A warm welcome to Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) at the University of Reading!
Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) is an overarching term used to describe how technology can support and help facilitate effective and engaging practice in teaching and learning, and is given a high priority at the University.
The university’s central TEL Team (based in the Centre for Quality Support and Development, CQSD) support the use of various technologies and tools across the university, core of which are Blackboard Learn, Turnitin and YuJa:
- Blackboard Learn is the University’s online learning platform (or Virtual Learning Environment), which is the main system used to deliver the online aspect of blended teaching and learning.
- Turnitin (accessed via Blackboard) is used for the online submission and marking of assignments, and checking students’ work for originality and academic integrity.
- YuJa is the university’s learning capture system, enabling staff to record lectures and classroom sessions, and make screencast videos.
You will find it useful to familiarise yourself with the university’s Teaching & Learning Framework 2022/23.
1. Questions to ask your school, department or programme colleagues about TEL
a) Before you start teaching with Blackboard, find out the following:
- How does the programme/module use Blackboard to support teaching and learning?
- What will be your role in using Blackboard within the programme/module?
- Are there any specific approaches or practices to the use of Blackboard on your programme/module that are used to provide a consistent student experience?
- Assessment and feedback: What is the school/department’s process for online submission, e-marking and e-feedback?
b) Who are the staff in your Support Centre that can help with some of your Blackboard administrative queries (e.g. enrol you on the modules you need access to)? Support Centre staff work in partnership with academics and have good knowledge of teaching and learning administrative processes related to the use of Blackboard.
c) Are there any school/department-specific approaches or practices to the use of TEL more broadly (e.g. projects or initiatives)? This will help you identify any priorities or areas of focus that might impact your teaching.
d) Are there any school/department-specific learning technologies that are available for you to use, which are supported locally? This will help you to identify what you are able to use easily and be supported.
e) Who are the staff in your school/department with an interest in TEL or have a role supporting TEL (e.g. members of the TEL Practitioner Forum or a departmental TEL Co-ordinator)? You will find it useful to talk to colleagues involved with TEL in your school/department and learn from their knowledge and practice.
2. Practical things for you to do
a) Log in to Blackboard at www.bb.reading.ac.uk using your university log in and password, and have a look around to familiarise yourself with the platform. Students are enrolled automatically on their modules on Blackboard. Staff need to be added by teaching colleagues or administrators.
b) Speak to the convenor of your module/s to ensure you are enrolled on the Blackboard module/s you’re teaching or supporting. They can also advise on how the Blackboard module is used to support the delivery of the module itself and how you should use it, perhaps in conjunction with others who may be teaching on the module.
c) Check out the Blackboard FAQs and our range of guides and self-help materials on the Blackboard Help for Staff site. Check out the Blackboard Help for Student site too to see what support your students can access.
d) Browse the TEL website for an understanding of the full range of the technologies, tools and support available to you.
e) Browse the TEL staff development programme on UoR Learn (search for TEL) and book a place to attend relevant training sessions.
f) If you need any help with developing your digital (IT) skills, have a look at the Digital Skills for Staff resources, provided by the DTS (IT) team.
g) Once you’re up and running, for a more in-depth discussion on a specific aspect of TEL within your module/programme, you can book a 30-minute TEL 1:1 Consultation with a member of the TEL team. Simply email email@example.com to request a 1:1 TEL consultation.
Need any help?
If you have a TEL-related query, or would like to contact the TEL team, please log a ticket on the DTS Self Service Portal or email firstname.lastname@example.org with full details (using the prefix ‘TEL’ in the subject line). This will ensure your query is addressed by an appropriate person as promptly as possible.