Digital playground

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

  , , , ,

📥  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.
LITEbox logo


New Technology Demonstration

📥  New Technology

On Wednesday 13 May 2015, the AV Unit have arranged for Displaynote to come along to demonstrate some of their new products.

Their primary product is DisplayNote itself, which claims to offer the following features:


The second is Swoodle, which is a collaboration product.

The session will be in 6E 2.1 from 10:30 to 11:30 if you would like to come and look at their technologies.



The App Factory Project


📥  New Technology

Speaking to my Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) colleagues after the LITEbox project meeting last week, we all relished the opportunity to better disseminate our work and to discover the other work being undertaken across the university. Since that meeting I've met with some of the other participants and been persuaded to disseminate something about my project - the App Factory. Both the LITEbox project and The App Factory project have received grants from the Alumni Fund, and are effectively running alongside each other.

The App Factory Project


So far, the App Factory has taken about two and a half years, and in total has received about £25K in funding. This includes two grants from the Teaching Development Fund, one grant from the Faculty of Science Teaching Development Fund, and the latest grant from the Alumni Fund. The current system can be used to both author and deliver apps across campus. This is for iOS and Android.

The system comprises of two main parts - the App Factory and the App Centre.

The App Factory aims to deliver an easy way to make an app for iOS and Android that can be shared in the App-Centre. The software is under development with small-scale rollout planned for 2015 with a view to a more wider-scale rollout in 2016.

The App-Centre is a private app-store that is restricted to staff and students at the university, and provides a distribution mechanism for apps created using the App-Factory. The implementation is a website that is viewed in a browser and allows the user to install apps on on their mobile phone or tablet. Currently under development, the system has been trialled with Pharmacy and Pharmacology students with some success and is starting to be used by other departments in the university. I've also had interest from other universities who wish to implement a similar campus-wide system.

The project is recognised by JISC in their 2015 edition of the Mobile Learning Infokit, and has also been mentioned in the Times Higher, and features in the latest edition (March 2015) of the SEDA Magazine.

Currently, I'm running a Facebook campaign and competition in collaboration with the Students Union. The idea is to discover the types of apps that students want. We are using a Crowd-Source Funding Platform but without the funding part - basically students have the opportunity to post app-ideas and other students can vote for their favourite ideas. I've undertaken to implement the winning app for both iOS and Android, and to make this available to all students. There has been a fantastic response so far, and we have been running less than a week!. Apart from anything else, it is such good fun to get involved with students and to try to get into their mindset.  I must thank my Faculty TEL colleagues across campus for their support with this endeavour: Rachel Applegate, Geraldine Jones, Tracey Madden, Yvonne Moore, Paul Pinkney and Kevin Renfew. Also Tom Rogers in the Library who helped produce the posters, and the brilliant SU team of course!

Once the campaign is finished, we will have a clear idea of what students really want in terms of apps, and the next thing will be to employ students to build apps over the summer.

It seems to me that the LITEbox project will be successful if people contribute and collaborate. I also welcome collaboration - if you are interested in creating apps for teaching, learning, research or anything else, please drop me a line on




LITEbox set to launch

📥  LITEbox Development

A new and exciting initiative, LITEbox, is set to launch on Wednesday 6 May 2015. Supported by the Alumni Fund with two years initial funding, LITEbox (Learning Innovation Technology Environment) is aiming to provide opportunities for staff and students to learn, share, explore and develop new and existing technologies for learning, teaching and research.

The LITEbox launch, which will be streamed live to University desktops at 1.45 pm, will provide an overview of the initiative and present some examples of the types of activities that LITEbox will be supporting over the next two years together with an initial programme of monthly activities.

LITEbox has three key aims which are:

Aim 1 - Space and Technology Development: making the best use of facilities and systems

Aim 2 - Skills Development: equipping students and staff with digital skills for learning, teaching, and research

Aim 3 - Knowledge Exchange: developing Visual/Digital Methods for Teaching and Research

The LITEbox launch will also showcase some new, leading-edge technology called VIA Collage, due to be installed in the two LITEbox spaces in the coming month in addition to some examples of how staff and students are using technology to support and enhance teaching, research and skills development across the University. VIA Collage enables the creation of a virtual collaborative learning and teaching space allowing any user with a laptop or mobile device to view, edit and comment on documents real time, share files and chat with individuals or multiple participants simultaneously. VIA Collage is the only wireless solution that can show six user screens on a single main display in addition to enabling users to view the main display on their own device.

8 West 1.28


The LITEbox team, led by Rob Hyde, Audio Visual Service Manager, and Dr Jessica Francombe-Webb, Lecturer, Department for Health, has designated two campus spaces for LITEbox activities. Chancellors' Building 5.13, a 50-seater PC laboratory, and 8 West 1.28, a collaborative group working space with six work zones. There are further plans in progress to secure a third space for the creation of an Innovation Lab for staff development. A new LITEbox Officer, MEng student Tim Maulin, has been appointed and will take up post at the end of April. Tim will be supporting the LITEbox team to promote the initiative and act as an interface with the student community.

In advance of the LITEbox launch on 6 May, Professor Bernie Morley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching) said:

"This is an extremely timely initiative and one that offers the whole institution significant opportunities to explore the potential that technology offers to enhance every aspect of our learning, teaching and research. The LITEbox team is focused on supporting staff and students to learn and share new and existing technology-related activities, which will be critical if the University is to retain competitive advantage in an increasingly tough climate. I will be taking great interest in LITEbox developments and welcome this initiative to help push our thinking and understanding of technology forward. I would encourage everyone to get involved over the coming months."

Also supporting LITEbox, Ian Robinson, Chief Executive, Students' Union said:

"Providing our student community with enhanced opportunities to develop their digital skills and explore and experiment with new and existing technologies will, inevitably, aid their future employability. Increasingly, students are having to undertake group work, group presentations and projects as part of their programmes and creating more supported learning spaces and opportunities for them to learn from each other is a very positive development. The Students' Union is looking forward to working in partnership with the LITEbox team over the next two years."


Read more about LITEbox