E-Learning Newsletter – Extra September 2020 Edition
Welcome to an extra September 2020 edition of our newsletter, which summarises a series of key messages as we approach the start of term
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.
- Start of Term Readiness – Technical checks for teaching and admin’ staff to ensure their VLE sites are ready for use
Preparing for Dual Delivery VLE Site Resource For Staff
The VLE training site – ‘Preparing for Dual Delivery 2020-21’ – has been made available to all staff to review. This resource aims to support departments with their planning and preparation for teaching as we move towards the next academic year (2020-2021).
The VLE site models and explains different approaches to teaching online, indicating how these methods might be adapted into blended/dual delivery. A new section of the site providing guidance on socially-distanced teaching on campus from the ASO’s Academic Practice team has been added recently.
To access the site, please log into the University virtual learning environment (Yorkshare) by going to https://vle.york.ac.uk/ and entering your username and computing password into the boxes, which will enable you to authenticate. From there you will arrive on your VLE home page. You can then search in your list of modules for ‘Preparing for Dual Delivery 2020-21’.
Start of Term Readiness – Technical checks for teaching and admin’ staff to ensure their VLE sites are ready for use
A reminder that we have a central guidance document available for both teaching and admin’ staff on how to help ensure VLE sites are ready for the start of term: VLE Start of Term Site Readiness. This guidance is not COVID-specific (for COVID help, see our central COVID page), but rather general housekeeping guidance covering how to get ready for a new term.
Please note that the VLE Group User rollover process was changed for this year and requires departments to check data supplied to them before this can happen. Departments who have checked their data can request a full, partial or special group user rollovers for their new 2020/21 module sites.
The process is complete for many departments but there are some still outstanding. Please ensure that these requests are responded to so that group users are deployed for as many of your sites as possible ready for the start of term.
E-Learning at York – Orientation For New Staff
For colleagues who are assuming new teaching responsibilities at The University in the coming academic year, we have composed a brief introduction to the ecology of E-Learning services and platforms that are supported within the University.
This may also serve as a refresher for colleagues who are returning to teaching following an extended period of absence on research leave.
Start of Term Induction Materials for Students
Several cross-team webinars were held w/c August 24th around what induction materials are available at the University for new and returning students:
- “Induction Materials” webinar slides [Google Slides]
- “Induction Materials” webinar recording
- A spreadsheet of available Induction Materials at the University, from many different areas [Google Sheet]
- An “Explore!” tab has now been added at the top right of all Yorkshare VLE pages for staff and students, which will link through to many induction-related resources
- Specific induction guidance on the PDLT’s toolset (eg. the VLE, Replay/Panopto, Collaborate, etc): “Introduction to learning technologies” area. This supercedes and improves on our older “Student guidance for online learning” from Summer Term 2020.
- This “Introduction to Learning Technologies” info can easily be embedded on your own VLE sites if you wish: How to Add “Introduction to Learning Technologies” boxes to your VLE site.
Take a look at our new “Introduction to learning technologies” area. This area covers what types of online tasks you may be given as a student, as well as technical guidance on how to use many of the common tools used to facilitate these tasks (such as the VLE, Replay, Collaborate and more). The Library has also provided a Skills Guide around studying online, which cover areas such as being digitally organised, researching effectively online, and how to communicate with others over the internet.
For day to day technical support, students can look at the “Help & Support” tab in the top right of every VLE page, or use our Student Help & Support Page.
ASO summer webinar series recordings and resources; support for Departments
Recordings and resources from the Summer webinar series are available in the following webinars VLE site. These are organised by the following themes:
- Designing and planning for active and inclusive learning
- Developing resources, tasks and explicit VLE sites
- Interaction and engagement in dual delivery
- Assessment and feedback approaches
- Evaluation and well-being
There are also recordings and resources from our ‘Show and tell’ webinars in which staff from a range of Departments shared their experiences of teaching in the Summer term 2019-20 and pans for 20-21.
We hope that this will be a useful resource to draw on alongside the preparing for dual delivery site and the PDLT guidance on the use of the VLE and related tools when you are preparing for the 20-21 academic year.
We are currently offering further facilitated support and Q&A webinars for staff in Departments on request and we would be happy to run bespoke sessions for programme / Department teams with sufficient notice (typically two-weeks’ notice is required). If you would like to request a session, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Replay Briefing: 24 September
Prior to the start of term, the Programme Design and Learning Technology Team will deliver a briefing remotely for staff on 24 September between 13:00 – 14:00 to those who wish to use rooms equipped for Replay Lecture Capture when teaching resumes on campus. The session is highly recommended for those who will be using Replay for the first time – but will also chart updates to the service and provide a refresher for previous users.
Replay Service Level for Autumn 2020/21 & Closed Captioning Policy
With no face-to-face lectures taking place on campus in the Autumn Term, the Replay service will be available on an opt-in basis only. Colleagues wishing to schedule a face-to-face ‘non-lecture’ type activity for recording will need to articulate their requirements (for either a single session or a sequence of sessions in one of our supported rooms) to email@example.com, providing notice of three working days. For colleagues wishing to make use of the service, we have composed some guidance that outlines the limitations of the facilities for ‘non-didactic’ delivery and how to approach some of the practical issues that emerge from this. When it is deemed suitable for normal face-to-face lecturing to recommence on campus, the recording of lectures, as stipulated by the University Policy for the Recording of Lectures (2018) will also resume.
It is a legal requirement for all pre-recorded video to meet the requirements of the 2018 Digital Accessibility Regulations. A new staff policy sets out the requirements that all staff should address in their handling of video to comply with the regulations. In summary:
- All staff who are engaged in the creation of pre-recorded video content must ensure that accurate closed captions are included as part of that resource. Pre-recorded video may not be published to end-users without closed captioning in place.
- Staff are required to review the captions for the pre-recorded video to check that they provide an accurate reflection of the audio content (e.g. presenting technical and discipline-specific language correctly). They are also required to respond to requests for corrections to captions from end-users, if errors come to light after the publication of the video resource. Requests for captioning corrections to be made may be communicated to staff directly or through the reporting channel that a teaching department has established and highlighted through its accessibility statement to students.
- Videos hosted within Panopto (the University’s centrally supported service for delivering video for teaching and learning applications) will automatically receive system-generated closed captions – but these will need to be reviewed by the content author to ensure that they are accurate/intelligible
We encourage colleagues to share the full policy document within their Departments.
It is gratifying to see that our Ally scores on the VLE have jumped from 75.4% at the start of term last year to 89.5% this year! Well done to all who have made a great effort to improve the accessibility of your resources and sites. Do keep promoting the use of Ally to students. Departments can keep up with their progress on http://bit.ly/ytel-BBAlly.
New software for all staff and students
New software to support Dyslexia, reading and writing, and Maths will be made available to all staff and students in the new academic year.
- Texthelp Read&Write Gold is a simple and easy-to-use floating toolbar that provides speech feedback, phonetic spell checking and many other literacy support tools to help with reading and writing. It also has a screen colour masking function and a PDF reader tool. The highlighters in the toolbar aid collection of highlights to help with summarising research and bibliographies.
- Equatio allows you to easily screenshot formulas to be read out or to copy and paste into other documents. It allows you to easily add equations, formulas, graphs and more in Google Docs or other documents using latex, handwriting, speech or typing. There are 238 new formulas specifically for Chemistry and Physics. Chemists may find the molecule viewer useful. Additionally, Equatio mathspace allows everyone to work collaboratively on maths problems. Learn how Equatio improves accessibility of your maths-related content in our guide Making equations accessible at the University of York.
IT will be making this available across the network. In the meantime, staff and students can use the guides compiled in this Texthelp Wakelet to install on their own machines or Chrome browser.
Instructional Video for Accessing Read&Write – https://youtu.be/xX-MYDaqppc
Access Code for Temporary Use – HU7WYPM2UJ
Instructional Video for Accessing EquatIO – https://youtu.be/zupibVW6zJ0