Tag Archives: e-learning

Open Education

 

 

 

 

 

Ed Stout
Support Services Manager
Leeds Beckett University

EUNIS 2017


 

 

 

Sheila MacNeill, Senior Lecturer in Digital Learning at Glasgow Calendonian University and Vice-Chair of ALT, led a very interesting keynote ‘Open Education – the Never Ending Story‘ at EUNIS 2017 with a discussion around what “Open” meant to us. We were all invited to submit the first word that came to our mind related to our understanding of what “Open” meant within an interactive Menti word-cloud. It very quickly became apparent that there is a very broad range of thoughts on the matter and that is was a very personal view.

 


 

 

 

 

 

In January 2017, the Open Education Consortium announced 2017 to be the “Year of Open”. Open Education has been progressing positively since the Budapest Open Access Initiative was  formed in 2002 and benefited from the Cape Town Open Education Declaration of 2007 and the Paris Open Education Resources Declaration in 2012. The underlying principles of Open Education are the beliefs that “everyone has the right to education” and that “education is a public good”.

We are seeing a continually increasing number of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offered since their inception at Stanford University in 2011 covering a wide variety of courses. Sheila suggests that Open online learning does have a role to play within our educational landscape and that these courses are having an impact.


 

 

 

 

Shelia spoke about David Wiley’s 5Rs of Openness with Open Educational Resources (OER).

  • Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  • Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  • Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  • Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend).

A particularly pertinent closing to Sheila’s keynote speech related to an entity she refers to as “the Nothing”. “The Nothing” is a suitable metaphor for our current society and the problems which we face in it. Coincidentally, Sheila was giving her keynote on the day of the UK election and with that outcome now known, alongside the current climate of politics within the US (with its fake news/alternative facts) and recent questionable election outcomes including that of Brexit and Trump, I can’t help but feel aligned with Sheila’s concerns.

Sheila has kindly made a number of relevant and related resources available as below:


 

 

 

 

 

 

This blog post first appeared on http://www.edstout.co.uk/2017/06/25/day-2-reflections/

Is end-user training for Windows 10 needed?

Gareth Johns
IT Skills Development Advisor
Cardiff Metropolitan University

The autumn IT training schedule at Cardiff Met includes a Working with Windows 10 course. It doesn’t need to. We have never run training sessions for operating systems before, so why should Windows 10 be any different?

In many ways there isn’t any need for Windows 10 training; it is easy and intuitive to use. Unlike its predecessor, Windows 8, the Windows 10 user experience is good. The attempt to unify tablet and desktop UIs has largely been abandoned – there are no more hidden menus, windows are back to being windows that can be moved and resized and, most importantly, the Start menu is back.

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The Windows 10 Start menu at Cardiff Met

 

The Windows 10 Start menu does look different to the Windows 7 version, it incorporates live tiles for example, but it will be familiar to a Windows 7 user. The Start menu “skills” (perhaps muscle memory would be a better description) developed when using Windows 7 will be transferable to Windows 10. The same applies throughout the operating system. Windows Explorer is now File Explorer. Windows Favorites have been replaced with Quick Access. They look and behave differently, but they feel the same.

So why are we running a Windows 10 course? Firstly, there are some features of Windows 10 that will help users work a bit more efficiently that are not easy to discover. Jump Lists, for example. Jump Lists provide shortcuts to recent documents and sometimes also include other actions associated with that program (e.g. Internet Explorer includes Open New Tab). Jump Lists are accessed by right-clicking on a tile on the Start menu or Taskbar and can save users a few seconds when opening documents (the cumulative effect of which is considerable). But few users are aware that they exist, our training course will remedy that.

Secondly the course will give Cardiff Met staff time to acclimatise to, and build confidence in, the new OS. Frequently we use new software similarly to the old version. We proceed in the way we also have, because we don’t have time to step back to see if there is a better way to do it. The Working with Windows 10 course will hopefully give staff the time they need, with help available if they have any questions.

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OneDrive for Business is part of the Windows 10 upgrade at Cardiff Met

The third reason for developing a course is that our Windows 10 software “build” includes new software and services, so the training is not just about Windows 10. We are offering Skype for Business for the first time, Office 2013 has become Office 2016 and, crucially, OneDrive for Business replaces SharePoint My Sites. Our training course includes all these elements and allows staff to see how these new services work together in the Windows 10 environment.

The course also addresses one of our long-standing goals, sharing IT “Best Practice” with existing staff. Our IT induction programme achieves this for new starters; we advise them where to store documents, alert them to issues around account security and share practical tips for managing email. But up until now there has been no avenue for sharing this advice with existing staff – Working with Windows 10 allows us to do that. Hopefully staff will view the software upgrade as an opportunity to adopt Best Practice, and will finally find time to move their documents from hard drives to OneDrives!

The training will be available as an e-learning module, created using the excellent Adapt Builder and as a face-to-face course. Staff will be required to complete one form of training as part of their upgrade to Windows 10.

If you are interested in finding out how the training is received, I’ll be running a webinar for the community towards the end of the year, keep an eye on the Events page for details. In the meantime if you have any thoughts or comments, please share them below or catch me on Twitter @GarethPJohns

Benefits of receiving a UCISA bursary

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Salman Usman
Academic E-learning Developer
Kingston University London

 

 

I attended the EUNIS Congress 2015, and a pre-conference workshop on electronic management of assessment (EMA), from 9-12 June 2015. Both the events were hosted by Abertay University, Dundee. My attendance at the aforementioned events was made possible by the UCISA bursary scheme. This report details the benefits that receiving a UCISA bursary had to my professional development, to my institution, and potentially to the HE IT community.

The conference and associated workshop have contributed greatly to my professional development. They have provided me with valuable insights into current and emerging trends in Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), as well as approaches to research in TEL. With the fast-changing world of technology, and my workload over the last few months, it has been hard for me to keep on top of the latest developments in TEL. In view of this, the conference provided me the time and opportunity to catch up. With a recent move to online coursework submission and feedback at my institution, and an increased emphasis on providing students with formative assessment opportunities through technology, the EMA workshop was particularly useful for comparing, evaluating, and informing my institutions’ approaches and practice.

The highlight of the event was the fact that it was pan-European, with delegates from over 20 EU countries. Therefore, I was provided a rare glimpse into the European TEL landscape. I also received some useful tips on taking notes electronically, and on travelling to conferences. Additionally, although I have been supporting academics in using Twitter in their teaching practice, it was the first time that I had used Twitter myself at a conference. I have realised that it is a great way to not only keep up with other concurrent sessions and the audience response, but also to remain in touch with fellow delegates – the Twitter handle is the new business card. I met some great people, and feel that I am better placed to identify partners for funding bids and future collaboration on TEL projects.

I wrote four blogs for the UICSA website detailing my account of and reflections on the conference and workshop. The process of writing blogs was very useful, as it prompted me to reflect on what I have learnt and gained. The blogs were disseminated by UCISA through Twitter and the UCISA JISC mailing list, and also through the EUNIS website. I hope that the blog posts were found useful by those who read them. The blogs were also shared with members of my faculty’s education committee. I also shared some of the e-learning and learning design tools that I came across at the conference and workshop with my faculty through a monthly newsletter on TEL, and with colleagues in a central university department related to academic development.

The conference hosted a wide range of suppliers and service providers of e-learning services. These included learning management systems, lecture capture, assessment and feedback tools, and plagiarism detection tools. My institution was carrying out a review of its learning technology provision at the time, and, being a member of the learning technology review group, the conference and exhibition provided timely insights in current technologies and trends.

 

How the cloud is revolutionising learning

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Julie Adams
Academic Skills Tutor
Staffordshire University
UCISA DSDG (User Skills Group)

 

 

Learning Technologies 2015: Day 1 – Opening keynote

The conference kicked off with a welcome from Donald Taylor and a request to discuss with our neighbours our current workplace challenges. Despite my neighbours being from very different backgrounds to HE (insurance and healthcare) and the actual challenges different, we did find a similar underlying theme of uncertainty. This is the case for my own institution currently and in an election year is probably the case for many areas. It will be interesting to see whether the sessions over the two days can help address these challenges.

Opening Keynote – Professor Sugata Mitra: A brave new world: how the cloud is revolutionising our learning

Sugata started by looking at requirements of workplaces from the 19th and 20th centuries – military, clerks and manufacturing. Schools produced what was needed for these – workers had to be repetitive, follow orders, don’t think. An interesting thought: “Schools enabled empires for centuries. That world is now obsolete”.

He looked at how new technologies may be used in ways not initially envisaged. When the car took over from coach and horses it was not expected that the passengers would move to the driver’s position. New rules and equipment were needed to be able to cope with this new order. Relating this to learning – books and teachers took people to where they wanted to go. Now should the training ‘engine’ be in the hands of learners? Can they be driving their own learning?

And as driverless cars start to be developed – Sugata suggested we should think what driving means in context of driverless cars. He suggested that concepts can dematerialise, not just things. So can learning dematerialise?

He moved on to outline his previous work with the computer hole-in-the-wall experiments and more recently the Granny Cloud and the TED prize he won which helped with his School-in-the-Cloud concept and self-organized learning environments. These are spreading over the world with the key features of working together to answer specific questions. It is a chaotic environment, with a curriculum of questions, peer assessment, and certification without exams. He reported that the groups are self-correcting with strong social control and never got a ‘wrong’ answer.

Some questions for us to think about in HE and FE. Will this type of learning fit the students better for the world of work? If HE institutions get students from schools who have learnt like this, could we cope? How could we continue to offer this type of experience? Some institutions/courses may offer this more independent learning already, but can it be enhanced and expanded further? Would it work in all cases?

Learning Technologies 2015

Evaluating learning spaces

JulieVoce

Julie Voce
E-learning Services Manager
Imperial College London
Chair, UCISA-DSDG Academic Support Group

 

 

 

 

Tuesday at Educause

My highlight from Tuesday at Educause was a presentation from Adam Finkelstein from McGill University in Canada. Adam presented about evaluating learning spaces, and it was quite apt that his session was in a room with flexible furniture. He mentioned that McGill has a Teaching and Learning Spaces Working Group who sign off all new learning spaces.

Adam used Poll Everywhere to survey the audience about their challenges in evaluating/using learning spaces and the main issues were:

  • Different disciplines/staff have different needs for the space
  • Not all learning spaces are centrally controlled/owned
  • Getting staff and students to use the rooms as intended
  • Some rooms prioritise the technology over the furnishings.

He cited Michael Patton’s book for Utilization-focused Evaluation and the importance of understanding actual use, but we need to understand what is important to the different stakeholders:

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Adam highlighted two types of tools for evaluating learning spaces:

  • Learning Space Rating System (LSRS) – to determine the potential use of the space and be able to evaluate one room compared to another. In a review of three different spaces at McGill, a large lecture theatre scored lower than a mid-size renovated lecture theatre, which in turn scored lower than the active learning space; this was the expected result. One criticism of the LSRS is that some of the criteria might be beyond a University’s control, e.g. requirement for a window in the room, or not part of a University’s mission, e.g. requirement to enable distributed learners to join the face-to-face session.
  • Post Occupancy evaluations – these need to be built internally and connected to the University’s mission. The aim is to look at the actual use of learning spaces, rather than potential use. At McGill, they used a variety of methods, including surveys and observations, with both staff and students to understand the experience in the space. Adam mentioned that one of the most powerful outcomes of the evaluation was a video they developed with academics and students talking about their experience of teaching and learning in those spaces. In addition, the observations mapped how staff moved around the room during a session and showed that students were engaged in deeper learning when the staff moved around the room more and spent more time at the tables than at the podium.

Both types of evaluation have a role to play and Adam suggested that institutions undertake the LSRS, then renovate the room, and then repeat the LSRS. In parallel, institutions should carry out post occupancy evaluations, however he noted that ‘building a better room does not necessarily mean positive post occupancy evaluations’.

Adam reported on a student survey they had undertaken on the use of learning spaces, and focussed on a question about which room features had benefitted learning. Interestingly, furniture was ahead of the technology in terms of benefit:

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Ultimately, he said that ‘good teaching can withstand poor spaces and poor teaching can withstand good spaces’. We therefore need to ensure that in parallel with creating better, more flexible rooms, we ensure that staff and students know how to use them to the best effect to meet their intended outcomes.

Julie Voce

 

Looking forward to Educause

JulieVoce
Julie Voce
E-learning Services Manager
Imperial College London
Chair, UCISA-DSDG Academic Support Group

 

 

 

Next week I will be attending the Educause conference, thanks to a bursary from UCISA. It will be my first time and I am both excited and daunted about going. Over the years several colleagues have told me what an excellent conference it is, especially for learning and teaching, so I am excited about finding out more about the use of technology for learning and teaching from a US perspective. With around 7,000 delegates, it is also quite a daunting prospect, especially given the size of the conference agenda, which required several hours’ consultation to plan my schedule.

As the E-learning Services Manager at Imperial College London and Chair of the UCISA Academic Support Group, my areas of interest are the strands on ‘learning and teaching’ and ‘e-learning/connected learning’ and there certainly appears to be a number of interesting sessions. Popular topics include mobile devices, flipped classroom, learning spaces, learning analytics and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). I’m particularly interested in the following sessions:

As part of the conference, Peter Tinson and I will be presenting a poster on Tuesday afternoon on the UCISA Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Survey. With my TEL survey hat on, I’m also keen to attend the sessions by the Educause Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) as they run a survey on student and staff use of technology.

I’ll be tweeting throughout the conference and we’re hoping to spark some discussion around the TEL survey so please do follow me at @julievoce.