Category: external events

Helf meeting – november

Alan Parmar – hefce online task force

Enhancing learning and teaching through the use of technolgy … The principle is to enhance the student learning experience

To do … Reconnect with jisc – a couple of reports need to be read

Read the SPOT report student perspectives of technology. See hefce web site. Student prefer a choice in how they learn, concerns with staff training / awareness in use of technology, appropriate of technology varies and value where it makes sense.

Universities work together to build the uk he brand. Look for pre-competition collaboration, ie share services (vle).

Strategic …. This is not a bolt on, fundemental to what universities do, we teach we research. Technology is central to achieve this 🙂

Staff development – keen on mixed team approach with respect to design.

Use other peoples content / material (oer).

Start to have the discussion around contact hours

Key message – online is not cheap … Can find economies of scale, but not cheap.

Nus study (spot) … Difficult to read, struggles to hit the mark. But still worth a read.

Recommendations – hefce online task force

1. About better information, discovery so people will not just go to open university
2. Investment to pump prime collaboration to get started – consortium models, collaborative to achieve scale of brand
3. ??
4. Strategic stuff – institutions address processes and structures
5. Staff development and training – national stuff is being revisited
6. Oer …. Push, push, push … Might need to focus more on reuse, as opposed to build

Derek – HEA

Uncertainty, turbulence, anxiety

Eltt – enhancing learning through technology

Browne – pg 48 – securing a sustainable future for higher education

Professional standards framework – revamp –

Look at national teaching fellowship

Dimensions of quality – not about kit, it’s about pedagogical practice and student engagement

Re-read horizon reports

Evidence net / ofcom

What should we catalyse at ucs? – based on facilitating groups – around themes, seminar series, publications,

Success stories from the hea subject centres


Seminar series

Enhancement (learning and teaching) acedemy


Jisc – technology-enhanced assessment and feedback

Ucisa – growth in formative e-assessment

SDF Spring Conference: workshop plan

Event …


Technology in staff development – going mobile


Slide 1: Intro

Include QR Code to slides and include link to wiki post – on our staff development wiki include a post include slideshare, flickr display, youtube, and audioboo

To do: set up on iPhone

Slide 2: Aims

“how might we (staff developers) use mobile technologies within our staff development sessions?”

To answer this question, I’ll focus on two scenarios;

  1. Using mobile technologies in low (no) technology teaching spaces (existing technologies / existing users)
  2. Using mobile technologies to create a new learning opportunity through making the leaner mobile (new technologies / new users)

“What message would I like you to take from this session?”

To do: images of creativity / hands-up etc., raise point on working together etc., (usual stuff)

Slide 3 (Activity 1): Across to you

Question: Who are you? What would you like from this session?

capture method …. flip chart
Slide 4 (Activity 2): Where are we with technologies?

Question: What technologies are people currently using in their staff development sessions? How effective are they? What are the strengths and weaknesses?

Capture Method: record on flip chart, type into blog post

Slide 5 (Activity 3): Vote (SMS)

Do you think Mobile technologies offer you a great opportunity to enhance the effectiveness of your staff development sessions? To the extent where you will champion their use if colleagues and senior management?

Yes (q1y)
No (q1n)
Undecided (q1u)
To do : Set up SMS number. Ensure can get it on the iPhone

Reporting back: On flip chart … write up the scores

Slide 6 (Activity 4): Design a “generic” staff development activity

Question:  in groups could you work up a typical staff development scenario (session) you run? Describe the room, the tasks you want people to do, the technologies you are likely to use and what you are trying to achieve with them

Suggested topic: ???
Capture Method: Group work (groups of three people), using a flip chart to create the scenario. I’ll get some one to take a photo of the flip chart and upload to flickr (using a set tag to be displayed on the blog)

Slide 7: A framework for our discussion (Salmon – 4 quandrants model)

existing technologies / existing users – current pedagogy current mission

scenario 1 – the facilitator uses the device, participants contribute via phone (sms)


replication of tasks you might complete on a a computer. Deconstruct activities to the use of the mobile device.
a) collect views
b) collect (record) outputs from sessions

use sms as an ars system

images to upload to flickr of flipchart activity
capture video and upload to youtube

new technologies – existing users – new pedagogy, current mission

scenario 2 – location aware learning activities

the learner becomes mobile – quote from sharples

Slide 8: Activity 5: QR Code based learning activity

Question: what is a qr code, how do you create one? how are they being used in teaching and learning? how can you get a reader? how do you think they might be used it teaching and learning?

Method: use mobile devices

handout in teaching room – broad questions on (see question above), and answer boxes for notes.

work in groups of three

activity 1: in classroom – discuss what people think, who has used one? what happened? I’ll show video of creating a Q Code, create the groups and send out. make them aware of the limit of QR Code distribution, ensure aware they don’t need to go in any particular order

activity 2 – outside – 15 minutes to explore the QR Codes

activity 3 – in classroom – send txt to mobile phones, get them back in the classroom to find out what think. Only make notes on the “how do they think they might use it in teaching and learning”

Slide 9: Is it good to make the learner mobile?

Question: How did you find this approach as a learning activity?

Collection method: Audio record views … upload to audio boo (?)

Slide 10: Pit falls of using mobile devices in today’s approach

  • need the technology
  • staff don’t know how to use them
  • permissions … using very public learning spaces

Slide 11: Own and use the technology

captures from the Google Form

Slide 12: Permissions … where is our stuff going?

deconstruct the use of externally hosted tools …
Slide: 13 (Activity xx): Designing in mobile technologies.

Question: could you work up a typical staff development scenario (session) you run? Describe the room, the tasks you want people to do, the technologies you are likely to use and what you are trying to achieve with them

Capture Method: Group work (groups of three people), using a flip chart to create the scenario. I’ll take a photo of the flip chart and upload to flickr (using a set tag to be displayed on the blog).

Slide 14: Evaluation
Question 2:  Do you think Mobile technologies offer you a great opportunity to enhance the effectiveness of your staff development sessions? To the extent where you will champion their use if colleagues and senior management?

Yes (q2y)
No (q2n)
Undecided (q2u)

Question 3: Would you recommend a colleague attending this session?

Yes (q3y)

No (q3n)

Slide 15: Thanks & Questions

Moodle v. Blackboard: PCM&D

The aim of this report is to feed a few paragraphs into the VLE Review at the Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry

Moodle at the University of Bath

Moodle was introduced in June 2006 at the University of Bath as the centrally supported VLE. The University of Bath had previously been using Blackboard Basic. Part of the migration was to provide integration with other institutional systems, including student records. We currently have around 8000 unique users access ever week, and have no major performance problems.

The use of Blackboard was limited, as individuals and Departments tended to use their own web space or shared folders to distribute learning and teaching materials. In addition, the School for Health had been a piloting Moodle with their distance learners.

Overall, the application is very robust, out of the box it’s maintenance requirements are low. They are similar to Blackboard in requirements for regular patching etc.,

Has the implementation been a success?

“Based on the indicators used, the evidence suggests the implementation of Moodle has been effective, as usage has continued to grow and the user satisfaction level is generally referred as very high or high.” From Was the introduction of Moodle a success? Reflections on the effectiveness of introducing Moodle in 2006 (

Moodle compared to Blackboard

It is very difficult to compare the two systems, and in terms of functionality I’m not sure how useful is the comparison. The bottom line is you can achieve pretty much the same in the two systems. Where they differ is Moodle isn’t a commercial system, with a driver on reporting, e-commerce and providing a suite of tools out of the box to meet all your needs. So, I tend to look at Moodle as the VLE, and I’ll look at other tools from different vendors for e-Portfolios, Document Management, etc.,

However, at first glance, when using Moodle 1.9 compared to Blackboard 6 there are a few points to observe. Firstly, the comparison of tools indicates the current functionality of Moodle (out of the box) is lower than Blackboard in terms of gradebook, tracking, conditional release etc., In terms of blogging, wikis and podcasting again it offers lower functionality. There would also needs to be a serious look at the objective assessment engine, in terms of a direct comparison.

Another comment regularly raised when people look at the two systems is, most people use it in a content and support model (i.e., document repository for their teaching), therefore, in Moodle most courses involve a significant amount of scrolling if they’ve not thought through the design aspects.

It does offer some very nice approaches which I hadn’t seen in Blackboard, especially around the area of peer assessment and review.

Many of the tools will be enhanced in Moodle 2.0 – available in Spring 2010, and the University of Bath will upgrade in Summer 2011.

Where will Moodle be in the next few years?

I get the feeling the Moodle community is starting to make much better explicit relationships with other vendors and systems. For instance, Moodle 2.0 offers much easier connections to ePortfolios, document management systems etc., I’d also suggest as a product it has matured to the point where the local software developer making significant changes in their local versions is coming to an end. The next phase will be more institutions using Moodle out of the box (which works fine), not branching from core code (as we’ve not the resource to support a branched version), and our energy will be directed towards providing the glue between Moodle and other systems, and collaborative efforts (with other institutions) to enhance particular tools or tasks (i.e., peer assessment) and feed these back into the future versions and core code.

What would be needed for a successful migration?

Well, ignoring the issues of trying to migrate content and activities (which I’d assume wouldn’t be easy), there would need to be a significant emphasis placed on staff development. The systems look different, you’ll need to win both hearts and minds. So in terms of the commitment, I think you’d need to re-allocate resource currently being spent on annual licenses towards FTE to support and develop Moodle.

Two years in, would I go back to Blackboard?

The answer is no. This is not because of any dislike for Blackboard (I’ve still got a soft spot for the software), however, I feel Moodle offers me more interms of what I could do with it. I’ll admit, given resources and conflicting priorities I might not do anything with it, however, I could if I wanted to 🙂 This is a very empowering feeling.

Useful Links

Technology in Teaching in 2015 Workshop – invited speaker

I’ve been invited to present at a one day workshop on technology in teaching in 2015. this is being run by the Northumbria University. I’ve been asked to present the vision from the institutional perspective, the others are a voice from JISC and a voice from the HEA.

The intention is to discuss the Bath context is very much based on face to face teaching, therefore, i plan  to sell a vision around how we’ll be teaching in classrooms, given the investments we’ve made in space and people. It will include the barriers to why we might not get to the position we’d like to be, i.e., wide adoption of very flexible learning approaches facilitated by learning technologies. The basis of the narrative will be around my martian landing and walking into a typical UK HEI … also, time to role out the 4E’s model.

thoughts from session at Belfast – mobile podcasting

interesting discussion around in practical terms, do we expect them to capture on the device and then upload, and view podcasts on a large screen? Got the data to support this, so work out in scenario in book chapter and support with free text responses on survey

make reference to the generic file formats, most devices use mps and mp4

put clear water in the book chapter between use of mobile phones (which the chapter is on), and other devices, such as flip cameras.

there was a lot of discussion around the benefit of mobile podcasting to be able to capture the instance / here and know (synchronous capture between idea and recording). While the use of desktop podcasting will impose a reflective period (asynchronous from the event). Infact we need both … so work up a scenario which supports explicitly introduces this idea

Thoughts about BETT 2010

Two of the team will be at BETT this year, and I have suggested expenses can be covered. So they’ll be writing a report on their experiences. A question they have asked is, what might I like answered? The following are a few questions I’d like to be addressed (or things I’d focus on if it was my report);

  • what are the buzz technologies?
  • what application might these technologies offer us in HE at Bath? (large group teaching, current available technology mix)
  • What gets me really excited? What tech / application would I pick and why (including suggested user scenarios) to persuade my line manager to devote limited resources and reputations to get started
  • Is there anything at BETT which suggests we should change a short term plan?

thoughts on podcasting event at Bath (11th Nov, 09)

e-learning ran a regional event for the podcasting for pedagogical purposes SIG on the 11th Nov. I think it was a success, and we’ll be running another event on the 2nd march (using SMS / texting in HE). The following are some of my notes to remember for the next time 🙂

  • rooms – 6 west was fine, make sure we have booked atleast two break out rooms. Also make sure the projectors are OK in the breakout rooms
  • people seemed to find it fine, so same as before, a few signs to help people
  • need to have clearer instructions for the wireless network. People didn’t follow onscreen instructions w.r.t re-booting.
  • get them onboard before the questions (responseware), so they have a chance to contribute
  • get better mics for the presentors … the clip mics didn’t work and lots of sessions didn’t record !!!
  • make sure all presentations are available on the presentors machine, i.e., the keynote presentation was not, so could capture using panopto
  • e-learning tablet PCs were great, just make sure have software installed and wireless set up.
  • better use of the event tag, in particular, pointing it out regularly on slides
  • ensure there are poster boards, and encourage the e-leanring team to make a few more posters
  • ensure we have some representation from a JISC type service – this worked very well at the podcasting event. If we can’t get a service then perhaps some blurb from JISC Advance or the HEA