During the next few weeks, there will be a number of changes to the systems which the Learntech team supports. Many of these changes have been made as a direct response to feedback which has been provided over the year and will represent a considerable investment in improvements to the current environment.
Following the decision by the University Executive Team to remain with Blackboard for a further three years, we will be upgrading this to the latest release which will provide a number of security updates and new features. Some of the key changes include an improved look and feel and enhanced features for assessment and monitoring. A separate page provides full details on these changes.
As previously announced, there will be a move from the Campus Pack blogs and wikis within NILE to using the Blackboard tools. Staff should continue to migrate content out of these areas if required and ensure they are familiar with the new tools.
As part of closer integration with the student record system, student demand for greater clarity and the future need to transfer grades from NILE, there will be a change to the way in which modules and courses are setup. All courses and modules will be created on NILE as they are validated, using an agreed template. Students will be automatically added, and when the site has been developed and made available by the tutor, students will see this in their list of modules when they login to NILE. For full details on the QNIG project, please view the blog posting.
SaGE (Submission and Grading Electronically)
The above changes to NILE will support the University drive to move to e-submission and grading of work, as the site template will help tutors to provide clearer instructions to students on where they need to submit work and how they will obtain results. The SaGE blog continues to be updated with the latest information and guidance.
Following the announcement on May 2nd the product which currently underpins MyPAD will be replaced with a new system based on WordPress (supplied by Edublogs). This will provide significantly improved flexibility for students in their choice of layout and ability to share with a wide range of individuals. Some tutors within The School of Health are continuing to use PebblePad where there is a need for highly structured portfolios.
During 2012, a new product for video streaming similar to that used by YouTube will be introduced to Northampton. Provided by Kaltura, there will be a significant improvement in the integration with NILE and in the functionality over our current video streaming system. Further details will be made available as this work progresses.
As of May 2012, there have been nearly 10,000 downloads of the iNorthampton app. A further update to iNorthampton is planned shortly based on feedback to the first phase – keep an eye on the website for the latest project news.
All of the above changes represents a considerable investment and improvement in the Learning Technology environment. Do not panic as the Learntech team are here to help you and many of the changes are additional features to the current systems.