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EDU Support Blackboard Instructor Tool Guide Tools to encourage class preparation and self-study Traintool⠀

Traintool⠀


Introduction

TrainTool is an online video training tool that focuses on the practice of “soft-skills” such as presentation and communication skills. In the platform itself, students first prepare for practicing a skill by viewing underlying theory or examples. TrainTool is often used in skills programs (such as communication skills in Psychology or Medical Sciences, pitching at Economics and Business, or interviewing at the Law and Spatial Sciences faculties) at our university as part of preparing for face-to-face sessions. In online education it has been used extensively to give students the ability to practice specific soft skills before joining an online session with other people and practicing in break-out rooms. It enables students to practice specific skills as often as they like and to receive and provide feedback from tutors and peers.


Process

On the TrainTool platform you can create modules which are accessible for students through Nestor with their UG-credentials. You are able to create weekly tasks with deadlines that students do prior to each live session you have. 

Traintool module with weekly tasks. 


You can then follow and monitor each student's progress. With a large number of students, students are usually divided into groups with their own tutor in skills-acquisition programs. This can be done in TrainTool as well and you can assign a tutor to them in the role of Coach. Coaches in TrainTool visit a specific part of the page and see the students assigned to them. When an assignment has been set for reviewing by a tutor, tutors with a coach role will see these requests on their page. Finally, students have the option to add each other in the TrainTool module as friends and ask each other for peer feedback. This can be encouraged in class by asking students to add each other, but even when left as it is, we often find students still do so and ask each other for feedback. 


TrainTool has a number of generic programs ready to use right away focused on topics such as: presenting, academic interviewing, pitching and conversational skills. Some faculties have also created their own video material and modules. For instance at FEB, materials to train pitching/presenting were made. At the faculty of BSS and the Medical Faculty, videos were created to train conversational skills (such as active listening, giving feedback or paraphrasing) in professional situations with clients, patients or children. If you are interested in these, please contact us via the contact information below.


Instructions

  1. In Nestor navigate to a content area in which you want to add TrainTool.

  2. In this content area, select the button TrainTool under the Tools tab.

  3. Fill in all the necessary information fields:

    • Name: Enter a name for the TrainTool environment, as it will be shown in the content area.

    • Outcomes: This option should not be marked and can be skipped.

    • Create a grade column: Mark this checkbox if a column for TrainTool in the Grade Center must be added, even if no one has entered the Traintool environment yet.

    • Display format for column: Choose if the grade is shown as a score or as a percentage.

    • Points Possible: Indicate the maximum points possible.

    • Column in grade calculations: Select Yes in order to add this column to the grade calculations. Select No to exclude this column from grade calculations.

    • Show this column to students: Indicate whether the column for TrainTool is shown to students in the Grade Center.

  4. Define the option for the tool:

    • Permit users to view this content: State whether or not the TrainTool tool is shown to students.

    • Track number of views: Mark Yes if the number of students that view this item must be tracked.

    • Choose date restrictions: Select the date restrictions for this assignment i.e. the timespan in which it will be visible for students.

  5. Click on submit in order to create the TrainTool environment.

When students (and instructors) enter the TrainTool environment through the link that is provided in the content area, their account will be linked to the tool. Therefore, the grades in TrainTool will also be synchronised to Nestor.


Entering the TrainTool environment

The TrainTool environment could be entered through different paths, namely through a browser on your computer or through an app on your mobile device:

In the app, you will have to log in using your Nestor account. You could do that by clicking on Sign-in options –> Sign in for education at the home screen of the app.


Whom to contact?

Contact EDU Support or your faculty's Embedded Expert from ESI for tailored didactic advice in using these suggestions in your teaching. For technical assistance please contact Nestorsupport.

Last modified: 6 December 09:34 AM
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