Update: Assessment Journey Programme – reflecting on progress

I am sharing an article that has been recently posted on the Assessment Journey Programme blog that reflects on the Programme’s progress as it now enters its final year. The article outlines the Programme’s progress around informing, preparing and supporting both staff and students, governess and process, and technical developments that support the move to online management of assessment and new reporting requirements.

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Briefing Report: Flipped Classroom

empty classroom photographed upside downThis briefing report offers an overview of the ‘Flipped Classroom’ concept, including examples of its use and the implications for practice at SHU due to the growing interest in using this approach. The Flipped Classroom itself is characterised by the students undertaking pre-work, such as reading articles, watching videos, or reflecting on their existing understanding, before the scheduled session freeing the contact time from much of this information delivery and so allow greater time for activities that consolidate the new knowledge or address misunderstandings from the students pre-work. The report is available to SHU staff by clicking the link above.

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Journal Article Published

An ‘Early View’ of a journal article about the Teaching Approaches Menu has just been published online by the British Journal of Educational Technology (BJET). The paper covers the background to the project to develop the Menu, the development process, use of the materials and some of the changes made as a result of using the Menu.

The paper, ‘Pedagogy First: Realising technology enhanced learning by focusing on teaching practice‘, is available to either download or read online. The Menu itself is freely available to download, use and modify under a Creative Commons licence.

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Journal Article Published

A couple of years ago, the TEL team undertook a research project to look into the ways that students use their past feedback when working on subsequent assessments. A full project report for this project, ‘Making Connections’, was published a while ago, and today a paper drawing the findings together with technological interventions from across the sector intended to address them was published by the journal, Research in Learning Technology.

The paper, ‘Making connections: technological interventions to support students in using, and tutors in creating, assessment feedback‘, is published under a Creative Commons licence, so is freely available to download and share.

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Internet of Things Workshop at ALT-C

IoT slideYesterday, along with Farzana Latif (Technology Enhanced Learning Manager at the University of Sheffield), I delivered a workshop exploring the educational potential of the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT looks set to become a major trend and relates to devices communicating with each other and responding according to information passed between them – a simple example would be light sensors around a room that result in automatic adjustments to blinds and artificial lighting in order to ensure a balanced, glare-free environment.

While many current examples are, like the one above, related to the management of buildings and estates, there is significant potential to use some of the technologies in ways that directly benefit student learning. The slides from the session have been posted to Slideshare, and SHU staff can also read a briefing paper on the IoT that I wrote last year.

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Invited webinar on SHU’s approach to TEL

Brian and myself have been invited by Blackboard to give an online presentation and brief Q&A on the Teaching Approaches menu developed at SHU. The presentation, entitled ‘Encouraging A Deeper Engagement With Technology Enhanced Learning’ will take place at 1 p.m. on Thursday 2nd July, and is open to all. Further information about the session can also be found on the registration page.

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Evaluation of Sheffield Hallam University’s first MOOC

In October 2014, the University delivered its first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). The Enhancing Prostate Cancer Care (EPCC) MOOC was developed and delivered by colleagues in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing in collaboration with Prostate Cancer UK, utilising PebblePad as the platform and vehicle for delivery. This report evaluates experiences of and engagement with the EPCC MOOC and is now publically available. For further information, please contact Helen J Parkin (H.J.Parkin@shu.ac.uk).

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Blackboard Teaching and Learning Conference 2015 – report

"Liver Birds at Sunset" by irglover

Liver Birds at Sunset” by irglover

On 15-17 April, the 2015 Blackboard Teaching and Learning Conference was held at the University of Liverpool. The conference offers an opportunity to find out about new developments coming to Blackboard and related tools, as well as hear the experiences of other institutions using Blackboard, Collaborate, etc.

The opening keynote was from Graham Brown-Martin, founder of Learning Without Frontiers. The presentation was related to his recent project to reimagine education for the highly-connected 21st century based on identifying educational practice from around the world, which led to the publication of a book and associated online resources under the name ‘Learning {RE}imagined‘. The main focus of the presentation was that our current educational systems are based on a model designed to educated 19th century children for a life as factory workers, and we need to break away from didactic teach-and-test methods if we are to educate people for society’s current and future needs.

Flipped Learning and MOOCs were something of an unofficial pair of themes for the conference, with plenty of discussion about them even in sessions not directly related to them. MEF University in Turkey provided their story of setting up a new institution based entirely around a flipped model, and found that, due to students expecting to learn in this way and staff being supported in creating materials, engagement is very high. There was also an interesting panel discussion about MOOCs and their value to learners and institutions, with most of the panel agreeing that MOOCs provide a great opportunity to promote other courses to prospective students, offer a way to try out new teaching approaches, and offer pro-bono professional development to specific communities of practitioners.

Stuart and I presented some of the key findings from the ‘Making Connections’ project that the TEL team undertook to investigate the ways in which students are able to use past feedback in their assignments, and how staff practices could assist them in doing so. The presentation was well attended and received, with some interesting questions being asked about our findings. A copy of the slides is available online.

In addition, I also provided an extra pair of hands at a workshop run by Stuart and Scott Porter of the Assessment Journey Programme (AJP). This sought input into the work being conducted by the AJP to streamline many of the assessment process so that they are more efficient for staff and students and more representative of practice and policy at the institution.

Overall, there were some stimulating sessions and discussions at the conference, and some of the new features being developed for Blackboard and, particularly, Collaborate look very useful – such as making Collaborate work on any computer or mobile device without needing to install Java or other software and an on-going redesign of the Blackboard interface so that it also works well on mobile devices.

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Team vacancy – Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in TEL

We are re-advertising for a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in TEL, with a new end date of September 2016. This post is to cover Stuart Hepplestone’s secondment to the Assessment Journey programme. It is fixed term until 30 September 2016 but we will hopefully get funding to extend the position one more year after that to cover the full life of the three year project. Details on how to apply and who to contact for any questions is in the job advert.

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TEL-ve Days of Christmas – Day 12

Today is the last day of our TEL-ve Days of Christmas series and so we wanted to thank you for following along with the series – we hope that you have found it interesting and informative.

To thank you for following along we have created an Open Badge which you can claim from https://credly.com/claim/34466 – you’ll need to set up a free Credly account to be able to claim it. We’ll trust you to only claim it if you have looked at all of the posts, but if you haven’t then you can find them all at https://blogs.shu.ac.uk/telteam/tag/tel-ve-days/.

So, finally the TEL team would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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