Whether we like it or not, we are increasingly being directed to basic conversations with chatbots. The image above is taken from a discussion with ‘Bo’ who is the lovely chatbot that hosts discussions on the Differ system – students are encouraged to chat with other students on topics introduced by Bo. The aim being that it encourages greater online networking between students who may not normally meetup.
There are many sites providing information on what a chatbot is and how they may be used.
“At the most basic level, a chatbot is a computer program that simulates and processes human conversation (either written or spoken), allowing humans to interact with digital devices as if they were communicating with a real person. Chatbots can be as simple as rudimentary programs that answer a simple query with a single-line response, or as sophisticated as digital assistants that learn and evolve to deliver increasing levels of personalization as they gather and process information.”Oracle – What is a Chatbot
The excellent Edubots Webinar Series is providing greater insight and a discussion forum for those investigating how chatbots may be used within Education environments. It also raises the interesting moral issues such as when it is appropriate for chatbots to provide emotional support.
If you are based at the University of Northampton and you’d like a little pilot with Bo ‘the chatbot’ then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Those who are interested for more information can join the Introduction to Chatbots for Educators – online course and community
Led by: Dr Elizabeth Hidson
Senior Lecturer in International Teacher Education, University of Sunderland
The recording of the event (53 mins) is available to view.
The slides from the session are also available to download.
At the heart of any teaching resource is an unheard narrative: the decision-making process that the teacher has gone through in order to develop the resource for the students that they teach. This is built from a range of knowledge sources accessed by teachers from the start of their career, which develops over time. In this session we will focus on in-service ICT teachers faced with the 2014 English National Curriculum shift that now required the teaching of Computer Science. We will see how their pedagogical knowledge was enhanced through shared lesson resources and professional communities of practice.
Elizabeth started her career in education as an IT teacher, progressing to ICT Advanced Skills Teacher, Lead Practitioner in ICT and later to assistant and deputy headteacher senior leadership roles in schools. Moving into academia, she has been an educational technology researcher as well as teaching on PGCE, MA and doctoral training courses at Durham University, Newcastle University and the University of Sunderland. Elizabeth’s research interests involve technology and pedagogy, and the use of digital and visual research methods.
Hidson, Elizabeth (2021) Pedagogy by proxy: teachers’ digital competence with crowd-sourced lesson resources. Pixel-Bit Journal of Media and Education, 61 (May 21). pp. 197-229. ISSN 1133-8482
Hidson, Elizabeth (2020) Internet Video Calling and Desktop Sharing (VCDS)as an Emerging Research Method for Exploring Pedagogical Reasoning in Lesson Planning. Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy, 5 (1). pp. 1-14. ISSN 2364-4583
Hidson, Elizabeth (2018) Video-enhanced lesson observation as a source of multiple modes of data for school leadership: A videographic approach. Management in Education, 32 (1). pp. 26-31. ISSN 0892-0206
“It is a cold Autumn day at Waterside and you are sitting in a room within the Learning Hub. You recognise other people in the room and there is a facilitator at the front. Do you:
a) Talk to other people on your desk?
b) Talk to the facilitator and engage in the workshop?
c) Log onto your laptop and check emails?
d) Exit the room and go elsewhere?”
Fortunately, all participants on the first meeting to explore the nature of gamification and the value for the University decided to remain in the room and fully engage with Tim Hinchliffe, Senior Adviser from Advance HE.
‘Games can be used as a general tool to look at our teaching processes more generally. The lessons are broadly applicable to whatever we do. You can take any subject and any content and use gamified mechanisms and dynamics to achieve what you’re looking for.’Tim Hinchliffe, Senior Adviser from Advance HE.
Over the day we were treated to an exploration of the differences between defining gamification in education, serious games and game based learning. We then went on to discuss the Octalysis Framework and apply this to a range of both physical and virtual games.
Tim used a slide deck to keep us all on track but the flexible nature of the workshop gave us plenty of time to explore how the concepts could apply to our own areas.
‘The approach of gamification would be really useful because it’s helping students to develop a lot of transferable skills: critical thinking, teamwork, collaboration, problem solving.’Simon Chapman, Senior Lecturer in Education.
Discussions are now ongoing on the possibility of launching a inter disciplinary group to further explore gamification.
If you are interested in further conversations around gamification then please email Rob.Howe@northampton.ac.uk
- Blackboard Upgrade – May 2022
- GAMING: Gamification for the Advancement of Multiprofessional/Interprofessional Groupwork
- Blackboard Upgrade – April 2022
- Reconceptualising critical digital literacies in the context of compulsory education Led by: Dr Anastasia Gouseti
- Blackboard Upgrade – March 2022
- Teaching and supporting a digital future: UoN Showcase – 4th February 2022
- Introducing the Centre for Active Digital Education (ADE)
- Changemaker Support (highlighting how the team supports staff and students’ digital employability)
- “It’s just a bit of fun! Really…?” Observations on online games in supporting student learning and student experience
- Building and promoting a Virtual Reality experience for the Campus Security/Police as part of Safer Nights Out Campaign.
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