Online Learning and Assessments

We have developed some useful guidance when accessing technology at home.

Online Assessment Guides and Toolkit

The following guides are to support you with the completion of Time Limited Assessments (TLAs) you are timetabled to complete. 

Scenario 1:  The TLA paper will be released in the relevant Blackboard course at a set date and time. You will complete and submit in Blackboard through a Turnitin Dropbox. Please refer to Module specific instructions and guidelines provided by your tutor. 

Student Guide – TLA submission via Blackboard Turnitin dropbox 
Student Guide – Handwritten TLA paper submission option 

Scenario 2:  A timed Blackboard online test with multiple choice or other question typesPlease refer to Module specific instructions and guidelines provided by your tutor. 

Student Guide – Preparing for online Time Limited Assessment 

Scenario 3: video submission (where Panopto is the submission method). 

Panopto – Submitting Video Assignments 

Online Toolkit
Launch our online interactive learning package for Online Assessments.

Internet Connection / WiFi

Ensure you have a steady connection – preferably a strong WiFi signal or better still a computer that is plugged directly into your router or modem.

There may be occasions when bandwidth is restricted (the amount of data that can be sent and received at any one time). If you are experiencing lag, jumping, drop-out or other issues, try switching off your video and encourage others to do the same especially if in a large group. If a person isn’t speaking, ask them to turn off their microphone too (this will also help with background noise)

If you are in a hospital, or similar setting, there may be firewalls that will block your access or restrict your connection in some way (especially if trying to use video). You may need to connect via your data connection on your phone or use a different computer. Try to take the time to test your setup first before your session, especially if using equipment for the first time.

Complete loss of internet
If you experience problems with your internet connection on the day of the assessment – don’t panic. First check with your broadband provider to find out if the problem is  temporary. Then get in touch with your tutor as soon as you can to explain the situation.

Pre-assessment Checklist

Avoid common technical problems by following this check list the week before your first assessment:

  • Install Chrome or Firefox onto your PC or laptop. Our systems work best on these web browsers.
  • Read the guide for the assessments you will be taking so you know what to expect.
  • Make sure you have access to the software you will need, including Microsoft Word or another text editor. Remember that you have access to Office 365 or can download the software
  • Log into Blackboard on the device you will be using to check your access.
  • Update your alternative email so you can reset your password yourself if you need to.

We do not recommend trying to complete assessments using a tablet or phone. If you are in this situation, or experience problems with any of the above, please get in touch with the Catalyst Helpdesk  via email or live chat.

Recommended Web Browsers

There is a choice of web browsers available, and most devices will come with one installed, but we would recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox for the best experience (as opposed to Safari or Microsoft Edge/Internet Explorer).

If you are having any trouble accessing a link or joining a session a good tip would be to check if any functions are being blocked by your browser, specifically in Google Chrome. If you are joining a Blackboard Collaborate session ensure you allow 3rd party plugins, if prompted, for Collaborate to work in your web browser. Read more here:

Webinars, Online Tutorials and Meetings

If you are joining a webinar, online tutorial or team meeting it is important to check your computer is picking up the correct equipment so you are able to take part in the conversation.

This could be a built-in microphone, external microphone (plugged into the microphone socket of your computer or laptop), a headset (aux/mini jack into your computer or USB) or even a Bluetooth headset or hands-free set (perhaps came with a new phone). With so many options your device may pick up multiple input options so is important to choose the right one.

Make sure that the correct output is also set. You may be using wireless or Bluetooth headphones, wired headphones (jack or USB), built-in or external speakers. Ensure that the sound is set to come out of the one you are expecting. For the best experience, we recommend headphones. By using headphones you can avoid any audio leak, or feedback, via the microphone which can make it difficult to hear.

Device Permissions
If you need to install any hardware, such as an external microphone, it is important to check you have permissions to install them on your device. This is also important to check if you need to add any additional software, such as web browsers or Panopto (if recording). Make sure you have admin rights and that your operating system (OS) allows you to make any necessary changes.

If you are using Windows in S-Mode this will mean upgrading to Windows Home or Professional edition – there is no cost to this although it cannot be reversed.

Additional Specialist Software

Texthelp Read and Write is a useful text to speech software that can support you with proofreading and accessing content by listening rather than reading.

There is now a temporary license which is available to all Edge Hill staff and students during this period of campus closure due to COVID -19.

Get in touch with the Catalyst Helpdesk virtually via email or live chat and we will be able to provide an instructional video and product key so you can download the software at home.

Further Help & Support

If you need any further help and support please get in touch with the Catalyst Helpdesk virtually via email or live chat

If you need any further help and support please visit our Wiki for more information about contacting the Learning Technology Development (LTD) team or the Academic Engagement team.