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    Archive for the 'Digital literacies' Category

    From Bricks to Clicks: the potential for learning analytics

    By Stephen Rowett, on 9 February 2016

    I’ve blogged previously about the work that Jisc are doing in the field of learning analytics. Whilst there are some good case studies within the sector, informal conversations have indicated that most institutions are really only at the start of their analytics journey, or even simply keeping a watching brief on how the sector as a whole will act. Where institutions do have systems in place, they are often based on quite limited data sources (typically attendance data, VLE usage or library usage) rather than more holistic data sets covering a range of student experiences.

    A comprehensive picture of the current state of play is provided by From Bricks to Clicks: the Potential of Data and Analytics in Higher Education, a Higher Education Commission report which summarises the field and provides recommendations to institutions. A small number of pioneering institutions (Nottingham Trent, Open, Edinburgh) feature heavily as case studies, but the general argument is that universities are generating significant amounts of data about learning but are not yet in a position to use this data to support student success.

    At UCL, early discussions around the use of analytics have started. Our retention rates are generally good, but there is a feeling that students may leave their course due to social or economic factors – perhaps living in poor accommodation, feeling isolated, having financial difficulties or commuting into London. We think we might need quite a large dataset to model these parameters (if they can be modelled at all) although it is possible that attendance would be a good proxy for them. Certainly our journey into learning analytics is only just beginning.

    Are we using technology effectively to support student employability?

    By Stephen Rowett, on 19 January 2016

    Employability is something of the elephant in the room in higher education. We dream of students enthralled at learning new knowledge, making discoveries of their own as they develop their curiosity and strengthening their identities as they work with others.

    For many of course, the reality is that they are undertaking their programme of study to get a good ‘job’ at the end. I use quotation marks because the nature of the ‘job’ may be wide and varied: it might be traditional employed work; self-employment; voluntary work; portfolio working; or a combination of these.

    Jisc Technology for Employability report

    Jisc has been exploring the role that digital technologies, and the digital literacies needed to use them effectively, can play in developing employability. Peter Chatterton and Geoff Rebbeck have recently produced a detailed report on the topic on behalf of Jisc. They argue that technology is often woefully underexploited when it comes to giving students the opportunity to develop their professional skills and that both staff and student skill development will be necessary to close this gap.

    An introduction to the report is available or you can download the full report from the Jisc website. A webinar summarising the report will be held on 25 January 2016, with free registration.

    ABC Curriculum Design 2015 Summary

    By Natasa Perovic, on 2 December 2015

    ABC Curriculum tour dates for 2016 and Summary of 2015

    For questions and workshops contact Clive and Nataša

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    Book us early! We start our ABC 2016 tour with a visit to Glasgow!

    The ABC curriculum design method uses an effective and engaging paper card-based approach in a 90 minute hands-on workshop. It is based on research from the JISC and UCL IoE and designed to help module teams design engaging learning activities. It is particularly useful for new programmes or those changing to an online or more blended format. More information below.

     

    December 2015 – ALT Winter Conference webinar

    The ABCs of rapid blended course design by Clive Young and Nataša Perović. Recording of the session is available to view here: http://go.alt.ac.uk/1NIpziZ

     

    December 2015A brief overview of ABC curriculum design method by Clive

     

     

    October 2015 – Presentation about the ABC workshops

     

     

     

    September 2015 – Progress with ABC Curriculum design and downloadable ABC workshop resources and participants’ feedback 

     

     

    March 2015 – ABC beginnings, by Clive and Natasa

     

    March 2015 – Blog post about the First ABC Curriculum design workshop

     

    Introducing the ‘UCL Student Blog’

    By Moira Wright, on 6 October 2015

    bloggingE-Learning Environments (ELE)  is launching a pilot that gives students the opportunity to write short review blog posts and get them published on a UCL blog page. We’d like to hear from any students and staff interested in taking part.

    The idea is that students review clips or programmes of online resources that are relevant to their studies. These might be TV or radio programmes from BoB (Box of Broadcasts), Lynda.com courses, TED Talks, Khan Academy resources, YouTube videos or any other online resource that may be of interest to others at UCL.

    Staff might even use these resources in class and link to them from their Moodle courses. Staff can also help to tag the posts with keywords relevant to the topics they are teaching.

    Don’t worry if you have never written a blog before. ELE will provide you technical support and training on how to write for the web will be provided via Lynda.com and the ‘Writing for the Web’ course.

    We’d also like to include student reviews of apps to form the ‘My Favourite Apps’ pages.  We think with so many apps around it would be really good to share what people at UCL are using, and why and how they are being used.

    By answering some simple questions, you can write a (really) short review of an app you are using and tell us why you are using it – maybe it has improved your life, helped your learning or saved you money. People can vote and winners of ‘My Favourite App’ will have their review posted on a digital postcard on the front page of UCL Moodle.

    Students can be recognised for this work with HEAR (Higher Education Academic Report) for your blogging (you’ll need to meet the criteria). The HEAR is an electronic transcript of verified academic and non-degree related achievements attached to students record. See the UCL HEAR Information for Students.

    Students could also use this work to form a project for gaining a Jisc ‘Institutional Change Leader’ (ICL) award, accredited by the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA).

    If you are interested in being involved, please complete the form at the bottom of this page.

    Examples of similar programmes being run at other universities and colleges are available in Jess Gramp’s blog posts ‘On the Box‘ and ‘GC Student innovators‘.

    The first post is up and was written by 3rd year UCL Department of English student Ellie Pearce. In the blog called ‘Bentham Returns’ Ellie imagines Jeremy Bentham waking up in the middle of the festival ‘to celebrate all things digital’ UCL digifest which took place in Nov 2014. She has really captured the spirit of JB and we’re sure you’ll be inspired to get working on your own first review and hunting down clips, programmes and library resources. We’re aiming to build a rich archive of film, programme and clip resources in which can be accessed used and added to, over time.

     

    GC Student innovators blog

    By Jessica Gramp, on 6 October 2015

    GC Student Innovator BadgeGloucestershire College are crowd sourcing students to lead on important change projects across the college.
    One of these projects is the student innovators blog, where students review apps. The aim of this project is to get more people at the college using and talking about technology to support learning and to build the technical skills of the students involved.
    “The Student Innovators is a group of students passionate about using technology to help learning. They will be trying out apps and web tools alongside their studies and give feedback on the Student Innovator blog. They work together as a team to share their experiences so you know before you download which app is best. You are welcome to read their reviews and leave comments.” (gcstudentinnovators1415.blogspot.co.uk)
    Students at the college received training and support in how to write for the web. They followed a pro forma in order to review each app. This contained the following sections:
    • Name of App:
    • Cost:
    • Device/s used:
    • What was good about this tool?
    • What was bad about this tool?

    Note: I would probably also add to this, which platforms the app is available on. E.g. Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux etc.

    Once the posts are published on the blog, people can ask questions and post comments. The commenting feature logs people in using their Google account by default. However, people can select from a number of other online services to log in as, including WordPress, OpenID or AIM. This provides some protection from spam and other misuse, since it only allows registered users to post comments to the blog.
    During term time, the college selects an ‘ App of the week’ by seeing which post has had the most views, and is therefore the most popular with students.
    As part of the blogging process, students design a ‘card’ promoting the app, which is then used to advertise the ‘App of the week’ on the homepage of the college Virtual Learning Environment.
    Read student posts from last year:
    Although they didn’t know in advance, students who participated received the following benefits:
    • vouchers;
    • open badge;
    • end of year party.

    However, students mentioned they would have participated regardless of these, since the learnt a lot in the process.

    Positive outcomes of this project include:
    • Participants gained confidence in writing and practice writing for the web.
    • Participants built their digital footprint, which can help them demonstrate their skills to potential employers.
    • College students could see what apps other students recommended and why.
    • Anyone could post questions and comments, hence starting conversations around using technology to support learning.
    This project was presented at the recent ALT-C conference in Manchester, UK.

    UCL is developing a similar, student-led project and is calling for both staff and students to take part.
    • We need students to volunteer to become app reviewers and bloggers.
    • We need tutors to volunteer to promote this to their student;  link to relevant app reviews into their Moodle courses and help with tagging.

    Find out more and sign up here…

    ABC Curriculum Design Workshops

    By Natasa Perovic, on 30 September 2015

    Arena Blended Connected Curriculum Design

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    • A 90 minute hands-on workshop to help module teams design engaging learning activities.
    • Teams work together to create a visual ‘storyboard’ showing the type and sequence learning activities required to meet the module’s learning outcomes and how these will be assessed.
    • ABC is particularly useful for new programmes or those changing to an online or more blended format.

    Between March and September we had 11 workshops with 37 teams from SLMS and BEAMS.

    The feedback from participants:

    • “This process was really useful. It helps us think about the modules in their entirety. It is really good how everything maps out in a clear framework like this.“
    •  “We haven’t had such level of detailed discussion as a team. I think the structure and the materials are facilitated well. “
      “It is a good way of focusing on creating the balance within a course.“
    • “It makes you think about: OK , we are going to use this technique, but where, how, for what and how does it fit with everything else? And this is the way into that, I think.“
    • “It helped us formulate in our own mind the course structure. Yes, very useful.“
    • “Made me more conscious of a formative assessment, which really did not occur to me before. “
    • “This has been extremely useful. Not only that we start to think about individual modules and how we can use electronic resources, but it makes us think about the degree together, rather than as separate modules. “
    • “It reminds you of all different formats that you can use, rather than sticking to the same old same old.“
    • “I think it was good to take a step back from the content and look at the varied type of activity. “
    • “We are not trying to be very innovative, but it is a question of being open to new ideas“

    To organise ABC workshop for your programme contact Clive Young and Nataša Perović.

    ABC Curriculum Design workshop resources:

    The resources are also adapted for ABC CPD and Life learning courses.

     

    To organise ABC workshop for your programme contact Clive Young and Nataša Perović.

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    More:

    References:

    *Viewpoints project JISC

    **UCL IoE: Laurillard, D. (2012). Teaching as a Design Science: Building Pedagogical Patterns for Learning and Technology. New York and London: Routledge.

    Connected Curriculum