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

    Here you'll find updates on developments at UCL, links & events as well as case studies and personal experiences. Let us know if you have any ideas you want to share!

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    Archive for the 'UCL E-Learning Champions' Category

    Learn with Lynda

    By Clive Young, on 20 July 2015

    ISD E-learning Environments are delighted to be hosting Laurie Burruss from lynda.com who will be running three exciting workshops for us on 3rd September 2015.

    Laurie is the director of digital media at Pasadena City College, where she has also been design professor for the past 15 years. Laurie is a professional digital storyteller, and she has developed a rich curriculum in digital and new media. Laurie is also an Education Consultant to lynda.com and will share her expertise and experience with us. Lynda.com is a vast online library of video tutorials supporting learning in software, creative and business skills which is free to UCL staff and currently enrolled students.

    These workshops are for anyone who is interested in incorporating video-based learning into their teaching and how to successfully adopt a blended or flipped approach to learning. There will be opportunities to share ideas, discuss different approaches and create your own lynda.com playlist. Laurie will be happy to discuss your programme requirements during any of the sessions.

    You are welcome to attend any or all of the sessions, please book using the links below. Refreshments will be available throughout the day. Participants are encouraged to bring their own device and to install the lynda.com app where relevant.

    Session 1: The Power of Video & the Moving Image 11:00 – 12:00

    Book here

    In the last three decades, teachers have moved from the four walls of the classroom to the infinite possibilities of the Internet. Online video resources are becoming fully integrated in the learning space and a matter of choice for the student. As well as this rapid adoption of this technology, witness what we have learned about how online video changes and enhances the way we learn. A great online video structures learning around meaning, presents the big picture of the subject matter, and supports it with granular details and steps. Learn “how we learn with video” and about the factors that affect our learning.

    Session 2: Teaching and Learning with Lynda 12:30 – 13:30

    Book here

    Although many educators use lynda.com personally to “keep up” with technology, few explore the many ways to integrate lynda.com’s library into their course subject matter expertise. Effective technology communication skills paired with subject matter expertise and mastery prepare students for “real world” jobs and innovative learning pathways. In this session, Laurie demonstrates several effective solutions for using lynda.com to enhance and create curriculum. You will leave with a variety of templates and solutions for integrating lynda.com into the classroom at the institutional level, the course level and the project level.

    Session 3: Beyond the Classroom Walls: Reinventing Yourself, Your Class, and Your Teaching Methods 14:00 – 15:00

    Book here

    Teaching and learning is changing from what students need to what students want to achieve personally, from textbooks to online aggregated resources, from classroom to cloud. Innovative changes free the teacher to rethink the “classroom.” In this session, Laurie shares her experiences in a spectrum from face-to-face to online learning opportunities, Discover the infinite possibilities in teaching and learning as you reinvent yourself as a teacher!

    Assessment born digital – Sian Bayne at UCL

    By Mira Vogel, on 12 May 2015

    Sian Bayne portraitSian Bayne is Professor of Digital Education in the School of Education at the University of Edinburgh. She convenes the Digital Cultures and Education research group and teaches on the MSc in Digital Education, a fully-online course. At an earlier ELE Assessment & Feedback Special Interest Group (link for UCL people), Tony McNeill from SELCS – a graduate of that MSc – recommended we invite Sian to talk about assessment in a digital age, she kindly accepted, and Anthony Smith (UCL’s Vice Provost Education & Student Affairs) chaired the event. The abstract:

    “The study and production of text is a defining academic activity, yet the way in which texts are shaped and shared in internet spaces presents an intriguing set of challenges to teachers and learners. Pedagogic work with the new generation of web artefacts requires us to work within a textual domain which is unstable, multilinear, driven by a visual logic and informed by authorship practices which are multimodal, public and sometimes collective. How can we critically approach these new writing spaces, as learners, teachers and scholars? Drawing on experience of conducting such assessment within a large, online Masters programme, the talk will demonstrate how assignments born digital can be rich, critical and creative. It will also consider how as teachers we can manage, mark and organise for these assessment forms.”

    Sian’s MSc students have a range of digital skills. As a fully-online course contact is crucial, so students are required to blog frequently for a term, privately by default but shared if preferred, receiving individual feedback in the form of comments on posts. This is necessarily labour intensive for the teaching team since it is intended to replicate the one-to-one tutorial within the blog space, as far as possible. To build students’ confidence and skills with multimodal presentation they’re set a number of formative tasks in advance of higher stakes assessment – for example to rework a passage from Plato’s Phaedrus.

    For high stakes assessment students have a choice – they can submit work in established essay form but have the option to instead work on digital artefacts out on the Web. Where these are public they can bring new and exhilarating kinds of attention, sometimes from the thinkers whose work they are referencing. Increasing numbers of students are choosing this multimodal alternative (a side effect is that the public nature of the work also raises the profile of the MSc).

    Proposals to assess beyond the essay often prompt questions about the appropriateness of other modes for academic communication – as one person asked during the discussion, don’t images and music fall within a cultural domain apart from academia, an emotional realm of implicit meaning and taste – isn’t it more art than scholarly communication? Sian emphasised that multimodal assessment shouldn’t be treated as a special case, and that the MSc assessment criteria are conventional and shared with other postgraduate courses in Edinburgh. Moreover the student work we saw was sophisticated. A student used a screen capture of his explorations in Google Earth and Google Streetview, rhetorical forms attuned to the content of his work on flaneurship. To pose questions about the meaning of originality in a copy-paste age, another fabricated a plagiarised essay with each section linked to its source, juxtaposed with an essay on the same subject which adhered to established norms of academic integrity.

    There was a question about whether assessment criteria conceived with text in mind could adequately comprehend the sensuality and interpretive ambiguity of multimodal work. Sian observed that the MSc assessors were alive to their burden of responsibility to interpret the work. There is a single holistic mark rather than breaking down by criteria, and there is moderation and sometimes third marking. Trust between marker and student is important; students and tutors need to know each other because assessing this kind of work depends on building a relationship between tutor and students. Sian explained that students are asked to propose their own assessment criteria in addition to the regulated ones. There may be much to learn from assessment practices in visual arts when assessing multimodal work in humanities and social sciences. There was a discussion about the role of images – it was clear that they needed to be doing rhetorical work, and students who simply used them illustratively or ornamentally tended to be marked down.

    On more than one occasion Sian observed that “text is not being toppled”. Digital modes aren’t taking over; it’s more a case of what exceeds, rather than what comes after, ‘the essay’. Programmes and institutions who are doing this now are the ones which are willing to experiment.

    If you’re at UCL and want to experiment with multimodal assessment, E-Learning Environments looks forward to working with you. Contact your school’s E-Learning Facilitator to discuss – Jessica Gramp (BEAMS), Natasa Perovic (SLMS), and Mira Vogel (SLASH). At UCL there are plenty of precedents, including Making History (History Department), Internet Cultures (Institute of Education), Digital anthropology, the BEng, and an object-based learning module called Object Lessons (more on the latter to come). See also Laura Gibbs from the University of Oklahoma in a short conversation with Howard Rheingold about how her students retell old stories in new ways.

    UCL Arena Digital – you can still join us for Week 2!

    By Clive Young, on 9 March 2015

     

    Over 200 UCL colleagues have already joined UCL Arena Digital, our free online course to help improve Moodle skills and enhance your online/blended learning.

    We are in Week 2 but you are still welcome to join.

    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 – the current one – 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 started last week and will continue to Thursday 12 March, when we will conclude with a webinar.

    Even if you missed last week there is still time to get involved and all the materials will also be available afterwards.

    You can enrol 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.

    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.

    CMALT 2015 – UCL’s popular portfolio in e-learning

    By Clive Young, on 14 January 2015

    Association for Learning Technology logo

    Do you use Moodle, Turnitin, Lecturecast, Opinio, My Portfolio, the UCL Wiki? Do you use Email, text, Facebook to contact students, do you read or contribute to blogs or Twitter etc. or use other technologies to support the student learning experience?

    If so, why not try UCL UCL’s professional portfolio in e-learning? 

    Now in its fourth year at UCL, CMALT is a chance to learn about, share and implement good practice in the wide range of technologies that support our students’ teaching and learning.

    Working together with colleagues from across UCL was helpful in terms of discovering and developing good practice”.

    CMALT is a national peer-based professional accreditation scheme developed by the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) and an opportunity to certify your growing skills and experience in learning technology.

    Why not join us and work towards a CMALT certificate?

    Please see our  flyer for more information.

    There will be a lunch time meeting with Liz Wyatt from ALT to provide further information for prospective participants on Wednesday 21st January 2015 from 12pm-1pm in Chandler House, room 118.

    All staff are welcome, although we recommend that UCL CMALT candidates have been working for one academic year, or have relevant previous experience. Please email a.gilry@ucl.ac.uk

    If you are interested in CMALT but unable to attend this meeting please contact a.gilry@ucl.ac.uk

    Teaching innovation and technology enhanced learning at UCL School of Pharmacy

    By Natasa Perovic, on 15 December 2014

    technology enhanced learning UCL pharmacy
    UCL School of Pharmacy is actively involved in the development of a number of innovative approaches to develop teaching and learning and to further embed technology-enhanced learning within the MPharm and MSc programmes. A recent example of such an initiative is our highly-successful wiki-based integrated therapeutics project, which continues to help students to integrate their knowledge across traditional discipline boundaries. The launch of a newly-designed and updated MPharm programme in 2013-14 and access to new technologies has encouraged further innovation, three examples of which will be described.

    iPad-supported Workshops – Small group-based practical and PBL exercises in which students have access to iPads have become one of the primary modes of workshop-based teaching in the new MPharm programme. Students use web-based resources and information retrieval techniques to solve problems and discuss their approaches in their groups, fostering peer-supported learning. Sessions are supported by faculty and TAs as facilitators. iPads are also pre-loaded with suitable apps appropriate to the session and students can download workshop resources from Moodle then record and submit their results electronically during the session.

    Research Project Assessment – Starting in 2013-14, the mode of research project assessment was fully revised to incorporate: (a) a project portfolio, in which students record their day-to-day activity with an emphasis on data management, reflection and critical review (of results and key literature); (b) a succinct research paper formatted in the style of a journal specific to the field of research; and (c) presentation of a poster at a mini-conference held at the School, at which staff and students ask questions to presenters based upon their projects. There was a tangible air of excitement and excellent engagement at the poster conference, demonstrating the success of this approach.

    Green Light Pharmacy Clinical Experience – The provision of clinical pharmacy experience from the start of the First Year is a key priority for the MPharm programme. Students regularly visit our partners at Green Light Pharmacy where they can observe real-time patient-pharmacist interaction through a live video feed to a purpose-built teaching facility on-site and have the opportunity to interact with real patients under the supervision of a pharmacist. The clinical experience offered by these visits has received extremely positive feedback from students in annual module review questionnaires.

    Stephen Hilton, Mine Orlu Gul, Adam Phillips, Oksana Pyzik, Arnaud Ruiz, Michelle Wake, David West, Andrew Wilderspin and John Malkinson

    Teaching innovation and technology enhanced learning in UCL School of Pharmacy poster