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Learning Technology Team

NILE & Other Technology Guides

Information for Staff

Introduction to NILE

NILE, the Northampton Integrated Learning Environment, is a collection of digital tools provided by the University of Northampton to support teaching, learning and assessment. The NILE tools include Blackboard Learn, Collaborate, Edublogs, Kaltura, Padlet, PebblePad, Turnitin, and Xerte. All NILE tools are fully supported by the Learning Technology Team and are available for use by all staff and their students at the University.

The guides on the following pages are designed to help you find our more about, and to get started with, the various NILE tools.

You can also find out more about NILE, and the training and support available to help you get the best from NILE on our NILE Help and Support pages (see link below).

NILE tools

The following NILE tools are fully supported by the Learning Technology Team and are available for use by all staff and their students at the University.

Blackboard Learn Logo

Blackboard Learn is the core tool in the University's digital learning environment, and is what many people think of as NILE. This is where you can upload learning materials, create online activities, use discussion boards, send announcements, create and deploy tests, setup online assignment submission points, grade and feedback on submissions, and much more.

Blackboard Learn is accessed at:
https://nile.northampton.ac.uk

Log in using your usual University username and password.

You can also access Blackboard Learn using the Blackboard Instructor App.

You students can access Blackboard using the Blackboard App.

Blackboard Ally Logo

Blackboard Ally enables students to access alternative, accessible versions of documents uploaded into their NILE modules in Blackboard Learn. When you upload a document into NILE (e.g. a Word file) Ally will automatically create alternative versions of your document in PDF, HTML, ePub, electronic Braille, and audio (mp3) formats. Ally will also give your original document an accessibility score, and will make suggestions about how the accessibility of the original document can be improved. The more accessible the original document is, the better and more accessible the alternative versions will be. 

Blackboard Ally is fully integrated into Blackboard Learn and is accessed via:
https://nile.northampton.ac.uk

Log in using your usual University username and password.

Blackboard Collaborate Logo

Blackboard Collaborate is the University's virtual classroom tool. It is a highly versatile collaborative tool which is used to run synchronous online sessions with students. You can upload and present pre-prepared content, share your webcam feed and/or your screen, run polls and quizzes, respond to instant messages, and use breakout rooms.

Blackboard Collaborate is fully integrated into Blackboard Learn and is accessed via:
https://nile.northampton.ac.uk

Log in using your usual University username and password.

You can also take part in Blackboard Collaborate sessions using the Blackboard Instructor App.

And your students can take part in Blackboard Collaborate sessions using the Blackboard App.

Edublogs Logo

Edublogs provides staff and students with unlimited WordPress sites, so you and your students can create as many blogs, websites and e-Portfolios as you want, including ones that you would like to be submitted for assessment. WordPress is perhaps the best and most popular website building and blogging platform available on the web, so learning how to use it will enhance your students' digital capabilities.

Edublogs is accessed at:
https://mypad.northampton.ac.uk

Log in using your usual University username and password.

Kaltura Logo

Kaltura provides staff and students with the ability to create and stream video and audio content. As well as being a world-class, mobile friendly media streaming system that allows you to upload and share video and audio content in your NILE sites, it also has a recorder which allows you to create and edit your own webcam or voice-over screencapture recordings. Additionally, Kaltura allows you to add quizzes into your videos, create 'choose your own adventure' type branching videos, and allows students to record and submit videos for assessment.

Kaltura is integrated into Blackboard Learn and is accessed via:
https://nile.northampton.ac.uk

Kaltura can also be accessed and used outside of the Blackboard Learn environment at:
https://video.northampton.ac.uk

Regardless of whether you access Kaltura directly or via Blackboard Learn, you will always have access to all of your media. Media uploaded directly to Kaltura will be accessible in Blackboard Learn, and vice versa. 

Log in using your usual University username and password.

You can also access and use Kaltura using the KMS GO App.

When setting up the app for the first time the URL you need to enter is: northampton.mediaspace.kaltura.com

After this, log in to the App using your usual University username and password.

Padlet Logo

Padlet is a digital post board that can be used individually and/or collaboratively. You can use Padlet to collect and share information, including images and videos, but you can also use Padlet with others as part of a collaborative activity. Padlet boards can be structured in a variety of different ways, and can be shared openly or can be completely private.

Padlet is accessed at:
https://uon1.padlet.org

Click 'Log in with Microsoft' and log in using your  University of Northampton email address (the one ending @northampton.ac.uk for staff, or @my.northampton.ac.uk for students) and your usual password.

PebblePad Logo

PebblePad is the University's e-Portfolio tool for courses with placements and apprenticeships. It comprises Pebble+, a personal e-Portfolio, and ATLAS, an institutional space for managing submissions, assessment and the sharing of resources. PebblePad is a complex and extremely versatile tool which can be used for the assessment of competencies in practice, placement e-Portfolios, and for devising and managing complex submission types.

PebblePad is accessed at:
https://v3.pebblepad.co.uk/login/northampton 

Log in using your PebblePad username and password. Staff who do not have a PebblePad account can contact their Learning Technologist in order to obtain one.

Turnitin Logo

Turnitin provides staff with a set of tools for assignment submission, grading and feedback. Turnitin includes a number of features to enhance and streamline the marking process, such as QuickMark Sets, rubrics and grading forms, and an inbuilt audio feedback recorder. Turnitin also provides a report on the originality of the work submitted by students, based on checking for text matches with existing books, papers, websites and papers previously submitted to Turnitin. 

Turnitin is fully integrated into Blackboard Learn and is accessed via:
https://nile.northampton.ac.uk

Log in using your usual University username and password.

Xerte Logo

Xerte is the University's tool for creating interactive learning materials. As well as being able to present content via a wide range of page types, it has many different interactive test and quiz options, so your students can check their understanding as they progress through your Xerte presentation.

Xerte is accessed at:
https://xerte.northampton.ac.uk

Log in using your usual University username and password.

Should you require urgent assistance with NILE, please contact the LearnTech Support Helpdesk via the online contact form