Digital playground

Tagged: Discussion

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


LITEbox event: Audience response systems

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📥  LITEbox Event

This event has now happened, there is a write up with tips on using audience response systems.

Following the interest in Audience Response Systems (ARS) at the recent Technology panel debate, we are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a session allowing staff to gain an understanding of the different uses of ARS and best practice methods.

The session will be led by:
- Dr Richard Joiner, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology
who will be joined by:
- Mrs Deborah Lewis, Senior Teaching Fellow, School of Management
- Professor Nick Kinnie, Associate Dean (Undergraduate Taught Students), School of Management.

This event will consist of a talk that will share experiences and different uses for audience response systems, including the practical uses of using them for assessments. This will then be followed by an interactive discussion with participants to enable a wider sharing of experiences from across the institution and to explore issues, challenges and potential solutions arising from this technology.

Image from


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 to help their learning.

There is a solid evidence base for using audience response systems in teaching. They engage students actively to learn new material by building upon their existing knowledge, which has been shown to provide an increased understanding of material taught in class compared to a control group (Lantz and Stawiski, 2014).

Following the introduction of an ARS for a final year Computer Science unit at Bath (Davenport, J., Hayes, A. and Parmar, N. R., 2009), some clear  and positive conclusions were drawn including:

  • In the appropriate context, it is possible to convert relatively sceptical lecturers into users of this system
  • The lecturer can gauge levels of misapprehension in a way that might be hard otherwise
  • Audience response systems help students with deeper points than factual knowledge
  • The students like it.


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.


Davenport, J., Hayes, A. and Parmar, N. R. (2009). The use of an Electronic Voting System to enhance student feedback
Lantz, M. E., & Stawiski, A. (2014). Effectiveness of clickers: Effect of feedback and the timing of questions on learning. Computers in Human Behavior.


Technology Panel Debate

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📥  Event Review

The first LITEbox event of the new semester kicked off on 15 October with Professor Peter Lambert, the University's recently appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching), chairing a debate on the uses of new and existing technologies to a packed lecture theatre. A full recording of the session is available at the bottom of the page.

After a brief introduction from the Chair, each of the five panel members also gave a short introduction about themselves before moving on to the three main topics. The panel comprised:

  • Dr John Troyer, Lecturer, Department for Policy & Social Sciences
  • Dr Emma Rich, Reader, Department for Health, LITEbox Project Co-leader
  • Professor Nick Kinnie, Associate Dean (Undergraduate Taught Students), School of Management
  • Dr Kyriaki Anagnostopoulou, Head of e-Learning, Learning & Teaching Enhancement Office
  • Dr Julie Letchford, Senior Teaching Fellow, Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology

Commenting on the event, Professor Lambert said:

"I very much enjoyed chairing such a well-attended and dynamic event, particularly with such a mixed audience of both academic and Professional Services staff from across the University. I am delighted that LITEbox, as an institution-wide initiative, is beginning to create a community of practice within which staff can share, learn and develop their experiences of new and existing technologies. This early discussion has provided some useful pointers for the development of the Education Strategy for 2016 and beyond."

Panel members during the debate

Panel members during the debate


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?

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:

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


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: