E-Learning Newsletter – April 2018 Edition

E-Learning Newsletter – April 2018 Edition

Welcome to the April edition of our newsletter, which summarises the latest news on technology enhanced learning provision across the University.

To navigate through the contents below, you will need to open up the Google Doc for the hyperlinks to work. Otherwise, you can just scroll through the post.

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:

  • Info: Effects on VLE of SITS/e:vision downtime Wednesday 4th to Friday 6th of April 2018
  • Info: Zero Byte Submissions to the VLE
  • Event: ELDT Spring Show & Tell – Technology for large group teaching. Wednesday 18 April, 12.15pm – SLB/102
  • Call for participation: 2018 CMALT Peer Writing Group
  • Upcoming Webinar: Formative E-Assessment – 12:15 – April 25, Online
  • Upcoming Webinar: Future Teacher – Inclusive Practice, 1pm, 25 April, Online
  • Webinar Recap: Creating Inclusive Learning and Teaching Environments
  • Ongoing call for participation: Pedagogy-based Twitter feed, UoY_TEL
  • Training: Development Opportunities and Bespoke Training


Info: Effects on VLE of SITS/e:vision downtime Wednesday 4th to Friday 6th of April 2018

IT Services have announced an upgrade to the SITS/e:vision system which will take place over three days starting on Wednesday the 4th of April and completing on Friday the 6th of April 2018.

This will have two effects on the VLE:

  1. Over the three days SITS/e:vision will be unavailable and no data will come out of SITS to update or create user accounts or enrolments within the VLE. If during the downtime there is a need to make any changes or updates to VLE user accounts or enrolments, including bulk enrolment of students onto VLE module sites, please let us know at vle-support@york.ac.uk and we will do our best to accommodate these requests.
  2. The Anonymous Assignment submission tool will be unavailable to all users on Wednesday the 4th of March, Thursday the 5th and Friday the 6th due to the SITS/e:vision upgrade. Students will be unable to submit assignments and staff will be unable to download work whilst the upgrade work is carried out. Although the Anonymous Assignment tool may appear to be accessible, students and staff should not use it to submit or download work during the upgrade window.

Previously, with technical advice from IT Services, we have been able to support student submission as we were advised whether the student and/or staff functionality of the Anonymous Assignment tool would be affected, unfortunately we are no longer able to provide this level of support. Going forwards it is highly likely that all functionality of the Anonymous Assignment tool will be unavailable when IT Services carries out database maintenance and/or a SITS/e:vision upgrade and work of this type will occur more frequently. Apologies for the late notification of this change.

We would advise departments to inform students that they should not attempt to submit to Anonymous Assignment submission points during this time. If this is unavoidable we would strongly recommend alternative arrangements such as direct submission to an email address. Please contact us at vle-support@york.ac.uk should you have any concerns.

The E-Learning Development Team apologises for this disruption to the availability of the Anonymous Assignment Submission service, the negative impact upon the student experience and the additional work that this may cause for assessment administrators. Unfortunately this is unavoidable and we have done all we can to maintain the high level of availability and service you expect from us and have been used to.


Info: Zero Byte Submissions to the VLE

We have recently become aware of a second potential cause of empty, blank, “zero byte” assignment submissions on the VLE which may impact students submitting via an Apple mobile device using an old version of iOS (10.3.3 or earlier).

To help flag this to students we have detailed this newly-identified cause along with the other prior-known cause (Windows 10/Edge/Office open) into a simple one page document:

This new guide is accessible to students via links on:

If you have any questions or concerns, contact us at vle-support@york.ac.uk

Event: ELDT Spring Show & Tell – Technology for large group teaching • Wednesday 18 April • 12.15pm • SLB/102

Large classes can present teaching challenges. Two different perspectives are presented by our guest speakers: managing group work and feedback for large cohorts, and engaging learners in active learning in lectures.

Dr Sally Quinn from Psychology will showcase her use of Mentimeter (www.mentimeter.com) in lecture theatres to engage students.

Dr Alex Gillett from Management will share how he uses Google tools, the Yorkshare VLE grade centre and marking rubrics to manage group activities.

Lunch is provided.

To register to attend, please complete the Google Form [Web Link]

ELDT Lunchtime Webinar: Formative Assessment – Online, Wednesday 25 April, 12:15

Formative assessment should provide a clear framework for feedback to students and enable them to learn through the process of assessment.  As such, the tools chosen to support formative activities should not just allow students to submit in a format appropriate for the assignment, but should also enable feedback to be returned to the student in a transparent and timely manner.

In our April lunchtime webinar, we’ll provide an overview of a range of interventions you can use to support online formative assessment.  This will be informed by case studies from across the campus where such tools have been embedded within a module’s learning and teaching activity.

We do, of course, welcome your examples as well during this webinar and look forward to engaging with you on this topic.

You can register to attend the Webinar by filling out the following Google Form.

Call for Participants: 2018 CMALT Peer Writing Group

CMALT is a portfolio-based peer-reviewed accreditation scheme, organised by the Association for Learning Technology, for which the University of York is an organisational member. CMALT aims to foster an appreciation of the interplay between learning and technology as well as provide a platform to allow educators and those involved in supporting education to learn from each other.

The E-Learning Development Team has organised a series of peer-writing groups for CMALT and we are looking to run one again in June, which support you in developing a portfolio for submission at the end of September of this year. If you would like to join our next group, please contact Dr Richard Walker (richard.walker@york.ac.uk) to register your interest.

You can find out more about the CMALT process on our E-Learning Blog.

Application to CMALT has a small fee attached and you should arrange this with your line manager. For further details on CMALT and submission deadlines, please see ALT’s official website.

Webinar: Future Teacher 3.0 webinars

The next interactive Future Teacher webinar is on the topic of Inclusive Practice:

Sign up for the ‘Inclusive Practice Webinar’ on Wednesday, 25 Apr 2018 at 13:00.

Digital resources can add significant value to learner with learning difficulties or disabilities. This session will explore how you can use simple technology tools to make resources more accessible, teaching more engaging and students more independent. We’ll also look at ways to minimise barriers and maximise benefits.

Whether you are completely new to this topic, or an experienced practitioner in this area, this eighth webinar in the series will have something useful for you.

This is a good opportunity to experience an interactive webinar on a technology-enhanced learning topic.

Future Teacher Talks are free monthly webinars on various topics surrounding online learning as part of the wider Erasmus+ Future Teacher 3.0 project. Each webinar begins with a short introduction and then in many cases engaging and interactive presentations from guest presenters. The webinars are fully interactive and you will have plenty of opportunity to actively participate and contribute.

You can view previously recorded webinars and access the interactive learning resource from the Future Teacher website. Previous sessions have covered

  • Online learning – what works?
  • The Flipped Classroom
  • Knowing what they know – getting feedback from students
  • Collaborative teaching and learning – inside and outside the classroom
  • Strategies to support reading
  • Strategies to support writing
  • Self-assessment and mastery learning
  • Using Social Media in Teaching and Learning

Do run the Zoom webinar test before the day to ensure you can access the webinar.

Webinar Recap: Creating Inclusive Learning and Teaching Environments.

In our March lunchtime webinar, Claire Shanks (Disability Officer) provided an inspirational overview of what it means to be ‘inclusive’, with great questions from those attending, and practical insights from Emily Brunsden on  embedding inclusive practice into lectures.

You can read more, and watch the recording on our E-Learning Blog. [Web Link]

You may also be interested in attending the Future Teacher webinar in April on Inclusive Practice.

Call for Participation: Pedagogy-based Twitter account, UoY_TEL

We’ve started a new Twitter account to help us connect with academics who are using technology enhanced teaching and learning. We’ll use this channel to promote ideas, case studies, and share your success stories. Please do connect with us if you’d like to exchange ideas.

Development Opportunities and Bespoke Training

VLE Induction – Getting Started with Yorkshare and Baseline Approaches
This can be tailored to an academic or support staff context, specific to your use of the VLE in your role – ideal for those who are new to using Yorkshare or who may need a refresher on certain tools and functionality. Section 1 of the York TEL Handbook also covers recommended good practice for baseline use of Yorkshare. As well as 1:1 consultations at the modular level, we can tailor this session to programme teams for a more holistic overview.

VLE Induction – Yorkshare Administration
Yorkshare Administration training is for departmental administrators who need to create and manage Yorkshare module sites and content system privileges.

VLE Induction – Self-paced Getting Started Materials
We’ve developed a series of short help videos (hosted on YouTube) covering the most common tasks you might need to undertake when developing, preparing or managing your Yorkshare (VLE) site.

This blog post provides a table listing (and individually linking to) all of the short ‘getting started’ help videos we’ve produced.  The table also includes links to equivalent written guides where available too. The blog post also provides links to three online Prezi files that further contextualise the help videos:

Basics of using Yorkshare (Prezi)
Prezi contextualising the videos relating to advanced use of Yorkshare’s Content Items
Prezi contextualising the videos relating to Tools and Control Panels

You can view a more comprehensive list of the professional development opportunities that we offer on our E-Learning Blog. To request a session for either yourself or to make a booking for your department, please contact us at the earliest possible convenience.

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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