X Close

Digital Education team blog

Home

Ideas and reflections from UCL's Digital Education team

Menu

Archive for the 'Our Views' Category

Obtain professional recognition for effective technology use in education

Karen Shackleford-Cesare1 December 2022

By joining the 2023 Bloomsbury Learning Exchange (BLE) Cohort and working towards CMALT accreditation. You may be a tutor, a PGTA, an ELO, a TA, a Librarian, a Learning Technologist, etc. Anyone in fact, who is a staff member at one of the institutions affiliated to the BLE (namely, Birkbeck, LSHTM, RVC, SOAS, UCL, City, University of London and UoL) and has been using technologies effectively to teach or support teaching and learning. Indeed, since the pandemic hit many more staff at UCL have been doing just that.

What is CMALT?

CMALT stands for Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology and the CMALT Accreditation Framework provides pathways to peer-assessed accreditation for a cross-section of learning technology focused professionals, educators and administrators in the UK and internationally.

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.

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. There are three different pathways to choose from to best match your experience.

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, course administrators, librarians, learning technologists, careers advisers and other professional support staff who all have a strong interest in technology to support learning.

Find out more about it

There will be two Introductory webinars on:

  1. Thursday 8th December 2-3pm 
  2. Thursday 19th January 1-2pm

Please complete this booking form to receive a link to join your preferred session or to watch a recording of it if you’re unable to attend either.

Transcripts and closed captions in Lecturecast (ASR)

Silvia Giannitrapani20 September 2022

From 20th September 2022, media transcripts will be automatically applied to the closed captions track if they meet the 90% confidence score threshold.

We have activated automatic transcription and closed captions by default in Lecturecast as an additional supporting tool to provide fully accessible videos for our students as part of UCL’s digital strategy.

Aside from being an aid to viewers with auditory impairment, transcripts and captions can be extremely useful as a study tool.  Students often search large amounts of text using keywords to pinpoint passages of interest; Lecturecast transcripts, which are searchable and synchronised with the recording, allow similar searches of video presentations.

Lecturecast has built-in ASR (automatic speech recognition) to produce recording transcripts. Transcripts are automatically created for any media uploaded to Lecturecast and are available to viewers once a recording’s audio file has been processed.

Closed Captions use the same ASR file as the transcript but are not available if they do not meet the 90% confidence score threshold or until the ASR file has been ‘applied’ to a recording (until then the CC button in the player will be inactive).

Closed captions will NOT be automatically applied to:

  • New recordings with a confidence score lower than 90%
  • New Zoom videos automatically transferred to Lecturecast
  • Older recordings made prior to the 20th September 2022.

Closed captions can still be manually applied using the ‘apply to CC’ button in the transcript editor after review/corrections are made.

See below an example of what a transcribed lecture with closed captions would look like:

Lecturecast player with both transcripts and closed captions showing

Lecturecast player with both transcripts and closed captions showing

 

Further information and detailed instructions are available on the ‘Transcripts and closed captions in Lecturecast (ASR)’ mini guide.

Please contact lecturecast@ucl.ac.uk with any questions.

 

July Jamboree!

Steve Rowett23 June 2022

Colourful bunting adorns the UCL Quad advertising the July Jamboree

The July Jamboree celebrated some of the smaller, more discipline-specific education technology tools available at UCL, and gave you a chance to see them in action and ask questions of the vendors or developers.

The videos of these sessions are now listed below. Access to the videos requires a UCL login. All videos have human-corrected captions and a transcript available.

Monday 11 July: Learning design and content

Tuesday 12 July: Feedback and interaction

Wednesday 13 July: Mathematics and coding

Thursday 14 July: Simulations in STEMM subjects

  • Labster: Labster provides award-winning STEM curriculum-aligned virtual laboratory simulations within biology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, chemistry, physics and more. Labster video (UCL login required). Find out more about Labster
  • Lt: Lt is an online learning platform with ready-to-use content for life sciences, nursing, and medicine. Lt video (UCL login required). Find out more about Lt
  • LearnSci: Transformative digital tools for science educators. Outstanding learning experiences for students. LearnSci video (UCL login required). Find out more about LearnSci

Friday 15 July: Reading, writing and annotating

 

UCL Moodle Upgrade to Moodle 3.11

Jason R Norton1 March 2022

During the week commencing  04/04/22, UCL Moodle will be upgraded to version 3.11.  With this upgrade, there are number of key changes designed to enhance the user experience for both staff and students. This upgrade will include features from Moodle 3.10 and 3.11

The key new feature is the introduction of Turnitin functionality for the following activities:

  • Moodle quizzes- for Essay Type Questions
  • Moodle forums
  • Moodle Workshop

Each of the activities will allow students to make submissions which will be checked against the Turnitin database and will generate a similarity score.  These activities will behave in a similar way to a Moodle assignment with Turnitin integration.

For guidance on how to set one of these activities up on your Moodle course, please see our online guides:

Enabling Turnitin for essay type questions

There are also several smaller changes coming, with changes most noticeable to students.  Course completion will be enhanced, and will include:

  • Activity dates and completion conditions being shown at the top of the activity page
  • Manual marking option for students
  • Additional display settings (or staff)
  • Improved activity completion reports

 

For full details about the new features in Moodle 3.10 please see Moodle 3.10 features

For full details about the new features in Moodle 3.11 please see Moodle 3.11 features

Please note at the current time we are still evaluating/reviewing the Accessibility Toolkit feature and will not be releasing this feature with the Moodle 3.11 release.

 

Or watch this  YouTube playlist of 3.10 New features created by Moodle HQ

Or watch this  YouTube playlist of 3.11 New features created by Moodle HQ

 

For a comprehensive list of all changes in Moodle 3.10, please see the Moodle release notes.

For a comprehensive list of all changes in Moodle 3.11, please see the Moodle release notes.

If you have any questions about this changes, please email digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk.

 

 

Would you like professional recognition for effective technology use in education?

Karen Shackleford-Cesare28 January 2022

If so, why not join the 2022 Bloomsbury Learning Exchange (BLE) Cohort and work towards CMALT accreditation? You may be a tutor, a PGTA, an ELO, a TA, a Librarian, a Learning Technologist, etc. Anyone in fact, who is a staff member at one of the institutions affiliated to the BLE (namely, Birkbeck, LSHTM, RVC, SOAS, UCL, City, University of London and UoL) and has been using technologies effectively to teach or support teaching and learning. Indeed, in the last two years many more UCL staff members have been doing just that.

What is CMALT?

CMALT stands for Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology and the CMALT Accreditation Framework provides pathways to peer-assessed accreditation for a cross-section of learning technology focused professionals, educators and administrators in the UK and internationally.

Join the BLE CMALT Cohort

Registration for the BLE CMALT Cohort is now open! (Until March 1st 2022*). If you missed our two Introduction to CMALT sessions, our slides are available to view here and the session’s recording is here. Attached is the CMALT Prospectus; further information about CMALT and the Association for Learning Technology can be accessed here: https://www.alt.ac.uk/certified-membership

When you have decided, which of the 3 CMALT pathways you may wish to pursue, (download the CMALT Prospectus for details), then please complete our sign up form. Thereafter more information will be emailed to you. The first cohort meeting was or will be on Thursday 3rd Feb, 1 – 2.30pm and was recorded. Future meetings will take place on the first Thursday of every month for no more than 8 months.

Late starters are very welcome! (Until March 1st 2022*). So, if you are interested please do get in touch using the aforementioned form.

*It is also possible to pursue CMALT accreditation independently at any time. See CMALT Support for details.

Global deactivation of Portico Mappings

Zaman Wong9 November 2021

Portico mappings on Moodle pages were globally deactivated this morning, 9 November 2021.  Enroled students will retain access to their Moodle courses.

How will this impact students on my course?

  • Students who are already enroled on a Moodle course WILL continue to have access to that Moodle course.
  • Students who join a Module on Portico WILL NOT be automatically enroled onto the corresponding Moodle course.  Students can still be manually enroled.
  • Students who leave the module on Portico WILL NOT be automatically unenrolled.

Moodle and Portico mappings

If Portico mappings are active on a Moodle course, student enrolments on that course are automatically updated overnight to mirror the student registrations in Portico.  Consequently, students who change courses or withdraw from their studies are automatically enrolled or unenroled from the Moodle course when their Portico record is changed.  Usually, this is desirable when students change/drop modules within the first few weeks of term.  However, if students are automatically unenroled after they have been awarded any grades, these grades become inaccessible, which can be very problematic.

Note: the ‘inaccessible’ grades, submissions and logged activity are not deleted, and can be accessed again if the student is re-enroled manually.  But, when a student is no longer enroled on a course, there is just no way to view their content.

Why deactivate Portico mappings?

To reduce the likelihood of this particular ‘inaccessible/missing grades’ problem occurring, Portico mappings are deactivated on all Moodle courses, six weeks into each term.

Can I re-activate Portico mappings on my courses?

Yes.  However, please assess whether you risk losing access to some students’ grades before you do this.  Once a mapping is active, students will be automatically enrolled or unenrolled that evening.  See instructions on re-activating Portico enrolments

Note: Portico enrolments can be deactivated within the course at any time by anyone with Course Administrator or Tutor access, thereby stopping any automatic changes of students enroled on the Moodle course.