Category: elearning team

OER for quality: a staff dev perspective

We (Bath) have had Ale and Gabi from University of Leicester visiting for the last few days as part of the OSTRICH project. A recurring message through out the sessions is a OER is good for quality assurance. The rationale being if resources are going to be made available for all through an institutionally branded repository they’ll need to accommodate current best practice in terms of accessibility, usability and IPR/Copyright, and as they are the “shop window” for the world they’ll also need to demonstrate good educational design.

I’d suggest from an educational perspective, the second point, around good educational design is really important as a strong vehicle for enhancing our staff development programme. As illustrated below, the current staff development programme (at Bath and others) has a strong emphasis in the low impact, awareness raising area. We strive to make this highly searchable, so we can release resources (e-learning people) to focus on more one to ones. However, we have a problem with the higher value added activities (1-2-1s, PGCAPP, external qualifications), which is one of scaleability, and sustainability. We know it is more effective, however, we’ve not the resources to sustain this initiative. This is further compounded by few staff being motivated to active engage. See

However, the OER approach is a really good opportunity for our staff development programme to contact through an authentic activity which staff are motivated to participate in. For instance, we are using a version of the CORRE model, which is devolved and focused on iterative design …

The emphasis of this model is the OER Manager, and/or e-Learning Development Officer works with the academics to develop the OER resource. As part of this process they’ll engage with the academics around the learning design aspects. Introducing them to current best practice and challenging their ideas. This will act as a very effective staff development tool.

Within this devolved CORRE model there are a number of key stakeholders;

OER development team – local

  • Academic(s)
  • Student(s)
  • e-learning Development Officer (local)

OER development team – dispersed

  • OER Manager
  • e-learning Development Officers (central team)
  • IPR Team & Copyright Teams
  • Library – Copyright Development

This second (wider) team will be brought in when required by the e-Learning Development Officer (local) and/or the OER Manager. For instance, if converting existing material there maybe some need to explore copyright ownership of the material. In terms of directing the academic(s) to appropriate support networks (Library) or advise (Copyright Team). Alternatively, if developing there maybe assistance needed in finding appropriate creative commons licensed images etc.,

They will also maintain the OER metadata process and documentation for the resource. For instance, ensure all the documents and complete, and liaise with the OER Manager to ensure they’ve been signed off.

The responsibilities of the local e-Learning Development Officer will be to help promote OER within the Dept / Faculty, help identify potential contributors and work with people to create them.

The local e-learning Development Officer will also coordinate any required technical training for academics in terms of software packages. The intention is not for them to build / convert resources, however, they may need to work with the wider e-learning Team to ensure this happens.

Also, as the OER progresses the local e-Learning Development Officer will start to work with the OER Manager about further requirements, including validation procedures for uploading material to the OER repository.

How will this work in practice at Bath for this project?


OER development team – local (D4LLL)

  • Academic(s)
  • Student(s)
  • e-learning Development Officer (local): Marie Salter & Julian Prior

OER development team – dispersed

  • OER Manager: Vic Jenkins
  • e-learning Development Officers (central team): Nitin Parmar
  • IPR Team: Kerena
  • Copyright Teams:
  • Library – Copyright Development


OER development team – local (PGCAPP Unit 6)

  • Academic(s): Geraldine Jones
  • Student(s)
  • e-learning Development Officer (local): Geraldine Jones

OER development team – dispersed

  • OER Manager: Vic Jenkins
  • e-learning Development Officers (central team): Vic Jenkins, Julian Prior & Nitin Parmar
  • IPR Team: Kerena
  • Copyright Teams:
  • Library – Copyright Development

e-learning Materials

OER development team – local (e-learning material)

  • Academic(s): Vic Jenkins, Lisa McIver, Nitin Parmar, Julian Prior, Geraldine Jones
  • Student(s)
  • e-learning Development Officer (local): Vic Jenkins, Lisa McIver, Nitin Parmar, Julian Prior, Geraldine Jones
  • Coordinated by: Vic Jenkins & Head of e-Learning

OER development team – dispersed

  • OER Manager: Vic Jenkins
  • e-learning Development Officers (central team): Vic Jenkins, Lisa McIver, Nitin Parmar, Julian Prior, Geraldine Jones
  • IPR Team: Kerena
  • Copyright Teams:
  • Library – Copyright Development


D4LLL & Mobile App

Just to remind me (if asked) about a chat with Julian.  It sounds like the CPD people would like a mobile app to let people go through a number of decisions / questions and recommend some appropriate CPD courses which meet their needs.

I suggested best write it for the web (glorified quiz or survey), then work on a “lite touch” andriod and iPhone style sheet.  They’ll work up the functionality, ie., a few static links to other info.

Advice is, writet the user requirements and some user stories. Start mocking up on paper the decision tree, and then approach James (as he’ll be looking after all things under the mobile banner until the new Head of e-Learning appears). Also, suggest at this stage James gets Alex and Web Services involved to sound out ideas.

There was some discussion around signing up / tracking people.

Conversation was left as … Julian going to talk further with people in D4LLL



OER, Images and stuff

A couple of points which I’ll need to note. Firstly, the University of Bath repository for L&T OER Materials. I’ve sketched out a first stab at

The key is to provide a space where we can host the metadata record (fully searchable), and cluster OERs by theme etc., The FAQ engine approach will allow us to use the JORUM metadata scheme, and follow the same categorisation at the University’s OPuS system. The actual files can be hosted where ever. However, we’d be strongly encouraging people to use the LMF or (when appropriate) Panopto.

The key concern is to ensure the links are still active (!)

I’ve also been looking at the issue of staff using images in their resources (powerpoints, Xerte tutorials etc.,) and ensuring they have a copyright log. I’ve struggling to find who gives staff this advice at Bath, and who ensures it is done. I’ll again seek advice from the OPuS people to see how they ensure this issue for publications.

I’d imagine, for the Ostrich project, we (e-learning) will need to provide the role. Fortunately, this has come on leaps and bounds since I was a lad. So the practical tips would be to seek images from Flickr and Piscasa where possible which have an appropriate creative common license.

Staff will be encouraged to engage with the JISC Digital Media Service, who have lots of resources. For instance;

So, we’ll need to skill up on the finding and using digital media article.

Adapting the CORRE model 4 OER with a more iterative process

As mentioned in a previous post I’m trying to adapt the CORRE model from Uni of Leicester into a non-linear (iterative development model) for designing and developing learning materials. This should incorporate the need to be explicit with staff about designing in a degree of open educational resources.

Iteration number 2 of the model is available from:

This has involved a little bit of re-jigging of the boxes, so things which need to be done once are outside the iterative component. Make the questions more meaningful. So you can keep a running log (wiki page), storing up answers, to do’s etc., Start to put more scaffold in w.r.t to things you are recommended to read. Some of these recommendations are placeholders for resources we need to develop at Bath.

Thoughts … SMS Event (ltat6) at Bath

Well, the event is over and the coffee cups have been disposed off 🙂

The question is, did I get what I wanted from it? Did it answer the question I raised at the beginning? has it challenged my thoughts about how I might use it is a face to face teaching on a one campus based institution?

I think the answer is no … there were some very interesting conversations about using SMS in HE/FE. Some excellent examples of use within administration, student support, marketing etc., however, the outcomes of designing SMS workshops tended to struggle in terms of coming up with authentic uses in a teaching setting outside of SMS being the glue to other resources / activities.

The examples of gathering student views in class (subjective / free text) was very interesting. However, these questions are very much 1-2-1, not 1-2-many, and involve a cost to the user. So the question is, for general use, what is the unique selling point above the use of clickers, surveys, and quizzes on their devices in a wireless space? Based on the conversations I’m not sure I can find one. I’d imagine students and staff would vote with their feet …

So, where does this leave us and SMS? The feedback from the design sessions (when they used our SMS decision tree), was issues around device ownership (so don’t get them linking to the web), cost (so don’t get them linking to the web), and a sense of the bigger picture. This does open up an interesting use of text only decision simulations (aka Marston – Aberdeen). Then deconstruct these in a face to face teaching session. Supporting material can be provided via the VLE. The simulation will run for a number of days. I’ll approach the Dept of Economics, who have a HEA curriculum re-design project.

Also … Vic … what do you think? was there any message from the second design workshop which would challenge the above?

SMS Usability Test – LTEO Team Meeting

To help feed into the design of my SMS Learning Activity, and the session which Vic and I will run at the SMS Edutxt Event at Bath. I’d like to get members of the LTEO to user test the SMS activity.

Vic will need to run this as I’m not at the next meeting. However, the instructions are as follows. note, Vic will need to sell why they are completing the activity … they are role playing an academic who is thinking of using real time communication in their teaching.

So as individuals or in pairs,

  1. text sct to 07786209249
  2. complete the activity while eating cake
  3. complete the free text survey

Survey questions:

  1. Was it engaging?
  2. Did you complete the activity? How about the costs to participate, is this a barrier?
  3. Do you need to see the bigger picture? is 144 characters simply to small for an effective learning?
  4. How might you improve the activity?

QR Codes, Mark Ames and campus induction

The outcomes of a really good meeting with Mark Ames around the use of QR Codes for campus inductions is the following. This offers a really good opportunity to maintain the profile of the technology, and look for value added applications.

I’ll present at the next Induction Operations Group (7th June?). This will be an authentic activity, similar to the suggested role out.

Collect a audio story about the building, i.e., a 3 minute mp3. Which contains a number of different voices. For demo purposes I’ll create one around the e-leanring Team in Wessex House. i.e., what we do, impact, interesting stuff etc.,

This will be delivered in a similar way to the e-learning podcast model, i.e., a blog (contains audio file – link to audio file) and some blurb, including an explicit link to encouraging people to leave comments. However, it is not going to be rss’d so we could look at using

An A5 laminated card will be created, this will contain the QR Code directly to the audio file, a short url to the specific blog post about the building (this will include a statement to encourage them to leave their thoughts and comments) and info to

We’ll monitor the use of the site through google analytics, and see if we can how to track the number of click throughs to the audio file from the QR Code.

If the induction operations group think this is an interesting innovation and should be rolled out, then I’ve agreed on the following.

Mark Ames provides the list of buildings (upto 4) and a list of people to talk to. e-learning arrange to record 1 minute voxpop style discussions, and create a short (5 minute) audio track for each of the buildings. We then create the blog, supporting material and the A5 laminated sheets.

I’ll suggest to Vic / James they can lead on the recording etc., and use a very similar methodology (template) to our e-learning podcast.

Some questions which spring to mind our …

  1. what are the aims of the University’s central e-learning team? Andy to answer
  2. what do you think is a major achievement by the e-learning team this year? Andy & Nitin to answer … link to OPuS / Blog evidence
  3. how does e-learning work in the departments? Geraldine, Rachel and Rania to answer
  4. as a student, how will I work with the e-learning team? Andy to answer

SMS Learning Activity

I’m in the process of designing a SMS based learning activity. This has been inspired by the work up at the University of Aberdeen.

The learning aims are;

  1. raise the profile of the different synchronous communication tools available at the University of bath for staff and students
  2. provide an alternative to the current delivery model (web based, how to guide) –
  3. give staff an authentic experience of a SMS learning activity
  4. produce a how to guide on designing a SMS learning activity

The learners are staff and the experience is likely to be a one off … once completed they are unlikely to complete the task again (they’ll have all the SMS replies in their inbox). The exit strategy points will be to existing online material and support routes (

The currently the learning/support takes place through looking at a how to guide (assuming you can find it), and/or contacting the e-learning team. This approach will allow an alternative as it is an interactive activity where the learner has a number of choices to make, and the learning path is dependent on the answers to the previous question(s)

The full set of questions, answers and pathways are available from:

I have a under of concerns about the effectiveness of the learning activity which I hope to unpick over a number of focus groups at the University. Also … thanks to Geraldine Jones at the University for raising a number of potential issues … In particular,

  1. Was it engaging?
  2. Do people complete the activity? How about the costs to participate, is this a barrier?
  3. Do you need to see the bigger picture? is 144 characters simply to small for an effective learning?
  4. how might you improve the activity?

In terms of how it will be delivered, I’ll produce a poster / leaflet / web page with the following text;


Do you need to use real time communications into your learning and teaching? are you unsure of the available tools to support this at the University of Bath?

The following SMS activity will help you discover more … simply text sct to 07786209249 or scan the QR Code below


Please Note: This will cost you upto 10 SMS messages to complete the activity

Alternatively, contact the e-learning Team at Bath ( or visit

QR CODE GOES HERE – url link to how to guide


Moodle day ay University of Bath

We are looking running a Moodle Day at Bath (for Bath staff). My aims for the day are;

  • provide an opportunity for staff across the University to discuss the use of Moodle in Teaching, Learning and Administration
  • showcase a number of different approaches (practitioners)
  • provide the opportunity for staff to take the ideas discussed and explore how to embed these in their practice, through the provision of linked workshops
  • outline the Moodle Service for the forthcoming academic year

a new model for tech developments

We’ll it’s time to revist the issue that many of our tech developments have delivered late, been overtaken by other work requirements, and we are not generating enough creative ideas as a broad team. So, what shall we do about it? We’ll nothing serious, we just need to tweak the way we work. So, instead of the 3 month plans, weekly moodle tech meetings / targets, I’m proposing the following;

The three month plan – identifies projects (based on operational and development plans)

  • A key change is Moodle trac / RT tickets will be worked on as a week sprint – i.e., once a month, as opposed to the ongoing weekly set of targets.
  • Community merge is explicitly factored in as a 3 day work package (includes, merge, testing and tag update for Dave)
  • Unless bugs are mission critical then leave until the next month Moodle Maintenance Monthly Package.
  • SAMIS tickets become a separate monthly work package – all tickets bundled
  • between “intense” periods – usually the Moodle work slots the developer will be given some down time for innovative / creative development, i.e., do something blue skies …

If tickets are dealt with inside the week, then more can be prioritised.

The way it needs to work is, a week before the Moodle weekly work, there will be a number of meetings between the Moodle Team to decide on the targets / priorities. This planning meeting can be used to scope what people will need to ensure the jobs are done, i.e., if they need access to other systems (remember TurnItIn blog !!!)

At the end of each blog, there is a very quick “wash up” meeting, where we document what was achieved, and what wasn’t. This will be documented for the next block.

So how will this translate to James’s current three month plan?


  • Week 1 (2 days work) Moodle bugs and fixes, (3 days work) Housekeeping on Log Tables
  • Week 2 (2 days) SAMIS Work
  • Week 3 (3 days) TurnItIn Mop Up, (1 day) podcast
  • Week 4 (3 days) Community Merge


  • Week 1 (5 days work) Moodle bugs and fixes
  • Week 2 (2 days) SAMIS Work, (1 day) podcast
  • Week 3 (5 days) QR Code Development
  • Week 4 (3 days) Community Merge


  • Week 1 (5 days work) Moodle bugs and fixes
  • Week 2 (2 days) SAMIS Work
  • Week 3 (3 days) Single Sign On, (1 day) podcast
  • Week 4 (3 days) Community Merge