Over the last year we’ve been looking at different ways in which tablets can be used in learning and teaching. Last autumn we held a tablets workshop at which Ola Aiyegbayo from the University of Huddersfield gave a presentation based on his research project in this area.
He’s just released an infographic animation setting out his findings. You can view this on Vimeo below.
From 2014/15 a new and improved Co-Tutor will be rolled out across Loughborough. CEDE would like to celebrate and thank the many colleagues that have been involved along the way and will be hosting a launch event on the 24th September 2014 at 12 noon.
Register for the event here: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/co-tutor-launch-event-tickets-5255206464
For the past year Co-Tutor has been undergoing developments as part of a HEIF funded commercialization project. Phase I of the project has been such a success that the JISC and HEIF are continuing to fund a Phase II of further developments.
Co-Tutor’s new additional features include:
- Refreshed and responsive new interface, optimized for tablets
- You can cc’ in firstname.lastname@example.org to add comments to Co-Tutor straight from your Outlook.
- Access more information within a student’s record, e.g. timetables and Learn activity.
The Co-Tutor team would like to welcome Charles Shields, Jenny Narborough and Sasha Dosanjh (E-Learning team) to Loughborough’s support team. They will be the first point of contact for enquiries and training. Allison Dunbobbin (Careers and Employability Centre) will also be on hand to support the placement management features within Co-Tutor.
For more information on new features and upcoming events and further announcements see http://co-tutor.lboro.ac.uk/new/
The Learn interface to TurnItIn is changing next year. When the new edition of Learn is released on July 22nd, all TurnItIn assignments will need to be re-created for the new session. This is no different from previous years, although the software will look slightly different (see: Changes to Turnitin ).
A six-slide PowerPoint presentation is available to show students how to submit coursework using the new TurnItIn assignment. It may be added to a module as a standalone resource or incorporated into a lecture presentation.
- If your module uses a TurnItIn assignment activity, a new instance of the activity will need to be created in the 2014-15 module, just as you should have created a new activity last year.
- The new TurnItIn assignments will be created with a new version of the software, and work through a new TurnItIn account.
- As usual, students involved in the SAP will use last year’s edition of Learn (which will be called Learn13) and the old 2013 TurnItIn assignments will still work.
Subject to parliamentary approval, on 1 June 2014, the UK will see copyright law amendments improving the situation for colleges, universities and other learning providers. In order to make best use of these provisions, Jisc Legal is offering two different events and an online training package. Find out more on their guidance page.
Screencasting is the process of capturing video of your computer desktop and can often get complicated quite quickly. Usually you need to install some form of screen capture tool like TechSmith’s Camtasia to create these sort of screen recordings.
Enter Screencastify, a new extension for Google Chrome that allows you to create screencasts with relative ease. A quick visit to the Chrome Web store and an even quicker installation results in an icon in Chrome’s toolbar that gives you access to Screencastify’s recording function and settings. Screencastify has the ability to record a tab or the entire desktop. The Record Desktop feature works cross-platform: Windows, Mac or ChromeOS, but is currently listed as experimental. It can also record in various resolutions and with two different audio input configurations: system audio or microphone. You can even include your webcam feed, which appears in the bottom right hand corner of of the finished recording. When the screencast is finished, it can be renamed and stored within the extension popup window until you download it (as a .webm file), upload it to YouTube or delete it.
One of the outcomes from recent discussions at University Learning and Teaching Committee about institutional lecture capture policy is that the Teaching Centre have now set up a lecture capture research project, led by Janette Matthews from the Maths Education Centre. This will involve running focus groups and surveys with both staff and students, with a particular focus on the attitudes and experiences of academic staff.
In this context, last week’s ReCALL webinar on whether students perform better with access to ‘weblectures’ was particularly interesting. You can play back a recording of the webinar below here.
The forthcoming European Conference on Social Media, which is taking place at the University of Brighton on July 9th, 2014, is seeking applications from students to showcase their research into social media. The conference website is located at http://academic-conferences.org/ecsm/ecsm2014/ecsm14-committee.htm, while the showcase website is at http://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/ssms/. Further information is also available from Sandra Huskinson (Online Development Officer, School of Business and Economics) if Loughborough staff and/or students are interested in taking part.
A colleague and I took part in a Google Hangout session yesterday with six other people from other institutions. Google Hangout is a video chat tool. I was a bit weary about using this at first because a) I’ve never used it before, and b) there were 10 people expected at this virtual meeting so I wasn’t sure how this would be controlled.
In the past, when I have taken part in virtual gatherings, it has gone one of two ways; either one or two members predominantly speak for the duration of the session or second, everyone is talking over one another and it just turns into a bit of a mess. Fortunately, though, this session worked really well. The sound quality was excellent, as was the video. We didn’t experience any latency issues with sound (despite the fact we were using wifi) whereas this has been an issue with specific web conferencing tools such as Blackboard Collaborate we have used in the past.
Everyone got an opportunity to speak, and there was a common understanding of virtual meeting protocols which kept things in order (this may be because we are all in a Learning Technologist or similar kind of role). We quickly realised the importance of the need to mute, or unmute, when you are not talking (talking), otherwise you will be distracted by the constant video change when sound is picked up from another mic.
Aside from conducting virtual meetings via Google Hangouts, and using it privately with friends and family, you can join other publicly accessible Hangouts ranging from Language Practice Hangouts to paid-for hangouts offering live cooking classes!
Which video chat facility do you like to use with your colleagues and/or students? Please let me know below.
There are now just eight weeks to go until Loughborough’s mini-mooc Getting a grip on mathematical symbolism goes live on the Future Learn platform (https://www.futurelearn.com) and the thousands of students already registered can start the course. The team are working flat out completing the content, developing the e-learning and assessment elements, and adding enhancements intended to make the learning of basic mathematical techniques interesting and relevant to aspiring engineers and scientists.
The course is aimed at those who are considering studying science or engineering foundation courses at university level, particularly those who have some engineering or science knowledge gained through vocational qualifications or through workplace experience but who have not studied mathematics formally since leaving school. It will be appropriate for those who lack confidence but who need to establish a bedrock of knowledge in order to further their education.
Through an accessible introduction to graphical and algebraic techniques students will start to think mathematically and develop an informal understanding of vital properties of points, lines and curves before formalizing mathematically some of these essential notions. The course goes on to introduce the equation of a line and the significance of its slope and vertical intercept and emphasizes the importance of linear relationships in many scientific and engineering applications.
The course will reinforce the importance of mathematics to science and engineering through cameo appearances of leading Loughborough academics from science and engineering. It will pave the way into the study of calculus by explaining that engineers and scientists need to build upon the ideas introduced in order to describe, analyze and predict the ways in which physical, biological and technological systems change.
The course team comprises Professor Tony Croft, the lead educator and writer of the course, Janette Matthews, educator, e-learning specialist and graphic designer, Clare Trott, academic advisor – all from the Mathematics Education Centre – and Andy Chong, graphic designer in the Animation Academy in the School of the Arts, with support from Phil Wilkinson-Blake in the School of Business and Economics.
As a mini-mooc the course is expects students to learn for around 2 hours per week for three weeks and successful participants can obtain a Certificate of Participation.
More details and registration:
TurnItIn have recently announced their Grade Anything initiative, which allows the system to accept files of any type for evaluation. Obviously the text-matching will only work with files containing text. However the GradeMark online marking tool is now applicable for a much wider variety of student coursework, as is demonstrated on their video clips .
Don’t get too excited, though – there is no hint that the TurnItIn file size limit of 20 MBytes per file will be increased, so image portfolios or video clips are still likely to be too big to be submitted to TurnItIn.
However one workaround is the ability to use the marking and feedback tools without any submission being present, using a ‘submission template’ (i.e. a blank document). You might use this to comment on a multimedia submission handed in by some other means, or to assess a live performance e.g. in Drama or Sports Science.
TurnItIn is shifting its emphasis from Originality Checking towards a focus on online marking and feedback provision. The original functionality is still there and works as it always has done: the ability to handle any file type is an additional feature.