New Functionality in Turnitin: Assignment Template

Turnitin, our e-submission software, has introduced some new functionality regarding assignment templates.

It’s now possible to exclude templates from showing up in the Similarity Score.

To apply the exclusion, go to the Optional Settings in the Turnitin submission point and upload your assignment template:

Assignment Template.
Includes:
Upload template Create Custom template

There are requirements for your template:

  • Uploaded files must be less than 100 MB
  • Accepted file types for upload: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, WordPerfect, PostScript, PDF, HTML, RTF, OpenOffice (ODT), Hangul (HWP), and plain text
  • Templates must have at least 20 words of text

As well as uploading, you can also create a template from this interface too.

This functionality can only be applied to a submission point if there have been no submissions. Further information on using Turnitin can be found on our E-submission webpages  or you’re welcome to email us (elearning@aber.ac.uk).

Weekly Resource Roundup – 14/1/2022

As leader of our PGCTHE programme, I keep an eye out for resources to help staff teach effectively. These include webinars, podcasts, online toolkits, publications and more. Topics include active learning, online/blended teaching, accessibility/inclusion, and effective learning design based on cognitive science. Below I’ve listed items that came to my attention in the past week. In the interest of clarity, our policy is to show the titles and descriptions in the language of delivery.   

Online events and webinars

Resources and publications

Other

Please see the Staff Training booking page for training offered by the LTEU and other Aberystwyth University staff. I hope you find this weekly resource roundup useful. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact our team at lteu@aber.ac.uk. You may also wish to follow my Twitter feed, Mary Jacob L&T.  

Mini Conference Materials Available

Before the vacation, the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit ran their final mini conference of the year.

The theme for the mini conference was using polling software to enhance learning and teaching. If you were unable to make the event then check out the recordings on our Mini Conference webpage.

Since the University procured a licence for Vevox polling software earlier this year, we’ve seen a whole host of colleagues making use of it. In semester 1 1873 polls have been run by 136 staff members with 6485 student responses.

If you want to know more about polling software then we’ve got a Vevox webpage which has all our guidance. Kate and Jim led a webinar for Vevox on our implementation and how colleagues have made use of it in their teaching. Check out the recording on YouTube or Vevox’s own website for other case studies. You can read about Vevox’s latest updates on our recent blogpost.

The conference kicked off with a session run by Dr Christina Stanley from Chester University. Christina gave us an overview of how she’s been using polling software to boost student confidence and promote inclusivity.

Next, our client managers from Vevox, Joe Probert and Izzy Whitley gave us an update on future developments with Vevox polling software and some product enhancements that will be coming down the line.

Then we moved onto colleagues from Aberystwyth University who shared with us how they are using polling in their teaching. Dr Maire Gorman who teaches in the Graduate School and the Physics Department gave us an overview as to how polling software can be used in statistics teaching to facilitate peer learning and inter and intra-cohort bonding.

Next, Bruce Fraser Wight, from the Business School demonstrated how he has been using polling software for ice breaking activity. We were grateful to hear from two of Bruce’s students to find out how they found using polling software.

Finally, Dr Jennifer Wood from the Department of Modern Languages outlined how polling software can be used for language learning and encourage engagement.

If you’re doing something interesting with polling software, we’d love to hear from you for a potential blogpost – drop us an email on lteu@aber.ac.uk.   

Weekly Resource Roundup – 6/1/2022

As leader of our PGCTHE programme, I keep an eye out for resources to help staff teach effectively. These include webinars, podcasts, online toolkits, publications and more. Topics include active learning, online/blended teaching, accessibility/inclusion, and effective learning design based on cognitive science. Below I’ve listed items that came to my attention in the past week. In the interest of clarity, our policy is to show the titles and descriptions in the language of delivery.   

Online events and webinars

Resources and publications

Other

Please see the Staff Training booking page for training offered by the LTEU and other Aberystwyth University staff. I hope you find this weekly resource roundup useful. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact our team at lteu@aber.ac.uk. You may also wish to follow my Twitter feed, Mary Jacob L&T.  

Welcome to new staff joining Aberystwyth University

Distance Learner Banner

Welcome to new staff joining Aberystwyth University

We’re the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit. Based in Information Services. We work with staff across the university to support and develop learning and teaching. We run a wide range of activities to do this.

All the information that you need is on theLearning and Teaching Enhancement Unit webpages. We have recently worked intensively with academic colleagues to develop solutions in response to the Covid 19 pandemic. Our Supporting your Teachingwebpages will help you with various teaching solutions.

We write a blog full of the latest updates, details on events and training sessions, and resources.

If you need to get in touch with us, you can do so using one of two email addresses:

lteu@aber.ac.uk (for pedagogical and design questions, or to arrange a consultation) or

elearning@aber.ac.uk (for technical queries regarding our e-learning tools listed below)

Read More

Notice of deletion of old Panopto recordings on 1st February 2022

On 1st February we will be deleting Panopto recordings which are over 5 years old and have not been viewed in the last 5 years. This is in accordance with the Lecture Capture Policy. See point 8.1 of the Lecture Capture Policy.

In future we will be running the same process outlined above every 1st September.

If you have any questions, including how to save old recordings, please email elearning@aber.ac.uk

Weekly Resource Roundup – 16/12/2021

Weekly Resource Roundup

As leader of our PGCTHE programme, I keep an eye out for resources to help staff teach effectively. These include webinars, podcasts, online toolkits, publications and more. Topics include active learning, online/blended teaching, accessibility/inclusion, and effective learning design based on cognitive science. Below I’ve listed items that came to my attention in the past week. In the interest of clarity, our policy is to show the titles and descriptions in the language of delivery.   

Online events and webinars

Resources and publications

Other

Please see the Staff Training booking page for training offered by the LTEU and other Aberystwyth University staff. I hope you find this weekly resource roundup useful. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact our team at lteu@aber.ac.uk. You may also wish to follow my Twitter feed, Mary Jacob L&T.  

Vevox updates December 2021

One of the advantages to having an institution subscription is that we can benefit from enhancements and updates.

One of the recent enhancements was to the word cloud style question. Previously only one word was able to be submitted to the word cloud style question, but now participants can provide multi-word submissions as well as single words. Word clouds also accept non-English characters and emojis. Vevox has also been working on the accessibility of the word cloud question and the colour scheme has been enhanced to improve its display.

We’re really pleased at how colleagues are making use of Vevox. If you’re after some ideas on how you can use it in your teaching, then Kate and myself recently presented a webinar on Vevox’s behalf. As well as giving an overview of our rollout of Vevox since we procured it in March, we also outlined some exemplary practices taking place by colleagues:

  • Module Evaluation (Dr Emmanual Isibor and Dr Chris Loftus, Computer Science)
  • Stats generation (Dr Maire Gorman, Physics and Graduate School)
  • Anonymous Q and A (Dr Megan Talbot, Law and Criminology)
  • Peer assessment and word associations (Dr Michael Toomey, International Politics)
  • Asynchronous Q and A (Dr Victoria Wright, Psychology)
  • Pin on image and session impact (Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit)

Thank you for the colleagues above for sharing their practices and experiences with us. A recording of the webinar is available on YouTube.

We’ve also got our Mini Conference on Thursday looking at how polling software can be used to enhance learning and teaching activities. There’s still time to book onto that. We’re grateful to be joined by Joe and Izzy from Vevox, as well as our external speaker, Dr Christina Stanley from the University of Chester.

Vevox guidance is available on our webpages. If you’ve not used Vevox before then sign up for the Zero to Hero sessions which are run every Tuesday at 3pm. We’re also re-running our training session Designing Teaching Activities using Vevox on 16 March 2022 at 10am. You can sign up via our Course Booking page.

What is a well-designed Blackboard module? Project

Distance Learner Banner

Written by Ania Udalowska

A well-designed Blackboard module may mean different things for different people. We asked our group of Student Learning Ambassadors to brainstorm what does it mean to them that a module is well-design. The findings of this discussion divided into categories can be found below.

Module Information

Teaching schedule – showing what is expected throughout the semester (which is carried out throughout the design of the module in folders). It is not necessary to have to release all content at the start of the module rather a roadmap showing students what they need to plan for. Download the teaching schedule example:

Module handbook – one of the students explained that the handbook is almost like a contract between a student and a module coordinator. It should include all essential information (which may be, and in some cases, should be also included in different sections, e.g., all assessment-related information in Assessment & Feedback). Take a look at this blog post on comprehensive handbooks.

FAQs on the module – FAQs could be generated throughout the module based on queries received by the module coordinator and could be then used to help future students, e.g., what textbook is best / how do you set the assignment out/ suggestions of resources to help with a tricky concept etc. You could use the discussion board functionality to ask students for questions they want to know answers to.

Short introduction video – it would be nice to include a video that welcomes students into the module, explains how to navigate it and briefly outlines what will the teaching schedule look like. It does not have to be long nor formal!

Learning Materials

Folders – content should be divided into weeks (or topics). It should correspond with the teaching schedule. Consistency within folders is just as important, try to include the same type of learning materials in each folder (you can use small icons to indicate the type of activity) and keep them in a consistent order:

  • Live session preparation tasks – make it clear what needs to be done.
  • Teams links to live sessions.
  • Pre-recorded lectures (clear/ small chunks/ and no background noise)
  • Lecture slides and lecture handouts with space for notes (how to convert PowerPoint slides into handouts)
  • Activities to complete that give instant results/feedback to test knowledge. You could use Blackboard tests or Panopto quizzes.
  • Examples, relating theory to real-world as much as possible.
  • Reading – which items from the reading list refer to that week’s content.

Note: Where possible use review status and adaptive release – students progress at a different pace, some prefer for the content to be released all at once, others in stages. Having the review status and adaptive release can give students control over how much content they see at once and it also helps them to stay organised.

Read More

Workaround for Blackboard 404 error when accessing files using the Microsoft Edge browser.

The Microsoft Edge browser attempts to open Microsoft Office files directly in the browser. When accessing files in Blackboard this is causing an error with the message; “404 – File or directory not found.”

image of a 404 error message

A suggested workaround for this is to use either the Google Chrome or Firefox browsers.

Alternatively you can change the following setting in Microsoft Edge:

Open the Edge menu by clicking the three dots and click Settings

An image of the Edge menu with settings highlighted

Click Downloads

Turn off the setting Open Office files in the browser

An image of the settings under downloads

If you require further assistance please contact elearning@aber.ac.uk