E-Learning Newsletter – December 2018 Edition

Welcome to the December 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 blog post.

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

From everyone in the Programme Design and Learning Technology Team, we hope you have a wonderful Festive Period and Happy New Year!

In this edition:

Info: Essential VLE Maintenance – December 19th and 20th

As advised in communications earlier this year, we are again planning to carry out a mini-upgrade of the VLE during December of 2018. There is, however, a change to the proposed dates for the upgrade work. We are now targeting the 19th and 20th of December as the previous dates clashed with a critical submission and marking period for one department, which would have adversely affected a large number of users.

The deployment of the mini-upgrade is necessary to improve the security and stability of the system and correct issues with some components of the core functionality of the Blackboard Learn software, the mobile experience and connected cloud services. The most visible one of these will be the restoration of the download of student submissions with annotations.

Please be aware that during the upgrade period, over the 19th and 20th, the VLE (and Replay) will be unavailable to all users. We will, of course, endeavour to return the VLE to service as quickly as possible, but we must also ensure that the upgraded system is stable and functioning as expected. Please bear with us whilst we carry out the upgrade and the necessary checks and changes. We will post updates on our twitter feed, @UoY_Yorkshare, as work progresses.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused by this necessary work and please do contact us at vle-support@york.ac.uk if these new dates would be an issue for planned activities within your department.

Info: Scheduled Replay Downtime – Saturday December 15

Due to an upgrade by Panopto, the cloud service that we use for the hosting of Replay, access to lecture captures will be interrupted for all users between 20:00 and 23:00 GMT on Saturday December 15.

Users should be forewarned that the service will be completely unavailable during this period. This includes access to recordings within the ‘Replay Content’ tool link on Yorkshare VLE sites.

To see a full rundown of new features in Panopto 6.0, see the official release notes. [External Web Link]

Info: Staffing Update

We are pleased to welcome a new recruit to the Programme Design and Learning Technology Team.

Robert Shaw will be joining the Team on 3rd December in the role of Educational Adviser, with specific responsibility for supporting Arts / Humanities departments.

Rob joins us from Leeds Beckett University where he assisted academic programme teams with curriculum development tasks and the enhancement of learning, teaching and assessment activities and had specific responsibility for supporting the embedding of learning technologies and development of digital literacy capabilities.

Rob previously worked at Leicester University and here at the Centre for English Language Teaching and so is not a stranger to the University.

As we welcome Rob, we convey our thanks to Jan Ball for all that she has done in supporting the new portfolio of online learning programmes. Jan is moving on to a new role in the ASO as Faculty Learning Enhancement Project Manager, and we are delighted that we will be retaining her skills and know-how within the wider ASO team.

Student One-Page Guidance For The Festive Period

The following “one pager” guide has been created for students who will be accessing electronic learning resources via the VLE or Replay over the holiday season. Please disseminate this as desired. The guide has also been tweeted.


If you have any feedback on these guides please contact vle-support@york.ac.uk

2018 Replay Student Survey

Continuing with our longitudinal research endeavours into the impact of lecture capture at The University of York, we have launched our 2018 Replay student survey.

The survey looks to gauge how lecture capture is impacting upon and informing student study habits, and will either add weight or challenge our previous findings, in-light of a more mature service and a wider uptake as a consequence of the University Policy for the Recording of Lectures.

Departments are encouraged to share the survey with students, which can be undertaken by completing the following Google Form.

If you have any feedback or questions about our impact evaluation for Replay, please contact james.youdale@york.ac.uk.

New publications and call for chapters

Over the years we have developed a close working relationship with e-learning researchers at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, and this has enabled us to share practice on a number of levels through virtual peer observation and conference participation, as well as hosting visits.

It was great to see the MOOC research conducted by Prof. Andy Parsons and Iain Barr published in the latest edition of Waikato’s Journal of Education. Read more about their work here.

This article was submitted in response to a past call for papers on digital education. Can we draw your attention to a new call for chapters – this time from researchers Dilani Gedera and Arezou Zalipour at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, who are editing a new book entitled ‘Video Pedagogy: Theory and Practice’. They welcome proposals for chapters which address the use of video in teaching and learning.

Suggested themes for contributions include (but are not limited to):

  • Video for content delivery
  • Video for/as assessment
  • Video as a research tool
  • Video for feedback
  • Video for reflections
  • Video for training and development

They are also interested in including a section in the book on making videos for educational and research purposes, techniques, devices, software and strategies that can be used to make such videos and welcome any contributions in this area. If you are interested in contributing to this book, please respond within a week or so with an expression of interest, and do send an abstract (approximately 200 words) to both dilani.gedera@waikato.ac.nz and arezou.zalipour@aut.ac.nz) by 25 January 2019.

The deadline for submission of chapters (5000-7000 words in APA format) will be 30 May 2019.

PDLT Show and Tell Recap – Inclusive Practice
14 November, 12.30pm, B/B/103

The PDLT Autumn 2018 Show and Tell on Inclusive Practice (14 Nov) was well attended by various departments. Emily Brunsden from Physics and Mark Egan from TYMS shared their inclusive practices with those present.

Read our recap on our Inclusive Practice show and tell on our e-learning website. This includes links to the lecture captured recordings and further resources from both speakers.

Future Teacher 3.0 conference, Piazza Building, 9 January 2019

The University is hosting the Future Teacher 3.0 conference in January 2019. Save the date and register for a place. There are limited free places for staff from the University of York.

Featuring themes from the series and speakers who have featured in our online webinars, this is a chance to try out new ideas with guidance and to spend time exploring where you are on your digital journey. Confirmed speakers include Glenn Hurst (Social Media webinar) and David Beer (Rich Media Audio webinar) and our colleagues from Europe who have worked with us throughout the Future Teacher 3.0 project.

TurningPoint Responseware lecture, lunch and learn
10 Jan 2019, 12.30pm, Berrick Saul Treehouse

Dr Fabio Arico is a Senior Lecturer in Macroeconomics at the University of East Anglia. His recent publication with Simon Lancaster discusses active learning, peer-instruction, flipped learning and self-efficacy through interactions with Responseware.

Whether you’re a long time user of voting tools, or new to its use, Fabio will provide some insight into how you can maximise these tools to build student self-awareness and confidence and help to propel students to achieve their goals.

Click on the following link to register your interest

Webinar: Future Teacher 3.0 webinars

The most recent Future Teacher webinar Designing Appropriate Assessments took place on 30 November 2018 at 13:00.

There is no webinar in December or January; these start again in February 2019.

If you’ve not attended a webinar before, please do get in touch with us in PDLT so we can show you how easy it is to take advantage of this, and many other learning opportunities. You can view previously recorded webinars and access the interactive learning resource from the Future Teacher website. Previous sessions have featured various University of York staff and 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 (Glenn Hurst, Chemistry)
  • Inclusive Practice (Emily Brunsden, Physics)
  • Working with Rich Media – Images (Sandrine Devlin, LFA)
  • Working with Rich Media – Audio (David Beer, Sociology)
  • Working with Rich Media – Video (features our Replay guides)
  • Getting Savvy with digital tools and resources

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

New Blog: Sharing Perspectives on Digital Literacies and Education: GlobED 2018

Courtesy of an invitation from the conference convenor (The International Institute of Knowledge Management) Richard Walker joined delegates from higher education institutions across the Asian region in sharing practice on digital education at the 2nd International Conference on Global Education and E-Learning (GLOBED 2018) on 12th and 13th November in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The digital literacies theme for the conference invited delegates to submit research papers on ‘space, mobilities and practice’ – paying specific attention to the skills required by academics to thrive in a digital environment and to help support the new generation of learners coming into higher education. This was a theme that Richard addressed in his presentation on programme design, highlighting the opportunities for the use of technology to support active learning study and assessment methods – specifically as a medium to exploit students’ creative capacities in expressing and developing their own learning.

You can read more on our E-Learning Blog.

New Blog post: UCISA TEL Survey Report Findings

The ninth UCISA Survey of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) for higher education Report has been published. The Report offers a longitudinal perspective of TEL developments across the UK higher education sector, focusing on the current provision within universities and other higher education providers and the emerging and planned patterns of learning technology usage. This year’s Report draws on data going back to 2001 in its longitudinal analysis of TEL trends. In a new blog post, we will explore some of the key findings from this year’s Survey, updating the picture that was reported on in 2016.

You can read more on our E-Learning Blog.

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 at: vle-support@york.ac.uk

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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