I have heard that Inspiration mind mapping software has been bought by another company and will be continued.
Archive for the 'CPD' Category
I have been very excited by the flurry of activity that has been triggered by The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations (2018) across my own and other institutions. These regulations haven’t really introduced anything new, much of it is covered by existing equalities legislation, but it has shifted the focus. Previously, we could be reactive and in our laziest moments rely on those that needed adjustments to request them. Now, we are required to be proactive. To create content that is accessible by design and follows Universal Design for Learning principles around designing for POUR (i.e., so content is Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust). Aligning with the social model of disability: people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment or difference.
Many colleagues I meet are concerned about what the regulation means in terms of workload, what is required of them and how they become compliant. A range of guidance and support is being delivered to help raise awareness and develop the required skills. But, fundamentally there needs to be a mind shift.
Although there are deadlines associated with the regulations, I would argue that digital accessibility is not a compliance challenge but a cultural shift. A move from directive or requirement to part of our institutional DNA.
In a workshop I co-hosted with my colleague Leo Havemann, a participant described Digital Accessibility as being akin to Escher’s staircase, and I believe that they are correct. We will never not need to consider accessibility as part of our learning and content designs, and it may at times be impossible to be 100% accessible to everyone. However, it doesn’t mean that this shouldn’t become part of our day-to-day practice. The recently launched Student Health and Wellbeing Strategy echoes this with Action 1D: Make key concepts related to disability awareness, inclusive learning, health and wellbeing an integral part of relevant professional services staff and Personal Tutor training. Incorporate these concepts into curriculum development, design and governance.
So, how do we make accessibility part of our everyday? The aim of the aforementioned workshop was to crowd-source ideas on how to create the cultural shift, but also to identify what we can do now to help affect our institutional cultures.
For creating a cultural shift, key themes were to obtain buy-in from senior leadership teams and to embed digital accessibility in induction, training and promotion/development requirements. Making it part of the institutional language and ways of working for all. There was an acknowledgement that we needed to be honest with colleagues that it would require additional effort and different ways of thinking and doing. However, this would reduce over time as a result of skills development, cultural shift and tools to help. There should also be a bottom-up approach facilitated by peer evaluation and creating a network of champions within and across institutions.
With regard to what we can do now, 15% solution, a key theme was walking the talk – demonstrating good practice through our own behaviours and leading the way for others to follow. Training and support were also key themes, as were demonstrating good practice and cultivating empathy.
There may well be dragons to face along the way, but they are worth facing for the creation of a more inclusive and equitable institution.
The materials are also available via OpenEd@UCL.
What is CMALT?
CMALT is the professional accreditation scheme developed by ALT (the Association for Learning Technology) for anyone whose work involves learning technology.
The scheme enables candidates to
- have their experience and capabilities certified by peers
- demonstrate that they are taking a committed and serious approach to their professional development
Accreditation is achieved by successful submission of a reflective, online portfolio, which evidences skills and experience in learning technology across four core areas and a specialist area.
UCL staff and CMALT
UCL staff can undertake CMALT accreditation with the Bloomsbury Learning Environment partners. In the past three years, over 50 staff members have set off on their CMALT voyage with the BLE – many have now achieved their CMALT accreditation. Previous cohorts have comprised academics, librarians, learning technologists, careers advisers and professional support staff who all have a strong interest in learning technology.
You can view further details about CMALT on the ALT website. there is also this handy document for a brief overview. An introductory meeting was held in Bloomsbury on Thursday 19th July to explain further what accreditation means and what is involved in achieving it. You can watch a recording of this introductory meeting or view the slides.
Interested in joining the 2018-19 cohort?
Please confirm your intent to register by completing the registration form by Friday 31st August. You will be sent an introductory welcome email from ALT with links to all relevant documents. You will also then be given access to the BLE CMALT course on Moodle and added to the BLE CMALT mailing list.
The cohort will meet monthly on the first Wednesday of the month during lunch time; the first meeting will take place on Wednesday 5th September, 1230-1430 in Bloomsbury.
Registration is usually £150 per person. However, for groups of between 5 and 9 candidates, ALT offers 10% off each registration, which would be £135. For groups of 10+ they offer 20% off each registration, which would be £120., I will be able to confirm the fees once we reach those thresholds.
Further CMALT information
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sarah Sherman, BLE Service Manager directly.
(For latest news about ABC LD, visit ABC LD blog)
Digital Education has now run 21 of our popular rapid learning design workshops. ABC uses an effective and engaging paper card-based method in a 90 minute hands-on workshop. It is based on research from the JISC and UCL IoE and over the last year has helped 70 module and course teams design and sequence engaging learning activities. It has proved particularly useful for new programmes or those changing to an online or more blended format.
To find out if ABC is for you this short video captured one of our workshops earlier this year.
Participants feedback remains encouragingly positive
“I thought the ABC session was really helpful. I had been a little unsure ahead of the session what it would achieve – but I genuinely got a lot from it. Going back to the basics of methods etc really helped focus on the structure and balance of the module. I thought the output was very useful.”
“Thank you for convening the abc workshop today, i found it thought provoking and challenged the way we think about our teaching. It is too easy to stick to what we have done previously and I found today gave me different ways to think about how to evaluate our current teaching and to bring in different approaches. It will definitely improve my thinking and I will continue with the approach to incorporate some of the ideas into the modules.”
“Thank you for the workshop today- it was an eye opener. I found it really useful to think about categorising how the learning objectives will be delivered and assessed, and examining the variety of ways that these can be achieved. It made me think more deeply about what skills the students can develop by making them responsible for their learning journey and not simply the content that needs to be delivered to them. We will let you know how it goes!”
“It was great and many initiatives have emerged from it.”
For questions and workshops contact Clive and Nataša
For more information see :
ABC Curriculum Design 2015 Summary
ABC workshop resources and participants’ feedback https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/digital-education/2015/09/30/9169/
We are currently developing an online toolkit to support the workshop, have been working closely with CALT to embed the Connected Curriculum in designs and we are developing collaboration projects with The University of Glasgow, Aarhus University (Denmark), University of Leiden (Netherland) and Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (Chile) in order to look at the learning impact of this method. Our colleagues in Chile are even translating the workshop into Spanish.
ABC also featured on UCL Teaching and Learning portal as a case study: Designing programmes and modules with ABC curriculum design http://www.ucl.ac.uk/teaching-learning/case-studies-news/e-learning/designing-abc-curriculum-design
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 fifth 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.
- What does it involve?
Completion of a descriptive and reflective portfolio of about 3,000 words, demonstrating your knowledge in four core areas: operational issues (constraints/benefits of different technologies, technical knowledge and deployment); teaching, learning and/or assessment processes; the wider context of legislation, policies and standards and communication/working with others, plus one specialist option subject. We will run monthly workshops to discuss and work on the core areas of your portfolio, and provide you with a mentor from our team to support you as you complete your certification portfolio.
- How long does it take?
It takes about six months from start to submission and it takes around 25-35 hours in all to complete including around 15 hours contact time. The 2016 cohort will start in February 2016.
- How much does it cost?
It costs £120 to register as a CMALT candidate under the UCL scheme (normally £150). In many cases the candidate’s department covers this fee.
This is an excellent opportunity to support your professional development with lots of support available.
There will be a lunch time meeting to provide further information for prospective participants next week on Wednesday 3rd February 2016 from 1pm-2pm in Chandler House, room 118. All staff are welcome. If you are interested in CMALT but unable to attend this meeting please contact email@example.com
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 Talk, Class-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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.