Digital playground

Posts By: Tim Maulin


📥  LITEbox Development

LITEbox logo colour

LITEbox is a University-wide initiative supported by the Alumni Fund. It will create an environment where the whole University can learn about new and existing technologies for use in learning and teaching, and share their experiences of them. LITEbox will achieve this by hosting events and providing information relating to these technologies online.

If you would you like to share your use of technology within learning and teaching, please get in touch.


Previous LITEBox events

Reserve yourself a space at an event by emailing or clicking through each link.

5th May 2017 TurningPoint Interactive Polling - Free Lunch and Learn
Robin Smyth (Turning Technologies)
Click Here
9th May 2017 MCQs and Deep Learning Workshop: A Possible Fix?
Dr Matteo De Tina (University of Bath, Economics)
Prof Anthony Gardner-Medwin (University College London, Physiology)
Dr Steve Draper (University of Glasgow, Psychology)
Click Here
 11th May 2017 LITEbox Event - Get the most out of BoB
Alex Morris (Learning on Screen)
Click Here
25th May 2017 Re:View (Panopto) Training Drop-Ins
William Gaffney (Re:View)
Click Here

Find out more about other previous events with write ups and recordings, or browse related case studies from around campus.


Physical spaces

There are also two physical campus spaces, CB 5.13 and 8W 1.28, designated as LITEbox spaces, which are technology enabled rooms for teaching or student group work.


Scroll down to find our most recent blog posts.



Reflecting on my role as LITEbox officer


📥  LITEbox Development

For more than a year I have been working with a team of others to help develop LITEbox alongside my studies, but unfortunately, due to graduating, I am moving on somewhere else.

This role has allowed me to meet and talk to staff from all around campus and to see the University in a way which a normal student does not. I didn't realise that there was so much support available for learning and teaching behind the scenes, nor how much effort teaching staff put in outside of lecture times. One thing I've come to appreciate is how hard everyone at the University works to help improve the education of students!

LITEbox has been developing a community of practice which is continually growing, and this has been great to see. I've recently been hearing from staff members about how they are now using technology in their teaching which they had initially heard about through LITEbox, which really shows the impact that this project is having and that not only is the project interesting but it is affecting how students are being taught.

It has been great working alongside the core team of Rob Hyde, Emma Rich, Jessica Francombe-Webb and Sarah Turpin, who have a great passion for this project, as well as the wider project team and staff members who are very keen to share their stories and successes of using technology for learning and teaching.

My role within the LITEbox project has been to seek out uses of technology around campus and promote these, either through events or through online case studies, so that staff can learn from what others around campus are doing. The events always include such a vibrant discussion session at the end which gives staff, from any faculty or department, the opportunity to explore new technologies in a way which would not be possible without this project.

The blog, which offers an online presence of the project, has had over 12,000 views in the last year. The 20 events, which allow the physical sharing of knowledge and ideas, have had over 500 attendees. One of our recent events on the issue of Copyright for teaching had over 60 attendees with two external presenters. To me this just shows how much of a success this project has become.

My personal favourite event was the 5x5 technology showcase back in February which was very well attended, and despite some last minute hiccups, ran very successfully and received lots of positive feedback. Due to the success and feedback another similar event will be run in September this year; it is a shame I won't be here to attend!

With technology constantly developing and being able to improve all areas of people’s lives, I really do hope LITEbox continues to grow, allowing both staff and students to benefit from the sharing and developing of each other’s ideas.

Not only have I been able to develop my writing and communication skills to such a great extent while working on this project, but my interpersonal skills have definitely improved through speaking with a variety of staff members from around the University. I really do feel lucky to have been offered the opportunity to work on a project which both excited me and allowed me to develop myself so much. I can only hope that my future will allow me to work on such interesting projects with people as passionate about their jobs as I those I have met through this role.


Demonstration of Microsoft's Surface Hub: an interactive whiteboard

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📥  New Technology

Date: Tuesday 21st June
Venue: 3W 4.1

Microsoft's Surface Hub is a large interactive whiteboard which can be used as both a collaboration and videoconferencing device and has the ability to help with learning and teaching. A representative from Microsoft is attending for the day to demonstrate the capabilities of this product for academics, and also provide technical guidance of how the product can work on the network for supporting staff.

Sessions are available in 3W 4.1 on the 21st June at the following times:

○ 1pm - 2pm
○ 2pm - 3pm
○ 3pm - 4pm

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided for those attending.

Please reserve a space by emailing

An example of the Surface Hub in use.  Used with permission from Microsoft.

An example of the Surface Hub in use. Used with permission from Microsoft.

LITEbox Event: 5x5 Technology Showcase - October

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📥  LITEbox Event

Date: Wednesday 19 October 2016 
Time: 1.15pm - 2.05pm
Venue: CB 4.16

To sign up and reserve a space, email

Due to the success and positive feedback from the last technology showcase of the same style, this event is being re-run in September 2016 with new presenters. Come along to this session to see 5 short snippets of different technology around campus which can help improve your teaching practice and improve the student experience.

Each presenter will be given a maximum of 5 minutes to present, followed by up to 5 questions from the audience, to provide an overview of their use of each technology around campus. The topics are:

Weekly online quizzes - Dr Mirella Di Lorenzo
Find out how using time restricted weekly online quizzes can help provide feedback and motivate large cohorts with their learning

Prezi - Dr Carmelo Herdes
Prezi is online presentation software which acts as an alternative to PowerPoint. Find out how Carmelo uses it to enhance his teaching

MOOCs in teaching - Dr Momna Hejmadi
MOOCs contain a large amount of information online, but you have you ever thought of incorporating MOOCs into your teaching? Learn from Momna's experience and see what could suit you

Infographics - David Stacey and Lis Wallace
Have a crash course in infographics from David and Lis to learn good practice and how infographics can be made

An app for audio feedback - Dr James Betts
This app connects to Moodle and allows detailed audio feedback to be given at the marker's own convenience


Faculty of Engineering & Design TEL Reflections

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📥  LITEbox Development

This post has been written jointly by Andrew Heath (Associate Dean, Learning & Teaching), and Rachel Applegate and Yvonne Moore (Faculty Learning Technologists)


The Faculty of Engineering and Design held its first Technology Enhanced Learning event in March. It was a great chance to hear examples of good practice from staff. We decided that a short (50 minute) session was the best for busy staff with a few very short presentations. A few key themes emerged:

  • How to encourage and manage interactions with large cohorts of students
  • Streamlining assessment practices and providing timely feedback for large cohorts was another key topic
  • Helping students to engage with external publics such as professionals in industry was also of interest.

It became clear that these topics relate to the emerging strands in the forthcoming University Education Strategy, and within this context, the Faculty is considering how to increase and improve postgraduate provision.

The presentations from the event highlighted ways in which technology can be used to facilitate large group activities, enabling students to communicate and collaborate and be assessed.

The four presentations of learning and teaching activity were:

  • Moodle – for online MCQ assessment
  • Lino-it – for sharing views anonymously
  • Audience Response System – for interactive question and answer sessions in class
  • Re:View (Panopto) student presentations – for developing employability skills.

Find out more about each of the presentation topics in the event write-up (includes a recording of the event).

It was helpful that each presenter gave a realistic view of the activities in terms of perceived success as well as barriers they faced along the way and what could be done to overcome these in future. The discussion at the end of the session identified that others could benefit from the presenters’ experiences. This sharing of good practice is key to promoting excellence in learning and teaching. It also highlighted to the Faculty Learning Technologists that there are developments going on that are quietly happening without any support from them. This opens up questions about efficiency and sharing good practice that they hope to address in the future.

The event was well attended and positively received and we’re already in the process of planning the next one, focussing on assessment and feedback. A huge thanks to the presenters, Jos Darling, Marcelle McManus, Mirella Di Lorenzo and Aydin Nassehi. Further thanks to Jos Darling (Director of Teaching, Mechanical Engineering) who also organised the event, along with Rachel Applegate (FED Learning Technologist).


Faculty of Science TEL event


📥  LITEbox Development

This blog post has been kindly written by Catherine Haines, Student Experience Officer, Faculty of Science.


Over 60 academics and colleagues in teaching related roles from across the Faculty of Science attended the ‘teaching enhanced learning’ event on 9 March. The event was organised by Dr Alan Hayes, the Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching and followed on from on from last semester’s LITEbox Technology Panel Debate chaired by Peter Lambert.

The event was set up in world café style with colleagues from across the faculty showcasing how they use technology in their teaching. Dr Hayes gave a brief introduction and then handed over to the presenters.

The presenters and presentations are listed below:

There was also input from colleagues across the university, including Kyriaki Anagnostopoulou and Marie Salter from LTEO, Tim Maulin from LITEbox, Dr Wali Aslam, Conor Eastop and Pascal Loizeau.

As well as showcasing how technology is being used in each department, academics were encouraged to give feedback on the barriers they face when trying to use technology in teaching. They were also asked what technologies they wanted the University to invest in.

There were four sources of consultation feedback:

  • A Linoit board was set up to gather feedback
  • Paper feedback was collected during the event
  • A live Twitter feed took place throughout the event #esciencebath
  • Socrative was used to collect feedback at the end of the event


The feedback produced eight key findings for teaching enhanced learning:

  1. Request for a eLearning technologist employed within the faculty
  2. Request to establish a Faculty eLearning group (monthly meetings)
  3. Request for iPads (or similar) to be provided to staff
  4. Request for more time to prepare, plan, research and evaluate
  5. Investment in technology
  6. Investment in Moodle
  7. Investment in PebblePad
  8. Investment in staff training

The event ended with Dr Hayes leading a session to gain feedback using socrative.

The event was summarised using Storify.



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📥  Event Review

This event on copyright was very well attended by staff from all areas of the University, and was presented by:
Lisa Slater – Solicitor, Legal Office
Caroline Brooks – Abel & Imray (Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys)
Simon Clegg – Battens Solicitors
Hannah South – Head of Library Academic Services
Claire Tylee – Bibliographic Services Librarian
Rob Hyde – Audio Visual Service Manager

There is soon to be a recording of the event available to watch

Lisa Slater began by introducing the context of this event. Copyright at the University needs to be paid more attention with the ever increasing use of technology (to access, use, store and publish ‘works’), as well as the confusion between content which is in the public domain and content which is publically available.

The University has a Revised IP policy which has largely been brought on by the increasing use of lecture capture, and the event followed by raising awareness of the importance of copyright & support available around campus.



HSS ‘Engaging with Technology in Teaching’ Event Reflection

📥  LITEbox Development

This blog post has been kindly written by Dr Cassie Wilson, Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.


The Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences ‘Engaging with Technology in Teaching’ event which took place at the end of February provided a great opportunity for academic, professional services and administrative staff within the Faculty to observe and discuss the innovative practices which are currently being employed across the departments. Despite a slight panic with the initial slow uptake of participants, the attendance was very good with representation from all departments and job families.

The presentations given covered a wide variety of uses of technology in learning and teaching including; the use of skype and film in the classroom (Wali Aslam, PoLIS; Darragh McGee, Health), the use of Moodle quizzes in the assessment of large cohorts (Matteo De Tina, Economics), audience response systems (Richard Joiner, Psychology), the use of technology outside the classroom (John Troyer, SPS) and online student presentations (Geraldine Jones, Faculty e-learning officer). The purpose of each presentation was to demonstrate how the technology was employed alongside the conveyance of a key message in the use of technology in learning and teaching. The presentations were concluded with questions and discussions with the audience.

Reflecting on the event, I think the following key messages summarise nicely what was presented and discussed;

‘The use of technology does not have to be complex and onerous’
The presentations on the use of skype in the classroom showed just how simple the use of technology could be. The support for this from colleagues in AV is readily available and just needs to be tapped into! The thing about technology is that planning is absolutely a necessity and turning up on the morning of a lecture, without any prior preparation, in the hope that everything will work smoothly is not advised!

‘Technology should not necessarily be a replacement for more traditional methods of delivery’
A lively discussion around where technology fits into our learning and teaching arrived at a consensus of opinion that technology should not be replacing face to face contact but enhancing engagement and quality of teaching alongside increasing efficiencies were possible.

‘One size does not fit all’
All the uses of technology discussed during the session seemed entirely fit for purpose and as a result had been very successfully implemented. The issue that was raised was that these practices cannot be successfully transferable to every setting so there is a need to find what works for you and in the process of doing this individuals will be forced to reflect on current teaching practices which is never a bad thing!

The event was, in my opinion, a real success and this was a result of presenters who demonstrated a clear passion for the use technology inside (and outside!) the classroom. One really positive outcome of the day has been the formation of a Faculty ‘Innovation in Learning and Teaching’ group which will be led by Jess Francombe-Webb. The development of this group is likely to ensure that more events like this are hosted and the variety of innovative practices adopted across the Faculty are continued to be shared and promoted. The event was recorded (as you would expect!) so if you would like to view it please click on the following link;

Cassie Wilson
Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching)
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


Using Voicethread to make the most of student authored online presentations

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📥  Event Review

This session on using student authored online presentations was presented by Dr Felia Allum and Dr Rita Chawla-Duggan, and facilitated by Geraldine Jones. Both presenters use Voicethread as the presentation software, as it is free and intuitive to use. Recordings for each slide/image/video are separate to each other so no complex editing needs to take place. You can watch a recording of the event to catch up.

Rita Chawla-Duggan's use of student authored online presentations

Felia Allum's use of student authored online presentations


Benefits of using student authored online presentations

  • Can engage with relevant people from all around the world
  • Allows seminar time to be used for active learning rather than watching other students present
  • Students can continually develop their language skills by hearing their own voices and repeating presentations until they are happy with what they have produced
  • Feedback from peers is much appreciated by the students
  • Builds the self confidence of those who may not like to perform a face to face presentation in front of a group
  • Useful skill to learn as now many job interviews are online


Event write up

Rita started the event by explaining how students can benefit from these presentations by linking theory with observed practice from a mini placement experience. A large benefit of these presentations in the Department of Education is that students are able to engage with teachers in professional practice locally and around the world. Observations and data gained through virtual school visits are presented via Voicethread. Then feedback is offered via Voicethread from peers and the teachers involved. Rita showed some examples of presentations which students had created using Voicethread. Two first year students then gave their opinions and reflections on using this software, including how they have developed their analytical and research skills.

Felia then presented reasons why she uses these online presentations, again with Voicethread, focusing on how seminar time is freed up for more engaging face to face activities. Felia noted that this does mean harder work for the seminar leader, as activities have to be carefully planned rather than just listening to and marking presentations. There is an added benefit of confidence building for both international students being able to rehearse their English language until they are satisfied, and native English speakers being able to practice and listen back to themselves when presenting in a foreign language.

Please be aware that even though the privacy of each video on Voicethread can be change, they are uploaded outside of single sign on so students have to be made aware of copyright issues and how to source and attribute materials available under creative commons licences.


Questions and answers

What is the student feedback?

They find these presentations less stressful, but they still need to develop their real presentation skills so that needs to be taught elsewhere on the course. The more shy students tend to interact more with these presentations. As mentioned before, the international students really do appreciate being able to hear their own English and repeat it a few times until they are happy with their results.

Are there any barriers to students using this technology, and if so do you have tips to help overcome these?Geraldine, E-Learning Officer, runs a short induction for students with examples of how the software works, provides a digital guide on Moodle. In addition there are 'how to' videos on the Voicethread website. As such there have been no issues or problems with students creating presentations.
Students can use any computer to create their presentations, including those on campus. Headphones with microphones are offered for those who need them, generally only one or two students a year borrow them.

Do you provide a structure for students to follow, and in there generally less of a format when students create online presentations?
The academic guidelines are similar to face to face presentations in that students still need to demonstrate their understanding of concepts, including readings and analysis. The assessment criteria remain the same, and sometimes the students can get very creative in what they produce. A slide limit (10) and a time limit (not more than 10 minutes) helps to keep the presentations focussed

Do peers have to look at each other's work?
Felia responded. Yes but sometimes they don't comment at all when looking at the work of others, but now they are being encouraged to make a comment at the end just to say that they have read and understood the presentation. This means that students are much better prepared for seminars.

Is Voicethread free to use or licenced to the University?
It is free to use software, and anyone can sign up for a free account. It was chosen for this reason as well as being very intuitive to use.

Are there any privacy issues?
Each presentation is given a secret URL, and the students post these to a closed Moodle group. By default the presentations are private to the author. You have to explicitly share the presentation in Voicethread so that others with the link can view and comment.


Social media app to help students learn from each other


📥  Case Studies

Staff involved
Keith Brown, Dept of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Julie Letchford, Dept of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Albert Bolhuis, Dept of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

What technology is being used?

Second year MPharm students are currently trialling a Social Media App called ‘Study-Space’ that has been developed in the department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology as part of an Alumni Fund project. Designed to complement a programme unit, it provides a collaborative environment to help students learn from each other.

The current small-scale trial started in February and is restricted to undergraduates studying PA20024, and a handful of teaching staff. The app is being actively used with two or three posts daily. 57% of the cohort have joined the forum so far, the vast majority of posts have been done anonymously.

The app is available for iOS, Android and in web browsers

The app is available for iOS, Android and in web browsers

If you would like to know more about this app, please contact Keith Brown: