E-Learning Environments team blog
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    We support Staff and Students using technology to enhance teaching & learning.

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    Archive for the 'Teaching and Learning Network' Category

    Blended Learning Essentials: Getting Started

    By Clive Young, on 9 October 2015


    ‘Blended Learning Essentials: Getting Started’ is a free course, run by a partnership between UCL Institute of Education and University of Leeds, along with a range of colleges and organisations, on the FutureLearn platform.

    The lead educator is Professor Diana Laurillard from UCL, and, while the course is focused on vocational education, you will find much to connect with your own work. We are looking for interested staff to form a UCL cohort to take the course together.

    The course will be in two parts, run over 8 weeks in total. The first part of the course ‘Getting Started’ will ‪start on November 2nd 2015.

    We will be putting together a programme of events to support the UCL cohort and make links with teaching at UCL.

    If you are interested in joining the UCL cohort add your name and join the course at FutureLearn.

    UCL Arena Digital Unit 3: How can we involve students with Campus Pack blogs, wikis and podcasts?

    By Clive Young, on 5 October 2015

    A new unit of UCL Arena Digital is coming!


    There will be some new additions to UCL Moodle from September 2015. Campus Pack will provide a suite of tools comprising blogs, journals, wikis and podcasts that can be used to support students’ reflective, social learning and collaboration, as well as enabling tutors and students to record audio directly into Moodle.

    This unit will guide you through these new Moodle tools, and discuss ways of using them in your teaching.

    The unit will last two weeks, taking 1-2 hours of your time, culminating in an interactive webinar which will allow you to explore advanced features and take a look at what colleagues are already doing with the tools.

    UCL Arena Digital Unit 3 will run October 19th – 30th 2015.

    Live webinar Wednesday 28st October 2015 2 – 3 pm.

    Go to the course.


    ABC Curriculum Design Workshops

    By Natasa Perovic, on 30 September 2015

    Arena Blended Connected Curriculum Design


    • 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 CD 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.







    *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

    Research and Education Space (RES)

    By Jessica Gramp, on 28 May 2015

    RESMark Macey (mark.macey@bbc.co.uk) works on a project named the Research and Education Space (RES) as the Education Engagement Manager, which is being developed through a partnership between the BBC, Jisc and the British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC), who share the goal of  building a platform that indexes and aggregates materials available for education and research use.

    The RES project aims to help teachers and learners find online teaching resources in all subject areas and at all levels which can be relied on. RES is building an open, accessible catalogue of online educational resources that can be used in both Primary, Secondary, HE and FE teaching, either directly within classroom materials and on electronic whiteboards or in materials developed by educational publishers and software providers. The aim is for RES to make student’s learning more interesting, varied, colourful and informative and to allow teaching to become more enriched across different levels and subjects.

    The RES project is in a developmental phase and research is needed to make the offer as rich and as useful as possible to those in education.

    Mark is planning to hold research groups (made up of teachers from different subjects and across the HE/FE sector) in late June/ early to mid July in White City, west London (dates and times TBC depending on availability of attendees). It would be great to know if this is something that might be of interest and if you might be available and interested to attend to offer your knowledge and experience. If you are interested then please let Mark know (at the above address) what dates you can and can’t do in that period. The meeting is likely to be 4-5 hours. Travel expenses will be paid and there is a fee paid for a replacement teacher or direct to you – as well as tea, coffee, sandwiches and copious biscuits 😉

    There are more details about RES below and on the attached Word doc and Mark would be interested in talking with you once you have read about the project. He is available to answer any more questions you might have.

    Read more about the project here (PDF 368KB)…

    ABC (Arena Blended Connected) curriculum design

    By Natasa Perovic, on 9 April 2015

    The ABC curriculum design method is a ninety-minute hands-on workshop for module (and programme) teams. This rapid-design method starts with your normal module (programme) documentation and will help you create a visual ‘storyboard’. A storyboard lays out 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 a more blended format.

    The method uses an effective and engaging paper card-based approach based on research from the JISC* and UCL IoE**. Six common types of learning activities are represented by six cards. These types are acquisition, inquiry, practice, production, discussion and collaboration.


    The team starts by writing a very short ‘catalogue’ description of the module to highlight its unique aspects. The rough proportion of each type is agreed (e.g. how much practice, or collaboration) and the envisaged blend of face-to-face and online.


    Next the team plan the distribution of each learning type by arranging the postcard-sized cards along the timeline of the module. With this outline agreed participants turn over the cards. Each card lists online and conventional activities associated with each learning types and the team can pick from this list and add their own.

    workshop team selecting activities

    The type and range of learner activities soon becomes clear and the cards often suggest new approaches. The aim of this process is not to advocate any ‘ideal’ mix but to stimulate a structured conversation among the team.

    Participants then look for opportunities for formative and summative assessment linked to the activities, and ensure these are aligned to the module’s learning outcomes.



    The final stage is a review to see if the balance of activities and the blend have changed, agree and photograph the new storyboard. graph_s

    The storyboard can then be used to develop detailed student documentation or outline a Moodle course (a module in Mooodle).



    The ABC team is developing a program-level version based on the Connected Curriculum principles.

    Participants’ thoughts about ABC curriculum design workshop:

    Learn more


    *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.

    UCL Arena Digital – new online course starts 2 March

    By Clive Young, on 11 February 2015

    Improve your Moodle skills and enhance your online/blended teaching by taking part in UCL Arena Digital.

    UCL Arena Digital is a free online course for all staff at UCL.

    The course is fully online and will take only 2-3 hours of your week. The course is made up of three Units. Each unit will last 2 weeks and there will be breaks in between Units. Each fortnight will end with a live online webinar where you can share your experiences with your colleagues on the course.

    The course is designed so you can take all three Units, or simply pop in for the Units that especially interest you.

    • Unit 1: multimedia – find out how to create and embed media and interactive tools in Moodle to enliven the online environment for your students.
    • Unit 2: communication – discover ways of using tools inside and outside of Moodle you can use to communicate with students and support their collaboration with each other.
    • Unit 3: assessment and feedback – explore ways of using the online environment to create new kinds of assessment and give feedback to students.

    Unit 1 starts Monday 2nd March 2015 and lasts for 2 weeks.

    Enrol now at https://moodle.ucl.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=29477

    Log on using your UCL username and password

    Unit 2 will launch in early April 2015 – look out for further announcements.