Connected Learning – Teaching tools and platforms
By Clive Young, on 24 July 2020
Links to the UCL Resource Centres for tools mentioned at the Town Hall today.
Blackboard Collaborate is UCL’s web conferencing or online classroom platform. It is integrated within Moodle as an activity, providing access to a range of different functions in a live, or synchronous, learning environment. UCL Case Study: Using Blackboard Collaborate to teach students across the world.
Zoom is coming to UCL and support information will be available then.
Teams, now universally used at UCL for meetings and one-to-one sessions, is not yet recommended for group teaching. There is no Moodle or Portico integration and Digital Education do not have the expertise (yet) support in its use for teaching.
Virtual Cluster Rooms will provide direct access to cluster room PCs for computer-based classes. They Mirror the physical cluster rooms in virtual groups that will be timetabled in the same way and accessed via UCL Desktop Anywhere. More information and guidance about planning for laboratory and practice-based activities is also being developed.
Mentimeter (polling) is an online polling, questioning and voting tool that you can use in your classes or presentations, whether they are face-to-face or online, synchronous or asynchronous. UCL has a site-wide licence. UCL Case Study: Engaging students asynchronously with Mentimeter.
Visualisers and graphics tablets can assist online teaching. ISD have a limited stock of visualisers for circulation to lecturers. You can read more about options for writing and showing objectson this digital education blog post.
Moodle has many tools that can help keep your students engaged and learning in the absence of face-to-face sessions. UCL Case Study: Moodle tools to make your teaching more interactive.
- Discussion Forums are often considered the mainstay of online learning. Many staff already use the News forum to announce important information. ‘Learning forums’ can be used for asynchronous discussion (i.e. not ‘real time’) and learning activities. They enable both staff and students to post and reply to posts and are usually are set to allow students and staff to choose whether to become or remain subscribed to a forum. We recommend that Q&A forums are set up for students to ask questions about the course work or assessment processes. Make the purpose of every discussion forum clear, including how students are expected to engage with it and how often staff will reply to posts (if at all). If you want to speak to students in ‘real time’, for example for virtual Office Hours, you might want to try Moodle’s instant messaging style tool, Chat.
- Quiz is the other popular tool for online engagement. A quiz is a useful way to test or evaluate students’ knowledge and to keep them motivated by letting them see areas for improvement. Marking can be automated on some question types (such as multiple choice). Staff can see a detailed breakdown of results, as well as statistics on how easy or discriminating each question is. It can be used for both formative and summative (credit bearing) assessment, such as in class tests or examinations, but the latter is usually done in a ‘live’ classroom, so for online learning summative quizzes are more normal.
- Hot Question used to create a list of popular questions or topics from a group. Participants may ‘rate’ others’ questions. The more votes, the hotter the question and the higher up the list it will appear.
- Book displays collections of web pages in a sequential, easy-to-navigate and printable format. They are especially useful when you have a lot of web content but don’t want it to clutter the front page of your course. Pages can contain links, images, embedded YouTube videos, etc and feature a Table of Contents.
- Lessons can be used to build structured pathways through learning materials and test knowledge as students make progress. Students usually make choices on each page area, sending send them to another specific page in the manner of a decision tree.
- H5P is a simple-to-use tool now integrated into Moodle to create interactive content such as drag and drop, fill in the blanks, flashcards, image hotspots, slideshows, games and formative quizzes (the results are not stored) directly within Moodle. UCL Case Study: Creating interactive video training guides in Moodle.
Lecturecast Universal Capture Personal (screen recording) is a stand-alone application which can be used to create recordings (captures). Recordings can include slides (or whatever you choose to show on your computer screen), video of the presenter and audio. Recordings can include slides (or whatever you choose to show on your computer screen), video of the presenter and audio. Lecturecast offers more than just video playback, though. With the Lecturecast Engagement tools, tutors can set up interactive activities, to engage and support students.
ReadingLists@UCL is an online service that gives students easy access to materials on their reading lists, allowing academic staff to create and update their own reading lists.
LinkedIn Learning provides a vast range of video tutorials supporting learning in software, creative and business skills – all free to UCL staff and currently enrolled students.
Box of Broadcasts (BoB) is Learning on Screen’s on demand TV and radio service for education. The academically focused system allows staff and students to record programmes from over 75 free-to-air channels, and search BoB’s extensive archive of over 2.2 million recordings.
Student-led and collaboration
- Reflect(WordPress blog) is a form of WordPress, the industry-standard blogging and website-building tool. Blogs may be used to help students reflect on their experiences during study, build a portfolio of their work, collaborate on projects and create public-facing materials. UCL Case Study: Medical Science students use UCL Reflect to create scientific blogs for assessment.
- MyPortfolio is a very flexible tool which can be used as a portfolio, for blogging, CV builder, social networking system, connecting UCL students and staff and creating online communities. MyPortfolio provides you with the tools to set up a personal learning environment and can also be used to support group work.
- Office365, is of course ubiquitous at UCL, but the educational possibilities are not always appreciated. LinkedIn Learning includes a useful overview ‘Office 365 for Educators’.