One feature we will be rolling out after the upgrade (probably a couple of weeks later) is an integration that facilitates a new approach to online training.
Before the Upgrade
At present many online training courses are hosted on duo (from topics as diverse as Fire Safety to Consent Matters) but it can be hard to find them and ensure that details of any activity on these courses is fed back to other University systems. This is especially important for training where there may be a legal requirement to show that people have received and completed appropriate training (e.g. the Fire Safety example). Depending on your role in duo and which portal modules you have chosen to display on your home page, you may see links such as these which all point at online training courses:
Details of these online courses were only available in duo, meaning that not as many people knew about them as we would like. There are catalogue tools built into duo designed to help you search for courses, but they are not capable of the rich level of filtering by role/job that is needed for this task – e.g. determine what training a third year Biology student who also works in the College bar first of all needs to take, then which other courses are recommended and finally what other courses are available for them to take if they want. To be fair to Blackboard that is not a surprise – it is designed to be a learning management system not a dedicated training management system.
Immediately after the upgrade
After the 2017 duo upgrade in September, all these training-related portal modules are going to be moved to a new dedicated Training tab. This is an interim arrangement until the full integrated training system is rolled out (that requires some final testing of changes to both sides – to duo and the Training Course Booking System (TCBS).
There might be some items listed as online training that need moved to become normal courses – e.g. Special Department-wide sites on duo. Members of the LTT are working on that.
By the start of the new academic year
Longer term, the training tab will show a special training tab interface (optimised for mobile devices). When it is first opened it will show you a list of the online training courses that you are enrolled on as a student:
As this list may get quite long there is an easy way to filter the results displayed – by typing into the Search box displayed immediately above the list.
If you open the side panel at the right of the screen, you can access your current training record, showing every online and face-to-face training course that you have completed at the University (assuming it stores this fact in the TCBS). There is also a link to the TCBS allowing you to search for more courses – note that the catalogue will show online as well as face-to-face courses. These include direct links to automatically enrol you onto the duo course (more on that in a minute). Longer term we’d like this link to automatically sign you in, but that requires some recoding of the current TCBS authentication framework.
If you teach on an online training course on duo (i.e. hold an Instructor/Leader role) then there is another button displayed that shows you a list of these courses separately, so it is clear which are training courses you need to complete as a student, and which are the ones that you are designing for others.
Clicking the home icon at the top left of the screen returns you to the normal duo tabs.
One of the best features of this new integration is that it supports the ability to create direct links to any online training course on duo. These can be accessed from
- another course in duo (perhaps suggesting related courses which cover a topic in more detail)
- the catalogue entry in the TCBS
- a web page
- an email
In each case they behave the same:
- When you click on the link you are taken to duo.
- If you are not currently logged in you will be asked to log in.
- If you are already enrolled on the course, then you are taken directly to it and can access the content without further ado.
- If you are not, then you see a page which invites you to join the course, displaying more information about it (so you are sure this is the link you meant to click on).
- If you choose to join the course, then you are added and can access the content straight away, without the need for any approval by the staff who wrote it.
- Some courses also support self-service removal – e.g. if you later decide that this is not the course for you, then you can remove yourself from it (though note anything you did on the course – including records of any training passed will be deleted).
Scores showing that you have passed the online training will be fed from duo automatically to the TCBS (not instantly, but probably each night). This will mean that you (and appropriate line managers/supervisors) will be able to see your achievements from the training record in the TCBS.
We hope this will provide a simpler, more fluid training experience for staff and students.