Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Try something new and borrow our equipment

By Rebecca Sellers

Many staff would like to try using technology to support their teaching but many are put off by having to pay for something that they might find doesn't work for them or find there is too much choice and don't know where to start. This is where CLT can help, we have a range of devices available to loan to staff and can talk through the wide range of options available to see what might suit your situation best.

Below is a description of each of the items we can loan out and the apps that we have available on them. The technology can be booked using this form. 

If there are apps or technologies that are not listed and you think it might be useful to support staff please get in touch. We are always looking at how we can best support staff to try and embed appropriate technologies in their teaching. 

We have a case that contains 16 identical full size tablets. These have been used in a number of ways in classes including for polling software, to do research activities in class, to gather feedback through an online form. We also use them with staff to show how to use apps such as Turntin to mark online.   

The apps available on the ipads are:

  • Turnitin
  • Blackboard grader
  • Blackboard Learn
  • Google  sheets/docs


Android Nexus tablets
We have 2 cases of Nexus tablets each containing 14 tablets. These tablets have a 7" screen.  These are ready to go with internet access. 

Throwable microphone
The catch Box throwable microphone is interactive microphone that can be thrown around a classroom or lecture theatre making a more engaging Q&A session and allowing quieter speakers to be heard. 
CatchBox Box.jpg

We have a total of 8 laptops that can be loaned out singularly or as a set. They have standard Microsoft programmes on and interest access. These laptops also have Panopto for screen recordings. 

If you would like to try them in your teaching or as part of a staff development session please get in touch. 

Monday, 16 November 2015

Think Taxonomies are boring-? Then think again….

By Sue Smith 

Calling module leaders, course teams and course designers! Do you want a useful tool to help you with writing course and module learning outcomes?
Think Taxonomies are boring-? Then think again….
We all love classifying and sorting things- from sock drawers to library books to animal breeds….
Do you need a useful tool to help you organise and design a course with suitably levelled assessments and appropriate activities?

If so, you might want to use our updated Taxonomy of Assessment Domains which has recently been revised by a University Short Life Working Group.
Academic staff from all our Faculties worked hard at simplifying the language, drawing out the development of learning expected from students at each undergraduate and postgraduate levels of the taught courses and on the research courses award.
They also worked to integrate our graduate attributes (being enterprising, digital literacy and having a global outlook) and came up with some good ideas if you are struggling with how to make them more visible in your undergraduate courses. Click here for some useful graduate attribute related help and how you can link them to the required domains.

Even better if you want to get all interactive and drill down to understand each domain better then use this designed by The Centre for Learning and Teaching’s own learning technologist, Becky Sellers. It is proving to be a useful, fun teaching tool for less experienced staff to practice their course design skills.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

CanvasCon at the British Museum.

By Rebecca Sellers

On the 20th October I caught a very early train to London to attend the Canvas conference at the British Museum. As an institution we are currently using Blackboard to provide our VLE and there are no short term plans to change this. The reason to travel to the conference was to keep up to date with other options on the market and see some of the features that we might want to consider. Also it always useful to see how other institutions use and manage their VLE's and interact with them.

The conference was held in the British Museum which was an imposing place to walk into. The actual venue was a lecture theatre under the main building.

The sessions started with information about how the product had been developed and the company had grown. The company is still relatively small in the number of staff it employs but continues to grow. The next speaker was from Hult Business School and talked abut the huge amount of data they had gathered and how they were using this better develop their system and support students. The analytics package they had developed to help identify students that were struggling or who had not engaged with a number of activities was beginning to shape how they developed their support mechanisms and reviewed programmes.
The next speakers were from Wolsey Hall School and spoke about how the system supported their online and distance learners. They had a lot of experience of working with this group of students and spoke highly of the platforms ability to be flexible for their needs .

Next it was lunch time, and instead of a buffet we got a lunch box prepacked with food. The contents was a sandwich, popcorn, macaroons and a can of fizzy pop. Although the contents was nothing special the branded metal lunch box was a very nice touch as everyone went home with a branded object that they probably had to carry on show due to the size of it.

The afternoon was made up of parallel sessions. The sessions that i attended were for people new to Canvas. The one that stood out was from University of Birmingham and detailed how they had changed from one VLE to Canvas. Due to the similarities between the system the staff found it easy to move to the new system. One thing that I took away from the session was that they rushed the change of system and would recommend a better planned move so that everyone could be trained and used to the new system when the old one was switched off. This is a lesson to learn and remember if we change any system or bring in a new institutional piece of software. 

Overall the conference was interesting and stimulating, it is always good to see what other products are on the market and how other institutions use their VLE's to support learning. The issues faced about uptake and knowledge of staff, the consistency  of provision and the engagement of students are sector wide and not limited by institution, discipline or the platforms used. I think this is important to remember when looking at new or replacement tech.  

Metacognitive behaviours in Australia

by Susan Smith

I have been in Australia at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning held in Melbourne.
I have also been part of the International Collaborative Writing Groups  and we met prior to the conference for a couple of days of structured activity to plan a research project and a series of papers about student metacognition and learning transfer. I wanted to share some of our thoughts about our metacognitive endeavours.
Eight groups were part of the ICWG. The groups formed in May and met virtually over the summer to focus their topics and develop an outline prior to the face-to-face meeting this past week. Our group’s topic was The Student Learning Process, and we focused our efforts on how metacognition would support the transfer of learning from one situation or context to another. We believe the transfer of learning is one of the ultimate goals of education because it supports lifelong learning and employability.
The group’s work on how metacognition supports the transfer of learning will be revealed when it’s published, but meanwhile, we will share some ways that metacognition was part of our experience of facilitating the group. Here are some pictures The first shows our group working: from left to right, Lauren Scharff, U. S. Air Force Academy, Susan Smith (Leeds Beckett University, UK), Lucie S Dvorakova (Honors Student, University of Queensland, Australia), Marion Tower (University of Queensland), Dominic Verpoorten (IFRES-University of Liège, Belgium), Marie Devlin (Newcastle University, UK), and Jason M. Lodge (University of Melbourne, Australia), [John Draeger from SUNY, Buffalo State University, is taking the pic]. The second gives you a sense of the overall setting, showing multiple groups all kept to task by ICWG coordinators, Mick Healy (University of Gloucestershire, retired) and Kelly Matthews (University of Queensland).

We defined metacognition as the intertwined awareness (self- monitoring) and self-regulation of a process/skill, specifically with the goal of developing that process or skill. We actually noticed our group were using metacognitive behaviours ourselves in some aspects of our work- particularly in our assumptions, the use of language and relating to the breadth of the project.
Assumptions about education: Our discussion revealed differences in the structures of the university systems in different countries. When discussing how students might use their learning in one course to inform their learning in another, the two North Americans on the team tended to think about transfer learning between a diverse set of courses across a broad liberal arts core curriculum in addition to transfer across more closely related courses within a major. Because undergraduate education in Australia and the United Kingdom tend not to be structured around a broad core curriculum, members of the team from these countries tended to focus on transfer learning within a particular field of study.
Use of Language: Given the international character of the group, self-monitoring and self-regulation allowed us to navigate differences in language and underlying assumptions. For example, through our discussions, we learned that academic faculty might be referred to as ‘staff,’ ‘tutor,’ ‘instructor’ or ‘professor.’ Individual courses might be referred to as ‘classes,’ ‘modules’ or ‘units’ of study.
Management of Project Scope: Both transfer of learning and metacognition are vast areas of study. Given the wide variety of experiences and individual interests in our group, we explored a wide array of possible directions for our paper, some of which we decided we would table for follow-on papers (e.g. how student level of intellectual development might impact transfer of learning and the creation of a “toolkit” for instructors that would help them support transfer of learning). Moving the conversation in fruitful directions required that all of us remain mindful of the task at hand (i.e. working towards a 6000-word article). Self-monitoring allowed us to detect when an interesting discussion had gone beyond the scope of our current article and self-regulation more quickly brought us back to the task at hand.
The international character of the writing group added a depth and richness to the conversation, but it also increased the likelihood of misunderstanding and the challenge of group management. Self-monitoring and self-regulation allowed us to overcome those challenges.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Digital lunches #1 and #2

This post is a quick summary of the first 2 Digital lunches a new series of staff development sessions. 

The first session covered making MyBeckett more mobile friendly, looking specifically at the Mobile Learn app.

There was a good turnout and I was well supported by member's of the Learning Systems Team.  However, the internet and MyBeckett were unavailable during the session due to a network issue outside the university's control. This meant the hands-on session I had planned could not take place and I had to improvise and talk through the features I wanted to demonstrate and take questions from the floor. Even with this set back I think all staff took at least one new piece of information away with them. 

The staff that attended the session were very understanding that the issues were beyond my control and that they were having the same issues with their MyBeckett sites. It was a little frustrating as it was my first solo training session  and it didn't go to plan at all but these things cannot be helped and it demonstrates that tech can fail even for those of us who are meant to be 'techy'.
The link to the resources created from the session can be found here.  

The second session focused on the wide range of online feedback methods that are available to staff. There are a wide range of tools and finding the right tool is dependent on what the students are submitting written, video, presentation etc ad whether is it formative or summative. In September 2015 a new policy was brought in that all written work for students in levels 4 and 7 should be submitted to Turnitin for text matching. This policy here does not stipulate how staff should mark or provide feedback to students. We talked about how you could use Panopto to provide voice overs and demonstrations for exercises such as critically assessing journal  articles. We also looked at using Google docs to work together with students on assessments such as dissertations to create an ongoing dialogue of feedback and reflection to support them. Members of the students union attended the session and commented how useful they had found Google docs and sheets for creating group work. They have also created a guide for students on feedback and these are available in hard copy from the Students Union or CLT. The resources from the session are available here.

A link to book on future sessions is available here.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

ALTC 2015 - University of Manchester

On the 8th September 2015 I headed to the University of Manchester to attend the 3 days of conference and fun at ALT-C (The Association of Learning Technologists Conference).

It brings together Learning Technologists, academics and all those interested in the use of technology to support and enhance learning and teaching. This post sums some of my most memorable parts.

I had made a point of meeting up with friends and old work colleagues Hayley and James. We have all moved on to new institutions but keep in touch sharing experiences and ideas, ALT-C provides the perfect opportunity to do this face to face.

The conference always starts with the challenge of which sessions to go. This year I had read through eh programme and had an idea of what might be good but as the 3 days go on the list always changes. The only think that was a definite fixture in the 3 days was the treasure hunt on day 2. I first met Hayley doing a treasure hunt at the University of Leeds using AR and knew that there was no way we would miss out on doing another one. Another feature of the conference this year was the ALT_C game which ran across the 3 days and introduced the attendees to the idea of gamification. There was stickers awarded for arriving at a session first, talking to suppliers and completing a wide range of activities. The delegates were split into 4 coloured teams to compete to take on the EvilBot. The game finished with the winning team taking on Evilbot on the last day of the conference.

As with previous conferences there was a big social media presence, it is always good to see what is going on in parallel sessions and bookmark shared papers for reading later. 

The conference started with a keynote from Steve Wheeler about the changes in technology and how we use it. He also brought 2 of his students to talk about their experiences. I think it is always important to hear student feedback direct from them but also to engage them in the conversation. Faceless surveys gather data but they often miss the human element and as many are anonymised it is hard to follow up specific comments or suggestions.

As I moved through sessions on Day 1 I learnt about how different staff have used technologies in their university and the research they have done into the impact of them. Firstly was Chris Gillies talking about the comparisons, barriers and enablers of BYOD and institutionally supplied devices.  This work is really useful as we think about how we support staff and students to use devices within Leeds Beckett. The first day ended with the gala dinner. As part of the ALT-C game we had ‘craft’ activities on the tables to make hats and decorate them. My table took to this task with great enthusiasm.  

The keynote delivered by Jonathan Worth on day 2 was enlightening and thought provoking, well worth a watch if you spare the time. Day 2 highlight was charging around and completing the treasure hunt. It was good to learn about a new website by using and engaging it. The site called ActionBound was really easy to use and with the demonstration of setting up looked like something work investigating further to add interest to induction activities and maybe add some fun to staff development sessions.  I also went to sessions about the value of lecture capture, it was a great session to be in to talk and discuss the value of lecture capture and why it is useful.

The final day saw the ALT-C game end and the Evilbot defeated (it ended with a piñata style robot). The game was good and brought a thread to the whole event.

This is just a very brief summary of the some of the things I saw and heard. There is a huge amount of information available from the event and I will be going back to them in the future to support and guide my thinking about the use of technologies in learning and teaching. Here is the link for all the resources.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The first 6 months and the new academic year.

The start of the new academic year is upon us again. This is the start of my first full cycle at Leeds Beckett University and the campuses already feel busier than at any point before. It also marks my 6 month anniversary in the job. My first 6 months have been a whirlwind of meeting people, finding places and trying not to break the technology but I am really enjoying it. Over the next 6 months I will lead my first development session, you can read about that below, begin to shape a new CLT resource site and work with colleagues from within CLT and across the institution on a wide range of events. 

We have spent the summer planning and preparing the new staff development programme for 2015/16. You can find and book all the sessions through iTrent , if you can't find it on iTrent or want more information about a session just contact clt@leedsbeckett.ac.uk. You can also see our sessions in date order on our events page.

There a number of new sessions this year including a group of sessions I will be running called the 'Digital Lunches'.  As the title says there will be lunch and we will be talking about technology and the use of digital skills. These sessions are going to be hands on and interactive, we will share ideas, concerns and work together.  I am also creating a MyBeckett module for the sessions so even if you can't attend you can interact and learn about the topics.

The topics I will be covering over the 8 sessions are :

Fri 16th OctoberDigital Lunch Club#1. Making MyBeckett Modules Mobile FriendlyStudents and staff can access MyBeckett through the Blackboard Mobile app. This practical workshop will let you check your own modules and then try out ideas to make it more mobile friendly12.00 - 1.30HeadingleyJG123
Friday, 23 October 2015Digital Lunch Club#2. Online Feedback - the OptionsA look at the video, audio and text options to deliver online feedback. Includes setting the submission method to make it easier to return the type of feedback you want.12.00 - 1.30CityPD401
Friday, 13 November 2015Digital Lunch Club#3. Online Communities of PracticeWe can all share ideas and experiences through a range of formal and informal online groups and networks.How can they support our teaching and learning development?12.00 - 1.30CityPD401
Friday, 20 November 2015Digital Lunch Club#4. Social Media for Learning and TeachingHow social media can enhance the classroom experience and expand students global understanding of their subjects. Includes examples from Twitter, Facebook & Periscope.12.00 - 1.30HeadingleyLeighton G14
Friday, 18 December 2015Digital Lunch Club#5. The Appy Hour - Show & TellShare with others your favourite apps from 2015 and find some new ones to try next year.12.00 - 1.30CityPD401
Friday, 15 January 2016Digital Lunch Club#6. Bring Your Own Device - and Switch It OnMany students now carry a mobile device with them to university. How might it be used to create more interactive resources and encourage students to provide peer feedback?12.00 - 1.30HeadingleyLEG14
Friday, 11 March 2016Digital Lunch Club#7. Online CollaborationLooking at the tools available to facilitate, support and encourage collaborative work online.12.00 - 1.30CityPD401
Friday, 18 March 2016Digital Lunch Club#8. OERs and MOOCsOER’s (Open Educational Resources) and MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses). How can you use these resources to enhance your own teaching and development?12.00 - 1.30HeadingleyLEG14

This year we have also created a double sided A3 calendar for staff, one side has the staff development programme on, the other a staff processes calendar. The calendar is available in hard copy so drop clt@leedsbeckett.ac.uk an email if you would like one sending out. The staff processes calendar for the next 3 months can also be seen on the landing page of the DEAP module in MyBeckett. 

If you have any suggestions for sessions or would like something tailoring to your specific course team or school please do not hesitate to get in touch. 


Monday, 14 September 2015

3D Printing - September's 8th of the Month

It's a clever name is <<3D Printing>>. It draws you in, tempting you to believe that this next big thing is readily available at your local PC World.

And we may not be too far from that.

Raf Chaudhry, principal learning officer for AET faculty, lives at the bleeding edge of this, and other, manufacturing technologies.

Raf led this September's 8th of the Month session on 3D Printing.
This gave an interested but essentially inexperienced cross section of staff their first practical experience of 3D printing.
And a clearer understanding of what is, and what is not, currently practical.

Slides and other related resources are available here

Three key takeaways were:
  • An insight into the process
  • An overview of the range of possible products
  • Our own rapidly produced 'printouts' 

The process

This infographic  (from www.onlindegrees.org ) clearly summarises the process...and also outlines potential uses of 3d printing in education.

Raf was equally clear about:

  • the drawbacks of scanning, 
  • skills actually necessary to produce or adapt the input .stl file
  • the ongoing maintenance required for the printers.

The products
We got an insight into some astonishing current products largely from industries (F1, health, construction, fashion) with significant resources to invest.
Equally impressive however were the products of technical enthusiasts, many available for download from sharing websites such as Youmagine.

Our printouts
A bit random - and needing guidance in both the design and production - but an example here of a small object, printed in about 10 mins.

In connection with this topic, David Smith from Sheffield Hallam University will talk about his use of 3D printed objects in his 'Engaging Lectures' talk on Wed 16 Dec.

Details / for all sessions are available from CLT's Events and Resources.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Dr David Killick - Gone But Not Forgotten

The dust has barely settled.
Dr David Killick has ridden off into the setting sun.
His retirement leaves a band of colleagues (and many others besides)
sadder but wiser.

We all wish David the very best of luck in his new and busy life.
He will be back with us from time to time in his professional emeritus capacity - sharing his expertise on working with international students.

David is now also available as guide and mentor to teams / groups / individuals who would like to get away from it all - and share the company of a 'lifelong lover of hills and mountains'You'll find his contact details here.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

My public lecture at Queen Mary

Very interesting to give a public lecture at Queen Mary University, London on Tuesday. A mixed audience threw in some really challenging thoughts, in particular about how it can be that we are still talking about things like intercultural capabilities after 30 years of talking about them!

I do believe we have developed a more complex understanding of the kinds of capabilities our graduates will need to lead lives they have reason to value in a globalising world, and some universities are beginning to make changes to curriculum content and delivery to help them become the kinds of people they will need, and we will need, if our futures are to involve dwelling comfortably amidst diversity. However, there is much much more to do, and the urgency for universities to think about their global role is real, and is made more crucial with advances in TNE provision.

On a personal note, I think I need to work on my 'lecture' style when it is being streamed and recorded - too much pacing!

Friday, 17 July 2015

White Rose Learning Technologist Meeting - 8th July 2015.

On the 8th July 2015 CLT at Leeds Beckett hosted the final White Rose Learning Technologist Forum of the academic year. The forum meet once a semester at a location provided by one of the forum members. My team had kindly offered to host this meeting and provide lunch for the members.

The forum is made up of learning technologists from across the Yorkshire region, although called learning technologists many of the members have slightly different job titles and perform roles at a range of levels within their institution. 

This forum welcomed 21 staff from 8 institutions and included one independent consultant. The forums have been themed recently and this one was aimed at CPD and professional recognition, a particularly hot topic in the sector.

The session was led by Graham McElearney and Nav Hundal from University of Sheffield. 

The first part of the session was discussing our roles, how our roles were different to others in our institutions and what skills we needed to do our jobs effectively. Groups fed back to the room and it was very clear that we all did slightly different things even though many of us shared the same job title. There was no consistency on whether it was a central team or at a more localised level of support and work. Also some institutions had no structure and many roles and locations had grown organically through local need and individuals developing and expanding their roles. The skills that we thought were important for our roles were based around soft skills including communication, diplomacy, change managers, adaptability and flexibility. 

The summary from this section was that we have a wide range of skills spread across similar but slightly different roles in different parts of an institution. One of our greatest strengths is being an adaptable and diverse community.  

Next we talked about the professional accreditation schemes open to Learning Technologists with focus on HEA fellowships and CMALT (Certified member of the Association of Learning Technologists). It was clear that both had value to the individual during creation of the documentation to reflect on their existing practice and skills. It was felt that the HEA scheme was better understood by academics as they also applied for this scheme. 

The afternoon progressed with looking at grading scales, how they vary and what the slight changes in wording there was at different levels. 

The afternoon was finished with suggesting ideas for the next events and possible hosts. The next meeting will be an informal one for those attending ALT-C. As always it was a great meeting with engaging discussion, well worth attending for any learning technologist in the Yorkshire region. 

If you want to know more about the group, there is a google community that people can request to join here.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Leeds Beckett 6 week walking challenge.

3 million, 144 thousand, 916 steps – that’s how many steps the CLT team did who took part in the University’s step challenge in 2015 (this equates to 1,572 miles). The team comprised myself (team captain), Becky Sellers, Georgi Sinclair, Kate Hoban and Lyn Edwards and our only goal at the start of the six week challenge (to walk to equivalent of going from Lands End to John O’Groats) was not to be last!! At that stage we didn’t know the fitness levels of the other teams, nor how much we were able to do ourselves.

In the six weeks of the challenge we found ourselves going on as many of the additional walks arranged by the Wellbeing team that we could manage, in addition to going out ourselves on the other lunchtimes. I also put on some historical walks around York (it got me out walking on a Sunday when I might otherwise have spent it hunched over the computer writing!).

Kate walked a massive 170,000 steps while at Download Festival and Lyn clocked up some impressive daily totals nearing 30,000 steps dashing about Headingley campus taking photos during the DEAP Learning and Teaching conference. Meanwhile, Georgi and Becky got out and about in Portugal and Cambridge respectively, adding more steps to their totals. I didn’t go anywhere specific, but each week I aimed to raise my total and achieved 200,000 steps in my last week. We all did more walking going to and from our offices each day, but also ended up doing things like jogging on the spot waiting for the kettle to boil, pacing up and down while adverts were on!

It was a great challenge to take part in – particularly doing it in a team as you felt you had to keep up your individual steps for the sake of the others in the team. It was also terrific fun to see where you were on the interactive map each week after the Wellbeing team plotted your weekly steps.

First week we were in the vicinity of Andover, Hampshire and surprised to find ourselves in 11th position – that was unexpected and delightful. Week two found us skirting Sheffield (although we dropped back to 14th position – probably from sitting back on our laurels!). Then onto Scotland and just short of Dunbar – at that stage we were up to 12th. The fourth week we were just 20 miles short of John O’Groats and about 10th position. The question was what should we do in the last week knowing we had reached our goal? Upon checking we discovered we were in 9th position and that spurred us on, determined to remain in the top ten. That was our best ever week when several of us managed to beat our own record of daily steps as we all made a final spurt to the end of the six weeks.

And the result ……… we came in 4th! Admittedly many teams got to John O’Groats before we did and then stopped the initial goal being to get to JoG, but our personal goal was to do as many steps in the six weeks as we could. I was so proud of the effort the team put in.

Are we exhausted? Yes!

Has it made us want to get out and do more walking? Definitely. I, for one, will be doing more lunchtime walks instead of sitting at my desk, although I am relieved not to pace up and down the kitchen each evening!

Deb Chapman, CLT

PS In case you are wondering why we called ourselves ‘1,000 Walking Cranes’ – the distance from Lands End to John O’Groats is approximately 1,000 miles and we had an origami session at an awayday where we made cranes. If you make 1,000 cranes it is good luck….. J

Sheffield Hallam University Learning and Teaching conference 2015

On the 25th June myself and CLT placement student Kate Hoban took the train to Sheffield, we were invited to attend the Sheffield Hallam learning and teaching conference. The theme of the conference was 'Student engagement in and out of the classroom'. A copy of  the conference programme can be found here

After our own recent learning and teaching conference I was eager to see how another institution took on the challenge. The build up had been good with lots of activity on Twitter a glimpse of how much social media activity there was going to be during the day.

We arrived, grabbed coffee and our conference pack from the registration desk before heading into a large lecture theatre for the welcome and first keynote.

We both noticed how full the lecture theatre was, from a pre-conference tweet they were expecting 414 delegates to the one day conference. We also spotted an artist at the front of the theatre who was capturing the thoughts from the session on paper, a different way to summarise and visualise the ideas being discussed.

 The first keynote was given by Prof. Simon Lancaster from UEA, he talked about making lectures more interactive including the use of e-voting. We used the app ResponseWare from Turning technologies in the keynote to answer questions. He also demonstrated how it could be used for peer learning, by asking students to justify answers to peers sat next to them. An interesting and interactive keynote that set the tone for the day. It also became clear from the keynote that social media and especially Twitter play an important role at Sheffield Hallam with lots of staff tweeting and the event even trending at one point.

We left the keynote and headed to our first sessions of the day, the morning sessions were mainly about staff showing and talking about activities they had undertaken. We heard about surveys into the expected use of mobile technologies by staff from new 1st year students. The use of twitter to engage students after class and provide a twitter chat. We split up for the second session and I listened to 2 talks about supporting students in extra-curricula activities to support their studies, this included language modules and a trip to a leading London law firm.

Lunch was held in the large atrium and one of the things that wasn't available was the range of stalls and services to visit during the break. We took our lunch outside to enjoy the best of the weather.

The afternoon started with a Keynote from Professor Liz Barnes the Deputy Vice-Chancellor . The keynote was aimed more at internal staff and the afternoon sessions reflected this. Each session in the afternoon had to bring a single word back to the closing event, the word had to reflect 'What approaches do you use to ensure that you engage students beyond the classroom and contextualise their learning experience'.   The session we attended in the afternoon was led by the key words that supported their Inspirational teaching awards.  Each table got a word to think about how what it means in the context of inspirational teaching,  the word we had was credibility. These sessions were more interactive and set up as workshops. It was sometimes difficult to contribute as most people were discussing SHU specific initiatives and activities.

Overall the event was a good and engaging experience. It is always interesting to see how another institution puts on a learning and teaching conference and what kind of talks they include. With a bigger pool of academic staff to call on there was a wide range of internal speakers. Social media played a big part in the day and that impressed me. The follow up is that all delegates and presenters can have an open badge.  I think Sheffield Hallam should be pleased and proud of the event they put on. 

Friday, 22 May 2015

8th of the Month - Like, Link, Follow

May's 8th of the Month saw the focus on Social media and in particular Twitter and Google Communities with a little information on LinkedIn too.

Introduced by Mark De Groot, the first presentation saw our own Rebecca Sellers (@becksell2001stepping into present about Twitter in Teaching and Learning taking the place of  Michelle Mellis (@mgmelliswho couldn't present due to unforeseen circumstances. 

Rebecca Sellers presenting. Photo by Lyn Edwards

The talk focused around the basic tools that Twitter has including hashtags and favoriting. Next was the ways it could be used to engage with students in teaching and learning but also with the wider community. Some of the suggestions included setting a hashtag up for module to share resources and questions. Also setting up a tweet chat with an external guest to allow students to engage with industry, without having to schedule class time and does not require travel from the external. 
There were a lot of questions from the audience about appropriateness and privacy particular within area where confidentiality might be important. The view of the speaker was that you should do what was right for your specific situation. This may include keeping the account private so that each follower had to be granted permission to see the Twitter feed or using a generic one so it could not be linked to an individual. 

Michelle was interviewed prior to session about her use of Twitter. Here is her video.

Next up was the Sarah Roe and Mark Flisher from AET talking about their use of Google + Communities to support their students and encourage collaboration and critiquing of others work. They used the Community in 2 modules and found the ability to keep it private from others made the students feel safer and more willing to engage. It was also used as a discussion area if students had an issue with a piece of work they could post a question and wither the member of staff would reply or one of the other students would offer an answer. The answers were visible to everyone so that everyone received the same information. 

Sarah Roe and Mark Flisher presenting. Photo by Lyn Edwards.  

Here are Mark and Sarah talking about why they use Google+ Communities. 

The session concluded with a brief discussion around the use of LinkedIn to keep in contact with alumni and provide a source of potential guest and external speakers to give students an industry perspective. 

The high numbers attending and the audience engagement shows there is a big appetite o using social media in a learning and teaching environment. We will look to enhance and expand the number of sessions in this area in the coming year.  

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

SEDA Conference on Internationalisation

The two-day SEDA Conference on Internationalisation of the Curriculum (Twitter - #SEDACONF) was a really stimulating and informative event.

There were some really great examples of innovative work bringing together partner institutions, developing the formal curriculum, and thinking about the effective integration of international students. The role which educational developers have to play in bringing the educational and values-based benefits of internationalisation to the curriculum and learning experiences of all our students cannot be underestimated.

The prezi of my keynote is available on line. I am looking forward to following up with many of the interesting colleagues brought together by the event. Thank you SEDA.

David Killick
Head of Academic Staff Development

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Golden Robes 2015

On the night of 30th April Leeds City Museum hosted the Leeds Beckett Golden Robe awards. A group of CLT staff attended the event to celebrate the excellent work undertaken by staff in supporting and teaching students.

The event is organised in partnership between the Centre for Learning and Teaching and the Students' Union. The Golden Robes are awarded to staff and nominated by students from across the Institution in a number of categories.  This year 1053 nominations were received for 603 different members of staff.  The awards recognise the positive impact staff, in a range of roles, have on a student’s experience at university. The staff nominated have gone the extra mile, thought creatively about how they support students, and how they encouraged and empowered students to succeed.

The evening was compered by Saffron Rose (Vice President Education) and Declan Mulholland (Chair of the Student Council). The event got underway with a formal welcome by Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof. Phil Cardew before the prize giving began. The museum was full of expectant staff and those who had come along to cheer them on. Between each prize giving the Faculty Reps and Officers thanked the staff for their hard work.

The award categories are: Virtual Virtuoso, Personal Tutor of the year, Fantastic Feedback, Hidden Hero, Postgraduate Supervisor of the Year, Motivator of the Year, Course Team of the Year, Innovative Tutor, Undergraduate Supervisor of the Year and a Special recognition awarded.

The winners and shortlisted are shown below.

Virtual Virtuoso:
Professor Alex Nunn
Dr Peter Branney
Dr Sarah James

Supervisor of the year (Undergraduate):
Dr Lisa O’Keeffe
Dr Michelle Mellis
Jackie Mulligan
Moses Okech
Rev. Ruth Dowson

Supervisor of the year (Postgraduate):
Dr Andrew Manley
Dr Osama Tashani
Professor Jim McKenna
Professor Martin Samy
Professor Ralph Tench

Personal Tutor of the year:
Annemarie Piso
Tracey Day
Dr Zoe Kolokotroni
Jackie Mulligan
Martin Hird
Robert Minton-Taylor
Sarah Roe
Sunita Morris
Dr Davina Stanford

Motivator of the year:
Dr Niki Kyriakidou
Elizabeth Chesworth
Kate Grafton
Micheale McIntosh
Professor Martin Samy
Robert Minton-Taylor
Sarah Cooper

Innovative Tutor:
Dr Michael Cassop Thompson
Dr Robin Redhead
Neil Kelley
Oliver Jones
Robert Minton-Taylor

Hidden Hero:
Alice Green
Emily Marshall
Gemma Walton
Kathryn Firth
Mark Panter

Fantastic Feedback:
Christine Daley
Dorron Otter
Dr Jamie Morgan
Dr John Connell
Dr Mara Fuertes-Gutierrez

Course team of the year:
Ba (Hons) English Literature
Ba (Hons) Playwork
BSc (hons) Speech & Language Therapy
MSc Responsible Tourism Management
PGDip Youth Work and Community Development

The special recognition was awarded posthumously to Dr John Hamill who passed away suddenly on 26th December 2014. The award was accepted on his behalf by one of his students.

The awards are a celebration to recognise the wide range of staff who do the very best for Leeds Beckett students. Many of these staff would continue to work tirelessly without little recognition. The event also allows us all to learn from those that are getting it right and share this knowledge and practice wider.

Below is a Storify from the event bringing together some of the tweets about the event and a link to the Students' Union Facebook gallery from the night (photos by Adam Shaw).

Thank you to all the students who took the time to nominate a member of staff, to the Students' Union for organising such a great event and finally to all those who were nominated, keep up the good work!