This post is a further update to the issue first identified on 07 February, where students were seeing an error message when trying to use the Re/Play link in the Blackboard left-hand menu.
As reported yesterday, all students should now be able to access Re/Play materials shared via left-hand menu links in Blackboard. Automated recordings have not been affected, and no recordings have been lost. Recordings will be available after 48 hours or when published by the academic staff member, as usual.
However, we are still applying fixes to some pre-existing problems with Re/Play which might affect whether you can view some videos in Blackboard. Yesterday, there were some sporadic reports of videos being unavailable if added into Blackboard so that they appear as a thumbnail image and a link within a course page.
If this is affecting you, first try to access any unavailable videos via the Re/Play link in the left-hand menu of your course, if that is available to you. If the problem persists and you need urgent access, please contact your school, or the IT Self Service site Home / IT Services Self Service (ivanticloud.com).
We hope to have this issue resolved as soon as possible and are still actively working on solutions.
We believe this issue has been resolved, and you should now be able to view your videos as normal. We are now in the process of thoroughly testing this fix, so there is a possibility some access is yet to be restored in all instances.
We sincerely apologise for any disruption this issue has caused you. Please be assured we have been doing all we can to resolve it as soon as possible.
From the 31st of January, we’re making a change to the way captions get added to video content in Re/Play. Instead of lecturers having to add captions manually, Re/Play will now add them automatically. This is good news for all of you who have said that having captions on video helps you to learn, and it also means that we will be working towards making your learning material as accessible as it can be.
“I use captions whenever I am watching a video. I find it really helps me to process what someone is saying. The Powerpoint slides help me to clarify any inaccurate captions.” UoB Student, Autumn 2021
The software that will add the captions does so using a computer, not a human, so there will inevitably be mistakes in the captions. Therefore, it’s really important to see captions as a way to support your learning, not as a replacement for the video content. They will not be accurate enough if you rely on captions to learn for accessibility reasons. If this is your situation, there is a separate support route in place where human written captions can be provided for you – get in touch with Disability Services who will be able to help further. For recordings of in-person lectures (lecture capture), captions will be added once the recording is published. If you don’t immediately see captions available, check back in an hour or so.
“When there are no captions, I am much more likely to need to keep rewinding to listen again.” UoB Student, Autumn 2021
If you use captions as a support to your learning, you’re adding to your set of study skills, as well as your digital skills! If anything doesn’t look right, especially terminology or names, double check against what’s on the slide, in handouts or reading materials, or listen to that section if you can. Captions should never be used as the sole source of information, especially for assessments and revision.Always check with your lecturer if you don’t understand something important.
To turn the captions on or off on a video, look for the small ‘CC’ icon at the bottom of the video. Captions will appear at the bottom of the video.
If you play the video full screen, you’ll also see a small magnifying glass icon. Here, you can search the captions and go straight to where a key word is mentioned by selecting the caption you want to see.
We’d love to hear feedback on how the captions help you learn. Why not get in touch with your course rep and ask them to pass your thoughts to our team of Student Digital Champions!
Following on from the great work of our Student Digital Champions, we are keen to hire some more students to work with us through TB2.
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 for three months spanning March – to the beginning of June, and we hope to provide a possibility of continuing in the role for the 2022/23 academic year.
The Student Digital Learning Experience team in the DEO are excited to announce the launch of our Digitally Skilled video series!
Digital skills are an important part of your learning, and are an area that have really taken a front and centre position on stage in the last few years.
It is estimated that, in 20 years’ time, 90% of all jobs will require people to work with digital technologies. Already, 72% of large firms struggle to recruit workers with digital skills. Quote from jisc.ac.uk
Digital skills are not only useful whilst at University, but they make up part of your development, learning and experiences you take with you into your future careers. Staff and students alike should be thinking about digital skills and taking them into consideration in their professional and personal lives.
The Digitally Skilled series will focus on a number of different digital skills. We want you to feel confident in understanding digital capabilities and capable to adapt and progress whilst using them in your student and further careers. We have aligned the series with the Jisc Digital Capability Framework which takes you through the six elements of digital capabilities.
Take a look, do you feel you already have some of these skills?
Digital identity and wellbeing
Information, data and media literacies
Digital learning and development
Digital creation, problem solving and innovation
Digital communication, collaboration and participation
We first take a look at your Digital identity and wellbeing. You can find more information on what makes up this skill in the framework.
Our very first video, we hope you enjoy! Please let us know what you think.
Online identity is the social identity that you establish in online communities. Your posts, comments and reactions on online platforms you use give others an image of who you are, e.g. as a student or as a professional. You can craft your online identity to show your peers, tutors, lecturers, or even potential employers, who you are, and allow your personality and skills to shine through.
Crafting your identity: 1. Think about who you are and who you want to be. 2. Look at your current online identity on the various online platforms you use, and consider whether they reflect who you are. 3. Decide whether you need to change the privacy settings or delete any of your profiles, information, posts, images, comments or reactions.
To develop your online identity further, from now on: 1. Re-consider your content before posting to ensure your message is clear and your tone appropriate. 2. Occasionally look at combinations of items you have posted, to ensure your online identity is what you want. 3. Keep a digital record of your skills, achievements, projects or articles in a portfolio, professional network or in a document, so you can add them online later. 4. Add a profile photo to online platforms you use as a University student, to make your contributions to your peers and tutors more personal.
Think about the data you are sharing online: 1. Are you sharing too much? 2. Could the information you share be harmful to others or could anyone use that information to harm you? 3. Check what information apps and websites are collecting about you and how you can heighten your protection.
You don’t need to get your online identity right immediately. We all improve with time and practice. Start with small changes and that will get you on the right track.
Prioritise your wellbeing It’s ok to unfollow or unfriend people if looking at their posts is negatively affecting your mental health. Make sure you take some time away from being online and disconnect for a while.
Exams are coming up for some students and although some of you may be on campus taking them, we know that the majority will be taking them online.
Revising is one thing but making sure you are prepared for taking your exams is also important. The Digital Education Office (DEO) have noted down some useful information and links to help you get ready. Keep these details handy so if you run into any problems, or you need some advice, you know exactly where to go.
The first point of contact for student queries is Student Services.Make sure you have and include the following information when contacting them: (name, student number or username and exam paper code (as listed in your exam timetable).
As we are finishing for Christmas, Georgie, one of our Student Digital Champions (SDCs) has written a round-up of what herself and the other Student Digi Champs have been focusing on since October. It’s been a really busy few months for the team and the SDCs have been brilliant in working with the DEO to help improve the digital experience for students. We are looking forward to having them back in January to continue their great work and will also be recruiting for new Student Digital Champions, so look out for updates!
If you are a UoB student and are interested in sharing your views on your digital experiences, please think about taking our Digital Experience Insights survey which takes about 10 minutes and helps us to look at what we need to focus on in the development of student’s digital experiences at the University.
Merry Christmas from us all at the DEO, and thanks for subscribing to DigiTalk!
See you in the new year, Naomi 😊
A round up for Christmas.
Georgie Pitts, Student Digital Champion
For the second half of TB 1, the Student Digital Champions have been working hard to research student’s experiences of digital learning at the University.
We have begun to research Authentic Assessment, a form of assessment that assesses students using realistic / job-type situations that they are likely to encounter post-study in their careers.
We have also started compiling an exam FAQs document, which will provide students with guidance preparing them for exams. We hope this document can be a useful summary for students who need a quick answer to an exam-related question.
Members of the DEO have also been redesigning the Accessibility web pages on the University website. The site includes any information for staff or students on anything accessibility related, including where to look for support, and information on how staff can make their learning materials more accessible. It’s full of recourses, and well worth a look. See the link here: https://www.bristol.ac.uk/digital-education/inclusion/
You may be aware the DEO have hired Caption Editors to edit and improve captioning on video learning resources. The SDCs have also conducted our own research on our specific courses to begin to analyse where improvements need to be made.
We have also published a Digital Accessibility in Learning student survey, aimed at gathering responses from students about their personal experiences with online learning, and looking at whether they have struggled with accessibility challenges. If you are also interested in providing your experience and suggestions, you can complete the survey using the following link: https://forms.office.com/r/rbhjCQcyLc. The survey takes 5 minutes and will be a great help!
The DEO are working towards a new video series focusing on digital skills. Olivia, one of the SDCs has been helping with this by contributing the audio for the first video, which will hopefully be out in the new year, and will be focussed on Online Identity.
The Champions have also been engaging with their course reps to see if they have received any digital experience or accessibility-related feedback. If you are a course rep, and want to get in touch, please email email@example.com, citing you’d like to talk to the Student Digital Champions.
We have had a great TB1 as Digital Champions, and have enjoyed working towards improving the digital experience and awareness of accessibility at the University!
As the year draws to a close, it’s a good opportunity to take some time and reflect on how things have gone so far this academic year. For the past few years – even before the pandemic changed the way we teach and learn – we’ve asked students to tell us what they think about our digital learning environment. The questions range from asking about you and your technology, to asking about how much support you feel you’ve had, where you go for help, and what we could be doing better. The survey is coordinated by JISC, which is a national organisation, so we are also able to see where we are in the sector, and work out what we’re doing well and what we can improve on.
The 10 minutes it takes for you to complete the survey are so valuable, as without hearing your experiences, we can’t work to change things for the better!
What we’ve done based on previous results
In previous years, we’ve used the results from this survey to make direct changes to the experience of students.
Written by Hamzah Teladia, Student Digital Champion
Microsoft Teams, part of the University’s chosen Office 365 platform integrates several interactive pathways allowing for streamlined collaboration. Although it can be tricky to find your way around the first time, getting used to it does not take long at all once you have found where things are.
If you have used it, you know how useful it can be in group tasks: if not, you might want to consider it. The main usefulness of Teams from a personal opinion, and being a fan of centralised platforms where you don’t have to have several apps open, is that everything you need is in one application. You can access; the Instant Messaging function to speak to individuals or groups rather than creating lengthy email trails, your calendar to create or join meetings in a click, recently accessed files, a link to all other Microsoft apps and an FAQs section if you’ve lost your way. Downloading the Teams app on your phone allows you to access these features too, and enabling push notifications allows you to instantaneously receive any updates, or if you have been tagged in anything which requires your attention.
The primary function of Teams however, is the Team function itself. Here, you can create spaces limited to groups selected by the admin, who would have management functions over the Team. This means you have a private space to interact, where channels can also be created for specific purposes to organise activities. You can see your recurring or ad hoc meetings, if scheduled with the Team attached and importantly, have a repository of shared files in the files tab and being able to see this history in one place allowing you to track progress. See the Teams guide to learn more about these individual functions.
Word docs, PowerPoints or anything else can be created within your Teams which allows changes to be made in time and be seen and accessed by people in your Team – be careful to run things past your Team in shared documents to keep them aware of changes. This function still exists through OneDrive, by creating a document, but requiring invites to be sent to people to view or edit. In the case of group work this would work the best with a Team, as all the documents would be in one place. The IM function especially is useful in day-to-day updates or just staying connected, whereas meetings would be useful for more in-depth discussions or periodic planning or progress updates.
As difficult as group work can be at University, Teams makes it easier by allowing you to work and communicate in one place. This also contributes to your digital upskilling, allowing you to collaborate digitally, more important now than ever.
Written by Olivia Muggleton: Student Digital Champion
Olivia writes about why she started working as a Student Digital Champion, and her creation of our new MS Teams walkthrough video.
The predominant reason behind me seeking a role as Student Digital Champion was my interest in facilitating student involvement and collaboration. I felt that this was particularly important within an institution which can often be seen as rather detached from its students in terms of day to day practice, which is partly due to the far more independent nature of learning in comparison to secondary education.
With coronavirus spurring a rapid change in all universities’ traditional modes of teaching to include online learning methods, I thought it would be helpful to reduce some of this aforementioned detachment in the provisions made by the university by introducing a student’s voice in the form of a walkthrough guide. This walkthrough illustrates, from a student’s perspective, the uses and functions of Microsoft Teams, a platform which has seen significant uptake of late due to the demands of online learning, as well as its convenience in terms of student collaboration within and outside of the curriculum.
I have really come to value my time with the Digital Education Office, who have enabled me to engage with the student learning experience and make valuable contributions in the form of questionnaires and various feedback on a broad range of areas. I am looking forward to continuing my part in enhancing the student experience through my role as SDC, by continuing to provide a student’s voice through feedback and engage with course representatives to better understand, and delve deeper into the needs of students, and assist the university to adapt to those developing needs.