End of the Refreshing e-learning initiative

Last January we launched the Refreshing e-learning at Sheffield Hallam initiative, setting out to refresh e-learning processes and practices across the University over a year period.  This month marks the formal close of the initiative, though development work and support around e-learning will continue as usual.

Some of the key activities during the initiative:

  • Changed archiving practices so students have access to their past module sites throughout their course lifetime, increasing access to grades, feedback and learning materials for students.
  • Upgraded the virtual learning environment to Blackboard version 9
  • Built a new channel in shuspace to display current sites and give users more control over their sites
  • Introduced enhancements to the SHU Assignment Handler online submission and feedback tool based on staff feedback
  • Enhanced tools and processes which facilitate admin processes in Blackboard (site request tool, staff enrolment tool, group batch enrolment tool, site settings tool)
  • Provided the Blackboard 9 Site Development System to allow staff to engage with Blackboard 9 ahead of the upgrade
  • Introduced a different process for copying site content in 2010/11 which encouraged early engagement and refreshment of e-learning practices
  • Provided a comprehensive range of staff development opportunities (sessions, workshops and self-help guides and screencasts) to support these changes
  • Improved communication about e-learning through the introduction of this e-learning blog (which will continue onwards)

There has been a high level of engagement with the initiative across the University, and for that we would like to thank everyone who participated in the staff development and in refreshing their Blackboard practices. Some numbers around participation:

  • One third of users logged in before the upgrade to start using Blackboard 9
  • 234 staff development sessions and workshops were held
  • 1549 attendances at those sessions
  • 1951 self-help screencast views
  • 1550 unique participants in the staff development (self-help and sessions)

The success of delivering this initiative has been down to cross-University collaboration between staff in Information Systems and Technology, Learning and Information Services, Faculty-based e-learning teams and the Learning and Teaching Institute, so thanks for everyone’s hard work and cooperation!

Though this initiative has finished, there will continue to be development and staff development around e-learning, so watch this space for information and opportunities.

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