Technology Enhanced Learning

Overview

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) can support all aspects of teaching, learning, assessment and feedback and as such has a vital role to play in taking forward the University's strategic aims and improving the student experience, as outlined in the University's Technology Enhanced Learning Vision 2013

CQSD support the effective use of a range of technologies and explore and evaluate the potential of new technologies to enhance learning and teaching to support the T&L Strategy and associated Enhancement Priorities. Our main focus is on supporting and contributing to the priority TEL areas identified by the TEL Strategy Group and implementing the University's Vision for Technology Enhanced Learning.

The TEL staff within CQSD are:

We work with Schools and academic staff within their own context and activities on both the pedagogical and practical aspects of technology in order to take forward their own teaching enhancements. This involves curriculum design and development as well as helping staff to identify the most appropriate and effective available tools for interaction with their students.

We run staff development sessions, promote and support the sharing of innovation and good practice, and provide a variety of resources.

TEL news, updates and activities - Read the TEL Blog

Keeping up to date with new and emerging technologies and exploring how these can be used to support and improve the learning experience is also important. This involves project and pilot work in partnership with Schools and other service providers.

For support queries and questions relating to the use of learning technologies contact us via it@reading.ac.uk.

New Staff

Are you a new member of staff? Be sure to have a look at the TEL Checklist for new staff to help get you started.

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Blackboard (Virtual Learning Environment)

Blackboard is the University of Reading's centrally supported Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It provides a range of tools to facilitate communication and collaboration, to deliver teaching content and learning activities to students, and to submit assessments online. It also links with Turnitin (see below). Examples of available tools include the discussion forums, online quizzes, blogs, wikis, journals, podcasts and student group management.

Blackboard is used extensively across the University either in support of face-to-face teaching or as part of a blended learning approach, where students actively participate and learn online as well as in face-to-face contexts.

We can support staff in using Blackboard for their teaching and learning, from setting up their course to advising on course design and how to use Blackboard effectively as part of their teaching. 

Blackboard Support Guides

Turnitin

Turnitin is a tool that can identify similarities between student work and a pool of existing sources from across the Internet, an archive of previous student submissions to Turnitin, and journals and other publications. It produces a report with a similarity index showing the number and extent of matches it has found during the comparison.

Turnitin can be used by staff in summative assessment to assist with plagiarism detection or in cases of suspected plagiarism. By allowing student access to Turnitin, it can also be used formatively to develop students' academic writing skills and understanding of plagiarism.

Turnitin is used via Blackboard whereby staff can set up a direct link to the service in a Blackboard course and request students to submit their work there. You also have the option of allowing each student to see his/her own originality report, though if you do this you should consider how you will advise students on reading the reports.

Turnitin Support Guides

Support and Resources

Self-access guides and resources are available on the Blackboard "Support for Staff" tab (which you will see after logging into Blackboard), including:

  • step by step guides on how to build your course with Blackboard,
  • links to video tutorials,
  • how to manage your course,
  • how to create online tests,
  • how to set up student groups,
  • how to use Turnitin

For support queries and questions relating to the use of learning technologies contact us via it@reading.ac.uk.

Staff Development in TEL

Using technology within your teaching and learning requires some thought about the design of your course and some knowledge about the tools that are available. We offer centrally timetabled sessions and school-based sessions that are tailored to particular needs, as well as proving one-to-one consultancy. For upcoming scheduled sessions, please see our Events Page.

Staff development sessions can offer the time, space and information necessary to start considering technology in the delivery of your course.

Keeping a watching brief on technologies for T&L

We aim to keep up to date with the latest developments in technologies that support T&L, especially related to the core set (Blackboard and Turnitin) to ensure that new enhancements and features are made available.

Things to do now

Contact

For support queries and questions relating to the use of learning technologies contact us via it@reading.ac.uk.

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Vicki Holmes

Head of TEL v.holmes@reading.ac.uk

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