Digital playground

LITEbox Event: Videoconferencing and innovative teaching in social sciences classrooms

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📥  LITEbox Event

This event has finished and there is a write up available to read

Dr Aslam has been 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. See below for photos taken during these sessions. The purpose of this activity has been to enable students to learn first-hand about a number of political and security issues in those regions by interacting with those living there. This has also helped students learn about a number of political and security issues concerning the two regions studied on these courses.

Within this seminar Dr Wali Aslam will discuss his utilisation of the two learning technologies within two of his recent courses and introduce some preliminary data that explores the impact of this technology enhanced teaching.  This will be followed by small group discussion focused on the potential cross-institutional deployment of Twitter and Skype and ways to enhance engagement with learning technologies.

Click the links to see the Twitter discussions for the two courses mentioned above:

Why not join the discussion of this event by tweeting in advance your own thoughts, comments, questions using #LITEboxWali? View the discussion here

Dr Aslam’s research lies at the crossroads of International Relations theory, international (particularly Asian) security and United States foreign policy. His more recent research has focused on United States foreign policy for the AfPak region and on Asian security. Some of his other research projects include employing the theoretical perspectives of the English School and Constructivism to analyse the American drone strikes in Pakistan.

The following video discusses 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.


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

LITEbox Event: Riddle me this: what is a technology?

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📥  LITEbox Event

This event has already happened, please read the write up which includes a recording.



Across the Higher Education sector there appears to be shared agreement about the value of technology to enhance student experience and to promote creative teaching environments. Learning technologies such as PowerPoint, virtual learning environments such as Moodle and e-learning platforms such as twitter are now freely available and commonplace within Higher Education. Some might say that the use of technology-enhanced teaching has become synonymous with innovation, but has this led to the deployment of technology for technology’s sake? Have we become over reliant on technology and in particular digital technology as technology par excellence?

During this seminar Dr John Troyer will discuss the theoretical and methodological role of technology within his research and the way that this has shaped his use of technology within his undergraduate teaching. He will draw on his teaching experience as a case study through which to discuss the rise of digital technology, the implication for student engagement and his attempts to avoid techno-determinism within his practices. Within the seminar he will challenge the taken for granted assumption that technology, in the form of digital technology, is inherently beneficial for students and teachers as well as wider society.

Using e-portfolios to enhance the student experience

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📥  Event Review

Last month, 25 colleagues attended the first LITEbox event, Getting started with e-portfolios. It is well known that e-portfolios are becoming increasingly popular at the University of Bath. They are a powerful tool which enables students to reflect on their own learning, highlighting the improvement of skills which students are developing over time. During the event, we were joined by two colleagues who were keen to share their experiences of using e-portfolios to enhance the student learning experience.



Embedding ‘serious’ games in the curriculum

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📥  Event Review

Embedding ‘serious’ games in the curriculum: an aide to active learning?


Please watch back a recording of the event for further information.


Hannah discusses using the simulation game Democracy 2 with students working in a special technology enabled group-work room.

The rationale for embedding serious simulation games into the teaching of Social Policy.

There is great potential for serious games to facilitate active learning, particularly in courses that are strongly theory-led and where traditional teaching methods may reinforce students’ feelings of detachment from the subject matter.

This workshop explored using serious games to:

  • facilitate active learning in the classroom
  • share their own experience of using similar technology-enabled aides to teaching
  • discuss potential applications for serious games to support their students’ needs
  • identify what resources are needed to realise the benefits of these aides to learning and teaching more widely across the University.

Dr Hannah Durrant is the University of Bath's Institute for Policy Research Co-ordinator, who is seeking to engage with colleagues across the University with an interest in technology enhanced learning and teaching. Previously, Hannah was Teaching Fellow in Social and Policy Sciences, and developed her interest in using serious games in learning and teaching as a result of the encouragement of other tirelessly creative and committed academics in the department.


LITEbox summer events programme

📥  LITEbox Development, LITEbox Event

As part of the LITEbox initiative launched on 6 May 2015, a series of LITEbox events has been announced.  The current series has also been posted at the bottom of this blog post.

The main aim of the LITEbox events is to provide opportunities for all staff and students to learn, share and develop using new and existing technologies. These events are the first of many, and will run over the summer period with further events for the next academic year being advertised at a later date.



LITEbox Event: Using Moodle for double blind marking

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📥  LITEbox Event

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

Date: Tuesday 30 June 2015
Time: 1.15pm - 2.05pm
Venue: 8 West 1.28

Please send an email RSVP to to confirm your attendance

In theory Moodle makes double blind marking rigorous, effective and painless. But what happens when the Moodle capability is unleashed on a large number of academics? In this discussion Steve Cayzer will report on such an experiment: the MSc Projects in Mechanical Engineering. Having tried this already with a large group of academics, the session will cover all aspects including the good, the bad and the ugly.

The session is intended to be highly interactive, seeking your feedback on how to use our resources to make double blind marking better for both students and academic staff.

Dr Steve Cayzer is a Senior Teaching Fellow in Mechanical Engineering. He is the Director of Studies for four Postgraduate programmes, and has been convenor for more units than is wholly respectable. Steve is enthusiastic about any innovation that makes teaching and learning more effective. He is also a leader on one of the University MOOCs, “Make an Impact”.


Further Information:

Steve's event was very successfully completed - and the session is now available to catch up:



Linked Event: Learning and Teaching with Simulation Games and Role Play: drawing on expertise in Politics and Social Sciences

📥  Linked Event

Date: Thursday 11th June

Time: 10.00am - 11.30am

Venue: 1WN 2.4

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences have an event in a few weeks time:

Dr Simon Usherwood (Surrey) will be running a workshop that explores and explains how you can use simulation games and role plays in your classroom teaching. Dealing with issues including how to design your own simulation game and maximise the benefits of this pedagogy, the workshop will equip you with all the necessary tools to bring something new to your classroom, as well as giving you an opportunity to play a couple of simulation games yourself.

Simon will draw on his extensive experience on using and writing about simulation games, which he has used with a wide range of student groups. Together with his wider expertise in learning & teaching, he is well-placed to discuss how simulations can form an integrated part of an enriched learning environment for students. More information about his work can be found at

Refreshments provided.

Please contact Hannah Cook <> to book a place.


What is LITEbox?

📥  LITEbox Development

LITEbox is a physical and virtual space set up to enable staff and students to learn, share and develop using new and existing technologies.

During the next two years, the LITEbox initiative will create a wide range of opportunities for staff and students to:

  • engage with technology in the contexts of learning, teaching and research through a programme of events, workshops and guest lectures from internal and external speakers
  • develop their skills in using a wide range of different technologies in the LITEbox spaces
  • learn more about the innovative approaches that University staff and students are currently taking in all aspects of their University life.
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