It’s been a while since we had a Teaching Tips post in RUSTLE so here are a few Study Direct tips. It would be great to hear some more tips from users so please use the comments box to share your favourites.
Tips from Students to Tutors
The Practical Study Direct tips for tutors from students post from July 2012 is worth looking at if you are new to teaching at Sussex. It gives concrete suggestions for things that students would like to see in your use of Study Direct: clear titles and organisation; some specific types of content; a sense of personality; and an effort to blend Study Direct with the face-to-face teaching.
Moving resources, activities and sections.
When resources, activities or sections are added to Study Direct they appear at the bottom of the section or site but it is easy to move any of these items to where they will be most useful. There are FAQs that explain how to move resources and activities up or down within a section or into another section. To move sections you need to go into the dashboard area. Clicking on the green dashboard button under your name and profile picture at the top right of the site will take you to the dashboard area where you can drag and drop the sections into the order you want (FAQ 2440 explains how to move sections in dashboard).
Adding a lecture recording to more than one Study Direct site.
Now that lecture capture facilities are available in more teaching rooms there are increased opportunities to use lecture recordings as learning resources on Study Direct. It is now also possible to use a recording from one of your modules as a resource on another – perhaps to introduce some related ideas or to give students a taster of things to come. Recordings can be ‘claimed’ in the usual way and a link is created from each Study Direct site to the original recording.
Linking to resources and activities elsewhere in the same site.
Sometimes when writing an introduction or suggesting activities that you would like students to engage in at particular points it is useful to be able to include a link to a resource or activity somewhere else on the module site. For example, you might want to include a link to a forum, quiz or a particular piece of ‘displayed content’ or ‘click-to-reveal content’ that is in another section of the site (this won’t work for content on another site). This can be done in a few steps using the editing tools:
- Find the item you want to link to and right click on it
- Choose ‘copy link location’, ‘copy link address’, ‘copy shortcut’ or ‘copy link’ depending on which browser you are using – this will put the URL of the item in your clipboard ready to paste into a link.
- Then go to wherever you want your link to be, which could be in a forum post, a ‘displayed content’ resource or anywhere else that you can add a web link in Study Direct. Type the words you want to form your link, which will probably be the name of the resource or activity that you are linking to. This should always be something meaningful for anyone using screen-reading software rather than ‘click here’.
- Highlight the words for the link and click on the ‘link’ icon in the editor toolbar.
- Paste the URL that you had copied into your clipboard at step 2 into the URL box and click OK.
Favouriting / organising your list of sites.
If you have a lot of Study Direct sites the simple alphabetical listing can mean that the ones you need most often are a long way down the screen. By clicking on the star icon at the right of a site listing you can add it to your ‘favourites’ and bring it to the top of the list. If you have several ‘favourites’ they will sort themselves alphabetically at the top of your main list. FAQ 2510 explains this feature.
Getting help with Study Direct.
There is lots of help available as you use Study Direct, in different places and forms, so in case you weren’t sure what to do if you got stuck or how to find the answer if you wanted to do a particular thing and didn’t know if Study Direct could do it or not, here are your options:
- Orange Question marks: As you are using Study Direct you will find little orange question mark symbols where there are settings for you to choose. Clicking on these will open little help files offering explanations of the choices you are being given.
- Help tab: At the top of every Study Direct screen on the blue bar is a ‘Help’ tab. Clicking on this opens up a wealth of searchable help pages arranged in sections covering everything from the basics to settings and tools.
- The Help tab also provides links to some of the face-to-face support and guidance such as the drop-in sessions every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Shawcross (IT Services Helpdesk) 2pm – 4pm where you can get one-to-one help with Study Direct.
- If you want to discuss how you can use Study Direct in your teaching or would like to attend a workshop on some aspect(s) of Study Direct you can contact Anne Hole (Learning Technologist, Technology Enhanced Learning Office) on email@example.com