Posts tagged ‘shuspace’
The last post told you about the changes to shuspace – the resources to support shuspace are now ready. There’s three short screencasts:
http://tinyurl.com/introducingshuspace covers the main features of shuspace, explains some of the tools and gives a general picture of what it’s for and what you can do there
http://tinyurl.com/informationshuspace goes into more detail about how students can find the things that they need on shuspace, by using the tabs, search or directory
http://tinyurl.com/personalisingshuspace shows how students can make a number of changes to shuspace to ensure that it better meets their needs.
If screencasts aren’t enough (and we know they don’t suit everybody)- the Directory has a range of straightforward information about shuspace, and it’s easy to search for.
If you think something is missing – do let us know.
This semester there’s a couple of small but significant changes that have happened to shuspace.
The top bar on every tab used to just contain the search tool, but following student input, we’ve added other things to improve navigation and access to information…
Firstly there’s a link to the directory of practical information. This means that if they find it easier than searching for specific pieces of information, students can navigate straight to them.
Then there’s the new screencasts and guidance for students showing them how to make the best of shuspace. While our new intake are getting used to the using shuspace this will stay there.
The other big change is the name of the My Future tab – which is now Employability. Although the original name was chosen by students, we realised it wasn’t helping students to find guidance and resources that would help them develop their understanding of the value of employability skills. Over the next few months the content of the Employability tab will be evolving too.
In the meantime, our interns Jess and Nick will be working together to find interesting things to do with the log-in screen on shuspace which are more about reflecting the university community..
Watch this space.
Please note this message from IS&T, as you may need to change links on your Blackboard site if you are directly linking to the SHU regulations and codes page from your Blackboard site:
The current SHU regulations and codes pages on shuspace have been replaced by a new set of pages entitled Academic Regulations and student policies (available at: https://students.shu.ac.uk/regulations/index.html). These cover everything on the old pages as well as the new Student Charter, Academic Calendar, Terms and Conditions and staff guidelines around ancillary policies. These pages will become the sole repository for all student policies and staff guidelines around ancillary policies. The pages include all polices related to assessment, the IT Regulations, Data Protection, complaints and disciplinary procedures as well as SHU policies on attendance, curriculum and the credit framework.
Centrally managed content on shuspace will be updated, but many staff will have links to the old pages from Blackboard sites and the staff intranet. It is important that you check these links and update them accordingly as soon as the new pages go live today. A redirect will be in place until at least 21 March to enable you to make any changes without worrying about broken links. The new pages will continue to be linked to the login page of shuspace so external users can access the policies they require without having to login.
We hope the new pages are easy to navigate, but if you are in doubt about the new address for your page or link, please contact the Web and Learning Environments team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some staff members have said they want more resources to help them support their students in Blackboard. Often staff also want to see what the student experience of using Blackboard features is like, particularly around the assessment process.
To help with this, we have compiled a list of screencasts we have created that you can use with your students. Currently we have screencasts on three subjects that we’ve creatd: shuspace, Turnitin and submitting SHU Assignments online. There are also screencasts created by Blackboard, Inc. which are not customised to our environment but may be helpful for your students. They cover using groups, blogs, wikis and discussion boards.
You can add a link to the appropriate screencast(s) into your Blackboard site to help your students understand what to do, as well as seeing the process students go through yourself.
The list of screencasts has also been added to the student ‘Blackboard Help’ knowledge base that students have access to via the menu of their Blackboard sites. That means that students can access these screencasts directly even if you have not highlighted them on your site.
On 5th September the first phase of the Refresh shuspace project went ahead successfully with changes to the shuspace interface, tabs and channels. Staff and students can find out more about the new interface by logging into shuspace, and looking for the Have You Seen channel on that first page (the My SHU tab), where there are links to FAQs and screencasts introducing the changes. There will shortly be a crib sheet that staff can use and disseminate when working with students.
Over the next few months we’ll be implementing the second phase of the project – the re-developed and re-presented information. All information will have been replaced by the new style information by September 2012.
As a reminder – if at all possible please avoid giving students URLs to specific pages of information in shuspace. One key reason for this being that urls are likely to change as information and structure changes (and will continue to do so). The search facility will improve as the new style information is introduced, and so students will be able to find the information they need much more easily using simple search terms and the new navigational structure. If you’d like more guidance, or have any questions about the project please get in touch by emailing email@example.com.
There’s an increasing amount of web browsers (software programmes that allow you to view web sites) available to use. The most popular browser has been Internet Explorer for many years, but there are other browsers that are growing in popularity, particularly due to the growth of mobile devices which have their own browsers. Firefox and Chrome are two browsers that are also commonly used. Safari is a browser built for Apple computers and devices. Different browser software also comes in different versions released over time, such as Internet Explorer 7, 8 or 9. Firefox has versions 3.x, 4 and 5 in use now as well.
On Sheffield Hallam managed desktops we have two browsers available: Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3.6. The version of these browsers is often updated during the year for security reasons as well as larger version changes happening at the start of the academic year. You can access these browsers on a University computer by clicking the Start menu->All Programs->Web Tools.
The Blackboard software which runs shuspace and our Blackboard sites is only fully compatible with specific versions of web browsers. Many other browsers will work fine with most features of shuspace and Blackboard, but can cause problems where certain elements do not work correctly. Blackboard has published a list of compatible browsers for our current version of their software.
Essentially you should be fine to use either Internet Explorer or Firefox on campus, but if you are accessing from home we recommend using one of the browsers marked ‘certified’ or ‘compatible’. Note that Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 9 are not compatible, along with Chrome, Firefox 3.4 and older, and Safari 3.2 and older.
Over the last year we’ve been working closely with staff and students to improve the way that the University presents information on shuspace, there will be better search facilities, a clearer layout and less clutter, so that students can more easily find the things they need when they need them.
Early in September, you’ll notice four new tabs:
- Learning Essentials will present resources and information that support students’ learning
- University Life covers every day student life, from sport to finance, from campus maps to shucards
- My Future will bring together information to help students make the most of their time at Sheffield Hallam to direct and plan their careers
- and Help and support will provide easy access to student support services and information
My SHU will still be the tab that students see first, and continue to give them access to key services including Blackboard sites, email, library services, timetables and My Student Record.
Information will be more purposeful, and written and presented for the student perspective. In addition, navigation and search tools will make it much easier for students to locate specific pieces of information.
Over the next year we’ll be continuing to work with students and information providers to refine these changes.
Towards the end of August you’ll be able to see what the new layout looks like, and there will be resources for you to use that show students how to get the best out of shuspace.
If you need to direct students to specific pieces of information, please get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll advise you on the best way to go about it.
So while this seems to be a fairly simple topic for the blog, I thought it was worth doing as it is proving to be one of the most searched for terms in reaching the blog on the Internet.
Currently, if you try accessing Blackboard via the old URLs (blackboard.shu.ac.uk and my.shu.ac.uk) you may receive certificate errors. These URLs have not been used for the past few years so you will now get an error when you first reach them. We recommend using the up-to-date URL of http://shuspace.shu.ac.uk to avoid any errors. This will probably mean changing any bookmarks (favourites) you have set on your computer so they point to the correct location.
On another point, we have successfully upgraded Blackboard to the latest version. You will notice some changes to features like the Grade Centre, as mentioned in an earlier post. We’ll be covering those changes in more detail over the next couple of weeks.