The ACES LTA Conference in September was a truly inspiring day for the faculty. It started off with a fascinating talk by the keynote, Colin Bryson, from Newcastle University. He spoke of the need to focus on transformative student experiences, with the primary focus on ‘students as partners’; the theme for the day – a fabulous notion for this early stage in a new academic year!
— Sue Beckingham (@suebecks) September 17, 2015
A lot of twitter activity reflected the enthusiasm of ACES attendees, and was collated by Sue (above) using Storify. The ACES TEL team got fully involved with the day and it’s theme, speaking on digital capability, Google Apps and Blackboard Assessment support – amongst others!
Digital Capability: The LinkedIn University Project
Sue Beckingham, alongside Andrew Middleton, got us started with Digital Capability and the ConnectedU/LinkedIn University Project. Emphasis was made on the need for professional digital profiles, for individuals seeking employment as well as those comfortable in their workplace or university. The trick is knowing how to present ourselves using our ever growing digital toolkits!
There are plenty of online resources available to assist us with this, and Sue is always posting on her Social Media blog! Peer reviewing other professional profiles is also a great way of reminding us what to do. Sue and Andrew have collated a number of profiles in the ConnectedU blog, along with many other excellent resources!
Online Assessment Submission and Feedback
Lee and I’s first workshop took the ACES attendees through the online submission, marks and feedback process using Blackboard and the Grade Centre. Lee is an excellent advisor on such topics, and after a brief demonstration, everyone in the computer lab had the chance to run through the process themselves.
- Submitted a piece of work in Student Preview mode (as if a student on site, rather than instructor)
- In instructor mode, viewed the submission attempt, marked it online, and provided online marks and feedback in the Grade Centre
- Returned to Student Preview mode to see how the feedback would look to the students receiving it
The variety of options for the online assessment ad feedback process was taken really positively by the staff attendees. If you would like a similar run through of the Online Submission and Feedback process, don’t hesitate to contact us! Support has also been provided through this blog, on online submission, adding feedback to the Grade Centre, and inline marking. This is going to be a big focus of learning and teaching at the university over the next few years, with the help of the Assessment Journey Programme!
Making the Most of Google Apps for Staff and Students
Back in the lab, Lee took our attendees through the uses of Google Apps in the classroom. Staff then undertook a couple of tasks with some guidance from Lee and myself. They were mainly to demonstrate the simplicity of the apps (and similarity to MS Office!), ‘sharing’ functions, and the possibility to collaborate in real-time.
A more detailed post has already been written on this session, and contains the Google Slides used at the workshop. Again, if you would like any help with Google Drive and Google Apps, please done hesitate to get it touch!
The conference exhibited some excellent examples of Technology Enhanced Learning practices throughout the faculty, going well beyond our humble ACES TEL team! ACES staff have been experimenting with screencast feedback, Facebook collaboration, infographics and many other e-learning approaches.
We would love to spread the word about these excellent learning and teaching practices on this blog, to help other staff interested in innovating their approach! Sharing good practice is often the best way of development and improvement.
The ACES TEL team is therefore seeking case studies of faculty staff going that extra mile with their use of technology for learning. Please contact us if you have experiences to share with your colleagues!