GCULearn Updates and Availability

GCULearn is getting its annual update over the coming weekend so there will be some disruption to service.  It will be unavailable from 9pm on Saturday 14 July until 2pm on Sunday 15 July.  Normal service will resume at 2pm on Sunday 15 July.




Digital Assessment and Feedback: summer webinar series


(image:  Rayi Christian Wicaksono on Unsplash)

The marking period may almost be finishing for most of our staff, however, throughout June and August, Steven and Rachael will be running a series of webinars on digital assessment and feedback.  The series starts this Friday, 1 June 2pm – 3pm with a getting to grips with Grade Centre session.  You can join the session here  (remember to use an up to date version of either the Chrome or Firefox browser when you are accessing the webinars)

Whether you are still in Trimester C and about to start marking online or wanting to find out some helpful information for the next Trimester, join us weekly as we cover keys areas of digital assessment and feedback; from the basics of Grade Centre and Turnitin to using alternative, faster methods of feedback. We will also have the opportunity to cover other related topics at the end of August on request.

Won’t have the opportunity to join our webinars? Not to worry. We will have all sessions recorded and available to watch whenever on our Feedback and Assessment Hub via GCULearn.

We’re looking forward to seeing many colleagues online over the summer.

You can download the full schedule of webinars from the link below.




Marks Integration Workshop

Post from: Rachael Magennis, Learning Technologist in the  Academic Development Team

From an Academic perspective, what are the phrases that send you in a frenzy during the end of the Trimester?

Marking? Deadline? Feedback? How about ‘Marks Integration’?

If you’re in a panic as to what that means; do not fear. Marks Integration has meant that once all marks are inputted into their weighted columns, finalised grades can be transferred  directly into the student record system.


Setting up Grade Centre correctly is important. Like organising your kitchen cupboards or sorting through your mail; it’s a little annoying for a few minutes but once completed, it makes life run so much smoother. Same with Marks Integration; by organising the Grade Centre correctly, it makes the whole process far easier.

To help you make sense of the Grade Centre and how to set yours up correctly,  why not come along to to our next  workshop on May 17.

Next  workshop (click on the link below to register)

This workshop covers:

  • Basics of Grade Centre and Marks Integration
  • How to set up  Grade Centre for all your Assessments.
  • How to input  marks and transfer grades to ISIS.

There’s also the opportunity for questions and any hands on help during the workshop.




Ten tools in Ten Days – Collaborate Ultra webinar series

If you are already using, or are keen to find out more about to use, Collaborate Ultra then you may well be interested in the up coming “Ten Tools in Ten Days” webinar series being run by Blackboard, starting next Monday, 14 May.

Each session will last for 30 minutes and will focus on a different aspects of the tools available in Collaborate Ultra

You can find our more and register by following this link.

Evolutions of Carpe Diem for Learning Design – new paper

The paper Evolutions of Carpe Diem  for Learning Design, co-authored by Professor Linda Creanor, Sheila MacNeill and Julie Usher (University of Northampton) has just been published.

The paper presents a comparative case study from GCU and  Northampton Universtiy that contextualises their use of the Carpe Diem Learning Design methodology.  The aim of the case study is not to share an evaluation of the Carpe Diem process per se, as both institutions are confident in the validity of the design process it scaffolds. Rather, it explores the different contexts, institutional drivers and evolutions of the original process in both institutions: supporting the development of online programmes at Glasgow Caledonian University, and blended programmes through the CAIeRO framework (Creating Aligned Interactive educational Resource Opportunities) at the University of Northampton.

It then shares common challenges and opportunities; in particular the use of Carpe Diem to support open educational practice. The aim is to contribute to an ongoing collaborative narrative around the processes involved in implementing and embedding a formal learning design process such as Carpe Diem.

You can access and download the paper here.

Catching up with #oer18

The #OER18 conference took place last week in Bristol.  GCU was well represented by Sheila MacNeill (Academic Development) who presented with Professsor Keith Smyth (UHI) on open praxis and practice in the digital university, and Marion Kelt from the Library who presented on the GCU copyright advisor. Sheila is also the current Chair of ALT (Association for Learning Technology) who organise the conference.

There are a growing number of post conference blogs sharing a rang of perspectives and experiences of the conference which can be accessed from the ALTC website.

You can also view recordings of all the keynotes.

New Digital Assessment and Feedback videos for students and staff

In this post, Steven Fraser, Learning Technologist in the Academic Development Team shares the thinking behind some of the resources he has been creating for staff and students as part of the support for the Digital Assessment Policy.

Since I started at GCU I have been hearing various lecturers talk about their individual processes for setting up assessments and giving feedback. In this time it has been frequently mentioned that the lecturers were unaware of what the students see when they access feedback. It had also been mentioned that students themselves were unaware of what to look for when they were receiving their grades and feedback. Various elements of the Turnitin Feedback studio were being ignored. Students had received no information on how to view rubrics, quickmarks or how to listen to audio feedback.

In order to show lecturers what students see and to ensure the students knew how to access their grades and feedback in both Grade Centre and Turnitin, it was decided to create two short videos to explain the process. The first video shows students how to find their feedback in Turnitin, how to view rubrics, play audio feedback, understand similarity reports and how to download their feedback as a .PDF document.

The second video shows students how to access grades and feedback in Grade Centre. Both videos are short in order to allow the viewers to have a quick overview of process and to emphasise how quick an uncomplicated the procedure is. The videos also allow academics to see how students view their feedback without having to login as a student on GCU Learn or use the ‘Student View’ which is not always available.

The videos were recorded using Camtasia, which is a screen recording and video editing software. (NB Camtasia is available to all GCU staff via the GCU App Store)

Using Camtasia allowed me to focus on different topics, make a recording and then edit the different sections of the video together. I could then record my voice over to explain what is happening on screen. This technique ensured the videos were short, succinct and to the point. I also added subtitles to the videos, so they could be more accessible to individuals who have hearing impairments.

The two videos are available from the links below.

Video 1 – Student Feedback in Turnitin 

image of video screengrab

Video 2 – Student Feedback Grade Centre

screen shoot of video

You can find out more about our other assessment and feedback resources and staff development opportunities in the Digital Assessment and Feedback Community in GCU Learn.

Next Collabo-break Session, 28 March, midday – GSBS 5 Days of Twitter

We are delighted that Elizabeth McGlone (Learning Technologist, GSBS) will be joining us for our next Collabo-break session where we will be finding our more about the, now annual, GSBS 5 Days of Twitter event which is running from 26 March.

The event has been designed to help participants explore twitter and  get comfortable with communicating through it. A series of daily activities will help people to set up accounts, find and follow people and explore the potential of using twitter as a learning and teaching tool.

So if you’ve always wondered what twitter can do for you, why not join us next Wednesday, 28 March at midday to find our more.  You can join the session here.

In the mean time you can follow @GSBSlearntech for updates and more information and the event hashtag #GSBS5DoT

Digital Assessment and Feedback – new community, resources and staff

This post is by Rachael Magennis, Learning Technologist, Academic Development.  Rachael joined the Academic Development Team in December along with Steven Fraser. Rachael and Steven are providing dedicated supported around digital assessment and feedback.

community image

In this post I want to introduce our new  Digital Assessment and Feedback community area in GCULearn

Whether you’re new to GCU or a long standing member, creating submissions and giving feedback on line for the first time can be daunting. To get you on track, our Digital Assessment and Feedback Community (or A&F for short) contains all the information and resources on all topics to do with submission and Feedback.

In line with our Assessment and Feedback Policy, we wanted to create guides on key assessment areas, including;

  • Using the Grade Centre
  • Using Turnitin
  • Rubrics and other grading forms
  • Using Wikis and Blogs and e Portfolios
  • Using Audio Feedback for easier submission
  • Incorporating social media and other alternative online tools for feedback.
  • Getting to grips with our video conferencing tool BlackBoard Ultra as an alternative to face to face feedback.

To accommodate the university target of  100% of online submission (of suitable course work) by the end of Trimester B,  Steven and I will be working with staff to make the transition from paper to online.  To demonstrate how really simple it is, we are running a number of CDP events where you can ask us anything and everything surrounding A & F.

So if you really feel swamped – remember to attend our drop ins, read our handy guides and most importantly, experiment and trial the tools on GCU Learn before hand!

As we build content over the next couple of weeks, we would love you (yes, you) to contribute to our Community. We believe that collaboration and sharing good practice is the cornerstone of learning; so if you have any examples of using assessment and feedback online, add your comments on our sharing practice board.

If you are interested in sharing your practice, for example by developing a case study, then please contact me ( rachael.magennis@gcu.ac.uk_  or Steven (steven.fraser@gcu.ac.uk_)  and we’ll work with you to develop one.

All GCU staff can access the community by simply putting “digital” in the search box in the Communities tab in GCULearn and then self enrolling onto the “Digital Assessment and Feedback Hub”.

If there are any additional support needs you can think of relating to assessment and feedback, then feel free to share in the comments below too.


Next Collabo-break session: 30 January 12.30 – GCU Online copyright advisor

Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 11.39.12

The recording of this session is available here.


Our next Collabo-break session will take place on Tuesday, 30 January at 12.30 Marion Kelt (Open Access and Research Librarian) will be demonstrating the new, award winning, GCU Online Copyright Advisor.

Based the most popular FAQs (frequently asked questions) around the use of resources and copyright, the tool provides a simple interface to help guide staff and students. You can read more about its development here.

The session will start at 12.30, but if you can’t make it, it will be recorded and made available via edShare.

To access the webinar just click on this link.