LITEbox

Digital playground

LITEbox Event: A flipped teaching toolkit for a quantitative module

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📥  LITEbox Event

A flipped teaching toolkit for a quantitative module (a digitising tablet, screen capture and an audience participation system)

Date: Wednesday 18 November 2015
Time: 12.45pm - 13.45pm
Venue: CB 5.13

Please send an email RSVP to litebox@bath.ac.uk to register your interest.

If you are thinking about 'just-in-time' lecturing for flipped teaching, adding interactivity to your class or, trying self-paced instruction through virtual learning environments, this session may be of interest to you. In this session, innovative e-learning technologies will be showcased that can significantly enhance your teaching practice and student engagement.

Specifically, this session will look at the ways in which interactive learning environments can be created through: the integration of virtual learning environments such as Moodle; audience participation systems; and simple software packages.

Dr Aydin Nassehi is a Mary Tasker award-winning Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His area of expertise is manufacturing; a topic that is often challenging and unpopular with Mechanical Engineering students.

Watch a short video which Aydin has produced himself on the challenges faced when teaching manufacturing to second year students: https://www.dropbox.com/s/mr3cr24k5em1pk6/LiteBox.mp4

Flipped teaching

Extract from Dr Nassehi's video

 

Are you interested in any other LITEbox events? Register your interest with us to keep informed.

 

Linked Event: Managing your online profile

  

📥  Linked Event, Students' Union

Employability skills training: Managing your online profile (Students' Union)

Date: Thursday 3 December 2015
Time: 18:15 - 19:45
Venue: 8W 1.28

Sign up to the event

Skills Training Logo

 
Ever wondered how to avoid the pitfalls of being too "exposed" online? Or wanted to learn about how to profile yourself better through websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter? Through attending this workshop, you will learn how to showcase your talents in the best possible way, as well as considering the scale of your digital footprint – and the impact of this when you start job hunting.

At the end of this session you should be able to distinguish between online professional and social identities, use social media effectively to present a professional online identity and learn how to identify and manage your online digital identity.

Did you know that the Students' Union also provides various technology related skills training including Microsoft Word, Excel and Access?  Have a look for yourself to see what is on offer.

 

LITEbox for students

  

📥  Students' Union

LITEbox logo colour

Whether you are a new student joining the University of Bath this year, or returning student, the LITEbox initiative may be a new concept to you.  If a technology is being used somewhere else on campus to provide a more interesting learning experience, you would want to know about it, wouldn't you? This is where LITEbox comes in.

LITEbox aims to provide a physical and virtual space enabling students and staff to share, learn and develop by using new and innovative technologies in order to provide skills development and share knowledge. A full description of LITEbox's aims can be found here.

Follow us on Twitter @LITEboxBath

The physical space currently consists of two rooms, which are detailed in this blog post, including how to book rooms for group work sessions.

8W 1.28 is a group learning and teaching space equipped with workstations and large digital screens around each table to assist with groupwork. The room can be booked by students in 1-2 hour slots per workstation via workstation bookings and selecting the ****[Workstation] option.

New facility in use for workshops and group discussions.

8W 1.28 facility for group working, workshops and group discussions.

Skills training in the Students' Union will be using this room for some of their sessions, run by trained student skills trainers, to enable a more interactive experience.

Students' thoughts on being taught in the LITEbox space 8W 1.28

Throughout the year LITEbox will also run a series of events where staff and students are encouraged to share technology which they use in an educational environment in order to assist teaching and education. Each event can be hosted by anyone who wishes to contribute to the LITEbox initiative, and does not have to follow a fixed style of a one hour presentation or workshop.

The virtual space is currently this blog, which provides:

  • information relating to LITEbox
  • details of upcoming events which to share technologies or discuss technology
  • write ups of past events with information to learn from, some including panopto recordings
  • a method to share ideas and comments which do not require an event
  • promotion of technology related support services on campus

All technology related shared through LITEbox is contributed by students and staff at the University, so if you use a technology in a way which you think is unique or interesting and would like to share with others get in touch at litebox@bath.ac.uk. If you have any thoughts on anything LITEbox has shared, please leave a comment on the relevant blog post or send an email.

 

New Pro-Vice-Chancellor chairs LITEbox Technology Debate

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📥  LITEbox Event

Date: Thursday 15 October 2015
Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Venue: 8 West 2.5

This event has happened and now has a write up including recording of the event.

The first LITEbox event of this semester starts with Professor Peter Lambert, the University’s new Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching), chairing a panel debate and round-table discussion about learning technologies on Thursday 15 October 2015 from 12.30pm to 1.30pm in 8 West 2.5. All staff are invited to attend.

This event will explore the role of new and existing technologies within three key themes and consider a number of questions. These are:

  • Research-enriched teaching
  • External links and profile
  • Quality and efficiency

Invited panel members for this event will include Dr Emma Rich, Reader, Department for Health; Dr Julie Letchford, Senior Teaching Fellow, Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology; Dr John Troyer, Department for Policy & Social Sciences; and Dr Kyriaki Anagnostopoulou, Head of e-Learning.

Professor Peter Lambert,  Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching)

Professor Peter Lambert, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching)

A keen supporter of the Alumni-funded LITEbox initiative, Professor Peter Lambert said:

“I am delighted to be chairing this event on behalf of the LITEbox team. I believe that developing the University’s use and take-up of new and existing technologies to support the key areas of our teaching and learning is an important aspect of my new role.

"This event is an excellent opportunity to both stimulate discussion, share ideas and gain input from staff to help inform our new Education Strategy for 2016 and beyond. I would encourage all staff with an interest in developing their teaching to attend.”

Are you interested in any other LITEbox events?

Subscription option for LITEbox blog

📥  LITEbox Development

Alongside the Digital, Opinion or Travel Updates blogs, we are pleased to announce that the LITEbox blog is also part of the subscription pilot.  This means that you can now receive email updates from the LITEbox blog as soon as they are released to save the need of checking the blog for new updates.

You can subscribe to new blog posts by using the subscription widget on the right, or to replies on comments when replying to individual posts.

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Audio Visual team offerings

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📥  Campus Services

Comprising of 17 staff the Audio Visual team provide many services across campus. The table below is a brief overview of everything which can be provided, with clickable links to find out more information on each topic.

Equipment

Projects and governance

Research and teaching support

Live events

Equipment loans Building and refurbishment Emergency callout Event assistance
Documentation Systems Meet and greet, and technician on demand Remote communications
Training Licensing IT Support Film production
Maintenance Editing and transcoding
Setup and takedown TV and radio recordings
Lecture capture

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LITEbox physical spaces on campus

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📥  Campus Services

With the new teaching year about to begin, we would like to share a video which was produced on students' opinions on being taught in one of our LITEbox spaces, 8W 1.28.

 

Across campus there are two physical rooms designated as LITEbox spaces: 8W 1.28 which is a group learning and teaching space equipped with workstations and large digital screens; and CB 5.13 which is a computer lab with 48 flip up computers built into 8 workstations.  These two spaces are equipped with state of the art technology in order to assist learning and teaching in a modern environment.

Both 8W 1.28 and CB 5.13 can be booked:

(more…)

 

Videoconferencing & Innovative Teaching in Social Sciences Classrooms

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📥  Event Review

How and why Dr Aslam uses and combination of Skype and Twitter to engage his classes in conversations with students, academics, aid workers and journalists across the world.

The LITEbox seminars continued on Monday 20th July with an engaging event focused on the use of Videoconferencing in Higher Education. The session was led by Dr Wali Aslam a lecturer in the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies who is developing research-led teaching and learning activities that encourage higher-order learning among University of Bath students. Specifically, Dr Aslam presented his experiences of using a blend of Twitter and Skype to organise interactive videoconference sessions with academics, students, aid-workers, social activists and journalists from across the Middle East and Asia. The units discussed in relation to these innovative activities were:

  • PL30881: Contemporary Security Challenges in Asia
  • PL20889: Contemporary Politics of the Middle East

Within the session Dr Aslam discussed that his teaching approach was guided by two interrelated ambitions:

  1. To allow the students to come into contact with a range of individuals across the world to learn from their ‘real world’ experiences of living, working and researching in Asia and the Middle East
  2. To establish a research agenda and contribute to the literature around the use of videoconferencing in teaching.

In other words, the key intended learning outcome for the teaching side was to enhance the students’ inter-cultural understanding of policy and governance beyond European contexts through technology. On the other hand, the key research outcome was to contribute to the significant lacuna within the literature concerning this topic.

Dr Aslam shared a number of case studies in order to demonstrate some of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of utilising Skype and Twitter and this generated considerable discussion amongst the attendees as well as on Twitter (using #LITEboxWali).

Aslam-SWOT-analysis

A SWOT analysis of using Twitter and Skype during teaching

Dr Aslam’s experiences have demonstrated that technology-enabled learning through videoconferencing and Twitter is able to bring students closer to the topics and issues they are studying by bridging “inter-cultural blindness” and learning from the everyday experiences of those who are impacted by international security and governance issues. Furthermore, the students also benefitted from extended dialogue beyond the class time as Dr Aslam noted that some students had engaged in longer-term conversations and established networks with certain associations via Twitter. Similarly @Boingkids and @Julia_Sargent tweeted:

@Boingkids: "our research at Brookes into this is finding significant increases in engagement outside of lectures when these technologies are incorporated into the pedagogy of the modules"

@Julia_Sargent: "Benefits:engaging with scholars all over the world, personal approach but also disseminating knowledge to others, flexible. disadv-'public' space(?)certain level of technological literacy/engagement,how can you use the knowledge gained ethically?"

Although @Julia_Sargent noted the flexibility of this approach Dr Aslam also cautioned about the need for lecturer interaction and lecturer-led discussion, particularly about the ethics of online communication when discussing sensitive issues such as global conflicts and complex emergencies. Cultural sensitivities in relation to shame, fear and guilt need to be contended with and the lecturer must moderate the sessions carefully to ensure that the intended learning outcomes are met, the students have adequate knowledge of the contexts they are entering and that they have the competence and confidence to engage with the learning technologies. Technologies in this instance are not a means to an end, rather they are integral part of the learning process capable of putting theoretical concepts and lecture material ‘into action.’

Dr Aslam is in the process of analysing the data he has collected from his students to ascertain the benefits and drawbacks of videoconferencing in terms of students’ higher-order learning. Any comments, observations or experiences would be warmly welcomed using #LITEboxWali on Twitter or commenting below.

Here are some photos taken during a taught class by Dr Aslam showing how students interact with guest speakers by using Twitter and Skype:

Riddle me this: What is a technology?

  

📥  Event Review

On Monday 6th July colleagues from across the University joined Dr John Troyer to discuss: What is Technology? This event questioned our rationale for relying on digital technologies within our research and teaching.

Watch a short video on Dr Troyer discussing his thoughts on what a technology in the classroom is.

Dr Troyer also talks about why he doesn't use presentation software in the classroom.

Understanding what constitutes technology is an interesting historical question but increasingly technology has become almost synonymous with computers and digitality. Dr Troyer began his discussion with a teaching anecdote in which he asked his 1st year undergraduates to show him a technology. As expected the majority reached for their mobile phones, laptops or tablets, leaving him to question them on the role and importance of their pens, their glasses, contact lenses etc.

Within the first half of the presentation Dr Troyer explored and critiqued technological determinism, challenging the divide that often emerges between technology and humans and calling for more nuanced understandings about socio-technological relationships. Drawing from the work of Raymond Williams (1989), Dr Troyer described some of the criticisms of technological determinism as it does not take into consideration the way that humans use technology and the relationship between society and technology: the ‘moment’ of any new technology is a ‘moment’ of choice.

Dr John Troyer during his presentation

Dr John Troyer during his presentation

Following this, and informed by this scholarly background, the focus shifted to thinking about not only what is technologically possible but also what is desirable and the implications of this for lecturing. Through a case study of his own teaching without powerpoint, Dr Troyer discussed the merits and challenges of this approach. Student feedback and unit evaluation although favourable, did raise some pertinent issues that were followed up within a wider group discussion.

The case study then, like much of the presentation, was not about the presence or absence of technology but rather explored the way that the current focus on digital and computer-based technology somewhat takes for granted other learning technologies.

 

A full recording of the discussion is here: https://vimeo.com/133962092

If you are interesting in reading more on this topic, have a look at these two articles:

The Conversation: Let's ban PowerPoint in lectures – it makes students more stupid and professors more boring

Business Insider: Universities should ban PowerPoint

 

Using Moodle for double blind marking – good for students and academics?

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📥  Event Review

Last month, 15 colleagues attended this event delivered by Dr Steve Cayzer, Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The full session is available to view online; please take a look if you would like to refresh your memory or to catch up with the event.

For information on how to use Moodle for double blind marking, have a look at Steve's slides.

Background and reasons behind the the Department of Mechanical Engineering exploring the use of Moodle for double blind marking


Lessons learnt from exploring the use of Moodle for double blind marking, producing a set of requirements.

Steve gave an interesting and informative talk about how to use Moodle effectively for double blind marking, discussing the options available to academic and support staff, the advantages and the problems, concluding that the rubric and criteria based methods were both useful tools.

Steve asked the audience to participate in discussing what usabilities would be useful additions to Moodle – examples of some of the suggestions are below. These suggestions have been fed back to the e-learning team:

  • Alert of high discrepancies between markers
  • Can Moodle help automate the protocol for disagreements
  • Single student upload (students enter assignments only once)
  • Direct upload to SAMIS once convenor agrees mark
  • Can only see 'your' students (ie workflow). It is clear for which students you are supervisor (1st marker) and for which you are assessor (2nd marker)
  • You can only enter 'your own' marks
  • Possible to have range of marks and place for comments.
  • Export to Excel/CSV for moderation
  • Option for students to see final/average mark (without knowing individual marks)
  • See overall mark before Moodle saves it
  • Parallel (ie 1st/2nd marker) workflows
  • Automatic allocation of second marker with notification
  • Criterion marking - comments against each criterion (in criteria based marking)

If you have any experiences which you would like to share then please leave a comment or get in touch by emailing us.