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    New E-Book on Assessment, Feedback and Technology

    By Tim Neumann, on 1 November 2017

    UCL Digital Education Advisory members contributed to a new Open Access e-book that provides valuable insight into the way technology can enhance assessment and feedback. The book was launched formally on 26th October by Birkbeck College Secretary Keith Harrison, with talks from the editors Leo Havemann (Birkbeck, University of London) and Sarah Sherman (BLE Consortium), three case study authors, and event sponsor Panopto.

    Havemann, Leo; Sherman, Sarah (2017): Assessment, Feedback and Technology: Contexts and Case Studies in Bloomsbury. London: Bloomsbury Learning Environment.
    View and download from: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.5315224.v1

     

    The Book

    E-Book thumbnail

    E-Book Cover

    The book is a result of a two-year project on e-assessment and feedback run by the Bloomsbury Learning Environment (BLE), a collaboration between five colleges, including the UCL Institute of Education, on issues around digital technology in Higher Education. It contains three research papers which capture snapshots of current practice, and 21 case studies from the BLE partner institutions and a little beyond, thus including practice from wider UCL.

    The three papers focus on

    • the use of technology across the assessment lifecycle,
    • the roles played by administrative staff in assessment processes,
    • technology-supported assessment in distance learning.

    The case studies are categorised under the headings:

    • alternative [assessment] tasks and formats,
    • students feeding back,
    • assessing at scale,
    • multimedia approaches, and
    • technical developments.

    Seven of the 21 case studies were provided by UCL Digital Education colleagues Jess Gramp, Jo Stroud, Mira Vogel (2), and Tim Neumann (3), reporting on examples of blogging, group assessment, peer feedback, assessment in MOOCs, student presentations at a distance, and the UCL-developed My Feedback Report plugin for Moodle.

     

    Why you should read the e-book

    Launch Event Photo

    BLE E-Book Launch Event

    As one of the speakers at the entertaining launch event, I suggested three reasons why everybody involved in Higher Education should read this book, in particular the case studies:

    1. Processes in context:
      The case studies succinctly describe assessment and feedback processes in context, so you can quickly decide whether these processes are transferable to your own situation, and you will get a basic prompt on how implement the assessment/feedback process.
    2. Problems are highlighted:
      Some case studies don’t shy away from raising issues and difficulties, so you can judge for yourself whether these difficulties represent risks in your context, and how these risks can be managed.
    3. Practical tips:
      All case studies follow the same structure. If you are in a hurry, make sure to read at least the Take Away sections of each case study, which are full of tips and tricks, many of which apply to situations beyond the case study.

    Overall, this collection of papers and case studies on assessment and feedback is easily digestible and contributes to an exchange of good practice.

     

    View and Download the Book

    The e-book is an Open Access publication freely available below.

    For further information, see ble.ac.uk/ebook.html, and view author profiles at ble.ac.uk/ebook_contributors.html

     

    About the BLE:
    The Bloomsbury Learning Environment is a collaboration between Birkbeck, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Royal Veterinary College (RVC), School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS),  UCL Institute of Education (IOE), and the University of London with a focus on technologies for teaching and learning, including libraries and administration.
    See www.ble.ac.uk for more information.

    Effective Curriculum Design Planning: Arena, Blended, Connected.

    By Alan Y Seatwo, on 17 February 2017

    Arena, Blended, Connected Curriculum Design Model

    Arena, Blended, Connected Curriculum Design Model

    Planning is a vital part of the curriculum design process. In 1984, David A. Kolb published his experiential learning theory, which stated that the importance of learning enabled taking the new understanding and translating it into predictions as to what would happen next or what actions should be taken to refine or revise the way a task was to be handled. Providing advice for the planning of curriculum design is an integral part of the role of a learning technologist. It is also one of the most rewarding experiences because it involves working closely with subject matter experts. During planning meetings, discussions on modes of learning, structure and the use of learning technologies are at full flow. Last week, I worked with the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP)’s Head of Department, Dr Jason Blackstock, and Senior Teaching Fellow, David Wright, on digital content development for the department’s 2-week challenge for undergraduates, How to Change the World (HtCtW).

    At the start of the term, some staff in the department attended the ABC Curriculum Design Workshop delivered by Digital Education Team. We decided to use it as a framework for our planning of HtCtW. The two-week intensive programme uses a problem-based learning approach. It requires students to understand a complex global challenge and enables students to demonstrate a variety of their competencies (problem solving, creativity, communication and collaboration) to approach the issue. As part of our planning session, the programme leads laid out a series of learning activities on a chart and put them into different categories: knowledge acquisition, discussion, collaboration, practice and production. The simplicity of the model visually demonstrated the concentration on each type of activity through colour coding and highlighted misalignments in the learning cycle. We could easily see the types of learning content and technologies that will be required at the start, during and end of the programme. This finished plan is also a useful communication tool to explain the structure of the programme, learning objectives, assessment and feedback. The plan will be presented to the next meeting of cohort leads of HtCtW from across the Engineering faculty.

    Feedback from the staff on the usefulness of this model has been very positive. Although they were aware of the model, this is the first time they have used it to structure a programme. Everyone found it very easy to understand and apply. I have no doubt that this curriculum design model will be used again in the department and I look forward to learning more from using it by other colleagues.

    Find out more about ABC Learning Design workshops…

    An exciting start of a new academic year!

    By Alan Y Seatwo, on 2 December 2016

    STEaPP ABC Workshop

    STEaPP ABC Workshop

    The Department of Science Technology Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) kicks off new academic year with ABC (Arena, Blended, Connected) Workshop, one of the panned activities to enhance the use of learning technology across our teaching programmes.

    In the department, our teaching philosophy is that the use of technology in the learning experience must be driven by pedagogical considerations, and not the demands and availability of the various technologies themselves. To enhance the use of learning technologies, we must first reflect upon curriculum design.

    With the support from the Digital Education Team, teaching staff from the MPA programme attended the ABC (Arena Blended Connected) curriculum design workshop. We used paper card-based approach in a style of storyboarding to assist participants to reflect on structure, modes of delivery, learning outcomes and assessment methods etc.

    Our colleagues loved the simplicity of the approach and the effectiveness of the workshop model. Although learning technologies were not explicitly ‘called out’, it was firmly embedded in all six common types of learning activities during the exercise: acquisition inquiry, practice, production, discussion and collaboration.

    Following on the workshop, Dr Ann Thorpe (the department’s E-learning Champion) and I set up a series of meetings with individual module leaders to further explore the use of learning technologies in their teaching programm.

    We have been excited to see that the consideration of how technologies can enhance learning has already embedded in their design processes, for example producing videos as part of “Flipped Classroom”, streaming guest speakers to present and engage with students in classroom, and use of audio assessment feedback are some of the ideas currently developing following the workshop.

    While providing continuing support for the above mentioned activities, we’re also scheduling some bespoke workshops throughout the academic year. Since the department leads the organisation of How to Change the World (HtCtW) (part of UCL Global Citizenship Programme for undergraduate engineering students), we are interested to explore new ways in presenting engineering ideas during HtCtW. Augmented Reality (AR) has been identified as one of the emerging learning technologies over the past few years and the popularity of Pokemon Go have helped influence us to choose AR as our first lunchtime workshop topic. Watch this space for an update report soon.

    Alan Seatwo

    Learning Technologist, STEaPP

    How can you teach online if you’ve never experienced learning online?

    By Matt Jenner, on 20 January 2016

    Distance Learning doesn't need to be lonely. Image Credits; By loungerie on Flikr

    Distance Learning doesn’t need to be lonely.
    Image Credit: By loungerie on Flikr

    Teaching online requires different approaches to a traditional classroom environment (as does the learning). Teachers who are not prepared or do not know what is involved in the development and implementation of an online course will result in “negative outcomes for students and faculty” (Caullar, 2002).  As Open University expert Derek Rowntree (1992) explains, most newcomers to ODL [open and distance learning] need to develop new knowledge, new skills and very often new attitudes and dispositions.  Students and staff need to be oriented to the differences in learning online and the change in role and approach for both the teacher and the learner (Palloff and Pratt, 2002). It’s recommended to provide staff development opportunities in online teaching (ibid) and that should come at a later stage, but I think a crucial step precedes it:

    How can you teach online if you’ve never experienced learning online?

    You must try it. I’d also recommend absorbing what’s around you as well  – talk colleagues already active in this space, look for existing resources and participate in relevant networking events. But crucially; join an online course, or ten, and experience it yourself.

    Learn online: Take a free course

    There is a growing range of free online courses in which you can use to experience being an online learner. The huge selection of free open courses can be searched and filtered by using Mooc aggregators such as Course TalkClass-Central and Mooc-list. UCL has a partnership with a UK-based Mooc provider FutureLearn and has a growing selection of courses. But you should explore other courses too and you should feel free to sign up for any that interest you – even if you don’t complete them (it’s OK!). Closer to home there’s also a selection of courses on UCLeXtend – UCL’s public-facing e-learning platform – which you can discover from searching the Life Learning course finder and filtering (on the left) to Format > Online and Cost > Free.

    Notable courses

    Getting started with Moodle (via UCL Moodle) provides an introduction to UCL Moodle and e-learning and provides the basic skills required to set up a course in Moodle.

    A6postcard_digital (3) (1)Blended Learning Essentials (via FutureLearn) – created in partnership with UCL and University of Leeds, this is a free online course designed to help you understand the benefits of blended learning and how to make more effective use of technology to support your learners.

    UCL Arena Digital (via UCL Moodle) – three short courses with each lasting two weeks. Each fortnight will end with a live online webinar where you can share your experiences with your colleagues on the course. Topics: multimedia, communication & assessment and feedback.

    Teaching online open course (via Brookes.ac.uk) – offered as a free mooc from Oxford Brookes University (and offered as a 10 M-Level credit option, if desired) and is an intensive introduction to supporting student learning in online environments.

    (star) Your mooc mission: try to complete one mooc. Sounds easy? Tell us how you got on in the comments section below.

    Learning from colleagues

    Venturing into the world of distance learning is a bit different to that of face to face teaching and you may want to seek guidance from those who have already trodden the ground before you. Within your department you may know colleagues who are running their own distance learning courses, there should be someone within your wider faculty or school. If not, you could look at UCL’s Prospective Student’s course finder for PGT and filter by ‘Distance Learning’ – then try contacting a course team from there. We also run regularly ‘Forum’ events (sign up to the ‘Distance Learning and Life Learning Network’ below).

    Join local networks, forums and communities

    With representation from all schools the Distance Learning and Life Learning Forum is a community of practitioners from across UCL who are all active in the area of fully online courses and blended learning for taught programmes and CPD/short courses. Or, you may want to form your own departmental, faculty or school-based distance learning groups. These may grow from the ground up, out of teaching committees or via many other ways. Regardless, if you would like UCL Digital Education or CALT to sit on these groups, do get in touch and we can come along too.

    For more information we recommend you sign up to the Distance Learning and Life Learning Forum. Note: This can only be done on the UCL network or via remote desktop/VPN.

    Connect with support teams

    Teams such as Centre for Advancing Learning and Teaching (CALT) and UCL Digital Education have trodden this ground before, and are always happy to hear your ideas, share experiences and help you design, plan, promote, develop and evaluate your distance learning courses. They will listen to your ideas and suggest others to talk to, approaches to take, resources to work through and even courses you can take online to get you started with distance learning.

    Get in touch with them from their respective websites – CALT and UCL Digital Education

    Next step

    So – ready for your mission? If you have any questions you can always contact us, or leave a comment below.

    Note: this page is an excerpt from the UCL Distance Learning wiki which contains more pages on planning, designing, building and teaching on an online course. 

     

    References:

    Cuellar, N. (2002). The transition from classroom to online teaching. Nursing Forum,37(3), 5-13. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/195001677?accountid=14511

    Palloff, R.M., Pratt, K. (2002). Lessons from the Cyberspace Classroom. 17th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning. Retrieved from http://www.uwex.edu/disted/conference/resource_library/proceedings/01_20.pdf

    Rowntree, D. (1992). Exploring Open and Distance Learning. Kogan Page.

    ABC Curriculum Design 2015 Summary

    By Natasa Perovic, on 2 December 2015

    (For latest news about ABC LD, visit ABC LD blog)

    ABC Curriculum tour dates for 2016 and Summary of 2015

    For questions and workshops contact Clive and Nataša

    cy_np

    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

     

    Blended Learning Essentials has definitely got started!

    By Eileen Kennedy, on 7 November 2015

    A6postcard_digital (3) (1)

    https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/blended-learning-getting-started

    Managing the ambitious Ufi-funded MOOC project that is Blended Learning Essentials has required a leap of imagination. Back in May, we had no video, no scripts, no quizzes, no Padlets, no glossary, no crib sheets, no Digital Champions, no flyers, no tweets, no conference keynotes, nothing built on the FutureLearn platform. Diana Laurillard and Neil Morris had expressed a desire for video of actual teaching with actual learners using actual blended learning techniques in actual colleges and actual private training providers. Where were we going to get that from? And to add some extra spice, by the time Suzanne Scott from Borders College had consulted teachers in the Vocational Education and Training sector to establish what we needed, it was the height of summer, and all the colleges were having a break.

    Thankfully, we had a supremely talented team combining Evans Woolfe Media, who travelled the country interviewing, shooting and editing video, and University of Leeds Digital Learning Team who put it all together, and as if by magic we started to see a MOOC emerge. Meanwhile, Maren Deepwell from ALT was working tirelessly on planning a marketing campaign to beat all others, and plotting accreditation pathways for our learners to progress from the MOOC. In the background, Richard Nelson from Bradford College was assembling a force of Digital Champions to support the MOOC, and creating a plan for how they could do it.

    I was working with further education teachers to make the crib sheets – including the brilliant Wendy Rogers, just retired from a glorious career at Croydon College, Phil Durrant, and my colleagues at UCL Institute of Education – Rebecca Wilson, Tim Neumann and Kit Logan, who also helped to bring them to life in our UCLeXtend Moodle course. Rachel Challen from Loughborough College was thinking about the best way to evaluate the course, and all our other partners in colleges and organisations (AELT, ETF, AOC, Tinder Foundation, NIACE, Sheffield College and Northern College) were contributing to videos and promoting the course to their members. So many people, so much enthusiasm, so much talent! Even so, it was an incredible challenge – six months to launch the first of our two MOOCs to transform the landscape of vocational education and training.

    But finally it is a reality, and we have reached the end of week 1. It was a major feat from our end to be sure, but that was only ever half the story. The participants themselves are the main part of the picture. I am seriously impressed by the energy and insight of the contributions that everyone is making on and off the FutureLearn platform. I have never enjoyed a MOOC so much – the discussion is great. Obviously, it is my favourite subject, but even so – I have to stop myself spending all my time reading the comments, and following the links that people have posted. It is making me think that this project could really change things and it is great to have been a part of it.