Dr Christopher Jobling

Senior Lecturer




A vintage Omega pocket watch of around 1950’s origin. Alexander T Carroll own work. Wikimedia CC BY-SA 3.0.

(I originally posted this on my Office 365 blog, but it turns out that that is not public. Lesson learned!)

A team of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) advisors from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) have begun the herculean task of publishing a 1 minute technology tip every day this year in the blog #1minuteCPD which launched on January 1st this year.


January 22nd, 2016

Posted In: CPD, TEL, tips

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Seemingly without telling anyone, the University has signed up to a site license deal with Microsoft that gives you (and your students) access to Office 365 both on your desktop (in University and at home), in the “cloud” on the web through the Office365 portal https://portal.office.com/Home and on mobile devices Android, iOS and Windows mobile.

To access, simply search for Office 365 in your browser and then choose the result that says Sign in to Office 365 in the search results. Use your University email address to login. You’ll be redirected to a login page with the University’s logo on it. Give the password you use for email, intranet, blackboard etc.

Once logged in you are taken to the portal page mentioned above where you can download Office 365 for your desktop, laptop and mobile devices. Students can also do this and it might be worth mentioning it to them when you meet them in tutorials.

Since Office 365 has good collaboration tools for sharing and collaborating on documents, spreadsheets and presentations it opens up opportunities for more efficient document handling in our new brave paperless world and for new ways of working with colleagues and your students​ that you may wish to try. For example, your project students could create and share a OneNote notebook​ with you rather than asking them to use an old fashioned paper log book.

As SALT Champion for the College of Engineering ​and incoming chair of the e-Learning Subgroup of the Learning Technology and Enhancement Centre (LTEC), I am keen to share information on new technology with you and also keen to learn about and disseminate good ideas that you’ve found in using such technology.

(And yes, chalk is a learning technology.)

I look forward to hearing and sharing your stories.

September 30th, 2015

Posted In: Office 365, TEL, tips

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If you have uploaded content to your Blackboard site and you want to update it, you will have probably jumped through the painful hoops of deleting the old content, renaming and uploading the new and navigating through the seemingly endless sequence of acknowledgment pages that this operation entails. In Blackboard 8, I recently discovered, if you just upload the new content (without renaming the file first), Blackboard adds an automatic sequence number to the new content, but leaves the old one in place to be deleted. This is better, but still one more step than I like.

Recently (today in fact) I discovered an even quicker work around. Simply use the upload dialogue box to select the new content, then press delete on the old. Blackboard will upload the new content (perhaps adding the sequence number) and then delete the old content in one step! I made a quick Jing ScreenCast to demonstrate the steps. Sorry about the microphone noise!

February 3rd, 2009

Posted In: blackboard, tips

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In a recent posting to the Learning Lab Community Blog, I demonstrated how to add a TeamLX wiki to a Blackboard site. For that 5 minute demo, I used the free screencasting tool Jing. In this article, I use screencasting to demonstrate the use of Jing itself. (more…)

January 28th, 2009

Posted In: blackboard, case study, e-learning, tips

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Or how I used technology to turn plan B into a possible plan A.


September 30th, 2008

Posted In: case study, e-learning, tips

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If you like me, spend a lot of time on-line, and wish to easily share what you find with friends, colleagues, students and family then a life streaming application may be the way to go. A life streaming application essentially records everything that you do on-line (that you are happy to share of course) and presents a record either as a blog-like list or RSS feed.

Recently I have been experimenting with various examples of these tools and I thought that i would be useful to share what I’ve found out so far.


July 16th, 2008

Posted In: life streaming, sharing, social networking, tips

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If you’re like me you have at least three computers. One at home, a laptop and one at work. An issue you probably have is that the files you want now are always on one of the other computers. Sure you can use a network share to make your desktop files appear on your laptop, or a data stick to carry your files around, or put copies on your P: drive, or upload to a file sharing site like box.net. But all of these solutions imply that at some point you’ll have to make a copy of one of your files to work on it, and unless you copy the edited copy back to all your places where it’s wanted, it’ll be out of date somewhere.

I discovered a new potential solution to this while browsing the site of my favourite research tool zotero today. (more…)

June 27th, 2008

Posted In: on-line office, tips, web applications

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In this follow-up to Really Simple Surveys with Google Docs and Zoho, I outline how we created a rough and ready web application for dissertation project selection with Blackboard, Zoho Creator and Course Genie. If you are interested in the result, visit EG-353A: Research Project Selection on Blackboard. Guest access is turned on.


June 6th, 2008

Posted In: blackboard, case study, tips, web applications

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Yesterday I blogged about using Google Docs Spreadsheets and its new form feature to create a really simple survey system for your students. Today I thought I’d check out the offerings from the other major player in the non-aligned world of on-line office applications, Zoho Office, had to offer. (more…)

May 22nd, 2008

Posted In: e-learning, on-line office, tips

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Today I was looking for an alternative to Blackboard’s survey manager when I stumbled upon this great suggestion from Technology Bites. All you do is go to Google Docs (docs.google.com) and create a new Google Docs Spreadsheet (you’ll need a free google account, but if you’re a Gmail user or a Blogger blogger you’ll have these already). One of the sharing options that Google provides is web form for data input and this is quick and easy to use. The rest of this article takes you through the process with a screencast supported demo. (more…)

May 21st, 2008

Posted In: e-learning, tips

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