Digital playground

TDF Project: the role of technologies when connecting students with external publics

📥  LITEbox Development

Following the award of a Teaching Development Fund (TDF) grant the LITEbox team, in collaboration with the Public Engagement Unit (PEU) and e-Learning team, will be creating new opportunities for staff to explore the benefits of using technology to facilitate engagement with external publics to enrich their teaching.

The aim of the project is 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. The TDF funding will be used to create a community of practice which shares and disseminates ideas to innovate this aspect of research-enriched teaching. To achieve this aim, there will be three phases during which the LITEbox team and student officers will:

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 Faculties/School (x 4) as well as an example from another 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.

Arising from these phases will be a series of dissemination activities that will include:

  • Pre- and post-LITEbox event videos to increase the accessibility and visibility of events and to support the engagement of academic and Professional Services staff in using technology.
  • Production of a data suite of examples of innovation/good practice on the LITEbox blog. This will include case studies, blog entries, podcasts and other material made accessible to staff across the University. These resources will also be hosted on relevant sections of the PEU’s website to enhance visibility.
  • In conjunction with the PEU, LITEbox will hold a ‘Public Engagement Conversation’ to report back project findings.
  • As the Innovation Lab develops, LITEbox will work with the AV team and e-Learning to signpost the provision of a safe, supported environment for all staff to ‘experiment and explore’ new technologies. LITEbox controls an open booking system for this space, making it available for the academic community to trial innovative teaching activities such as video-conferencing and using interactive screens.
  • A short report identifying the barriers, concerns and needs of staff through the workshop evaluations and share findings with relevant Professional Services.
  • Workshop/conference paper at Exchange 2016 and any other relevant internal events.
  • Active promotion of all LITEbox events/activities through existing University channels.
  • LITEbox presentations will also be given to relevant University fora such as Director of Studies’ Forum, Senior Tutors Forum and Faculty/School Learning, Teaching & Quality Committees.
  • Promotion of the resources/outputs through the Bath Course and Bath Scheme.

For those of you who would like a bit more detail please read on below . . .

For the others, if you would like to be involved or have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Dr Jessica Francombe-Webb, and Samantha Wratten



Technology Supporting External Engagement

📥  LITEbox Development

Are you interested in how technology can support engagement with external people and organisations to enrich your teaching? Do you already use technology in this way?

Would you like to share your work and explore new opportunities for research-enriched teaching?

The LITEbox team will be pleased to hear from you – contact Dr Jessica Francombe-Webb, Project Leader (email:


Get involved in our community of engaged practice
Following the award of a Teaching Development Fund (TDF) grant the LITEbox team, in collaboration with the Public Engagement Unit (PEU) and e-Learning team, will be creating new opportunities for staff to explore the benefits of using technology to facilitate engagement with external publics to enrich their teaching . These will include:

  • A series of workshops to explore the opportunities and barriers when using technology to facilitate external engagement in learning and teaching contexts.
  • Creation of an open data suite of examples of innovation/good practice to include case studies, blog entries, podcasts and other materials.
  • A joint PEU/LITEbox ‘Public Engagement Conversation’ to report project findings.
  • A workshop providing space for discussion of findings and innovative practice at the annual ‘Exchange 2016’ event in May.


Commenting on this new project Dr Jessica Francombe-Webb said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded this funding as this will enable us to build on the work of LITEbox so far by introducing a new strand. The TDF funding will specifically enable us to create a community of practice which shares ideas to innovate this particular aspect of research-enriched teaching.”


For this project, the four LITEbox Co-Leaders, Drs Emma Rich, Reader and Jessica Francombe-Webb, Lecturer, Dept for Health, Mr Rob Hyde, AV Service Manager, Ms Sarah Turpin, Head of Academic Skills Resources, Academic Skills Centre are joined by Dr Kyriaki Anagnostopoulou, Head of e-Learning, LTEO and Mr Ed Stevens, Public Engagement Officer, Public Engagement Unit.

Ms Samantha Wratten has been appointed as the new LITEbox Project Officer working alongside current LITEbox Officer, Tim Maulin.

Further information: contact Dr Jessica Francombe-Webb ( or Samantha Wratten (


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.


Skills Training opportunities in Semester 2

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📥  Students' Union

Skills Training Logo
The Students' Union based Skills Training provides a wide range of free workshops delivered by industry professionals, academic staff and specially trained student trainers to provide courses throughout the semester, including:

Of course there are many more courses available which don't relate to technology, so browse the full list of available courses to register your interest in a session.

If you're a student in Bath next year you can become a Student Trainer, where you will receive professional training, develop your skills, and enhance your employability prospects. Find out more on the Skills Training website.


Using tablets and other technology in research-inspired teaching

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📥  LITEbox Event

This event has now taken place, a write up is available including benefits and drawbacks of using the iPad to teach in lectures

Dr Kit Yates is a relatively new lecturer who has been fortunate enough to have some of his research covered by the media. As such, he has become practiced in explaining his research to a lay audience, which has helped to incorporate various aspects of his research into teaching.

In this talk Dr Yates will share his experiences of using the media to publicise research, research enhanced teaching, and also using iPads in class for teaching, and will try to give a live demonstration of the technology. However, he warns that these are only his experiences and will not zealously suggest that what works for him will work for everyone. Come along to learn what has helped Kit, and share your opinions on how an iPad could work for your teaching.

Kit has explored a number of different ways of delivering lectures with various technologies, including the use of an iPad to deliver lectures, which can be particularly helpful for issues such as inclusivity, and reproducibility in teaching. He also been combining the use of the iPad with lecture capture for his own variety of flipped teaching.


LITEbox event: Peer evaluation discussion: Moodle Workshop & WebPA

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📥  LITEbox Event

This event has taken please, please read back the event information or watch a recording of the session

This workshop will inform the participants about the Moodle Workshop facility as used for feedback on essay proposals, and will include a discussion on whether students' feedback comments to each other could/should be graded. The other half of this workshop will talk about the merits and issues of web-based peer assessment, with a demonstration of WebPA and a discussion of the next steps on using the system more widely.

Peer Evaluation can be facilitated within Moodle, and can be used to get students actively involved in exploring a number of different topics at once. For those of you with large cohorts having students assess each other’s formative work has the potential to be a big time-saver.

Moodle Workshop Tool

If you’ve ever worried about how to provide formative feedback to all students on a unit, not just those who email you essay drafts at inconvenient moments, the Moodle Workshop provides a means of doing this at a time that suits you:

It can be used for peer assessment, for normal assessment, or just for getting students to discuss the unit’s content in a structured format. The load of feedback activity can be distributed among students rather than relying solely on staff.

Richard Kamm, Head of Learning and Teaching Quality, School of Management, has been using the Moodle Workshop for this purpose on a final year unit on Privacy Trust and Security in Information Systems for 2 years.


A well known criticism of assessed group work is that each student receives the same mark, regardless of individual performance.  Peer assessment allows students to rate their team member’s contributions.

By using WebPA software to peer assess group work, each student receives an adjusted mark.  Students can conduct this activity using an online form on WebPA where an algorithm processes the scores.  The software also allows teachers to run and mark assessments.

Jeff Barrie currently works in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, teaching aspects of Engineering Design (such as CAD, engineering software and sketching), and supporting group design project activities.

WebPA example, from


Linked Event: Exploring Augmented Reality

📥  Linked Event

Date: Wednesday 27 January 2016
Time: 12.15pm - 2.05pm
Venue: CB 3.6

Please send an email RSVP to Dan White, LTEO to confirm attendance.

During this lunchtime workshop and showcase session, run by LTEO, you will hear from colleagues across the institution about their experiences using augmented reality (AR) and explore how they have used it to support teaching and learning projects.

The talks from the speakers will be followed by a small showcase event where you will be able to interact with the different AR initiatives currently being explored, supporting marketing activities in different Faculties, the annual Images of Research event and location-based AR.

Photo of augmented reality in use

Augmented reality in use
Image by Kippelboy


Audience response systems

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📥  Event Review

Dr Richard Joiner introduced the session, which is available to watch online, by giving the audience an example of an Audience Response System (ARS), otherwise known as an Audience Voting System (AVS) or Electronic Voting System (EVS), in this instance, OMBEA, by asking them to use any mobile device they had with them to participate in answering some sample questions. Participants were able to see what it was like to respond to a question in many different ways, and to see how the responses could be displayed in bar charts, word clouds, etc.

It was mentioned by Richard that he liked to add music behind the questions, helping students feel comfortable to discuss the topic amongst themselves.

Richard linked his motivation for using technology such as audience response systems to getting students to be more active in teaching sessions and how well they learn. Audience response systems encourage students to engage in class by providing short mental breaks within the lecture allowing them to maintain focus, as well as supporting them to apply their recently acquired knowledge together with instant feedback, even in larger classes, to help their learning.

Please read the following to learn about the introduction of an audience response system here in Bath, and their effectiveness more generally.


Different uses for ARSs mentioned

  1. Promote active learning - help students develop a deeper understanding
  2. Formative assessment - to gain a rough understanding of what the students know
  3. Summative assessment - can be challenging and has issues such as registering the clickers, ensuring no cheating, etc.
  4. Interactive (revision) sessions - to lead at the pace of the students
  5. Unit/programme feedback - provides instant feedback with a good chance of high turnout
  6. Data collection - from a large collection of students with a range of experiences


How to use the University's audience response system

You can book the University's audience response system for use in your teaching from the Audio Visual Unit, and receive training on using the system from the e-Learning team.

Image from


Key questions during the session

Have you received any feedback from students?
Students are generally very positive to any form of voting system, but Richard has seen a slightly lower response rate when students use their own devices, possibly because they don’t want to run down their batteries.

Is Nick Kinnie’s project report (on use of ARS) available?
The project is still underway so the report is forthcoming


LITEbox event: 5x5 technology showcase

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📥  LITEbox Event

This event has now happened, please read the write up to find out more about each technology

This event will consist of 4 presentations from staff around campus who each have an interesting or unique use of technology. 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 technology around campus.

Due to a change in circumstances, the last presentation slot will be replaced by a poster exhibition with the theme of showcasing technologies used around campus. There will also be the opportunity on the day to chat to some of the colleagues who have used technology display on these posters.  Posters will include Videoconferencing in class by Wali Aslam, Multimedia message walls by Jess Francombe-Webb and the App Factory by Keith Brown.


Come along to this session to find out more about the following technologies which may be of interest to you, can help develop your teaching practice, and can help to enhance your student's learning experience:

Student projects - Rob Hyde & Alan Hayes
How final year Computer Science undergraduate projects are helping technological developments around campus

Structure visualisation - Mark Weller
Software to allow 3D viewing and manipulation of structures to provide a better alternative to 2D textbooks and lecture slides

Annotations on a tablet - Tim Lawrenson
Annotations over videos on a tablet to provide student feedback - Robin Shields
Interactive online presentations, with audience response and seamless functionality across devices (with video demonstration below)


A flipped teaching toolkit for a quantitative module

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📥  Event Review

Dr Aydin Nassehi began his LITEbox session, available to watch online, by explaining a typical problem with the “standard” classroom approach: students claim to be too busy meaning they often miss lectures, tutorials and out-of-class study time, leading to a lack of learning and lack of understanding of the material. In order to engage the students and create a deeper understanding, Dr Nassehi uses a flipped teaching approach where lectures are much more interactive and allow students to develop their ideas further. In order to assist his approach, he uses the following technologies:

Despite the advantages of flipped teaching, it does come with some disadvantages: student feedback is very mixed, with some students reporting that the academic staff are “not teaching anything”; the teaching approach needs to be continually adjusted according to feedback; and the culture of marks being more important than an understanding of the subject is a barrier for many students.

The student approach to a "standard" classroom approach

The student approach to a "standard" classroom approach

Digitising Tablet

Before the lecture, content must be provided for the students to learn. This can be a collection of anything relevant, from academic papers through to online videos, which are all uploaded to Moodle for easy access. Dr Nassehi produces videos of step-by-step problems specific to his taught modules by using a digitising tablet (costing £50 to £80), and allows the students to work in a self-paced learning environment where they can pause and resume the video as required. This means that no students are sat in lectures confused when the pace is too fast to follow.

Integration of Moodle - Quizzes

In order to ensure students have done the required work before class each week, they are incentivised with a quiz on Moodle worth 1% of the module mark. Quizzes can be automatically marked, and once a question bank is set up, Moodle allows for random value numerical answers and automatic question shuffling in order to ensure students can’t cheat. Moodle also allows for analysis of the students’ marks, showing where they are struggling and which topics they find hard.

It was noted that the content before the lecture must relate to both the quizzes and the assessment objectives, as otherwise students are disheartened spending time learning unrelated material.

LTEO can provide help and guidance on using Moodle for quizzes.

Audience Response System

To engage with a large cohort of students during contact time, Poll Everywhere is used to ask questions based on the content which has already been learnt, either multiple choice, numerical or short phrase submissions – though be prepared for students inputting silly words. It allows anyone with an internet-enabled device to connect, which is much easier logistically than having to hire out a set of 200+ clickers from the University. Poll Everywhere also allows for registration to track user’s progress throughout the semester.

Dr Nassehi uses an audience response system for a variety of reasons, including short numerical based problems in groups, through to marking other class presentations on non-technical presentation aspects. While Poll Everywhere can provide live feedback on whether students need the pace of class to increase or not, this can be challenging when a certain amount of in-class content must be planned in advance.

Alternative similar free software is mQlicker which allows for embedding within PowerPoint and deals with numerical answers as numbers rather than text strings. You can book the University's audience response system for use in your teaching from the Audio Visual Unit, and receive training on using the system from the e-Learning team.

You can find out more information about how to use audience response systems from a LITEbox event write up.

Questions arising during the session

Is flipped teaching more time consuming?

  • To set up the material takes much longer than standard teaching, however once the resources have been set up there is much less work in following years

How do you stop students using their phones in class for non-lecture content?

  • Students are more engaged as they have read the material, which as an added benefit also means the lecturer can discuss topics they enjoy with other informed people
  • Provide interesting material in class sessions so they want to learn
  • You can’t stop those who want to check Facebook, even in “technology free” lectures

How does flipped teaching rank in unit evaluations?

  • When students have to do more work and are taught in a different way to usual, flipped teaching appears worse in unit evaluations
  • You can still use these tools without flipping

Do students have transparency of the class being flipped?

  • From experience, students prefer and rate the class higher if you avoid calling it a flipped class and say this is the way the class has always been taught

If you have any more questions please ask in the comments box below.