Student digital insight survey

Yesterday we launched our Student digital insight survey for this year.

The student Insight survey is a national survey run by Jisc which aims to find out more about how students use digital technologies and how this affects their experience of learning.

students.png

We last ran this survey (or the previous version of this survey) in April 2018. You can read more about the results and see a presentation we gave at the Data matters conference in January 2019.

Changes to the last survey

The majority of questions are the same as the last survey we ran and we will be very interested in comparing results. Have we made improvements? Or are there still clear indicators of work to be done?

We have however added in a few new questions. These have been shamelessly stolen from feedback in webinars and mailing lists (apologies I can’t recall which institutions they are from). The first new set of questions relate to digital skills. They ask our students about how important different skills are and how they would like to learn them.

skillsThe second set of questions are about the tools we use e.g our VLE, video system, tech in teaching and study spaces etc.

toolsPromotion

We are taking a softly, softly approach to the survey but will be promoting through the following mechanisms:

  • Email to all students
  • Ticker bar on Gateway (our VLE)
  • Digital screens
  • Through the myRAU app as a banner and a news item
  • Information on social media sites
  • Posters
  • Through the OurRAU news
  • By sharing slides with our academics so they can mention the survey in lectures

We will report back next month on how it has gone.

Keele Digital Festival 2019

Yesterday I made my first ever visit to Keele University for their annual Digital Festival. The event, organised by Keele Institute for Innovation and Teaching Excellence (KIITE), usually brings together primarily local university staff for a one-day mini-conference. However this year’s theme covering the use of Microsoft Teams to support learning and teaching practices in universities had definitely piqued interest and attracted an impressively large contingent of external university staff.

Introduction by Lawrie Phipps (Jisc) & Dr Rafe Hallett (KIITE)

Rafe Hallett, director of KIITE, gave the first half of the introduction and welcomed us to Keele and our day exploring next generation learning environments. He asked us to think about what it takes to make learning social beyond contact time and how can we take the dynamic from face-to-face learning spaces and bring them online.

Jisc’s Laurie Phipps (who has begun to turn himself into Mr Teams through recent Jisc work exploring possible replacements for the traditional Virtual Learning Environment ☺️)  followed with the point that what people really want a is digital ecosystem that is seamless and supports social learning. Not too difficult then!

Opening by Prof Helen O’Sullivan: Pro Vice Chancellor for Education – Keele University

Helen talked openly about some of the discussions had at Keele over whether to have a separate digital strategy or or to integrate aspects of it in their learning and teaching strategy. To her the most important aspects are: how digital impacts on the pedagogical, how the digital platforms we use constrain our creativity and digital fluency. After some musings about the new continuum of machine-centered > human-centred learning Helen suggested that some modules should be fully online – even in campus programmes. This could be useful for those who are unable to attend for certain reasons. However such an approach would needs a very strong programme design element, Keele are lucky to have a KIITE programme design framework. Helen concluded with some thoughts on how most us have an infrastructure built around a student records system and a VLE but are probably locked in to these systems due to inertia, cost and upheaval of change. It may be that our traditional digital teaching tools constrain rather than expand our imagination and teaching / learning.

Keynote: An analysis of Microsoft Teams at scale: experiences so far
Santanu Vasant – University of East London

Santanu Vasant and his hashtag #makeEDUbetter

Santanu Vasant and his hashtag #makeEDUbetter

In his very first plenary Santanu talked about UEL’s experience of rolling out Teams at scale in their Graphic design and Psychology departments. Teams is now being used by 26 modules with some level of success. They are using an institutional template which has been pushed out to all mental health modules, the tabs at top are the same for each module.

Some interesting points for me are that Teams now links up with CELCAT – the HE and FE timetabling system, and the discussion on activity data that can come out of Team. Also Santanu talked about some of the connectors they have been using (such as mindmap) and the different integration approaches – do you integrate Teams in your VLE or your VLE or your VLE in Teams? (As a Moodle house we may want to look in to the required plugin and Teams assignments can be run through Turnitin). Santanu’s explained that use of Teams relates to their graduate attributes and UEL want to make skills and project based learning explicit for their students. There was an aside mention of the Jisc digital pursuits game – definitely one for future staff CPD!

After one of the linked activities and a significant amount of cake we moved on to some case studies.

Using Teams to Deliver Teaching and Learning: An Academic’s Perspective
Dr Stephen Bateman – Staffordshire University

Steve Bateman is a lecturer in Sports Therapy at Staffordshire and has been using Teams (and other Office 365 tools) as a way to engage his students, making the most of the live broadcasting and other connectors. Like others Steve made the point that Microsoft tools will be what students will have to use once they join the world of work. Steve’s biggest takeaway was for us to join the Microsoft educator community (MEC) as soon as possible.

This is what you look like from up here folks... thanks for listening. let’s get #engaged . @KeeleInnovation #TeamsUKEd @MicrosoftTeams @StaffsUni @SUSTclinic @StaffsDigital @MicrosoftEDU

Group photo by Stephen Bateman

I’m not sure I was entirely convinced that Steve’s reasons for sector inertia are necessarily a bad thing (our VLE works, it is too much effort, if it ain’t broke…) but take his point that students really enjoy using Teams and it feels more like a useful skill than navigating a clunky VLE.

Using OneNote Classroom to Create an Escape Room Assessment Activity
Dr Emma Thirkell – UCLan

I think most people in the room were a little blown away by the brilliant idea of using OneNote Class notebooks in a more creative way to form a series of escape rooms. The class notebooks can be used as a collaboration space and content library and even have a student only area. The ability to password protect pages gave Emma Thirkell the idea of turning the notebook into a fun formative assessment that she uses in week 12 of her modules. The students love working together collaboratively on the problems and there is the added benefit that they are learning a digital skill. Microsoft’s accessibility features mean that international students can even translate the content on the fly. Emma’s comment that it only takes 2 hours to set up a series of rooms means it’s been added to my to-do list.

escape.jpg

Using Teams to Deliver a Postgraduate Medical Education Course
Karl Gimblett, Tom Lovelock & Vikki Foley – Keele University

The Keele team took us through their lessons learnt in piloting a postgraduate medical course through Teams. Some of the tools they have been using include Adapt builder and Flip grid, a way for students to share short videos.

Preparing Modules for Teams Delivery
Dr Jessica Louise Macbeth & Jane Fitzgerald -UCLan

The UCLan team demoed more connectors and tools including Polly (polling software), Mindmeister and Forms. Their advice was to make sure that you have task based activities for your students to do, in class and outside class.

They also gave a shout out to the Teams-based DigiLearn community established by Chris Melia and others at UClan. The community now has over 400 members from 150 institutions. Read more about it on their TELT blog.

An Institutional Migration to Microsoft Teams
Nicky Bowen & John Billington – Hugh Baird College

In a more radical step the Hugh Baird College have ditched their unused Totara VLE and moved to Teams for their students. The Go live involved them automatically provisioning 1500 course teams and writing some Powershell code to get the correct students in to Teams (apparently only 3-4 lines of code!) All users are able to create their own Teams Despite the massive change they have had relatively few support calls, in mainly due to the huge amount of staff and student training they ran, a good communication plan and a lot of testing!

A sector perspective on the shift to digital ecosystems
Dr Phil Richards – Jisc

Phil rounded the talks off with a meander through the concepts of bio-diverse ecosystems (good) and how we need to shift our digital mono-cultures (bad)  to digital ecosystems (good). His point that we musn’t let our data get locked in to any system (including Microsoft) in the same way we have allowed it to get locked in to Turnitin.

Panel: Phil Richards, Santanu Vasant, Helen O’Sullivan and Karl Gimblett,

IMG_2313

The closing panel mulled over some of the big questions of the day:

  • How prepared are we to let go of control of the VLE (with its templates and standards) and move towards more open learning?
  • Is Teams the best way to fully engage our students?
  • In time will Microsoft become another monolithic ecosystem or will it allow us to be more discerning about the systems we do pick? Begin the whole open source software discussion…

Thanks to the Keele team for organising the day, it was a great introduction to current practice in this area.

My journey home gave me some time to think about the implications for us at the RAU. We have spent the last two years getting our VLE in to shape and I think we would be reluctant to make any big changes at this point. Most institutions are currently using Teams as a complement to their VLE or are piloting it for particular groups, and there was recognition that some of the Teams functionality isn’t there yet for learning and teaching (e.g. assessment, file management – where do all the files end up?). The institutions that have committed fully to Teams instead of a VLE have seen it as a contender as part of a procurement process and have spent considerable effort implementing it. The most interesting aspects for me are:

  • The employability angle – these are tools for work and learning how to use them will always be valuable.
  • The ‘we pay for it so we should use it’ argument – which does make sense. But should we throw out other tools now that we have it? Or do they have a different value? It made me think of Jesse Sommel’s plenary at ALT (Some tools have bad pedagogy baked in”). We just need to tread carefully here.
  • Staff capacity is probably more important than student capacity at this point – we should start some small projects like using the VLE for Visiting Lecturers and academics to communicate and discuss.
  • The tension between dumbing down and being driven by the innovators when it comes to staff ability. At this moment while I am reluctant to hold back those who want to be experimental I really want to make sure that all our staff have good digital skills and a structured approach is probably the most beneficial here.
  • There are lots of great Office 365 tools out there and we need to get on with our roll out!

Resources

(From DigiLearn and the event)

New Learning Technologist needed!

Would you like to join our merry team? Fancy working in a small specialist institution where you can make a huge amount of difference and get involved in lots of interesting areas of work? Are you a creative, team player who is interested in course design, multimedia and all things learning tech?

RAU in daffodils

RAU in the spring

The Royal Agricultural University have a vacancy for a new Learning Technologist to work on development of the Catalyst programme of blended learning courses.

If you are interested take a look at the key responsibilities and person specification in the briefing pack.

Closing date for applications is 12th November 2019 with interviews on 20th November 2019.

Farewell Aurelie!

We are hugely sad to say that our lovely Learning Technologist Aurelie Soulier will be leaving us at the end of today. Aurelie is taking up a position at Catalyst IT supporting Moodle implementation across the HE sector.

20191015_144908058_iOS.jpg

During her far too brief time at RAU Aurelie has been instrumental in helping us progress many areas of work including:

Not only that she has been a truly great colleague to work with. We are all going to miss her!

Pictures of Aurelie in action

Pictures of Aurelie in action

We wish Aurelie all the best with her new role and hope she keeps in touch. (We know she will – she can’t keep off social media!)

Aurelie's leaving drinks

Aurelie’s leaving drinks

Mahara ePortfolio Assessments

This year we are using Mahara ePortfolios as the main assessment tool for several  of our modules (- predominantly first year and integrated foundation year modules). Mahara use at this scale hasn’t happened before at the RAU and we have been carrying out a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure a smooth roll out.

download (1)

Training  – We have run Mahara training for our staff on the following areas:

  • ePortfolios: What are they and what’s in it for me and my students?
  • Introducing Mahara: a basic introduction to editing
  • Using Mahara: Designing learning activities and assessment, and using groups
  • Advanced Mahara: Using competency frameworks
  • Mahara for Dissertation management
  • Mahara as a CV builder
Mahara digital badge

Mahara digital badge

We plan to also run some training on marking ePortfolios just before the assessments are due in. As a team we have been working to improve our own Mahara skills and recently had Sam Taylor from Catalyst in to help us prepare for the recent upgrade to 19.04. Aurelie has visited the early lecture sessions for the modules using an ePortfolio assessment and has given the students an overview of the system. Students have been encouraged to carry out the induction activity available to all RAU Mahara users – they are awarded with a digital badge for doing so. We will be revisiting the lecture sessions just before the assignment is due to check that there are no issues and the students are happy to submit their assignments.

Batch loading users on to Mahara – In order to set up groups we needed to make sure that the right students were in Mahara. Our system is set up to authenticate through Moodle and users are only created at the moment they access the Mahara site, adding users by CSV file helped us to ensure everyone was already on the site.

Setting up the groups for modules – Groups were set up using admin accounts and students on those modules were batch loaded into the groups.

Designing ePortfolio templates

Designing ePortfolio templates

Creating templates for the assessments – we decided to use templates for all this year’s ePortfolio assessments. This has allowed us to control the layout of the Mahara pages by locking blocks and should help with consistency when marking the assessments. Some of the templates are individual pages while others are collections of pages. The templates were designed in collaboration with the module lead and were created in the relevant group and shared with the existing group members. Comments were turned off for all templates.

Template for ePortfolio assessment for module 1400

Template for ePortfolio assessment for module 1400

Adding assessment points to the relevant modules – this has been done using a Mahoodle link in Mahara assignment. Students will go to their assignment submission portal and will be given the option to submit any of their Mahara ePortfolios – most will only have the templated assessment available. Once an ePortfolio has been submitted it will be locked until it has been marked.

Marking – we intend to use a rubric for marking of the ePotfolios and as mentioned earlier will be training our academics in how to mark to make sure the marking is consistent and fair.

There is still quite a bit of work to do before the end of the semester and assessments are done and dusted. We have agreed that we would like to have a retrospective with the academics once the ePortfolio assessments are all in and marked to see how things have gone and decide if we would like to go full steam ahead with more complex and student-developed ePortfolios for other higher level modules.

Panopto UK HE User Group meeting – UWE

Earlier this week I attended the Panopto UK HE User Group meeting hosted by University of West England (UWE) at their new Frenchay business school. The day consisted of some interesting case study presentations and really helpful discussions from both the AV and learning/teaching perspective.

UWE business school
UWE business school

Discussion areas and questions included:

  • Student assignments – UWE presented on work they have been doing to create a workflow on student assessment that ensures GDPR compliance. Antoine Rivoire talked about how Ulster University students have been creating videos on placements and submitting them through Panopto – 72% said the availability of blogs would help them to choose placements. Roberta Bernabei and Matt Hope presented remotely on how they have been using video to improve student digital and presentation skills including editing. Qs – Even though videos are date stamped Panopto does not lock down submission dates and students can still submit after a date. How should institutions deal with this?
Antoine Rivoire from Ulster University shows their One click recording room

Antoine Rivoire from Ulster University shows their One click recording room

  • Students opting out of being captured on video – How can this be managed? Ideas include: sitting in a certain area, capturing audio only, having a flag for students to hold up and pause recording, 24 hour release window, ensuring use of mics to stop recording people’s private conversations.
  • Video rooms – Dealing with the challenge of achieving high quality audio and video in a restricted space and small budget Antoine Rivoire showed how they have set up a one click video recording studio at Ulster University. Freddie Bujko from Oxford University demoed their one button studio which uses green screen and cost around £10,000 to set up.
  • Subtitling and transcription – UWE shared their experiments with Microsoft Translator for creating subtitles on the fly.
Freddie Bujko from Oxford University shows their one button studio

Freddie Bujko from Oxford University shows their one button studio

After lunch there was presentation from Matt Turner from Birmingham University  on their VLE integration and their changes to folder structure. All access to recordings is through Canvas but some recordings are embedded in pages.  Folders are provisioned in bulk at the beginning of each Semester and Panopto is added to VLE course menu.

We then ended the day with a on overview of last year’s Panopto survey and a Panopto update from Pete Gervaise-Jones.

pan.JPG

Panopto upgrades have now  moved to larger numbers 6 (last winter) > 7 (this summer), with decimal points only used for minor updates. As part of their 12 month product roadmap Panopto are working on video content workflows, integration with webinar software like Zoom, and an online recorder.

The next user group meeting is likely to be in Scotland in April next year.

Gromit in the UWE Business school

Gromit in the UWE Business school

Staff digital insights surveys

Earlier this year we ran two RAU staff digital insights surveys – one for academic staff and one for professional service staff. The surveys were managed by Jisc and are part of an annual survey programme. They complement the student digital survey that we ran last year. The academic staff survey asks teaching staff across higher (HE) and further education (FE) about their experiences of digital in their institution and in their teaching practice. This year the Professional Services staff survey ran as a pilot and the RAU was part of the pilot group. The results from the surveys are benchmarked and compared with other institutions in the sector.

Jisc survey

Below are some of our key findings.

Response rates

Academic staff Professional services
Response number 24 67
Percentage of staff ~ 50% ~ 25%
Time at RAU Even split between ‘4 years or more’ and ‘less than 4 years’ Even split between ‘4 years or more’ and ‘less than 4 years’
Department From all four schools
2 from Capel
Operations (43%) Student services (31%) Commercial and Business Development (21%) & others

Key metrics: Academic staff

  • 21% rate the quality of their digital provision (software, hardware, learning environment) as good or above
  • 92% can access reliable Wi-Fi whenever they need it
  • 50% agree it is easy to design & organise their course materials in the VLE (Gateway)
  • 54% rate the support they get to develop their digital role as good or above
  • 21% agree software for teaching is industry standard and up-to-date
  • 8% agree they are informed about ensuring students behave safely online

Key metrics: Professional services staff

  • 58% rate the quality of their digital provision (software, hardware, learning environment) as good or above
  • 87% can access reliable Wi-Fi whenever they need it
  • 27% agree that our online systems support working as a team
  • 34% rate the support they get to develop their digital role as good or above
  • 43% agree systems are up to date
  • 72% agree systems are reliable

prof

It appears that academics are more unhappy about the quality of the digital provision but happier about the support they receive to develop digital aspects of their jobs. While for professional services it is the other way round. This may be to do with the lack of support for professional services staff training and the requirement for fit for purpose pedagogic tools

Benchmark comparisons: Academic staff

Question Our data UK data
Quality of digital provision 21% 58%
Reliable Wi-Fi 92% 85%
Support to develop digital role 54% 36%
Software for teaching is industry standard and up-to-date 21% 35%
Easy to design & organise course materials in VLE 55% 48%
Are informed about ensuring students behave safely online 8% 18%

The areas in red are below the sector and the areas in green are above.

Benchmark comparisons: Professional services staff

Question Our data UK data
Quality of digital provision 58% 68%
Reliable Wi-Fi 87% 85%
Support to develop digital role 35% 56%
Systems are reliable 72% 67%
Systems are up to date 43% 46%
Our online systems support working as a team 27% 46%

The areas in red are below the sector and the areas in green are above.

As you can see there is still lots to be done!

What can we do to help? Academic staff

  • Increased recognition by senior management of the importance of supporting innovative and good quality teaching (both digital and non-digital)
  • Better celebration of good practice
  • Support for a culture where experimentation is accepted and time/resource is allocated to it
  • More CPD in digital skills
  • Better digital teaching rooms
  • Further investment in academic and industry-standard digital tools
  • Improvements to Turnitin and integration with Quercus

What can we do to help? Professional services staff

  • Better support for flexible and remote working
  • More accessible training – from a more formal training structure to informal lunchtime drop-in training, at all levels (beginners to expert), and for new staff
  • More guidance, support and videos
  • Improve labs set up
  • Provide a list of systems with an outline of what they do
  • Better equipment – headsets for making calls, AV equipment, laptops for all

The recently developed IT and Digital strategy and action plan addresses the vast majority of these areas including:

  1. Work to establish a cross-functional group to produce an action plan for developing our student and staff digital capabilities,
  2. Help to define a set of activities and processes that directly encourage and support staff digital capability e.g: recruitment requirements, appraisals, promotions  etc.

Huge thanks to everyone who participated in either of the surveys!

These results were presented to the RAU senior managers by Alun Dawes (Head of IT) on the 10th September. Going forward we hope to run the staff surveys and the student survey on alternate years. If you have any comments on the survey results please do get in touch with IT Services.

ALT 2019 – Time to take back control…

Written around the inside of the dome in the awe-inspiring McEwan hall is proverb 4:7 from the bible:

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

However if we, the 471 delegates attending the Association of Learning Technologists conference 2019, were to feel concerned by the pressure that this pursuit of wisdom might put us under then we were not to worry. As co-chair Melissa Highton (Digital Learning, Teaching & Web and Assistant Principal, University of Edinburgh) explained it’s not just the big stuff that matters, it is the day to day too. She pointed to Susan Collins art for inspiration: a series of bronze circular drops entitled The Next Big Thing is a Series of Little Things (see the feature image for this post). And as Learning Technologists it is in the day to day that we can make a difference.

The McEwan Hall

The McEwan Hall

This year’s conference hosted by the University of Edinburgh offered up its usual incredibly large number of diverse parallel sessions, workshops, keynotes, sponsor slots, lightening talks and social events. Naturally I couldn’t attend everything – though the live streaming, photos and Twitter feed help – but have jotted down some of my key takeaways:-

We need to think about the tools we use – While Sue Beckingham’s keynote was incredibly content heavy I found it a fantastic reusable resource that looks back over our recent history and considers the affordances and sometimes negative consequences of digital interconnectedness and socially mediated publicness. Sue reminded us that the internet and social media are just tools and it is up to us to really own them.

Jesse Sommel suggests we play ed tech celebrity death match!!

Jesse Sommel suggests we play ed tech celebrity death match!!

 

We need to think about the tools we buy – Jesse Sommel’s  (Executive Director of the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies at University of Mary Washington) keynote on Critical Pedagogy, Civil Disobedience and Edtech was really well received. He spent time looking at some fundamental questions on what learning should be (fluid? Student-led? Questioning? With agency?) and asked to think about how critical pedagogy translates into digital space and the tools we use. He pointed out that digital technologies have values coded into them in advance (“Some tools have bad pedagogy baked in”) and that these values may not align well with what is right for our students. The outgoing message is that we need to be considering these points in our procurement processes and ensure we invest in teachers (not just more tech). As Susanne Hardy (Newcastle University) explained in her Gasta talk, the feedback from the academics was “we don’t need more technology.” Frameworks like the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) – presented by Suzanne Stone (Dublin City University) could help here. See Teresa Mackinnon’s Wakelet for more on critical digital literacy

 

We need to understand how education is changing – I’m still not entirely sure what Blockchain is but the workshop by Alexander Mikroyannidis (the Open University) from the Qualichain project started to unveil the potential it could have for education through validation of qualifications, micro-credentials, transcripts (see the HEAR record) transparency and security of data, smart badges and personalised job offers. See https://blockchain.open.ac.uk/ for webinars and further information.  I also attended a workshop on Education 4.0  led by Gilly Salmon (Swinburne University of Technology) and John Brindle (University of Liverpool) in which we talked about future trends such as the symbiotic web leading to big changes in curricula, and applied the 6 thinking hats to them.

Ollie Bray had us building a lego duck during the plenary

Ollie Bray had us building a lego duck during the plenary

We need to redefine play and reimagine learning – at least that is what lego is doing. Ollie Bray, Global Director at the Lego foundation had us think about the spectrum of practice and remember that play is timeless, chaotic, risky, child-led,  while school is timetables, orderly, safe, adult-led (echoing Jesse Sommels earlier observations). Ollie made some interesting points about the need for creativity (note that it is not the same as imagination) and the benefits of children and adults working together in co-creative teams – working on something new together.

Digital literacy is still a biggie – There were a lot of great sessions on building student digital capability, for example by using the Digital Creative Attributes Framework (DCAF), a shared language around digital. I was also pleased to see quite a few sessions on Wikipedia and how we should be pushing it as a tool to support good quality scholarship – don’t just use Wikipedia, write it! I picked up a few new podcasts along the way (ALT mentions) and some tips on how to make them. And I think I will broadening the places I look for training and CPD to include OERu, e.g. their course on learning in a digital age and some autoethnocity (a great session by Daniel Clark from BPP on identity in relation to technology).

We are getting better at video – ALT had quite a few sessions on lecture capture, 360 video, immersive video and other related areas. I managed to get along to the Edinburgh University DIY film school which was fun, their guide book is really helpful. The team have used Office 365 to set up a kit booking process too – something we could possibly do at the RAU. I am a little jealous of how they store their media- in the Edinburgh Media Hopper portal.

Oh, and I gave a presentation about the work we have been doing at RAU on the myRAU app – Making our students ‘appy – how we successfully rolled out our student mobile app. There was also a very tasty Scottish gala dinner, a ceilidh, an awards ceremony, too many lunch-time food bowls (what’s wrong with plates??), holograms, a very unpleasant 2am fire alarm in the halls and some great networking,

So with the back drop of ministers in Westminster arguing (again) about how we should go about ‘taking back control of our country’ whilst concurrently spiraling out of control, it seemed fitting that ALT challenged us to take back control of the technology we use, the data we create and the career paths we choose.

Alt delegates, Picture by Chris Bull for Association for Learning Technology www.chrisbullphotographer.com

ALT delegates, Picture by Chris Bull for Association for Learning Technology http://www.chrisbullphotographer.com

Summer refresh

This summer we are having a refresh of many of our teaching rooms. Quite a few will be getting new projectors, display screens, white boards and lecterns. In addition some rooms will  receive new sound systems with wall-mounted speakers. In our labs the existing projectors and screens will be replaced by two new projectors and screens and we will be improving interconnectivity between the projectors, screens and other devices.

However from a Learning Technology point of view our most exciting purchase is of five new CleverTouch Plus screens (a mix of 55″ and 65″ screens). CleverTouch are digital touch screens that allow the teacher to deliver more interactive and engaging lessons using a variety of different tools. The CleverTouch Plus LUX screen incorporates an android module and uses android apps alongside annotation tools.

Our academics were very impressed with the screen when it was demoed back in March.

IMG_1426

Over the next few weeks the Learning Technologists will be getting familiar with the screens and delivering basic and advanced training to our academics.

clever

Shiny new tools

We are introducing a couple of new digital tools for the start of the new academic year. Note that all tools still need to be set up, tested and piloted.

Sim Venture Evolution

We already use Sim Venture Classic on some of our business modules but will now be adding in Evolution for our blended and distance learning students. Evolution is a business strategy simulation that is highly aligned with pedagogic approaches and subject-based learning. We have already written about our recent Evolution training day.

SimVenture-Evolution-JPeg-image-HighRes

Zoom

ZoomZoom is a video conferencing and webinar tool.

We will be using it primarily on our Catalyst programmes but also hope to run some other webinars relevant to prospective students or industry partners.

We will be integrating Zoom with Gateway (our VLE) and Panopto to support sign on and storage.

Browsealoud

Browsealoud is an additional tool from texthelp who make Read&Write. We are considering adding it to the portfolio – no definite decision yet.

It is a plug in that we will be adding to Gateway to help users with accessibility and productivity. It allows users have web pages read to them and converted to MP3 files.

Browsealoud

So what new tools is your Learning Tech team introducing? Do share!