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Topic: Case Studies

LITEbox - Santander Technology Fund announces first funding awards

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📥  Case Studies, Uncategorized

LITEbox - Santander Technology Fund announces first funding awards

The LITEbox team is delighted to announce the first three successful awards from its new Santander Technology Fund, launched in November 2017. Supported by Santander, as part of the company's wider support of a range of initiatives across the University, the Technology Fund was established with the aim of continuing to create an environment where the University at large can learn about new and existing technologies to support learning and teaching, and share experiences.
These selected projects are supported with funding to include hardware and software purchases and range from £1500 to £4500 per project with a maximum of two years duration.

The first three successful awards are:

  1. Project Name: Uni-LAB (Undergraduate Innovation Laboratory) 
    Led by: Dr Peter Sloan, Lecturer, Dept. of Physics and Mr. Keith Brown, Faculty of Science Learning Technologist
    Duration: February 2018 to September 2019 (three Semesters)The “UNI-LAB” an UNdergraduate Innovation LABoratory" is a maker-space where students especially in the Physics department can work together, designing and building with 3D printers, laser-cutters and cheap Raspberry Pi computers. This space will encourage envisioning the next state-of-the-art technologies including making robot devices, automated telescopes, fusion reactor, sound synthesiser, and ideas for advanced computer programming.
    For details here.
  2. Project Name: Interactive Whiteboard  
    Led by: Ben Metcalfe, Lecturer, Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering
    Duration: February 2018 to February 2019This project aims to enhance existing good practice by increasing the engagement of all types of learners with active learning during lectures and tutorials. The primary aim is to introduce a technology that permits real time capture of diagrams and equations, encourages student engagement through assistive learning techniques, and improves accessibility at all levels.
  3. Project Name: Circular Economy Toolkit 
    Led by: Alisha Tuladhar, PhD Researcher, School of Management
    Duration: February 2018 to February 2019This project is centred around a program-specific subject: the ‘Circular Economy’ (CE), which is usually taught in Sustainability, Innovation or Design and even Business Management Courses. A circular economy is a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimised by slowing, closing, and narrowing material and energy loops. The project will collaborate closely with ‘Circular Economy Club’, an international non-profit organization who are already planning to organize ‘Circular Economy Mapping Week’ around the world and contact the best events or entrepreneurs, study them and produce knowledge resources. Materials and toolkits will be produced: well-crafted case studies and concept videos would be the main project outcomes. This would benefit both academics and practitioners in the CE field.

    As part of the first bidding round, there were also three other interesting projects, all of which the LITEbox panel were keen to support. Further discussions, and an opportunity to revise and edit bids, are now underway with these bidders.

    The second bidding round for the Santander Technology Fund is now open with a closing deadline of 28 February 2018. Find out further information about bidding. Alternatively, you can email the LITEbox team directly with any questions or for an informal discussion.


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:


Audio feedback made easy with an app

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📥  Case Studies

Dr James Betts, Department for Health, uses an app on a tablet to provide audio feedback to his students. Students upload their coursework to Moodle, which are then transferred to the app. James can view the student's work and provide detailed feedback as well as a mark at his own convenience. This data is then sent back to Moodle where the students can see their mark and detailed feedback.

Please watch a short video below, which includes a short clip of James using the app.


If you would like to learn more about technology for learning and teaching, get in touch at



Automatic marking of code to reduce time and pressure on marking


📥  Case Studies

Staff involved
Rachid Hourizi, Dept of Computer Science
Julian Padget, Dept of Computer Science
Marina De Vos, Dept of Computer Science
Alan Hayes, Dept of Computer Science

What problem did you hope to solve?
With increasing cohort sizes each year there is increasing pressure on marking for both academic staff and PhD students who help with marking. Students also enjoy knowing that their marking is standardised, so developing an approach to marking that could incorporate more standardisation was of interest.

What was done and what technology was used?
Software was developed under a TDF project to facilitate automatic marking of computer code. Code marking can be split into code that is marked subjectively, and code that is marked objectively. Subjective marking would include readability, comments, stylisation, etc., and objective marking would be checking for specific outputs compared to various different inputs. It is the objective marking which has been automated.

Students upload their data to Moodle from where it is automatically retrieved and processed, then code for each student is automatically ran through a small series of tests and feedback given to the marker. The marker still has to mark the subjective aspects of the code and provide this feedback on Moodle.

Next steps of this project are to develop the software further to release formative information to the students, so that they can have feedback on their assignments before submission deadlines and without and input from staff.


If you would like to know more about automatic marking, or would like to trial it within your department, please contact Rachid Hourizi:


Using Peerwise (MCQ software) to encourage a deeper understanding

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📥  Case Studies

Staff involved
Amanda Mackenzie, Dept of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Christine Edmead, Dept of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

What was done and what technology was used?
Peerwise is free online software which supports students in the creation, sharing, evaluation and discussion of assessment questions. We have been using this technology on a flipped unit with around 180 students for the last two years, and have had a great success.

Peerwise takes a few minutes to set up, and can be done via Moodle enrolment. Once it has been set up it is very self-sustaining and doesn't need much input from ourselves, however we can moderate if needed.

What are the benefits to staff?
This unit has 60% of marks assigned from a multiple choice paper, but we do not release past papers. Students have always asked for practice questions and with Peerwise they can write their own questions and then practice on questions which other students have created. There is also a competitive element as students gain points from writing, answering and commenting on questions. This saves us a lot of time not having to write practice questions each year and provides the students with a broader question bank. We can also look to see which topics students are finding harder and may need to revisit in lectures.

What are the benefits to students?
Students generally will deepen their knowledge by needing to think of appropriate questions and answers to these questions, as well as having access to a fantastic resource for revision for their exams which is added to throughout the semester. Around 60% of students in the cohort actively engage with Peerwise throughout the semester, and while no part of this is assessed, two questions selected from those submitted, are included in each years' exam as an incentive to engage.


An online tutorial for evaluating scientific research literature

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📥  Case Studies

Staff involved
Dr Julie Letchford, Dept of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Dr Hazel Corradi, Dept of Biology and Biochemistry
Dr Bridgette Duncombe, Dept of Chemistry
Tom Rogers, Library
Trevor Davies, External

What problem was trying to be solved?
It was found that third year students often were at various levels of ability when faced with the challenge of evaluating literature, and it was decided to develop an online tutorial in order to give all students a common grounding.

What was done and what technology was used?
The team involved developed an interactive online resource, called Evaluating Scientific Research Literature tutorial available on Moodle.

The course consists of four modules to help undergraduates in Pharmacy & Pharmacology, Biology & Biochemistry, Natural Sciences, and Chemistry. The first module is an introductory module explaining the different sections of research papers as well as general tips, and the other three are specific for each discipline, explaining how to begin to evaluate a paper and critique data and findings.

Pharmacy & Pharmacology students use the introductory module as part of a mandatory unit in year 1 and the subject-specific module for formative assessment in year 2. Biology & Biochemistry students use it to help them with practical write ups. Overall the students enjoy this resource and find it very helpful.


Technology Showcase

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📥  Case Studies, Event Review

On 19 February, four short presentations took place followed by a poster display. This event showcasing the use of technology within learning and teaching from different staff across the University gave the attendees an opportunity to share and discuss ideas, and was very well received.

"It was great to see the excellent work going on that we can all benefit from."

You can watch a recording of the presentations in case you were unable to attend the event, and read a summary of each of the presentations below.
Annotations on a tablet - Tim Lawrenson
Tim Lawrenson asks students to perform, record and send him a video of an activity in their own time, and then during class time uses a tablet to annotate over still or slow motion clips. This allows the students to see common mistakes, and also have instant feedback on their technique. There is very little problem with technology, however sometimes the filesize of the student videos can be too large for email.

The annotation app used is called Hudl Technique.

Tim Lawrenson discusses flipping his teaching on the BSc Sport and Exercise Science.

App Factory - Keith Brown
Due to a last minute space opening up, Keith Brown stepped up to present his development. He is developing apps for teaching and learning, and has implemented the App-Factory. This is an is an easy to use authoring system that has been used to deliver apps to students. Typically, app content includes slideshows, videos and quizzes. Student evaluation indicates that the apps have been well received by students. There was a great amount of interest in the App Factory both during the event and within feedback for the event.

For further information please see Keith’s blog, and if you are interested in making an app for your course then please email Keith directly at

The App Factory

Student projects - Rob Hyde & Alan Hayes
Final year computer science projects are set by Alan Hayes and Rob Hyde, who is effectively a customer to final year students. Different projects are set as tasks for students to give them some experience in this type of project, and developing something could have a real impact around campus. Example projects include a radio recorder to assist corporate comms, individual room timetables for each teaching space to be displayed outside the door, and a services dashboard for BUCS services.

If you would like to find out more, or suggest a project, please email either Rob Hyde at or Alan Hayes at - Robin Shields
Robin Shields gave a live demonstration of free to use software called, which he has developed himself. Questions at the end were submitted via the attendees' devices and appeared at the front of the room for all to see.

Features of include:

  • embedded media
  • powerpoint import and .pdf export
  • audience response
  • remote control, including annotation

Find out more on the website.

Demonstration of features on


Audio feedback on Moodle for language students

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📥  Case Studies

Staff involved
Asun Solano Torres, Academic Skills & Foreign Language Centre

What problem did you hope to solve?
I hoped to improve feedback to students by providing very detailed feedback which would not have been possible in a written format.

What was done and what technology was used?
Each piece of audio was recorded as a .wav file. An assignment was set up in the course’s Moodle unit to deliver the feedback. Each student was given a mark, a comment was added ‘please download file’ and each student’s .wav audio file was uploaded as a response file within the grading page. Audio Visual can be contacted to lend out voice recorders if needed.

How did students find it?
Students enjoyed the personal aspect of it and appreciated the efforts made and stated that seeing the work that went into providing such feedback motivated them to put more effort into their work, although I didn't feel it engaged them with the learning. I did feed that students particularly benefited from audio feedback on their listening assignment as it was possible to re-state in the target language any elements that had caused difficulties.

How did staff find it?
I planned to do generic audio feedback, rather than individual, since it would have been more manageable within my workload. However, I haven't done it again because of time pressures.

If you would like to provide audio feedback but are unsure how, please contact e-learning. You can also view advice on audio feedback by JISC Digital Media.