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What to do about students referred or deferred in modules no longer running

If students need to take a module that is no longer running then they can use last year’s Blackboard site for the module i.e. the 2015 site. See this guide for using last year’s site and setting up an area for referred or deferred students or for students having to re-take the module.

Personal Tutoring Dashboard

In Blackboard you can now access the new Personal Tutor’s dashboard via a tab called ‘Personal Tutoring’ at the top of any Blackboard page. This ‘version 1’ dashboard makes it a little easier for personal tutors to find out key information about their tutees and provides access to tutor notes which can be used to record notes from meetings with tutees.

Watch a short overview video of the Tutor’s Dashboard

Sensus Access

SensusAccess is a self-service cloud-based system and allows students to convert a range of file types to what may be more accessible formats (for example word or pdf to mp3).

Find out more and how to use and tell your students to use it at this web page.

Feedback from the Furniture Exhibition

During February and early March we collected feedback from student and staff visitors to the furniture exhibition held in the old bookshop at New Cavendish Street. Thank you to all who came and passed on their views. It has taken a while to collate and try to make some collective sense of the feedback but we have now done this and you can access the current version of the collated view via this link.

In short, finding something that everyone agrees was wonderful (especially chairs!) was perhaps unsurprisingly not possible. However, though the report goes in to much more detail for each item in the exhibition, after counting votes the top 6 of the ‘hit parade’ were (from left to right below) a folding table, a tablet chair on wheels, a 4 sided table (so called tessellating table), a 3 sided table (so called plectrum table), an upholstered basic chair, and (not too clear in the picture below) a table that can seat 6-8 but that has small whiteboards hanging from the sides that can be used to partition the table but also to facilitate group work feedback.

folding table tablet chair tesselating plectrum steelcase chair steelcase tables

Please note that this doe snot necessarily mean that the furniture above will be what winds up in all classrooms being refurbished over the summer. The final choice of furniture is still to be discussed with Faculty representatives.

New Blackboard Portal Tour

So the new Blackboard is launched and we are collecting feedback from students and staff. Towards the end of November we will review the feedback with a view to making some further improvements potentially for semester 2.

In the meantime if you’ve not accessed Blackboard or have but not fully explored it why not take a look at this brief tour for students.

New Classrooms Go Live

All of the classrooms that formed part of the New Classrooms project are now being used for teaching. You can read what each room contains and watch a short ‘home movie’ of each room by following the links below.

Cavendish New Classrooms

Marylebone New Classrooms

Regent New Classrooms

Harrow New Classrooms

 

New Classrooms – updated programme of works

Parkeray the main contractors delivering the New Classrooms changes have released an updated programme of work for each room with projected completion dates as below:

Regent RS2.51     07 September 2015
Regent RS3.54     07 September 2015

Harrow A7.01     10 September 2015
Harrow A7.02     10 September 2015
Harrow A7.03     11 September 2015
Harrow A7.04     11 September 2015

Cavendish C1.110    07 September 2015
Cavendish C2.04     14 September 2015
Cavendish C2.07     11 September 2015
Cavendish C2.11     11 September 2015
Cavendish C3.05     14 September 2015

Marylebone C1.76     15 September 2015
Marylebone C1.78     15 September 2015
Marylebone C1.81     16 September 2015
Marylebone C1.80     16 September 2015
Marylebone LA1.03   17 September 2015
Marylebone C1.79     17 September 2015
Marylebone C2.79     08 September 2015
Marylebone C2.80     08 September 2015
Marylebone C2.81     07 September 2015
Marylebone C2.82     07 September 2015
Marylebone M3.21    18 September 2015

Pre-arrival Blackboard

Pre-arrival Blackboard sites have now gone live for each Faculty. These sites contain a range of existing materials designed to help student think about some of the tools and systems they will need to engage with in their first few weeks at Westminster. Most of the information in the sites is in the form of signposting to existing sources. There are some new materials around using facilities at Westminster and there is also a feature called Chapter 2 developed by existing students. The sites include as a minimum the below but some of the faculties also have some Faculty specific information and activities that students can link out to.

Here is the basic site guide:

Site Resource Brief Description
Welcome  Two very short video welcomes. One to the University and the other more specifically about the Faculty you are joinng. 
Enrolment and Orientation A brief description of how enrolment and orientation work at the university
Key Applicant Information Links through  what you need to do to complete enrolment; details of fees and guidance for international students
Chapter 2 An interactive questionnaire, designed by our students, to take you through the basics of your first few weeks at uni
Feedback+ A questionnaire to help you think about some of the skills you will need to develop as an undergraduate student
Great Start Information through to the network of face to face support you will have to welcome when you get to university
Studying at University A range of useful videos and guides to get you started with using the IT you will need to support your studies as well as services and systems like Blackboard, the library, SRSWeb abd your university email. In addition find guidnacehere on study technqiues that will help you to succeed.
Useful links Hyperlinks to useful additional resources for living and studying in London

Engaging with the new classrooms

Hopefully the new classrooms will look good and will have nice furniture that will suit people and blinds and lighting that are an improvement over what is commonly encountered in current classrooms.

The new classrooms will also have new AV and IT which includes capabilities like wireless projection from tablet devices to the main screens and options for in class recording and brand new, and hopefully simpler control panels to manage all of the facilities in a room from the lecturer’s console.

The first room to be equipped with the new control panel and the new features detailed above is the Hogg Lecture theatre at Marylebone. We will soon make available some instructional videos showing how these new lecterns and control panels work. In addition external suppliers will be offering familiarisation sessions in mid-September for staff – precise dates still to be arranged.

New lectern in the Hogg Lecture Theatre, Marylebone

New lectern in the Hogg Lecture Theatre, Marylebone

Close up of control panel om lectern in Hogg Lecture Theatre

Close up of control panel om lectern in Hogg Lecture Theatre

 

Classrooms work progress

The external contractors report that they are a little behind overall with the programme of works for the rooms across the 4 major buildings. However it is looking likely that 7 classrooms will be handed over complete with new AV by the 31st August and a further 8 rooms by September 7th. The remaining rooms, mostly at Cavendish, are set to complete by the 21st September at the latest.

Latest:

What to do about students referred or deferred in modules no longer running

If students need to take a module that is no longer running then they can use last year’s Blackboard site for the module i.e. the 2015 site. See this guide for using last year’s site and setting up an area […]

Personal Tutoring Dashboard

In Blackboard you can now access the new Personal Tutor’s dashboard via a tab called ‘Personal Tutoring’ at the top of any Blackboard page. This ‘version 1’ dashboard makes it a little easier for personal tutors to find out key […]

Sensus Access

SensusAccess is a self-service cloud-based system and allows students to convert a range of file types to what may be more accessible formats (for example word or pdf to mp3). Find out more and how to use and tell your […]

Feedback from the Furniture Exhibition

During February and early March we collected feedback from student and staff visitors to the furniture exhibition held in the old bookshop at New Cavendish Street. Thank you to all who came and passed on their views. It has taken […]