electronic learning and assessment intranet and internet l.
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Electronic Learning and Assessment Intranet and Internet. Leon Litvack. L.Litvack@qub.ac.uk. Aims. Examine the context for use of C&IT in English studies Demonstrate model from intranet VLE, for undergraduates

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  • Examine the context for use of C&IT in English studies
  • Demonstrate model from intranet VLE, for undergraduates
  • Demonstrate model using internet at postgraduate level, in constructing research resource in the public domain
  • Consider how C&IT can be used for summative assessment, in context of degree in English studies
benchmark statement defining principles for english degree
Benchmark statement: defining principles for English degree
  • Develop critical thinking & judgement
  • Engage students imaginatively in reading & analysing literary & non-literary texts
  • Develop range of subject specific and transferable skills, including high-order conceptual, literacy & communication skills
  • Provide intellectually stimulating & satisfying experience of learning & studying
  • Encourage enthusiasm for subject, & appreciation of continuing social & cultural importance

Source: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/crntwork/benchmark/english.pdf

  • Transferable outside the discipline:
    • oral & written communication skills
    • interpersonal skills (work in a group context)
    • time-management skills
    • collate & process information from a variety of sources
    • respond positively and productively to feedback
    • think creatively and flexibly in diverse situations
    • basic word-processing & other IT skills

Source: QUB English programme specification

dearing report 1997
Dearing Report (1997)

‘We believe that the innovative application of... C&IT holds out much promise for improving the quality, flexibility and effectiveness of higher education. The potential benefits will extend to, and affect the practice of, learning and teaching and research’

  • Does achieving Dearing’s vision of a ‘learning society’, aided by developments in internet / intranet based software systems NECESSARILY apply to all teachers and learners?

Consider your objectives carefully

incorporation of it into curriculum considerations
Incorporation of IT into curriculum -- considerations
  • For staff
    • Worth time spent?
    • Training
    • Applications for other areas of activity?
    • Relation to career advancement
  • For students
    • Worth time spent?
    • Training
    • Skills
other considerations
Other considerations
  • Pedagogic criteria
  • Teaching Facilities
    • Appropriate environment
    • Features, specifications & cost of software
    • Access to terminals outside class time
  • Support
    • Department
    • Central IT services
intranet or internet
Intranet or internet?
  • Intranet
    • Private network
    • Admission across firewall
    • Requires authorisation
    • Useful for delivering & sharing information on selective basis
    • Public network
    • No authorisation required
    • Useful for delivering & sharing information on global basis
    • Consider usefulness of information to outside users
    • What level of scrutiny to ensure accuracy of content?
intranet model virtual learning environment vle
Intranet model – Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
  • Creates micro-world – allows teacher to construct learning activities enriched by multimedia resources
  • Curriculum divided into assessable/ recordable elements
  • Student activity & achievement can be tracked
  • Online learning supported by staff & peers
  • Offers central & remote access
demonstration of queen s online vle http www qnet qub ac uk
Demonstration of Queen’s Online VLEhttp://www.qnet.qub.ac.uk/
features of vle
Features of VLE
  • University-wide (only one system to learn)
  • Linked to student records database
  • Single sign-on for all university systems
  • Time to learn system – 1 hour
  • Easily navigable
  • Satisfies demand for acquisition of specific skills
Flexibility of time and place of access
  • Copes with increased student numbers – esp. undergraduates
  • Sharing and re-use of resources
  • Facilitates Student-centred learning
  • Enhances variety of teaching and learning strategies
  • Supports constructivist conversational approaches to learning (see Laurillard, Rethinking University Teaching:A Framework for the Effective Use of Educational Technology [London: Routledge, 1993])
  • Can reduce administrative burden
Information can be disseminated quickly
  • Photocopying bill for course packs eliminated for department – cost transferred to students!
  • Information remains in-house: not published to wider world
caveats re particular vle
Caveats re: particular VLE
  • Rigid & hierarchical
  • Designed for delivery rather than interaction -- flow of information is largely one-way (tutor to student)
  • Only recognises official (QUB) email addresses for students
  • Students cannot email each other through VLE
  • One person controls information (implications for team-taught modules)
  • Favours IE browser (not Netscape)
general considerations for vle
General considerations for VLE
  • Planning of teaching sessions requires more staff time & care
  • Proactive attitude demanded from staff, to ensure that students are coping – esp. in early stages
particular use of queen s online
Particular Use of Queen’s Online
  • A wrap-around (50/50) system (see Mason, ‘Models of Online Courses’ [1998])
    • course materials wrapped by activities
    • online interactions and discussions occupy roughly half the students' time
summatively assessed elements
Summatively Assessed elements
  • Student presentations (delivered via PowerPoint) – 10%
    • Individual effort (collaborative work harder to assess in terms of individual input)
    • Approach to topic discussed with student beforehand, and among students working in same area
Contribution to asynchronous, threaded online discussion – 10%
    • Requires careful planning & structuring
    • provide specific tasks (e.g. developing answers to set questions in readings)
    • Set deadline by which contributions must be made
  • Other elements:
    • Assessed essay (students design own questions)
    • Exam
criteria for assessment
Criteria for assessment
  • Consistent across the English curriculum
    • Relevance – also considers implications, assumptions, & nuances of the issue/question
    • Knowledge – demonstrates breadth and range of reading
    • Analysis – analytical treatment of evidence, resulting in clear synthesis
    • Argument & Structure – coherent response to issue/question
    • Originality – distinctive response, showing independence of thought and approach
    • Presentation – includes spelling & syntax, readable style, use of particular medium, appropriate documentation

Source: http://www.qub.ac.uk/en/ug/Marking-criteria.doc

pedagogic issues for vles particular models
Pedagogic Issues for VLEs Particular Models
  • Lee & Thompson (QUB), ‘Teaching at a Distance: Building a Virtual Learning Environment’ (MSc in computer-based learning)
    • http://www.jisc.ac.uk/jtap/htm/jtap-033.html
  • Stiles, COSE (Staffordshire)
    • http://www.staffs.ac.uk/COSE/cose10/welcome10.html
comparative studies
Comparative Studies
  • Landon (Douglas College, BC), ‘Online Delivery Applications: A Web Tool for Comparative Analysis’
    • http://www.ctt.bc.ca/landonline/
  • Britain and Liber (Univ. of Wales, Bangor), ‘A Framework for Pedagogical Evaluation of Virtual Learning Environments’ (assesses various VLEs, including COSE)
    • http://www.jisc.ac.uk/jtap/htm/jtap-041.html
general principles
General Principles
  • Mason (Open Univ.), ‘Models of Online Courses’
    • http://www.aln.org/alnweb/magazine/vol2_issue2/Masonfinal.htm
  • JISC, Requirements for a VLE
    • http://www.jisc.ac.uk/pub00/req-vle.html
  • JISC, Managed Learning Environments
    • http://www.jisc.ac.uk/jtap/theme-L.html
internet model the imperial archive
Internet Model – The Imperial Archive
  • Used in conjunction with Queen’s Online VLE
  • Aim: dissemination of student-generated material to the wider world as a research resource
demonstration of imperial archive http www qub ac uk en imperial imperial htm
Demonstration of Imperial Archivehttp://www.qub.ac.uk/en/imperial/imperial.htm
project s origins relate to laurillard s conversational framework
Project’s origins relate to Laurillard’s ‘conversational framework’
Student-centred learning at the heart of project development
  • Smaller numbers – allows more time with each student
  • VLE used in ‘wrap-around’ (50/50) manner
  • Material assessed according to standard English curriculum criteria:
    • Relevance
    • Knowledge
    • Analysis
    • Argument & Structure
    • Originality
    • Presentation
Material for Imperial Archive generated in HTML
  • Scrutinised online by internal & external examiners
  • Project worth 15% of overall mark
  • PowerPoint presentation – 10%
  • 5000-word assessed essay – 75%
recognition of project s success
Recognition of project’s success
  • ‘footfall’ through archive -- http://www.qub.ac.uk/en/logs/
  • External examiners’ reports
  • Feedback from students
  • Dissemination of methodology through


  • Many ways to use C&IT systems
  • Importance of staff-student and student-student interaction in the class
  • Focus on educational needs – not technology
  • Time spent must justify learning goals achieved
  • Consider how you currently teach, and how this might be improved
  • Consider the strengths & weaknesses of the technology when planning/ modifying courses
Do not necessarily abandon what you already do well
  • Make sure adequate support is offered to staff & students
  • Prerequisites:
    • ECDL?
    • Other in-house IT training?
  • Plan for disasters – network failure, power failure
  • Assessment methods:
    • Comparable to those used in ENGLISH learning environments not employing C&IT?
    • Use of marking criteria?
Bear in mind contribution made to
    • Subject knowledge & understanding
    • Intellectual skills
    • Subject-specific skills
    • Key skills


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