Digital playground

How engaging is your teaching?

📥  Uncategorized


As part of a LITEbox project, funded by the University's Teaching Development Fund (TDF), exploring the role that new and existing technologies can play in supporting teaching and learning techniques in the classroom that enable students to engage with the public and other communities, an exciting series of workshops have been scheduled. You are invited to register for workshop #1 and #2 to secure yourself a place.

Workshop #1 (Wednesday 14 December 2016 - 12.15-13.05 pm - CB 4.8): Dr Fran Laughton, Director of Teaching & Resources, Dept. of Physics -  “Developing engaged curricula: The challenges of technology and reflexivity”.

Fran will give a 30-minute presentation exploring her approach to developing and delivering engaged curricula for Physics students. This presentation will be followed by group discussion, to be chaired by Dr Jessica Francombe-Webb, LITEbox Project Leader,  considering issues such as:

  • how students find engaging with technology
  • levels of confidence in using technology as a teacher
  • pedagogic benefits arising from this kind of engaged teaching
  • potential challenges of using technology in this way.

Register for Fran's workshop here.

Workshop #2 (Wednesday 8 February 2017 14:15 - 15:05 pm - venue to be confirmed): Dr Darragh McGee, Lecturer, Dept. for Health -  “Developing engaged curricula: Film as (affective) critical pedagogy

Darragh will give a presentation focusing on the relationship with the filmmaker and how the integration of film into the curricula has increased the engagement of his students and added pedagogic value to learning and teaching.

Register for Darragh's workshop here.

There will be two further workshops as part of this series taking place in March and April next year. Further details will be published in due course.

This series of workshops represents Phase 2 of this fascinating project, which has been funded to explore and disseminate innovative engagement with new and existing technologies across the University that create opportunities for students and external publics (e.g. national/international scholars, third sector organisations, businesses, local and national government, peers) to engage with one another in diverse ways that enhance the learning experience.

Funded by TDF, this project builds on the work of the Alumni-funded University-wide initiative LITEbox and is seeking to share and disseminate ideas to innovate this aspect of research-enriched teaching.

The project has three phases, as follows:

  • Phase 1: map current use of technology to connect students with external publics.
  • Phase 2: identify examples of good practice across the institution and talk to staff about their experiences. A series of ‘engaged’ workshops will be co-convened to share experiences of staff, students and external publics, drawing on experiences across the University (x 3) as well as an example external to the university (x 1 webinar).
  • Phase 3: work in collaboration with the e-Learning Team, AV, the Public Engagement Unit and a student focus group, to evaluate and review these practices and develop a series of easily accessible online resources. This will include an online ‘hub’ of data e.g. blog posts, podcasts, case studies and online videos.

The LITEbox team hopes you can join us for one or more of these workshops.

Further information: Dr Jessica Francombe-Webb, LITEbox Project Leader or Samantha Wratten, TDF Project Officer.






LITEbox: join our 5x5 event

📥  Uncategorized


LITEbox, a University-wide initiative exploring new and existing learning technologies generously supported by the Alumni Fund, starts the new academic year with an exciting 5 x 5 lunchtime event for all staff interested in gaining quick insight into some useful tools and technologies to support learning and teaching.

You can register now for this event taking place on Wednesday 19 October 2016 at 1.15pm, Chancellors’ Building 4.16.

Talking about LITEbox in the context of his recent appointment as Academic Director for the University’s new Centre for Learning & Teaching, Professor Andrew Heath said:

“The LITEbox initiative has started to build a cross-University community of practice that we can now build on to continue developing our capability to exploit new and existing technologies to enhance our learning and teaching. I would encourage staff to attend LITEbox events as they provide an excellent opportunity to learn about how to use technology in teaching and share examples of innovation and experience."

Hosted by LITEbox Project Leader and University’s AV Service Manager, Rob Hyde, this session will comprise five colleagues from academic departments and the Library  - Dr James Betts, Reader, Dept. for Health, Dr Momna Hejmadi, Senior Teaching Fellow, Dept. of Biology & Biochemistry, Dr Carmelo Herdes Moreno, Lecturer, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Dr Mirella Di Lorenzo, Lecturer, Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Mr David Stacey, Faculty Librarian for Engineering & Design with Ms Lis Wallace, Information Librarian, Library. Each speaker will be giving a five-minute presentation on their experience of using a range of different technological tools, including:

• Using Apps for student feedback;
• Benefits and challenges of using Moodle for online assessments;
• Presentational tools for enhancing learning and teaching.

Each presentation will include time for questions and further discussion. The LITEbox team hopes you will be able to join them for this exciting event.

Further information email the LITEbox team


Tech-facilitated public engagement in teaching: Mapping our findings so far

📥  LITEbox Development

As part of Phase 2 of the LITEbox/TDF project ‘The role of technologies when connecting students with external publics’, I found myself on a train to Telford with team leader Jess Francombe-Webb and Ed Stevens from the Public Engagement Unit. We were meeting with Cath Bonner, an external public engagement mapping expert, at the Ironbridge Gorge museum. Cath had previously worked with the museum to produce a mapping tool for their visitors, so it was the perfect location to inspire us to produce our own map of our project so far.

As mentioned in a previous blog post, Phase 1 of the project involved identifying and mapping examples of how academics across the University are using technology to connect their students to external publics. Not only was Cath going to help us map these findings, but she will also host a webinar as part of Phase 2; a series of workshops to showcase the best practices we have unearthed across the University.

On the train journey to Telford, we completed several tasks Cath had set us. The tasks inspired us to begin thinking about the project and the data we have collected so far in different ways, for example by creating a metaphor and a cultural web for our data. After going through the work we had produced, Cath asked us what we instinctually felt would be the best way to map our findings. It became apparent that the tasks had highlighted many different aspects of the project, and that mapping the depth and scope of the project on a single, simple-to-navigate map was going to be a challenge.

We were able to break down our findings into four stages: why, who, what, and how; each influenced by the process that came before. Once we had established these stages, we needed to produce a visual representation on which to map them. Thinking about Bath landmarks, and what in particular makes the University of Bath stand out, we decided to base our map around the town, the University, and the hill that connects the two. Starting at the bottom, we embedded our different motivations (the ‘whys’) in the River Avon, toying with the slogan ‘have you dipped your toes in the water?’ Travelling up the hill are questions relating to the ‘who’ and the ‘what’- providing users with some things to think about when generating a new public engagement project. At the top of the hill sits the University. Connecting the town to the University by way of the hill is a transformed version of the public engagement pyramid. The three points- transmit, receive, and collaborate- are instead presented on an infinity symbol. Transmit is located in town, representing academics visiting publics to transmit their knowledge. Receive is located at the University, representing inviting publics to the University to pass on their knowledge and experiences to the receiving students. Finally, collaborate is located at the midpoint on the hill- halfway between the town and the University- to represent collaborative working in which both publics and academics contribute their knowledge and expertise. At each point we plan to embed our case studies, representing good practice of each type of technology-facilitated public engagement in teaching here at the University of Bath.

Our time with Cath was extremely useful in getting us to think about the project in different ways. Although the initial purpose was to map our findings in a more creative way, we are so pleased with what we have produced that we are hoping to develop it further into an unexpected but additional output of the project. Funding dependent, we are hoping to develop the ‘map’ into a self-diagnostic tool to help staff and students identify where their previous experiences with public engagement place them, and to guide them through the thought process underlying the development of new ideas for engaging students with external publics using technologies.


Cath’s details

Cath Bonner: Training Manager at Ax-Stream

UXD Consultants and Approved Axure Training & Support Partner



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