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E-Learning Newsletter June 2021

16 June 2021 Posted in: News Tagged: , , , , , , , , By: Richard Chantler

QMplus Upgrade & Migration: 13 July and 17 August

We will be carrying out essential maintenance and upgrade work to the QMplus virtual learning environment on Tuesday 13 July and Tuesday 17 August, with QMplus unavailable whilst the work is being carried out.

Each year, essential work is carried out on QMplus to add extra features, fix bugs and improve functionality. This year, we’ll also be making improvements to how QMplus is hosted, enhancing performance and increasing resilience. Find out more, here.


Captioning in Blackboard Collaborate

Captions make online content more accessible, particularly for people who may struggle to follow spoken word (or English) in real-time. Blackboard Collaborate does not have a captioning option available like MS Teams and Zoom. However, by using the Live Caption feature on Google Chrome, you can automatically generate real-time captions for media with audio on your browser. To find out more about this, please take a look at this article.


Top Tips for Microsoft Teams

There are lots of great features in Microsoft Teams which can help in optimising your teaching experience, as well as a number which you can use to organise files, links and chat messages. We’ve picked out some of our favourites to share with you in this guide here, so you’re ready to hit the ground running when managing events or meetings, delivering Mixed Mode teaching or simply communicating with colleagues using chat.


Scaling up Blended Delivery

Work has continued in developing the infrastructure and embedded technologies in teaching spaces across the campuses so that they are equipped for Mixed Mode Education.

Colleagues have been attending training sessions run by the QM Academy, trialling the different platforms, such as: Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Blackboard Collaborate. These sessions will continue over the coming weeks, providing staff with an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the technologies, find out how Mixed Mode teaching can work for them, and to ask questions.

To find out more about: Mixed Mode, the rooms and equipment, the training sessions or to request assistance in adapting your teaching, please take a look here.


Featured tool: The Sharing Cart

The ‘Sharing Cart’ feature in QMplus provides an easy way to copy content from one QMplus area to another. You can copy resources such as: files, web links and books, as well as activities, such as: forums, glossaries, quizzes and databases. You can also copy whole sections at once. It is particularly useful at this time of year, as module areas are prepared for the new semester. To find out more about this feature, take a look at this video or the webpage guidance.


Staff development opportunities in June

Please register via the CPD website for any of the courses below:  

Introduction to Online Learning Design

  • Wednesday 23 June – 2-3pm

QMplus Assignments

  • Wednesday 23 June – 3-4pm

Blackboard Collaborate

  • Thursday 24 June – 2-3pm

Advanced Blackboard Collaborate

  • Monday 28 June – 3-4pm

Analytics on student engagement:

  • Tuesday 29 June, 11-12 noon


We also have a number of self-directed training areas online, for staff to work through at their own pace:


Drop-in Sessions and Book a Learning Technologist

Drop-in sessions are online every Tuesday and Thursday, from 1-2pm. There’s no need to tell us you’re coming; just drop-in via the Blackboard Collaborate webinar link on our E-Learning Online Support area on QMplus.

Should your inquiry require more discussion, please access the BALT QMplus page to book a session of up to an hour to discuss your e-learning ideas and issues with one of our learning technologists.


What are people asking the Helpdesk?

The top queries in May were related to: providing additional attempts/overrides for assignments and managing access to QMplus course areas…  …Read more in our common support questions article.

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