digital education office logo

Introduction to Blackboard for administrative and support staff

Blackboard is the University of Bristol’s centrally supported Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Blackboard provides a range of tools for communication, collaboration, and assessment as well as offering an online area to share resources like course notes and reading lists. This workshop will provide an introduction to the key features of Blackboard most used by administrative and support staff, including:

  • Course setup and life cycle
  • Enrolment
  • Adding content such as files, folders and web links
  • Using communication tools e.g. email and announcements
  • Online submission
  • Common student and staff queries

Pre-requisites

This course is intended for administrative or support staff who are new to Blackboard or wish to refresh their knowledge.

Book here.

digital education office logo

Introduction to Blackboard for academic and research staff

Blackboard is the University of Bristol’s centrally supported Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Blackboard provides a range of tools for communication, collaboration, and assessment as well as offering an online area to share resources like course notes and reading lists. This workshop will provide an introduction to Blackboard’s tools and features. As part of the workshop participants will build their own Blackboard course and if possible should bring materials such as reading lists, lecture notes or ideas for online activities to the workshop.

The aim of this workshop is to provide a concise overview of the tools and features of Blackboard, enable participants to create their own courses and share ideas on how Blackboard can be used to support learning and teaching based on examples from the University of Bristol.

By the end of the workshop participants will be able to:

  • Identify key features of the Blackboard VLE
  • Design and create a Blackboard course that includes communication, collaboration and assessment tools
  • Discuss some of the key issues associated with online learning

Pre-requisites

This course is intended for all academic and research staff who are new to Blackboard or wish to refresh their knowledge. Participants are encouraged to bring materials they wish to publish online (Word documents, web pages, Powerpoints, etc.) to work with during the session.

Contact information

To book, please see our booking form on Eventbrite. Introduction to Blackboard for academic and research staff.
 
For further information please contact us.
digital education office logo

Introduction to Blackboard for academic and research staff

Blackboard is the University of Bristol’s centrally supported Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Blackboard provides a range of tools for communication, collaboration, and assessment as well as offering an online area to share resources like course notes and reading lists. This workshop will provide an introduction to Blackboard’s tools and features. As part of the workshop participants will build their own Blackboard course and if possible should bring materials such as reading lists, lecture notes or ideas for online activities to the workshop.

The aim of this workshop is to provide a concise overview of the tools and features of Blackboard, enable participants to create their own courses and share ideas on how Blackboard can be used to support learning and teaching based on examples from the University of Bristol.

By the end of the workshop participants will be able to:

  • Identify key features of the Blackboard VLE
  • Design and create a Blackboard course that includes communication, collaboration and assessment tools
  • Discuss some of the key issues associated with online learning

Pre-requisites

This course is intended for all academic and research staff who are new to Blackboard or wish to refresh their knowledge. Participants are encouraged to bring materials they wish to publish online (Word documents, web pages, Powerpoints, etc.) to work with during the session.

Contact information

To book, please see our booking form on Eventbrite. Introduction to Blackboard for academic and research staff.
 
For further information please contact us.
digital education office logo

Introduction to Blackboard for administrative and support staff

Blackboard is the University of Bristol’s centrally supported Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Blackboard provides a range of tools for communication, collaboration, and assessment as well as offering an online area to share resources like course notes and reading lists. This workshop will provide an introduction to the key features of Blackboard most used by administrative and support staff, including:

  • Course setup and life cycle
  • Enrolment
  • Adding content such as files, folders and web links
  • Using communication tools e.g. email and announcements
  • Online submission
  • Common student and staff queries

Pre-requisites

This course is intended for administrative or support staff who are new to Blackboard or wish to refresh their knowledge.

Book here.

Teaching Stories

The Primary Experience: What Can We Learn about Cross-Institutional Changes?

The following post was written by Dr. Isabel Hopwood-Stephens, a TESTA Researcher.

As one of the TESTA researchers attached to BILT, I’m going to be involved in collecting and analysing data about Bristol undergraduates’ experience of assessment. The aim of TESTA is to provide an evidence-based starting point for discussions among Programme Teams about how students’ experience of assessment might be improved, thereby increasing their engagement with their study and satisfaction with the course.

This is done by sharing any issues identified in the analysis and providing ideas which are likely to involve teaching staff making changes to aspects of the assessment experience; for example, offering detailed verbal feedback on a draft of an essay, which the student can use to improve it, before the essay is submitted for grading, or explicitly discussing and exemplifying the marking criteria with students to help them internalise standards.

Having a good idea about how to improve students’ experience of assessment is one thing, though; making the required modifications to working habits to enact those ideas is another. My recent research into the factors that enable or inhibit changes to assessment practice among primary school teachers has provided some interesting pointers.

As part of my study into primary teachers changing their assessment practice, I looked at the main vehicle for teachers’ professional development in primary schools: the staff meeting. I was expecting to find that staff meetings with particular characteristics – where teachers could discuss how they worked, were encouraged to raise questions, and where the focus on learning was clear – would be significantly linked to subsequent reports of school-wide changes to their assessment practice.

Instead, I found out that the characteristics of the wider workplace seemed more influential. Teachers who felt that their workplaces encouraged collaborative, cross-departmental working and innovation were more likely to also report school-wide changes to how they carried out assessment.

This made me think that the kind of professional learning that helps primary teachers to change the ways that they do their job takes place during the wider working day, through ongoing conversation with colleagues, rather than within the confines of a staff meeting. When I looked at communication style between teaching colleagues, I also found that the activities which school-wide changes to teaching practice seemed to entail – negotiation and agreement of shared goals; reflection upon and review of progress; sharing of best practice; questioning and clarification of aims – were underpinned by an open and dynamic communication style that facilitated the involvement of all in discussion and decision-making. This research was conducted with primary teachers in state-maintained primary schools, a working environment which we might consider somewhat removed from the more selective and purposeful atmosphere of a university. However, it will be interesting to see whether the characteristics of the working environment and the interpersonal communication style experienced by academic staff plays a role in enabling programme-wide changes to aspects of practice as a result of participating in TESTA.

digital education office logo

Introduction to Blackboard for academic and research staff

Blackboard is the University of Bristol’s centrally supported Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Blackboard provides a range of tools for communication, collaboration, and assessment as well as offering an online area to share resources like course notes and reading lists. This workshop will provide an introduction to Blackboard’s tools and features. As part of the workshop participants will build their own Blackboard course and if possible should bring materials such as reading lists, lecture notes or ideas for online activities to the workshop.

The aim of this workshop is to provide a concise overview of the tools and features of Blackboard, enable participants to create their own courses and share ideas on how Blackboard can be used to support learning and teaching based on examples from the University of Bristol.

By the end of the workshop participants will be able to:

  • Identify key features of the Blackboard VLE
  • Design and create a Blackboard course that includes communication, collaboration and assessment tools
  • Discuss some of the key issues associated with online learning

Pre-requisites

This course is intended for all academic and research staff who are new to Blackboard or wish to refresh their knowledge. Participants are encouraged to bring materials they wish to publish online (Word documents, web pages, Powerpoints, etc.) to work with during the session.

Contact information

To book, please see our booking form on Eventbrite. Introduction to Blackboard for academic and research staff.
 
For further information please contact us.
digital education office logo

Introduction to Blackboard for administrative and support staff

Blackboard is the University of Bristol’s centrally supported Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Blackboard provides a range of tools for communication, collaboration, and assessment as well as offering an online area to share resources like course notes and reading lists. This workshop will provide an introduction to the key features of Blackboard most used by administrative and support staff, including:

  • Course setup and life cycle
  • Enrolment
  • Adding content such as files, folders and web links
  • Using communication tools e.g. email and announcements
  • Online submission
  • Common student and staff queries

Pre-requisites

This course is intended for administrative or support staff who are new to Blackboard or wish to refresh their knowledge.

Book here

digital education office logo

Introduction to Blackboard for academic and research staff

Blackboard is the University of Bristol’s centrally supported Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Blackboard provides a range of tools for communication, collaboration, and assessment as well as offering an online area to share resources like course notes and reading lists. This workshop will provide an introduction to Blackboard’s tools and features. As part of the workshop participants will build their own Blackboard course and if possible should bring materials such as reading lists, lecture notes or ideas for online activities to the workshop.

The aim of this workshop is to provide a concise overview of the tools and features of Blackboard, enable participants to create their own courses and share ideas on how Blackboard can be used to support learning and teaching based on examples from the University of Bristol.

By the end of the workshop participants will be able to:

  • Identify key features of the Blackboard VLE
  • Design and create a Blackboard course that includes communication, collaboration and assessment tools
  • Discuss some of the key issues associated with online learning

Pre-requisites

This course is intended for all academic and research staff who are new to Blackboard or wish to refresh their knowledge. Participants are encouraged to bring materials they wish to publish online (Word documents, web pages, Powerpoints, etc.) to work with during the session.

Contact information

To book, please see our booking form on Eventbrite. Introduction to Blackboard for academic and research staff.
 
For further information please contact us.
digital education office logo

Introduction to Blackboard for administrative and support staff

Blackboard is the University of Bristol’s centrally supported Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Blackboard provides a range of tools for communication, collaboration, and assessment as well as offering an online area to share resources like course notes and reading lists. This workshop will provide an introduction to the key features of Blackboard most used by administrative and support staff, including:

  • Course setup and life cycle
  • Enrolment
  • Adding content such as files, folders and web links
  • Using communication tools e.g. email and announcements
  • Online submission
  • Common student and staff queries

Pre-requisites

This course is intended for administrative or support staff who are new to Blackboard or wish to refresh their knowledge.

News

Learning Games #2

The second ‘Learning Games’ event took place on 17th January. To give everyone a chance to eat their lunch, the session started with a discussion around the tables about where we would like to use games in our teaching, and barriers we have (except for time – time is a problem for everyone!). Each group fed back and the key barriers were:

  • Resistance to change – some colleagues may not believe that learning with games can be as effective as more ‘traditional’ forms of learning.
  • Not knowing where to start – lack of experience in making/ designing games, what to make the games for, what tools to use, etc.
  • Having the resource/ capacity – this is quite similar to lack of time but is a key point – many staff would like to take time to create a game for their learners but there is not capacity in the team.

Dr Kieren Pitts, a senior developer in Research IT, presented a game he has been working on as part of a research grant with colleagues from physiological science. The game, EyeTrain, was developed to improve oculomotor control in children and consists of three ‘scenes’ (one urban, one woodland and a high contrast scene) in which the player has to tap when they see an animal move. The game encourages the player to move their eyes in repeated, specific movements with both smooth and saccade motion. The game begins with an animal that has quite obvious movement (e.g. a hare that moves its ears) and as you improve more animals are unlocked, each with more subtle movements, and the backgrounds (scenes) becoming more complex and detailed as the player improves. Illustrations were done by Bristol-based illustrator, Alex Lucas, whose work can be seen in the School of Education and on walls across the city.

eyetrain.jpg
Example image from ‘EyeTrain’.

Settings in the game are highly configurable and it has been programmed to collect vast amounts of data to ensure its effectiveness. Early testing has shown it to be effective in improving oculomotor control in children. More information about the game can be found here.

We then heard from two members of staff who have recently been awarded Discretionary Seedcorn Funds from BILT. Dr Frankie MacMillan from the School of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience explained the card game they are making for students studying Histology. Students must place down a card, with the next player putting down a card linked the image on the card before and explaining why. If a student can not go, they can use red blood cell ‘counters’ to buy an answer off another player. They hope that this game will make quite a ‘dry’ topic more interesting and memorable as the students have to create links between the types of cells and tissue themselves.

Next, we heard from Dr Isabel Murillo Cabeza from the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and her game, Microbial Pursuit. The plan for this game is for it to be played across two sessions and is to be used as both a learning and revision tool. The first session students are split into small groups and each write multiple choice questions with three options. The students can use their lecture notes, eBioLab materials, tutorials, essays and other academic material to help them write the questions. In the second session, students are reshuffled into different groups and use the questions to play a board game, similar to the layout of Trivial Pursuit. Students can play as individuals, in pairs or in threes.

The session concluded with a short game that was based around weather predictions (but I’m not sure where the weather link came in!). We all started with a coloured counter balanced on the back of our hands and the aim of the game was to be the last person with their counter on their hand, while at the same time attempting to knock off other peoples.

If you’d like to come along to play a silly game, hear about what others are doing with games and their teaching and discuss your ideas for gamifying learning, get in touch with Chrysanthi Tseloudi or Suzi Wells to find out when the next session is on.