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Further Digital Skills Development dates now available this term

Jasmin E Mullings15 February 2021

Signpost with 'Digital Skills' written on itHow to book

Please ensure you are using Desktop@UCL or the UCL VPN when booking.

What’s on offer

ISD Digital Skills Development has released new dates for the second half of Term 2 to be offered online via Blackboard Collaborate and Microsoft Teams.

We are offering a wide range of courses covering R, Stata, Microsoft Tools (including Forms, OneNote and Sway) and much more. Highlights this term include:

  • Introduction to Teams & Prerequisite course for Advanced workshops;
  • Excel Essential Skills programme – Orientation session;
  • XMind mind mapping tool – workshop.

This term we are bringing back our popular Software for success and In a Nutshell sessions.

Software for Success sessions are aimed at those starting a new research project, thesis or dissertation and unsure what tools to use for writing up, citation, data analysis etc. These short, lunchtime sessions will help you answer these questions and determine the best way to get up and running.

In a Nutshell sessions highlight a single task in a particular application, such as starting a project in NVivo for example.

We have also adapted our introductory series of Excel Essential Skills Workshops to a self-paced programme with some interactive sessions. Learn more on the Excel Essential Skills Workshops blog post about the new format.

We are also hosting our usual weekly drop-in sessions remotely via Blackboard Collaborate for those who would like individual support on a specific issue. The dates and times of the sessions, along with the direct Blackboard Collaborate link, are available in our ISD Digital Skills Development Moodle course.

Joining a course

Please view the current schedule of courses and workshops below. Once you’ve looked at the schedule and chosen the course(s) you want to book, follow the instructions on the How to enrol on courses blog post to book. Please also view the course description carefully to ensure you have all the information, check for any pre-learning (if applicable) and know how to join the live session(s).

As we will use Blackboard Collaborate for many of our sessions, please watch the 10-minute Participant video guide which explains how to use and what to expect from the BB Collaborate platform.

Once you’ve booked on a course, please visit our Digital Skills Development Moodle course to find any course materials and pre-learning (if applicable). As some courses have pre-learning, please ensure you allow yourself enough time to complete this. Please also download any available course materials in advance of the live session.

We will send out the link to join the session the day before (or Friday if it’s a Monday course) but you can also join directly from MyLearning (see blog post for instructions on how to do this).

Also note that we have added an extra 15 minutes to the start time of our courses to allow participants to test out their audio/connection. The actual course will start promptly on the hour (15 minutes after the advertised time).

More digital skills development opportunities…

Learn online with a vast range of high-quality video-based courses from LinkedIn Learning.  These cover technical skills but also business, personal and creative skills as well.  Visit the UCL LinkedIn Learning page to find out more.

DigiLearn Online is a new library of online videos which covers UCL IT essentials. Topics include remote connectivity, data storage essentials, Microsoft Office 365 applications, and much more. Visit the DigiLearn Online webpage to access the video guides.

Current schedule

Date Start End Class title
16/02/2021 13:45 15:45 DSD: OneNote 2016 – Workshop
17/02/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: Blogging with Reflect (WordPress-based) – Workshop
17/02/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: LaTeX: Demo of Overleaf
18/02/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: Intermediate Statistics with Excel 2016
18/02/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Microsoft Teams Workshop 3: Document Management and Collaboration
18/02/2021 10:45 12:00 DSD: Read&Write: Text-to-speech software – an overview
18/02/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Microsoft Forms Demo
19/02/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Creating accessible Word documents
23/02/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio – Part 1
02/03/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio – Part 2
12/03/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio – Part 3
16/03/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio – Part 4
24/02/2021 13:45 14:30 DSD: Excel Essential Skills programme – Orientation session
25/02/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Getting Started with Stata – Part 1 (Orientation and materials)
04/03/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: Getting Started with Stata – Part 2 (Using Stata)
11/03/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: Getting Started with Stata – Part 3 (Scripting techniques)
18/03/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: Getting Started with Stata – Part 4 (Modelling and reporting)
25/02/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Creating accessible PowerPoint presentations
26/02/2021 11:45 13:00 DSD: Software for success: Working with Bibliography and Citation Apps
26/02/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Pivot Tables in Excel – Demo
26/02/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Introduction to Teams & Prerequisite course for Advanced workshops
02/03/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Word tips and tricks
03/03/2021 09:45 11:45 DSD: Microsoft Teams Workshop 1: Beyond Basics Overview
04/03/2021 13:45 15:45 DSD: Pivot Tables in Excel – Workshop
05/03/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Sway, Microsoft’s modern presentation tool – Workshop
08/03/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Excel tips and tricks
09/03/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Introduction to Teams & Prerequisite course for Advanced workshops
10/03/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Excel Worksheet 1 – Review session
11/03/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: Managing Long Documents in Word 2016
11/03/2021 13:45 15:30 DSD: Microsoft Teams Workshop 2: Managing & Participating in Meetings
12/03/2021 09:45 11:45 DSD: OneNote 2016 – Workshop
16/03/2021 13:45 15:30 DSD: Microsoft Teams Workshop 3: Document Management and Collaboration
17/03/2021 13:45 15:30 DSD: Creating accessible PowerPoint presentations
17/03/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Vlookup in Excel – workshop
18/03/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: Blogging with Reflect (WordPress-based) – Workshop
19/03/2021 11:45 13:00 DSD: In a Nutshell: Excel functions we should all know
23/03/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Creating accessible Word documents
23/03/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: Advanced Statistics with Excel 2016
24/03/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: XMind mind mapping tool – workshop
24/03/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Excel Worksheet 2 – Review session

Develop your digital skills in 2021 – new dates released

Jasmin E Mullings12 January 2021

Image of woman holding a tabletHow to book

Please ensure you are using Desktop@UCL or the UCL VPN when booking.

What’s on offer

ISD Digital Skills Development has released new dates for the first half of Term 2 to be offered online via Blackboard Collaborate and Microsoft Teams.

We are offering a wide range of courses covering R, Stata, Microsoft Tools (including Forms, OneNote and Sway) and much more. Highlights this term include:

  • Three brand new Microsoft Teams Workshops;
  • Inspiration: Mind mapping tool – an overview demo;
  • Introduction to Stop Motion Animation.

This term we are bringing back our popular Software for success and In a Nutshell sessions, beginning with ‘Software for success: Choosing data analysis and statistical tools’ and ‘In a Nutshell: Starting an Nvivo Project’.

Software for Success sessions are aimed at those starting a new research project, thesis or dissertation and unsure what tools to use for writing up, citation, data analysis etc. These short, lunchtime sessions will help you answer these questions and determine the best way to get up and running.

In a Nutshell sessions highlight a single task in a particular application, such as starting a project in NVivo for example.

We have also adapted our introductory series of Excel Essential Skills Workshops to a self-paced programme with some interactive sessions. Learn more on the Excel Essential Skills Workshops blog post about the new format.

We are also hosting our usual weekly drop-in sessions remotely via Blackboard Collaborate for those who would like individual support on a specific issue. The dates and times of the sessions, along with the direct Blackboard Collaborate link, are available in our ISD Digital Skills Development Moodle course.

Joining a course

Please view the current schedule of courses and workshops below. Once you’ve looked at the schedule and chosen the course(s) you want to book, follow the instructions on the How to enrol on courses blog post to book. Please also view the course description carefully to ensure you have all the information, check for any pre-learning (if applicable) and know how to join the live session(s).

As we will use Blackboard Collaborate for many of our sessions, please watch the 10-minute Participant video guide which explains how to use and what to expect from the BB Collaborate platform.

Once you’ve booked on a course, please visit our Digital Skills Development Moodle course to find any course materials and pre-learning (if applicable). As some courses have pre-learning, please ensure you allow yourself enough time to complete this. Please also download any available course materials in advance of the live session. Not all the new courses will have pre-learning and course materials available yet, however, we will endeavour to make them available by Monday 18th January. If materials will be made available later for any particular course, a date will be given for when they are available.

We will send out the link to join the session the day before (or morning before if it’s a Monday course) but you can also join directly from MyLearning (see blog post for instructions on how to do this).

Also note that we have added an extra 15 minutes to the start time of our courses to allow participants to test out their audio/connection. The actual course will start promptly on the hour (15 minutes after the advertised time).

More digital skills development opportunities…

Learn online with a vast range of high-quality video-based courses from LinkedIn Learning.  These cover technical skills but also business, personal and creative skills as well.  Visit the UCL LinkedIn Learning page to find out more.

DigiLearn Online is a new library of online videos which covers UCL IT essentials. Topics include remote connectivity, data storage essentials, Microsoft Office 365 applications, and much more. Visit the DigiLearn Online webpage to access the video guides.

Current schedule

Date Start End Title
19/01/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Getting Started with Stata – Part 1 (Orientation and materials)
26/01/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: Getting Started with Stata – Part 2 (Using Stata)
02/02/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: Getting Started with Stata – Part 3 (Scripting techniques)
09/02/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: Getting Started with Stata – Part 4 (Modelling and reporting)
20/01/2021 11:45 13:00 DSD: In a Nutshell: Starting an Nvivo Project
21/01/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Mentimeter: Encourage online student interaction
21/01/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Word tips and tricks
21/01/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio – Part 1
28/01/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio – Part 2
04/02/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio – Part 3
12/02/2021 13:45 16:00 DSD: An Introduction to R with Rstudio – Part 4
22/01/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Excel tips and tricks
26/01/2021 10:45 12:00 DSD: Inspiration: Mind mapping tool – an overview demo
26/01/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Sway, Microsoft’s modern presentation tool – Demo
27/01/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: Managing Long Documents in Word 2016
27/01/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Mentimeter: Encourage online student interaction
27/01/2021 09:45 11:15 DSD: OneDrive for sharing files
27/01/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Pivot Tables in Excel – Demo
28/01/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Creating accessible Word documents
28/01/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Record a narration over your PowerPoint on a PC
02/02/2021 09:45 11:45 DSD: Pivot Tables in Excel – Workshop
04/02/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Using Audacity to record and edit sound
04/02/2021 13:45 15:30 DSD: Sway, Microsoft’s modern presentation tool – Workshop
05/02/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Microsoft Teams Workshop 1: Beyond Basics Overview
09/02/2021 11:45 13:00 DSD: Inspiration: Mind mapping tool – an overview demo
10/02/2021 09:45 11:00 DSD: Video editing with Adobe Spark
10/02/2021 09:45 11:15 DSD: Microsoft Teams Workshop 2: Managing & Participating in Meetings
10/02/2021 11:45 13:00 DSD: Software for success: Choosing data analysis and statistical tools
11/02/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Introduction to Stop Motion Animation
12/02/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Vlookup in Excel – workshop
16/02/2021 13:45 15:45 DSD: OneNote 2016 – Workshop
17/02/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: Blogging with Reflect (WordPress-based) – Workshop
17/02/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: LaTeX: Demo of Overleaf
18/02/2021 09:45 12:00 DSD: Intermediate Statistics with Excel 2016
18/02/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Microsoft Teams Workshop 3: Document Management and Collaboration
18/02/2021 10:45 12:00 DSD: Read&Write: Text-to-speech software – an overview
18/02/2021 13:45 15:00 DSD: Microsoft Forms Demo
19/02/2021 09:45 11:30 DSD: Creating accessible Word documents

Kindness, community and pedagogies of care

Samantha Ahern8 December 2020

Research has shown that kindness has a positive effect on the giver to varying degrees. But, how do we embed this into our communities and develop pedagogies of care? How can we use kindness as a means of combating growing social isolation and loneliness?

 

In this context I am not referring to random acts of kindness, but relational and radical kindness. Relational kindness enables deep, meaningful connections between individuals by recognising the vulnerabilities and complexities of relationships. Radical kindness perceives kindness as a collective and state enabled response to inequality. It requires connection across differences and a recognition that some people’s needs are greater because of structural disadvantage. In an educational context, state could be akin to a an inidivudal institution, department or programme.

The key theme, is relationships and communities. What is needed to facilitate kindness, how can we create kind spaces and how do we create informal opportunities? Can we create informal spaces for students to just “be”? Conversations can be very powerful in bringing people together, but rely on people feeling comfortable and agenda free, neutral, spaces.

In addition to encouraging individual kindness, we need to embed kindness into our own behaviours. In our pedagogy, teaching departments and across our institutions. In the past I have written about digital wellbeing and compassionate pedagogy. Both of these have a role to play in relational and radical kindness, in addition to resources such as Equity Unbound’s Community Building Activites.

However, this is only part of the picture. We also need to consider our culture, how can we make people more important than processes, how to build a culture of trust and how to listen and making meaningful connections.

There have been some fantastic projects from the Kindness Innovation Netowrk on facilitating kindness in communities and in their interactions with local authorities. How can we translate thee lessons to our learning communities?

Compassionate pedagogy is a good start, but we also need to provide students with spaces to be, trusting them, giving them voice and truly enable them to co-construct their learning. Teach to transgress.

Additional resources:

References:

Randomising Questions and Variables with Moodle Quiz

Eliot Hoving8 December 2020

One of the strengths of Moodle Quizzes is the ability to randomise questions. This feature can help deter student collusion.

There are several ways to randomise questions in a Moodle Quiz, which can be combined or used separately. Simple examples are provided here but more complex questions and variables can be created. 

Randomising the Question response options

It’s possible to shuffle the response options within many question types, including Multiple Choice Questions and Matching Question. When setting up a Quiz, simply look under Question behaviour, and change Shuffle within questions to Yes 

Randomising the order of Questions

You can also randomise the order of questions in a Quiz. Click Edit Quiz Questions in your Quiz, click the Shuffle tick box at the top of the page. Questions will now appear in a random order for each student. 

Randomising the Questions

It’s possible to add random questions from pre-defined question Categories. Think of Categories as containers of Quiz questions. They can be based on topic area, e.g. ‘Dosage’, ‘Pharmokinetics‘, ‘Pharmacology’, ‘Patient Consultation’ or they can be based on questions for a specific assessment e.g. ‘Exam questions container 1’, ‘Exam questions container 2’, ‘Exam questions container 3’. 

The first step is to create your Categories.

Then when adding questions to your Quiz, select add a random question and choose the Category. You can also choose how many random questions to add from the Category. 

Under the Add a question option in Moodle Quiz, you can select Add a random question.

For example, if you had a quiz of 10 questions, and you want to give students a random question out of 3 options for each question, you would need 10 Categories, each holding 3 questions e.g. ‘Exam Q1 container’, ‘Exam Q2 container’ … ‘Exam Q10 container’. 

Alternatively, if you want a quiz with 10 questions from ‘Pharmokinetics‘, and 10 from ‘Pharmacology’ you could create the two Categories with their questions, then go to your Quiz and add a random question, select the ‘Pharmokinetics‘ Category, and choose 10 questions. Repeat for ‘Pharmacology’. You now have a 20 question quiz made up of 50%  Pharmokinetics and Pharmacology questions.  

After saving a random question/s you can add further random questions or add regular questions that will appear for all students. Simply add a question from the question bank as normal.  

Be aware, that randomising questions will reduce the reliability of your Moodle Quiz statistics. For example the discrimination index will be calculated on the Quiz question overall, e.g. Q2, not on each variation of the question that may have been randomly selected from, i.e. all the questions from the Exam Q2 container. Each question variation will have fewer attempts compared to if the question was given to all students, so any analytics based on these fewer attempts will be less accurate.  

Randomising variables within Questions:

In addition to randomising questions, certain question types can have randomised variables within them. 

The STACK question type supports complex mathematical questions, which can include random variables. For example you could set some variables, a and b, as follows:

a = rand(6)  (where rand(6) takes a random value from the list [0,1,2,3,4,5,6]).

b = rand(2)  (where rand(2) takes some random value from the list [0,1,2]).

Variables can then be used within questions, so students could be asked to integrate a×xb which thanks to my random variables will generate 21 different questions for my students e.g. integrate 0×x0, 0×x, 0×x2, x0, x, x2, 2x0, 2x, 2x2 …  5x0, 5x, 5x2, 6x0, 6x, 6x2.

Random variants can be generated, tested, and excluded if they are inappropriate, in the above case I might exclude a = 0 as the question equation would evaluate to 0, whereas I want students to integrate a non-zero algebraic expression.  

The Calculated question type also supports randomising variables as well as  basic calculation questions for maths and scientific assessment. Calculated questions can be free entry or multiple choice. For example you could ask students to calculate the area of a rectangle. The width and height would be set to wild card values, let’s call them

{w} for width, and

{h} for height.

The answer is always width × height or {w} × {h} regardless of the values of {w} and {h}. Moodle calls this the answer formula.

The tutor then sets the possible values of {w} and {h} for the student by creating a dataset of possible values for Moodle to randomly select from. To create your dataset, you first define your wild card values e.g. {w} will take some value between 1 and 10, and {h} to take some value from 10 to 20.  You can then ask Moodle to generate sets of your variables, e.g. 10, 50, or 100 possible combinations of {w} and {h} based on the conditions you define. For example, given the conditions above, I could generate the following 3 sets: 

Set 1: {w} = 1, {h} = 14 

Set 2: {w} = 6.2, {h} = 19.3 

Set 3: {w} = 9.1, {h} = 11 

Creating a dataset can be somewhat confusing, so make sure you leave enough time to read the Calculated question type documentation and test it out. Once complete, Moodle can now provide students with potentially 100s of random values of {w} and {h} based on your dataset. Using the answer formula, you provide, Moodle can evaluate the student’s response and automatically grade the student’s answer regardless of what random variables they are given. 

Try a Randomised Quiz

To learn more, take an example randomised quiz on the Marvellous Moodle Examples course.

Speak to a Learning Technologist for further support

Contact Digital Education at digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk for advice and further support.

BLE CMALT scheme open to new applicants

Caroline Norris26 November 2020

Bloomsbury Learning Exchange logoCMALT logo

Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology (CMALT)
Introductory webinar on Thursday 10 December 3 – 4.30pm

UCL is part of the Bloomsbury Learning Exchange (BLE) and staff at UCL are able to join the BLE cohort to gain CMALT accreditation.

CMALT is the professional accreditation scheme developed by ALT (the Association for Learning Technology) for anyone whose work involves the use of 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.

What is involved?
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.

Who undertakes CMALT?
In the past five years, over 100 staff members from across the BLE partners have set off on their CMALT voyage – with many achieving their CMALT accreditation. Previous cohorts have comprised academics, teaching fellows, teaching administrators, librarians, learning technologists, careers advisers and other professional support staff who all have a strong interest in technology to support learning.

Further details about CMALT can be found in the prospectus.

Sign up
If you would like to attend the webinar to find out more, or register your interest in the programme then please complete this short booking form.

Moodle 3.9 Upgrade and New Features – Tuesday 10th November 2020 

Eliot Hoving and Jon-Luc Holmes6 November 2020

Digi-Ed is excited to announce that Moodle will be upgraded to Moodle 3.9 on Tuesday 10th November 2020. This upgrade will take place in the early morning (1am-2am) to minimise any disruption to staff or students. The upgrade delivers the following new features and improvements as well as performance enhancements and required bug and security fixes. 

Activity chooser 

A new activity chooser is available that makes it easier to locate, star and view recommended activities and resources for use within Moodle. 

Moodle Activity Chooser

Participants filter 

A new participants filter is available which provides more options for searching the list of enrolled users on your Moodle courses. This new filter allows you to search participants by the role they’re assigned on your course or filtering by group. 

Moodle Participants Filter

Whole forum grading 

Forums can now be awarded an overall discussion forum grade. This makes it easier for tutors to use Forums for assessment. Tutors and course administrators can set setup a forum to be graded while students can submit posts and view the grade they have received for their contributions. 

Moodle whole forum grading

Forum reporting 

A Forum summary report can now be generated by Tutors to show student forum engagement. 

Moodle Forum reporting

Activity completion 

A new activity completion criterion is available which allows access to an activity or resource to be restricted based on completion of the previous activity within the course. This allows for content to be moved around or added to your Moodle course without having to reconfigure access restrictions and completion tracking. 

Moodle activity completion

Emojis for Moodle messaging and Forums 

Emojis are now available in Moodle messaging. They can also be added to Forums and other Moodle content using the new emoji picker in the Atto text editor. 

Moodle emojis

Additional Changes 

Alongside the features listed above, the following improvements are also available on Moodle: 

  • You can now filter the Moodle calendar by day and month instead of just listing upcoming events 
  • The question bank now shows question ID numbers within the list of questions for each category 
  • Book resources now have clearer and easier navigation options to improve the user experience for moving between pages 

Full details of all changes between Moodle version 3.7 and 3.9 can be found on the Moodle 3.9 upgrade wiki page.

If you have any queries, please contact digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk