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Digital Education team blog


Ideas and reflections from UCL's Digital Education team


Archive for the 'social media' Category

Feature Focus!

Domi C Sinclair8 March 2016

There’s a wide web out there, with lots of possibilities to be achieved by utilising the plethora of creative and helpful online tools. MyPortfolio is a great resource to pull all of this external content together, in one easily viewable and shareable space. To compliment the external tools, there is also a lot you can do with internal tools such as journals and files. Once you are happy with your page(s) you can even choose a Creative Commons License to help make your content more easily shareable, and help create a bigger impact with your work.

To see a demonstration of some of possibilities of what you can embed and create with MyPortfolio check out our Feature Focus! MyPortfolio collection.

Explore. Play. Learn.

Gingerbread dreams: what happened on the way to UCL?

Moira Wright7 March 2016

A link to the ideal soundtrack to listen to whilst you are reading this this blog is embedded in this image and will open in a new window.

All the little boxes!

You can follow the link and listen to my chosen soundtrack[1] whilst reading this blog. The link is embedded in the image above and will open in a new window.

So why exactly did we ask participants of the workshop run at the UCLU Education conference to build and decorate a cardboard box which explained their digital journey to UCL – asking them to use Lear’s masterpiece – Owl and Pussycat [2] as inspiration for their own story?

Well, the simple answer was that we wanted to gain insight into the student digital journey to UCL. Faced with survey fatigue from students and our desire to hear what they think we felt this would be a lot more fun to do than another Opinio!

You can hear what one participant had to say about it all – and make your own mind up about how well the workshop went by following the link below to the UCLU Education Conference YouTube video and a 1.5min interview with a participant sharing feedback and their thoughts about the session.

…and if you are wondering why I chose the song – well it’s all about challenging conformity 🙂


 References and Notes

[1] Little boxes (2016) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Boxes (Accessed: 5 March 2016).

[3]ESL and Popular Culture (2012) The owl and the pussycat ~ poem with text. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSjNk5Fi_6Y (Accessed: 6 March 2016).

Please click on the image above to see more photographs from this session.

UCL Arena Digital Unit 3: How can we involve students with Campus Pack blogs, wikis and podcasts?

Clive Young5 October 2015

Update July 2017: Please note that the ability to add new instances of Campus Pack tools in UCL Moodle has been removed as part of the this year’s Moodle upgrade. The page below is for reference, and staff should see our Campus Pack Guidance page for more information on possible alternative tools that offer similar functionality.

A new unit of UCL Arena Digital is coming!


There will be some new additions to UCL Moodle from September 2015. Campus Pack will provide a suite of tools comprising blogs, journals, wikis and podcasts that can be used to support students’ reflective, social learning and collaboration, as well as enabling tutors and students to record audio directly into Moodle.

This unit will guide you through these new Moodle tools, and discuss ways of using them in your teaching.

The unit will last two weeks, taking 1-2 hours of your time, culminating in an interactive webinar which will allow you to explore advanced features and take a look at what colleagues are already doing with the tools.

UCL Arena Digital Unit 3 will run October 19th – 30th 2015.

Live webinar Wednesday 28st October 2015 2 – 3 pm.

Go to the course.


Now and next from E-Learning Environments Summer 2015

Domi C Sinclair15 July 2015

The second edition of our new monthly vlog series, where we bring you all the most important news from UCL E-Learning Environments. This video focuses on the what ELE are doing over the summer period, as well as some future plans.

Useful link:

Moodle Snapshot: https://moodle-snapshot.ucl.ac.uk/

ELE Blog: https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/digital-education/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ucl_ele

Game SIG: https://moodle.ucl.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=21489§ion=3

Introducing the ELE vlog

Domi C Sinclair22 June 2015

In E-Learning Environments (ELE) we have lots of useful and important information we need to communicate with staff (and students) who use our systems. We have various different ways of communicating with everyone who uses our systems (like Moodle, Lecturecast and MyPortfolio) including email, Twitter, Moodle News and this blog. However we also recognise that these are all text based mediums, and sometimes read chunks of information isn’t preferential. To try and make this easier, and offer an alternative way of communicating we are pleased to introduce the ELE vlog.

We are launching this new vlog (or video blog) on our YouTube channel and hope to post a new video every month informing viewers of the most interesting or important things happening within ELE and our systems. If we get a good response, or have requests, then we may increase the frequency of videos, or make videos explaining particular topics. If you have any ideas of videos you’d like to see from ELE then please comment on this blog post or send us an email to ele@ucl.ac.uk.

So, without further adieu, please enjoy our first vlog embedded below (and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more educational and hopefully entertaining content!)

ELE Communication Channels

Moodle News: https://moodle.ucl.ac.uk/mod/forum/view.php?f=1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/UCL_ELE

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/LTSSUCL/videos

The internet is for being social (and for cats).

Domi C Sinclair5 March 2015

The power of the internet, and people’s desire to interact socially have been demonstrated time and time again, and I recently wrote a post for this blog about the power of the crowd. Another example that struck me, and that I wanted to share was that of the Kickstarter project, Exploding Kittens.

Exploding Kittens is a card game, that received a large amount of funding ($8,782,571) via it’s Kickstarter campaign. The amount of money they received was vastly over their initial $10,000 goal and so money is really not a problem for this project. Within the mechanics of Kickstarter many campaigns offer what are known as stretch goals. These are additional benefits offered to backers if the campaign exceeds certain goals. They are usually designed to encourage funding and will start once the project has exceeded its initial funding target. The Exploding Kittens project had initially refused to do any stretch-goals, however due to pressure from backers they agreed to set up a series of extras that could be achieved by reaching certain targets. As I mentioned before this project received a gigantic amount of funding, and the project team did not want or need any more money. Instead they decided to set a number of social challenges, to get backers engaging in the project and community, as well as to get them interacting with one another and working towards a shared good. These social goals ranged from things such as reaching a specific number of Facebook followers for the project to 100 people in a room having a picture taken with cat ears on. Yet again the backers showed their power and managed to meet even some of the weirder targets to unlock the stretch goals.

You might not think Exploding Kittens has much to do with education, but it shows the potential for getting people to work together for a shared goal through a series of social targets. One of the projects social goals was to create a Wikipedia page for the Exploding Kittens project. This could be translated into education by setting students the goal of creating a wiki page, on UCL’s very own wiki and then everyone contributing to unlock extra tutorial slots, or more mock exam questions. The difficult part with education is ensuring the goals are tempting enough for students to want to unlock them, without being so important that denying them to students would be unethical. Some of the other challenges that could be used in an educational context include the various photo challenges. You might set a selfie challenge for students to take pictures with certain museum artefacts, or outside buildings of specific historic significance. Perhaps they could then be asked to write a report about why that object or building is so important or their experiences there, or they might have to pick someone else’s selfie to write about. Maybe you could set a group challenge where at least 5 students have to take a picture in a certain location – which would involve them communicating with one another to make arrangements and might help with group dynamics for later project work. These of course are only ideas, and subject experts are much more likely to know what they wish to get out of students. It might just help to think of how we can utilise other popular elements of the internet for an educational purpose and get everyone working together, for the greater good.