Summer School 2017 – June 7th – 16th


We’re delighted with the line-up of sessions the team has put together for this year’s Technology Enhanced Learning Summer School. As well as our regular introductory sessions we’ll be looking at classroom polling technologies, getting started with Twitter for HE, tools and tips for visual presentations in lectures, introducing you to the new version of PebblePad, and our Multimedia Network will be meeting. It’s the final hurrah for our series of workshops on Turnitin and Blackboard Assignments which support the University’s policy on electronic submission so book in quick if you want to attend one of these (but don’t panic, these will return in revised guises next academic year).

The complete schedule follows below. This year, for bookings please email eddev @ if there are any sessions you want to attend. Full descriptions for each session are available on the CLL booking page here. You can also book from this page, but please bear in mind that this year bookings are being managed by email, so clicking the ‘book here’ link generates an email with the subject filled in with the workshop you want to attend.

2017 Summer School Schedule

Wednesday 7th June (13:00 – 15:00) – VITAL Essentials – Entry-level practical session on using VITAL also covering the VITAL Baseline, copyright and accessibility.

Wednesday 7th June (13:30 – 16:00) – An introduction to technology-enhanced learning. Looks at the technologies we have available centrally at Liverpool, their applications for learning and teaching, and highlights policy, strategy and guidelines relating to TEL. Reflect on your digital capabilities and that of your students within the context of your own discipline.

Monday 12th June (13:30 – 15:30) – Engaging Learners visually in lectures – tools, tips and tricks. Examining principles of communication and good design for the presentation materials we use in lectures. We will explore sharing approaches and tools that allow you to make engaging slides in PowerPoint, access Creative Commons images, and present data in appealing and engaging ways.

Tuesday 13th June (10:00 – 12:00) –  Multimedia Network – Production of Video in HE. NB This is not a training session. This is a usergroup network meeting and discussion on the use of video in education. See note below about contact details for joining this session.

Tuesday 13th June (13:30 – 15:30) – VITAL online tests – an introduction. We introduce the tool through the whole life cycle of running online tests via VITAL. The session will include practical experience of creating and managing tests and analysing test results, as well as taking a test from the student’s point of view.

Wednesday 14th June (10:00 – 12:00) – PebblePad – an introduction. Pebblepad is the University’s online system for a range of activities such as portfolios and student placements. This summer Pebblepad will be getting upgraded to Version 5 which will update the look and feel, become mobile friendly and have increased functionality. This session will introduce users to the new features and identify different ways the system can be used.

Wednesday 14th June (12:00 – 14:00) – The Turnitin Assignment tool for e-submission (part 1) and GradeMark for feedback (part 2). A practical session looking at how you set up and manage coursework submissions through the Turnitin Assignment tool (part 1) and how you can offer feedback electronically (part 2) using GradeMark. Stay for either or both parts of this session.

Wednesday 14th June (14:30 – 16:30) – The Blackboard Assignment tool for e-submission (part 1) and feedback (part 2). A practical session looking at how you set up and manage coursework submissions through the Blackboard Assignment tool (part 1) and how you can offer feedback electronically (part 2) using Inline Grader. Stay for either or both parts of this session.

Thursday 15th June (10:00 – 12:00) – Classroom Polling Technologies. A look at some of the classroom polling systems widely available and their applications. NB this session will use technologies and software which are currently not available centrally through CSD, but you will be shown low cost or free (but limited) systems which you can use in your teaching.

Thursday 15th June (13:30 – 15:30) – Wikis and blogs in VITAL. This practical workshop introduces using the VITAL wiki and blog tools. We will look at some case studies of the use of these tools for learning and teaching, as well as their built-in assessment and tracking facilities. 

Friday 16th June (10:00 – 12:00) – An introduction to Twitter in Higher Education. This session will provide an overview of the tool, demonstrate examples of how it is used in teaching to support learning, event hashtags and sharing of information.

Friday 16th June (13:30 – 15:30) – Stream Capture for screencasting, lecture capture and podcasting. Key concepts, practical considerations, examples and case studies, and how Stream Capture can be used in these contexts.

All of the workshops are listed on our booking site linked to here.

The main pre-requisite for the summer school sessions (apart from the introductory workshops) is that you are familiar with VITAL and using its main facilities, but please contact us if you want to discuss the suitability of any of the sessions. You are welcome to book on as many sessions as you wish, although we would ask that if you find yourself unable to attend to unenrol as soon as possible.

Please also remember that we are able to run tailored workshops for schools and departments (with a minimum of five attendees). Get in touch with the eLearning Unit to discuss this option.


Multimedia Network – Production of Video in HE – Usergroup meeting

This network and discussion on the use of video in education is aimed at staff working on all scales within the University, who either have direct involvement in Multimedia creation or have access to a team that create educational resources. We will look at a series of video resources, considering them in the context of the institution’s goals, before looking at what ‘free’ editing software exists on the internet to help achieve quality products that aid learning. Before this meeting you are asked to fill out a ‘pre session’ idea map that will help generate discussion for the start of the session.

If you’re keen to work together with a small group to improve the multimedia output of the institution then this Network group could be for you. We will have more meetings coming up. Feel free to email phil walker (pwalker1 @ liv. ac .uk)  for more details.

Moodle with noodles!

Image of XJTLU.

I recently spent 2 weeks at XJTLU in China supporting new staff with the CPS programme, and with their institutional VLE, ICE (Interactive Collaborative Environment). Is uses the Moodle software rather than Blackboard which we use to run VITAL.  After years of supporting staff here to use Blackboard it was a very illuminating experience to support a new set of staff, in a new country, with a new VLE system!

New staff at XJTLU learning to use Moodle.

Moodle, for those of you not not come across it is an ‘open source‘ VLE system (Blackboard is a commercial for-profit organisation) developed in Australia, but now widely used in many schools, FE & HE institutions across the world.

Moodle is a very straightforward and easy to learn system. Most of the staff (70) that we worked with at XJTLU picked it up very quickly – most not having used a VLE before. Some of the immediate key differences between Moodle and Blackboard include:

  • the ability to create visually & graphically more engaging modules.
  • easy to structure modules in different ways to suit different pedagogical purposes. For example, you can structure a module by topics, time (sessions etc.), social networking or linking to learning design software such as LAMS.
  • all across the software you can see small features which indicate that teaching staff have had an input to the development of the software. For example, it has a built-in ability to change roles to a student to take tests etc. without having to enrol and login with a student test account.
  • it just worked! We didn’t come across any major bugs, admittedly we only supported staff with some of the functions of the software.

Watch this short 5 minute video for an overview to ICE at XJTLU. This video includes examples of online study skills modules development by the XJTLU’s English Langauge Unit. These modules extensively use multimedia, quizzes, coursework submissions, Tunitin etc. to support their English language development.

Nick Bunyan

eLearning Network Meeting 13th July 2011 – Apps for L&T

The last eLearning Network meeting of 2010/2011 took place on Wednesday 13th July and the focus of the meeting was on Apps for Learning and Teaching and mobile stuff in general! Yet again we were really pleased with how many people turned up and contributed to the session.

After a quick update on some e-learning activities (including the upgrade to VITAL on 18th July) we entered a lively discussion about the use of Mobile technologies at Liverpool and where it might go in the future.

Craig Goacher from CSD kindly brought along a few different mobile devices for people to  try. Thanks to Steve McKinnell too for bringing his iPad to demonstrate.

We looked at the Blackboard Mobile Learn app for VITAL on the iPad and discussed what it could and couldn’t do. We then turned out attention to other apps that may be useful for staff and students. Most of the apps on the list that follows have been tried by someone in the group and found to be useful – but please be aware, except for Blackboard Mobile Learn, none of these are “officially” recommended…

Examples of more apps can also be found at  Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.

Note taking:

MS Office type:

Mobile Office
Documents to Go


Mind maps/concept maps:

Reference managers:

Accessing the University:
Remote Desktop


File storage:

I’m certain I’ve missed some that we discussed so please feel free to add to/discuss this list via the comment facility below.

If you’re thinking about an Android mobile device, Peter Miller has looked into the Tabtech (manufacturer Eken) M009s 7″ resistive screen, Android 2.2: and kindly provided some details below…

Note that at this is very much a low-end machine compared to the iPad, i.e. significantly slower, but consideration may highlight some of the support issues associated with Android and help distinguish features that are essential as opposed to desirable, e.g. it lacks GPS, accelerometer, phone-asssociated functionality, ability to display direct to external monitor. Some common apps may not be available, e.g. if the hardware is absent. The resistive screen needs a firm press and does not support pinch-zoom gestures requiring multi-point touch. Supports 16 GB microSD card.

Wifi (not EduRoam as yet). Comes with 30pin-to-USB (x2) and -RJ45 connector for USB memory stick/keyboard/mouse, 3G dongle (some, not all), ethernet. Also direct link to USB port on PC. No display to external monitor.

Known to run (after ~12 days use of device!) — all at no additional cost, some as supplied with device, others as freeware, freemium or adware
— Google Docs and Reader (for RSS etc)
— Documents To Go (viewer for MS Office and PDF files; limited editing)
— Adobe Acrobat viewer
— eBooks: Kindle app; Aldiko app (for Calibre)
— YouTube

— Web browser with support for Flash, iPlayer; can run Xerte learning objects

— Evernote (not tested; required Market cache flush before it appeared as an option)
— AK Notepad (sync with as lightweight Evernote equivalent; supports use of Share to pipe output between apps)
— PubMed Mobile
— Instapaper for archiving web pages for later reading (also Web Scrapbook)
— Seesmic (for Twitter)
— Bb Mobile Learn (attached files need to be saved and viewed separately; haven’t tried editing)
— Thinking Space (commercial Pro version supports Mindmeister API)
— AndTidWiki app for generating personal wiki
— Clipper clipboard manager
— ASTRO File Manager

— DropBox

— WApedia (Wikipedia)

— app for screen sharing ( to get PC version)

There are no apps for MindMeister or Prezi as yet though you can view files after a fashion using the respective Flash-based web viewers. No app for Splashtop.



eLearning Network meeting 7th March 2011

The first eLearning Network meeting since the eLearning Unit (eLU) was created was held on Monday 7th March. We are always very pleased with how many colleagues turn up to these meetings and as usual we were happy to see another full room (35+ people!!) and some new faces :-).

The eLearning Network meetings are open to anyone in the university. We hope the meetings are an opportunity for you to find out what the eLearning Unit and CSD are currently doing and planning for the ‘e-learning future’. More importantly these meetings are an opportunity for you to meet with colleagues and find out what e-learning activities they are involved in.

After some concern over whether the worryingly slow PC would actually launch into action we finally got underway…

The agenda for the meeting covered a range of topics with contribution from CSD and eLU and the group as a whole in a discussion about what should be included in the VLE Review.

I started off by giving a blatant plug  for this blog 😉 and reminded everyone about the different ways that we are trying to communicate e-learning activities and developments across the university. We hope that the elearn-net mailing list becomes a place where staff can ask questions and share ideas so please feel free to post your thoughts and queries. 🙂

Anne Qualter (Head of the eLU) then gave an overview of the plan for the eLU and some of the challenges during the next year. Duncan Brown (CSD) gave details about the new hardware that VITAL will be updated to run on, which should improve performance and stability. Duncan also talked about the introduction of the Mobile Learn software and how this is being promoted throughout the University. We then had a discussion about what should be included in a VLE Review.

Thanks to everyone that attended – we feel this is a very useful way to share information, network with colleagues and hear about your views. Please feel free to post any comments you have about the meeting into the comments option below.

The next meeting is on Thursday 5th May 12.00-1.30pm. We look forward to seeing you then.

eLearning Unit

Workshop Report – VITAL Introduction for Administrators

This fully-booked, two-hour workshop was run in early November for administrative and support staff needing to know how to work with VITAL for their day-to-day role. Some staff were completely new to VITAL and some were attending to refresh skills after not using VITAL for a while. The emphasis of the workshop is to start from the basics and get confidence in finding your way around VITAL and where to turn with any problems or queries.

Over a lunch the team gave an overview of the VITAL system, how it fits in with other University systems, some common problems that occur between these systems and where to find help to get them resolved. We then moved to a computer lab for some hands-on practical work where Dan and Tunde demonstrated the system (with staff following and asking questions in their VITAL account) from the basics of logging-in to the system to topics like:

• How to create an announcement;
• How to upload files such as documents or PowerPoints to VITAL;
• How to create and manage assignments (including Turnitin);
• How to set up groups;
• How to manage a VITAL home page and lists of modules.

VITAL Introduction for administrators: computer lab session

This introductory workshop has proved particularly popular across the University and another session is being run on Tuesday 25th January 2011. This is available for booking now at the EdDev website. It is intended to be a flexible session and if there is anything that you particularly want covering then please do get in touch with the team when you book to discuss your requirements.