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Making better use of the VLE and Associated Technologies. Overview of the Session. Questions for you… (helps me to gauge a very diverse audience, shows you one technology!) What’s the situation with VLEs and Associated Technologies?

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Making better use of the VLE and Associated Technologies


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    1. Making better use of the VLE and Associated Technologies

    2. Overview of the Session Questions for you… (helps me to gauge a very diverse audience, shows you one technology!) What’s the situation with VLEs and Associated Technologies? So what’s possible with the VLE and Associated Technologies? • Examples in various social science subjects highlighting how the VLE and Associated Technologies have been used Now what can you do in your own institutions? • Starting with the Learning Outcomes • Flipped Classroom

    3. Some questions for you… Some voting clicker questions for you to answer Using Mentimeter (a free voting clicker applications) questions asked on what some associated technologies can be used for

    4. What’s the situation with VLEs and Associated Technologies?

    5. What’s the situation now? A lot of VLEs are still very much content repositories There’s a lot of tools that are just not used by the Lecturer / tutor The VLE and Associated Technologies are seen as a bolt-on not a bake in.

    6. Why is this a problem? Students talk, they even write down things in the National Student Survey! The fees are £9000 in many institutions The funding of institutions looks to be increasingly coming from fees

    7. So what’s possible with the VLE and Associated Technologies?

    8. Overview of Tools in a VLE These are descriptive names for the tools • Top Tip: Great overview of tools in a VLE http://www.cats-pyjamas.net/2010/05/moodle-tool-guide-for-teachers/

    9. Overview of Associated Tools This is a list of just some of the tools that you can explore and compliment the VLE – PebblePad (e-Portfolio – assesses many skills) Jing Free (Screen Capture for Assignment Feedback for example, lots of uses) YouTube (choose established companies and embed into a VLE) • Top Tip: Jane Hart’s Website has lots of tools and http://c4lpt.co.uk/top100tools/

    10. Spectrum of good practices (Social Sciences) Announcements tool: To clarify understanding of the learning outcomes - reinforce learning. Provide web links and primary sources(Inge) Online seminar programme(Jason) Make announcementspop-up, more personal for the student (Peter) Active Think piece for subsequent publication (Jason) Outcomes-based Collaborative Reflection Share resources across the academic community (Peter) Student Learning Student-centred Online assignment submission(all) Feedback Learning Styles Independent Source: http://bit.ly/BbEuropeENTICE2008 Mock questions and feedback(Ralitza) Provide links to video clips e.g. YouTube (Peter and Jason) Model answers for huge cohorts of students (Ralitza) Make your homepage exciting and visually pleasing e.g. colour, images(Inge) e-books(Linda)

    11. “Avoid the bicycle wheel model” “It is analogous to the Iron Bridge – you need to know your medium (e-learning) and learn how to strengthen it” “Web links: A variety of links to enable an average student to write a commendable essay”. Peer Advice (Social Sciences) “Do not try and do everything in one go – start with a basic approach and add things as you go” “When I write a new lecture, I write it with u-Link in mind. It is part of the preparation and therefore not additional work” Source: http://bit.ly/BbEuropeENTICE2008

    12. Want them to write stuff in Lectures? Upload your ________ Lecture notes so they can ____ on a printed /digital copy. Incomplete write

    13. Education Department Using a VLE module in the teaching of PGCertPrimary / Secondary and using PebblePad (ePortfolio system) integrated into the Programme to aid the assessment of students https://weblearn.brunel.ac.uk/webct/entryPageIns.dowebct Old VLE URL

    14. Education Department Using all the tools of the VLE to engage the students (n=170). Each tutor had moderating responsibilities. Tasks set in VLE, assessed inside the e-Portfolio. Top Tip: Train your teaching team to be familiar with the technology. Involve the Learning Technologist(s) to help you.

    15. Using a Twitter Widget #simple If you have a twitter account for your course, embed it into your VLE course. You can create specific hashtags for lectures. Top Tip: Don’t use your personal account, create a module account. Go to and get the code: https://twitter.com/settings/widgets/new

    16. Law Department Using Lecture Capture as a Revision Tool in the teaching of Tort Law and how a VLE is used to support out of lecture study and revision Lecturer also used Voting Clickers as well in the Lecture Top Tip: Don’t make the Lecture Capture recordings available straight away, use a quiz that the students have to do before they get the links. You can even hide them until revision.

    17. Economics / Psychology Use of question banks for a Summative assessment in a Statistics module to aid the assessment of large co-horts Advantage of this type of assessment – no marking! (30% of final grade) Use of calendars and announcements in Psychology – reinforcing the outcomes based learning approach Top Tip: Have a mock exam via the VLE to get your students used to the environment

    18. Social Sciences – Online Seminars Use of the discussion boards in Social Sciences modules as a way of greater dialogue and discussion and that this contributed to their final grade (incentive to engage) Moderators in the co-hort and also Graduate Teaching Assistants used. Think of the activities and pace of the online interaction Never have an empty discussion topic – empty room Top Tip: Take a look at Professor Gilly Salmon’s 5 Step Model in e-moderating http://www.sddu.leeds.ac.uk/sddu-salmon-five-stage-model-alternative-version.html

    19. Assignments / Turnitin Assignment Usually the next step from the simple content uploads is Assignment usage Using these is a great way of saving time collecting these Students don’t have to give piles of paper Setting a Turnitin Assignment might be more institutionally sensitive (!) Top Tip: Ask students to do a small assignment 10-15% of the final grade, before the final assignment

    20. Now what can you do in your own institutions?

    21. Starting with the Learning Outcomes Making better use of VLE and Associated Technologies starts with the design of a module, not half way through it You need to plan it, easier to ‘wing it’ in face to face than online! Successful VLE and Associated Technologies happens when it’s in all modules in a Programme or Level. It’s initially a lot of work, but reusable in years to come Top Quote: “A successful blended solution is like a balanced meal, combining a range of ingredients, each of which has a unique purpose”. (Shepard, 2005)

    22. Some reflective questions for you…(no virtual clicker application this time)…

    23. Questions What stops you from using Learning Technologies such as the VLE and Associated Technologies? Which technology do you think would work well in your module next year? Who’s the person you need to make this happen? Top Tip: Discuss these in your next teaching team meeting.

    24. In my current role… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnKdwzyHoqA http://www.imperial.ac.uk/blog/learntechzone/ https://twitter.com/imperial_ldc http://www.imperial.ac.uk/staffdevelopment/elearning

    25. Take away messages What do you want the students to learn – start from here. A level or programme re-design is best. Use some simple ‘quick win’ technologies to build your confidence Don’t be the sage on the stage but the guide on the side Above all, you need to engage with the technologies, your passion will transmit to the students! Source: http://www.knewton.com/flipped-classroom/ Top Tip: Involve colleagues and Learning Technologists, don’t do module design or preparation on your own

    26. Some things I didn’t get to discuss today… Monitoring students performance by using VLE tracking data (Learning Analytics) Embedding / Linking to free online audio and video clips (setting tasks around this) Creating screencasts of exemplar assignments and uploading those to a VLE (Jing is great for this) Social bookmarking tools Authoring Tools • Top Tip: Want more of this? See: http://www.educause.edu/research-and-publications/7-things-you-should-know-about/7-things-you-should-know-about-learning-technology-topics

    27. References Brunel (2008). Brunel ENTICE Pathfinder Project. Available: http://www.brunel.ac.uk/services/salt/ltt/projects/entice. Last accessed 30th April 2013. Educause. (2013). 7 Things You Should Know About... Learning Technology Topics. Available: http://www.educause.edu/research-and-publications/7-things-you-should-know-about/7-things-you-should-know-about-learning-technology-topics . Last accessed 30th April 2013. Kineo. (2012). Rapid e-Learning Authoring Tools. Available: http://www.kineo.com/authoring-tools/rapid-e-learning-authoring-tools.html. Last accessed 30th April 2013. Knewton. (2012). The Flipped Classroom Infographic. Available: http://www.knewton.com/flipped-classroom/. Last accessed 30th April 2013. Rolfe (2001) Critical Reflection for Nursing London: Palgrave Macmillan Shepherd, C. (2005). The Blended Learning Cookbook. United Kingdom, Saffron Interactive Seitzinger, J. (2010). Moodle Guide for Teachers. Available: http://www.cats-pyjamas.net/2010/05/moodle-tool-guide-for-teachers/. Last accessed 30th April 2013.

    28. Thank you for listening! Santanu Vasant Imperial College London santanu@santanuvasant.com @santanuvasant