TEL me more: May 2017


Image from Mark Manguerra shared under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As part of learning at work week the Technology Enhanced Learning team held a TEL me more session on Wednesday 17th May. These informal sessions provide staff with the chance to share practice and hear about how others are using technology to support learning and teaching.

Polling and Quiz tools

In the session we heard about how Kahoot, a way to provide quizzes and gather feedback from learners either face-to-face or outside of lessons, had helped to engage learners in lectures. The tool was found to be easy to use with at least a quarter of students in sessions where it was used having used it at their previous educational institution. A number of other attendees at TEL me more also commented they had seen this used for conferences and during the TEL Strategy Launch by the guest speaker Helen Beetham.

Quizlet was discussed which provides a series of flashcards which students can use to check their understanding and convert into interactive games. Students have also been using this to create their own quizzes and this would be a good activity to do with your students helping to use them as partners to develop learning content as well as develop their digital capabilities in using digital tools for learning.

Learning content tools for storytelling

Storymap was mentioned, which provides the ability to add pin points to maps with additional information. This could help to tell a story, provide information about an event either in the past or for planning as well as perhaps outlining a series of related events such as in a crime or missing person case. An example can be seen in this map outlining climate change in the US from Stanford University. A related tool called Timeline was also discussed which provides a way of adding additional information to a timeline making it easy to tell a story or outline a series of events. An example can be seen through the life of Nelson Mandela.

Academic Digital Champion

The University is looking to create a network of Academic Digital Champions who are willing to share their practice at the University, work in partnership with TEL to provide feedback about TEL developments, contribute and review the Digital Practice Handbook and work with Student Digital Champions. We are also keen to find specialist users of particular software or digital tools where they would be willing to share their knowledge and support others in developing their skills. We are keen to look at the recognition related to this role and some of the feedback we had from the group was that they would like to be aware of the impact their involvement would have e.g. how many people have gone away and tried an approach they shared?. If you are interested in being involved as an Academic Digital Champion then please complete the online form to express your interest.

We had lots of engagement within the session so there are probably technologies I have missed. Please feel free to comment below with any tools or key points from the event you want to add.

Digi Know: Making videos from Box of Broadcasts more inclusive

Adding subtitles to Box of Broadcasts videos

One of the key features which makes the use of videos from Box of Broadcasts (BoB) more inclusive is to use subtitles. Most programmes on BoB have subtitles available and switching these on whenever you use videos or clips within class can mean understanding what is being said and heard easy for everyone. Simply click on the S icon once the recording has started to play.

screen grap of subtitles button in Box of Broadcasts

This can be particularly important for international students and those who are hearing impaired. It is also a good idea to highlight this feature for students so they are aware how to turn these on when they might be viewing videos outside of face-to-face sessions. Adding a small image of how this can be done next to the video clip in Course Resources might assist with this.

Accessing a transcript for a programme on Box of Broadcasts

Transcripts of most programmes are also available which can be useful for students to access in order to be able to read what has been said in their own time rather than trying to keep up with the video on screen. Where a transcript is available this can be viewed by clicking the Show Transcript button.

Show Transcript button in Box of Boradcasts

It also allows you to search the programme for key words which will be highlighted within the transcript and at the same time the video will move to this point in the video. Further uses of the word can then be cycled to using the forward and back arrows. This enables quick navigation to key points which students may want to view again.

Search transcript screen grab

Students are usually unaware of these features and it is worth highlighting these when you first use BoB whether in class or online.

Appy Monday: Genius Scan

picture of phone in pocket Nokia LumiaDo you or your students wish you had something in your pocket which can scan documents to make them electronic? Meet Genius Scan. This clever app helps you to use your phone camera to scan in documents, instantly save them as a PDF file and then you can email these to yourself for later use.

This works well for placement students who often have printed documents which they need to get signed by their mentors but would like to send or submit them electronically. The app is free to use (although there is a paid for version with extra features) and can be downloaded on both the Apple Store and Google Play.

screen shot of genius scan

Digiknow: How to use Lecture recording to support inclusive learning and teaching

room with rope barriers leading to tv

Capturing lecture content, whether in the classroom or from your desk, and making this recording available to students, can give students the opportunity to re-watch content, enhance note taking and revise topics. This assists all students not just those with additional support needs.

However, these recordings can be made more inclusive and useful to students by following a number of simple practices.

Adding notes to the slides

Adding notes to slides, whether within PowerPoint or alongside the lecture recording, can make a big difference to how inclusive this learning resource becomes. Not only does it enable the student to draw upon the key points you make during the recording it also helps to provide an alternative to a transcript of what was said. You can either add notes to the PowerPoint slides in the note section (potentially converting this into a handout) or alongside the slides in your lecture recording.

Making the slides available to download alongside the recording

Making the slides available allows students to annotate and add notes to their slides either manually or digitally. This also makes learning more flexible as some students may want to take the slides with them on the move but would not have the ability to take the recording with them. There are two ways you can add these files, either upload them in Course Resources alongside the link to the recording or add them as a PDF to the recording.

Using holding slides to help students navigate within the recording

Sometimes within a recorded session time may be taken to participate in active learning within class. This part of the lecture recording will become less useful to students. In order to help with navigating past this part of the recording, consider using a place holder slide in your presentation. This makes it easy for students to use the slider to move past this slide and therefore this part of the recording.

Using the keyword search to aid navigation within the recording

You can easily navigate through a lecture recording using the search function, which allows you to use key words to search the recording and notes to get back to specific point in the recording. It then makes where this word occurs and means you can navigate to each point within the recording.

Use the Panopto app to view recordings on your mobile device

You can download and use the Panopto app on Android and iOS (Apple) via the iPad and iPhone to view lecture recordings. This enables you to take them with you on the go.

Making students aware of these features

In order for students to take full advantage of the practices and features of lecture recording which support an inclusive learning experience it is important to inform students how to access these. It might be during the first time lecture recording is used these features are highlighted to students or this is done within a short recording supplied alongside the first lecture.

More on the accessible features of our lecture recording system

Appy Monday – Sketches

Banner showing Digital Derby and Appy Monday: Exploring mobile apps for learning and teaching

What is Sketches? 

Tayasui Sketches is a drawing app which enables you to draw out your notes, doodles and diagrams on your iPad or iPhone and organise these into collections.

What can it do? 

  • Enable you to draw electronic sketches using a variety of different drawing tools and a wide range of colours.
  • Use patterns to fill large areas of the picture.
  • Add text and shapes to add further meaning.
  • Share your drawings via email or social media tools such as Facebook and Flickr.
  • Add photos with your camera as a background to an image.

Download it now

How could it be used for learning, teaching and assessment?

  • To take notes during a lecture or seminar combining text, drawings and diagrams to represent key points.
  • To create visual images which help to break-up heavily text based learning resources or presentations.
  • Challenge students to represent a concept or idea using drawings only and share this in class or on a shared area in Course Resources such as a discussion board.

Short task: 

  • Download the app.
  • Open the app and try drawing the University of Derby logo.
  • Save the picture.
  • Email this to yourself.

Important note

Before using any mobile application or online service please check the terms and conditions to ensure you are aware of the implications of using the service. In particular, look out for items covering data security, ownership of content and public/private sharing options.

Further support

If you would like further support to get an idea of how you could use Sketches within learning and teaching, please contact the Technology Enhanced Learning team on or ext 1865.

Appy Monday – IF (IFTTT)

Banner showing Digital Derby and Appy Monday: Exploring mobile apps for learning and teaching

What is it?

If (Ifttt) stands for If This Then That and enables you to create simple connections between different online services which can help you to automate some everyday tasks. For instance a simple ‘recipe’ could be that whenever you publish a blog post Ifttt automatically sends a Tweet telling others about this on your Twitter feed. There are many different combinations of actions you can make, it all depends upon which services you use and the actions you would want to automate.


What can it do?

It would be difficult to list everything this app can do but as described above it can automate some every day tasks to help you to manage and share your online resources more effectively. It links to over 200 different online services and provides thousands of different combinations of actions. So for instance not only can you link your blog to automatically tweet when a new post is published, you can also set out how you want the tweet to look and include specific hashtags.

Download it now… 

How could it be used for learning, teaching and assessment?

There are many possibilities about how this tool could be used for learning, teaching and assessment but here are just a few ideas:

  • Automatically post a tweet when a new blog post is published.
  • Receive an email when a new story appears on a popular news website.
  • Enable the tweets you like to be sent to your note taking app (e.g. Evernote or OneNote).
  • Send Tweets using a specific hashtag sent to a story on your Storify.
  • Create a Trello card for each of the meetings you have in your Office365 calendar.

Short task:

This task requires you to already have an account on Twitter:

  • Download the IF mobile app
  • Create an account and sign in
  • Browse the recipes to get an idea of what might be possible searching for the online services you use (e.g. Twitter).
  • Think of a hashtag which you use regularly.
  • Set up a recipe which builds a Twitter list of users who have used a particular hashtag in their tweets.
  • Save the recipe and make sure it is turned on.
  • Get others to start using this hashtag in their tweets.
  • Watch your Twitter list grow.

Important note:

Before using any mobile application or online service please check the terms and conditions to ensure you are aware of the implications of using the service. In particular, look out for items covering data security, ownership of content and public/private sharing options.

Useful resources:

Appy Monday – Feedly

Banner showing Digital Derby and Appy Monday: Exploring mobile apps for learning and teachingWhat is it?

Feedly is a tool which collects together new information posted on websites, blogs and YouTube channels. Once new information is posted to one of these sites then it will appear in your feed. It could be considered a similar tool to an RSS aggregator.

The New Feedly Mobile from Feedly on Vimeo.

What can it do?

Feedly can collect and present information in a clean, minimalist format, where you can organise this content into collections, identify articles for you to read later and share what you have discovered with social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Please note you can only share collections if you upgrade to a pro account, although you can share individual articles.

Download it now…

From the Apple store

From Google Play

How could it be used for learning, teaching and assessment?

  • Encourage students to set up their own collection of useful websites, blogs and other web-based sources of information.
  • Students can then view and read this information via the mobile app wherever they are.
  • Share relevant articles on social media channels for the course like a Twitter feed and encourage students to do the same using a shared hashtag.
  • Collect articles together in a note taking tool like Evernote or OneNote for you to read and add to later.

Short task:

  • Download the Feedly app
  • Login or create a Feedly account
  • Add content from a website by copying and pasting in a website address e.g.
  • Read a relevant article on the website and then share this via email or on Twitter.
  • Take a look at the app later in the day to see what new articles have appeared.

Important note

Before using any mobile application or online service please check the terms and conditions to ensure you are aware of the implications of using the service. In particular, look out for items covering data security, ownership of content and public/private sharing options.

Further support

If you would like further support to get an idea of how you could use Feedly within learning and teaching, please contact the Technology Enhanced Learning team on or ext 1865.

Digi Know: Mobile apps to support study skills

mobile learningThis blog post provides information about a series of mobile apps which you may find useful for notetaking, mindmapping, task management and organisation. Unless otherwise stated you should be able to get these apps on both Apple and Android devices. Just search for them in either the iTunes App store or on Google Play. These apps are all free but there may be in app purchases in order to access additional features.

Please ensure you read the terms and conditions for using the mobile app to understand the apps commitment to intellectual property rights, data protection and information security.



  • Take electronic notes combining text, images and audio.
  • Organise these into notebooks.
  • Automatically sync them across your different devices. This means you can start taking notes using your tablet and then finish these on your computer.
  • Share your notebooks with other people.
  • Create task lists to keep you organised.

Microsoft OneNote

  • Create digital notebooks which you can then access online either via an App on your mobile device or via an internet browser.
  • The University provides this to students as part of Office365.
  • Create notebooks to collect thoughts and ideas, to-do lists, capture images of documents, whiteboards, or take clips from websites.
  • Organise these within notebooks.

Google Docs (Used with Google Drive)

  • Online word processing tool which is similar to Microsoft Word but the documents are stored and accessed online.
  • Mobile app allows you to access and edit these documents online or offline and then syncs these once you are connected again.
  • Add and format text, images and drawings.
  • Use the Voice typing feature where you can speak into a microphone and have your words typed automatically.
  • Work is automatically saved for you and you can use the revision history to look at old versions of the document.
  • Share and collaborate on documents together at the same time.


  • Record up to 10 minutes of audio from your mobile device.
  • Upload an unlimited amount of clips to your profile and organise these into a set of playlists.
  • Share your clips with others via Twitter and Facebook.
  • Follow and comment on other people’s clips stored on Audioboom.
  • Audio files are publically available as there are no options for individual users to have a private channel.


  • Capture short sections of audio using a simple record button.
  • Highlight particular parts of the recording when you think ‘this is important I must make a note of this’.
  • In case you missed the first part of the idea, it will go back 15 seconds within the recording to capture what you might have missed.
  • Add important notes, photographs and visual information such as whiteboards/presentation slides within the recording.
  • Focus on what is being said instead of having to take notes.

Sketches (Apple only)

  • Draw out your notes, doodles and diagrams on your iPad or iPhone and organise these into collections.
  • Draw your sketches using a variety of different drawing tools and a wide range of colours.
  • Use patterns to fill large areas of the picture, add text and shapes to add further meaning.
  • Share your drawings via email or social media tools such as Facebook and Flickr.


Mindjet Maps

  • Create simple and complex mindmaps on your tablet.
  • Send the mindmap to yourself as a PDF file.
  • Use colours to distinguish between different ideas within the mindmap.
  • Add images/photos to the mindmap to make it more visual.
  • Add links to webpages and other online resources.

Task management and organisation


  • Create a series of to-do lists to help organise your learning tasks.
  • Receive reminders for tasks that need to be completed soon.
  • Share your lists with others and use the comments feature to communicate about shared tasks.
  • Access these lists across your different devices (e.g. on smartphone, tablet and computer).
  • Print your to do lists.


  • Create boards and cards to help organise your projects.
  • Share project board with other people or use this for group work.
  • Add checklists, labels and due dates to cards to keep track of tasks.
  • Receive notifications detailing any changes to the board or cards you are added to (this can be emailed to you).
  • Add resources to cards such as links to documents, websites and presentation slides
  • Use this to help plan assignments or manage research tasks.

TEL me more about…Twitter

Twitter icon

Image from: Jurgen Appelo shared under CC BY 2.0

At the last TEL me more event in February Debbie Alston talked about how she has been using Twitter to engage her students with learning content on her module. Often Twitter is referred to as a microblogging site where users are able to post short (140 characters) messages which are then shared with those who are following them or view their profile on Twitter. Some topics may be linked together using hashtags (words or phrases prefixed with #, e.g. #TELmemore).

You may already be familiar with Twitter but just in case you aren’t this useful video provides an overview of what Twitter is and how it can be used.

Twitter has long been used in higher education and other education sectors. Below are just a few articles from around the web with ideas on how it could be used to support learning, teaching and assessment. Some of the articles also discuss the pros and cons of using this type of technology, helping you to consider how you might introduce this technology to your students.

You may also find it useful to look at the Universities Guidance for Academic Practice with Social Media.

Also as Twitter has been around for a while there are a number of different research papers which also investigate the impact the use of Twitter has on learning.

If you would like to know more about how you could use Twitter with your students, please contact the Technology Enhanced Learning Team on or ext. 1865.

TEL me more – February 2016

Picture of pancakes

Image from: rob_rob2001 shared under CC BY-SA 2.0

At this month’s TEL me more session we talked about quite a range of topics this included being able to see what the student sees in Course Resources (Blackboard), getting students to create posters using PowerPoint, the use of video case studies for formative and summative assessment, the quiz tool Socrative and the use of Twitter to engage students.

A common problem for academic staff when trying to assist students with their use of Course Resources is not being able to see what they see. As a tutor there are many more options available to you than as a student, so when you try and talk them through how, for instance, they access their feedback or apply for an EEC, it can be difficult to do. However, there is a way academic staff can see how a module area in Course Resources looks from a student’s perspective using student preview. To access student preview, go into the module and then click on the student preview icon near the top right hand corner.

Student preview icon in Course Resources (Blackboard)Once you have finished using preview mode click on Exit Preview on the yellow bar. Further support resources for students on using Course Resources, Udo and eSubmission can be found on the Guides page on UDo.

Attendees also talked about getting students to create posters using PowerPoint and whether there are any support resources to advise students on how to do this. You can access poster templates within PowerPoint itself using the method described in this help guide from the Study Skills Team. This works in both PowerPoint 2010 and 2013. There are also some useful video tutorials online via YouTube. it is worth having a watch of a few to see if they cover the key points you want to communicate to students. Here is a useful one on how to make a research poster! You can also get students to create infographics, visual representations of information, which help to communicate information, knowledge or data quickly and clearly to others. There are a number of different online tools you can use to create infographics, however you can also use PowerPoint. Here are some useful templates and some instructions on creating infographics in PowerPoint.

Rob Higson from the Technology Enhanced Learning team also talked about some recent examples of how video case studies have been used to support formative and summative assessment. This was particularly relevant for the attendees as they are looking at using the forensic house for a safeguarding children activity with students and would be interested in how this could be filmed and utilised again at a later date. The examples from the College of Health and Social care use videos to bring to life a case study, where students are required to use the skills they have previously learnt within the course to make a judgement about a scenario and this is then discussed within the class for formative assessment or as part of a summative assessment where students receive a grade and feedback about their performance. Previously, many of these activities have utilised paper resources to communicate the case study, where as the use of video has brought this to life and positive feedback has been received around increasing levels of student engagement.

Debbie Alston who came to the last TEL me more in January talked about how after the event she had gone away and used the quiz tool Socrative with her students. This had gone really well with engagement from a large (73) group of students in OL1. Debbie started by getting her students used to Socrative, asking them some simple questions about whether they had encountered particular terminology used within the course as well as the technology she was looking to use to support their learning. This helped her to get to know her students and ensure she introduced any technologies students were not familiar with. She also set up questions in advance of the session and then got students to contribute their responses to share these with the group. This not only helped to engage students outside of the session but also to help formatively assess what students had picked up from the lecture content. Debbie found the system simple to use and students seemed to get a lot out of it. It was great to hear from someone who had taken away and implemented a learning technology discovered at TEL me more!

Finally, Debbie also shared with us how she has been using Twitter within her module, encouraging students to post resources, articles and pictures related to the course and using the modules code as a hastag. She has embedded this feed within her Course Resources (Blackboard) module to make this information available to all her students rather than just those who use Twitter. In addition, she has found that since starting to use Box of Broadcasts with students they have now started to tweet links to programmes which are available via this service.

If you are interested in exploring any of the technologies mentioned in this summary, feel free to come to the next TEL me more event on the 2nd March or contact the Technology Enhanced Learning Team at, ext1865.