TEL FEST: 11 – 13 July 2017 (Save the date!)

TEL Fest, 11-13 July 2017

SAVE THE DATE!  

Image of festival flags

As the festival season approaches, we thought we’d host a festival of our own this summer: TEL Fest – A festival of Technology Enhanced Learning. TEL Fest is designed to help academic and teaching staff make the most of technology to enrich teaching and learning. A series of bookable sessions, and something a little different from our TEL staff development provision during the year, it will draw on expertise from colleagues across the University and external speakers, and will comprise a range of TEL-related demonstrations, practical workshops, a roadshow and sharing/showcase sessions. Whether you come along to one or many ‘gigs’, and regardless of your previous TEL experience, the festival is being developed to ensure that you leave both inspired and equipped with the skills you need to enhance your current practice.

To whet your palate, here’s a taste of the current programme:

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/flags-pennants-red-yellow-blue-425046/ [19/5/17]
  • Telling ‘TEL’ Tales and TEL Tapas: A taster session. What are they doing elsewhere with TEL and Blackboard? Examples of interesting & innovative practice at other institutions (Steve Hoole, Blackboard)
  • Blackboard Bootcamp: Whip your Blackboard course in to shape! A practical workshop to help you develop your Blackboard module (Steve Hoole, Blackboard)
  • Open Online Courses (OOCs): Lessons from UoR’s successful OOC team for designing blended learning/Blackboard courses and promoting participation and engagement (OOC team)
  • ABC Curriculum Design workshop With links to the Curriculum Framework initiative, a rapid-design workshop useful for new programmes and those being reviewed and changing to a more blended format (Clive Young & Natasa Perovic, University College, London)
  • Blackboard Collaborate: Live Classroom – Official launch of this new online collaboration/live online classroom tool and tales, hints and tips from the pilot case studies
  • Box of Broadcasts: Demonstration of this on-demand TV and radio service for education (Library/Learning on Screen)

 

We’re also planning a series of bookable lunchtime festival ‘fringe’ events (possibly catered), including:

  • TEL Roadshow – Come, meet & talk to staff from TEL-related teams including Blackboard, TEL CQSD, OOCs, TEL/AV Support, IT, ISLI TEL & more…
  • Show and TEL – find out how colleagues are using different aspects of TEL to enrich teaching and learning
  • APPetite – sharing apps to help promote active learning and student engagement

With a raffle and festival freebies too, it promises to be a great event! More information and booking details to follow shortly but be sure to SAVE THE DATE and ‘tel’ your colleagues!

#uortelfest17

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Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/technology-information-digital-2082642/ [19/5/17]

Blackboard Teaching & Learning Conference: Bocconi University, Milan, 21-24 March 2017 #BBTLC17

Blackboard Teaching & Learning Conference logo

I was delighted to attend Blackboard’s Teaching and Learning Conference held this year at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. This is a key annual event that brings together Blackboard users from HE institutions across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South Africa. I was accompanied by TEL colleague, Maria Papaefthimiou, TEL/AV Support Manager, Helena Bampton, and Real Estate and Planning (REP) DTL Angelique Chettiparambil-Rajan. We spent an interesting few days attending presentations and workshops about Blackboard and technology enhanced learning, and were pleased, this year, to present on some of the TEL developments we’ve achieved at UoR. Maria and I presented a paper sharing the TEL team’s strategies for successfully engaging and supporting UoR academics in using TEL. Angelique also shared REP’s experiences of piloting a whole-school move to electronic submission, online marking and e-feedback. Both presentations were well received and feature in an article in Blackboard’s eLearn magazine, to be published shortly both in print and online.

Photo of Blackboard Conference welcome

It’s not rocket science! 

The opening keynote was delivered by the ever-engaging education consultant, Eric Stoller. You can access his presentation below. (The reference to rocket science is linked to Blackboard’s CEO, Bill Ballhaus’ background in astronautics!)

Virtual poster presentations from the conference can be accessed here.

Post-event resources, including presentations and photos, are available on the Blackboard Community website. (You will need to create an account to access the Community site.)

Link to Conference resources via Blackboard Community site

What were our key findings?

Looking at the usability of Blackboard through student eyes 

Meg Juss shared Edge Hill University’s experience of surveying the student experience of using Blackboard. Their 7th bi-annual learning survey asked students questions about Blackboard and subsequent comprehensive usability testing established that students found aspects of Blackboard ‘confusing’, ‘jumbled’ and ‘overwhelming’. ‘A user interface is like a joke: it’s not that good if you have to explain it!’, asserted Meg. With this in this mind, findings helped Meg and her team to improve the Blackboard experience for students by standardising course templates, improving navigation and re-designing their ‘My Library’ tab. As a result, usage of the library tab increased by 12% and 82.5% of respondents agree or strongly agree that, ‘using Blackboard has enhanced the knowledge and understanding I get from lectures, tutorials and practical sessions.’ (7th Student eLearning Survey (2016-17) ~ 576 responses)

Gamification

Staff from Durham and Saxion University in the Netherlands shared how they have brought elements of gamification, such as progression, rewards and use of Blackboard’s adaptive release feature, to Blackboard courses to help engage and motivate their students.

A search engine for Blackboard 

Staff from the University of Leuven, Belgium, described how they have used their technical expertise to develop an in-house search engine to enable users to search for content within Blackboard. This is a feature that is currently missing from the off-the-shelf Blackboard Learn platform but which Blackboard are looking to develop.

eAssessment

It was interesting to hear the experiences of other institutions of electronic submission and online marking and feedback. TEL Manager Mark Gamble from Bedfordshire University shared his experience of staff trying to use the Blackboard Assignment tool for blind double marking. This information will be useful as we here at UoR progress with our EMA programme.

Roadmap – where next? 

Photo of map - where next?

It was good to see Blackboard’s roadmap and hear about improved features coming soon. These include increased drag and drop options in some of the learning tools, and a better experience using Blackboard on mobile devices.

#BBTLC17

 

 

Turnitin webinar: Can Turnitin really help students to improve their writing?

As part of Turnitin’s series of webcasts on topics associated with their product, Academics from Australia will be presenting on how they have used Turnitin as tool to improve students’ academic writing skills.

The webinar will look at how initiatives to use Turnitin as an educational tool and the development of resources to support students in their use of the similarity reports can have a positive impact on academic integrity, and the student experience.

The webinar is taking place on 24th August 1 pm (AEST Australian Eastern Standard Time), which means it takes place at 4am BST but is in the ideal time zone for colleagues on the Malaysia campus. UK Colleagues can always sign up for the webinar and watch the published recording later on.

Register to join the Turnitin webinar

Tii webinar image 24 Aug 16

APPetite provides food for thought!

Appetite-introslideOn Thursday 7th July over 40 members of Academic, Administrative and Professional staff attended a new informal lunchtime staff development event called APPetite to discover, explore and discuss the use of mobile apps used in Learning and Teaching. At this attendee led event short talks were delivered by several attendees describing their use of apps, followed by an opportunity to try them out and discuss options with others.

The session format:

  1. Appetisers – Short talks by attendees.
  2. Meal Deal – Discuss, try out and ask questions about the apps presented.
  3. Sweet Treats – Share your thoughts, ideas and outcomes online.

See how the event unfolded on Twitter #TEL_APPetite

Explore the apps presented at the session on the collaboratively authored Padlet wall.

Thank you to our speakers:

  • Elizabeth Conaghan and Amanda Milmore (School of Law)
  • Stanimira Milcheva (Henley Business School)
  • Matthew Nicholls (Classics)

Our intention is to make this a regular lunchtime event during the next academic year, although we can’t always promise to provide the catering!

Want to join us next time? Watch out for details of the next APPetite session in the new academic year on the TEL CQSD T&L Programme page!

 

Developing an academic online presence with Social Media

Invited external speaker Sue Beckingham from Sheffield Hallam University delivered a workshop for academics at Reading on how to use social media to develop an academic online presence. This staff development session provided an opportunity for academics to consider how social media can be used in a scholarly context and examples of how to apply social media in Higher Education.

The session covered:socialmedia-SueBecks-April2016

  • Developing a digital professional persona to share scholarly achievements,
  • Cultivating your own personal learning network and co-learning communities,
  • Sharing learning journeys through working out loud.

Find out what happened in the session and discover resources by checking out our Storify of the event.