Learning Technology

Free open online course on Moodle

April 4th, 2014

Here’s some information about a couple of free courses that might be interesting to follow:

From Abertay University: a “Performing Magic with Moodle” course is running next week, and open to registrations. You can sign up here:   http://www.telteacher.com/mmm

They say: “On the course we’ll be looking at how to create engaging, usable and effective modules in Moodle, based on my teaching and research on the platform.  Through the week you’ll create a student-friendly module, leading to happier students and an online element for your course that you can be proud of.”

It will include:

  • How to use visuals as signposts to improve navigation
  • How to structure a Moodle module for easy use
  • How to implement multimedia resources easily
  • How to create a good 1st impression & raise engagement
  • How to make navigation much simpler

It’s open and free to attend for anyone working in education.

Another event of interest comes from Manchester University:  The Manchester Distance Learning Network is offering an online webinar, which will be presented by Ella Sherman from Nearpod using Fuze Meeting.

NearPod is an app that allows teachers to prepare lessons that combine presentation, collaboration and assessment and then manage how that information is then shared on a student’s mobile device. Teachers create a slide presentation using NearPod and then embed video and add polls, quizzes and activities. This presentation with all of its interactivity can then be delivered synchronously to a class using NearPod or distributed as homework for asynchronous lessons. The results of any polls, quizzes, etc are stored for retrieval by the teacher later on to monitor student performance, opinion, etc.

To register for this event, go to: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/teaching-interactively-using-nearpod-tickets-11083933343

If you register for this event, you will be sent a Fuze Meeting invitation prior to the webinar, along with instructions.

Elearning community, 2nd April: Dr Who and the Mysteries of Turnitin

March 26th, 2014

The next e-Learning Community will be held on Wednesday, April 2nd at 9 am (UK time) 4 pm (UNNC and UNMC)
**Note the change of time from our usual lunchtime in the UK.**

We are having the session early because it will be held simultaneously on all three campuses, UK, China and Malaysia.

In Nottingham it will be held in in C19, Pope Building, University Park.

Our topic this month is: Turnitin

Speakers across the campuses will cover topics throughout  the lifetime of a Turnitin assignment, and we will be guiding our new module convenor through the workings of this tool used through Moodle.We’ll cover marking on iPads and tips and tricks for anonymous and second marking.

Online submission of assignments is used across the University, but to what extent can you check for plagiarism across the boundaries of time and mark from whatever corner of space you currently inhabit?

We expect participation from the audience!

Date: Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Time: 9 am (UK time) with hot drinks

4 pm (Malaysia and China)

Location: C19, Pope Building, University Park

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

If you would like to tweet about this and other Elearning Community sessions please use the hashtag #UoNelc

First HEA report on research into MOOCs

March 17th, 2014

The Higher Education Academy has published its research into learning and teaching of Massive Open Online courses (MOOCS) and finds that ‘the teacher persists’.

The Pedagogy of the MOOC: the UK View by Sian Bayne and Jen Ross from the University of Edinburgh also contains snapshots of five current UK MOOCs with an emphasis on the detail of teacher practice. It concludes that although teaching functions are sometimes delegated to automated processes and community-based social learning in MOOCs, the place and visibility of the teacher remain of central importance.

The Edinburgh report makes three policy recommendations: to continue to investigate what may be most useful regarding the accreditation of MOOCs and the implications for teaching; to encourage innovation and transformation in continuing professional development (CPD) contexts using MOOCs; and to acknowledge MOOCs as representing a significant shift to digital education by implementing policies and practices which support and foster digital literacies. The HEA supports these recommendations.

Tips on question re-use in Rogō

February 21st, 2014

question bank tasksIf you want to re-use a Rogo question you first need to find the question. An easy way of searching for a question from a paper is to choose one of the options under Question Bank Tasks. The first 3 options allow you to search under one parameter (Type, Team or Keyword) but if you want to run a more detailed search you should select the Search option.

The screenshot below shows the results of a Questions by Type search where Fill-in-the-Blank has been selected and this was restricted to my questions only (see tick box top right). A list of questions is displayed that match your search options. If you click on a question once and select the Quick View option under Current Question Tasks you will see a preview of the question which allows you to see if this a question that you want to use.

list of questions from search results

When you find a question that you may want to use, you can look at information about it to see where it has previously been used. Details about re-use will help you decide whether you want to use the question and if you think you may want to make changes to the question you should create a new copy by copying to your paper (Copy onto Paper X…). If you do not need to make any changes you can select the Link to Paper X… option.

e-Learning Community – Wed 5 March – Twitter

February 19th, 2014

TwitterThe next e-Learning Community session will be held on 5th March in C15, Pope, and will be on the topic of Twitter.

Date: Wednesday, March 5th

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

Location: C15, Pope Building, University Park

The micro-blogging service Twitter has existed since 2006 and from the start it has been controversial: some love it, others hate it. Regardless of this, however, does Twitter have any role in higher education? Our three speakers will attempt to persuade us that indeed it does.

  • Liz Mossop (Veterinary Medicine and Science)
  • Peter Kirwan (English)
  • Alison McNab (LRLR)

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

The hashtag for these events is #UoNELC

ELESIG Masterclass: The Art of Guerrilla Research

February 18th, 2014

elesig logoDate: 17th March 2014

Location: Open University, Milton Keynes

ELESIG, the Special Interest Group for those interested in the learner experience of technology, will be running a series of masterclasses for staff conducting research into learners’ experiences of using technology for learning.

The Art of Guerrilla Research: use of new tools, open data and easy dissemination means that the research process needn’t always follow the traditional path of funding, extensive research and publication. This workshop will explore new lightweight approaches to research, with the principles of no external funding and no required permission to conduct. It will feature presentations from Martin Weller and Tony Hirst and group activities looking at this approach, possibilities and issues. Cost is £40.

Lunch will be available from 12.30pm then the workshop will start at 1.30pm. 

Full list of ELESIG masterclasses

Book your place now

Xerte Friday webinar 28 Feb: maths, symbols and signs in Xerte Toolkits

February 17th, 2014

The next Xerte Friday session (28 February) will be about using Xerte toolkits to create good-looking (and accessible) maths and science formulae for learning objects.  Barbara Nance  will be leading the session supported by TechDis colleagues.

Maths and science signs and symbols pose one of the biggest challenges in creating accessible resources but Xerte Toolkits is compatible with the key standards for displaying symbols and formulae online so if you know what you’re doing you can create beautifully looking equations that resize when you magnify the page and can even speak with the right browser/plugin combination.

This session will help you know what you’re doing – starting with very simple maths you can enter from the keyboard we will go on to explore copying and pasting from Word’s equation editor and end up showing you how to create MathJax expressions using a simple online tool. We may even throw in a bit of MathML at the end. In all of this we will be playing with different Xerte page types that can be used creatively to make attractive interactive learning.

The Xerte community would like your help! They say:

  • If you never touch maths symbols and signs in your own subject area or your own learning objects they would be grateful if you would let  colleagues know, those who might benefit from Xerte OnlineToolkits in science or maths subjects.
  • If you already use Xerte toolkits to deliver science or maths they would love to see some examples of the learning object you’ve created. Please reply via the XERTEFORTEACHERS list if possible.
  • If you’ve got tips and tricks about working with particular maths or particular page types they’d love to hear from you.

Joining details (free webinar): please book at least two days in advance.

Flexible Pedagogies: preparing for the future – New HEA report launched

February 10th, 2014

The HEA has launched its fourth report as part of the ‘Flexible Pedagogies: preparing for the future‘ series which focuses on key flexible learning themes.

The new report, Flexible Pedagogies: technology-enhanced learning, highlights a number of developments which could, in the future, aid flexibility beyond the typical features of current technology-enhanced learning or virtual learning environments including:

  •  support for personalised learning pathways;
  • development of learning analytics, such as engagement data to replace attendance data;
  • further research into the effectiveness of online, distance and flexible approaches compared to more traditional ones, with a focus on retention and success data;
  • policy development work on the recognition of credits from online courses;
  • research into whether online courses could really replace or just complement in-class interaction

The report is supplemented by case studies of innovative practice demonstrating how technology facilitates, enhances or supports flexible learning.

The report is available here

One Click Recording Studio – Jubilee Campus – 3rd to 14th February in B35c Exchange Building

February 3rd, 2014

video cameraDo you have any ideas about how you want to make use of video in your teaching and learning? Maybe you find the production of video is difficult and time consuming. The ‘One Click Recording Studio’ may make things easier for you.

The studio is in room B35c on the first floor of the Exchange building, Jubilee campus - in the LSRI labs.

For the next two weeks we’ll be holding a roadshow where you can drop in and find out how easy it can be to create good quality video recordings. A member of the team will be there between 10 am and 4 pm every day from Monday 3rd until Friday 14th February.

They’ll show you how to use the kit and they’ll be more than happy to talk to you about any other ideas you might have for video production projects that you can make use of in your teaching and learning, so please drop in.

This video introduction by Julian Tenney was recorded in the One Click Recording Studio.

Moodle Improvements – Session Handling

January 31st, 2014

In a previous post I mentioned that we were working on further improvements to reduce the amount of system activity in the Moodle database. This work is nearly completed and has passed all of its tests in our behind the scenes systems. The next (and final) stage is to put this into the live Moodle system everyone uses. The safest way to do this is schedule a few minutes of outage which we have arranged between 08:30 and 09:00 on Tuesday 4th February.

So what is Session Handling and why will it help?

As you move through the Moodle system it stores some of your information*- this is called your “Session”. Currently this is handled in the same way as all of the other Moodle activity. This information is requested and re-saved every time you change a page, shuttling back and forth between your computer and the database. In some cases this information can be up to 5Mb big for a single (very active!) user – quite a size!

It’s a little like a very large fully loaded lorry navigating to get to a lorry depot in the middle of the city. Outside of ‘rush hour’ (at times of normal load in the Moodle system) the impact on all the other road users isn’t significant. However when the roads are busy with normal traffic (at times of peak use), adding these massive trucks into the mix causes extra congestion. What we’ve done is to relocate the lorry depot out of the city centre and created the equivalent of a bypass straight to it dedicated just for session traffic.

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  Walter Parenteau

*Session information, essential for ensuring that everything you do happens promptly and in the right order,  is only kept for the duration of your login – it is deleted when you log out of Moodle.