York E-Learning Newsletter – August 2015

Hello from the E-Learning Development Team! We have a few announcements this month, including a job vacancy for an E-Learning adviser, updates about VLE fixes since the upgrade and information about Replay deletions and downtime while we improve the service.

In this edition:

  • Vacancy: E-Learning Adviser
  • York Technology-Enhanced Learning Handbook
  • Updates on VLE fixes
  • UCAS Embargo
  • Replay 2013/14 deletions and server improvements
  • Tender for 2016-2020 Institutional Lecture Capture Licence
  • Collaborate webinar demonstrations
  • Supported in-class polling tool pilot
  • Training and Support
  • Consultation
  • Self-paced Yorkshare (VLE) Getting Started Tutorial

Vacancy: E-Learning Adviser

The ELDT are currently recruiting for an E-Learning Adviser post, which is available on a fixed-term, full-time basis from October 2015 until December 2017. The salary will be in the range £30,434 – £37,394 a year. Informal enquiries about the post may be made to Dr Richard Walker (tel: 01904 321138; email: richard.walker@york.ac.uk).

Further details of the post are available at: http://tinyurl.com/E-Learning-Adviser and also via the University’s job vacancies page at http://www.york.ac.uk/admin/persnl/jobs/

York Technology-Enhanced Learning Handbook

The York Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) Handbook is now available online. The Handbook is aimed at both new staff and experienced practitioners, with emphasis on student engagement and student work that underpins the York Pedagogy. The Handbook includes:

  • Recommended approaches to using Yorkshare.
  • A baseline model for structuring Yorkshare module sites.
  • Advice on digital resource creation, including accessibility considerations.
  • Designing and facilitating online learning activities.
  • Digital assessment and forms of feedback.
  • Evaluation of learning and teaching using technology.

You can access the Handbook at: https://elearningyork.wordpress.com

The York TEL Handbook is aiming to be a resource that will support the whole learning and teaching community at York. As such, we welcome feedback on the Handbook, in particular where we can provide further advice, and comments showing the impact it has made on your practice. Provide feedback and suggestions here: http://bit.ly/ytelhb-feedback

Updates on VLE fixes

We have updated a number of tools in the VLE tool-set such as the YouTube integrations, Collaborate, SafeAssign and SCORM to correct issues which have affected usage of these tools since the upgrade. The YouTube mashup and Video Everywhere features are now enabled and working again.

UCAS Embargo

This year the UCAS embargo starts on the 6th of August and ends on the 13th of August. During this time the data feed, which keeps the VLE synchronised with changes in the institutional data from SITS, will be disabled and enrolments will not be updated until the embargo ends. Applicant accounts in the VLE will also be deactivated during this period.

Replay 2013/14 deletions and server improvements

There will be two periods where Replay will be unavailable during August. On 17 August, Replay will be unavailable all day as we move to improved hardware that will speed up processing time and allow us to handle the increased number of recordings scheduled for next academic year. Replay will also be briefly unavailable from 8am on 25 August.

On 25 August, all timetabled lecture recordings made prior to 1 August 2014 will be automatically deleted, as per our retention policy to help maintain efficient use of our hosted filestore. Personal Captures will not be deleted, but will be temporarily unavailable on 25 August. For further details see:

To review your 2013/14 Replay recordings and download any for your own archive, please see:

Tender for 2016-2020 Institutional Lecture Capture Licence

The University is looking to expand and improve its central lecture recording provision to meet an increasing level of  demand from academic departments. The Replay Steering Group is leading a tender exercise to identify a supplier to support a full institutional service, offering automated recording of lectures in all teaching venues where requested across the University. For full details on the tender exercise and how you can contribute, please see our post:

Collaborate webinar demonstrations

Collaborate is the online seminar tool supported by the ELDT. Collaborate offers synchronous discussion through text, voice and video chat, participation through polls, shared whiteboard and screen-sharing, and virtual presentations for distance learners, group presentation practice and guest speakers from other institutions. We’ll be running online demonstration sessions during Summer. The next demonstration session is at 3pm on 20 August.

Supported in-class polling tool pilot

We are going ahead with a pilot licence of ResponseWare. ResponseWare is an in-class polling system that allows students to respond to multiple choice questions during a live teaching session using their own mobile device (mobile app or web browser). Some Departments have already utilised in-class polling using clicker devices or third-party paid for services such as Poll Everywhere (see our blog post), but if you have larger classes this may not always be economically feasible. ResponseWare doesn’t require issuing devices to students, so can also save time during the session. We are currently looking to see if there is demand for an institutional service. If you are interested in piloting ResponseWare as a polling tool next academic year, please contact us at vle-support@york.ac.uk.

Training and Support


We offer one-to-one and group consultations on a wide range of Technology Enhanced Learning issues, such as:

  • Getting the most from lecture capture and personal capture;
  • Use of Google apps to support student led collaboration;
  • Online marking and feedback;
  • Blended learning module design.

Please get in touch with us at vle-support@york.ac.uk to discuss your requirements.

We also schedule training sessions every term, which can be booked via the Training link on our website.

Self-paced Yorkshare (VLE) Getting Started Tutorial

You can self-enrol on a tutorial VLE site that you can work through (or use as a reference source) for your basic VLE site development and maintenance needs. The Tutorial covers the same basic content that our Face-To-Face Getting Started workshop includes using, for the most part, short narrated walk-through videos (hosted on YouTube) contextualised into a logical tutorial framework that you can follow at your own pace. To self-enrol on this VLE site first log-in to the VLE and then hit the following link: Self-paced Yorkshare (VLE) Getting Started Tutorial (click the ‘+Enrol’ button at the bottom of the left menu).

All the videos from the Getting Started VLE site are also publicly available and can be accessed via our website: Getting Started with Yorkshare – New Online Support Resources.

As always, we welcome any feedback and suggestions on how we can support e-learning and use of the VLE and other technologies within your departments. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch at vle-support@york.ac.uk.

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