What: The School of Social Sciences Technology Expo shared good practice to enhance teaching and learning within the school and beyond, with representatives of other schools observing. Nearly 30 participants attended and enjoyed hearing about their peer’s experience of using technology to enhance teaching and learning.
Links to the currently available presentations (PDFs of the PowerPoint slides) can be found below. More details on the presentations will be posted separately as mini case studies.
When: 15th May from 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Where: HLT3, Park Campus
1:30 – 1:45 SaGE Experiences : Graham Mitchell
1:45 – 2:00 Voice feedback using GradeMark : Julia Brydon
2:00 – 2:15 Panopto : Rob Howe (standing in for Nick Hartop)
2:30 – 2:45 Flipped lectures Catherine Fritz
From the 8-10 April, 2013, three members of the LearnTech team presented papers at the European Blackboard Teaching and Learning conference. The annual conference allowed the team to network with teams from other institutions who also use Blackboard and ensure that Northampton was making best use of the technology available.
As with most large conferences, there were often multiple stands covering different areas available at the same time. These covered subjects such as the increasing use of mobile devices; Analytics; benchmarking of courses; quality of courses; product roadmaps; e-submission and marking techniques; and integration tips.
Adel Gordon teamed up with Pepijn Kalis of Blackboard to present a session on using rubrics to enhance and augment the marking process – their presentation, hosted on Slideshare, demonstrated a number of different approaches to the use of this tool.
Rob Howe presented a session which explained the audit process which was used to inform the development of NILE site templates. The Powerpoint (also on Slideshare) used an analogy of students finding content being similar to the problem of finding Wally in the “Where’s Wally” books.
During the final session of the conference, Rachel Maxwell was joined by Kardi Somerfield from Northampton Business School to present a session on how to develop engaging / sticky NILE sites which encourage students to return. The presentation built on the research conducted during an URB@N project to identify what students wanted from NILE areas.
All of the Northampton sessions were well attended and the feedback very positive. Subsequent requests for further follow up discussions with many of the European institutions which attended based on our presentations show the relevance of our work. For further details on any aspect of the conference please contact LTSupport@northampton.ac.uk
During the May 2012 Learntech Conference, awards were giving to those tutors who had been rated by their students as providing a well designed NILE site.
The full list of the winners and the nominated modules is available to view.
Tim Joaquim (President of the Student Union) awarded the certificates and noted that it is important that staff spend the time to create NILE sites which enhance the student experience.
A selection of the comments which students made regarding the winning sites are shown below:
|The tutor has a very different approach when using the Nile site. He has a very unique way of presentening the site design and navigation and the content that he uses is just superb. Very helpful, and has really enhanced my learning while I have been in and outside university.He does not just use the Nile site for his lecture notes.
But, he also puts new material on the Nile site, also online lectures and a array of activities for us to do. That will enhance our knowledge not only in lectures but for the upcoming assignments.
|It clearly outlines the criteria to help one achieve success in the module.|
|You receive a great amount of help for each assessment and for seminar work. You also are told straight away about updates as soon as they can be put up on NILE. All the lecture notes and seminar work is put up straight away giving you plenty of time to do your work and giving enough time to do other module work. The criminal law tutors go out of their way to help students who are stuck providing help over email or face to face help…which helps those that are shy. You are also provided with quizzes which help you to revise and motivate you as the revision is put across in an interesting activity.|
|The tutor spent time putting articles and other information on to nile which has helped enormously with learning, and for future reference. her module was outstanding and this is reflected in the content on nile.|
|As an international student with no previous experience of site like NILE as a resource, the tutor the way she present the information on the site, is really helpful and efficient. Always there to help her students, my experience as an international student was enhanced by the collaboration of my tutor.|
|The good thing about Nile is that i can access your learning material, communicate with the lecturers easily and from anywhere.|
|Kept up to date quickly. Guidelines given to direct students in an informative way. Very helpul and allayed a lot of anxieties. Innovative and informative materials given to us as students.|
|It is definitely a place where I can find all I need to do the module. To me the NILE page is my virtual tutor.|
|Very well organised with lots of useful information and resources. Interactive multiple choice quizzes are also very useful in identifying areas of weakness for revision.|
|The powerpoints are always readily available before the lesson so you can read up and prepare yourself for what you will be learning. Also there is extra reading information for extra research. All the information on this Module proves that a lot of time and effort is put into this NILE site.|
|Everything is easy to find, convenient & organised. The site is functional holding all the essential module information; yet easy signposting to relevant further reading is an excellent way of allowing students to continue analysis into a topic without having to trawl through Westlaw.The NILE Site is also updated with topical relevant module related information. This sparks interest in the Module and also helps relate the topics to the ‘real world’.Ultimately we are all perturbed by crime;yet this website makes it so devine|
|Site is clear and has everything we need to access from each week. Easy to find group blogs and assessment hand in or feedback.|
For more detail on how NILE sites may be enhanced, please contact the Learntech Team
I like an event with a good buffet lunch, so the one at the Northants Better Learning Through Technology Development Day went down really well. It had a good mix of tastes, full of vitamins and didn’t leave me with a bloated, stuffed feeling.
The event was much the same: there was a good mix of teachers from across the county who were interested in sharing their use of technology in schools. We had some excellent practical demonstrations of how to use Web 2 tools in the classroom – that’s the vitamins bit of my overstretched analogy – and the schedule was light and refreshing, so my mind wasn’t left feeling bloated.
In the morning, Gareth Honeyford ran a fun, practical session on simple stop-mo animation and its use in the classroom. He also showed what some KS2 students had achieved and it was great to see a demonstration of what young people can achieve with technology, training and imagination.
After Gareth’s session, we broke for coffee and exotic fruit, and found time to tweet comments on the morning. Steven Bryant and Paul Bramble, the School’s excellent technical team, wired up the twitter feed to appear either side of the lecture room, so it was great to see all the positive comments. The tweets were also projected onto monitors in the building’s reception area, so staff from the School of Education were able to follow the stream even if they couldn’t make the event.
Following on from coffee, the highly creative, Peter Ford lead a short activity in which we shared in pairs our use of technology in practice. It was good to keep it practical and great to hear people’s experiences.
Helen Cauldwell followed Peter with some excellent resources on how to work creatively with text. She has a mountain of links, proving she is the Bookmark Queen. I know some of the resources she’s bookmarked, but there’s so many more I’ve never heard of – and I surf the web lots. I guess this proved one of the BLT core beliefs, that sharing between colleagues can have a massive impact on practice, saving hours of time spent trawling. One teacher listened to Helen’s intro to a specific web tool, used it on her school blog during the session, and then shared it in the afternoon’s TeachMeet-style sharing. I tweeted her effort and there you have the #northantsBLT vision working perfectly. These events are always crammed full of excellent resources but more importantly they allow teachers some time to test and try-out at least one thing before they have to jump back into the river and start paddling again.
After lunch, the whirlwind that is Tom Rees delivered a short talk about mobile technology and the current discussion of BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device. Should schools allow students to use their own mobile technology in a class setting? Tom offered a number of views, opinions and perspectives and has invited the #northantsBLT to contribute to a resource of experiences which we hope will have impact at a local level.
The final part of the afternoon gave everyone a 2 minute slot to share an aspect of their practice. Some interesting ideas came up and we’ll find share them on the BLT website. I had lots I wanted to share but my two minutes ran out far too quickly.
I’ve attended past BLT meetings held around the county, so I was keen for the University of Northampton to host one of their inspiring sessions, and I think we were 100% successful. The feedback has been excellent and we’re already talking about being a host again in the future. This was an amazing team effort from Steve Bryant, Paul Bramble, Gareth Honeyford and Helen Cauldwell, but a special thanks goes to Julie Martin, the School Manager for the School of Education, who generously offered to host the event in the School’s newly built Sulgrave building.
I am extremely proud of how the School of Education and the Learning Technology team worked together to put on this event, which people enjoyed and found inspiring. I think it was a great example of great learning through technology, and I am confident the colleagues who attended will go back to their schools with some new ideas and inspire their students..
See you at the next event.
My hopes for a good lunch are high.
TWEETS FROM THE DAY
On 16th May, the Learntech team coordinated and hosted the 2012 Midlands Blackboard Usergroup. 26 members of staff representing 11 different institutions within the Midlands region converged in the T-pod at Park campus to share experiences on VLE reviews, hosting, mobile developments, assessment for learning and find out about the latest innovations and developments which are planned for Blackboard which underpins NILE.
What: The Learning Technology Conference 2012 celebrated and shared good practice to enhance teaching and learning. In addition to a range of presentations awards were presented to staff who had been nominated by their students as providing a more ‘student friendly’ NILE area.
Links to the presentations may be found below.
When: 30th May from 11:00am to 2:30pm
Where: Grendon Lecture Theatre, Park Campus
11:00 – 11:20 Anne Eason – SAGE experiences (e-submission, marking and feedback)
11:20 – 11:40 Jacquie Ridge – Use of CAIeRO to reduce student failure rate
11:40 – 12:00 Kim Stuart / Leonie Siddons – PebblePad for portfolios
12:00 till 1:00 – Rate My NILE awards (presented by Tim Joaquim, President of the SU)
1:00 – 1:20 Anne Segalini – Enhancing the student experience using technology
1:20 – 1:40 Lisa Hanson – Interactivity in NILE for International students
1:40 – 2:00 Mike Twigger – PebblePad within modules
2:00 – 2:20 Roshni Khatri – iPad use within OT
Last week I presented on the iNorthampton project, at the Blackboard User Conference in Durham. The theme for the conference was ‘openness’, which links with the key aims of the mobile project – to open up access to information, and opportunities for learning, in new contexts and spaces.
For this session, I focused on two key elements of openness – inclusion (that is, making learning and support available to the widest possible range of users), and making University data more accessible. You can view the slides from the session, titled ‘The University in your pocket’, on the LearnTech Slideshare pages.
Inclusion has been an important concern for the team from the very start of the project. Thanks to the mobile survey that ran last academic year (and is just closing for this year), we are already aware that not all students and staff have smartphones. We’re also aware that some users find using a mobile device challenging. The project team has a number of measures in place to try to address these issues where possible:
- All of the information in the app is available in other places, usually via the University website or NILE. This means that in most cases, the app is simply another option for accessing information, and although it may be a benefit for those who prefer to use smartphones, it is not a requirement for those that don’t. We have also tried to cover as many platforms as possible – there are versions of the app for iOS, Android and Blackberry, as well as a mobile web version for those with other types of phone.
- For users who have smartphones, and who prefer not to use their own data allowance, the University is continuing to extend wireless provision across the campus. The LearnTech team also has some mi-fi (mobile wi-fi) units that staff can borrow for field trips etc., although the coverage, bandwidth and speed of these are still quite limited.
- For specific learning and teaching projects, we have a small number of mobile devices available that staff can borrow, to allow those who don’t have smartphones to take part in planned activities.
- For users with additional needs, we still recommend to staff that they provide alternative options for any mobile learning activity. We are also working closely with the suppliers to test the apps for accessibility*.
- Training and support is available for any users on request.
The other important concern in opening access to University information was in surfacing information from a range of complex University systems, and presenting it in a coherent and user friendly way. To enable this, the project team included key staff from the web team, Marketing, Corporate Information Systems and the Library, as well as Student Services, the LearnTech team, and the Student Union (please note that some of these teams have changed post-PSR). If you would like more technical details about how the data is fed in to the app, please contact the team.
The project team will be getting together next week to start thinking about the next phase of iNorthampton. if you have any feedback you would like us to consider, please send it to the dedicated email address: email@example.com.
*Although there are no independent accessibility standards for native apps, there are some for mobile web apps, and the main platforms all publish their own accessibility guidelines for developers (see this blog post from Henny Swan for more links). With help from Student Services, we have tested the iOS app using VoiceOver (Apple’s built-in screen reading software), with some positive results, although the Android version is currently less readable. We are also working on improving the high contrast view of the app.
The iNorthampton app is developed by a US company. For more information about section 508 compliance and VPAT documentation, or if you’d like to contribute feedback or help us with testing, please contact the team.
For more general information on accessibility and web content, see the Accessible information page on the University website.
For more info on mobile accessibility, see the TechDis Mobile Learning for Inclusive Practice page.
During April 2011, the University received funding from the HEA to investigate the application of the QA toolkit to the current course development process (termed CAIeRO - Creating Aligned Interactive educational Resource Opportunities ).
The bid application and subsequent discussions quickly identified that there was a much greater role for quality processes within the CAIeRO sessions than previously utilised. More detailed discussion of the QA toolkit concluded that within the funded period, the project would focus on the pre- validation stage since this was not extensively addressed at that time. The outcomes of this work were presented at the QAQE conference on 14th June.
A project team was formed comprising of:
- Director of Learning and Teaching
- Head of Quality and Curriculum Services
- Deputy Director of Academic Services (Information Services)
- Principal Lecturer Learning and Teaching (Health)
- Head of Learning Technology
The team met at regular intervals to reflect on the toolkit and enhance the CAIeRO planning documentation. As a result of these discussions, it was noted that the formal validation process used by the institution and the CAIeRO process had similarities which would have meant academic staff having to address similar questions. Interestingly one academic noted that they saw the validation process as a paperwork quality exercise whereas they saw the CAIeRO event as an opportunity to apply a quality framework to real materials which would be used with students. This observation has led to further discussions with the quality team to develop a pre- validation CAIeRO event which will lead to the development of materials which will also satisfy the requirements of the later validation – hence reducing duplication.
The QA toolkit was useful to provoke discussions between teams who were each focusing on quality from different perspectives and allowed for the potential joining and simplification of eventual processes. The suggested prompts and then related links to projects which had addressed these issues were useful.
The team concluded that the QAQE E-Learning Toolkit allowed the University to develop, refine and enhance the institutional approach to quality, with a focus on the whole lifespan of the (re)development of programmes, making use of Open Educational Resources where applicable. The toolkit will particularly assist as the institution moves forward to increase and enhance its distance learning provision and review and develop its curricula.
The funded period proved to be an exciting period of reflection where it was found that we were not only enhancing the existing process but were able to also simplify the paperwork without compromising any of the quality frameworks. The institution is now in a further phase rollout to further investigate the impact of these changes.
The day was split into two main parts – an update on the roadmap and two case studies from Turnitin users:
December 2011 – Blackboard Direct to be released. This will be an enhanced version of Turnitin for Blackboard users
Spring 2012 – Ability to grant extensions, expanded rubric, audio comments (record and playback on pc and tablets)
Summer 2012 – Better Analytics and reporting
Winter 2012 – Translated matching – checks matching over languages – online grading for iPad and android devices.
iParadigms offer a range a training sessions to support users of their tools the full list is available at: http://www.plagiarismadvice.org/advice
Question and Answer Session with iParadigms
For interest, Barry Calvert noted that Wikipedia had the highest number of matches from all systems – 12% of all matches.
Multiple access for groups in Grademark is planned but no release date yet
There was a question over the single quote marks being included – this seems to be a UK issue and we need to vote for this on the feedback forum
Non numeric grade scales also appear to be a UK issue only and can also be voted for in the feedback forum.
Case Study 1 – Efficacy of turnitin in support for an institutional policy – Simon Starr – Canterbury Christ Church
Simon suggested the following guidelines for Turnitin use:
- Educate first – punish second
- All information should be up front
- Use in a formative manner first to allow for time on rich feedback after this the policy at CCC indicates that it may be used summatively.
From his research he noted that students mainly feel that Turnitin is about detection and policy rather than about education. Some students felt that the use of Turnitin separates students who try to write and reference correctly and those who do not.
Simon noted that students still had problems interpreting originality reports. He noted that Oxford Brookes have created some good videos which may be of use – noted that these are currently being updated at https://mw.brookes.ac.uk/display/ce6/Turnitin+help.
He noted that most student information comes from the tutors rather than any central guidance. This shows the importance of tutors having correct and up to date knowledge of the tools.
Case Study 2 – Implementing Grademark – Lessons from Cardiff University – Nathan Roberts and Judy Cousins
Cardiff have about 50,000 papers submitted per year
Grademark is being used to address NSS scores at Cardiff (Assessment Matters project)
The project has shown how a technologist and an academic working together can achieve more than either alone.
They had to provide many training sessions for the assessors on Grademark – these worked best when the actual assessment was due. If the training was done too early then information was not retained. It was noted that the technologist role was crucial at this point.
Each school developed their own rubrics within Grademark – these were checked through the quality committees.
It was found that students liked Grademark – finding it equitable and clear
Cardiff had technical problems with Internet Explorer / Grademark – they advised staff to use firefox !!
Students liked the annotation facility – however they did not like comments such as good/bad without further feedback.
Assessors were all very positive about grademark – it was noted that this could save up to 30% in time with better feedback. Some technical problems slowed this down E.g. NHS assessor had problems access the Grademark tool.
The team noted that modertation and second marking is a problem – they do not have a solution yet. It was also noted that assessors wanted a spell check facility.
Despite the reservations listed above it was stressed that Grademark generally works well and was valued by staff and students.
Tag cloudacademic skills accessibility Android Arts assessment blogs browsers CAIeRO collaboration digital voice recorder distance learning e-portfolios eBooks Education feedback Flipcam GradeMark Health induction iNorthampton international iPad learner's experience lecture capture MALT mobile NBS NILE NorthantsBLT OERs Panopto plagiarism Powerpoint presentations Quality reflection SaGE Science & Technology Skype Social Science Sticky sites transition Turnitin video wikis
- No public Twitter messages.