Changes to Turnitin: Information for Staff

For the academic year 2022/23 we will be using a new version of Turnitin. The timing of this change is to be confirmed and we will notify staff with further information via the weekly bulletin.

Whilst most of Turnitin’s current functionality will remain the same, there will be some changes. 

To help staff with this change, we have arranged the following FAQs:

Further information can be found in our Turnitin LTI FAQs.

Our webpages and help guidance will be updated to reflect these changes. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (elearning@aber.ac.uk).

Vevox Update: March 2022

Screen shot of Vevox poll using LaTex formatting to ask the question:
Determine the nature of the given matrix
2  0  0
1  2  1
0  0  1

With the following options available:

Indefinite
Positive definite
Negative definite
Positive semi-definite

On 21 March Vevox, the University’s polling software, will be having an update with some additional functionality.

We’re really pleased to be able to see some of the developments as they are requests that we have placed to Vevox on behalf of you.

Firstly, for distance learning practitioners and those who want students to undertake self-paced polling, there’s the introduction of self-paced quizzes to the survey tool.

You’ll just need to create a survey and then add a correct answer. Students can do this anonymously or you can choose to identify them.

The Q and A boards are still underused a little here at AU, but there will be the option to tag questions and comments. Will be useful for those of you who are co-delivering a presentation and want to allocate specific questions to a presenter.

Further information on new Vevox functionality can be found on their update blogpost.

We have regular contact with our Vevox account managers. They’ve already assisted in creating bilingual aspects and have reached out to us for further discussion on how this could be developed further. Also, some enhancement requests that we’ve asked for include:

  • Scatter graph of the X Y question
  • An order or sequence based question

A reminder to the mathematicians amongst us that LaTex is available in your question types.

Vevox is not limited to learning and teaching activities. All members of the University can log in and use Vevox. If you’re running a meeting and want to poll attendees, then Vevox could be for you. Check out their recent case studies on how to make meetings interactive with Vevox.

If Vevox is new to you, then we’ve got guidance on our webpages. Vevox runs 15 minute training sessions – sign up onlineWe’re always up to hear about anything innovative you’re doing with Vevox so drop us a line if you’re doing something exciting.

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.

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

Updates to Vevox

Distance Learner Banner

One of the benefits to having a subscription to a dedicated Polling Tool is receiving regular updates. Vevox is the University’s dedicated Polling Tool. You can use it to add interactivity to your teaching sessions as well as your meetings.

Our resources for Vevox are available on our webpages.

Enhancements that have come this month are summarised below:

  • Use of LaTeX to create questions in Polls means that colleagues in disciplines such as Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science can make use of formulae in the creation of their polls. Take a look at Vevox’s LaTeX helpsheet to help you set up your polls.  
  • Ability to Share moderation responsibilities for Q and As with another presenter. See their how to share the Q&A board with a colleague or moderator for further information.
  • Correct answer explanations allow you to provide additional feedback to students when they get a question correct. This can help you save time when running your quiz. For a video summary, check out Vevox’s guidance on Running a Quiz.
  • Filter our responses on word clouds before you present them back to the class to ensure that there’s nothing that you don’t want them to see. Take a look at their instructional video on how to create word clouds.
  • Results from polls can now be displayed as numbers as well as percentages meaning that participants can get an idea how many of their colleagues have responded to the questions. Not used polling in Vevox before? Check out their guidance on how to create a basic poll.

Vevox fully integrates with Teams meaning that you can run the sessions in your online teaching meetings and participants can respond via the Teams app without having to enter a 9 digit code. Find out more on our How do I use Vevox with Microsoft Teams FAQ.  

We’re always on the lookout for case studies so if you’re using Vevox polling in your teaching session drop us an email on lteu@aber.ac.uk and let us know how you’re using it.

View all of these updates on Vevox’s June blogpost.

NEW Recurring MS Teams Meeting Feature in Blackboard

Today, a new feature has been made available in Blackboard which allows you to create recurring MS Teams meetings.

This new feature works very similarly to the recurring options available in Outlook. As can be seen in the image below, you can now arrange MS Teams meetings through Blackboard based on how often you want them to recur; on what days you want them to recur; and when you would like this recurrence to end.

Students should be encouraged to add this link to their calendars as this will automatically add the whole series to their calendars.

Screenshot showing the options available in the new recurring meetings feature.

When setting up your recurring meeting, please ensure that you include clear information which demonstrates which sessions should be accessed through the link that you have just created.

Table demonstrating which sessions can be accessed through the Teams link

For further details on how to use this new feature, please visit our FAQ.

Potential disruption to Blackboard labels and titles

You may notice some changes to Blackboard labels whilst we update our language pack tomorrow morning (Tuesday 10.11.2020).

This will affect menu items and My Modules. Blackboard functionality and access will remain during this time and you will still be able to create content, access materials, and submit assignments. This work is scheduled to take place as part of Information Services’ Tuesday morning maintenance: https://faqs.aber.ac.uk/94.

Conducting blended teaching sessions – synchronously face-to-face and via Teams

Teaching staff are encouraged to provide access to teaching sessions for students unable to attend them in person. The guidelines below provide step-by-step checklist of all things that need to be completed to conduct an effective session for both students sitting in the classroom and those joining via MS Teams.  

Before the session: 

Note: Make it clear that this has been provided for students who are not able to attend the session in person and that all students who are well and not self-isolating are expected to attend the sessions in-person and that attendance during face-toface session will be closely monitored.  

  • Revise the teaching room guide and watch videos demonstrating using the new teaching room set-up:  

Teaching Rooms Guide 

Teaching Rooms demonstrations 

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