X Close

Digital Education team blog

Home

Ideas and reflections from UCL's Digital Education team

Menu

Archive for the 'Teaching and Learning Events' Category

JISC Netskills E-learning Essentials BTEC Certificate (3 day workshop)

JessicaGramp8 October 2014

Recently two UCL staff from Management Science and Innovation (MS&I) attended a JISC workshop that covers learning theories and shows how technology can be usefully applied in practice using Scenario based learning methods. Matt Smith is the Learning Technologist for MS&I and came away with useful ideas that he has been able to share with his colleagues to develop technology-rich, scenario-based learning.

Sarah Warnes also attended the workshop and emerged from the workshop feeling enthusiastic about e-learning. She has since been granted an E-Learning Development Grant to develop a scenario based programme for her students in Moodle in collaboration with Matt Smith and a student developer. Sarah explained that every teaching technology “has to be about how it’s adding value to the learning experience” and not just used for technology’s sake. This point became even more evident during the JISC workshop.

The 3 day workshop is called ‘E-learning Essentials’ and upon completion participants receive a BTEC Certificate. “[It] teaches comprehensive techniques, methodologies and tools to enable you to confidently design, develop, assess and evaluate e-learning” (JISC NetSkills 2014).

The next workshop runs from 25th – 27th November 2014 at Euston House, London. Read more and sign up here: http://www.netskills.ac.uk/content/products/workshops/event/euston-nov14-elrness-r1/index.html

Find out more about the course…

Sources:

JISC Netskills (2014) E-learning Essentials: BTEC Certificate

Providing you with the skills to create high-quality e-learning solutions [online] Available from: http://www.netskills.ac.uk/content/products/workshops/range/elrness.html [Accessed: 18-09-2014].

E-learning essentials (genuinely)

Matthew S BSmith7 August 2014

Last month I attended a 3 day JISC Netskills workshop at Newcastle University entitled ‘e-learning Essentials’. Based on this particularly uninspiring title, I was prepared for the course to cover already well-trodden ground. However, I quickly found it to be the antithesis; within the first hour the unexpectedly inspiring trainer Danny McAtominey was making me think about e-learning in a way I had not considered in some time.

The course focussed heavily on learning theory and rationale with the first day spent entirely away from technology (in fact during the three days I did not learn about a single new tool or piece of software). We looked at educational taxonomies, instructional design cycles and pedagogical frameworks (the kind of diagrams I do not doubt we all have copies of but so rarely dig out and consult) and how these align with and inform course design.

So often it feels as though we are tagging technology onto current practice (technology enhanced learning?) and although this can (and does) positively impact teaching and learning, I can never help thinking that we are only really scratching the surface. Danny really helped to shift the focus away from the technology and a tool driven approach to the learning and course design. He put forward a very strong argument for scenario based, multi-disciplinary courses that put the online delivery on an equal footing with the classroom teaching.

Since attending the course I have been much more considerate and analytical when approaching even the most seemingly simple of requests from teaching staff; really thinking about the motivation behind using technology and how it may allow all types of learners to access higher levels of engagement.

In all, the course has at most changed the way I view e-learning or at least recalled to me a perspective I have held in the past (a little like being shown a photograph of a place you once visited). This being so, by the end of the course, I had revised my opinion and felt ‘e-learning Essentials’ was a wholly accurate description. I would therefore highly recommend it to even the most experienced practitioner, as much for the time it provides to reflect on e-learning in general, as for the content covered.

Please note, there are currently no workshops scheduled but I have been informed by JISC that there will be deliveries taking place at Euston and Newcastle later in the year and next year. More information can be found at e-Learning Essentials.

MOOCs, e-learning and beyond!

18 July 2014

moocconf

The archive for this year’s excellent Bartlett Pedagogy conference, MOOCs, e-learning and beyond: Exploring the future of virtual built environment teaching, held on 1 July 2014 at UCL’s Bloomsbury Campus is now open.

Videos of the keynotes and presentations / audio files of the speakers can be accessed at bit.ly/bartlettmoocs.  “This exciting conference brought together over 70 participants from across the UK, Europe, Australia and the US, both professionals interested in E-learning and MOOCs and architects/built environment teaching staff interested in the future of pedagogy”.

Although the focus was on built environment teaching and learning, participants saw a wide range of interesting and often inspirational ideas that will be of interest to everyone who teaches and is interested in the future of learning.

How is it for you? E-Learning Champions collaborative design workshop, 17 July

6 June 2014

stephen_brownWhat does e-learning look like in UCL from your perspective? What is working really well? What isn’t happening? What frustrates you as an E-Learning Champion? What are you particularly proud of?

Following on from the recent UCL E-Learning Champions Summits and Horizons event, this session on the afternoon of Thursday 17 July is designed to capture the views and opinions of UCL E-Learning Champion in order to baseline where we are now and to generate insights into what the next phase of e-learning at UCL should look like.

The workshop will be facilitated by Professor Stephen Brown (above).  Stephen is professor of Learning Technologies at De Montfort University, a visiting fellow at the Centre for Distance Education at the University of London, International Programmes, a registered expert in Technology Enhanced Learning with the European Commission, former President of the Association for Learning Technology and a higher education consultant with over 35 years of experience.

The session is the first in a series of planned collaborative design activities that will ensure that key stakeholders are in the driving seat for the next phase of e-leaning futures at UCL.

This will be an activity based workshop in which participants will be invited and helped to draw a so called “rich picture” that depicts personal perspectives on the UCL e-learning scene. These rich pictures will expose inevitable differences in the way participants view things and the differences will be used to spark a debate about what needs to be done to take forward e-learning policy and practice.

No drawing skills are required to produce rich pictures and no preparation is needed for the workshop.  Just turn up and be prepared to share your thoughts with colleagues. We will formally invite Champions to participate next week.

This short Flash animation by The Open University provides an interesting Rich Picture about Rich Pictures.   (Click on Rich Picture in the top menu bar)

Bibliography

Bronte-Stewart, M. (1999) Regarding Rich Pictures as Tools for Communication in Information Systems DevelopmentComputing and Information Systems 6, 83-102

Bartholomew, P, and Freeman, R. (2010) The T-SPARC Stakeholder Engagement Model

UCL E-Learning Champions – one year on

22 May 2014

Clive YoungThe UCL E-Learning Champions initiative is actually now a bit over a year old – we launched on Valentine’s Day in 2013. At the Summits & Horizons event on Monday we took the chance to review progress so far.

We have certainly grown over the last year, we now have over 130 members. Nearly all UCL departments and divisions are represented and although there is work to be done (not everyone knows who their Champion is!) in some areas the initiative seems remarkably well established.

I opened the session by reminding the sizeable audience that the Champions were key to our ambitious institutional target to develop departmental e-learning plans. Pairs of departmental E-Learning Champions – one academic and one teaching administrator (TA) – had been identified to help develop local e-learning statements articulating departments’ expectations and priorities, highlighting good practice, and identifying support needs.

Fourteen months into the implementation plan, this type of engagement with the champions has been excellent. Champions are well embedded in UCL’s learning technology strategic and support initiatives and are now beginning to be regarded as an important group of change agents, with the support of ELE.

This approach has already helped ELE benchmark e-learning activity, develop local plans across two of our schools and has led to the emergence of faculty-level e‑learning Champion groups. During the event our three E-Learning Facilitators, Jess Gramp (BEAMS), Natasa Perovic (SLMS) and Mira Vogel (SLASH) explained how the Champions had helped with a wide range of local initiatives and projects, in areas such as Turnitin, multimedia group work and enhancing Moodle provision.

The Champions’ role is also evolving. Mira reported that SLASH Joint Faculty Departmental Teaching Committee Chairs had been asked to ensure that their departmental E-Learning Champions were either members of the DTC or had a direct reporting link to it. SLASH has also convened an E-Learning Forum to discuss the issues of the day, identify support needs and plan future directions. Likewise in BEAMS there are now regular E-Learning Champions Faculty meetings in MAPS & Engineering. In SLMS Natasa has been meeting with meetings with all faculty tutors and now divisions. She reported the E-learning needs in SLMS  are also related to collaborative tools (for content delivery and learning activities), media rich interactive resources and ‘beyond the baseline’ Moodle activities.

We asked attendees if the Champions’ role should be more ‘formally ‘described but the audience was split. As one participant said, it was the informality of the group that made it successful.

We believe UCL is at the forefront of recognising that the complexity of e-learning provision in a modern university requires the development of a digitally literate community comprising a wide range of colleagues. We therefore discussed the personal development of Champions and Rosalind Duhs from CALT explained how the UCL Arena Fellowship programme could be an excellent route. Being a Champion and involvement in local projects would provide a sound basis for the development of portfolio case studies.

The session was concluded with an engaging presentation from Dr Adrien Desjardins who explained his role as a Champion in Medical Physics and Bioengineering. This was followed by further contributions from the audience and a lively discussion. We are planning a more formal review of the programme and this was a great start. Many thanks to all who contributed.

Etienne Wenger-Trayner @ UCL Storified!

7 April 2014

Etienne Wenger-Trayner, the keynote speaker at UCL Teaching & Learning Conference last week inspired a very active on-line Twitter discussion that had #uclteach trending for a while. Here is some of the flavour of that discussion in about 75 tweets. I used the well-known social network service Storify to create the story and timeline below from the #uclteach hashtag on Twitter.

If you are interested in using Storify in education to collate and curate feeds from social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, try the following links.