During the summer/autumn of 2016 we asked academic staff in the Faculty to complete our Technology Enhanced Learning survey. The survey aims to inform our planning so we can better support teaching staff.
In discussion with the Associate Dean for Teaching & Learning, Marianne Ellis, we've now had a chance to pull the data together into some headline issues which have helped us develop an action plan for this year (and on into next year). We'd like to share this with everyone here.
Please get in touch if you have any questions (Yvonne Moore and Rachel Applegate) at email@example.com
The tool we used to present these headlines is a free web infographic maker called Piktochart.
Happy New Year! This is just a brief reminder of an event coming up that could be of interest but I thought I would add a couple of useful tips to get you reading!
The Assessment and Feedback Day is part of the Inspiring Innovation series. It will take place on 02 February 2017 and the details for content and registration are on the CLT website.
You can also find details of other events coming soon through LITEbox.
Now for your tips - some simple options you may have seen before but just in case, here goes …
Presenting content from a web browser to an audience in a large room can sometimes be tricky for the people at the back who may, like me, have difficulty reading the default text. Two simple options you can use to improve this.
- Press F11 on your keyboard – this will remove (temporarily) the toolbars and just display the content in full screen mode. This reduces clutter but may not improve matters a great deal so you can also try #2. (To get the toolbars back just press F11 again).
- Press CTRL and + (plus) together on your keyboard (Win) – this will start to zoom in (i.e. increase the font/image size). You can continue to increase the size until those at the back can read the text. To return to the default use CTRL and – (minus) together (Win). This is also handy when working from the browser for a long time to avoid eye-strain. I zoom in when working in Moodle to make it as readable as possible.
You can also access the zoom function from your browser menu.
We’re all reading more and more online. As well as increasing text size there are other ways to make the task more effective. Read the guidance for Reading On Screen which includes advice for PCs, Macs and mobile devices. For those of you annotating documents online there’s a section on that too.
Use the printable guide to stick on the wall in your office if you need a handy reminder.
If you've found this useful or have any other tips of your own to share please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you at the Assessment and Feedback Day.
Our third event saw Dr John Orr describe how he and his colleague, Dr Saverio Spadea, used a web conferencing tool called Adobe Connect to deliver a successful, blended workshop – with 20 participants on campus and another 50 online.
Their workshop included:
- 4 presentations, 2 presenters on campus, 1 in the USA and 1 in Canada
- A lab demonstration via webcam in 6E lab
- Online Q&A using the web chat tool
- Face-to-face Q&A using a mic
A number of tips were identified for anyone delivering this kind of online event:
- Time your event to take account of different time zones where possible
- Set defaults to mute/no video for participants
- Use a USB web cam which can be moved around easily
- Keep to strict timescales for remote presenters – avoids having to interrupt them to get them to stop
- Use a sign-up form to judge how many people may watch online – you may need to ask for extra seats for your virtual room
- Have a contingency in place in case one of the remote presenters hits a technical snag
Adobe Connect is software which allows groups of people to meet virtually using video, text chat or audio. It lets people collaborate through the use of shared presentations, shared files or shared desktops.
It also provides opportunities for interaction via a series of simple tools, such as hands-up and polling. It gets used for a variety of purposes when the participants can’t all meet in person.
Example uses are:
- Online events such as workshops, conferences or meetings
- Broadcasting presentations or lectures to students
- Online tutorials with students
- Group work – online collaboration between students
- Revision or exam preparation sessions for students
- Student presentations for formative or summative assessment
- Guest speaker presentations
- Online demonstrations via desktop or video
Thanks to Marie Salter from the e-learning team who presented an overview of Adobe Connect and the process for setting up and accessing a ‘virtual room’. If you’re interesting in finding out more you can contact email@example.com for details on getting set up.
Want to know more?
||For tips on setting up this kind of event watch the video recording of John describing how they did it. (You'll need to log in to Panopto).
||For more context about this blended workshop.
||For the Adobe Connect recording of the workshop, where you can see the interaction between the different parties. (It can take a few minutes to connect and play).
If you'd like to talk to us about this or other Technology Enhanced Learning events please contact Rachel and Yvonne on firstname.lastname@example.org
Focus on Assessment & Feedback
This event enabled teaching staff to share an example of how they’ve used technology to enhance assessment and feedback activities. We recorded this to share with everyone and here we offer a brief summary. (The final presentation by Philip wasn’t recorded as the session overran our lecture capture booking slot – there’s a lesson for the future! However, we’ve added a link to Philip’s slides so you can see what was covered.)
Sabina Gheduzzi (Mechanical Engineering) explained how she came to use rubrics for assignments in Moodle. The rubric enabled students to see the criteria by which they would be assessed but it also allowed Sabrina to mark work more swiftly. The rubric also provides students with consistent feedback that can be supplemented by Sabrina’s comments and as a result she has seen fewer issues with students questioning their marks. Student evaluation data has also demonstrated an increase in satisfaction from students when rubrics are used. The students like it!
Find out more about Moodle rubrics: https://docs.moodle.org/30/en/Rubrics
In discussion, after Sabrina’s presentation, there were questions related to suitability of rubrics when:
- Assessment is based on creative tasks where the rubric may be interpreted too rigidly by students
- When there are very large class sizes
Sabrina explained that in the context of this unit, rubrics enabled her to effectively address a specific issue raised by students in their unit feedback.
Tim Ibell (Architecture & Civil Engineering) explained how he used a Moodle database to provide a peer assessment experience for a large first year Undergraduate co-hort. The database was set up with help from the Faculty Learning Technologists and used in the classroom by students accessing Moodle from their mobile devices (i.e. through BYOD – bring your own device). Students were able to see feedback for their group presentations and receive a score – which was moderated by Tim before being displayed to the groups. This exercise was part of a planned move to a flipped classroom approach with reduced summative assessment and more time spent problem solving with students.
Find out more about Moodle database activity: https://docs.moodle.org/30/en/Using_Database
Questions raised following Tim’s presentation related to the suitability of peer assessment when:
- Such peer assessment is included in courses which are accredited - would such activities be allowed?
- Students may turn up without a suitable mobile device (or with insufficient battery power) – was there a contingency plan in place?
Find out more about Moodle database templates: https://docs.moodle.org/30/en/Database_templates
In discussion after Philip’s presentation, Sabina pointed out that she was able to take a copy of Philip’s database and adapt it for her own programme. This is done by sharing the database via a Preset option available in Moodle.
Thank you to our three presenters for sharing their experiences.
We hope those attending found it useful and if you have any feedback please contact us at email@example.com
We would particularly like suggestions for the next TEL event - what should the focus be?
Please come along to the second Technology Enhanced Learning event on 24 June 2016 11:15-12:05, CB 3.5
- Assessment and feedback using the Moodle rubric - Sabina Gheduzzi (Mechanical Engineering)
- Using a Moodle database for peer assessment with a large cohort of students - Tim Ibell (Architecture & Civil Engineering)
- Managing group project assessment using a Moodle database - Philip Shields (Electronic & Electrical Engineering)
This will be a chance for colleagues to share some different approaches to assessment and feedback, and to discuss how they might work for you in your learning and teaching context. There will be a series of three short presentations, with time for questions and discussion on each topic.
This event follows on from the successful Faculty TEL event in March. An attendee at the last event found:
"It was great to see some of the innovative use of technology in the faculty. I found it particularly useful that staff were sharing actual experiences; the pitfalls as well as the opportunities."
To register, please sign up via the following link: http://doodle.com/poll/yemp6ch77fm7ekct
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Have we met yet? We've been introducing ourselves through meetings and events (such as the Faculty TEL event), but if we've not yet had the chance to speak with you, here's a reminder of who we are and what we do.
We are two (job sharing) Learning Technologists, Rachel Applegate and Yvonne Moore - that's us in the mugshots below.
We're aiming to coordinate projects to provide advice, guidance and/or training in the use of learning technologies in the Faculty. Then we'll communicate lessons learnt from these projects so that the benefits are shared across the Faculty.
Examples of projects could include:
- planning to develop your Moodle course beyond the basics
- designing a Moodle course for new units or programmes of study
- implementing online assessment and feedback (e.g. using Moodle / Turnitin)
- creating videos to support revision (e.g. using Panopto)
- providing generic feedback via video / audio (e.g. using Panopto)
- developing eportfolios for employability or assessment (e.g. using Mahara)
- using social media to communicate with students and employers and/or experts (e.g. Twitter or Facebook)
- developing online collaboration activities for students (e.g. using wikis such as Confluence or web based collaboration tools such as lino.it and padlet)
You can find further information via the FED Technology Enhanced Learning wiki pages. Please don't forget that support is still available from the central eLearning Team where you can access how-to guides and help with common tasks in Moodle (Support Hub) and other centrally supported technologies.
We hope this is a helpful reminder of our roles and we look forward to meeting and working with you in the future.
One more thing, during the next six months, we will be seeking your feedback to help us identify priorities for the type of support we offer. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions or questions please get in touch:
Rachel Applegate and Yvonne Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. Don't forget to subscribe to this blog and other useful blogs like the Moodle Service blog. This will ensure you get an email when new content is posted. You can read about how to keep up-to-date with internal communications from a previous blog post.