Latest Event Updates

PIP Practice in Pedagogy Seminars

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Due to the success of PIPs last academic year we are running a series of seminars again for staff to meet and share practice on teaching and learning themes face-to-face. They will take the form of a short presentation by the lead, followed by an opportunity for discussion.  All staff are welcome whether you teach or support student learning, and you are encouraged to share examples of successful practice as well as challenges to which you have found solutions, or that are yet to be solved!  Bring your lunch

Thursday 14th December 1 – 2pm

“Sharing TEL tips to develop our digital capabilities” Sandie Donnelly

Lancaster Room SB204 Sentamu Building
Whether you’ve got some TEL tips to share or you want to make more use of technology in learning and teaching, please join our TEL PIP to share expertise, Christmas treats and find out about software available to staff and students at UoC.
Monday 18th December 12 – 1pm

“Use of Mentimeter to promote student engagement and inclusion” – Davina Hill & Kelly Fielden

Via VC Carlisle (SKF05) Skiddaw Building & (AXB002) Alexandra Building Lancaster and skype option available

The provision of an effective learning environment is central to promoting engagement and is a key component of the Teaching Excellence Framework. Mentimeter, a technology-enhanced learning tool can be used to achieve this in a way that reaches multiple learners simultaneously and grants them anonymity. We will use this session to describe our research on student perceptions of Mentimeter, offer practical guidance on using interactive presentation software to promote engagement and inclusion, and provide a forum for discussion. We will focus on two features of Mentimeter: interactive multiple choice quizzes and the option for students to ask open anonymous questions during class

Link to book on to PIP seminars:https://cumbria.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/pedagogy-in-practice-seminars-29th-november-14th-18th

Assessment Briefs

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We have updated the Good Assessment Guides – now called Assessment Briefs. They can be found using the following link:

https://v3.pebblepad.co.uk/spa/#/public/94jgbwjqG6jcsqfkdGg8Zj3GRh

On here you will find information and tools to help you with group work, creative assessment, inclusive assessment, marking and moderation and feedback. Save the link and check back periodically as the resource will develop and expand.

Nicky Meer, PFHEA reflects on Barriers to Fellowship

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Nicky Meer, looks back on her recent PFHEA accreditation.

Although the HEA does not define who ‘ought’ to be a fellow, many have found that colleagues outside of a narrow norm can face barriers to accreditation. Some face barriers through their own self-belief: ‘I am just a technician/learning advisor/library staff… so I wouldn’t be able to get it’.  And others may face barriers due to subconscious or unintended assumptions made by those who create schemes or resources that help people compile their submissions. This could result in specific language patterns used or narrow examples given, potentially making people outside of this feel it’s not for them.

To read the full article on the HEA Blog, click here

12 Apps of Christmas

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Welcome

What is the 12 Apps of Christmas?
The 12 Apps initiative was created and first run by Regent’s University London in December 2014. The aim was to provide participants with a short online continuing professional development giving participants a daily opportunity to explore a mobile app that has been recommended by one of the 12 Apps contributors.

How the 12 Apps of Christmas work?
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting the 20th of November, a post is published at 10am on the 12 Apps of Christmas course page.
The post will contain suggestions of how to use that days app and how it might work effectively for you in a professional/learning/teaching context. Each post contains short task to help you get started with the app. The tasks take no more than ten minutes a day, although there is an optional ‘Further Tasks’, which takes more time and helps you to explore other potential uses.

Who is it for?
This online course is also open to anyone that has an interest in new technologies and would like to explore mobile apps. This online course is geared towards all University of Limerick staff that have an interest in using new technologies in their working context.

The Twitter hashtag #UL12apps during the course. After the live course, the materials will be left up to refer back to later.

On successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Reflect on how apps can be used within their learning/teaching/professional context.
  • Discuss opportunities and challenges with their peers on the use of new mobile technologies.
  • Trial a specific app for learning/teaching/research in their own context based on an informed rationale.

How to take part

Go to the following link http://bit.ly/2h9bX5r and fill in your account details. Once you have created your Sulis (Learning Management System) login you can join the 12 Apps of Christmas site by going to the following link https://tinyurl.com/ydb5sn3k.

Turnitin Academic Integrity Summit: 19th October 2017

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The conference took place at the Crowne Plaza in Newcastle. The early start was soon forgotten when greeted with bacon and sausage sandwiches on arrival, a very promising start!

The day loosely followed, what were described as the ‘Seven Major Themes from the HE Sector’ with some topics more of a focus than others:

Reliability

Turnitin reported they were making solid progress in the UK after a £5.2m investment in Turnitin UK over the past two years with a 66% staff increase and infrastructure/application monitoring investment resulting in 12 hours less degraded service and an improvement in their First Response time from 5-6 days to 30 minutes.

Data Access

Turnitin and JISC are in Stage 1 of a partnership around data integration and Learning Analytics. Working on a data exhaust (data generated as a by-product of online actions and choices ie. cookies, log and temporary internet files).

Marking and Moderation

Unfortunately this topic was covered in a session I was unable to attend….
Assessment Workflows and Integration
Linked to ‘Data Access’ above; Learning Analytics likely to drive workflow definitions and refinements, in other words in the future institutions will be able to unlock Turnitin data to acquire information.

Customer Relations

It was identified that there was a need for better communications from Turnitin, particularly on new features and service outages (twitter isn’t the ideal comms tool for such important information). Communications on new feature changes will be farther in advance.

Turnitin now employ a team of writers who are currently updating the 4000 User Guides and creating video’s to make their offering much more current and engaging. Coming soon will be a new and improved platform and tools to enable institutions to make more use of the resources.

Ghost Writing or essay mills, contract cheating, authorship verification…

contractCheatingDefinition

The conference was heavily focused on Contract Cheating alternatively named Ghostwriting; there is currently some debate on favoured terminology.
Turnitin has completed the first phase of research to address the global problem of contract cheating; the act of hiring someone to complete an assignment for you, as these assignments are guaranteed to be original work the current plagiarism detections tools are ineffective.

Contract Cheating was first highlighted by an Australian scandal in late 2014 where, it was reported, that up to 1000 students from 16 universities were enlisting the MyMaster website to write assignments and sit online tests.

The cheating sites have evolved to be ‘big business’ so much so that currently 1000+ sites are reported to be active and prices and turnaround times have been driven down eg. Currently a 1500-word assignment can be bought for £154.

cheatingPoster

 

Simon Bullock from the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), presented the brand new QAA guidance ‘Contracting to Cheat in Higher Education: How to address Contract Cheating, the Use of Third-Party Services and Essay Mills’ which is an interesting read and informs how to address contract cheating in HE.

 

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There was also an interesting presentation by Professor Phil Newton is available on YouTube

The UoC ‘Assessment Briefs’ written by Dr Amanda Chapman provide some valuable tips on how to subvert contract cheating.

Future Requirements

Turnitin acknowledged future requirements in formative usage of the product.  Afternoon sessions on similarity report enhancement as well as on source code similarity

Design and development is underway on a solution to support multiple marking (currently in Beta stage) for moderation, second marking and double blind marking.  Features will include:

  • Markers will be able to leave their own layer of marks on a student’s submission.
  • Bubble comments and QuickMarks will include the marker’s initials, to allow markers a way to identify who left which mark.
  • Visibility of each marker’s feedback on the student submission may be layered on or off.
  • The overall grade field and feedback side panels are currently shared amongst markers.

The AHE conference

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Assessment in Higher Education Conference

The AHE conference

The AHE conference has grown from a half-day University of Cumbria event at the Carlisle campus to an International sector-leading two-day programme held at various locations around the UK. 2017 saw the 6th conference which was held in Manchester. The aim of the conference is to showcase research-informed practice in the areas of assessment and feedback. Each conference has attracted increasing numbers of delegates from over 25 countries. The atmosphere is one of friendliness and sharing practice. It’s an inspiring mix of people, countries and institutions and there is always something new to learn. Please make a note of June 2019 for the next one. In the meantime we have….

The one-day conference

On the ‘off’ year a one-day conference is held. Next year, 28th June 2018, the theme is Transforming Feedback: Research and Development. The keynote for this one-day event is David Carless who will be discussing Feedback for the longer term: Developing student feedback literacy.

Feedback continues to be a challenge for institutions so this is an area ripe for research and evaluation of practice. For more details, please go the website:

https://aheconference.com/transforming-feedback-research-and-development-conference-2018/

The call for contributions is now out so if you feel you have any relevant research or case studies, please send in an abstract. The deadline for submissions is Monday 15th January 2018.

For the latest information and updates on how you can contribute please follow us on twitter.

@AheConference

HEA Updates

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Pleased to announce the latest staff to gain HEA recognition either through the CPD or PgC route, especially the D4 (Principal Fellow) which is the University’s 2nd D4.

D4: Principal Fellow of the HEA

Nicky MEER, Academic Developer

D3: Senior Fellow of the HEA

Fiona BUCHANAN, Law

Anne GAGER, Education

D2: Fellow of the HEA

Kamal AHMED, Education

Katie BANKS, International Coordinator, LiSS

Dr Elaine BIDMEAD, research fellow, CACHET

Kerrie BROOKS, Law

Laura COLLINS, Mental Health Nursing

Laura DAGLISH, Drama

Lisa DORRIGTON, Children’s Nursing

Kelly FIELDEN, Occupational Therapy

Carly HAWKINS, Adult Nursing

Amanda HILL, Social Work

Dr Davina HILL, Zoology

Dr Claire HOLT, Conservation

Tania HOPLEY, Social Work

Gail JEFFERSON, Medical Imaging

Judith KELLY, Mental Health Nursing

Alex LEEK, Policing

Matthew MADDOCK, Paramedic Science

Christopher MARQUIS, Medical Imaging

Richard MARSH, Project Management

Rebekah POWELL, Career Ahead Coordinator

Jason ROSCOE, Counselling

Francis SIMPSON, Policing

Claire VUCKOVIC, Education

Steve WALKER, WCF/YCD

Assessment for Social Justice

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Assessment for Social Justice: i-LEAD Discussion article

The continued use of numerical assessment grading relies on the assumption that the judgements made about our students’ work are fair, equitable, objective and just. There is however a very large amount of research data to suggest that this is not the case. Given that assessing students’ work is not scientifically measurable, HE assessment processes have been moving towards criteria-based grading in an attempt to mitigate the subjective practices of assessment (Sadler 2005).

In practice this has resulted in what Sen (2010) argues is a tension between proper procedures and ‘lived realities’. Are we creating a culture in which assessment procedures are highlighted and
enforced at the at the expense of learning outcomes? Or in assessment terms, creating clear, unambiguous, neutral conditions and procedures for assessment must naturally lead to fair assessments?

Jan McArthur’s thoughtful and challenging paper on assessment for social justice (2015) discusses many themes regarding ‘Fairness’ and ‘Just’ assessment focusing on the distinction between procedural and outcome processes for social justice. She also argues that a procedural approach to social justice is important in order to ensure fair and equitable processes but that these do not in themselves result in fair and equitable outcomes.

Building on this distinction we can identify ‘best practice’ assessment processes and grading systems to ensure consistency and equity of student experience but this happens within a specific system and a specific society. It could be argued that any educational system is intrinsically biased towards a set of values and beliefs that reflect a society’s dominant ideology (Fraser and Honneth 2003) and therefore those students who are most comfortable and familiar with that ideology may therefore be expected to do better in a system that embeds and embodies it. A similar argument has often been used to critique the notion of I.Q tests and what constitutes ‘general knowledge’ (Jensen 1980).

For assessments to be truly fair and/or equitable they need to go beyond a set of coherent and ‘sameness’ procedures to explore the lived realities of our students in order to ensure our assessment design and grading systems actively address ways to reduce injustice and advance justice through more flexibility and less culture-bound criteria.

Discussion Question:

To what extent have these values and beliefs consciously or subconsciously manifested themselves into our values and thus fed into our curriculum and the assessment process and therefore student outcomes?

 

Applying for Principal Fellowship

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Applying for Principal Fellowship

Hi, my name is Nicky Meer and I am a Senior Lecturer in Academic Development within AQD. On September 15th 2017 I was awarded a Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA) and this blog is written to give you a better understanding of the process of applying for PFHEA and what you need to do.

The application is not very long at 7-8000 words in total. In order to achieve a PFHEA you must be able to demonstrate and evidence: ‘a sustained record of effective strategic leadership in academic practice and academic development as a key contribution to high quality student learning’. How you do this and the examples that you use are unique to you and your work activities, no two applications are the same but you will all have to complete the process which is in three parts:

1.Record of Educational Impact (REI)

This is simply a list and timeline of all of your significant achievements, activities, responsibilities etc. that demonstrate your leadership and the strategic nature of your work within learning and teaching in Higher Education. In my application I included activities such as gaining HEA institutional accreditation, my VC awards for excellence in learning and teaching, my external examiner roles and my pedagogic publications and conferences etc. You may want to include projects that you lead on, areas of decision-making you are involved in, international and/or partnership work or similar. All of the activities listed here will form the narrative (RAP) in part two.

2.Reflective Account of Practice (RAP)

The bulk of your application is a reflective narrative of the significant activities as listed in your REI. This is split into four sections with the maximum word limit being 2000 for each section. Within this narrative you must evidence all the criteria for D4 as per the UK Professional Standards Framework (https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/ukpsf).

3.Three Advocate Statements

Your application is authenticated by the inclusion of three advocate statements from people who are familiar with your work and who have read your application and will support your claim. These statements are very important and there are detailed guidelines to help your advocates write them effectively. Your advocates must meet the following criteria between them: Be a Fellow (Senior or Principal), be able to comment on the ways in which you have directly influenced their own practice, be external to your institution and be from a Higher Education provider. Getting these statements is difficult. I asked six people and luckily got three back pretty quickly and used them, I am still waiting for one a month after I gained accreditation!

If you are interested in applying for PFHEA, please contact me for an informal chat and advice (n.meer@cumbria.ac.uk) I look forward to seeing many more PFHEA at the University of Cumbria.

ALT Annual Conference: 5-7 September 2017, University of Liverpool

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The theme of this year’s Association for Learning Technology Conference (ALT-C) was Beyond Islands of Innovation – how Learning Technology became the new norm(al) (press release).

The international conference was three days long, each day started with a keynote speaker followed by a packed programme with a  wide variety of institutional presentations.  The conference provided an opportunity for Andy White and myself to present the teams work on Developing and Maintaining Consistency in Virtual Learning Spaces.

keepingNursesUniform

The presentation Keeping Nurses Uniform: Developing and Maintaining Consistency in Virtual Learning Spaces built on our presentation to the ALT Winter 2015 Conference, delivered by Sarah Ruston and myself, and focused on how the move from one single, massive, high-risk, multiple-instructor site to a much more streamline and consistent set of module sites has become the new norm for many staff at the University of Cumbria achieving the consistency between modules that is so important for the student experience.

We presented our work on:

  • How we used “parent” and “child” sites to support the inter-disciplinary “Working Together” modules that bring together students from different specialisms, such as Radiography and Midwifery, whilst maintaining the consistency of the module approach and how the assessment element can be overcome with “mark by groups” on Turnitin provided an ideal solution.
  • How a benchmarking exercise resulted in the development of a set of Blackboard Protocols which were launched in June 2016 and baselined expectations for module delivery on Blackboard, alongside additional advice for those who wanted to enhance their site further. The protocols require each programme to have their own “programme” site, which contains key content, such as External Examiner reports. Learning technologists have been working with programme teams to enhance the value of these sites to students, for example, by embedding social media feeds and LTi links to PebblePad.
  • We reported that 83% of sites surveyed during SEM1 2016/7 were using individual module sites (up from 49% in 2015), very encouraging as this was just a few months after the protocols had been announced.

All supported by examples and feedback from students and academic staff across the institution, this presentation reflects on the work to-date which has helped drive the culture-shift within the Nursing course team’s VLE delivery, and how this work has helped influence practice across the university, alongside next-steps to continue to further innovate course delivery, such as flipping the classroom, helping support an engaging and consistent student-experience within the university’s virtual learning space.

I attended multiple presentations covering topics from Developing Digital Capability: An Organisational Journey to Scaling up media training to enable alternative forms of assessment via new physical and virtual learning spaces.

The conference was an interesting experience and it was particularly rewarding to see how we, at UoC, compare favourably to other institutions.  Our digital submission and feedback practices for example are in line with the presentation by Canterbury Christ Church University discussing Engaging learners with digital feedback: how choice of digital presentation may influence how learners use feedback.

Also, the workshop Any space is a learning space: developing mobile resources for meaningful work-based activities and assessment delivered by two UK medical schools, Liverpool and Leeds universities, discussed the effectiveness of mobile resources as learning tools to doctors out on placement.  pebblePicture

Their case study reviewed how PebblePad facilitated the move from a paper logbook approach to an eportfolio model which was particularly interesting as this reflects ongoing work and interest within our own institution.

The workshop looked at how mobile resources can be used for meaningful, formative assessment for learning enabling students to develop a portfolio of evidence for their progression.

winners

The session also included ‘hands on’ activities, one of which was a group collaborative activity for which ours was the winner!!