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    Archive for the 'General Learning Technology' Category

    Kick-starting your literature review

    By Caroline Norris, on 12 April 2018

    30 May 2 – 5 p.m.

    This three-hour session aims to help you leverage some simple software tools to kick-start your literature review.

    The course will start with an review of library and literature searching techniques including creating appropriate search strategies and using appropriate databases.

    We will explore the use of Firefox with Zotero for building a database of literature – the bibliographic database – and some Zotero plugins that will give us useful added functionality.

    We will learn how to annotate PDFs from Zotero and how to extract and report on annotations to produce rich reports of the literature.

    This is a bring your own device session and if you bring a laptop with an up-to-date installation of Firefox you will be able to install the software to be used and practise the techniques described.

    There are no pre-requisites for this course.

    Book a place from April 16 (student)

    Book a place from April 16 (staff)

     

    Digital Skills Development courses for the summer term

    By Caroline Norris, on 12 April 2018

    ISD Digital Skills Development have released new dates for this term. Courses and workshops cover UNIX, Excel, Photoshop, R, Stata, SPSS and more. We are also running Word courses to help you write up your dissertation or thesis.

    Most courses take place in computer workrooms so there is no need to bring your own device.  However, you should bring your own (fully charged!) laptop for Kick-starting your literature review and all R sessions.

    If you can’t attend any of the dates or there is no date available for the course you want, enrol on our Moodle course to be notified of future sessions.

    For a full list of all courses and workshops visit the student course catalogue or the staff course catalogue.  Visit the HR booking system for all bookings.

    Our student booking system is currently unavailable.  If you are student you can book via the link above.  You will initially receive an email saying that you are on the reserve list.  If a place is available you will receive a further email within 2 working days (or before the course, whichever is sooner) confirming your place. 

    Excel Essential Skills – WORKSHOP 1 is not on the HR booking system
    The workshop on 2 May is full.  If you wish to book for 9 May please email isd-digiskills@ucl.ac.uk


    The Digital Skills Development at IOE programme offers training in a wide range of apps including: blogging, mind mapping, infographics, screencasting, live polling, Microsoft Sway, SharePoint, Office 2013 applications, Endnote and more. Bookings are open to all UCL staff and students.  Visit Digital Skills Development at IOE – Course Bookings for the full schedule and to book.  The Digital Skills Development at IOE training updates newsletter is now available in Microsoft Sway format.


    Don’t forget, we have a vast range of high-quality video-based courses available at Lynda.com. These cover technical skills but also business, personal and creative skills as well.  Visit the UCL Lynda.com page to find out more.

    Not sure what you need or have a more specific issue you would like help with?  Come along to one of the Digital Skills Development drop ins if you want more individual support.

    Introducing StepShot Manuals

    By Jim R Tyson, on 8 February 2018

    For a while now, I have been quietly promoting StepShot Manuals (StepShot for short) to my colleagues in ISD. StepShot is a rapid documentation development tool. Which is not nearly as bad as it sounds. StepShot allows you to record an on-screen process – for example, formatting a table in Word or filling out an expenses form – taking screenshots, adding callouts and annotations and writing explanations as you go.

    Some key uses for StepShot include

    • rapid development of training materials and technical documentation
    • developing test scripts for UAT
    • recording test results or bugs
    • creating knowledgebase articles
    • recording process for business analysis and process review

    If you have ever done these jobs, then you might have combined several tools, for example

    a screenshot tool (Windows has one built in), Word, an image editor (Paint or Photoshop), with a workflow like this: take all your screenshots, insert them into word editing, cropping etc as you go, adding explanatory text.

    Stepshot brings all this together in one tool. You set it up to record the activity and select to create a screenshot for mouse clicks or keyboard actions or to use a specific hot key combination for screenshots. As you go through the activity recording images you can also give each a descriptive title and a comment. When you stop recording StepShot opens its editing tool. This latter looks a bit like PowerPoint: your images are listed vertically down the left while the main window allows you to edit an image and add text.

    Click to see the animation!

    This is already a vast improvement on hacking documents together with separate applications, none of them specifically designed for the job, but wait there’s more! StepShot can export your document when you have finished, as Word, PDF, HTML, XML or DITA and can publish directly to Confluence, SharePoint or WordPress. (If they add a PowerPoint option I’ll throw a party). There are simple built in templates for output and with a little effort you can create a customised or branded template.

    So, currently about a dozen people at UCL have taken up a license (UCL staff members can contact ISD Training Administration for licensing information. To use StepShot you do need admin rights on your Windows or Mac PC.). It has been used to create training materials for lecturecast (published on Confluence), it has been used in UAT creating test scripts, it has been used by software testers to record bugs and communicate them to developers. No one currently using it has had more than a two minute informal introduction to the product but people seem to pick up its basic use very quickly. Users report that they enjoy using it as well. The most commone response using it for the first time has been about the immense time savings you can achieve and next about the simplicity of use. One or two people have commented that they don’t really like the look of the output, but this is largely because they haven’t learned how to customise output. I have offered a short workshop on customisation and hope to run it again.

    I have created a Microsoft Team site and I will be keeping in touch with people using it since I have been asked to feedback our experience to the developers.

    Developing Digital Scholarship at UCL

    By Moira Wright, on 23 January 2018

    The next UCL Digital Literacy Special Interest Group (UCL DL SIG) will be taking place on Friday February 16th from 2pm – 5pm (ticket link at the end of this post).

    Digital content is increasingly being used in learning, teaching and research across the Higher Education sector. This has led to a significant change in research practices across disciplines, which include knowledge creation and dissemination through social media and repositories. Complex software tools are being used for data analysis in Arts and Humanities as well as Sciences, and large data sets are being made available to the research community, leading to a blurring of the organisational and support responsibilities of academic stakeholders. This timely event takes a look at digital scholarship at large, and considers new initiatives and opportunities within UCL to address the challenges associated with this disruptive shift.

    Event Programme

    Developing Digital Scholarship: Emerging Practices in Academic Libraries – Alison MacKenzie, Dean of Learning Services at Edge Hill University and Lindsay Martin Assistant Head of Learning Services at Edge Hill University.

    The impact of digital on libraries has extended far beyond its transformation of content, to the development of services, the extension and enhancement of access to research and to teaching and learning systems.As a result,the fluidity of the digital environment can often be at odds with the more systematic approaches to development traditionally taken by academic libraries, which has also led to a new generation of roles and shifting responsibilities with staff training and development often playing ‘catch-up’. One of the key challenges to emerge is how best to demonstrate expertise in digital scholarship which draws on the specialist technical knowledge of the profession and maintains and grows its relevance for staff, students and researchers.


    From digital scholarship to digital scholar  – Alison Hicks, Lecturer UCL Department of Information Studies.

    Drawing on her experience working as an academic librarian in the United States, Alison’s presentation centres on the capacities that are needed to participate in practices of digital scholarship, as well as the inherent risks and challenges of engaging in open and networked spaces.


    Introduction to Digital Scholarship and Open Research – Daniel van Strien, Research Data Support Officer UCL Library Services.

    Daniel will be presenting on a session which aims to help participants make a practical start in practicing open science and digital scholarship he is a Research Data Support Officer within UCL Library Services with an interest in digital scholarship and new approaches to research.


    Where’s your digital at? – Moira Wright, Digital Literacy Officer, UCL Digital Education.

    With an interest in student digital and information literacy skills for employability. Moira will be talking about the Jisc Digital Capability Discovery Tool and how to get involved in the UCL beta pilot.


    Research IT Services – Tom Couch, UCL Research IT Services (RITS).

    Whilst many of the existing users of Research IT Services are pushing for more of the same but better, the broadening base of digitally engaged researchers from different disciplines requires more experimentation with new technologies and services. Tom Couch reports on some recent projects that have helped RITS to engage and support new groups of researchers.


    Please use this link to book your ticket via Eventbrite

    We’re using the Jisc definition of digital literacy: ‘the capabilities which fit someone for living, learning and working in a digital society’.
    The UCL DL SIG was created for UCL staff to promote the use of technology in learning, provide a platform to ask questions, exchange ideas and also to get support from colleagues beyond UCL Digital Education.

    Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

    Where’s your digital at?!

    By Moira Wright, on 22 January 2018

    Discover your digital capabilities! The Digital discovery tool helps you to reflect on your digital expertise and confidence. Find out how to make digital technologies work for you – and get noticed for the skills you have already.

    The tool is a self-administered quiz about professional digital practices in education. Workshop participants will receive a personalised report based on their responses with links to resources and guidance. The tool is designed to be reflective, informative and developmental – it’s not an objective measure of an individual’s digital performance.

    UCL staff are invited to participate in one of three workshops of the beta pilot with an opportunity to use the tool and provide your feedback to JISC.

    Places are limited for these sessions and a sandwich lunch will be provided.

    Sign up via Eventbrite use the links below:

    Thursday 8th February 2018 from 1 pm – 2pm

    Tuesday 20th February 2018 from 1pm – 2pm

    Monday 26th February 2018 from 1pm – 2pm

    A version for students is planned for March 2018 and we’re keen to give students at UCL an opportunity to participate in the pilot. If you would like to discuss running departmental workshops (either staff or student) please contact Moira Wright.

    Links:

    JISC digital capability discovery tool

    Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

    New Digital Skills course dates for 2018

    By Caroline Norris, on 5 January 2018

    ISD Digital Skills Development has course dates available for the New Year.  As usual, we are offering a wide range of courses covering Excel, Matlab, LaTeX, Photoshop, R and more.  New dates are once again available for Unix courses which were absent from last term’s schedule.

    If you want to develop your spreadsheet skills, our very popular Excel Essential Skills and Using Excel to manage lists courses are back again for staff and Excel workshops covering similar skills are available for students.  To find out more about our workshops, check out our previous Digital Skills Development blog post.  Nearly 80 students participated in these workshops when we introduced them last term and the feedback has been very positive.  Courses in Pivot Tables and Charts are also available for both staff and students.

    Most of our courses take place in computer workrooms so there is no need to bring your own device.  However, please note that you should bring your own laptop for all of our R sessions.

    For a full list of all the courses and workshops on offer visit the student course catalogue or the staff course catalogue.  Visit the student booking system or staff booking system to book.

    If you can’t attend any of the dates we are currently offering or there is no date available for the course you want, enrol on our Moodle course to be the first to be notified about any new sessions.

    Don’t forget….

    Digital Skills Training at IOE offer training in a wide range of apps including Office 365 Teams, Sway and OneNote and tools for infographics, mind-mapping, screencasting, video editing, blogging and more.  Some sessions are specifically aimed at Mac users. Visit IT for IOE IT Course Booking for details and to book.

    We have a vast range of high-quality video-based courses available at Lynda.com. These cover technical skills but also business, personal and creative skills as well.  Visit the UCL Lynda.com page to find out more.

    Not sure what you need or have a more specific issue you would like help with?  Come along to one of the Digital Skills Development drop ins if you want more individual support.