Jul 022014

Just a quick post about a neat trick I discovered today that could help improve access to files for students and staff.

A colleague was looking for a more intuitive way to point fellow staff members to a Blackboard course's file repository as the link (in Control Panel) is not always obvious.

Firstly we right-clicked the link in the browser and copied the link location to the clipboard.

We then created a new item in a content area, inserted a picture and submitted.

Once submitted, the item was edited and with the picture selected the hyperlink button was clicked and the URL for the course file repository pasted into the link URL.

The changes were submitted and we now have a big picture/button within a content area that takes staff and students (depending on permissions) to the course files or a specific directory. This is much more obvious for staff members who may be using a Blackboard course or Organisation for sharing files.

We also found that this approach can be used when creating an Announcement too. Using the divider on the Announcement page we can permanently stick a link to the student files to the top of the default course entry page.

Using this approach could help in a scenario where students need the content of a directory and the instructor can save time by using this technique as an alternative to attaching individual files to an item or using the folder content type as the folder content type offers limited ability to wrap links within contextual and support information.



Jun 062007

Okay folks, here we go. There will be cricket-based nonsense again in this blog, especially in-light of the Vaughan-Flintoff-fredalo incident and its implications for team-play/-work/-liness.

Anyway, our Pathfinder has no name. I think we need one. Email rhall1@dmu.ac.uk with suggestions based upon our 5 aims:

1. To build enhanced institutional knowledge of both Web 2.0 technologies and developmental strategies that support pedagogic and epistemological participation. [c.f. HEFCE e-Learning Strategy Measures of Success 1, 3, 4 and 8; Strands 1.1, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 3.1 and 4.4]

2. To implement professional development strategies for staff in Human Resources, Information Systems and Services (ISAS), and Library Services, for the integration of institutional and non-institutional virtual spaces. [c.f. HEFCE e-Learning Strategy Measures of Success 1, 6 and 8; Strands 1.1, 1.5, 3.1, 4.3 and 4.4.]

3. To deliver differentiated strategies for extending virtual spaces through social networks and user-generated content that are aligned with our e-learning networks, in order to deliver improved retention and progression. [c.f. HEFCE e-Learning Strategy Measures of Success 1 and 3; Strands 1.2, 2.1 and 3.1.]

4. To scope professional development methodologies that utilise Web2.0 technologies. [c.f. HEFCE e-Learning Strategy Measure of Success 8; Strands 1.1, 1.4 and 2.3.]

5. To create social networking links with other project teams and experts, in order to build capacity for innovative e-learning within the sector. [c.f. HEFCE e-Learning Strategy Measure of Success 5; Strands 2.3, 4.1, 6.1 and 6.2.]

We have a Project Plan, emailed off to the HEA/Glenaffric, and our first team meeting has lead to the formation of 7 work-packages with teams assigned to th production of each: deadline 22 June @ high noon. Management-by-exception and clear reporting are key for us. Essentially this means that once we agree the criteria for the work to be done, then teams take responsibility for production of relevant work-packages. Unless there are problems with scope, quality, time-scales or resources, teams have the ability to make decisions without referring to theProject Manager [me]. We will require monthly highlight reports about progress, which should be uploaded onto the project Wiki, alongside final reports etc.. If there are problems with scope, quality, time-scales or resources, which affect the workpackage then an exception report will be needed so that we can agree a contingency with the HEA.

Our Project Board will be a sub-committee of the University Learning and Teaching Committee, who will be responsible for endorsing the project, and advising on and approving progress. This group will receive termly highlight reports from the Project Manager, and will be a key vehicle for monitoring and disseminating project outputs within and without of the institution. It will meet for the first time in the next few weeks.

Don't forget that name!