDEYLEAD)
‘General organisation. Blackboard not being available’ (FDTLSEC)
‘The universities virtual learning environment is not very good’
‘Blackboard was not explained clearly when it changed over to two
sections’ (FDEYLEAD)
‘I feel Blackboard should have been completed before the start of Sept.
2011, to save confusion and swapping between the two’ (FDEYLEAD)
‘Access to Blackboard was sometimes difficult’ (HLEARNIS)
NSS Comments (T & L and support)
‘As a distance learner…Blackboard system has been good for me but I
notice a lot of people fail to benefit from this facility’ (FDTLSEC)
‘Blackboard is infuriating, still nothing posted and the course started 9
days ago emails are not answered promptly when flagged as important.
Support is given when one decided to quit rather than when one is
struggling’ (FDPROFDEV)
‘Lots of information not put on Blackboard’ (FDTLSEC)
‘learning edge module content, that was often withheld until a few days
after the session we had attended - before would be good, but we often
spent the whole lesson going through it slide by slide rather than
discussing and having social interaction, which is where I find that you
really learn things, through other people’ (ITTPRIM)
NSS Comments (Resources)
Resources aren’t going to change overnight – we need to communicate
what we have better
• Not enough books in the Library
– reading lists
– ebooks
– digitise sections
– permalinks
• Not enough computers at key times in the Library
– app for un-used PC
– help-desk to log off students who have left PCs
How to stay informed ………and
get (a little) organised
Some Tips, Tricks & Ideas
Set Time Parameters on Announcements
Enable Discussion Forum Subscription
Format Your ‘Items’
Preview your course with ‘Add Test Student’
Monitor student activity with the Performance Dashboard
Keep in touch with the Retention Centre
Filter Grade Book information with Smart Views
Run ‘course reports’ to analyse usage stats
Build a mobile friendly course
 Set Time Parameters on Announcements
Options available when:
– Creating or
– Editing an Announcement
Blackboard OnDemand Video Guide
 Enable Discussion Forum Subscription
Encourage students to ‘subscribe’ to discussions
Users emailed when new posts/replies are made
Reduces staff and student need to constantly
check for updates
• Forum settings available:
– When creating a new forum
– Via the forum’s Edit menu
• Must tick ‘Allow Member to subscribe …’
 Format your ‘Items’
Use the HTML editor to improve
the appearance of your text:
• Font sizes
• Colour
• Highlights
• Hyperlinks
Be consistent throughout the
Remember to attach .pdf files
which are mobile friendly and
printable as well.
 Preview your course with ‘Add Test Student’
Go to the course:
• Control Panel
• Course Tools
• Add Test Student
• The panel opposite appears:
Your student account name is:
• YourLoginName_S (i.e. caina_s)
You can add this student to any course you are an
instructor on.
Learning Edge: Add Test Student
 Monitor student activity with the Performance
Summary of a student’s
discussion contributions
Verify the visibility of
selectively released
content to a student
Directly access to the
Grade Book with a
Individuals viewed
Blackboard OnDemand Video Guide
 Keep in touch with the Retention Centre
Highlight students with low scores
so you can take remedial action or
high scores to offer positive
Contact students that have not
logged in for X weeks to remind
them that participation is a required
element of the course.
Due Dates
Send a reminder to students to
submit their overdue assignments,
surveys or tests.
Customise (Create Rule)
Missed Deadlines, Grades Alert, Activity Alert and Access Alert
You can monitor multiple different parameters
 Filter Grade Book information with Smart
View a sub-section of the Full Grade
Great for large cohorts and multiple
Can be created to filter by:
– Group
– Specified Performance
– User (manually select a number
of users)
– Category / Status (eg. needs
– Custom (A combination of filters)
Blackboard OnDemand Video Guide
 Run ‘course reports’ to analyse usage stats
User Activity in Content Areas
User Activity in Forums
User Activity in Groups
Summary of User Activity
Blackboard OnDemand Video Guide
Enable Additional Tracking Statistics
Blackboard OnDemand Video Guide
 Build a mobile friendly course
• Use tools that work well ‘on-the-go’ with the app
– grades, announcements, journals, discussions, tasks, media, blogs
• Format content for mobile viewing
– .pdf file attachments
– Mp3 and mp4 video and audio links
• Help students use the apps
– promote Mobile Learn & EHU Central
– remind students to set their notification
eShare Guides
Blackboard Mobile Learn: Best Practices for
Making Online Courses Mobile-Friendly
Staff Development
LTD offer teaching and learning training:
• Face-to-face group sessions
• Online resources – Blog, Guides, On Demand
• One-to-one sessions
• Campaigns:
• VLE Upgrade
• Emerging Technologies
• Collaborate
• Assignment Handler
• Baseline / Getting Started
DDE Blackboard area – Coming soon!
Learning Services offers other training such as ICT,
information literacy, technologies for researchers etc.
Staff Development
The iPad - An exploration of the potential uses of
this particular tablet computer.
Web Feeds - Using RSS feeds to keep up to date
with information from the web.
Mobile Devices - An introduction to using
mobile devices, including a look at using
Blackboard Mobile.
Audio and Video - An introduction to the
different ways audio and video can be used in
education, including creation and hosting.
Blogging - Advice on setting up a blog
and using it for your team’s purpose.
Clicker Systems - Ways in which
classroom voting systems can be used.
Mobile Friendly Content Preparing your course content with
mobile access in mind.
Images - Advice on using images in
Learning Edge.
Technical Support
Learning Services Helpdesk
ltdsupport email
LTD Operations Co-ordinator
Faculty Administrators
Level’s of support
1 – Help desks
2 – LTDOs
3 – Escalated to providers
Exemptions include; Content and tool development/management/set-up, bespoke
process issues, enrolment issues, etc.
“… whether the use of technology could
enhance your practice.”
Reflect and evaluate how the use of technology could enhance
your practice: Consider
Why is your idea Appropriate?
How will you go about implementing it?
What are the challenges?
Are there any risks?
Use the BB course evaluation rubric handout to frame your
discussion/thoughts around your use of the VLE
The VLE of the future
Change …
• How could the technologies of the future change
Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less
Mobile Apps, Tablet Computing
Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years
Game-Based Learning, Learning Analytics
Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years
Gesture-Based Computing, Internet of Things
• Who should be in control of learning? VLEs v PLEs
• What skills will enhance students employability?
(Digital Literacy, 9K Expectations – Colin Gibson)
• What is the point of a University Education?
(Open Educational Courses, Badges)
• Analytics – giving accurate and timely quantitative student
engagement data.
Horizon Report 2012
• Informed by local and national student surveys.
• Analytics (Mobile) - to inform your design
Bitesize information applicable to peak usage (Morning, Lunch,
evening, travel periods)
• Faculty Welcome Sites (Blackboard)
To give pre-enrolled students an insight into the online learning
environment with regard to their faculty
(In conjunction with a CRM Getting Started area)
Thank you & Questions
Resources & Reading
eShare Collection: The EHU Student eLearning Surveys:
Headlines from the 4th EHU Student eLearning Survey:
BB Exemplary Course Rubric:
VLE Design Aesthetics - Some Ideas:
Audit for Dyslexia Friendly VLE:
Exemplar A-Z Student Guide to Blackboard:
Blackboard Mobile Learn: Best Practices for Making Online Courses Mobile-Friendly:
eShare Collection: Learning Edge: Blackboard Mobile Learn:
Moving assessed student presentations online: how a change in practice brought "...a breath of
fresh air" to the student experience:
Resources & Reading
Horizon Report 2012:
7 Things You Should Know About Analytics:
EDUCAUSE: 7 Things You Should Know about…:
Practice with Personal Learning Environments:
Developing digital literacy in higher education:
Digital literacy can boost employability and improve student experience:
The Emerging Landscape of Educational Delivery Models:
Learning from MOOCS:
MOOC Reflections, Clark Quinn:
Open Badges: