LITEbox

Digital playground

Tagged: Students

Faculty of Engineering & Design TEL Reflections

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📥  LITEbox Development

This post has been written jointly by Andrew Heath (Associate Dean, Learning & Teaching), and Rachel Applegate and Yvonne Moore (Faculty Learning Technologists)

 

The Faculty of Engineering and Design held its first Technology Enhanced Learning event in March. It was a great chance to hear examples of good practice from staff. We decided that a short (50 minute) session was the best for busy staff with a few very short presentations. A few key themes emerged:

  • How to encourage and manage interactions with large cohorts of students
  • Streamlining assessment practices and providing timely feedback for large cohorts was another key topic
  • Helping students to engage with external publics such as professionals in industry was also of interest.

It became clear that these topics relate to the emerging strands in the forthcoming University Education Strategy, and within this context, the Faculty is considering how to increase and improve postgraduate provision.

The presentations from the event highlighted ways in which technology can be used to facilitate large group activities, enabling students to communicate and collaborate and be assessed.

The four presentations of learning and teaching activity were:

  • Moodle – for online MCQ assessment
  • Lino-it – for sharing views anonymously
  • Audience Response System – for interactive question and answer sessions in class
  • Re:View (Panopto) student presentations – for developing employability skills.

Find out more about each of the presentation topics in the event write-up (includes a recording of the event).

It was helpful that each presenter gave a realistic view of the activities in terms of perceived success as well as barriers they faced along the way and what could be done to overcome these in future. The discussion at the end of the session identified that others could benefit from the presenters’ experiences. This sharing of good practice is key to promoting excellence in learning and teaching. It also highlighted to the Faculty Learning Technologists that there are developments going on that are quietly happening without any support from them. This opens up questions about efficiency and sharing good practice that they hope to address in the future.

The event was well attended and positively received and we’re already in the process of planning the next one, focussing on assessment and feedback. A huge thanks to the presenters, Jos Darling, Marcelle McManus, Mirella Di Lorenzo and Aydin Nassehi. Further thanks to Jos Darling (Director of Teaching, Mechanical Engineering) who also organised the event, along with Rachel Applegate (FED Learning Technologist).

 

Using Voicethread to make the most of student authored online presentations

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📥  Event Review

This session on using student authored online presentations was presented by Dr Felia Allum and Dr Rita Chawla-Duggan, and facilitated by Geraldine Jones. Both presenters use Voicethread as the presentation software, as it is free and intuitive to use. Recordings for each slide/image/video are separate to each other so no complex editing needs to take place. You can watch a recording of the event to catch up.

Rita Chawla-Duggan's use of student authored online presentations

Felia Allum's use of student authored online presentations

 

Benefits of using student authored online presentations

  • Can engage with relevant people from all around the world
  • Allows seminar time to be used for active learning rather than watching other students present
  • Students can continually develop their language skills by hearing their own voices and repeating presentations until they are happy with what they have produced
  • Feedback from peers is much appreciated by the students
  • Builds the self confidence of those who may not like to perform a face to face presentation in front of a group
  • Useful skill to learn as now many job interviews are online

 

Event write up

Rita started the event by explaining how students can benefit from these presentations by linking theory with observed practice from a mini placement experience. A large benefit of these presentations in the Department of Education is that students are able to engage with teachers in professional practice locally and around the world. Observations and data gained through virtual school visits are presented via Voicethread. Then feedback is offered via Voicethread from peers and the teachers involved. Rita showed some examples of presentations which students had created using Voicethread. Two first year students then gave their opinions and reflections on using this software, including how they have developed their analytical and research skills.

Felia then presented reasons why she uses these online presentations, again with Voicethread, focusing on how seminar time is freed up for more engaging face to face activities. Felia noted that this does mean harder work for the seminar leader, as activities have to be carefully planned rather than just listening to and marking presentations. There is an added benefit of confidence building for both international students being able to rehearse their English language until they are satisfied, and native English speakers being able to practice and listen back to themselves when presenting in a foreign language.

Please be aware that even though the privacy of each video on Voicethread can be change, they are uploaded outside of single sign on so students have to be made aware of copyright issues and how to source and attribute materials available under creative commons licences.

 

Questions and answers

What is the student feedback?

They find these presentations less stressful, but they still need to develop their real presentation skills so that needs to be taught elsewhere on the course. The more shy students tend to interact more with these presentations. As mentioned before, the international students really do appreciate being able to hear their own English and repeat it a few times until they are happy with their results.

Are there any barriers to students using this technology, and if so do you have tips to help overcome these?Geraldine, E-Learning Officer, runs a short induction for students with examples of how the software works, provides a digital guide on Moodle. In addition there are 'how to' videos on the Voicethread website. As such there have been no issues or problems with students creating presentations.
Students can use any computer to create their presentations, including those on campus. Headphones with microphones are offered for those who need them, generally only one or two students a year borrow them.

Do you provide a structure for students to follow, and in there generally less of a format when students create online presentations?
The academic guidelines are similar to face to face presentations in that students still need to demonstrate their understanding of concepts, including readings and analysis. The assessment criteria remain the same, and sometimes the students can get very creative in what they produce. A slide limit (10) and a time limit (not more than 10 minutes) helps to keep the presentations focussed

Do peers have to look at each other's work?
Felia responded. Yes but sometimes they don't comment at all when looking at the work of others, but now they are being encouraged to make a comment at the end just to say that they have read and understood the presentation. This means that students are much better prepared for seminars.

Is Voicethread free to use or licenced to the University?
It is free to use software, and anyone can sign up for a free account. It was chosen for this reason as well as being very intuitive to use.

Are there any privacy issues?
Each presentation is given a secret URL, and the students post these to a closed Moodle group. By default the presentations are private to the author. You have to explicitly share the presentation in Voicethread so that others with the link can view and comment.

 

LITEbox event: Making the most of student authored online presentations

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📥  LITEbox Event

Date: Thursday 21st April 2016
Time: 1.15pm - 2.05pm
Venue: 8W 2.34

Please confirm attendance by emailing litebox@bath.ac.uk.

Student presentations provide excellent learning opportunities for helping synthesise course concepts and succinctly communicating ideas to an audience. Online presentations expand these learning opportunities by offering the potential to reach new audiences, gain richer feedback as well as freeing up seminar time for more in depth face to face activities. This workshop explores different ways in which student generated online presentations can be used to enhance teaching and learning in different contexts.

During the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to experiment with using Voicethread and work together to design learning activities pertinent to their students’ needs that embed an online presentations in order to collectively appraise and establish contexts of use for student authored online presentations.

The workshop will be facilitated by the following staff:

  • Dr Felia Allum, Lecturer, Dept of Politics, Languages & International Studies, has been using student authored online presentations as a precursor to highly interactive and engaging undergraduate and postgraduate seminars. She has recently successfully completed a teaching development funded project designing and implementing role-play games to stimulate deep learning.
  • Dr Rita Chawla-Duggan, Lecturer, Department of Education, is interested in using rich media (images, film and audio podcasts) in her teaching. She encourages undergraduate students to create and share online presentations that document a mini placement experience. In this way students learn from each other about a wide variety of school settings.
  • Geraldine Jones, e-learning development officer, H&SS, supports staff in H&SS in developing technology enabled learning activities that are tailored to specific learning and teaching needs. She has worked closely with academic staff in the faculty on several successful teaching development projects.

 

An online tutorial for evaluating scientific research literature

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📥  Case Studies

Staff involved
Dr Julie Letchford, Dept of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Dr Hazel Corradi, Dept of Biology and Biochemistry
Dr Bridgette Duncombe, Dept of Chemistry
Tom Rogers, Library
Trevor Davies, External

What problem was trying to be solved?
It was found that third year students often were at various levels of ability when faced with the challenge of evaluating literature, and it was decided to develop an online tutorial in order to give all students a common grounding.

What was done and what technology was used?
The team involved developed an interactive online resource, called Evaluating Scientific Research Literature tutorial available on Moodle.

The course consists of four modules to help undergraduates in Pharmacy & Pharmacology, Biology & Biochemistry, Natural Sciences, and Chemistry. The first module is an introductory module explaining the different sections of research papers as well as general tips, and the other three are specific for each discipline, explaining how to begin to evaluate a paper and critique data and findings.

Pharmacy & Pharmacology students use the introductory module as part of a mandatory unit in year 1 and the subject-specific module for formative assessment in year 2. Biology & Biochemistry students use it to help them with practical write ups. Overall the students enjoy this resource and find it very helpful.

 

How to manage your online profile

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📥  Event Review, Students' Union

Another successful event ran by the Students' Union Skills Training team took place recently, on the topic of managing your online profile. Topics include social media, privacy, and tips for the perfect LinkedIn profile. The event can be viewed back at any time, although if you attend the sessions there are some beneficial interactive group activities.

Check out Skills Training's up to date list of skills training activities.

online profile

 

Technology Showcase

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📥  Case Studies, Event Review

On 19 February, four short presentations took place followed by a poster display. This event showcasing the use of technology within learning and teaching from different staff across the University gave the attendees an opportunity to share and discuss ideas, and was very well received.

"It was great to see the excellent work going on that we can all benefit from."

You can watch a recording of the presentations in case you were unable to attend the event, and read a summary of each of the presentations below.
 
 
Annotations on a tablet - Tim Lawrenson
Tim Lawrenson asks students to perform, record and send him a video of an activity in their own time, and then during class time uses a tablet to annotate over still or slow motion clips. This allows the students to see common mistakes, and also have instant feedback on their technique. There is very little problem with technology, however sometimes the filesize of the student videos can be too large for email.

The annotation app used is called Hudl Technique.

Tim Lawrenson discusses flipping his teaching on the BSc Sport and Exercise Science.

 
App Factory - Keith Brown
Due to a last minute space opening up, Keith Brown stepped up to present his development. He is developing apps for teaching and learning, and has implemented the App-Factory. This is an is an easy to use authoring system that has been used to deliver apps to students. Typically, app content includes slideshows, videos and quizzes. Student evaluation indicates that the apps have been well received by students. There was a great amount of interest in the App Factory both during the event and within feedback for the event.

For further information please see Keith’s blog, and if you are interested in making an app for your course then please email Keith directly at K.N.Brown@bath.ac.uk

The App Factory

 
Student projects - Rob Hyde & Alan Hayes
Final year computer science projects are set by Alan Hayes and Rob Hyde, who is effectively a customer to final year students. Different projects are set as tasks for students to give them some experience in this type of project, and developing something could have a real impact around campus. Example projects include a radio recorder to assist corporate comms, individual room timetables for each teaching space to be displayed outside the door, and a services dashboard for BUCS services.

If you would like to find out more, or suggest a project, please email either Rob Hyde at R.J.Hyde@bath.ac.uk or Alan Hayes at A.Hayes@bath.ac.uk.

 
2sli.de - Robin Shields
Robin Shields gave a live demonstration of free to use software called 2sli.de, which he has developed himself. Questions at the end were submitted via the attendees' devices and appeared at the front of the room for all to see.

Features of 2sli.de include:

  • embedded media
  • powerpoint import and .pdf export
  • audience response
  • remote control, including annotation

Find out more on the 2sli.de website.

Demonstration of features on 2sli.de

 

Improve your presentation skills

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📥  Event Review, Students' Union

Recently, a couple of Students' Union Student Trainers ran a fantastic session to a group of students on how to improve your presentation skills. This successful event is a repeat of one which ran in Semester 1, and can be watched back online. The group activities have been cut out of this recording, so you will benefit much more from attending Skills Training sessions in person.

Did you know that the Skills Training web page has online tutorials as well as an up to date list of skills training activities?

 

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.

 

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.