Latest Event Updates

Academic Professional Workshops January 2017

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Academic Development Sessions

In the week of January 16th – 20th AQD, in collaboration with LiSS, are running a number of academic professional development workshops.  These sessions have been designed and developed to cover a range of activities and meet the needs of colleagues who teach and support learning.

We will be running sessions on our 4 main campuses.  Each session will last for one or two hours; 10:00 – 12:00 or 14:00 – 16:00.  Additionally, we will have half hour or one-hour lunchtime webinars focusing on our learning technologies.

All sessions are bookable through the staff development booking system:
http://tiny.cc/aqd-workshops
please follow this link.

Workshop Schedule

Below, you will find the timetable for the week. The full session descriptions are available here and on the online booking system. If you have any queries please email AQD@cumbria.ac.uk .

Webinars

During the Lunchtime of this week we will be running a series of lunchtime (12:30-13:30) webinars using Skype for Business. These webinars will provide quick introductions to key learning technologies, digital activities and their use within your professional practice. Sessions include:

Monday:
Bristol Online Survey
Using Video in Blackboard

Tuesday:
Introduction to Camtasia Relay
How are your students using Blackboard?

Wednesday:
Blackboard Tests and Quizzes
Introduction to Pebblepad

Thursday:
Turnitin Originality Reports
Adaptive Release in Blackboard

Friday:
Coming soon in our Learning technologies
Copyright & Scanning

Development Week Schedule:

Lancaster

Ambleside

Fusehill Street

Brampton Rd.

Monday

10:00 – 12:00

Turnitin Essential

Turnitin Rubrics

 

Best Practice Assessment & Feedback

Blackboard Essentials

Pebblepad Essentials

Pebblepad Assessments

14:00 – 16:00

Gathering Evidence for your UKPSF Application

Leading Academic Teams and Programmes

Turnitin
Essentials

Turnitin Rubrics

Mobile
Learning

Copyright
and scanning Journals and E-resources for your subject area

Tuesday

 

10:00 – 12:00

Best Practice Assessment & Feedback

Delivering Engaging Teaching Sessions

Copyright
and scanning

Journals and E-resources for your subject
area

Gathering Evidence for your UKPSF Application

14:00 – 16:00

Leading Academic Teams and Programmes

Designing Teaching for Learning

Pebblepad Essentials

Pebblepad Assessments

Social Media for Academic Purposes

Wednesday

10:00 – 12:00

Delivering Engaging Teaching Sessions

Quality Assurance – headlines and priorities

Social Media for Academic Purposes

Turnitin Essentials

Turnitin Rubrics

14:00 – 16:00

Designing Teaching for Learning

Copyright
and scanning

Journals
and E resources for your subject area

Leading Academic Teams and Programmes

Blackboard Essentials

Blackboard Assessment Tools

Thursday

 

10:00 – 12:00

Social Media for Academic Purposes

Mobile Learning

Gathering Evidence for your UKPSF Application

Delivering Engaging Teaching Sessions

14:00 – 16:00

Blackboard
Essentials

Blackboard Assessment Tools

Turnitin Essentials

Turnitin Rubrics

Best Practice Assessment & Feedback

Designing Teaching for Learning

Friday

10:00 – 12:00

Pebblepad Essentials

Pebblepad Assessments

     

14:00 – 16:00

Quality Assurance – headlines and priorities

Embedding employability in tutorials

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Poor attendance at tutorials? Low retention between years 1 and 2? Tail off in lectures post February? Do these challenges sound familiar to you?

Over the last few years the Outdoor team in the Department of Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies have tried a number of ways to address these issues, but it became apparent that we needed a completely different approach than the traditional ‘hunt down the offenders’ or offer a Student Progress Review. Running parallel to this was a complaint by a third year student that we provided no employability opportunities, which was probably the most bizarre comment I’ve heard from an Outdoor student in ten years of being the Principal Lecturer for Outdoor.

Of all the programmes I’ve worked on and led, and staff I’ve line managed, the Outdoor provision is first and foremost geared to employment in the Outdoor Industry beyond all others. It suggested to me, that we needed a more holistic approach to these topics, as I believe they are all interrelated, for surely at the end of the day we are here to educate students to graduate level to help them enter the professions in which they want to work? So I started from the premise of the following:

Good attendance >>>progression >>>> good retention >>>> successful graduation >>>> employment

We discussed these issues at our team Away Days in June and from this devised a system of structured stepped tutorials with an employability agenda running parallel from the moment students walk in the door to the moment they leave. We brainstormed what students regularly talked about in tutorials (those that did turn up to tutorials!), what we felt was important and we set a range of objectives to address by tutorial which covered learning, assessment and employability.

Fiona Boyle and Julie Palmer from LISS also attended and were able to ensure simultaneously we grasped everything there was on offer centrally in terms of student activities and staff support. The system also accommodated transition up through the years focusing on imminent employment in the final year (Table 1).

Table 1: Personal Tutor System
Table 1: Personal Tutor System

Within this scheme we took account of the new Personal Tutorial guidelines issued by Alyson Dickson and took advice from Jess Robinson, Caron Jackson and Esther Jubb. These proved lively meetings and we all came out with a better understanding of tutorials, staff, university and student expectations. This allowed us to devise a series of standardised proformas for each staff member to use as a student progresses which provided prompts of key topics and opportunity for qualitative comments, an example in shown in Figure 1.

The great beauty of these is that they can be adapted to suit unique aspects of different programmes. Students also receive a paper copy explaining the system, which lodges on our Outdoor Students blackboard site along with blank versions of all the proformas. Completed ones are held electronically by a Programme Admin team, this helps with reference writing later on too!

Figure 1: Example of a tutorial proforma
Figure 1: Example of a tutorial proforma

As noted above, we were also keen to fit employability into the tutorial system. So for each cohort, we have devised a series of key departmental and university activities in which students may engage (Table 2). In this respect we are very fortunate in Outdoors in that employers desire ‘National Governing Body Awards’ (NGBs) and thus this provides a clear set of CPD courses to run parallel to our degrees.

Nevertheless, these require certain technical competencies in various outdoor adventure pursuits supported by UPK derived in part from our degree programmes, some of which are students are not quite ready to be assessed. In response we have Upskill sessions on Wednesday afternoons, run by our two Grade 6 Outdoor Demonstrators who support the practical elements of our main programmes.

Table 2: Employability activities
Table 2: Employability activities

Whilst it is early days, we have only been running the system since September, already we have seen increased student engagement in them asking for tutorials rather than being dragged to them!  Of course, it’s not all been plain sailing, some students refuse to engage, but as we all know HE is a two-way street, those that do attend will hopefully enhance their degree and job prospects, those that do not …

The other issue we have is that tutorials remain blocked for entry onto the timetable.  We believe this is a major issue that needs to be addressed, for if it’s on the timetable, students feel more obliged to attend as it looks more formal. Or am I very old fashioned? I’ll let you know next year.

If you want to see the entire set of documents please get in contact with Lois at lois.mansfield@cumbria.ac.uk

CASE STUDY SERIES: Kath Norris, Principal Lecturer in Education

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ioe-logoTransition to Employment Documentation for Primary Teacher Trainees on PebblePad

 

What was the problem/challenge you were trying to address?

At the end of their QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) courses all Initial Teacher Education (ITE) trainees must record their areas of strength and areas they need to develop in their first year of employment using a document called the CEDP (Career Entry and Development Profile). Their targets must be linked to the Teachers’ Standards and be made available to the school at which they gain employment. The secondary trainees already use PebblePad to track their progress throughout the course ending with the completion of a CEDP. Primary courses however don’t use PebblePad and with several hundred primary trainees on a range of different QTS courses at the University,  the recording and dissemination of their transition documents was very problematic. As part of the new Ofsted inspection framework for ITE trainees, targets are scrutinised by inspectors to assess their effectiveness for the individual trainees in their first teaching job and so it is imperative that these targets are quality assured by the UoC. In the past we have relied on the trainees themselves taking a paper copy of their CEDP to the school on their first visit.

What did you do/implement?

With the help of Sarah Ruston, the IoEs NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) Coordinator designed an electronic CEDP to be completed via PebblePad. The CEDP records not only these targets,  but also provides a place to record the trainee’s place of employment, alumni contact information and it also includes a link to the Bristol on-line exit survey which all students need to complete. All the programme leaders and personal tutors were given access to their trainees’ completed CEDPs via a PebblePad workspace, allowing them to ensure the quality of their targets before they go out to Head Teachers in the employing schools. This is done during a tutorial after the trainees have completed their CEDP electronically. It proved to be a very useful source of evaluative data as 644 forms were captured in one place.

What advice would you give to others looking to implement something similar? (positives, negatives, lessons learnt)

This was a very straight forward process once the trainees had been enrolled, helped by the very useful simple guidance put together by Sarah for both staff and trainees. One of the issues was that we only wanted to send part of the CEDP to schools and this proved impossible as the form could not be easily split into sections so my advice would be to use a “book” format instead of a “form” format so that information can be extracted as required. Next year we will design the form differently.

Have you adapted/changed anything subsequently?

The new CEDP for 2016/17 will allow for the strengths and targets section to be extracted and emailed to schools.

What is the evidence on the impact on students/your processes?

Students preferred to complete their CEDPs electronically and appreciated that all their “course exit tasks” ie completing the CEDP, the destination information and the exit survey were in one place. Feedback from tutors was also positive as they thought the process was straight forward and valued the immediate access to the CEDPs via the PebblePad workspace, to allow for the timely beginning of the QA process. It has also meant that we have a complete set of documentation captured electronically eliminating the risk of losing forms. The Alumni office has been given access to the destination data and values the ability to transfer employment data into Raisers Edge electronically. This also facilitates our ability to send on-line surveys to employing Head Teachers.

We now have access to a lot of valuable data which PebblePad can assimilate for us. It can group together the answers given by respondents of the forms, which give us really useful information such as who has filled in the form, which programme they are on and have they found a teaching job, if so, where and what key stage will be taught.

Here are some examples of the types of information that can be extracted:

Responses broken down into Programmes

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Employment Secured? Yes/No

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If employed in school, which Key Stage will you teach?

 

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What do you plan to do next? 

As mentioned above this process will continue for 2016/17 and the relevant information will be sent to schools electronically in the summer of 2017. It is important that the trainees record the URNs of their employing schools to distinguish between schools of the same name so this will be emphasised to trainees and facilitated by a link on the form to the web-site containing all the URNs of the schools in the country.

CASE STUDY SERIES: Charlotte Hardacre, Lecturer, Working with Child and Family Studies.

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  Using PebblePad in PhD Research …… and much, much more.

Following attendance at a summer research workshop provided by AQD, which outlined the potential of using PebblePad for research, Charlotte decided to use the personal learning system to collate and manage the information she was gathering for her PhD research.

Early drafts, literature searches, blogs and records of meetings with her supervisor are all stored within Charlotte’s asset store and linked within a webfolio. She finds it particularly useful to be able to share this document, as it’s evolving, with her supervisor. Her supervisor makes comments on her work  and now all their comments and interaction are all in one place.
She uses the mobile app, Pebble Pocket, to upload assets such as photographs and voice recordings to her asset store without having to ‘do anything with wires’ – she simply sends the item via wifi and it is ready to incorporate into her emerging webfolio.
Video: How Charlotte uses PebblePad in her research (7:48mins):
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Students using PebblePad:
Not only does Charlotte use PebblePad for her research, she also uses it within a creative module she leads within the Working with Children and Families programme.

In this module, students are tasked with creating an artifact comprising a story-sack which is designed to be used within family sessions. Students have to document the creation of their story sack – why they chose the subject theme, its evolution and a reflection on its usefulness. Students take photographs of their work as it progresses and include these in their webfolio with their reflections. Their work builds up over time.

The work is marked via PebblePad and the EE has access to the work too.
Video: How Charlotte uses PebblePad with her students (1:53mins):
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Charlotte also used PebblePad as a Student:

Charlotte first used PebblePad as a student herself on the PgC in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PGCLTHE) and for her Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

So this thorough grounding gave her a good understanding of what the students need to know.
“I found it straightforward and not a challenge and so was really confident in explaining how to use it to students”.

The WCF team also use PebblePad in their Leadership and Management module and students are expected to upload their CVs into PebblePad.

“In the 21st Century, sending a weblink as your CV and personal statement makes more sense  than sending  word documents”.  

Students can register for an alumni account when they leave the university and this is FREE FOREVER. So whatever they have created and stored in their PebblePad accounts whilst they were a student, will still be accessible to them forever.

Using PebblePad as a Student (1:16mins):

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Turnitin UK User Summit – Newcastle 6th October 2016

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Attendance at this years Summit, gave the opportunity to share experiences with other academic institutions on how turnitin is being used to improve academic writing.

Concerns on the availability of turnitin, particularly at peak submission times, are being addressed by adopting  a much more robust “cloud based” database solution which offers greater security, speed and up-time.

There has been a significant increase in the number of support staff available to us here in the UK, many of them now based in Newcastle, an acknowledgement of the importance of the UK as the second largest market for their product.

In 2002, turnitin reported they had received 1 million submissions. By 2016 this has risen to 636 million.

As an institution, we have seen significant growth in the number of submissions to turnitin over the past six years much due to the adoption of online submission and feedback as part of the LTA Strategy and also the flexibility of the system in accepting different submission types.

Turnitin can now accept files of up to 40 Mb and where “text matching” is not relevant, of any type.  An example of this might be an audio file or photograph.

It is also possible to have a  “no submission”  assignment, where the portal is only being used to deliver feedback to the student on a performance or artifact for example.

Turnitin has many competitors, but their database of over 160 million articles makes them very much the market leader.

The latest developments in their web crawler allows them to dig deeper and faster into some of the more regularly visited sites (Wikipedia as an example).

They have described this new development as “Walker” to indicate the improved performance. Previously it took 17 days to crawl the complete Wikipedia website – it now takes 5 Hours.  They continue to work with publishers and product users to ensure their database remains current and relevant.

A new feature set is currently under development by Turnitin at the moment to improve the detection of “ghost writing”.

Last year was the first time that our University had seen a malpractice incident involving ghost writing and with the proliferation of web based companies offering these services, something that is sure to continue.

It is imperative that we remain alert to this and express a clear position to our students on malpractice and its penalties as well as providing support for academic writing.

Feedback Studio

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Perhaps the most significant announcement during the summit was on Feedback Studio, the improved interface for marking student assignments. Some of you may have tried an earlier iPad only version.

Mark Ricksen, the product manager gave a demonstration of this much more friendly user interface. It follows on from the iPad version which was introduced last year and produces a much more readable text with increased functionality in terms of identifying issues within the students writing. This includes the ability to highlight text, comment using different colour pens for second marking and the ability to use hyperlinks to specific external student help resources.

Some of our lecturers are already using audio feedback which is  available in the Classic version that we are currently using. Its three minute maximum length is sometimes considered inadequate as is the current 5,000 character limit imposed on the general comments area.

I was able to discuss enhancements in this area with Mark including extending these limits and providing the ability to attach files to the students submission to give additional feedback using a proforma or perhaps a working solution to a problem.

Hopefully some of these requests will be adopted before we move to this new version over Summer.

For those who might prefer the existing version, returning to Turnitin Classic is a simple click away.

A demonstration of the new Feedback Studio is available with a walk-through followed by the opportunity of trying it yourself. This demo was created earlier this year and does not show some of the latest features.

The ability to hide the side bar, when the particular tool is not being used, makes it easier to read the main text of the document.  This version uses responsive web design based on the available viewing device and works very well across all screen sizes including Android based tablets.

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Much greater emphasis was placed on the turnitin user community at this forum.  With contributions from staff at the University of Edinburgh, Newcastle University, University of Huddersfield and the University of East London a broad range of subjects were discussed.

Many of them have already made the move to Feedback Studio and it is the University of Edinburgh’s tool of choice for electronic management of assessment (EMA).

Earle Abrahamson from the University of East London demonstrated the use of feedback to support the academic development of their students, many from under represented backgrounds. The ability to create his own set of structured comments using hyperlinks to further support materials, has been instrumental in improving student writing.

Steve Bentley showed how gamification could be utilised as a tool to reduce student anxiety around plagiarism.

Alison Graham discussed the Newcastle University project to clarify marking criteria and ensure that feedback is linked more closely to rubrics. Students were given the opportunity to mark some written examples themselves based on  provided marking criteria. There was some evidence that this had boosted engagement and increased understanding of what was needed to achieve better grades.

Perhaps you would like to try rubrics in your next turnitin assignment.

Rubrics can be created directly within turnitin.  If you already have an electronic version of a marking grid, it can be edited using Excel and then simply imported into turnitin.   Please contact any of the learning technologists within AQD if you would like some support with this.

Andy Robb – Senior Learning Technologist

Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellows celebration event

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This event, held on Tuesday 25 October, hosted by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Julie Mennell, was an opportunity to celebrate colleagues involved in teaching and learning support who have been recognised as Fellows of the HEA.

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HEA Fellowship is recognition of a commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning in higher education and demonstrates that your practice is aligned with the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). To date over 75,000 individuals have become Fellows of the HEA. The HEA website provides more details.

Here at the University of Cumbria we have almost 65% of our eligible staff recognised as Fellow, Senior Fellow or Principal Fellow of the HEA. This is a great achievement when compared to the national average of around 40%. Of course we want all staff involved in learning and teaching to be recognised to show our commitment to a high quality student learning experience.

Stephanie MarshallIf you are interested in gaining recognition for your commitment to professionalism in learning and teaching we encourage you to engage with the CPD route to UKPSF recognition, which is open to all staff who teach or support student learning.

Professor Stephanie Marshall, CEO of the HEA, attended as a guest speaker and outlined the work of the HEA and how the University of Cumbria are able to access various streams of support.

PebbleBash 2016

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I recently attended the above Conference at the Technology Innovation Park, University of Wolverhampton. This Conference was a ‘global gathering’ and brought together established users of PebblePad from Australia and the UK with new users of the system, Canada and America for the first time. PebblePad conferences happen in the UK every 2 years and are renowned for their friendliness, collegiality and the obligatory ceilidh. The two days were brimmed full with the sharing of good practice, inspirational speakers and plenty of ideas to take away. As with any conference, it is good to get totally immersed with like-minded people and hear fresh ideas and approaches to current PebblePad usage from all over the world, by universities and professional bodies alike.

The University of Cumbria has been a user of PebblePad since its inception in 2005, and thus, we were one of the more established users at the event (along with Bradford, Edinburgh and Wolverhampton). We have seen it through its various stages from early ‘Classic’ (remember those plopping pebbles?) to Version 3 (our current version) and to looking ahead at Version 5 which most universities transferred over to this summer. (By way of explanation, we didn’t feel that the product was ‘ready enough’ for our students and staff at this moment in time, as major functions such as ‘Collaborate’ aren’t in the new version yet. They will be by the time we transfer across in the summer of 2017.)

Newer users of PebblePad have solely begun to use Version 5; so-called as it is written in HTML5 which means it will work on any PC, laptop or mobile device and will behave in exactly the same way on whichever device is used. Flash has now been written out of the operating system entirely, which proved so troublesome for Apple-based products for many years. These new users were brimming with ideas of how they currently use the system and are discovering more about it as time progresses. One clear theme that came through is, once students get to grips with using the system, the standard of creative work which emerges out of given tasks is far superior to standard written formats. Version 5 is heralded as the easiest yet to use, with items added via drag and drop.

Some of the ideas being showcased were not new to us, for example, using PebblePad for annual review processes, but others were quite unique, for example, using PebblePad to track dissertation proposals through from initial idea and meetings, through to allocation of supervisors, recording of meetings and collecting all the paperwork surrounding this complex process into one place. What did emerge is that where PebblePad has been enthusiastically adopted, students and staff were reaping good rewards out of the system.

Throughout the course of the two days, I saw demonstrations of how some institutions use PebblePad to map their NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) Professional Standards; others use it to track their TTA (Teacher Training Agency) Professional Standards, and many more use it for a variety of ‘soft’ employability skills – equivalent to our Career Ahead offer. Students in many institutions are ‘gifted’ (yes they speak of it as a gift they give to their students) with PebblePad and are expected to use it to chart their development through their studies. Inspiring talks demonstrated how PebblePad were used for health OSCEs (practical assessments); paramedic training, history artefact creation and website design, dentistry to name but a very few subjects.  All inspiring stuff.

I particularly liked the use Plymouth make of PebblePad. All students compile a portfolio – called their Compass. There are 4 elements to their portfolio and students are tasked with collecting evidence and reflect on the following areas:

  • The Critical and Creative Learner
  • The Sustainable and Global Citizen
  • The Confident and Competent Professional
  • The Resilient and Thinking Individual

If students compile their Compass, overseen by the Employability Skills service they get acknowledgement for the work and recognition for it is added onto their final transcript upon graduation.

A clear pattern emerged, success stories come from institutions who have senior management or service buy-in to PebblePad; where managers model good behaviour; where student support in the use of the system is available and where it is just ‘the norm’. It does make me realise that, in attending an event like this, we are not using PebblePad to its full potential and that it can be used for so much more than it currently is. We will be moving onto a new version of PebblePad next summer and it would be great to get some revitalisation into its use. Showcasing, show-stopping, show-offing  – that’s what it’s all about. Let’s make ourselves future ready in our use of this creative and innovative system. If you’d like to talk PebblePad to me anytime, my email is sarah.ruston@cumbria.ac.uk

All the presentations and videos can be found here: http://www.pebblebash.co.uk/2016/presentations.aspx

ALT conference. 6 – 8 September 2016, University of Warwick

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The theme of this year’s Association for Learning Technology Conference (known as ALT-C for short) was “Connect, Collaborate, Create” (press release)

The conference was three full days of keynote speakers and presentations from individuals and groups from a host of UK and international institutions; including Dan Meer and myself from Cumbria. Our presentation was on the “12 Seasonal Tips” initiative that ran at the end of semester-one 2015. Our “slot” was right at the end of the programme on day three, so we had that at the back of our minds during the conference (best till last?!)!

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ALT badges. Image from ALT site

I attended a wide variety of presentations, and have come away with a number of ideas and topics to follow-up.

Below is Ian Livingstone’s keynote recording. All the keynote presentations can be seen here.

Digital capabilities and digital wellbeing were amongst the areas being discussed, with presenters talking about how they were approaching designing and running their CPD offer, acknowledging that “creativity takes courage” when it comes to updating or challenging practice.

The question of Open Badges was raised in a couple of sessions, including one run by City & Guilds who highlighted some of the challenges and opportunities of badges.

The use of analytics was a key theme of the conference, and I saw a number of presentations where speakers were talking about their proposed and actual use of data to help support learning, saying that institutions tend to be “data rich, intelligence poor”. One argument was that students are already used to sharing data outside of the institution, and therefore an electronic footprint of student use of institutional systems would be useful to help monitor engagement and support the student. However, it was acknowledged that data ownership and use was something that should be transparent through clear policies / codes of practice.

The shear amount of online activity (as highlighted by the internet minute), was the inspiration to presentations about the use of media to support learning. This included the use of lecture capture and of systems to help “create / publish / share / discover” media within the institution; one institution even providing a “’DIY film school” workshop for simple tips & tricks to capture video content using the user’s own smartphone or tablet. Copyright, together with OER policies and open licences were also under discussion.

Flipped classrooms, webinars and the blend between physical and virtual spaces were also discussed, with the challenge of providing active learning spaces regardless of the environment being a key theme.

There are some other conference blog posts here.

Overall, a very enjoyable, tiring, challenging and informative conference – and the food and accommodation was good too!

Andy White, AQD

Blackboard World 2016: Conference Report

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Esther Jubb gives us the lowdown on the recent Blackboard World conference

In early 2016, without actually expecting to be accepted to the conference, I put in a presentation proposal to the Blackboard World 2016 Conference in Las Vegas.  The presentation planned to talk about the changes and developments that we have been working on in relation to our use of Blackboard during the last 18 months.  In the background, many of the changes that we have been working on is an Exemplary Course Programme and the presentation proposal was to discuss how we were using the rubric that supports this programme to identify and drive much of our work.  Having been accepted to the conference and being briefed on how the panel session would run I packed my suitcase and flew 10 hours to Las Vegas.

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Las Vegas at night. Image by William Zain.

Blackboard World is a very large conference 3000 plus delegates, large expo hall with lots of learning technology vendors keen to talk to you about your learning technology needs (and to give you free gifts; caps, charging cables, t-shirts, bottle openers…) parallel sessions that start at 8:15am and finish at 6:00pm, additional workshops and keynote sessions and lots of opportunities to indulge the geeky side of your personality.

Despite some wicked jetlag I attended a whole variety of sessions.  My first session was an interesting presentation from Charles Darwin University on Developing an Integrated Student Learning Universe; putting students at the centre of all technology developments and taking a 3 layer approach:

  1. Learner engagement needs
  2. Learner facing systems
  3. Underlying technology architecture

I also attended a session from Johns Hopkins University on their approach to supporting staff new to teaching fully online distance learning programmes.  My favourite session, in terms of making me think about my role at the university and how we better make use of learning technology, was run by staff from IBM on design thinking.  Not only was this an introduction to something new….it was an interactive session where we started to engage with the approach of design thinking.

Youtube video quick overview Design Thinking:

Youtube video Tim Brown (creator of design thinking) talking about Design Thinking:

Part of the problem with such a large conference is that it is difficult to choose between 10 different sessions in any one parallel slot and not every session lives up to the description so you then feel that you’ve wasted a valuable session!  My overall reflections on the conference were, that although we do have plenty of work to do in our use of learning technology, we are heading in the right direction; ensuring that the student experience is consistent and what we promise them, using the affordances of the technology to support the learning that our students need to prepare them for their future aspirations, and getting the most out of our learning technologies.  Finally, how did my presentation go?  There were about 60 people the room, the feedback was excellent with all those who provided feedback saying that they thought the session was useful to them, which is what you want to achieve from talking about the interesting and exciting things that you’re doing.

Dr Esther Jubb, AQD

 

 

 

PGCert in L&T in HE – now taking registrations

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For staff new to teaching in higher education we provide a ‘taught route’ to professional recognition through the PGCert.

This flexible programme provides you the opportunity for you to develop you knowledge and understanding of the practice of teaching and the support of student learning in HE, and advance your professional; skills within your own working context.

Details on how to apply can be found on the website.