Tag Archives: TEL

Ready, Steady, Learn!

Dr David Smith & Dr Graham Holden
@dave_thesmith / @GrahamJHolden

Parallel session 4, CoLab 4.1

This workshop builds on a session devised and developed by Graham, and Professor Ranald Macdonald which then ran with academic staff at the University of Manchester.

Short Abstract
Come teach with us, share your practice and add a little bit of flavour to your teaching. Participants will be asked to design or redesign a teaching session. We’ll award points to all the sessions and feedback to develop further ideas and implementation. At the end of the workshop the session with the most points wins a tasty teaching prize.

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Detailed Outline
We believe that good learning experiences are challenging, risky, unpredictable, experimental, and are, above all, fun! These experiences occur individually as well as in groups, and everyone brings different knowledge, skills and experiences to the table.
In this workshop we will explore the metaphor of cooking in teaching and learning (hence the title) as this incorporate features that make learning more engaging. Learning, like food, can become dull and bland and the addition of an extra ingredient or combining ingredients in a different way can transform the experience. These changes don’t have to mean a complete redesign of the learning experience but can be about adding an extra dimension at the right time. Like any good meal it is the combination of a well-planned menu, good quality ingredients and the skill of the cook that makes the difference.

This session will explore the key elements of active learning and quality design of the learning experience; we will share ideas and techniques that promote engagement. We will do this be drawing on principles for active learning, our own experiences and examples from the University’s Inspirational Teachers. The best experiences, though, are those of the participants, so we ask you to come prepared to explore your own practices and to share your reflections with others. By the end of the session we will have a collection of recipes for engaged student learning and the beginnings of what we hope will be an active learning cookbook.

269 – Does e-learning and mobile technology have a place within HE Learning, Teaching and Assessment? – Jo Marsden

Strand: The technology enhanced course Anticipated outcomes:• Discuss the viability & usefulness of iPads within LTA Session outline (or abstract): max 300 words Technology has brought about irreversible change to the world (Su 2009) and educators have had to acknowledge the reality of technologically-induced change and it’s constantly evolving pace.  This extreme growth in the capabilities of technology, especially mobile technology, alongside increasing affordability has led to the acknowledgement of a ubiquitous learning tool within higher education (Pollaro and Broussard 2011).   As non-traditional methods of education become more established and as a factor of that informal and flexible learning environments become necessary for students in an ever-connected society, e-learning will play a significant role (Fetaji 2008). Within this example e-learning has been utilised as a tool for:• student engagement• student learning• a teaching aid• assessment support This has been through the use of:• iPads• screencasting• online feedback• Google Docs• Google Forms   The views of the students, teaching staff and support staff have been collected on the use of these tools within different settings.   The outcomes from the students were positive in the use of different learning environments and technologies and assisted in student engagement, however there were questions raised over the impact on student learning.   The use of iPads for the purpose of assessment support assisted in achieving the new assessment regulations of a 3-week turnaround and in facilitating online student feedback, which was also favourably received.    The examples incorporated a blended approach to teaching and learning for isolated modules within the Department of Sport.   As technology usage within Higher Education becomes more prevalent and staff become more aware of the options, and also the ways in which to combine technology into the classroom, the real focus needs to shift to the course design and the integration of technology within this.

262 – Building an online course identity: an example from a post graduate course in occupational therapy – Susan Elizabeth Walsh

Strand: Course Identity

The MSc Occupational Therapy (post graduate) course is delivered entirely online using Blackboard VLE.  Although online learning can have advantages for students in  allowing more flexibility across distance and time (Helbers et al 2005) and possibilities for different styles of communication (Casimiro et al 2009), the development of an online course identity can be problematic in the absence of the usual physical and visual cues available in classroom learning (Murphy 2004). We encouraged the development of an online course identity from the start in a number of ways: identifying students’ own learning needs and aspirations to build a sense of personal commitment to the course; recognising and valuing students personal, academic and professional contributions to build social cohesion and commitment to each other and introducing students to the wider academic and support team in the faculty to create a sense of belonging to a vibrant academic learning community. With an e-learning technologist, we developed a range of creative and interactive e-learning resources and activities to use in the two week induction period and the first module of the course. We utilised Salmon’s 5 stage model of online learning (Salmon 2004), in particular the ‘access and motivation’ and ‘online socialisation’ stages, to structure the e-learning resources and activities.

.The anticipated outcomes of this presentation are to:

  • Evaluate a range of e-learning resources and activities used during the induction and first module of the course in promoting course identity.
  • Apply pedagogical theory, in this case Salmon’s 5 stage model of online learning, to underpin the way that e-learning resources and activities are utilised.
  • Consider the wider relevance of the approach to other post-graduate courses.

The session will include demonstration of some of the e-learning resources and activities and how these contributed to the formation of course identity.


Helbers, D, Rossi, D, Hinton, L (2005) ‘Students use of an on-line learning environment: Comparisons of group usage within a first year Health Communications course’, Student in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development, 2 (1) P 20-33

Casimiro, L.  (2009) ‘Grounding theories of W(e)Learn: A framework for online interprofessional education’, Journal of Interprofessional Care, 23(4), pp 390-400

Murphy, E. (2004) ‘Recognising and promoting collaboration in an online asynchronous discussion’, British Journal of Educational Technology, 15 (4)

Salmon, G. ( 2004). E-moderating: The key to teaching and learning online. London and New York: Taylor and Francis.

246 – Making Connections: Using technology to improve student engagement with feedback – Stuart Hepplestone, Helen Parkin

Making Connections: Using technology to improve student engagement with feedback

This paper will present the findings of a research study at SHU to identify technological interventions that might help students make connections between the feedback that they receive and their future learning. Using a qualitative approach, the study worked with ten tutors and twenty students. This was made up of four Level 5 cohorts (one from each faculty) including one module tutor and between three and six students, and an additional six tutors who taught on unrelated modules. The findings of the project cover each aspect of the assessment process from both the staff and student perspective including submission, giving and receiving feedback, storage and future use of feedback. In summary:

the process of submitting assignments should be easy and convenient, from anywhere and at anytime

any tool should embrace the current variety of feedback practice, yet achieve consistency in publishing feedback alongside the rest of the students’ learning materials

students store all their feedback in one place; there is a preference for hard copy because of circumstance, i.e. it is easier to print an electronic copy than to covert hard copy to an electronic format

students were more likely to look at and use feedback at the point of their next assignment if it is online

In light of these findings, a range of technological developments that might help students establish or better make connections between the feedback that they receive and future learning, including:

An end-to-end online marking experience that facilitates ease and efficiency of marking online.

An online assessment and feedback that enables students to store all feedback from all modules in one place alongside an assessment calendar, advice on how to use feedback effectively, space for action planning and dialogue around their feedback.

Please click to view presentation:  246 LT conf 2013 – making connections

243 – Creating and Manipulating Images using Maths and a Spreadsheet – Jeff Waldock

Experiential or active learning is a powerful mechanism for enhancing student motivation and engagement.  At one level it can demonstrate real-world applications of abstract theory, deepening and embedding understanding of it; at another it can represent realistic work-related learning. The mathematics programme at SHU is distinctive in the sector because in addition to developing subject-specific skills it focuses on developing real practical skills in applying mathematics, with graduates better prepared for the workplace.  This presentation will describe one specific mathematical modelling activity in which students research mathematical algorithms to implement a variety of effects on a digital photograph.  The mathematics involved can be very simple, such as using addition to brighten an image – or more advanced, requiring two dimensional calculus for sharpening an image. Students are very familiar with using spreadsheets, and therefore an Excel add-in has been developed which can take a digital image and import the individual pixel values into the worksheets of a workbook.  Existing skills can be used to carry out the necessary effects; the add-in provides a mechanism for recompiling a jpeg image from the worksheets. Because an image can be compiled directly from the worksheets, this paves the way for more creative use to be made of mathematical skills in generating images from scratch.  Students have found this to be a great way to explore their creative side – something rare in a mathematics programme.  Examples of images created using mathematics in this way will be shown, including the development of movies generated by running successive images together.  The experiences of a group of final year undergraduate students who have used the software will be described and some possible extensions and other applications explored.

Click to view presentation:  243 SHU_LTA_19June13_Digimages

26 – Introducing Blackboard Collaborate – Stuart Hepplestone, Zoe Burke

This poster will introduce Blackboard Collaborate, a virtual classroom tool recently introduced at Sheffield Hallam University. The poster will outline the core features and functionality provided by Blackboard Collaborate, and enable dialogue about its many uses across the University to enhance teaching and learning and provide student support.

Activities for engagement: Delegates will be prompted to add their own (or potential ideas for) use cases to the poster. Details will also be provided about forthcoming demonstration sessions for ‘hands on’ online experience of using Blackboard Collaborate.

Anticipated outcomes: Staff will be encouraged to consider how virtual classroom technologies can enhance their learning, teaching or student support the context of their own roles.

Theme: The Technology Enhanced Course

Please click on link to view poster:  26 collaborate_posterpdf

2012 Understanding student learning from feedback

Stuart Hepplestone and Gladson Chikwa

The importance of feedback on student learning is universally accepted (e.g. Handley et al. 2011; Hattie and Timperley 2007). However do we know the practices that students use when using feedback effectively for future learning? It will be argued that the way students engage with feedback determines its utility (Handley et al. (ibid.)), a position consistent with Carless et al. (2010, p.396) when they advocate that, ‘the crux of the matter is how students interpret and use feedback’. 

A recent research project undertaken with a small number of undergraduate students at Sheffield Hallam University attempted to address this question. Using Tweets, reflective diaries and interviews, this longitudinal study encouraged the participants to articulate the strategies that students use at a subconscious level to manage their feedback. We were interested in the process that students use to engage with, act upon, store and recall their feedback, and the strategies that they use to feed forward into future learning and the connections they see between each learning activity and the curriculum as a whole. Attention was also drawn to the differences in how students interact with feedback delivered through existing technologies and different media.

This session will outline the background to the project and how the data was collected. Initial findings from the data will be shared on how students use feedback immediately after an assessment task, before their next assessment, between modules and years of study. We will discuss how we are aiming to make explicit the currently implicit processes that students use to deal with feedback. 


Carless, D., Salter, D., Yang, M. and Lam, J. (2010). Developing sustainable feedback practices. Studies in Higher Education, 36 (4), 395-407. 

Handley, K., Price, M. and Millar, J. (2011). Beyond ‘doing time’: investigating the concept of student engagement with feedback. Oxford Review of Education, 37 (4), 543-560.

Hattie, J. and Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback.Review of Educational Research, 77 (1), 81-112.

C6 – (EN34 and EN03) 14.20