Minor update to studentcentral – some new features

Studentcentral had a minor upgrade recently giving some new features for the 2017/18 academic year. These are the headline changes:

  • Drag and drop files – when uploading files (e.g. docs, slides), you can drag an drop them to save having to navigate through your file directory
  • Submission receipts for studentcentral assignments – when students submit assignments using the Blackboard assignment tool (different to Turnitin), they now receive digital receipts of proof of submission
  • Photo class lists for your modules – The eLearning Team have built a new tool that shows the students’ photos (as on the Student Record System). It can only be seen by staff.
  • Mobile Apps – there are two new mobile apps that replace the former Blackboard Mobile Learn app:
    • Blackboard App (iOS Android) – for students to browse content, check grades, view announcements, and participate in discussion boards
    • Blackboard Instructor (iOS Android) – for staff to browse content, check grades, send announcements, and participate in discussion boards. More features will be coming soon apparently.

Full details are given in this post by the University of Brighton eLearning team:
Studentcentral: upgraded!

Best bits from the ASME medical education conference 2017

Tim Vincent
BSMS Learning Technologist

One of the main medical education conferences is the ASME Annual Scientific Meeting which, this year, took place at Exeter university. BSMS had the highest representation ever with several oral presentations and posters, a workshop, and a teaching award (well done Claire!). I am a member of the ASME Technology Enhanced Learning Special Interest Group (ASME TEL SIG) and, as such, was interested to see the growing prevalence and quality of education research in this area. Here are the best bits from the conference from my perspective:

Reflection 1: The importance of Clinical Teaching Fellows. Looking around all the presentations and posters, they seem to be pivotal in medical schools and hospitals driving forward innovative educational initiatives, undertaking robust research, and disseminating the output. That has certainly been our experience at BSMS (we have had Andy, Becky, and Nikki with us this year and others before) – they have contributed a fantastic amount this year to our teaching activity and they have benefited from their year with us, too, taking their skills to . It would seem wise to continue to invest in this crucial role if we want to maintain high quality teaching and education research.

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Get interactive in your lectures – some helpful tools

https://www.jisc.ac.uk/sites/default/files/lecture-hall.jpg

It can be a challenge to keep lectures engaging and stimulating, especially when there is so much material to cover and the physical layout is not conducive to interaction. Fortunately, mobile technology provides some tried and tested digital tools that can help get students thinking and responding to your teaching.

They can be used in a variety of ways, for example:

  • Ascertaining what students know at the start of a lecture to direct your teaching for that session
  • Breaking up long didactic sections with a bit of interaction
  • Getting students to think and commit to a decision
  • Indicating students’ understanding towards the end of a lecture to see if they are taking in the learning objectives
  • Getting feedback on an aspect of the course or your teaching

Here is a list of some of these tools.  If you would like some help in trying any of these out, get in touch with the BSMS Learning Technologists Tim Vincent or CJ Taylor.  Several BSMS faculty are using PollEverywhere, for example, in their large group teaching – look out for future posts discussing their experience.

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