LITEbox

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Tagged: Technology enhanced learning

Audience response systems

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📥  Event Review

Dr Richard Joiner introduced the session, which is available to watch online, by giving the audience an example of an Audience Response System (ARS), otherwise known as an Audience Voting System (AVS) or Electronic Voting System (EVS), in this instance, OMBEA, by asking them to use any mobile device they had with them to participate in answering some sample questions. Participants were able to see what it was like to respond to a question in many different ways, and to see how the responses could be displayed in bar charts, word clouds, etc.

It was mentioned by Richard that he liked to add music behind the questions, helping students feel comfortable to discuss the topic amongst themselves.

Richard linked his motivation for using technology such as audience response systems to getting students to be more active in teaching sessions and how well they learn. 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, even in larger classes, to help their learning.

Please read the following to learn about the introduction of an audience response system here in Bath, and their effectiveness more generally.

 

Different uses for ARSs mentioned

  1. Promote active learning - help students develop a deeper understanding
  2. Formative assessment - to gain a rough understanding of what the students know
  3. Summative assessment - can be challenging and has issues such as registering the clickers, ensuring no cheating, etc.
  4. Interactive (revision) sessions - to lead at the pace of the students
  5. Unit/programme feedback - provides instant feedback with a good chance of high turnout
  6. Data collection - from a large collection of students with a range of experiences

 

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.

Image from http://opus.bath.ac.uk/12505/1/

 

Key questions during the session

Have you received any feedback from students?
Students are generally very positive to any form of voting system, but Richard has seen a slightly lower response rate when students use their own devices, possibly because they don’t want to run down their batteries.

Is Nick Kinnie’s project report (on use of ARS) available?
The project is still underway so the report is forthcoming

 

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 http://opus.bath.ac.uk/12505/1/

 

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.

 

12 Apps of Christmas

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📥  New Technology

A4 12 Apps Leaflet image (1)

 

Regent's University London is running a fun and free online program to learn about new apps, starting on the 1st December. Each day you can spent 10 minutes of your time to learn about a new app, and how it can help your teaching and supporting of students.

Each day this blog post will update with an overview of each new app.

For the twelve working days of the program, each day will offer a new task with instructions on a different app, tailored suggestions of how to use the app with your students, and how it can work effectively in a professional context. Course material will be left up so if you miss a day then you can easily catch up.

Follow on Twitter with #RUL12AoC, and enroll on the course on the Open Education Blackboard.

Apps

  1. sli.do - easy audience interaction for presentations, accessible via web browser or an app
  2. Instagram - share and discover videos and photos on specific topics by using hashtags; also has the ability to comment for further discussion
  3. Evernote - collect, tagg, and organise content on the cloud, with a robust mobile app and significant desktop functionality
  4. feedly - automatically bring news, articles and other resources from across the web into one location on a desktop or smartphone
  5. Tayasui Sketches - Draw doodles, diagrams, or annotate over pictures from phone or tablet, which you can easily share online
  6. WhatsApp - a peer collaboration app to share text, images and audio to individuals or groups of people
  7. Periscope - interactive live streaming app which can be used for campus tours, library inductions, practical demonstrations, and much more
  8. RefMe - a simple online and mobile tool to create citations, reference lists and bibliographies, you can even just scan a bar code
  9. Trello - an app and browser based collaboration tool for organising projects and ideas into lists, showing progress, comments, attachments, checklists, and due dates
  10. Pinterest - allows you to pin content to different boards, as well as easily discover and browse content which others have posted
  11. Animoto - easy video production via app or desktop, by adding images, videos, text and choosing a theme
  12. Elf Yourself - create a video of you and 4 friends as Christmas Elves... Enjoy!

Do you have an app which you use in your teaching? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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

(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:

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:

The App Factory Project

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📥  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

app-factory-thin

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 keith.brown@bath.ac.uk

Keith