By Clive Young, on 5 December 2013
Over the last two years our Erasmus REC:all project has been looking at the potential of lecture capture both to support conventional teaching but more importantly to enable and encourage new learning designs such as flipping.
Lecture capture has traditionally had a bit of a bad reputation among learning technologists, encapsulated by Mark Smithers’ much-quoted blog post Is lecture capture the worst educational technology?.
However there is a growing alternative view that lecture capture, even in its classical form is in fact pedagogically richer that many might think. Moreover it can act as a gateway to enable academics to start using media to support their teaching. As one US expert observed last year; “The uninspired label lecture capture, fails to convey the disruptive potential of this tool “.
But what does this actually mean in practice? In this short video filmed as part of the project, I explain why I think lecture capture can be a genuinely transformative technology.
By Jessica Gramp, on 28 November 2013
Fifteen academic and support staff from across UCL met for the first UCL Digital Literacies special interest group (SIG) on Wednesday 27th November. Jessica Gramp, form E-Learning Environments, delivered a presentation prepared in collaboration with Hana Mori, giving the Jisc definition of digital literacies. We’re not sure about the term – some find it demeaning.
Currently, digital literacies resources are dispersed across UCL – there is no central space and no single sign-on. A suggestion was made that we need to let students be students and not ask them excessively to support each other. The counter argument is that teaching is a good way to learn and examples were given of where academics have set up times and rooms for students to teach each other to use software and this was embraced by many students in the class.
There is support for finding out what is already happening in departments as there’s a lot of Digital Literacies activity – it’s just not branded this way. Working with UCL Advances and other networks, such as Hackathons, could generate some useful outcomes too.
A better term than Digital Literacies is clearly needed so that it doesn’t offend and imply a deficit. There’s also a need to differentiate between kinds of digital literacy. Some areas that have been used at other institutions include: digital identity, managing studies; working in team; using other people’s content responsibly and digitally enhancing job prospects. There was a general consensus that digital literacies need to be embedded, not tagged on as a separate thing to do.
There is such a proliferation of tools and technologies that it can be difficult to navigate them all. In some cases students know more than staff about particular technologies; and in some cases students don’t understand that learning these tools can be important for their working lives. When asked to learn something, students often ask in response “What’s the point?”. They need context to help them realise how it applies to their working life beyond university.
What support is available to cater for these issues? Suggestions included improving UCL’s search engines to enable staff and students to more easily find tools; establish networks so students and staff can teach each other how to use technologies; promote a ‘Technology of the week’; and run events where people construct things and in the process learn how to use new tools. There is also a need for media recording spaces to develop materials for students to learn to use new technologies, which is a recent hot topic that has been raised in other special interest groups and technology forums as well. A strategic conversation about digital literacies was held with UCL students and staff earlier in the year.
- A vault of resources that can be used in both independently by students and embedded into the curriculum.
- Recommendations attached to the UCL software database that give examples of how staff and students are using tools and their pros and cons.
- Skills audits could guide students to particular resources.
- Reverse mentoring – where students mentor staff.
- Flipped training.
- Possibility of supporting and co-running events with societies who already run similar programmes. – e.g. the entrepreneurial and tech societies.
- Providing badges and certificates.
- Consider digital literacies as part of a wider key skills initiative.
- Identify graduate attributes for each faculty and see how these can be supported by digital literacy skills.
- Setting assessments that require students to make something, so students will obtain technology skills in the process.
Areas of interest from the SIG include:
- Embedding digital literacies into assessment
- Badges and certificates
- Links to employability case studies
- Benchmarking and bringing students up to the same level
- Support and peer learning
- Peer learning and support via forums
- Student controlled Moodle courses
- Self-organised mini-courses
- Bring your own device (BYOD)
- The employability agenda
If you would like to join this SIG, or the others on media and video or assessment and feedback please register on the UCL: Moodle E-Learning Champions Moodle course: https://moodle.ucl.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=21489§ion=3
By Vicki Dale, on 26 November 2013
Today a group of 15 enthusiasts representing all three schools met for the first Media and Video SIG. This special interest group has been established to explore the growing role of video and audio in teaching, create a community of practice and offer practical solutions. Clive Young (E-Learning Environments) and Paul Walker (Centre for the Advancement in Learning and Teaching) led a brainstorming activity to identify opportunities, problems, areas of interest and potential activities for the new SIG.
Opportunities identified by the video/media SIG
Opportunities abound! There seems to be a real willingness among teachers to embrace media-enhanced teaching. ELE are exploring video hosting solutions including a YouTube-type UCL video repository which will integrate with Moodle. CALT are keen to support a dedicated media-recording space for central use and offer filming guidance via experts, while some faculties, like Engineering, are planning to set up their own recording space. Information Studies staff have expertise in creating quality podcasts that they can share with the group.
Challenges that were identified included lack of access to recording equipment and editing software, as well as expertise in producing video. Other issues that the group wanted advice on included intellectual property rights, how to keep up with media-savvy publishers in terms of producing high-quality video (at moderate expense) and a lack of awareness about what UCL offers in the way of equipment loans, support and training.
Despite the challenges, people are definitely keen to do more with media. Members of the SIG want a media repository where they can store material securely and where they can tag media so that sensitive material is only used in particular contexts and within an agreed time frame. Everyone was interested in interactive e-learning; as well as creating their own resources, the group want to know about other educational media available via the creative commons license.
To accomplish these goals, the group asked for summer workshops on media in teaching, and to participate in an online community exchange of frustrations, solutions and good practice (via the E-Learning Champions network). The group were also keen to develop case studies from their experience to share with like-minded individuals. Individuals wanting to know more can contact Clive Young (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Paul Walker (email@example.com) for more information or visit the UCL E-Learning Champions’ Moodle.
By Martin Burrow, on 22 November 2013
Over the summer an new desktop service ‘Desktop@UCL ‘was rolled out to all Cluster room, Lecture Theatre and Kiosk PCs. As part of this project the version of the software used with electronic voting was upgraded from version 4.3.2 (also known as TurningPoint 2008) to version 5.2.1
If you have a personal installation of TurningPoint 2008, we recommend that you upgrade it to version 5.2.1 The download for TurningPoint 5.2.1 can be found on the Software Database.
Unfortunately presentations created in one version cannot be run in the other version. If you attempt to open a presentation created in TurningPoint 2008, in TurningPoint 5.2.1, it will prompt you to convert the file, which is a one way process. There is no backwards conversion process for presentations created in 5.2.1, back to version 4.3.2 (TurningPoint 2008). If you have presentations created in TurningPoint 2008 that you want to be able to use on either version, then the best advice is to make two copies of the file. Label one ’2008′ and use it with TurningPoint 2008, the other label ’521′ and use with TurningPoint 5.2.1
There are updated user guides for creating and delivering presentations with the new software here
Creating a presentation with TurningPoint
Delivering a presentation with TurningPoint
Support pages for Electronic voting as a whole are here
E-Learning Environments is happy to provide 1:1 and small group support. In particular we can usually offer to support staff the first time they use E voting in action, which can provide much reassurance and confidence. We are also happy to advise on ways in which EVS can be used within teaching and on the design of effective voting questions.
If you have any questions about the use of Electronic Voting then please contact E-Learning Environments.
By Domi C Sinclair, on 22 November 2013
When using a Turnitin assignment with anonymous marking enabled it is important that the post-date is not changed once submissions are made. If it is moved either forward or backwards then the assignment inbox will be un-anonymised and all names revealed.
This is a deliberate design feature by Turnitin and they state, ‘[a]nonymity cannot be restored at all once the post date has been moved either forwards or backwards once submissions have been made. (In effect, it comes down to the addage ‘what has been seen cannot be unseen’, unfortunately).’
Please be aware of this when setting up your assignments. We advise setting post dates to next year to allow plenty of time for marking, if required they can be moved backwards when you are ready to reveal the identities of students.
By Domi C Sinclair, on 19 November 2013
A recent change to Moodle meant that, when using the quiz tool, any attempts that were not submitted before the quiz was closed (either by enabling the close date or by reaching the maximum allowed time) were moved into a state called ‘Never submitted.’ Once in the ‘Never submitted’ state an attempt cannot be graded, which poses many obstacles. This behavior occurred by default as the settings for the quiz tool were that, ‘[a]ttempts must be submitted before time expires, or they are not counted.’ However recently there have been some incidents where students were unable to click the submit button before the close date/ time limit and their attempts entered the ‘Never submitted’ status.
To combat this issue E-Learning Environments has changed the default to, ‘There is a grace period when open attempts can be submitted, but no more questions answered’. This allows a period of 1 week when the student can go back into the quiz and click submit, but not answer any further questions. This change only affects the default settings, and users will still be free to change this if they would like any of the other behaviors for the ‘When time expires’ option. Users are also able to amend the length of the grace period to anything from seconds to weeks.
If you have any questions or concerns on this matter then please contact E-Learning Environments to let us know.