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Digital Education team blog


Ideas and reflections from UCL's Digital Education team


Archive for the 'CPD' Category

Develop your digital skills: Term 2 training courses and more

By Katy O Foster, on 8 December 2023

From training and support to helping you improve your digital capabilities, read below to find out what exciting opportunities Digital Skills Development can offer UCL staff and students in term 2.

Term 2 training courses

To book, follow the links below or find more information here: How to book a course on MyLearning.

Data analysis and visualisation

Choosing the right software
30/01/2024 10:00 11:00 DSD: Software for success: Data analysis & statistical tools Online
01/02/2024 10.00 11.00 DSD: Software for success: Winning with charts Online
05/03/2024 12:00 14:00 DSD: Software for success: Data visualisation Online
17/01/2024 13.00 20.00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio (campus-based) In-person
31/01/2024 14.00 17.00 DSD: Better Tables in R (Campus-based) In-person
07/02/2024 15.00 17.00 DSD: Data visualization in R with ggplot2 (campus-based) In-person
08/02/2024 14:00 16.00 DSD: Data manipulation in R with Rstudio Online
20/02/2024 10.00 17.00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio (campus-based) In-person
11/03/2024 10.00 17.00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio (campus-based) In-person
06/02/2024 10:00 17:00 DSD: Getting started with Stata (campus-based) In-person
06/03/2024 14:00 17:00 DSD: Scripting Stata’s Tables and Collections (Campus-based) In-person
14/03/2024 14.00 16.00 DSD: Scripting Stata Graphs Online
01/02/2024 14.00 15.00 DSD: In a Nutshell: Starting an Nvivo Project Online
26/02/2024 & 27/02/2024 10:00 17:00 DSD: Introduction to Matlab (campus-based) In-person

Mastering Excel

18/01/2024 14.00 15.00 DSD: Excel Tips and Tricks Online
24/01/2024 12:00 13:30 DSD: Charting with Excel Online
30/01/2024 12:00 13:30 DSD: Vlookup in Excel Online
30/01/2024 14.00 15.00 DSD: In a Nutshell: Excel functions we should all know Online
13/02/2024 12:00 13:30 DSD: Pivot Tables in Excel – workshop Online
22/02/2024 10:00 11:00 DSD: Excel Tips and Tricks Online
22/02/2024 14.00 16.00 DSD: Intermediate statistics with Excel Online
07/03/2024 10.00 11.00 DSD: In a Nutshell: Excel functions we should all know Online
13/03/2024 14:00 16:00 DSD: Advanced statistics with Excel (campus-based) In-person
Excel Essential Skills Workshops
24/01/2024 14.00 15.00 DSD: Excel Essential Skills – Workshop 1 (campus-based) In-person
07/02/2024 14.00 15.00 DSD: Excel Essential Skills – Workshop 1 (campus-based) In-person
21/02/2024 14.00 15.00 DSD: Excel Essential Skills – Workshop 1 (campus-based) In-person
06/03/2024 13.00 14.00 DSD: Excel Essential Skills – Workshop 2 (campus-based) In-person
13/03/2024 14.00 15.00 DSD: Excel Essential Skills – Workshop 2 (campus-based) In-person
20/03/2024 14.00 15.00 DSD: Excel Essential Skills – Workshop 3 (campus-based) In-person

Accessibility and assistive technology

16/01/2024 14.00 15.00 DSD: Creating accessible Powerpoint presentations Online
16/01/2024 10:00 12:00 DSD: Creating accessible Word documents Online
14/02/2024 14.00 17.00 DSD: Creating accessible documents with LaTeX (Campus-based) In-person
28/02/2024 14.00 17.00 DSD: Creating accessible documents with LaTeX (Campus-based) In-person
29/02/2024 10.00 11.00 DSD: Best practice for video captions and transcripts Online
19/03/2024 10:00 11:00 DSD: Creating accessible social media content Online


12/03/2024 10.00 17.00 DSD: Think like a computer programmer (campus-based) In-person
18/03/2024 14:00 17:00 DSD: A Quick Introduction to UNIX (campus-based) In-person

Interaction and collaboration

19/03/2024 12:00 14:00 DSD: Software for success: Survey tools Online

Multimedia content: Creating and editing

Graphic design and photo editing
24/01/2024 10.00 11.00 DSD: Design an impactful research poster using UCL templates Online
06/02/2024 14.00 15.00 DSD: Basic image editing using free tools – demo Online
15/02/2024 10.00 11.00 DSD: An introduction to free graphic design tools – Inkscape Online
22/02/2024 14.00 15.00 DSD: Creating infographics using free web based tools Online
06/03/2024 14.00 15.00 DSD: Photo editing with Pixlr X – workshop Online
Film and video
24/01/2024 14:00 15:00 DSD: Explore the potential of UCL Mediacentral  Online
31/01/2024 14:00 15:30 DSD: Introduction to stop motion animation – workshop In-person
27/02/2024 10.00 11:00 DSD: Planning and filming advice for a short film Online
27/02/2024 14.00 15.00 DSD: Make a short film using your iPhone Online
29/02/2024 10.00 11.00 DSD: Best practice for video captions and transcripts Online
22/02/2024 10.00 11.00 DSD: Podcasting made easy Online

Writing, presenting and referencing

Choosing the right software
18/01/2024 10.00 11.00 DSD: Software for success: Writing tools Online
05/03/2024 14.00 15.00 DSD: Software for success: Working with Bibliography and Citation Apps Online
Microsoft Office
16/01/2024 10.00 12:00 DSD: Creating accessible Word documents Online
16/01/2024 14.00 15.00 DSD: Creating accessible PowerPoint presentations Online
08/02/2024 10.00 12.00 DSD: Format your Thesis (Windows) Online
05/03/2024 10.00 11.00 DSD: Word Tips and Tricks Online
07/03/2024 14.00 16.00 DSD: Format your Thesis (Windows) Online
26/03/2024 12:00 13:30 DSD: Effective use of Onenote – workshop Online
13/02/2024 10.00 17.00 DSD: Overleaf: LaTeX with NatBib (campus-based) In-person
14/02/2024 14.00 17.00 DSD: Creating accessible documents with LaTeX (campus-based) In-person
28/02/2024 14.00 17.00 DSD: Creating accessible documents with LaTeX (campus-based) In-person
29/02/2024 14.00 15.00 DSD: LaTeX: Demo of Overleaf Online
21/02/2024 15:00 17:00 DSD: Kick-starting your literature review with Zotero (Campus-based) In-person

Office hours

If you have a question or would like individual support on a specific issue, book an appointment with one of our team: Digital Skills Development Office Hours

Upgrade your skills with the Discovery Tool

In partnership with Jisc, the Digital Skills Development team have put together a Discovery Tool to help UCL staff and students identify gaps in their knowledge and improve their skills. Use the self-assessment questions to start your journey towards better digital skills today: Discover your digital

LinkedIn Learning

UCL staff and enrolled students can access over 16,000 courses for free on LinkedIn Learning.

Contact us

For any questions on Digital Skills Development at UCL, email isd-digiskills@ucl.ac.uk

Would you like professional recognition for effective technology use in education?

By Karen Shackleford-Cesare, on 28 January 2022

If so, why not join the 2022 Bloomsbury Learning Exchange (BLE) Cohort and work towards CMALT accreditation? You may be a tutor, a PGTA, an ELO, a TA, a Librarian, a Learning Technologist, etc. Anyone in fact, who is a staff member at one of the institutions affiliated to the BLE (namely, Birkbeck, LSHTM, RVC, SOAS, UCL, City, University of London and UoL) and has been using technologies effectively to teach or support teaching and learning. Indeed, in the last two years many more UCL staff members have been doing just that.

What is CMALT?

CMALT stands for Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology and the CMALT Accreditation Framework provides pathways to peer-assessed accreditation for a cross-section of learning technology focused professionals, educators and administrators in the UK and internationally.

Join the BLE CMALT Cohort

Registration for the BLE CMALT Cohort is now open! (Until March 1st 2022*). If you missed our two Introduction to CMALT sessions, our slides are available to view here and the session’s recording is here. Attached is the CMALT Prospectus; further information about CMALT and the Association for Learning Technology can be accessed here: https://www.alt.ac.uk/certified-membership

When you have decided, which of the 3 CMALT pathways you may wish to pursue, (download the CMALT Prospectus for details), then please complete our sign up form. Thereafter more information will be emailed to you. The first cohort meeting was or will be on Thursday 3rd Feb, 1 – 2.30pm and was recorded. Future meetings will take place on the first Thursday of every month for no more than 8 months.

Late starters are very welcome! (Until March 1st 2022*). So, if you are interested please do get in touch using the aforementioned form.

*It is also possible to pursue CMALT accreditation independently at any time. See CMALT Support for details.

Inspiration – Great News – It has been saved!

By Michele Farmer, on 29 January 2020

I have heard that Inspiration mind mapping software has been bought by another company and will be continued.

Digital Accessibility – from Directive to DNA

By Samantha Ahern, on 22 July 2019

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.

Tweet by Danielle Johnstone describing some of the Lego activity outcomes.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.

Screenshot of tweet by Kris Rogers showing workshop Lego modelFor 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.

If you would like to run the workshop at your institution, the materials are available under CC BY-SA 4.0 license: DirectiveToDNA-AccessibilityWorkshop

The materials are also available via OpenEd@UCL.

Gain accreditation for learning technology expertise with CMALT

By Caroline Norris, on 25 June 2018







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.

ABC has reached 21

By Natasa Perovic, on 24 March 2016

(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.”

abc workshop group work

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/

ABC beginnings https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/digital-education/2015/04/09/abc-arena-blended-connected-curriculum-design/


ABC News:

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