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BLE CMALT scheme opens for 2019-20

Caroline ENorris16 July 2019

Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology (CMALT)
Introductory meeting on Wednesday 31st July 2 – 3.30pm

UCL is part of the Bloomsbury Learning Environment (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 four years, nearly 80 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, course 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.

Introductory session
There are now three levels of CMALT: Associate, CMALT and Senior, which have slightly different requirements and are based on the experience of the individual candidate. These levels will be described the introductory meeting.  We will also explain what accreditation means and what is involved in achieving it through the BLE scheme.

Attendance will not be taken as commitment to undertake CMALT ¬- it is purely an introduction. Those who do decide to take it forward will join the 5th BLE cohort, working together with colleagues from across the partnership from Thursday 26th September 2019. Monthly sessions will be scheduled to take place on a Thursday lunchtime at the end of the month.

Book your place
If you would like to attend this introductory meeting, please complete this short booking form

If you are unable to attend this meeting, but are keen to find out more (or would like to join the cohort) please sign up anyway to register your interest.

Key Dates: Moodle Upgrade, Snapshots, Late Summer Assessments (2019)

Anisa I YPatel21 June 2019

Over the summer there will be a number of outages and changes to the Moodle service. These are needed to deliver:

  • A Moodle version upgrade
  • Yearly Moodle Shapshot and consolidation of previous Snapshots to ensure GDPR compliance
  • URL changes will also be made

A summary of the outages, changes and timelines is provided in the table below:

Moodle Summer Upgrade Overview

DATE WHAT IS HAPPENING DETAILS
25 June 2019 – 11 July 2019 Moodle Snapshot service at risk
  • the number of Moodle Snapshots will be reduced from 7 to 5 years to comply with GDPR data retention requirements
6 – 7 July 2019 Legacy Moodle to become the 17/18 Snapshot
  • the link to the Moodle 17/18 Snapshot will now be under the Services drop down menu on Moodle
8 July 2019 Link to Legacy Moodle (Moodle 17/18) will be removed from the UCL Moodle front page
  • the link to the Moodle 17/18 Snapshot (Legacy Moodle) will now be under the Services drop down menu on Moodle
26 – 27 July 2019 Moodle service outage
  • upgrade from Moodle 3.4 to Moodle 3.7
  • yearly 18/19 Snapshot will be taken
  • 18/19 Snapshot will be made available for Late Summer Assessments (LSA) until 20/09/2019
28 July 2019 URL changes
27 – 29 July 2019 Moodle service at risk
  • avoid any time bound activities such as quizzes or assignments with deadlines that occur during this period
20 September 2019 https://moodle.ucl.ac.uk will take you directly to live Moodle
  • the link to the Moodle 18/19 Snapshot will now be under the Services drop down menu on Moodle

Moodle Summer Upgrade Timeline

 

We apologise for any inconvenience the outages and changes cause.

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

Inspiration for Mac – to be discontinued

Michele CFarmer10 May 2019

At a conference yesterday, I found out that Inspiration for Mac is to be discontinued. I will post more info  when I have it.

 

Improving Inclusivity – observations from the UCL Education Conference 2019

EliotHoving9 April 2019

I had the opportunity to attend the 2019 UCL Education Conference on Monday 1st April 2019. The conference was themed around:

  • Widening participation
  • BME (Black Minority Ethnic) Attainment
  • Assessment and Feedback
  • Supporting student success
  • Digital education and innovations

Although it was April Fool’s day, and Brexit loomed large, the conference was full of sober analysis and creative initiatives.

The opening plenary by Anne-Marie Canning MBE challenged Universities to play a greater role in promoting inclusivity in their internal practices, and in the broader public sphere as powerful and influential institutions capable of bringing about change. A subsequent panel discussion raised plenty of questions over the structural and everyday challenges to inclusivity, including whether inclusivity was a process or an outcome. This set the tone for the workshop sessions for the remainder of the day. I attended three sessions, which were part of the Digital education and innovations stream of the conference. Each session demonstrated a creative and pragmatic way to improve inclusivity in the classroom.

Photo by Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash

Multisensory and personalised feedback

Maria Sibiryakova presented her approach to teaching writing in Russian. She highlighted the challenge of teaching to a diverse cohort where students can have different experiences of living in Russia and different interests in learning Russian. In the course, students complete seven mini-essays (500 words each) and Maria provides audio and written feedback to students, which combine to “feedforward” into the next assessment.

Maria presented some of the benefits of using audio feedback, including:

  • Multisensory feedback – hence more accessible,
  • Improves teaching presence – students hear you and your voice,
  • Conversational and personalised feedback, and
  • Often quicker to produce.

Maria used a tool called VoiceThread, which has some intriguing features. It’s also possible to deliver audio feedback using Turnitin Assignment.

Photo by Adi Chrisworo on Unsplash

Open in class discussion with Moodle Hot Questions

Rebecca Yerworth and one of her students, Xu Zhao, demonstrated how Moodle’s Hot Question activity can facilitate in-class discussions.

The Moodle Hot Question activity allows for students to submit questions and/or answers via Moodle on their phone or laptop. This facilitates class discussion by increasing the participation of students who otherwise wouldn’t speak up in class due to personal or cultural reasons. Rebecca moderates the discussion live in class, answers questions, and draws out connections between different student answers. She also finds the Hot Questions activity flexible to use as it can be enabled in Moodle and switched on with a click of a button when a new discussion is needed.

Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

Welcoming new Chemistry students through a Moodle module

Dr Stephen E. Potts presented on the development of a Moodle module for welcoming new Chemistry students.

The UCL Chemistry Undergraduate Welcome Page introduces students to the Department, their degree programme, a typical timetable, Lab safety, and even how to submit an assignment on Moodle. It also includes some fun stuff like how to join the UCL Chemical and Physical Society and a collection of molecules with silly names. The module is designed to be delivered completely online, so is Baseline+ compliant, and is released to students when they are registered but before they arrive on campus.

I found the module was a great example of making Moodle look good (yes, it’s possible!). It was visually enticing, clearly structured, and combined quiz activities, video, text and image to engage students. The course has received positive feedback so far, and Stephen plans to build on the module, possibly to include multi-lingual content. I was also really impressed by the virtual tour of the Department. Students click through main buildings and labs, in a similar manner to Google maps, and can also click on information points to view location specific information. The tour was created using a 360 camera and Google Poly.

These three presentations demonstrated some of the everyday ways that inclusivity can be improved through teaching practice and technology. They also showed that improving inclusivity can often be accomplished as part of improving student engagement overall. There was much more to the conference than can be summarised here, and you can read the conference Abstracts to find out more. A tremendous thank you to all the organisers and presenters!

The Turnitin Plagiarism plugin tool for Moodle assignments is finally here…

Janice K MKiugu29 March 2019

Digital Education are pleased to announce that the Turnitin Plagiarism plugin tool for Moodle assignments will be available on New Moodle from 2nd April 2019.

This means that assignments submitted via the Moodle assignment tool can now be checked for similarities in text and a Similarity report generated.

Enabling this will ensure parity across assignment types in Moodle (with regards to similarity checking) and will allow staff and students to have the ability to check all pieces of work for similarities in text and not just those submitted via a standard Turnitin assignment.

All staff will be able to enable the setting on Moodle assignments. However, this will be run as a pilot as some but not all institutions that have the plugin enabled have reported a few issues with the plugin that can be resolved, but require workarounds. Digital Education need to ensure that these issues can be resolved and managed.  The pilot will run till the Moodle Snapshot is taken on 26th July 2019.

There are a few key things to note:

Does the tool work with group submissions?

Yes, however note that:

  • Only the student who made the submission will be able to view the similarity report and will need to share it with other students in the group.
  • All marking should be done using the Moodle Grading tools to ensure all students in the group have a grade recorded and can see any feedback given.

What impact will the plugin have on existing Moodle Assignments?

None at all. Existing assignments will remain as they are. If the plugin is enabled for assignments that have already been set and submissions made, then no similarity report will be generated. Students would have to resubmit to get a similarity report.

Can I set up a Moodle assignment with Turnitin enabled and grade the work in Turnitin feedback studio?

No, we do not recommend this. Turnitin should only be used for similarity checking and NOT for grading when it is enabled in a Moodle assignment.   We have detailed reasons for this in on the wiki guide.

For additional guidance on how to use this tool as a staff member, please refer to the guide – Moodle Assignment with Turnitin integration. Alternatively, if you are a student please see – the student guide .

For specific queries or support, email: digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk

Digital Education Services

A Quick Introduction to Unix evening course – places available

Jasmin EMullings4 March 2019

Digital Skills Development are pleased to say there is still time to book a place on our course “A Quick Introduction to Unix” on 20th March from 17:30 – 20:30.  Designed to introduce complete beginners to the operating system that sits under the bonnet of the internet, is the first choice for high performance computing and is seen on more and more desktop computers, this course will help you move into the computing fast lane.

A previous attendee said “Great and very enthusiastic lecturer. The course was very well paced. Good contents and very useful”.

Course Outline

============

  • What is Unix?
  • Types of Unix
  • Files and processes
  • The shell and subshells
  • The Directory Structure
  • Managing Files and Directories
  • Understanding pathnames
  • Working with Files on the screen
  • Searching the contents of a file
  • Redirecting Output
  • Wildcards
  • Simple scripting
  • Getting Help
  • Access rights

 

If you are interested in booking a place, please book via the following STBS link: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/UCLTrainingBookingSystem/index/results?Model_Page-QUERY=ISUNIX&x=0&y=0