Meet our new Student Digital Champions for 2023

We are excited to announce that the DEO have recruited a new group of Student Digital Champions to work with the team for the next year to help us improve students’ digital experience whilst at University. You can find out more about them here. If you’re a student and want to get in touch with them, get in contact with your Course Rep who will be able to put you in touch.

Polly Davis

3rd Year, studying Environmental Geoscience. Polly has worked with the DEO since the start of 2022.

Polly Davis

Tell us something about yourself (interesting or not!)

Just like last year, I am a great Louis Theroux enthusiast!

What is your favourite keyboard shortcut?

My favourite has to be command-f as it saves me a lot of time to find relevant information in countless academic papers. Just search for a keyword and it will direct you to the areas where that word is mentioned in writing!

What’s your favourite emoji to use in online sessions?

Always the smiley face Smile

Is there a University acronym or term you’ve still never worked out what it means?

Fortunately not.

What are you most looking forward to being involved with in the Digital Education Office?

Enhancing digital skills for students. Not only are they essential for university, but they will also be essential for many workplaces! It is vital that all students can access digital learning tools at every stage.

Daniel Cheek

1st Year, studying MEng Aerospace Engineering

Daniel

Tell us something about yourself (interesting or not!)

I enjoy playing football and support Watford. I’m terrible at cooking but an avid food enjoyer. I also enjoy travelling and hiking.

What is your favourite keyboard shortcut?

Windows+ (Magnifier)

What’s your favourite emoji to use in online sessions?

Peace emoji ✌

Is there a University acronym or term you’ve still never worked out what it means?

AVDASI* – it’s a unit on my course but I have no idea what it means apart from A being aerospace.

What are you most looking forward to being involved with in the Digital Education Office?

Improving student experience in a more meaningful way so that when people have issues with digital learning I can take real action to help them.

Rosie Neville

3rd Year, studying Economics and Politics

Rosie

Tell us something about yourself (interesting or not!)

As well as playing football, I am an Arsenal fan (which probably fills me with more dread than joy!)

What is your favourite keyboard shortcut?

Ctrl + F

What’s your favourite emoji to use in online sessions?

Thumbs up – appropriate in most situations Yes

Is there a University acronym or term you’ve still never worked out what it means?

APR*

What are you most looking forward to being involved with in the Digital Education Office?

I am looking forward to being a student voice/ representative on the team. I think having lived experience of what works (and what doesn’t work!) will be beneficial in seeing how the university can use digital resources to improve the experience of students – whether that’s making the digital environment more accessible or improving feedback systems.

Conor Macdonald

2nd Year, studying Philosophy and Economics

Conor

Tell us something about yourself (interesting or not!)

I can speak Welsh.

What is your favourite keyboard shortcut?

Command + Tab (switches between open apps)

What’s your favourite emoji to use in online sessions?

It has to be the simple thumbs up 👍

Is there a University acronym or term you’ve still never worked out what it means?

I’d like to think I know most of them, though I still sometimes get mixed up between summative and formative assessments.

What are you most looking forward to being involved with in the Digital Education Office?

I’m looking forward to shaping the student experience of digital education at Bristol. Hopefully I can input their opinions on projects before they’re implemented. I’d also like to improve students’ opinions regarding their experience with present projects, such as Multi Factor Authentication (MFA). Hopefully I can show that it is a very useful security feature and not something to dislike.

Emma Yi Kwan Lau,

3rd Year, studying Veterinary Science

Emma

Tell us something about yourself (interesting or not!)

I travelled to Ireland last summer for an internship to learn more about aquaculture and how it relates to veterinary medicine. You wouldn’t have correlated your pet fish with vets, but that’s possible and is an industry I want to be part of!

What is your favourite keyboard shortcut?

Ctrl+Z. Sometimes I accidentally delete what I wrote. However, with this shortcut, I can easily recover the sentence or paragraph I was writing!

What’s your favourite emoji to use in online sessions?

👍 A thumbs up!

Is there a University acronym or term you’ve still never worked out what it means?

Not yet.

What are you most looking forward to being involved with in the Digital Education Office?

Collecting students’ opinions on the current blended learning system and creating projects to improve students’ experiences!

Gen Kawaguchi

2nd Year. Studying Aerospace Engineering

Gen

Tell us something about yourself (interesting or not!)

I worked as a volunteer in Tokyo 2020 Olympics!

What is your favourite keyboard shortcut?

Shift+Windows+S! Snipping is useful.

What’s your favourite emoji to use in online sessions?

😵‍💫Dizzy symbol👍- When I get confused and understand.

Is there a University acronym or term you’ve still never worked out what it means?

A LOT!! I still find many acronyms that I don’t know especially when checking emails… (TSS, CAG, ILO, etc…)*

What are you most looking forward to being involved with in the Digital Education Office?

Work collaboratively with team members Beaming face with smiling eyes

Hannah Harrison

1st Year, studying MSc Mathematics of Cybersecurity

Hannah

Tell us something about yourself (interesting or not!)

I love to scuba dive!

What is your favourite keyboard shortcut?

Ctrl-F is a firm favourite, it saves so much time!

What’s your favourite emoji to use in online sessions?

The facepalm emoji – for when I’ve been stuck on a problem for ages and suddenly realise the obvious solution! Facepalm

Is there a University acronym or term you’ve still never worked out what it means?

SSLC*

What are you most looking forward to being involved with in the Digital Education Office?

I am looking forward to the opportunity to write blog posts, as I rarely write anything outside of the academic style. I’m also excited to share my ideas on how to improve student experiences with blackboard and online learning after the shake-up caused by COVID.

Nia Burkinshaw,

2nd Year, studying Law

Nia

Tell us something about yourself (interesting or not!)

I am really terrible at using buses in Bristol, and have often gone in the wrong direction. I have ended up in practically Weston-super-Mare not once but twice!

What is your favourite keyboard shortcut?

ctrl + f, saves a lot of boring reading!

What’s your favourite emoji to use in online sessions?

A simple smiley face for when my lecturer shows us his cats. Smile

Is there a University acronym or term you’ve still never worked out what it means?

No, but the ASS (library) can be great for making an immature joke.

What are you most looking forward to being involved with in the Digital Education Office?

The team seem really great and exciting people, I’m looking forward to collaborating with others to help students get the most out of the amazing resources we have access to.

Katie Stoker

1st year MSc, studying Bioinformatics

Katie

Tell us something about yourself (interesting or not!)

I studied in Italy for one year during my undergraduate degree!

What is your favourite keyboard shortcut?

Hm, I would say it has to be ctrl+ s…
I have learned from experience that you should save your work as you go!

What’s your favourite emoji to use in online sessions?

The heart! ❤️

Is there a University acronym or term you’ve still never worked out what it means?

As a newbie to the university, I was quite confused hearing people they were going to “ASS” to study (Arts And Social Sciences Library for anyone still confused).

What are you most looking forward to being involved with in the Digital Education Office?

Working with the DEO is going to be a great opportunity to be a representative of the student voice. I look forward to contributing creative and innovative ideas to solve problems and improve the online university experience.

Bibiana Lebersorger

3rd year, studying English

Bibi

Tell us something about yourself (interesting or not!)

I really enjoy cold water swimming, especially at home along the Devon coastline.

What is your favourite keyboard shortcut?

Control/Command + F = Find a word in a document.

What’s your favourite emoji to use in online sessions?

Thumbs up! 👍

Is there a University acronym or term you’ve still never worked out what it means?

AGM / EGM*

What are you most looking forward to being involved with in the Digital Education Office?

I’m really looking forward to helping to identify digital problems that students and lectures alike encounter, and coming up with creative potential solutions.

Samantha Travers-Spencer

2nd Year, studying Veterinary Science

Samantha

Tell us something about yourself (interesting or not!)

My favourite animals are donkeys!

What is your favourite keyboard shortcut?

It has to be the classic Ctrl+V!

What’s your favourite emoji to use in online sessions?

Definitely the thumbs up emoji. 👍

Is there a University acronym or term you’ve still never worked out what it means?

There are so many I have honestly lost count!

What are you most looking forward to being involved with in the Digital Education Office?

I am most looking forward to working with a diverse team, meeting new people and hopefully developing new digital skills along the way.

Timber Hill

1st Year MSc, studying Nuclear Science and Engineering

Timber

Tell us something about yourself (interesting or not!)

I’m a member of the judiciary!

What is your favourite keyboard shortcut?

Windows + X – opens up a menu to quickly open Task Manager, Device Manager or a PowerShell instance (and more!)

What’s your favourite emoji to use in online sessions?

😦 – the sort of face you’d make if you’re looking at something that has gone way over your head

Is there a University acronym or term you’ve still never worked out what it means?

Too many to remember! I come across AQSC (Academic Quality and Standards Committee) written down a fair bit, and only just found out what it stands for.

What are you most looking forward to being involved with in the Digital Education Office?

Getting stuck in with projects to make digital tools work better for all students! I’m especially interested in accessibility – with a focus on neurodivergence.

Useful links

You can find out more about the Student Digital Champions, and see some of the work they have created on the following pages.

*We knew most of these acronyms, but had to look a few up!

  • AVDASI – Aerospace Vehicle Design and Systems Integration
  • APR – Annual programme review.
  • Summative assessment – Assessments of learning provide a measure of achievement in relation to the learning outcomes of the unit or programme. These assessments are designed to test how much you have learnt, i.e. your knowledge, understanding and skills.
  • Formative assessment – Assessments for learning are designed to provide you with feedback on your progress and to inform your development, but do not contribute to the overall unit or programme mark. These assessments should help you gain further knowledge, understanding and skills.
  • TSS – Temporary Staffing Service
  • CAG – Casual, Academic, Guest
  • ILO – Industrial Liaison Office
  • SSLC – Student Staff Liaison Committees
  • AGM – Annual General Meeting
  • EGM – Extraordinary General Meeting

Reminder – Turnitin maintenance 14-15 January 2023

This is a reminder that Turnitin services will be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance by the supplier from Saturday 14th January 2023 at 17:00 until Sunday 15th January 2023 at 01:00 GMT.  During this maintenance window students will be unable to submit papers, or view marks, feedback and similarity reports.

Further information is available on the Turnitin status page.

Turnitin maintenance 14-15 January 2023

Turnitin maintenance 14-15 January 2023

Turnitin have informed us that their services will be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance from Saturday 14th January 2023 at 17:00 until Sunday 15th January 2023 at 01:00 GMT.  During this maintenance window users will be unable to submit assignments or view marks and feedback.

Further information is available on the Turnitin status page.

Take part in our Digital Insights Survey!

Have you got time to tell us about your experiences of digital teaching and learning within the University’s online environments?

Our Digital Insights survey is now open! Responses are anonymous but play a huge part in the development of our digital development. This year it’s more important than ever to have your say, as the University is looking at the Digital Learning Environment in order to make tangible improvements to your learning. The Jisc Digital Experience Insights Survey aids us in our work to continuously enhance the student experience. As well as looking at our own data, we will be able to compare our results with other education providers and benchmarking data across institutions. Find a link to complete the survey here, it takes ten minutes to complete: Digital Insights Survey.

Person sat working on a laptop
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

 

 

The Re/Play student survey

Have you got some time to complete our Re/Play student survey?

Re/Play is the function inside Blackboard that lets you watch back your recorded lectures and other videos. You may also see the tool referred to as Mediasite. The University wants to better understand how students use Re/Play, what you find useful and what you find frustrating so they can make the system work better for you.

Please complete this five-minute survey by 5pm on Friday 18th of November and have your say!

You can find out more about Re/Play on our Student Essentials page.

Turnitin Transition 2022

If you are submitting using Turnitin don’t forget to download your digital receipt. If you used Turnitin in previous years please note that, due to the new version of Turnitin, the interface looks a little different this year and you will no longer receive an email receipt. Find out more information, including screenshots, on the Turnitin Transition 2022 page.

Clearing your cache to prevent possible equation display issues

There has been an update to this issue in a post from 5th January 2023. Please refer to the up to date instructions in this new post.

You may have seen an issue with equations not displaying properly in some browsers when using Blackboard. This was resolved by Blackboard on the 6th October, however the DEO have recently received reports that a small number of users have continued to experience issues with equations they have previously viewed in their browsers. If an equation is not displaying properly for you, please clear your browser cache and cookies (using, for example, these instructions), then reload the pageThis only needs to be done once on the device and browser being usedand can be done at any time (for example, in advance of taking a test which includes equations), after which the issue should not persist or recur 

The Digital Education Office are hiring!

Following on from the great work of our Student Digital Champions, we are keen to hire some more students to work with us again starting in January 2023.

Student Digital Champion 

The UoB Digital Education Office (DEO) are looking for passionate students to work with us to ensure that all students can get the most out of their digital and blended learning experiences at Bristol. As a Student Digital Champion, you will be talking to students, course reps and staff members to hear what is or isn’t working in our online learning environments, and identify good practice in teaching and assessment. You will be working as a team, with the DEO and other Student Digital Champions, to identify and address key challenges the student body are facing when learning in an online, blended or hybrid environment, and then propose, pilot and implement practical solutions. In addition, you’ll be adding your own personal experiences and feedback to the work of the DEO, and helping us shape the work we do in real time. To apply for this role, you need to be a current student at the University of Bristol. You’ll be working an average of 3 hours per week spanning from January to December. 

You can read more about how our previous students have found the role in our past blog posts.

A reflection on my time as a Student Digital Champion

Written by Olivia Muggleton, Student Digital Champion

Olivia Muggleton

I began my role as a Student Digital Champion (SDC) in the Summer of 2021. Having recently returned from my much needed post exam holiday, I was re-energised and raring to start making some changes to our digital learning experience as students at the University of Bristol. Since then, I am proud to say that I have provided the DEO with a number of insights, resources and other miscellaneous contributions which I feel will prove useful, not only for current and future students, but also for the DEO in helping them understand what it is that works for us. Beyond this, however, I have also received an immeasurably valuable experience thanks to the DEO, as it has pushed me to develop my skills and confidence in a way that I could not have imagined prior to that Summer of 2021.   

As it was an entirely remotely based role, being an SDC enabled me to gain valuable work experience despite living at my home in South Wales for my final two years of study. Although I was wholly inexperienced in working remotely, I soon discovered that organisation, time management and the ability to work productively and efficiently with minimal supervision, were going to be key to adapting successfully to this new style of work (at the time I had also started Peer Mentoring so this lesson was learnt doubly as fast!). As I was afforded great freedom to select and complete my tasks and projects in my own time, the SDC role really enhanced my skills in all the aforementioned areas, especially as it was a role that I undertook alongside my fulltime studies – Self motivation and drive are essential! As a result, I am now confident not only in my ability to adapt to new modes of working, but also in my ability to produce high quality work in a timely and efficient manner, by setting my own deadlines and keeping a thorough log of my hours. 

Desk with a laptop and lamp. Photo by Rich Tervet on Unsplash

Being able to work autonomously in this sense was not, however, the only skill that I developed thanks to my work as an SDC. The ability to communicate and work well in a team was also a central requirement for this role. Thanks to the highly collaborative and open minded environment that the DEO and other SDCs have created, this is an ability which I feel I have strengthened tenfold. I now feel that I can better appreciate the value and insight that can be gained by encouraging individuals from diverse backgrounds and circumstances to share their ideas and perspectives, as these will inevitably lead to more effective problem solving and an all-round more supportive (and subsequently productive) workplace – From accessibility requirements and culture to professional background, everyone has a unique perspective which can enable you to see the bigger picture when trying to creatively solve problems and overcome particular challenges. In the same vein, the SDC role provided me with an opportunity to focus on the areas of my communication skills which I felt least confident in – For instance, I was able to coordinate and lead two presentations which portrayed the student voice to university staff and academics within and beyond the University of Bristol. This has increased my confidence in presenting and orally communicating my ideas to my team members and audiences in a formal, presentational setting. It has also improved my confidence in taking the lead on projects, a confidence subsequently demonstrated by taking the lead in creating the student digital glossary and keyboard shortcut guide. 

While I would love to elaborate on all the interesting projects and tasks that I had the pleasure of working on during my time as a SDC (and all the skills that I subsequently developed in relation to these projects), I believe it is sufficient to say that this was an incredible opportunity, for which I owe a great deal to the DEO. Accordingly, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the following individuals who made working as an SDC such a valuable and enjoyable experience. Firstly, I cannot convey enough thanks to Naomi (Nay), my first port of call when I needed any guidance in this role – From the beginning Nay has always been in touch and eager to put our ideas into practice, she really cares about our progression as SDCs and what we get out of the role, not simply how we can benefit the DEO. She works incredibly hard and is generally a lovely person who always made me feel comfortable in expressing any thoughts or feedback and regularly encouraged me to pursue the things that I cared about most. I would also like to thank the rest of the DEO team – Every one of them truly respect and actively seek out the student perspective, going out of their way to do it justice. It was nice to be treated as an equal in a professional environment where my input was highly valued, and I have the upmost confidence that the team will continue to work hard to shape their work around the needs and concerns of the students at the university long into the future. Last but not least I would like to thank my fellow SDCs – Although I have seen many come and go due to my extended time within the role, each one of them has inspired me with their ideas and passion, enlightened me and opened my eyes to perspectives and challenges which I may never have even considered without their contributions. Everyone has always been friendly and eager to help each other to be successful, which made for a very easy environment to collaborate and work productively as a team, so thank you!  

Person walking on a beach. Photo by José M. Reyes on Unsplash

I think my three extensions make it quite clear that I would happily go on to continue my work as a SDC, but unfortunately I could not do the role justice as I am no longer a student! So where do I go from here? As of July I have completed my LLB Law with The University of Bristol and cannot wait to get stuck into the legal world in practice. It is fair to say that this role has set me up incredibly well and provided me with a level of confidence in many skills which will prove highly transferable when I commence my next role. From team working and communication (written and oral) to problem solving and even remote working (time management, minimal supervision, organisation), working as an SDC has enabled me to leave university feeling prepared and ready to tackle the next phase in my life, but it has also provided me with some treasured friends which I know will help me on that journey.  

Girl looking over hills. Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Unsplash

All that is remaining for me to say (in case I have not made it clear enough) is that I highly recommend that you apply to become an SDC – It is more than a source of extra income, it is an opportunity to shape the digital learning experience that is provided by The University of Bristol (and perhaps beyond) while gaining valuable experience and friendships along the way.  

Thank you 

Diolch 

Olivia 

Student experiences of online assessment

Written by Olivia Muggleton, Student Digital Champion.

Olivia Muggleton

Olivia recently presented at one of BILT’s Show and Tell events on Student Experiences of Online Assessment. It was a great event and we thought we should share it with the student community too.

Student Experiences of Online Assessment

Last week I was tasked with presenting a few of my thoughts to university staff as part of the Bristol Institute for Learning (BILT) Show, Tell and Talk webinar event. This webinar focused on the topic of online assessments and included talks from university staff and BILT Student Fellows on the behind the scenes of online assessment and their feedback on its success so far – including the wellbeing and accessibility aspects of this new mode of learning. I was fortunate enough to be able to use my role as Student Digital Champion to represent the student experience and offer some feedback from the people who are impacted most by the move to online assessments – Us!

In my presentation I focused on the experience of preparing for online assessments and how this has changed quite significantly over the past couple of years. So firstly, how can you prepare? Beyond revision of the unit’s course content, online assessments carry with them a whole load of technical challenges, whether they’re timed open-book over a number of hours or days, or whether they require hand written text or diagrams to be scanned and submitted: and if you get that far, the next challenge is saving with the correct file names and formats and submitting into the right submission port – and as with any other online activity, accessibility is also an incredibly important factor. So in acknowledging these additional requirements, lets discuss some of the online assessment preparation resources that are available to us as students.

Digitally Ready ‘Digitally Ready for Assessment’

Digitally Ready on Blackboard

Digitally Ready provides students with resources and advice with respect to online learning. Under this specific subheading of the ‘digital induction’ links can be found to all relevant pages such as student services, wellbeing support, the university assessment and exam arrangement pages, as well as the Study Skills resources on Exams and Wellbeing.

As well as signposting, Digitally Ready provides a virtual walkthrough of the Assessment, Submission and Feedback (ASF) areas in Blackboard and a step by step checklist to go through as soon as we know about a timed online exam, including what to do in the event that something goes wrong – overall, a really extensive and helpful resource. The SDCs are also currently working with the Strategic programmes and projects team to provide feedback to improve the ASF area for students.

I’m particularly fond of the Padlet that sits in this section which allows students to view and input their own preparation advice. This provides helpful, practical advice, tried and tested by people in the same situation, but it also builds a sense of community among peers, which has perhaps felt a bit lacking owing to the transition to online learning.

Study Skills ‘Exams and Wellbeing’ and ‘Online open-book exams’ resources.

The Study Skills service create a wealth of resources for students which cover just about anything you could need advice or guidance with. Especially relevant for our purposes are the ‘Exams and Wellbeing’ page and the ‘Online open-book exams’ page. The first of these is a well organised and structured resource which particularly focuses on the stresses that students might feel in the run up to exams. Rather than focusing on the technicalities and revision as such, it provides students with a refreshing insight into recognising unhealthy stress and advice on how to avoid it by better organising yourself and maintaining perspective. The ‘Online open-book exams’ resource delves deeper into the specific requirements of this mode of online assessment and provides some insightful advice regarding certain myths which surround online open-book assessments and some tips on preparing and revising for different assessment formats – for instance unseen, short-term seen and long term seen questions. This resource does tend to be most helpful in terms of aiding an approach to revision, but it nicely caters this to the relatively new format of online assessments. What I like most about this resource is its interactivity and varying format which really encourages engagement – and combined with the possibility of catering it to your own assessment format I think it’s a really appealing and useful page.

Study skills

DEO ‘preparing your submission’

This is a resource that we as SDCs have been quite involved with, we worked with the DEO to give some detailed student informed feedback on the layout and content of this resource and its practical ease for us to follow. This resource really delves into the technicalities and thoroughly explains each and every step involved in preparing to submit an online assessment in multiple formats, on Blackboard or Turnitin.

While it is predominantly focused on the technical side of preparation, I feel that this, alongside the ‘Submitting assignments in Blackboard or Turnitin’ guidance, are really invaluable resources, especially to students in first year who are likely to be entirely unfamiliar with this form of assessment via these platforms. More generally, I feel the DEO’s resources are really helpful as they provide an interactive (and thoroughly detailed) resource for students to click through and follow.

Preparing your submission

What are your thoughts?

Do you have any thoughts on these resources or on online assessments in general? We SDCs are here to champion the student perspective and experience so if you feel that there’s something we should know, please reach out so that we can be even more representative of your voice! We are also always working on giving feedback on university resources and areas of the online learning environment including but not limited to assessments, so subscribe to DigiTalk to keep up to date on our latest developments.

Further resources

 

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