Digitalization for In Groups Integrative Training - international network for support, connection ,innovation and know-how share in digital vocational education
Project code 2021 -1-RO01-KA220-VET-000032924
Course Advanced training module for digital learning dedicated to students with intuitive step by step manual for access online teaching and communication platforms, learning resources and instruments
The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
1. Using Properly Online Learning Tools: Advises for students.
1.2. Online learning challenges
1.3. Common online learning tools. Jisc discovery tool. Check your Digital IQ.
2. How to access and use different online resources and platforms
2.1. Virtual learning environment (VLE)
2.2. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
2.2.1 Configurate personal settings to start
2.2.2 For taking synchronous lessons you should go to the videoconference section.
3. Advices for a successful online learning
4. Files managers and citation software to do your tasks.
5. Using Wikis for collaborative tasks.
Test 1. Virtual Learning Environment.
Test 2. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.
Information and Communication Technologies applied to Education constitute a set of services, networks, software and multiple devices aimed at improving the quality of learning within a concrete environment, and which are integrated into an interconnected and complementary information system.
Educational ICT are imagined as the universe of two sets, represented by traditional Communication Technologies, characterised by the digitalization of content recording technologies. ICT are theoretical and conceptual tools, supports and channels that process, store, sum up, retrieve, recover and present information and data in a variety of forms.
Nowadays, in the Digital Era, we can talk about the extended use of Educational ICT. The use of ICT tools has got a relevant impact in our society, and ultimately a change of paradigm in Education, modifying the way to interact, communicate and spread knowledges among online learners. At the same time, the passive traditional role of the learner is changing over time.
Some examples of the most used educational technologies would be the digital whiteboard (personal computer multimedia projector), the use of blogs, podcasts, file managers and a variety of apps, among others.
For all kinds of educational applications there are tools and building materials to facilitate the learning process, the development of key skills and different ways of learning, styles and rhythms of learners.
Next, you can find a short list about the advantages and disadvantages for online learners:
Table 1. Pros of studying online.
Digital literacy of learners
Students should acquire, at least, basic digital competences during the process.
New didactic possibilities
ICT tools can help to achieve better marks and reduce school failure.
Develop communication skills
As a student, you can support, share and exchange ideas, generate discussion lists.
Build social skills
Encourages collaborative and cooperative tasks.
Table 2. Disadvantages for online learning students:
You should avoid the ‘infoxication’ and the effect of fake news.
Technological addiction or dependence
It’s very common to suffer FOMO (fear of missing out).
Feeling of isolation
You should spend spare time with your friends and family.
Stress and physical issues
Students become very stressed and emotionally overwhelmed basically because they feel unproductive.
There is no doubt that online learning brings us new challenges for students, among which we highlight the following:
- Continuous change: information expiry is very rapid, and virtual learners must adapt to the requirements of virtual education.
- Planning skills: The need to organize a personal system of information sources, and develop research skills and techniques.
- Managing our presence in cyberspace: We must learn to interpret communication in the new media.
- See to take advantage of the new means to solve some of the "unsolvable" problems until now: academic failure and attention span.
There are many digital tools that you will use during your formal studies, both for your core learning activities such as lectures and group discussions, and for other activities such as storing documents, planning, and keeping in touch with fellows. While the tools that you use for your studies will vary from program to program, there are four core tools that most students are likely to use at some stage. In this course, you will discover some of them. The first step is checking your digital IQ. For this purpose, we recommend you a tool called Jisc discovery tool. Thanks to this tool, you can test your digital competences before starting your online course.
Step 1. Discovery tool login page
- Go to https://jisc.potential.ly
- Click on ‘Login’
- This will take you to the building digital capability login screen.
Step 2. Find your organization
-Include or choose the name of your organisation in the box from the list and click ‘Continue’.
Step 3. Logging in
- Click on the ‘Register’ button to introduce your email address and create a password.
Step 4. Register your personal details
Online resources for most virtual courses are focused in virtual learning environments (VLEs), considered like the heart of teaching-learning process. The most used currently is Blackboard Learn (usually just called ‘Learn’). Besides, a lot of institutions use Moodle to host a variety of courses and subjects.
Learning how to work management systems (LMS), provide important tools to the educational process. We can highlight the following ones:
A. Content management and distribution tools: They allow to store, organize, retrieve and distribute educational contents and structuring them into contents of greater complexity and thematic scope.
B. User management tools: Facilitate the registration of users of the system for the subsequent access control and personalized presentation of the contents and courses.
C. Communication tools: Students can access to a wide range of tools such as chats, forums, institutional mail, bulletin boards, allow communication between students and tutors in a single or double way (synchronous and asynchronous).
D. Evaluation and monitoring tools: They support the construction and submission of assessments through the use of different types of questions: open, false or true, multiple choice, filling the gaps and matching headings, among others. Sometimes, it also allows the possibility of building question banks to randomly select questions by learners.
In this sense, we can use virtual classrooms for taking seminars and participate in learning groups. For this purpose, Blackboard Collaborate, Zoom and Teams constitute ideal online spaces where you can access via your courses in Learn. In the case of Collaborate or Zoom, may be used by your lecturers and tutors to run their seminars, lessons and tutorials and to present, discuss and debate topics among students. For this reason, it is essential to manage these sort of tech tools for being a successful student.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a new video conferencing tool in real time that allows us to add files, share applications and use a virtual board to interact with our colleges and professors. This tool is accessible from almost all devices, but having the possibility to insert documents, videos, images and audios, we should know which technical specifications have to be taken into account for joining to the sessions.
The following are some of the most important features:
• Can be used under Windows and GNU/Linux operating systems.
• Compatible with Firefox web browsers or Google Chrome latest version
• Requires internet connection. You just can work online.
The Collaborate Ultra session opens directly in our browser computer, without the need for prior installation of any software or program. For greater performance in the running of sessions, we recommend the use of Google Chrome browser. For using this platform in your smartphone, you can download the Blackboard Collaborate APP for IOS and Android from the following links:
https://www.apple.com/app-store/ & https://play.google.com/
Step 1. Select a personal avatar
-Choose a link to display.
Step 2. Select language pack
-Unfold the bottom of user language and calendar.
-Select page instructions.
Step 3. Set privacy options
-Choose what personal information to make public.
-Just tick the appropriate boxes.
-Finally, click ‘submit’.
Step 1. You will access by clicking in the title or using the unique session link generated and shared with you. Besides, you can use the filter to watch live or recorded sessions:
This includes the ability to make all live participants enter the room as either a “participant,” “presenter,” or “moderator.” Participants have the least control and as creator or the session you are moderator. Anyone that you make moderator will have the same control over the session that you have. It is recommended that you start everyone as a participant. You can change this during the presentation. Once all the settings have met your needs, select “Save.”
-Select “Join Session” when you are either ready to start your live course OR you are ready to record lecture capture.
-Whether you want your microphone or camera on to interact during the lesson:
To start your own Zoom Meeting, you will need a Zoom account, which you can create for free. Follow next instructions:
Step 1. Create your own account
-Visit the Zoom sign-up page and enter your email address.
-You will receive an email from Zoom (firstname.lastname@example.org).
-In this email, click ‘Activate Account’.
-Sign in to the Zoom web portal
-In the Navigation Menu, click ‘Profile’.
-You can view and edit the following settings.
Step 3. How to schedule your first meeting
There are many ways to schedule a meeting, including the Zoom web portal, through the Zoom client, or with one of our extensions or plugins. Here are some basic instructions for scheduling your first meeting. Sign in to your Zoom web portal.
-Click ‘Schedule a Meeting’.
-Choose the date and time for your meeting.
- Click ‘Save’.
Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform that you can use to chat by text, hold meetings and upload and collaborate on files. Besides, you can use it to communicate with both students and staff. Usually, Teams is integrating with Outlook, so you can easily find your contacts. It is also linked to your personal calendar. For this reason, your meetings automatically appear there.
In addition, you can use other Office 365 apps like Planner.
Step 1. Signing into Teams
1. Using your Network ID and introduce your password. Then, login at Microsoft Outlook web application at: office.siu.edu.
2. Click on ‘the Teams icon’.
Step 3. Settings to participate in the conversation.
When joining a Teams conversation you can set these settings to suit your meeting requirements and participate in the session.
Step 4. Sharing files
-Click ‘Attach’ under the box where you type your message.
-Select a file.
Moodle is a LMS platform, where students and teachers can create learning communities and interact in a secure way using a personal username and a password.
Moodle is not tied to any specific operating system such as Windows, Linux or the case of Mac. For this reason, you have got total freedom to choose the one that fits to your educational needs. The freedom that Moodle offers to learners also applies to the fact of having the source files and being able to modify them at your discretion.
The Moodle platform, as an educational environment, offers to students the possibility of having access to all the contents for their learning process 24 hours a day.
One of the most important aspects for which it is really quite successful is its optimized operation. Moodle offers to students a complete training and specific knowledges and tasks in any subject. To begin with, it allows to students to work with all kinds of formats such as Word documents, Excel documents, PPT, Flash, videos, MP4, etc. Besides, students can practically share almost all types of files that they usually need in their academic activity.
Advantages of using Moodle
Ease of use
The platform is very easy and intuitive to use.
The content is presented with a wide range of multimedia formats( webpages, videos, interactive presentations, games).
Communication and collaboration
Through the course forums, students can discuss issues, share ideas and even provide feedback on each other's work.
Learners can customize their own home page within the site to tailor information and links to their individual needs.
The quiz activity can provide immediate feedback to learners regarding their answers. Furthermore, learners can regularly test themselves by developing their knowledge and getting more confidence.
Learning resources are available to learners whenever they want them.
Gamification Moodle Badges
Allow learners to be digitally rewarded for their achievements Incentivizing intrinsic and extrinsic motivation among students.
Step 1. Course Information
Most courses will allow to virtual learners to see their own course administration block. This block will allow to see information about grades and even download a personal report.
Step 2. Edit Your Profile
Your profile contains information about you that includes the description of yourself (if you have entered one) your name, location, email address, and the list of courses or subjects where you are enrolled. You can edit your profile by clicking on "Edit Profile" bottom.
Step 3. Updating your Profile
There are several settings which are accessible from your profile that will help make your use of Moodle more productive.
Forum auto-subscribe: If you select yes, it will mean that when you post a message to a forum, you will be subscribed to that forum and receive email copies of all messages.
Forum tracking: This is a useful option for enabling. If it is enabled on your Moodle site, it will highlight unread forum messages so you can easily check new messages.
Step 4. Using a text entry
Creating a message or adding text to Moodle is usually through a text entry area.
Step 5. Useful blocks of activities.
The activities block shows the student all the activities available in a course. We can find a wide range of tasks such as quizzes, wikis and surveys. For instance, hot potatoes activities and wikis are created on the teacher's computer and then uploaded to the Moodle course. After students have attempted the quizzes, a number of reports are available which show how individual questions were answered and some statistical trends in the scores. As a learner, you can access to these activities just clicking on the indicated icons below.
Learning online could be a great way to increase your knowledge and skills in a unique and flexible environment with your own strengths and opportunities.
Whether you are regularly taking online classes or looking for ways to strengthen your current digital skills, there are a few key areas you need to consider to prepare yourself for raise success.
Virtual Education offers a lot of content on virtually any subject. For this reason, you should be sure to develop new knowledge and skills in order to retain, apply, and adapt to new contexts.
A. Do your best!
It is important to practice your skills repeatedly, apply the knowledge in different contexts, and reflect on what you have learned.
B. Video Strategies
For recorded videos, pause on them and write a brief summary. For live videos, especially if the video is available for later viewing, avoid taking notes. Pay attention to what you’re hearing and participate in the discussion to keep your focus. Raise your virtual hand (click in the icon and turn on your microphone) or make a question using the chat box.
Self-care is an important part for a successful learning experience. A healthy mind is a mind ready for learning. In this sense, you should maintain healthy habits.
E. Define your learning needs
Ask for flexible ways to participate in the class that work for you, such as a note taker or an extended test time.
F. Schedule breaks
Get up and walk, go out, schedule your distractions, don’t forget to move. There are many apps to keep you focused on the task, as well as reminding you to get up and take breaks, and disable notifications from distracting ones.
Work Break-Break Reminder
You can download here:
-You can create and edit your breaks, design dedicated reminders, copy to any other day and check a preview of your tasks.
G. Time management.
One of the biggest benefits of e-learning is its flexibility, but sometimes, too much freedom can drive to new challenges.
Avoid procrastination and find ways to structure and optimize your time to study better and keep your attention. You can find bellow three tips:
-Track deadlines: Add delivery dates to your calendar, so you won’t miss deadlines.
-Minimize distractions: as much as you can, minimize distractions in both your physical and digital environments.
-Set aside time to learn: You can study in a flexible way.
One of the main problems encountered by students when studying is their inability to avoid distractions, mainly due to the smartphones. Thus, precisely in order to avoid these moments of inadequate disconnection, Forest app appears to help you!
Through this application, we can select the time we do not want to use the phone, since we are going to study or doing homework. During this time, trees will blossom to create a virtual forest.
If we exit the application, our trees will die and we will lose all the benefits that the tool offers us for letting our garden grow. In this way, through a very particular game, we manage to keep our concentration for a long time, which will benefit our productivity. You can download here: https://www.forestapp.cc/
The aim of this app is helping to the learners during their study sessions. Thanks to the Pomodoro app, you can focus on any task that you are working on, such as study, writing, or coding. This app is based on the Pomodoro Technique.
Step 1. Registration.
-You can register with your e-mail or Google account.
Step 2. Create a new task
-Add tasks to work on today. Insert the tittle and the number of ‘pomodoros’.
-Set estimate ‘pomodoros’ (25 min of work) for each task.
-Select a task to work on.
Step 3. Select the type of the break
-Start timer and focus on the task.
-Take a ‘short break’ (5 minutes) or a ‘long break’ (15 minutes) when the alarm ring.
-Obtain your report to check the progress.
H. Social learning and community
Online learning offers connections with both world-class teachers and a global community of passionate peers. Find ways to connect with these enriched learning communities, from participating in forums to connecting with your peers.
Keep your instructor informed
Ask your instructor for help when you need support.
Meet and interact virtually with your fellows
Introduce yourself, answer questions posted on discussion boards, and respond to peer posts.
Create a social media group
Create a different space, such as a Facebook group or a WhatsApp chat, for you and your classmates to connect, share interests, and support each other during the course.
Virtual study groups
Find ways to connect with your fellow learners in small study groups. Video chat apps are a great way to do this.
Do your part to foster a respectful and supportive community.
The app ‘Planner ‘introduce an easy and organized way to manage a group project, delegate tasks and track progress you can use Planner. This task management app belonging to Office 365. You can also use it to plan personal tasks and manage your workload.
Step 1. Create a new plan
-In the ‘New Plan Window’, introduce a title.
-Choose the type of Privacy.
-Select a Classification level for your plan.
-Select ‘Create plan’.
Step 2. Join people to a plan
-Select users in the corner of the ‘Planner Window’.
-Introduce directly the name or email address.
-Select the person's card when it appears.
Step. 3. Set up buckets for tasks
-Display the plan board.
-Select ‘Add new bucket’ to the right of any existing buckets.
-Type a name for the bucket, and then press ‘Enter’.
Mastering the details of your learning experience can yield great results. You should check the following advices:
A. Make information and data easily accessible: collect phone numbers, email addresses, and links for your institution in just one place. In this way, you do not have to waste too much time searching for it.
B. Get the technology ready: if the course requires video conferencing software, download the app and test it well before you start a live conference. Besides, you should check the configuration of the microphone before joining to the live lesson. If assignments are uploaded to a cloud service used by your teacher (e. g. Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive), make sure you have the required account details or access to the information before the deadline.
C. Minimize dependence on WiFi: Try to use an ethernet cable and download course materials to work offline at any time. Many online contents also work on mobile devices and tablets, but others do not.
D. Save a copy of your work while you are working: save your work locally on your computer and/or in the cloud where you can easily access it. For example, write essays in a word processing application and email for yourself. Then, copy and paste your work into the course’s LMS (Learning Management System) to deliver your assignment to your teacher.
Document managers store, manage and manage the flow of documents within a company, achieving a centralized location where employees will be able to access easily and easily. Among the benefits of using an easy files management system include:
-Control access to documentation.
- Centralized and easy access.
-Reduce duplication of documents.
-Streamlines and automates administrative tasks.
XYplorer is a great File Explorer alternative to consider, as it comes with several enhanced features and interface improvements. XYplorer is a free file management application that not only offers dual-pane views for working with multiple folders simultaneously, but also features a tabbed interface that makes it easy to switch between multiple locations. It has a highly customizable interface with an optional dual-panel feature where you can efficiently automate your frequently recurring tasks.
XYplorer differs from other file management programs in many ways. This app provides information that you really need while working in the system, such as the number of items present in the folder, the size of the folder, etc. If you wish, you can create one-click reports on selected files, folders and search results. You can even define your own commands to facilitate your daily routine. In addition to providing so many functions, it also provides security, since it is possible to control the route that can be evaluated, as well as the operations that can be performed.
XYplorer File Manager Features
All basic file-related operations such as ‘Cut’, ‘Copy, ‘Paste’, ‘Delete’, ‘Undo’, etc. can be performed quickly and easily using XYplorer, a free file management software for Windows.
This is one of the unique features of this freeware. Here, if desired, you can provide verification, obtain registration information and details, perform secure overwrites, etc.
By using regular expressions, wildcard patterns and variables, you can perform renaming operations on multiple files. Adding and extracting files from compressed archives. With the powerful file search function you can find your lost file on the system anywhere, as well as the duplicate file with `Duplicate File Finder’.
A Wiki allows articles to be written collectively (co-authorship), a single wiki page is called a ‘wiki page’, while the set of pages-normally interconnected via hyperlinks-, would be the Wiki. In this sense, we can define a Wiki as a educational tool which allow you to design your own webpages.
Benefits of using Wikis
-The learning process becomes more dynamic and less boring. As a student, you can use moving images, accompanied by sounds, music, videos, texts, etc.
-It allows you to create and improve pages instantly. This makes more people participate in its editing, unlike traditional systems.
-You can update content very fast and design, at the same time, a community of users.
These quick-start steps will help you to create your first Wiki as a collaborative task.
Step 1. Create a free account
-You can log in introducing your email or with your Google/Slack/Apple account.
Step 2. Introduce the details of your team
-You should select a title for your team and number of members.
Step. 3 Select documents
-You can select the roadmaps and meetings. Then, you click on ‘Done’.
Step 4. Start a discussion
-Within your personal panel, click on ‘start a discussion’.
Step 5. Introduce the details.
-Include a topic and add participants to the board.
To obtain success as a virtual learner, it is required some specific skills such as self-management, self-discipline, critical thinking and collaborative work. These skills are fundamental to expand quality and ethical interactions with others fellows.
However, for learning in a remote classroom, it is also necessary to develop effective communication abilities. The basis of effective communication in an online learning environment are based on several factors such as:
A. Autonomous Learning: Involves time-organization and planning abilities.
B. Reading understanding: Implicates the use of indispensable strategies for comprehension of texts and instructions for conducting online activities.
C. Written Communication: Demands the use of communication strategies such as planning, writing or using graphic organizers.
D. Effective Communication: Implicates the ability to be effective in oral or written speech considering academic situations such as, participation in online forums, collaborative tasks and exhibitions.
E. Use of Attachment Tools: Requires knowledge and mastery about different tools and web applications which complement the development of an e-learning experience
1. Allow to store, organize, retrieve and distribute educational contents and structuring them
2. Support the construction and submission of assessments through the use of different types of questions
3. Allow students to access to a wide range of tools
4. Facilitate the registration of users of the system
A - Content management and distribution tools
B - User management tools
C - Communication tools
D - Evaluation and monitoring tools
1. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
A. can be used under Windows and GNU/Linux operating systems.
B. is compatible with Firefox web browsers or Google Chrome latest version
C. A & B are correct.
2. How can I use Blackboard? on my computer?
A. I can open directly in my browser computer
B. Visiting “blackboard.com” and download it
C. For using this platform in my smartphone, I can download the Blackboard Collaborate APP for IOS and Android
D. A & C are correct.
3. How can I take synchronous lesson?
A. Click in the session’s title
B. Using the unique session link generated and shared
C. A & B are correct
1. For log in on Moodle you would need:
A. Introduce just your email.
B. Introduce your username.
C. Introduce correctly your username and password.
2. How can I access to a concrete course within Moodle?
A. Choose 'All courses...' in the 'My courses' block.
B. If your teacher has given you an enrollment key or password, type it in and choose 'Enroll me in this course'.
C. A & B are correct.
3. Can I navigate between courses or subjects?
A. Yes, you can do it if the block ‘My Courses’ is available.
B. Yes, you can do it introducing again your password.
C. No, it is not possible.
4. How do I return to the main course homepage?
A. Using the ‘Navigation Bar’.
B. Clicking on the button located bellow of the course page.
C. A & B are correct.
5. I cannot receive mails from my teachers and fellows. Maybe…
A. I am not subscribed to the forums or the administrator has blocked me.
B. Moodle do not allow the use of AOL email addresses.
C. A & B are incorrect.
6. Why is there no "upload" (or "save") button?
A. The assignment is currently closed.
B. The assignment has not been opened yet.
C. A & B can be possible.
7. How many ways are there to check the teacher's comments to my tasks on Moodle?
A. There is not a specific setting for this.
B. Click on the link "Recent Assignments" block or access directly to the gradebook.
C. You receive the grades by mail.
4. How can I download Teams on my computer?
A. Visiting ‘Teams.Microsoft.com’.
B. Visiting ‘mobile app store’
C. You do not need to install it.
5. How can I message with my teachers and classmates directly?
D. Select 'Chat' in the left side bar.
E. You can search their name in the top 'Search for or type a command bar' and start chatting.
F. A & B are correct.
6. Can I turn off notifications during a live meeting for avoiding distractions?
A. No, there is not a specific setting.
B. Click on your user picture > settings > notifications.
C. Click on ‘mute bottom’.
7. Can I mute to other participants during a session?
A. You will need permission as an administrator.
B. Click on the 'Show Participants' button in the meeting menu bar.
C. This setting is not enabled on Teams.
8. How do I use the whiteboard features in Teams?
A. When you open the meeting invitation you will find this option.
B. This option is just activated for the teacher.
C. A & C are not correct.
1. How do I get a Zoom Account?
A. As a student you can open a free account when you log in for the first time.
B. You need to pay the Premium version to obtain a personal account.
C. As a student, you should fill a form with your personal details to obtain an account.
2. What can I do if I lose my ‘Cloud Recording’ access?
A. You can refer to ‘Requesting access’.
B. You can go the ‘Recording for students bottom’.
C. It is not possible to recover the access.
3. Do users need to download the Zoom client to join a meeting?
A. Yes, they need to download the application.
B. Zoom recommend use the desktop client, but it is not required.
C. You can join from a browser.
4. Before to start the meeting, you should:
A. Test your audio and video.
B. Close applications that have pop ups.
C. A & C are correct.
5. During the Meeting you cannot:
A. Mute your microphone if others are presenting/speaking.
B. Share your screen.
C. Turn off the camera of your teacher or classmates.
6. When you activate your cam make sure about…
A. Position your webcam at eye level or higher.
B. Use a HD resolution.
C. Make eye contact.
 The Pomodoro Technique was developed in the late 1980s by then university student Francesco Cirillo.