Have you met Lynda?

lynda.com logo

lynda.com is a library of resources to teach business, software, technology and creative skills. All lynda.com courses are available to all students and members of staff at SHU. This can be used to benefit your own personal or professional development or can be directed to students to develop their employability skills. Topics are presented by industry experts via video and are easy to navigate using clearly named sections and chapters. To support learning many courses offer exercise files for the learner to complete alongside the video tutorial and a short quiz at the end to test and solidify the new skills learnt. lynda.com also provides a running transcript of the videos while they are playing, highlighting the sentence currently being spoken.

lynda.com with LinkedIn

After completing a course achievements and badges can be shared in LinkedIn. This can be particularly beneficial for students to display skills they possess but haven’t had the opportunity to use in a work environment yet. Useful training courses for students include:

  • Digital Citizenship
  • Writing under a deadline
  • Learning LinkedIn
  • Excel 2016 Essential Training
  • Customer Retention
  • Unconscious Bias
  • Time Management Fundamentals

A vast online library of instructional videos covering the latest software, creative, and business skills. Taught by accomplished teachers and recognised industry experts. It is a high-quality resource for students, faculty, and staff looking to develop skills in Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, project management, social media, and a wide range of other topics.

LinkedIn Badge

An example of a LinkedIn badge achieved by completing a lynda.com training course

There are many e-learning courses available with lynda.com. For more information and ideas on how to utilise this reseource contact the TEL team.

lynda.com from LinkedIn logo

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SBS Inspirational Teaching Awards

Alexander Tziamalis receiving his award

After the 2017 Inspirational Teaching Award winners for SBS were announced, the TEL team caught up with some of the winners to find out what it takes to become an inspirational teacher and what technology is being used to support students. Continue reading to find out more.

Please note: not all of the award winners were interviewed. These views are a collection of some of the winner’s thoughts. If you are interested in learning more about any of the techniques or initiatives discussed contact the TEL team who can direct you to the appropriate member of staff.

Interestingly, although the traditional lecture style was appreciated for having some uses, the teachers we chatted to wanted to discuss seminars and one-to-one appointments more. Teaching tools included: giving personal examples, case studies, role play, asking for opinions, debates and demonstrations. Technology included Socrative and Turning Point used as voting software, videos to engage the students and Google Apps to allow the students to collaborate on work. Sometimes this can be difficult for some students, but challenging them can be beneficial as they learn that being challenged is not necessarily bad or designed to make them fail. However this requires a level of understanding from the teacher and this may sometimes be better during a one-to-one session away from peers. A specific teaching technique discussed included giving students 5 weeks to read 10 articles. In the seminar each week each student had to say something interesting about something they had read from those articles. This enabled the student to be in control of their own learning and encouraged them to practice independence and time management skills.

Answering emails was also a much discussed topic. The importance of answering student emails was stressed, even if only to say the query has been recognised but will be dealt with at a later date as members of staff cannot be expected to be available all of the time. This helped to manage the student’s expectation to assure them that you are willing to help but also cannot be available all of the time. This is particularly important for anxious level 6 students who may just need some reassurance. Other than answering emails it is important to answer student questions in lectures and seminars to the best ability and send a quick email if further clarification needs to be given. Some of those interviewed spoke about specific initiatives they used such as supporting academic writing, using motivational interview techniques and how working in dyslexia support gives transferable skills to support all students. The student’s appreciation for this support is clearly identifiable in the nomination comments.

Comments from students

Makes learning interesting and interactive, has a great sense of humour and never fails to make everyone in the class feel comfortable.

His passion for teaching and sharing knowledge reflects in his teaching. Appropriate examples and videos to go along with the subject matter takes a lot of time and effort, and XXX made sure we had enough engaging experience to resonate the knowledge gained few months or even years down the line

He is happy to go above and beyond for all students and use his own time to better their technology education.

Making it fun and keeps us all engaged

Not only does XXX present seminars/lectures in a fun, interesting and engaging manner but also is by far the most approachable tutor I have had throughout my time at Hallam and never fails to provide useful information, assistance and support when it is required.

XXX made the module in the course really engaging, despite the fact the content is really not that exciting (but necessary to learn). Each seminar with him was really hands on and interactive which made learning so much easier and enjoyable.

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Medial Server

A new solution has been integrated with Blackboard which will allow students and staff to upload media files (currently up to 2GB in size), such as video assignments and video or audio feedback, safe in the knowledge that the files are stored securely.

Undergraduate graphic design students in the studio, Sheaf building

Undergraduate graphic design students in the studio, Sheaf building


Benefits of using the medial server include:

  • files are uploaded to a central publishing point and delivered back as streamlining media
  • content is automated transcoded to work across all devices from with Blackboard
  • submitted work is accessed via the Grade Centre, enabling staff to view or listen to student video or audio assignments and provide feedback without leaving Blackboard

How can I find out how to use the medial server? 

Ask the TEL team, click here, or watch the screencast below on how to access media content submitted on Blackboard.


Don’t forget, for further guidance on assessments you can access Assessment Essentials or Assessment4students.

Assessment Essentials

Click link for Assessment Essentials


Click link for Assessment4students

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MOS Awards

Students pose with Andrew Lenehan

Students receive their certificates from Andrew Lenehan, Regional Account Manager at Prodigy Learning.

Students celebrate attaining their Microsoft Office Specialist awards in Excel

The Finance, Accounting and Business Systems (FABS) have been organising and delivering the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification for a range of over 25 SBS Undergraduate (UG) courses, across all Departments, including Accounting and Finance, Business Studies, and Events Management.

The story started with the introduction of MOS in the Data Analysis for Business Decisions module some four years ago. The feedback received from students, after completing their placements, was that this was an extremely useful qualification, with employers preferring students with an internationally recognised qualification. Feedback from employers and students returning from work placements has been that Microsoft Office skills are some of the most valuable skills a student can bring to a placement. Jayne Revill, Module Leader for Data Analysis for Business Decisions and E-Learning co-ordinator for SBS recognised an opportunity and thought of extending the provision of this qualification to all students in FABS. This has been done successfully and it was time to take MOS SBS wide. Working with Lucian Tipi, then Subject Group Leader for the Business, Operations and Systems subject group, a proposal was devised to extend the MOS offer to a broad range of SBS courses. Lucian discussed and agreed with the HoD’s of Management and SSM the proposal and in 2016-2017 MOS training was rolled out to over 25 SBS UG courses. The delivery of the MOS programme was carried out by over 20 FABS staff and a large number of colleagues from the other 2 departments.

This roll out of MOS across SBS has resulted in over 400 UG students completing successfully their Core or Expert Certification, making SBS the largest provider of Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exams in England.

Students at the awards ceremony

Over 100 students attended the evening to receive their certificates.

A celebration event was organised and over 100 students attended to celebrate their success in achieving the globally recognised Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification at an awards event on the 5th April 2017. David Laughton, Assistant Dean for Academic Development in SBS and Andrew Lenehan, Regional Account Manager at Prodigy Learning, Microsoft’s partner in the UK responsible for managing MOS, gave speeches congratulating the students and the SBS staff for their achievements. The event was organised by Jayne Revill, who congratulated some very happy students, while they received their official Microsoft certificates from Andrew Lenehan.

Jayne Revill commented that students have excelled this year and the feedback from employers has been very positive, saying:

‘We know that employers really value our students having job ready skills, including proficient working knowledge of Microsoft Office programs, one of our key areas of focus as a business school is on the employability of students. The MOS project was brought about following feedback by host employers and students alike, that having advanced skills in Office products makes our students stand out and enhances their earning potential significantly. One employer even said that a MOS certification can be the difference between pay grades for graduates. We are immensely proud of the results of our students and felt that this awards night was a fitting way to congratulate them on their achievements. This will become an annual event at the university’.

David Laughton illustrated the importance of an applied offer to students, that includes not only excellent academic products, but also internationally recognised, industry qualifications, that students can use to differentiate themselves in the job market, further adding to their employability.

Lucian Tipi, currently Interim Head of FABS said:

‘The FABS Department is leading the way in SBS in terms of the delivery of large scale, industry standard certifications for students. The MOS certification is the largest such certification that we provide and it is set to grow further in the future. We will plan the introduction of MOS Master in our future provision, to further enhance the employability of our students’

Andrew Lenehan, added:

‘It was an honour to be invited to this event, Sheffield Hallam Business School have had a tremendous year with MOS and it is great to see so many students here to accept their certificates. MOS certification will really set these students apart from other graduates in the jobs market. Microsoft Office is the world’s number one office software and is used in most companies around the world and when applying for jobs these students can send potential employers a digital transcript proving that they have the skills needed in today’s competitive jobs market, standing head over heels above those CV’s who simply state ‘I am proficient in Microsoft Office’ for these students, it’s Microsoft, confirming they have the skills, not simply their own opinion of themselves. I’d also like to congratulate Jayne and her team on getting so many students through their exams, it is a testament to the focus on employability and the dedication of the staff in ensuring that students not only achieve a fantastic degree from a top university but they also have additional qualifications at the end of their university career’.

Students with their Microsoft Office Specialist awards

Students celebrate their achievement.

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Simulations in the Business School


Simulations are a great way for students to experience real life industry and to give relevant experiences for future employers. It helps students practice problem solving and how to work within a team, all crucial experience for future employment. Here are some examples of how simulations are used across the Business School.

Lean Game

KV Pandya has introduced Lego into his teaching and learning practise to demonstrate theory in a creative and visual way to his students. Through a process simulation game students can highlight improvements and efficiency that can be introduced to improve processes, and learn the principles of ‘Lean’.

12th floor Restaurant

Students run a real life restaurant simulation where each student takes a role to either work in the kitchen preparing food or in the front of house serving customers. Also one student takes the role of head chef and one, restaurant manager. These two students are required to manage their teams and design the look and feel of their concept. See below for a list of restaurant dates.

American Mardi Gras 7, 8, 9 & 10th March
Vietnamese Feast 14, 15, 16 & 17th March
Gastro Pub 21, 22, 23 & 24th March
A Taste of Mexico 27, 28, 29 & 30th March
Le Bouchon Lyonnais 4, 5, 6 & 7th April

Open for Business

Open for Business is a simulation game for students on the Hospitality Management Applications module. This game allows students to work as a management team to undertake a range of activities including; market research, developing a business plan, taking duty management decisions, presenting the monthly financial position, preparing management reports and developing a strategic direction for the business. This requires students to use their learning from levels 4 and 5 alongside experiences in industry to make important business decisions.


The Business Project Management module (Module Leader Richard Breese) uses Simventure with Level 5 Business Studies students to develop their project management skills and consequently their employability skills. Simventure is a business simulation game where the student are asked to make decisions for a hypothetical business, which makes computers, under different scenarios. To see the results the students ‘run the month’ to see how their decisions influence the fortunes of the business over time.

SimVenture has recently upgraded to SimVenture Evolution. To find out more about how academics in other universities are using this, click here for free educational resources.

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Presentations as a video

Here in the Sheffield Business School, we are very lucky to have academics who have originated from industry and who are continually making international connections to benefit SBS. This is invaluable to the students, but does mean staff are sometimes unavailable to deliver live lectures. Instead of rescheduling or letting the students miss out, SBS staff have begun to create their own presentations as videos. Below are three ways you can create a video presentation.




Screencast-o-matic records the computer screen alongside audio and webcam (if necessary) so the speaker can discuss what they see on screen. This is a really easy way to record presentations, as the lecturer can record the PowerPoint presentation slides as already prepared for the lecture. It is ideal if you need to demonstrate a technical aspect of a software package.

This tool is free to all users, but limited to the amount you can record and the tools available, 15 minutes for the free version. SHU has an account with screencast-o-matic and is available for all staff to use. We have a URL with a capacity of 1000 unique devices connecting per month. The licensing ‘sticks’ to and counts against our entitlement for a month for each unique device it is used from (no matter how much or how little it is used). For details on how to login using the SHU account, contact the TEL team.

You can record your video in one go however we advise pausing the recording between each slide and recording each slide in one take. It is useful to rehearse your narrative before recording. Your video can be exported as an mp4 which can be uploaded to Blackboard or streamed in from a video service such as YouTube.

To use the free version, click here. Please note the free version of screencast-o-matic will only allow recordings up to 15 minutes.

Guidance for login to the Pro version. There is no limit on recording time and you can edit your recording.

Adobe Spark


Adobe Spark is an easy to use storytelling tool split into three separate elements: post, pages and video. Academic members of staff can export their PowerPoint slides as images and import them into an Adobe Spark video, or create them from scratch in the software. Then using the microphone tool, record audio to play alongside the lecture slides. Adobe Spark can be accessed for free by creating a free account with Adobe.

Adobe Spark will only allow you to record 30 seconds of audio per slide so if you need a longer narrative on each slide you will need to use another tool.

Adobe Premiere


Adobe Premiere is a much more sophisticated tool to edit video. Similar to Adobe Spark, PowerPoint slides can be exported as images and uploaded to Premiere to create the video. The audio will need to be recorded using an audio recorder or smart phone and uploaded into Premiere. This creates a smoother video presentation and can be embedded into a Blackboard site from YouTube. Click here to find out how to embed YouTube videos into Blackboard. 

There is a steeper learning curve to produce videos using Premiere, however it is much easier to edit your content once you have been accustomed with the workflow.

The advantage is that you can record your narrative on an audio recorder anywhere. If you find it easier to walk around whilst talking this is your best option. You can then make your slides to fit the length of the narrative.

For training on how to use Adobe Premiere, contact the TEL team. 

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YouTube and Blogs engage second year students


Elizabeth Lye, Senior Lecturer, Marketing 

Second year students are notoriously difficult to enthuse in my experience. Yet they need to find placements and produce evidence to support their applications.

I teach Customer Psychology and Culture to BA Marketing Communications and Advertising students. We discuss challenging issues: Should advertising be banned? How can drug users be persuaded to stop using banned substances?

To keep engagement high my colleague Dr Paul Johnston and I devise assessments that reflect the reality of the marketing profession. Groups produce a 5 minute YouTube video that persuades a specific audience to stop taking drugs. Formative presentations prepare material. The final video should apply theories learned in the module into practice and be persuasive.

Alongside this students write 8 individual blog posts over several weeks. These explore the theories in detail and include reflection on their own development and learning. There is a workshop about half way through to offer formative feedback.

Students love the flexibility of the blogs although some still submit one post for the final deadline! The video challenges groups and some people were worried about the technical aspects. Equipment can be loaned from the learning centre which also has editing suites so there were no problems. Everyone learned from the experience – producing it for placement interviews and securing jobs! There is creativity, project management and explicit theory covered in the blog. We do not mark for cinematography but award marks for imagination and persuasion in both video and blogs. This year I will reduce the number of blog posts and cut the time of video to three minutes to ensure realism and improve the management of the process.

For more information, watch the video below.

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The TEL days of Christmas

The SBS TEL team would like to wish all staff a MERRY CHRISTMAS!


As it is the festive time of year, we invite you to play the music and sing our new lyrics to the 12 days of Christmas.

On the TEL day of Christmas my module leader gave to me:

12 SHIP managed extensions

11 files to batch upload

10 attached PDF’s

9 hundred hours of marking

8 group submissions

7 audio files

6 screencast uploads

5 feedback rubrics

4 print to marks

3 crocodocs

2 submission attempts

and skilled help from the TEL team

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Betamax or VHS?

Chrome and IE

Betamax was released to the public on the 10th May 1975, developed by the Sony Corporation. Just over a year later JVC released their VHS format. The decade that followed saw the two formats fight it out for market share dominance. VHS was victorious however technological advancements would also see the demise of this format. Both Betamax and VHS lingered on long after their heyday, the last Betamax tape rolling off the production line in March 2016, a couple of months later the last ever VHS player was produced.

The differences between the two systems seemed quite apparent. Although they both used the same magnetic tape the cassettes they used were different sizes. Today, competing technologies are also in use and their standards can cause issues as to how we consume information.

Internet Explorer was released by Microsoft in 1995, packaged with Windows ’95 and was one of the first graphical browsers. Throughout the late ’90s it was in competition with Netscape’s Navigator, Navigator eventually going the same way as Betamax. Google Chrome was released in 2008 for Microsoft Windows and versions followed for Linux, OS X, iOS and Android.

Much like VHS and Betamax, Internet Explorer and Chrome do the same job, but like the old video standards there are subtle differences in how they work. Internet Explorer is also nearing its end, due to be replaced by Microsoft’s ‘Edge’ browser on Windows 10 machines. But was does this mean for the end user?

For most day-to-day web browsing you should see little difference, the browser used down to personal preference; however there are a few systems within the university that will only work with one or the other.

The Library Gateway’s SHU Player does not work in Chrome or Edge on campus. Embedding video in to a Blackboard site from the content collection does not display a poster in Chrome, but does in Internet Explorer/Edge.

Audio files embedded in a Blackboard item with the old <embed> tag will autoplay when the page is loaded in Chrome, but no longer work in Internet Explorer and isn’t supported in Edge. Files that use the new <audio> tag work fine in all three browsers.

Blackboard was updated over the summer which should hopefully remove some of the issues of cross-browser compatibility but a few anomalies still remain. Like Betamax and VHS, Chrome, IE and Edge they have been produced to different standards, so if resources do not work in one browser, try another. There is unlikely to be solution to this issue while code develops and competing companies produce their own browsers. Technology doesn’t stand still; we are all just playing catch-up.

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TAR UC Employability Event


Once again The Sheffield Business School played host to final year Dual Award finance, marketing and hospitality students from TAR UC in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The students came to Sheffield Hallam to experience different teaching, learning styles, culture and employability skills. This year we felt it was important to build on last year’s success by introducing an Employability Event based on a real life case study. This aimed to integrate the students and promote interaction in a similar way to how they would work in practice. The event provided an experiential learning experience to develop a range of professional and employability skills. As a form of problem-based and integrated learning, the students worked collaboratively in a multi-disciplinary team to develop innovative solutions to a simulated business problem. Here they applied theoretical knowledge into professional practice. The students applied their research skills to understand international markets in a cross-cultural context, and collaboratively integrated analytical and creative skills from the perspectives of finance, marketing and hospitality. The Employability Event was well received by the students, and as incremental to the standard teaching programme, enabled professional refection and personal development. It also demonstrated the student’s ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.

The TEL team created a film which follows two students to show their experiences of the event. Waitrose sponsored the prize for the best group presentation on Day 1 and SBS the best overall group prize on Day 2. The two days consisted of conducting market research in the international market to develop a retail marketing strategy for Waitrose. Finally students set up an exhibition stand of their ideas to be presented to an international judging panel.

As the event was so successful it will be repeated and developed for the Summer School 2017.

Written by Michael Benson

Film created by Tamsin Carr

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