Teaching Software – App Hub

A new teaching software is being released for the academic year 2016/17 called App Hub. This software will be available on all computers and allows both staff and students access to new software which might not be available on the computer they are using.

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Help Guides – Using Camtasia Screencasting Software

Some help guides have been created to help understand how to create and use the screencast software ‘Camtasia’.

There are three separate guides which provide step by step instructions on how to create a screencast, how to record a PowerPoint and uploading the screencast to YouTube. Two versions of the help guides have been created, this includes a print out version and an infographic version shown below.

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Flipboard – Newsreading App

What is Flipboard?

Flipboard is an online resource that stores information from the web on one simple application, it is usually described as a social, magazine and news application. Flipboard gathers information from magazines, newspaper articles, blogs and many other sites on the internet, it then stores them on the app. This allows the users to have access to lots of information in one space rather than searching through the internet for hours on end for one little bit of information. Flipboard is easy to navigate, use and supports different operating systems allowing on the go usage.

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Adding referral work to Blackboard – Setting up Adaptive Release rules

It is possible to post referral work onto Blackboard and only make it available to the students who need to access it. This is done through the Adaptive Release feature on Blackboard.

Firstly what you will need to do is set up a Group and put all of the referred students into it.

To create the Group follow these next few steps:

  • Select Users and Groups in the Control Panel and then select Groups
  • Then select Create Single Groups and then Manual Enrol
  • Follow the instructions on the next page, name the group and select the options you would like. Scroll to the bottom of the page and add the referred students to the group by highlighting them and moving them into the right hand box.

The next step is to set up the Adaptive Release settings that will mean only the referred students will see the work.

  • On the Menu select the Content Area where you would like to place the referral work.
  • Add the referral work via the Create Item option in the top left hand corner
  • Once the content has been added click the Double Chevrons at the side of that content and then select Adaptive Release: Advanced
  • On this next page select the Create Rule option located in the top left hand corner
  • Name the rule whatever you like and click Submit
  • On this next page select Create Criteria and then Membership
  • On this next page you can select the group that you previously set up for the referred students and move that group over to the right hand box. Click Submit

The content should now only be visible to the referred students who were enrolled into the group that you set up.

(Note: It is possible to set up adaptive release rules for both individual content items and whole folders.)

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How to add referral work to a Blackboard Module Site

  1.  Adding the Re-assessment button to the menu.

Adding a new content area to Blackboard Module sites for Reassessment work

  • Go into you Blackboard module site
  • Hover your cursor over the ‘Add Menu Item’ (+)  in the top left hand corner of the home page and a drop down lost will appear.
  • Click ‘Content Area’ and an ‘Add Content Area’ box will appear.
  • Name it ‘Reassessment’ and check the ‘Available to Users’ box.
  • Click ‘Submit’ and your new reassessment button will appear at the bottom of the left hand menu (you can move it up by dragging and dropping it)

This content area is now ready to go into and populate with the reassessment work for the module and the deadline dates for reassessment work.

Content Area


2) How to upload referral work under the re-assessment button

There are two options:

  • Option 1: Making referral work visible to all students
  • Option 2: Restricting visibility to only the referred students

Option 1:

To make the work visible to all students with access to the module site all you need to do is upload the work into the re-assessment area.

Option 2:

If you wish to restrict access just to the students who are referred then you will need to create a group and set up an adaptive release rule, details of how to do this can be found here: https://blogs.shu.ac.uk/acestel/adding-referral-work-to-blackboard-setting-up-adaptive-release-rules/

3) Setting up the time period when the work is available to students

It is recommended that you upload the work as soon as it has been prepared and restrict the time the work is visible on Bb. When you upload work there is, under options, a facility to set time restrictions when the work is visible. This enables you to upload referral work earlier in the year without it being made visible to students.  Work should be made available to students after the first sit work has been submitted, the latest date for the work to be made available should be the date of the Department Assessment Board. The end date for the work to be visible should be the submission deadline plus 10 days to accommodate students who are granted coursework extensions.

As both referral and deferral work for your module should be posted on the Blackboard site, where deferral work is the same as referral work this should be clearly indicated.

When students access their results through My Student Record if they have referrals or deferrals they will be direct to the relevant module site to access this work. They will be advised to contact Module Leaders if they have any queries.

If you have any queries about this please don’t hesitate to contact the ACES Technology Enhanced Learning Team for further support and information.

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Group Assignments – Staff and Student Guidance

This post aims to give you an overview of what group assignments are, how you can set them up and what guidance you can have to students submitting to them.


How do I set up Group Assignments?

Before You Begin

Key considerations:

How to Create a Group Assignment

  1. Go to the content area you would like to create the assignment in. On the top bar click Create Assessment, then Assignment.
  2. On the Create Assignment page, give details about the assignment and choose a name. It is useful to state the differences between a group and normal assignment to the students to avoid confusion. (see Guidance for students)
  3. Select the assignment Due Date.
  4. In the Grading section, type the Points Possible for the assignment, this is usually 100. Also associate a rubric if needed, and select:
  5. Group Submission: In the Items to Select box, select the group or groups. Click the right-pointing arrow to move the selection into the Selected Items box. For Windows, to select multiple groups in a row, press and hold the Shift key and click each group. To select groups out of sequence, press the Ctrl key and click each group. For Macs, press the Command key instead of the Ctrl key. You can also select all groups with the Select All function.
  6. Make the assignment available.
  7. Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Display restrictions do not affect availability, only when the assignment appears.
  8. Click Submit.

Guidance for Students

Here is some useful information which you could post into the assignment details to explain to students what is expected from them for group assignments.

Submit your group assignment here. Only ONE member of the group needs to submit on behalf of the entire group. You can attach multiple files between members by saving as a draft before submitting. One person will need to submit before the deadline. Make sure  all the files needed for submission have been attached. Each group member will receive an assignment receipt for the submission. The individual grade may differ for the assignment, but the feedback will be the same across the entire group.


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What is PowToon?

PowToon allows you to create short videos which can be used for presentations or as an animation. It is easy to use and allows you to add audio and music to your video. PowToon could be used for assessment purposes as shown by this case study. You can create a PowToon from scratch or adapt a template to suit your needs.

Check out this video showing you the basic features of PowToon


What are the features of PowToon?

  • A more effective way to communicate.
  • You can use templates to quickly create high quality videos.
  • You easily add audio and music to your videos.
  • More attractive than a PowerPoint or text.

How do I use PowToon?

  1. Go to www.powtoon.com and click Start now.
  2. Create a user account. Select a username and password. You can also connect using Google+.
  3. You can now choose to either create an entirely new PowToon or to adapt one which has already been created.

Start from Scratch – Here you can select a template to get you started or start a brand new PowToon.

Customise a ready made PowToon – Here you can select from a range of previously created videos. You can edit and change these to suit your needs.

A tutorial will then begin showing you the features of PowToon.



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Editing a Screencast recorded on Screencast-o-matic

You can edit recordings which have been done on Screencast-o-matic. There are many features which can help improve your videos. A guide on how to record and publish your screencasts can be found here.


How to Access

  1. Go to https://screencast-o-matic.com/shuscreencast
  2. Click on Browse Recordings and Launch Application.
  3. Click on the recording you would like to edit.
  4. Click Edit.

Main Settings

  1. You can rename the screencast by clicking on the name.
  2. You can resize the video under the canvas selection or by dragging the frame to fit. You can also crop the video to fit.
  3. Under audio you can select whether you want audio to be included or not.
  4. Select whether you would like your webcam / cursor to be included.

Editing a Screencast

Editing Tools

Editing screencast

  • Cut – Used to cut areas from the video.
  • Hide – Hide the cursor / webcam from areas of video.
  • Insert – Insert new or existing recordings. You can also add pauses.
  • Narrate – Select areas of video to add narration too.
  • Overlay – Add images, arrows, text and highlight areas.
  • Replace – Replace sections of video or freeze frames.
  • Speed – Speed up or slow down the recording speed.
  • Transition – Add transitions into the video.


How to Edit

  1. Move the line across the timeline to the area you want to change
  2. Select the tool you want to use.
  3. Drag the line across the area you want to affect.
  4. Some tools have other options that you can select which appear in a separate menu
  5. You can preview the changes before you press Ok.



Once completed click Done to return to the recording screen.




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