Skip to main content

Digital educationUncategorized

New Year – New Technologies

5 October 2015

by Dewi Parry

Welcome back everyone, and a very warm welcome to those of you who are new to the University. We have several new technologies available for staff this year. They are in various stages of rollout and we are all learning lessons from early adopters at the moment, so please read the following post to see what’s available, and who you can contact to get involved.

Learn Pluslogo

Learn Plus is a suite of tools to help support and enrich learning and teaching across the University. Powered by Panopto, it includes the ability to record basically any kind of teaching, learning and assessment activity by capturing audio, video, screencasts and presentations (in several ways). This will be possible using varied devices – from permanent recording equipment within teaching rooms down to mobile devices – anywhere you may be.

Learn Plus is initially being rolled out to 7 early adopter Schools across the University. It will then be rolled out to more Schools as time goes by. If you are interested in the Learn Plus project, and want to know more, please contact the Learn Plus Project Team:

Also, please read Learn Plus Update and Learn Plus is Coming.

Blackboard CollaborateCollaborate logo

Blackboard Collaborate is interactive and participatory. It is a virtual (or online) classroom, a synchronous space where educators can teach in real time, and students can interact directly with teachers using their own microphones or typed text. It uses a range of tools to facilitate interaction with or between students, and has features such as breakout rooms with white boards to facilitate group work and group discussion. Students and teachers can be located anywhere (in the world) as long as they have an internet connection.

Blackboard Collaborate is available at the moment, but supported only on a best endeavour basis. Guidance around getting started and best practice are currently being developed, and we will be updating you here on the blog. However, there is a great site by the SOCSI Learning Technology team, giving an introduction to Blackboard Collaborate.

If you are interested in knowing more about Blackboard Collaborate, please contact the service desk stating your interest:

What’s the difference between Learn Plus and Blackboard Collaborate? Read Introducing Learn Plus (Panopto) and Blackboard Collaborate.

Initial experiences with Blackboard Collaborate on a distance learning programme in the School of Social Sciences, Read First Steps with Blackboard Collaborate.

Xerte Online Toolkitsxerte logo

Xerte Online Toolkits (XOT) is a suite of browser-based tools that allow anyone with a web browser to create interactive learning materials quickly and easily. Content can be delivered to all devices using responsive styles. XOT provides simple to use page templates for creating interactive teaching materials. Content is assembled using an intuitive interface, and multiple users can collaborate on shared projects

Xerte has now been upgraded to the latest version, and we’re really happy with it! We’re currently working on the documentation and guidance, but it’s available now to staff at:


mahara logo

Mahara is an ePortfolio tool that allows students to gather together and share a whole range of digital artefacts related to any number of academic, professional and personal development and skills.

Students can use the ePortfolio to trace their own development over time, and to share this with tutors, supervisors and prospective employers. Staff can use it to encourage student development and reflection. The ePortfolio can also be used to facilitate some types of assessment, such as evidence of skills and reflective assessment. The ePortfolio facilitates collection and sharing of evidence for many different types of student experiences over the course of study at Cardiff, and students can take their portfolio of evidence with them when they leave the University.

We are currently in the process of updating the Mahara server and software, and we will be keeping you updated here on the blog. If you are interested in knowing more about Mahara, please contact the service desk stating your interest:

Community of Practice

The CU Learning Technology Community of Practice is a supportive, progressive group, intended to help Learning Technologists with their work through dialogue and development opportunities.

A special panel meeting has been organised for the 21st October with a mixture of learning technologists and teaching staff, focusing on how learning technologists can best support the delivery of the Education Portfolio and support academic staff.

Please contact for further information and details of how to book a space.

And finally…

We had the great pleasure of meeting Joseph and Jacobina from the University of Namibia this week as a part of the Phoenix Project visit. We hope we helped a little bit, and looking forward forward to hearing about the developments over in Namibia.

Congratulations and good luck to Karl Luke, who has been appointed as the new Learning Technologist for the Learn Plus project. Karl will be based in Park Place.

As ever, don’t forget the team are here to help with your explorations in learning technologies. If you are working or planning to work on any learning technology projects within Cardiff University, we would love to hear from you, and find out about your experiences. If you are interested in this area, and would like some further information, please get in touch, and we can arrange a meeting with you. Email us via:


1 comment

Comments are closed.