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Mentimeter at UCL

Steve Rowett9 July 2020

We’re pleased to announce that we now have a site licence for Mentimeter at UCL, meaning that any teacher or student can use it free of charge. Our Mentimeter Resource Centre provides training and guidance to get you started.

Mentimeter is an online polling, questioning and voting tool that you can use in your teaching, whether it is online or face-to-face, synchronous or asynchronous. Mentimeter offers a wide variety of question types that you can use with your students to promote active learning:

Icons for different question types in Mentimeter, including multiple choice, free text response, ranking and image-based questions

Icons for different question types in Mentimeter, including multiple choice, free text response, ranking and image-based questions

It will eventually replace the TurningPoint ‘clickers’ that were installed in some lecture theatres and were available to loan. Educationally, the two services are very similar, but Mentimeter can be used anywhere – including for synchronous and asynchronous online teaching – without the need for physical handsets. It also allows more flexible question types such as word cloud and text responses, unlike the more limited TurningPoint numeric keypads. And you can even include LaTeX formatting in your Mentimeter slides.

To sign up for Mentimeter go to https://www.mentimeter.com/join/ucl. You will be redirected to log in using Single Sign On, with your standard UCL username and password. And then you’ll be straight in to Mentimeter and able to start making your first presentation.

If you already have a Mentimeter account (free or paid) using your UCL email address, this should convert to our site licence and you will no longer be charged for it. Any presentations or results that you already have attached to that account will be preserved.

If you have an existing Mentimeter account (free or paid) using a personal non-UCL email address, then you can either just create one with your UCL email address, or we can transfer your old presentations and results over on request.

Mentimeter have some great resources on putting your slides together. It’s all done online with no need for a fiddly PowerPoint toolbar. Instead, you just click the ‘Present’ button in Mentimeter and your questions appear full screen.

If you are teaching a live session online, then you run the presentation at ‘presenter pace’ which is the default method. You can share the window in Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Students can vote or contribute from a web browser on their laptop or phone, and you see the results in real time as your students enter them.

You can also run a presentation in ‘audience pace’ mode where students complete questions at their own pace, and possibly at different times. It’s an effective tool for asynchronous activities, so for example you might ask students to complete an activity at the start of the week and review their contributions at the end of the week. You still get to see their contributions in real time as they are made.

To give you some examples of what you can do with Mentimeter, here are some different question types showing how the results are presented after an audience response.


A graph showing the results of a multiple choice question and the correct answer in Mentimeter

A graph showing the results of a multiple choice question and the correct answer in Mentimeter


Sliders allow participants to show levels of support for various statements in Mentimeter

Sliders allow participants to show levels of support for various statements in Mentimeter


 

Free text responses shown as a word cloud in Mentimeter

Free text responses shown as a word cloud in Mentimeter


 

Teaching videos: which platform should I choose?

Eliot Hoving12 June 2020

Decorative.

As you prepare your Moodle course for next term, in addition to vital asynchronous activities, you will likely want to add a few videos of yourself or a screen recording of your lecture. By now you’re probably aware that UCL has a plethora of technologies. This is partly a necessity, as UCL teaching practices vary so no single tool will get the job done for everyone, but sometimes it’s a little unclear which to use.

 

To help you decide, Digital Education with help from the Digital Media team and IT for SLASH team has put together this comparison table of the three centrally supported media platforms: Lecturecast, Mediacentral and Microsoft Stream.

 

The table hopes to clarify some of the common questions; e.g.

  • Does the platform allow students to download recordings?
  • Can I upload a pre-recorded video e.g. a video recorded in PowerPoint?
  • Can I restrict who views the video?
  • Can I see analytics on whose watched the video?

 

If you need further advice on creating and sharing video, please contact digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk.

 

Late Summer Assessments in Moodle – Summer 19/20

Jason R Norton10 June 2020

This summer (19/20) sees a repeat of the processes introduced last year with regards to the running of Late Summer Assessments.

A snapshot of Moodle 19/20 will be taken on 13th July 2020, 9pm-10pm. Moodle will be unavailable during this period.

Two live instances of Moodle will then be available:

  • Moodle LSA(snapshot) 19/20 – to be used ONLY for Late Summer Assessments. This will remain live until 30th November 2020.
  • Moodle 20/21.

Moodle use and Late Summer Assessments

To facilitate the combination of required end of year tasks and the running of Late Summer Assessments, all Late Summer Assessments should take place within the 19/20 Moodle Snapshot (called Moodle LSA 19/20).  This will be created on 13th July 2020 and made available no later than 15th July 2020.

Why are we asking you to follow this guidance?

  • All associated course content and student/cohort data will remain consistent and associated with the correct Moodle snapshot, in this case Moodle 19/20.
  • Completing Late Summer Assessments within the 19/20 snapshot allows all the “live” Moodle courses to be reset and normal end of year course activities to take place from 15th July 2020. Course teams will therefore be able to begin preparing courses for the 20/21 academic year.
  • Additional Moodle course creation is kept to a minimum within the Moodle 20/21 instance and aids in Moodle housekeeping activities (reducing dead/unwanted courses, improving long term database performance).

What are we doing to facilitate this change?

  • The Moodle 19/20 Snapshot will remain read/write until the 30th November 2020.
  • Digital Education will make a landing screen/hub available as we did last year with a two Moodle selection page to direct students to snapshot Moodle for Late Summer Assessments.
  • Digital Education will create a global banner within “live” Moodle directing students to the snapshot for the duration of the Late Summer Assessment period.
  • Digital Education will place other redirection adverts/links within “live” Moodle to highlight to students that Late Summer Assessment activities can be found within the 19/20 snapshot.

How can you prepare for Late Summer Assessments?

If you have Late Summer Assessments taking place and you wish to prepare assessment material/submission points in advance of the Moodle snapshot being taken on 13th July 2020, we recommend the following:

  • Within any course where Late Summer Assessments will be taking place, create a hidden section and place any material or submission points within that section. This can be done in Moodle 19/20 up until the 10th July 2020. Alternatively, it can be done within the 19/20 snapshot, which will be available by 15th July 2020.
  • When you are ready to make Late Summer Assessment material/submission points available, simply unhide the section within the course on the 19/20 snapshot.

Details on how to create and hide sections within Moodle can be found in the  miniguide – Moodle Course Structure .

A list of commonly asked questions about Late Summer Assessments is also available.

For any questions regarding Moodle and Late Summer Assessments please email digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk.

Moodle 19/20 Summer Snapshot

Jason R Norton10 June 2020

An annual snapshot of Moodle will be taken on 13th July 2020, 9pm-11pm (BST).  Moodle will be unavailable during the period.

The snapshot is a ‘point-in-time’ copy of UCL Moodle (http://moodle.ucl.ac.uk) taken for reference purposes. All records present on this date will be included in the snapshot.

Date  What is happening  Impact 
13th July 2020, 9pm-11pm (BST)
  • A snapshot of Moodle 19/20 will be taken 
  • Moodle will be unavailable from 9pm-11pm
  • Staff should limit any editing on courses that have ended for the 19/20 academic period until the snapshot is restored.  
15th July 2020 
  • Moodle Snapshot 19/20 will become available no later than 15th July 2020. 
  • Moodle will have a new landing page.
  • The Reset option will be enabled in Moodle 20/21. 
  • Moodle snapshot 19/20 will become available.  All late summer assessments for the academic year 19/20 should be completed here. 
  • Users logging into Moodle will be presented with a new landing page and will be able to select Moodle 19/20 (LSA) or Moodle 20/21. 
  • Staff will be able to start resetting their Moodle courses in preparation for the 20/21 academic year 
30th November 2020 
  • Moodle Snapshot 19/20 will become read only. 
  • No more edits on Moodle 19/20 can take place. 

Two Moodles over summer

This year will be the second year running that we have implemented and maintained two live instances of Moodle over the summer period. This is done to ensure the completion of Late Summer Assessments within the correct cohorts and courses and to enable course resets to take place. 

Once the Moodle Snapshot is made available, users visiting moodle.ucl.ac.uk  will be presented with a landing page and will be able to choose to log into either Moodle 19/20 (LSA Moodle) or Moodle 20/21. This landing page will only be active until 30th November 2020 when the snapshot will be come read only and be made available alongside other Moodle Snapshots. 

For full details on the use of these two Moodles and Late Summer Assessments please see Digital Education Late Summer Assessment Blog

Course resets and getting ready for the new academic year (available from 15th July 2020)

Once the 19/20 Snapshot of Moodle is made available (no later than 15th July 2020). The Moodle course Reset option will be enabled for all staff. Staff will be able to start resetting courses that have completed and are no longer in use This would not apply to Modules such as postgraduate, medical and other non-standard timetabled courses which do not conform to the normal academic cycle. 

The Moodle Course reset process changed slightly in summer 19/20.  For guidance and detailed steps, please see the wiki guide – Reset your Moodle course 

Once you have completed your course resets, please see the Moodle start or term checklist to ensure you are ready for the new academic year.

Note that the UCL e-Learning baseline has been updated.  Reference should now be made to the UCL Connected Learning Baseline when preparing courses for the 20/21 academic year. 

Staff should also refer to the Preparing for Connected Learning in 2020-21 web page. 

If you have any questions or require pedagogic or technical support in the use of Moodle in the support your of teaching and learning activities, please contact the Digital Education team via email at digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk

Open Education and Teaching Continuity

Samantha Ahern and Leo Havemann15 May 2020

Open Education practices and resources have become increasingly important of late. Sharing what we have learnt and changes that we have made in our approach to digital pedagogy and learning design are important in helping create the best possible learning opportunities for our students. In addition, as students may not have access to all the resources available via campus, now is a good time to re-use, share and create open educational resources. For instance, selecting an open textbook will enable greater access to a textbook resource.

Ongoing support

UCL Digital Education are continuing to run a series of online drop-in and training sessions. A full list of all upcoming sessions is available on the DigiEd team blog. In addition, a series of how-to videos are available via the E-learning wiki.

Arena centre colleagues are also hosting a range of online drop-ins. Details are given on the Teaching Continuity webpages.

SIG update

All OpenEd@UCL SIG face to face meetings are suspended for the forseeable future, including both SIG meetings and the monthly informal meet-ups.  Instead we will be keeping in contact via our SIG space on Teams and the mailing list. We are have already held one successful remote meeting and we will advertise upcoming meeting dates and times via our Teams space.

Resources

There is a wide range of fantastic resources available that can be utilised by you and your students. Some of these have been created by colleagues within UCL, some have not.
Please share any OER that you think will be useful to colleagues via the OpenEd space on Teams.

Things to read or watch

Some fantastic guidance is being provided by a range of experts at present to help with the transition. Included here are some great things to read to help inform your practice moving forwards, plus just some great reads related to open education and practices. All listed items are open access.

 

Marking 24 hour exams

Steve Rowett5 May 2020

Please note this post is being regularly updated with additional resources.
+ New on Friday 8 May: Guide to online marking from Mary Richardson
+ New on Friday 8 May: Microsoft Drawboard PDF demo from Dewi Lewis, UCL Chemistry
+ New on Friday 15 May: Updated details on Microsoft Drawboard PDF

The move to online 24 hour assessments that replace traditional exams leads to a challenge for those that have to grade and mark the work.

We start from a place of two knowns:

  • Students are submitting work to Turnitin in Moodle during the 24 hour window; and
  • Final grades need to be stored in Portico, our student records system.

But in between those two endpoints, there are many different workflows by which marking can take place. These are set out by the UCL’s Academic Manual but encompasses a range of choices, particularly in how second marking is completed. One key difference between regular courseworks is that this is not about providing feedback to students, but instead about supporting the marking process, the communication between markers and the required record of the marking process. At the end of the marking process departments will need to ensure that scripts are stored securely but can be accessed by relevant staff as required, much in line with requirements for paper versions over previous years.

Neither SRS nor Digital Education mandate any particular way that marking should take place and there is considerable flexibility for departments to use processes that work best for them. So we are suggesting a menu of options which provide a basis for departments to build on if they so choose. We are also running daily training sessions which as listed at the foot of this document.

The menu options are:

  • Markers review the scripts and mark or annotate them using Turnitin Feedback Studio
  • Digital Education will provide PDF copies of scripts for departments to annotate using PDF annotation software on a computer or tablet device.
  • Markers review the scripts using Turnitin Feedback Studio, but keep a ‘marker file’ or notes and comments on the marking process.
  • Markers print the scripts and mark them, then scan them for storage or keep them for return to the department on paper.

The rest of this post goes into these options in more detail.


Turnitin Feedback Studio

Turnitin Feedback Studio provides a web-based interface where comments can be overlaid on a student’s work. QuickMarks provide a bank of comments that occur regularly that can be just drag and dropped onto the work. In addition, the traditional Turnitin Similarity Report is also available. This method probably works best for text-based documents like essays and reports. Turnitin is integrated into Moodle and set up for you as part of the exam process for students to submit their work, but it’s your choice if you wish to use the marking tools available after the work has been submitted. The Turnitin submission boxes have been set up for you, and we ask that you don’t change the settings or set up any grading templates to mark student work before submission, as this could prevent students from submitting.

You can also allocate marks using grading forms or rubrics.  On the whole we think that these could be a bit of a ‘sledgehammer to crack a nut’ solution for a single paper, but it is an option available to you if you are familiar with them and you have a more granular set marking criteria for each question. We recommend hiding the assignment before adding the grading form or rubric so that students cannot see it.

If you want to know if this method is for you, you can watch a short video demo or  try marking up an example paper provided by Turnitin. A video tailored to UCL’s 24 hour exam process is given below. This video has captions.

Things to think about with this approach:

  • Rubrics and grading forms take a little bit of setting up, and are probably best used where you have previous experience in doing them.
  • In some exams it is common to put a mark (e.g. a tick) on each page to indicate that the page has been read. To replicate this you might define a QuickMark called ‘page read’ and put it on each page, or annotate with the same words
  • The marked paper often becomes a resource to go back to if there are any errors or omissions in the grading process. You might wish to both write the marks on the paper using the annotation tools or in the general feedback area, and also lodge them in a spreadsheet for uploading to Portico.
  • Turnitin does not support double blind marking effectively. It is rarely used for paper-based exams (since the second marker could always see the markings of the first marker on the paper) but if it was needed one marker could mark online and the second could download the papers for offline marking (e.g the ‘marker form’ method below).

You can view additional guidance on using Turnitin Feedback Studio.


Annotation using PDF documents

Where you annotation needs are more sophisticated, or you want to ‘write’ on the paper using a graphics tablet or a tablet and pencil/stylus, then this option may suit you better.

Upon notification (notification form) Digital Education will supply your department with PDF copies of the students’ work, uploaded to a OneDrive account set up by your department.

For this to happen, Exam Liaison Officers / Teaching Administrators will need to set up a OneDrive folder and notify Digital Education that they wish to have PDF copies of the files. We have a video tutorial (with captions) on this process below.

You can then use tools you already have or prefer to use to do your marking. There is more flexibility here, and we will not be able to advise and support every PDF tool available or give precise instructions for every workflow used by departments, but we give some examples here.

Marking on an iPad using OneDrive

Many staff have reported using an iPad with Apple Pencil or an Android tablet with a stylus to be a very effective marking tool. The Microsoft OneDrive app supports both platforms and provides rapid access to scripts and some annotation tools as shown in the video below (which also has captions). The OneDrive app is free, and connects to your UCL OneDrive account via Single Sign On.

There’s further guidance from Microsoft on each individual annotation tool.

The Apple Files app can also connect to OneDrive and has a similar (and perhaps more powerful) annotation tool. Thanks to David Bowler for mentioning this in the first comment on this blog post.

Marking on a Mac using Preview

Preview on a Mac is often taken for granted but is actually quite a sophisticated tool and includes some basic annotation functions. Here is some guidance from Apple on using it.

Marking on a PC or Surface Pro using Microsoft Drawboard PDF

Microsoft Drawboard PDF is a very comprehensive annotation tool, but is only available for Windows 10 and is really designed to be used with a Surface Pro or a desktop with a graphics tablet. Dewi Lewis from UCL Chemistry has produced a video illustrating the annotation tools available and how to mark a set of files easily. UCL does not have a site-wide licence for Drawboard PDF, but it is available at a very modest price if departments choose to buy it.

Marking on a PC, Mac or Linux machine using a PDF annotation program.

Of course there are plenty of third party tools that support annotating PDF documents. Some requirement payment to access the annotation facilities (or to save files that have been annotated) but two that do not are Xodo and Foxit PDF.

Things to think about with this approach:

  • Your marking process: if you use double blind marking you might need to make two copies of the files, one for each marker. If you use check marking then a single copy will suffice.
  • You will need to ensure the files are stored securely and can be accessed by the relevant departmental staff in case of any query. You might share the exam submission files with key contacts such as teaching administrators or directors of teaching.
  • Some of the products listed above have a small charge, as would any stylus or pencil that staff would need. These cannot be supplied centrally, so you may need a process for staff claiming back the costs from departments.

Using a ‘marker file’

Accessing the students’ scripts is done using Turnitin in Moodle, which allows all the papers to be viewed online individually or downloaded in one go. Then a separate document is kept (either one per script, or one overall) containing the marks and marker feedback for each comment. If double-blind marking is being used, then it is easy to see that two such documents or sets of documents could be kept in this way.


Printing scripts and marking on paper

Although we have moved to online submission this year, colleagues are still welcome to print documents and mark on paper. However there is no central printing service available for completed scripts to be printed, and this would have to be managed individually or locally by departments.


The evidence about marking online

In this video Dr Mary Richardson, Associate Professor in Educational Assessment at the IOE, gives a guide to how online marking can differ from paper-based marking and offers some tips for those new to online marking. The video has captions.


Training sessions and support

Digital Education will be running daily training sessions for teachers covering the ground in this blog post. These will run at 12-1pm every weekday from Tuesday 12 May.

No booking necessary.

We are also providing additional support for students during the exam period. Our support hours will be (UK time):

  • Monday 11.30am-8.30pm
  • Tuesday-Thursday 8am-8pm
  • Friday: 7.30am-3.30pm

Details of support mechanisms are given in the exam section on each Moodle module where an exam is taking place.