Pre-Conference Workshops & User Groups

On Wednesday, 6th January 2016 we will be offering an “optional” free pre-conference afternoon with Workshops and User groups.
We ask that you sign up during the Registration process to help guide us with numbers.

  • Blackboard Learn Analytics Workshop – Details to follow but this will be a hands-on session
  • Blackboard Mobile User Group (Peter Rayment and Ashley Wright)
  • LTI: Rating Integrations from Lovely To Incredible (Stephen Vickers & Simon Booth) – Details shown below



Building Institutional Readiness For Learning Analytics Workshop

Date: Wednesday 6 January 2016

Time: 2-5pm

Place: Room 454, Durham Business School

Is your institution planning to implement learning analytics? Are you ready? How do you know?

This interactive half day workshop will focus on institutional readiness for the adoption of learning analytics tools, and include a first-hand account from the University of Derby about how they planned their implementation, its immediate impact and their future direction.

Being ready for the adoption of learning analytics tools requires an assessment of an institution’s current strategic goals and vision for analytics, the institution’s data-decision requirement, existing policies and processes, and internal capacity and capabilities. Participants joining the workshop will gain a better understanding about the key considerations to be ready to implement learning analytics and hear first-hand client examples.

The workshop is intended for key stakeholders with direct responsibility for the management of learning provision, academic enhancement, and student retention.

Workshop Hosts:

  • Richard Burrows – Analytics Specialist, Blackboard
  • Andy Ramsden – Strategic Consultant, Blackboard

Workshop Contributors:

  • Sandra Stevenson-Revill, Business Systems, IT Services, University of Derby
  • Ruth Grindey, Operations, IT and Implementations Manager, University of Derby Online

If you want to follow the session – please bring your own laptop to the room.

Blackboard Mobile User Group Session & Mobile First Strategy

Date: Wednesday 6 January 2016

Time: 2-5pm

Place: Room 405, Durham Business School

Leaders: Peter Rayment – Cardiff University & Ashley Wright – Blackboard Solutions Engineer



LTI: Rating Integrations from Lovely To Incredible

Date: Wednesday 6 January 2016

Time: 2-5pm

Place: Room 453, Durham Business School

Leaders: Simon Booth (University of Stirling) and Stephen Vickers (IMS)

Who for: Users of Learn 9 who are assessing new products which are integrated using LTI, and developers of third-party applications and content who want to build a high quality LTI integration for their product


Over the past few years, the IMS Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI®) specification has become a very common way for third-party tools and content to be integrated with a VLE such as Blackboard Learn™. It is said to be the replacement for building blocks when integrating with the Learn Ultra experience. Being VLE-agnostic, LTI allows third parties to integrate with a wide range of systems using a single interface. Its simplicity has been one of its strengths and led to its rapid adoption, but it might also be seen as a reason behind a wide variation in the quality of the integrations being built.

This workshop will discuss which characteristics of LTI integrations are important when assessing their quality. This should be helpful to users of third-party applications and content when they seek to evaluate the product on offer,as well as to third-party developers who might need guidance on how to build an integration to best fulfil their users’ needs.

The session will be interactive and encourage participants to identify what aspects of LTI integrations they value most, with some live demonstrations of the issues identified and how these might be overcome. An outline of the current developments with the LTI specification will also be included.


After the sessions finish at 5 pm we will have having a “small” Drinks Reception for those attending the Workshops/Usergroups.
This will take place in the Business School Lounge – we hope you will join us.