Learning Technology

Teaching & Learning Seminar (E-learning Community): Teaching-Dedicated Structures in Schools. 3 June

May 22nd, 2015

The last event of the academic year will differ somewhat from our usual fare in that it will be two talks looking at the context in which e-learning often finds itself – developmental activity and excellence in teaching.

The Innovation in Pharmacy Education Division (IPED) is the newest of the six divisions in the School of Pharmacy. It was launched in September 2013 to support innovation and creativity in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences education. The Division brings together experienced staff from across clinical practice and science areas (a team of eleven at present) to support educational innovation both in the School, and more widely. Cristina De Matteis (Head of IPED) will report on the Division’s initial experiences.

The second talk will come from Martin Monahan (Politics and International Relations). The process of ongoing teaching development is an iterative process with what works – and what does not – needing constant reassessment. Big ideas around teaching practice, modes of learning, and pedagogic styles appear to be less welcome, especially amongst senior colleagues, than small, highly practical tips that can be quickly implemented and produce fast and demonstrable results. Dr Monahan will reflect on the sorts of “small ideas” his department has tried to disseminate, how this has been achieved, and the reaction of colleagues. He will then reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of such an approach, and the possibility of integrating such a low key instrumentalist view into a wider framework of teaching as a radical act.

Date: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Time: 12.30 p.m. with hot drinks from 12.15 p.m.

Location: A48, Sir Clive Granger Building, University Park

To be sure we have enough tea and coffee, please e-mail molly.fleischer@nottingham.ac.uk if you intend to be present.

This series will continue in November.

Webinar: Groups and Groupings in Moodle. Tuesday 12 May 2015

May 11th, 2015

Tomnorrow, 12th May, we are running a webinar on Groups and Groupings in Moodle: Angelique Bodart will be leading.

If you would like to know more about how you can use the Groups and Groupings functionality in Moodle to manage how your students access resources and activities and facilitate online collaboration then join in the webinar.  You will have the opportunity to ask questions, learn how to setup and apply Groups and Groupings to different aspects of Moodle and understand how this impacts student engagement.

Length of webinar:  30mins

Time (UK):  9:30am

These sessions take place online (in Adobe Connect) – you join in from your desk or home computer or any other computer. See this page for full details (University of Nottingham only).

Improvements to the Accessibility Block

March 20th, 2015


Since upgrading Moodle last summer, we have been really pleased with the positive feedback we have received for the new look and feel. We know many really like the new colourful design.

However, we also know some users find the background image too distracting and want to remove it.  We have listened to your feedback.

As a result, on Thursday 19th March 2015, the Moodle team updated the Accessibility Block in Moodle. This block is available from every screen and is accessed via the link along the top menu bar. Accessibility block

There are a number of options available to users, for example along the top row you can choose to increase or decrease the font size to suit your own requirements. Along the bottom row you can change the colour scheme, including (now for the first time) the option to remove the background image completely by selecting the option highlighted.

This gives you even more choice over how Moodle looks and what looks best for you will of course depend on you own personal preferences. Here are  the options…

Moodle yellow colour scheme

Moodle high contrast display

Moodle blue colour scheme

Moodle no background image

Top tip: Quickly moving items around the Moodle page

March 19th, 2015


How do you change the order of sections or topics on a Moodle module page? Staff have told us that they are finding dragging and dropping items around the Moodle page difficult, especially if there are a lot of items, or a lot of sections.  Drag and drop sometimes ends up with items moved to unexpected places.

As an alternative to drag and drop try this:

1. Turn editing on and simply click once on the cross icon


2. A menu will appear from which you can choose the new location.


The same actions can be used to move items such as resources or activities on the Moodle page (it’s likely the list of possible destinations will be rather longer).

Jisc’s new guide Enhancing the student digital experience: a strategic approach

March 11th, 2015

Jisc’s new guide Enhancing the student digital experience: a strategic approach launched on Monday at the Jisc Digital Festival in Birmingham.

Based on the findings from the Jisc digital student research project and ongoing consultation with sector partners, this new online guide explores the complex issues institutions are facing in relation to the student digital experience and provides practical guidance, resources and examples of how others are responding to these challenges.

The guide comprises seven sections which can be tackled individually or in any order that suits your particular need:

»        Deliver a relevant digital curriculum

»        Prepare and support students and staff to study and work successfully with digital technologies

»        Engage in dialogue with students about their digital experience and empower them to develop their digital environment

»        Deliver an inclusive digital student experience

»        Deliver a robust, flexible digital environment

»        Develop coherent policies for ‘bring your own’ (devices, services and data)

»        Take a strategic, whole-institution approach to developing the student digital experience

The guide is aimed at a wide range of staff in UK higher education, further education and skills including learning and teaching, library, IT and support staff as well as those working in estates and more senior managers with responsibility for the digital experience/environment.

To follow the developments of the Digital Student project, visit the project blog at digitalstudent.jiscinvolve.org and join the chat on Twitter #digitalstudent.

Moodle-Turnitin upgrade Thursday 12th March at 5pm

March 10th, 2015

There will be an upgrade to the Moodle-Turnitin plugin this Thursday 12th March at 5pm (UK time: 1 am Malaysia and China). The service will be at risk for approximately an hour. We expect minimal disruption but recommend avoiding using the Turnitin tools in that time.

The upgrade aims to improve the Turnitin software linked to Moodle.

  • Similarity column (matching score) now correctly sorts.
  • Further work on where the Turnitin user agreement appears (when not using plagiarism plugin).
  • Ability to export entire class (section) now fixed.
  • Late submission is now indicated clearly.

Assessment strategies that work: presentations and round table: Tue 24 March

March 6th, 2015

Speakers from UCL and Nottingham will present assessment strategies that have had a measurable effect on student satisfaction. The round table will support an extended discussion around assessment literacy for students and staff

The event will begin with two speakers presenting on examples of assessment strategies that have had a visible impact on the student experience as measured by NSS results. The two speakers illustrate how in different contexts, applying key principles of good practice in assessment can serve to systematically enhance the student experience. The examples tackled programme level:

  • assessment design (e.g. reduction of assessment load in a principled manner)
  • management (e.g. communication, planning)
  • student engagement (e.g. via the use of formative assessments)

Dr Teresa McConlogue is a Senior Teaching Fellow at University College London working in the School of Life and Medical Sciences (UCL). She will present on cases at UCL where they have reviewed programmes of study and addressed “hygiene factors” with demonstrable improved results on ensuing NSS.

Dr Neil Hughes is the Director of Modern Language Teaching at CLAS (UoN). He will discuss an example of an assessment strategy, its key features, the implementation in a programme and the impact on NSS over a period of two years.

After tea, the event will continue with a round table. The topic for discussion will be enhancing assessment literacy for academic staff and students. Teresa will share further descriptions on cases and approaches to enhancing assessment. This will be an opportunity to discuss initiatives from the University of Nottingham and an opportunity to exchange ideas with a representative from UCL working in Life and Medical Sciences.

Date: Tues 24 March

Time: 1.30 – 4.30 pm (break at 3 pm)

Locaton: C27 Physics Building, University Park

Colleagues are invited to attend the whole event, or just the first or second half  to accommodate other commitments. Tea and coffee will be available from 1.30pm. Please let Molly Fleischer know if you intend to be there, for catering purposes. Thank you.

T & L Seminar: Embedding Professional and employability skills in the curriculum

March 4th, 2015

An extra Teaching and Learning Seminar takes place this month: Embedding Professional and employability skills in the curriculum

Location C15, Pope Building, University Park

Date Wednesday 18th March 2015

Time: 12:30-2 pm

This seminar will consider two good-practice approaches to embedding professionalism skills/employability skills into the non-clinical curriculum, presented by Pam Hagan (Medicine) and Judith Wayte (Biosciences).

In the first case study we will look at how expertise and methods in training the “professional doctor” can be adapted, transferred and disseminated to the wider University community to enhance the development of the “professional global graduate” and increase our students’ employability power. In the second case study we will explore the benefits and challenges of embedding employability within the Biosciences curriculum using a student partnership approach, supported by e-portfolio software.

The sesssion will be of benefit to anyone wishing to consider an embedded approach to supporting the development of professional skills and competencies within their curriculum.

Tea and coffee will be available from 12.15pm. Please let Molly Fleischer know if you intend to be there, for catering purposes. Thank you.

T & L Seminar: Experiences of Lecture Capture Wed 4 March

March 2nd, 2015

The subject of the talk on March 4th is Experiences of lecture capture. We have invited speakers from three different faculties to describe how lecture capture is being used in their schools and to report on the experience of staff and students with this very topical technique. The speakers are:

  • Joel Feinstein (Mathematical Sciences)
  • Alison Sinclair (Business School)
  • Yvonne Allen (Veterinary Medicine and Science)

Date: Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Time: 12.30 p.m. with hot drinks from 12.15 p.m.

Location: C04, Physics, University Park

To be sure we have enough tea and coffee, please e-mail molly.fleischer@nottingham.ac.uk if you intend to be present.

Inter-university Teaching & Learning Conversations Webinar on Experiential Learning today at 12 noon

February 24th, 2015

Dr David Smith (@dave_thesmith), Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry, SFHEA from Sheffield Hallam University will lead an exciting webinar

today Tuesday 24th February   at   12-1pm GMT*

during which he will discuss  “Bringing Experiential Learning into the Lecture Theatre

Within the teaching space conceptual descriptions are usually either vocal or presented using 2 dimensional slides and video. However, a deeper understanding can often be obtained by handing objects. These objects can be used to prompt conversations or to gain a deeper understanding of function. During this session we will bridge the virtual and physical dimensions of the webinar. Be ready to interact and bring along an object that typifies the way you teach or the subject itself.

How to join the webinar

To attend and take part in the webinar access the TLC webinar room here: https://mmu.adobeconnect.com/tlc/ To login: Enter as a guest and add your name, institution and country.

It is recommended that you access the webinar room about 30 mins in advance to test the technology. For further help with this, please check http://www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/flex/tlc.php

Webinars enable active participation using audio, video, text and the whiteboard. A headset is required to fully participate. If you are not planning to speak you will just need headphones to listen to the discussion. When you have entered the webinar room, start the Audio Setup Wizard under Meeting at the top left to check your headset.

A recording of the webinar will be made available at the same URL under a creative commons licence.

About Teaching & Learning Conversations

TLC is an exciting cross-institutional collaboration to provide open CPD opportunities for everybody teaching and/or supporting learning in Higher Education. TLC  brings together colleagues from different disciplines, institutions and countries. TLCs are also open to students in HE and  are very interested in including students’ contributions to the programme.

Together, participants discuss and debate a variety of current teaching and learning topics in a series of webinars which provide a great opportunity to reflect on and share good practice and to find out what is happening beyond your own institution the more global HE landscape. All webinars are open to the wider community to join.

Please feel free to share the link to the TLC programme and individual webinars with others who might also be interested. Further information and recordings from previous webinars can be found at http://www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/flex/tlc.php