All posts by Anu Sharma

Book your place on this year’s Learning & Teaching Symposium!

Welcome back after the Easter break. Having indulged in Easter eggs and enjoyed the good weather, it’s now time to get back into the swing of things as we turn our attention to this year’s Learning & Teaching Symposium at Brunel.

This year’s event will consist of 3 themes:

  • Technology Enhanced Learning
  • Inclusivity
  • Transitions

The Learning Technology Team and other support services from Brunel’s Educational Excellence Centre (BEEC) will also be showcasing at the event (being held on Monday 20th April 2015).

Booking for the Symposium is now open! To view the full programme and book your place, visit:

We look forward to seeing you there! host Google hangout on 27th January for the digital academic

On Tuesday 27th January at 12pm GMT,, the leading global jobs board for academia, are hosting a free 60-minute live video event on the topic of ‘How to be a Successful Digital Academic to Boost Your Career’.

The event, which is being hosted via a #jobsQ Google+ Hangout, will explore how academics, researchers, PhDs and supporting staff can use digital media, such as blogs, apps and social media, to enhance their research and boost their careers.

Participants in the Hangout will hear from a panel of five experts, including Dr Inger Mewburn, Editor of popular blog ‘The Thesis Whisperer’, on topics such as:

  • How to blend digital tools into your current work and conferences
  • How to manage your time online effectively
  • How to write for an online audience
  • How to use a blog to increase your public engagement
  • How digital networking can enhance your research
  • How to effectively use online networking to find collaborators

Participants will also be able to get involved in the conversation by submitting their digital questions via’s Google+ page in the run up to event – or by asking their questions live on the day.

Find out more about the Hangout and register for free here.

“On the first day of Christmas, I downloaded an app…”

Regents University are very helpfully launching an ‘open to all’ course which runs through some apps that you might find beneficial for your teaching and students’ learning. If you are interested, please do sign up. Details are below…

Overwhelmed by the range of apps for teaching and learning to be found online? This year, the helpful elves of Regent’s University London are coming to your rescue, with 12 Apps of Christmas!

12 Apps of Christmas is a fun, free, and simple online course  and tailored to the needs of staff here at RUL but is open to all.

Running every weekday from Thursday 4th to Friday 19th December, 12 Apps of Christmas is like an advent calendar of learning!

Each day we will present a different educational app, explain how it can benefit you, and show you how to download it. There will be a short and fun task (no more than ten minutes) to get you using each app, with a chance to learn about it in more depth in your own time and at your own pace.


4th to 19th December 2014.

Harness the reindeer, launch the sleigh, and sign up here:

Gearing up with a ‘Headstart’

This week we have been busy preparing for the start of yet another year. Amongst various activities one of the initiatives we have participated in is ‘Headstart Week’- an opportunity for new Brunel students to literally get a ‘head start’ on University life (organised by the ASK team).

Students from various Colleges have been brought onto campus a week ahead of the start of term to get to grips with various aspects of University life, including academic writing, using Library resources, managing finances and, of course, getting to grips with Blackboard Learn!

A series of sessions were delivered by the LTT explaining how to use some of the features within Blackboard Learn, getting hold of the mobile app and seeking support more generally.

The Bb Learn Getting Started guide provides a great summary of the essential information for students.

Week 0…. here we come!

Merged Course Monday

Well it’s Monday folks and hope you all had a great weekend!

The LTT have started the week with our annual exercise of merging courses in Blackboard Learn: “Merged Course Monday” (the title could catch on!!). Fuelled by treats and plenty of caffeine, we are currently busy merging those Blackboard Learn Courses that Departments have informed us about.

Students will get access to 2014/5 Courses in Blackboard on 3rd September, so we want to get these merged Courses sorted out ahead of ‘go live’!

Right…best get back to merging…!!

Fuel for our gruelling merged Course session

Auditor Accounts: Going, going…gone!

As you know – we at LTT like to change things up a bit (all positive changes, of course!).

One thing that we have been reviewing is the use of auditor accounts in Blackboard Learn. What are these? – you might ask! Auditor accounts are Blackboard Learn accounts that allow read-only access to all Courses (modules) within (former) academic Schools.

Whilst this may sound handy – we have reviewed the use of these accounts and it seems like they haven’t been used quite as much as we would have liked. This may be, in part, as individuals have been taking advantage of the Bb Learn Course Catalogue which already allows all staff and students read-only access to all modules.

So – as you can see- there is hardly any need for these accounts any longer and we will soon be decommissioning them.

However, we recognise that there may be some staff out there that require editing access to many modules, which is why we have been working on another project to allow delegated administrative access to Bb Learn (more about that later!)

As usual- please let us know if you have any questions about this.

To Merge or not to Merge? That is the question!

As part of our annual processes for Blackboard Learn our TEL Advisers are in touch with Colleges and Departments to establish which Merged Courses are required for 2014/5 in Blackboard Learn.

If you are not familiar with the concept- here is a quick overview…


If you know of any Courses that need to be merged – please let us know via

We aim to gather this information from Colleges/ Departments by 22nd August (but preferably earlier!)

New Look University … New Look LTT!

Following all the changes to the University post-TXP, the LTT are now pleased to announce that we have a new structure in place that will be able to better support Colleges and Departments going forward.

You will already be aware from an earlier post that we are part of Brunel’s Educational Excellence Centre (BEEC).

The great news is that we are now officially a bigger team, and below is a brief overview of our ‘new look’…

LTT Structure

The new TEL Adviser roles (held by Louise, Natalie and Alastair) will enable our team to build closer relationships with each of the Colleges and their respective departments. This means that we can better understand your needs and we can become more proactive in supporting you with Technology Enhanced Learning initiatives… not to mention that you will now have a dedicated contact in the LTT!

We are also thrilled to have a dedicated TEL Developer (Alex) who will provide a key technical support function in the team, taking forward technical projects and also being the support contact for Central Departments.

Over the coming weeks the TEL Advisers will be in touch to discuss ways in which we can work with each of the Colleges and, most importantly, to introduce themselves to you!

Blackboard Learn upgrade completed (a little ahead of schedule!)

I’m pleased to let you know that the upgrade to Blackboard Learn Service Pack 14 was completed, with Bb Learn being available early this morning.

The Learning Technology Team and colleagues in the Computer Centre have worked hard on this upgrade, trying to get the system up and running as soon as possible. As usual, I would like to extend my thanks to them and to you all for your patience!

Many of the features that we mentioned earlier were implemented in this latest upgrade. The LTT are currently working on resources to help you make the most of the new features.

Blackboard Learn Downtime: July 2014

The July upgrade to Blackboard Learn will be taking place between 14th – 18th July 2014. This means that the system will not be accessible during this period. As usual, the Learning Technology Team will aim to minimise the downtime as far as possible by working very hard to bring the system back to life quickly!

A notice will go up on IntraBrunel tomorrow. Key contacts from Schools and Central Services will be reminded in a separate email and students will also be informed.

We will soon post a follow up blog message to tell you more about the new features you can expect to see in this upgrade.