University of Essex


June 5, 2017

Find out how our students are using Lynda to get job ready

Filed under: Elearning, IT Training, Lynda — Tags: , , — Alyson Wilson @ 3:25 pm












We spoke to three students to find out how Lynda has helped them prepare for postgraduate study, secure a UROP placement and land a frontrunner role.

In our new video series, Drew, Mandi and Ivana talk about how Lynda has helped them gain confidence, knowledge and skills by watching Lynda courses like Human Design Thinking, 3D Printing, HTML and financial markets.

If you’re preparing for a new job, why not check out our JobReady playlist in Lynda. 

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May 19, 2017

Improvements to FASER

Filed under: Elearning, FASER, News — Benjamin Steeples @ 3:12 pm

FASER originally started life as a project in Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE). When it was adopted by IT Services in 2005/6, FASER had roughly 5,000 submissions per academic year.
Since then the number of students has increased, but behind the scenes FASER has remained largely unchanged. 2015/16 saw nearly 150,000 student submissions in addition to 120,000 items of feedback, that’s over 50x the number of items FASER was initially designed for. Despite a partial rewrite of FASER in 2011 its performance has not scaled as well as we’d hoped, and last year it was clear that more drastic action was needed.

Over the last year we’ve been working hard on a new and improved version of FASER, developed in response to feedback from staff and students. The main goal of this new version has been to change the underlying infrastructure, paving the way for future enhancements and providing a modest performance and usability improvement. Other improvements include:

  • Implementing Single-Sign-On (SSO) to reduce the number of login prompts.
  • Ensuring FASER only reloads parts of the page that have changed, rather than reloading the entire page every time. We have combined this with additional caching of information and some database changes to ensure that pages and information loads faster than before.
  • Adding calls to action to FASER. These guide staff to common outstanding tasks relating to an assignment, and reduce the number of clicks and page loads required to achieve that task.
  • Rewriting the majority of FASER to take advantage of MVC software design. This allows us to separate the code responsible for the appearance, logic, and underlying data of FASER, and enables us to make changes to the service in a quicker and more responsive manner.
  • Finally, we have taken the opportunity to fix a lot of minor annoyances and bugs in FASER.

These are major changes to FASER, and things are still a little rough around the edges. To help us refine these improvements we have invited nearly 100 members of the University to trial this new version. With their help we hope to release this new version to all staff and students for the start of the 2017/18 academic year.







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May 9, 2017

Drop-in sessions with TEL, IT Training and the Library

Filed under: Elearning, Events, FASER, IT Training, Library IT, Listen Again, Lynda, Moodle — sgswaine @ 1:53 pm
Supporting teaching and learning

Supporting teaching and learning

Would you like some help designing your Moodle module or embedding a Lynda video? Do have some questions about building your Talis Aspire reading lists or how to provide feedback on FASER?

Come along to our drop-in sessions during May and June, where someone from TEL, IT Training or the Library, will be on hand to help you with these and any other questions you might have about technologies used in teaching, learning and assessement.

You can just pop in for as little, or for as long as you want. Just let us know if it will be in the morning or afternoon by booking a place on HR Organiser (login with your Essex ID and password).


Sessions dates and times:

23/05/17 10:00-13:00 and 13:00-16:00
31/05/17 10:00-13:00 and 13:00-16:00
06/06/17 10:00-13:00 and 13:00-16:00
14/06/17 10:00-13:00 and 13:00-16:00

TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning)
IT Training (IT Services)

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November 17, 2016

Who’s using Lynda? Bonus

Filed under: Computers, Elearning, IT Training, Lynda — Alyson Wilson @ 10:39 am

As a bonus video to our six part series, we see Jo Carrington, Health & Safety Adviser for HR who has been working on a project, looking at ways to improve engagement with the Health & Safety community here at Essex. She is running a monthly webinar series for all the Health & Safety Liaison Officers and DSE Facilitators, and has been learning how best to do this through videos.

Jo CarringtonHello, my name is Jo Carrington and I’m a Health and Safety Adviser at the university.

I used Lynda to learn how to host my own webinar on risk assessment. I chose the Lynda course, Webinar Fundamentals, because I was starting from absolute scratch. The nice thing about it was broken into 5 and 10 minute chunks, because the whole course was about 2 hours long and it meant that you can dip in and pick up bits when you have a spare moment. The other nice thing about the course was that it came with a resources pack that you could download, and that actually helped me plan my webinar. The information it gave me was enough so that I could ask the right questions of the right people at the university to learn how to host, how to promote it and I ran the webinar in September and I had about 24 people on the day, but since then I’ve had about 60 views. I really like the idea of using webinars because they’re cross campus, everyone gets the same information at the same time and I’m definitely going to use the medium again. I recommend Lynda to others because it gives you the right information, at your desk, in easy to digest, bite-size chunks, and it really did set me up and give me confidence to host my own webinar, and using the technology.


Since filming this video, Jo has also watched and learned from Building Templates in Word and Word 2014: Templates in Depth to help her make her department’s online word document resources easier to use and standardise format. “I could watch and apply as I went along. Great! It was a nice update on my last word training about 10 years ago!”

Login today and Watch, Listen, Learn, Do.

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November 9, 2016

Who’s Using Lynda? Part 6

Filed under: Elearning, IT Training, Lynda — Alyson Wilson @ 10:50 am

The last video in our 6 part series, features Matt Burch, Lecturer in Philosophy & Art History. Matt explains how useful Lynda is to him as a lecturer in maximising his engagement with students and expanding the reach of his teaching in different learning environments.


You’ve been watching some Lynda videos, which videos have you watched?

“So far I have used it to learn how to use Prezi, which is a presentation software, it’s kinda a competitor brand to PowerPoint, and I’ve also watched some videos on Camtasia which is a screen casting software. And basically I’m going to use the two of them in conjunction with each other to create online content for my modules. So one of my frustrations is I’ve had limited contact hours with my students, so this is going to allow me to expand the amount of contact that I have with them.

Do you have any other plans to integrate these into your teaching further?

“Well it’s something I’m thinking about and I want to start encouraging them to take advantage of the basic skills videos that are available on Lynda so they can learn those in conjunction with a philosophical education, I think that would be extremely useful for them.”

What did you think of the videos and how easy did you find them to follow?

“The videos were excellent quality they were up-to-date. The prezi video for example it just took me step by step through all the elements of the software and taught me how to use it in a very straight forward way. I think one thing that prevents people from learning how to use new tools like that, is that just jumping on and trying to make sense of it on your own, it’s very difficult to navigate, and plus it can be a real time waster if you’re just sitting there tinkering with it hour after hour. So it was nice to have these instructional videos take me through it point by point in a logical way and then also allowed me to practice it.”

Would you recommend using Lynda to others?

“I have already recommend it to others and I will continue to do so. I think it’s really useful for these reasons. I mean it has its limits, like any tool but if you want to acquire new technical skills that can allow you to expand the reach of your teaching to your students in different learning environments, I think it’s extremely useful and I would recommend it.”

How are you planning on using Lynda next?

“Well the next thing I want to do is develop a YouTube Channel where I can upload the videos that I’m creating and that’s another thing that’s going to save me a lot of time doing that. So I think I would be intimidated to do it if I didn’t have instruction, I don’t want to burden some friend of mine to sort of get them to teach me how to do it, and I don’t want to just try and do it on my own and waste a whole bunch of time because I’m busy like everyone else. And so I’m going to use it for that, I just already found that there are videos that will teach me how to do that. And also down the road I want to improve my ability to use Excel. And I’ve also taken in the past in statistic and I learnt how to use SPSS, but that skill is very rusty and they have great modules, full modules on Lynda that will help me, sort of, dust off those skills. So that’s where I’m planning on using it next.”


Login to Lynda today and Watch, Listen, Learn, Do.

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