E-Learning Newsletter – June 2016 Edition

E-Learning Development Team, Academic Support Office, University of YorkE-Learning Newsletter – June 2016 Edition

As always during this stage of the summer, the culmination of the majority of teaching and assessment shifts the focus of our work towards planning and preparation for the upcoming academic year. As such, this month has seen a lot of work behind the scenes preparing for the upcoming VLE Upgrade and VLE Rollover.

Of course, we have been and will continue to be active in running workshops and championing Technology-Enhanced Learning with the services we provide – a flavour of which is outlined in the newsletter below.

As always, you can stay up to date with us by visiting our website: https://elearningyork.wordpress.com/ or following us on Twitter: @UoY_Yorkshare.

In this edition:

  • Staffing Update
  • VLE Summer Upgrade
  • Learning Objects Campus Pack Termination
  • Staff Vacancy
  • York Technology for the York Pedagogy Briefing
  • ELDT at the IT Showcase Event – June 17, 3-4:30
  • ALT Annual Conference – Early Bird Rates still available
  • Training and Lunchtime Webinars
  • Moving to Another Role within the University?

Staffing Update

Rosie Hare has left the E-Learning Development Team to take on an e-learning advisory role at York St. John University.

We’d like to thank Rosie for all of her contributions to the team during her tenure; her efforts have not gone unnoticed and she will be missed. We wish Rosie all the best in her new post!

We are presently advertising the vacant post, see details below.

VLE Summer Upgrade 2016

The advanced planning and testing processes for our summer upgrade of the VLE are now well under way and nearing completion.

This release is largely a consolidation of the work Blackboard has been doing to upgrade the core technology of the Learn product which will bring further stability and reliability improvements.

There will be a small set of minor feature improvements with no new major features or functionality planned for this release.

Please note that we are planning to carry out the upgrade over a two-day period, Tuesday 12th July and Wednesday 13th July inclusive, during which time the VLE will be unavailable to all users.

If you are aware of any teaching and learning activities running during this period please contact the E-Learning Development Team at vle-­support@york.ac.uk and we will endeavour to find a solution for you.

Learning Objects Campus Pack Termination

Please be aware that the Learning Objects Campus Pack tools, such as blogs and wikis, will finally be retired and disabled as part of the upcoming VLE software upgrade.

Exporting content from a Campus Pack blog/wiki/podcast is no longer available (this ceased on 14th July 2013), Campus Pack content is now read only with no export available and this access will be terminated on the 12th of July. The read only content was available for three years and the ELDT have copies of all Campus Pack content should you require exports. If your site still uses the Learning Object tools then you will need to switch to the VLEs native blog and wiki tools.

For further advice contact us vle­-support@york.ac.uk

Staff Vacancy

A vacancy has arisen within the University’s E-Learning Development Team for the position of E-Learning Support Officer. This post offers an opportunity for personal development in acquiring skills and experience in delivering learning technology training and support services to staff and students across the University.

The successful candidate will provide first-line user support to staff and second-line support to students, responding to queries on the University’s virtual learning environment and its hosted tool-set. The successful candidate will also develop guidance documentation and training resources on the supported tool-set, in line with the latest releases of supported software. Additionally, the role will involve assisting with the evaluation of blended and distance learning modules, the management of service-level communications and updates to staff and students, and the organisation of dissemination events for academic staff, which focus on the sharing of e-learning best practices across the university community.

This is an open-ended, full-time post, of which further details can be found here.

The closing date for applications is Wednesday 22nd June 2016.
If you have any questions or require further information about the post, please do get in touch.

York Learning and Teaching Conference: 7th June

On Tuesday 7th June, we presented our posters at the Annual Learning and Teaching Conference at the Exhibition Centre, Heslington West.

View the PDF version of our posters on ‘Using technology to engage students and support active learning with in-class polls & webinars’.

Alongside an introduction to in-class polls and webinars, we showcased the Technology-Enhanced Learning Handbook (your views on the utility of the Handook are very much invited via the feedback form) and our latest work in supporting students’ use of Replay lecture captures

York Technology for the York Pedagogy Briefings (June – September)

The session will explore how departments have utilised supported learning technologies, aligned to York Pedagogy principles of structured student work and staff-student contact to enhance and propel student learning.

Eight short case studies will be presented from across the faculties. There will be an opportunity for questions and discussion on the transferability of the case studies to your teaching practice.

Note: this is not a technical hands-on session, however we can direct you to relevant guidance or you can access the York Technology-Enhanced  Learning  Handbook.

The session is taking place twice on campus; tea and coffee provided.

Please register online for any of the following sessions.

  • Tuesday 28th June, 14:00 – TBC (V/C/123 Campus West)
  • Thursday 30th June, 11:30 – TBC (LMB/037X Campus East)
  • Monday 25th July 12:30pm (Online Webinar)
  • Wednesday 24th August: 12:30 (Online Webinar)
  • Thursday 15th September 12:30 (Online Webinar)


Please email vle-support@york.ac.uk to book a place. We welcome questions, feedback and suggestions.

ELDT at the IT Showcase Event – 17th June

On Friday 17 June, IT Services will be showcasing the ways in which the activities of academic departments can be supported through technology.

The event takes place between 15:00 and 17:15 in The Harry Fairhurst Building (LFA 204/5)

At 16:05 Richard Walker of the E-Learning Development Team will give an overview of technologies available at York, with a focus on the use of Learning technologies to support class-based & online teaching 

All academic staff are invited to attend this event, but places are limited.

View the full programme. Staff can register online.

ALT Annual Conference – early bird rates still available

Members of the E-Learning Development Team will be represented at this year’s Association of Learning Technology conference being held at University of Warwick between the 8th-10th September.

If you are interested in attending, early bird rates for the conference are available until the 30th June and more information about the conference, as well as registration forms, can be found on the ALTC website.

Training and Lunchtime Webinars

Upcoming: Learning and Teaching Conference Takeaways Webinar

Wednesday 29th June 12:30-1:30. Following on from the Learning and Teaching Conference on 7 June, members of the E-Learning Development Team will be reflecting on some of the conference sessions and inviting discussion on the key themes. If you had particular technology-enhanced learning questions as a result of the conference, please do sign up to the webinar as we’ll be able to discuss your idea and point you in the direction of case studies and further advice.

Register for the YorkLT16 Takeaways Lunchtime Webinar.

Upcoming: Facilitating Active Learning Webinar

Wendesday 6th July 12.30-1:30. Glenn Hurst from the Department of Chemistry is our special guest for this webinar, following on from his Forum workshop on 22 June of the same name. Glenn will share examples of how he has used podcasts, electronic voting systems and student produced videos to facilitate active learning.

Register for the Facilitating Active Learning Webinar.

Recap: ‘Peer Assessment with Yorkshare’ Webinar

On Wednesday 1st June, E-Learning Development Team member Matt Cornock presented a Webinar which looked at the ways in which peer-assessment is facilitated using supported learning.

Watch the recording, read the summary or view the slides from the session.

Recap: ResponseWare ‘Show and Tell’

On Thursday May 19, the ELDT hosted a ‘Show and Tell’ session, featuring contributions from members of staff detailing their experience of using the TurningPoint polling software that the University has been piloting.

Guest contributors Joe Fagan (Education) and Emma Rand (Biology) each presented a case study that explicated and reflected on their experiences of embedding polling into PowerPoint presentations.

Watch the recordings.

The University will be going forward with a renewal of its license with Turning Technologies for the coming year, adopting the use of the latest version of software, ‘Turning Point Cloud’.

Moving to another staff role in the University?

It’s quite common for staff to move around within the University, through secondments or simply changing roles for example.  If you do change role, or head up a team where a member of your team is changing their role, please be sure to let us know if your/their account might have had any special privileges within Yorkshare (the VLE) associated with it.

This is particularly the case if you have some of the additional privileges associated with administration of the Anonymous Assignment full E:Vision workflow for example.  Other special privileges might be Instructor level enrolment across all of a department’s VLE sites or access to the limited custom self-enrol tool for example. 

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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