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    Archive for the 'General Learning Technology' Category

    Two-day NVivo training course for staff this February

    By Jasmin E Mullings, on 11 January 2019

    Are you a member of staff interested in developing your knowledge of NVivo this term?

    If so, we are offering an exciting opportunity to attend a two-day NVivo training course taking place on 27th and 28th February 2019 within the UCL Bloomsbury campus.

    The 2 day course will be delivered by Dr Clare Tagg, an independent researcher and experienced QSR approved trainer. Clare has been providing workshops, advice and support for qualitative researchers using NVivo for over 15 years.  Clare’s clients include academic institutions, charities, government bodies and research organisations, as well as individual students. Please see the outline for the course below:

    • Day one: basic techniques to include
      • Understanding different Nvivo source documents (internal, external, memos) and importing sources
      • Understanding nodes – case and content nodes
      • Coding source documents
      • Annotations and links
      • Understand the value of building effective node structures
      • Work with text analysis and coding queries to explore and code textual data
      • ‘Coding on’
    • Day two: analysis of survey data in Nvivo

    As the course will be run by an external trainer, we will be charging participants to attend at a cost of £200 per person (incl. VAT). Please note that the cost must be paid in advance via Inter Departmental Transfer (IDT) and is non-refundable unless we can find a replacement participant.

    Places are limited to 12 seats and will be offered on a first-come, first served basis. If you would like to provisionally book a  place, please email by Monday 28th January at the latest. We will send the first 12 respondents details on how to pay for the booking by IDT. Your place will then be confirmed if we receive payment by Friday 8th February, otherwise it may be offered to someone else.

    If you cannot attend these dates but are still interested, please let us know as we may schedule it again in the future.


    Windows 7 Colour and Font Modifications Missing from Windows 10

    By Michele Farmer, on 7 January 2019

    The issue is that in previous versions of Windows, you were able to get into the settings to change the colour of the window background, so that when you opened a Microsoft Word or Excel file, the background colour on your screen was your chosen shade.

    The window option allowed a colour chart to open up, where you could move the cursor around to find the exact shade you were looking for (alla Win 98, 2000, XP, 2007, etc.). In Microsoft 10, there is no simple option.

    The current accessibility options provided by MS for Win 10 are pretty awful.

    I have been in touch with Microsoft and they say that due to complaints that they will be bringing this facility back, but we do not know when.

    This window is no longer available

    Screenshot of Windows 7 colour and appearance options

    In the meantime UCL users can access a ‘Screenmasking’ option from a networked piece of software called TextHelp Read and Write. This software is either found on the Desktop@UCL, or from the Software Centre or Database.

    Screen-masking Option Menu in TextHelp Read and Write

    Innovating Pedagogy 2019

    By Clive Young, on 4 January 2019

    The latest Innovating Pedagogy report from The Open University explores ten innovative trends in teaching, learning and assessment in eduction.

    Aimed to inform ‘teachers and policy makers’, the annual report – this is the seventh – is free to download from

    The 2019 report was written in collaboration with the Centre for the Science of Learning and Technology (SLATE) in Bergen, Norway and sketches ten trends ‘in currency’ that they think have the potential to provoke major shifts in educational practice at all levels. These are listed below “in approximate order of immediacy and timescale to widespread implementation”. Digital education features of course, “technology can help us to do new things, rooted in our understanding of how teaching and learning take place”.

    • Playful learning Evoke creativity, imagination and happiness
    • Learning with robots Use software assistants and robots as partners for conversation
    • Decolonising learning Recognise, understand, and challenge the ways in which our world is shaped by colonialism
    • Drone-based learning Develop new skills, including planning routes and interpreting visual clues in the landscape
    • Learning through wonder Spark curiosity, investigation, and discovery
    • Action learning Team-based professional development that addresses real and immediate problems
    • Virtual studios Hubs of activity where learners develop creative processes together
    • Place-based learning Look for learning opportunities within a local community and using the natural environment
    • Making thinking visible Help students visualise their thinking and progress
    • Roots of empathy Develop children’s social and emotional understanding

    Some of these ideas will be familiar, others more novel so the short sketches provide a useful overview and update, with links to further exploration.

    December 2018 New Moodle Update

    By Jon-Luc Holmes, on 21 December 2018

    Following the scheduled outage on Tuesday 11th December, several known issues on New Moodle have been resolved. As a result of this work, you will now be able to:

    • Allow you to add a new event in your calendar without receiving an error message.
    • Allow you to manage subscriptions within your calendar without receiving an error message.
    • Allow you to export your calendar, via URL or iCal, with all events.
    • Show the breadcrumb trail consistently on pages such as the question bank.
    • Correctly delete student test accounts when they expire.
    • Allow for the creation of new student test accounts if you were at the limit from previously undeleted accounts.

    Separately from the scheduled outage, MyFeedback has received a fix on New Moodle that restores the ‘My tutees’ block and correctly allocates tutors to tutees based on the information in Portico. This was a known issue for several months but is now resolved.

    Finally, the Moodle Users Forum has been migrated from Legacy Moodle to New Moodle. All existing posts and staff forum subscriptions have been carried over to allow for a seamless transition. Any new users who want to join the Moodle Users Forum can do so by joining the forum here. For those who are unaware, the Moodle Users Forum is a space for staff to engage with other Moodle users, share ideas, best practice, raise questions and find solutions to problems. Over the past few years, the forum has proven to be an extremely useful resource enabling staff to learn from colleagues.

    We’d like to thank everyone for their patience while these issues were resolved and would like to apologise for any inconvenience that was caused.

    Ethics education in taught courses – not just a STEM issue?

    By Samantha Ahern, on 18 December 2018

    On the 12th December I visited Central St Martins for the UAL Teaching Platform event Ethics in Arts, Design and Media Education. Much of the discourse at present is focused on ethics education in STEM discplines such as Computer Science and Data Science, or more predominantly the lack of meaningful education.  Much of this has been driven by growing concerns around the algorithms deployed in social media applications and seemingly rapid growth of AI based applications. The House of Lords AI report explicitly talks about the need for ethics education in compulsory education if society and not just the UK economy is to benefit.

    I was intrigued by a potentially alternative viewpoint.

    The role of the arts is to push the boundaries, but are there limits to artisitic expression?

    Are rebellion and social responsibility mutually exclusive?

    UAL seem to think not.

    The focus of the day was ethics in the context of what students make and do, in postgraduate and undergraduate taught course contexts. UAL aim to entwine ethics into the creative process, developing ethics as lived practice.

    One approach to this has been the development of the Bigger Picture unit which requires groups of students to undertake both collaborative practice and participatory design projects. Some of these projects required students to work with vulnerable members of society e.g. the homeless. How do we ensure that the participants equally benefit and not exploited? Throughout the unit students were encouraged to work collaboratively with these participants respectfully, honestly and with integrity. To enable this, explicit sections on ethical considerations were added to the unit handbook and project brief.

    Additionally, UAL has been working on the development of an Educational Ethics Code and establishing an educational ethics committee.

    The code has 3 main themes, these are:

    • Respect for persons
      • Respecting the autonomy of others
    • Justice
      • Does everybody benefit?
      • Are there privilege and power differences?
      • What social good will the project do?
    • Beneficence
      • The art of doing good and no harm

    There was a general acknowledgement amongst the attendees that many of the ethical decisions we make are situation specific and timebound,with key consideration to be given to who is part of the conversation and who has got the power? Privilege and power are important considerations, especially when it comes to consent models, regardless of discpline.

    It was also acknowledged that there is a fineline between support (e.g. timely guidance) and imposition (e.g. lengthy formal ethical review processes).

    Attending this event made me wonder: is this just one part of a much wider debate around compassion and social responsibility? To my mind it is.

    Event related readings:




    Zoomtext and Dragon for Mac – Discontinued

    By Michele Farmer, on 6 November 2018

    Zoomtext has been discontinued for the Mac. At present I do not know what they have planned, if at all, for a replacement.

    The individual Dragon for Mac has also been discontinued, however, users will be able to access Dragon for their Macs via a subscription service for Dragon Anywhere. Information on the Dragon changes can be found here.