Category Archives: news

A Bite Size Guide to Teaching in the 21st Century event

I attended this way back in the year but Ive only just got around to putting up the videos from Andy T .

Here are the slides from the Bite Size Guide to Teaching event I ran last month.

Part One
Claire Beecroft – Padlet
Andy Tattersall – Adobe Voice
Claire Beecroft – Audio Feedback- the Why? AND the How?
Andy Tattersall – Apps for learning and teaching
Clara Mukuria – A quick overview of a ScHARR MOOCs

Part Two
Luke Miller, Dan Smith, James Little – West Court Film Studio
Luke Miller, Dan Smith, James Little – Kaltura!
Jesrine Clarke-Darrington – Explain Everything
Paul Jinks – What is blended learning? Why is everyone talking about it? How do you do it?


Solstice Conference – Edge Hill University – Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th

attended and presented with my former  colleagues from Law,  Gareth Bramley &  Kate Campbell Pilling . (despite the best efforts of the M6 to stop us)

We have been trialling video and audio feedback using screen capture  via Kaltura for additional comments on scripts initially marked through turnitn


Digital Retreat – April 2017

 Our team for the digital retreat and brief

Mark Quinn

Science Physics and Astronomy

Simon Warwick (TEL)
Ian Loasby (AMRC)
Kieran Bentley (On line Learning Team)
Jesse Armstrong (Creative Media )


We would like to develop a physics problem-solving toolkit comprised of digital media to enhance the problem solving ability of our undergraduate students as they progress through their degree programme. One of the most sought after skills of physics graduates is their ability to solve (often complex) problems by developing and applying mathematical models. The proposed toolkit will contain different categories of problems and approaches to tackle them, with step-by-step guides delivered using mainly short videos. Whilst the short-term focus is on the key issue of problem-solving, over time we would aim to expand the digital resource to become a wider ‘skills’ toolkit, incorporating problem-solving, data analysis techniques, report writing etc.

How will this development impact on your teaching practices?

The toolkit would be used in problem solving modules across all levels 1, 2 and 3. When new problems and problem-solving concepts are introduced, students will have access to the toolkit to supplement and enhance more traditional problem-solving classes. The use of video in the toolkit will enable us to implement a flipped approach to problem solving, where students familiarise themselves with a particular approach using the toolkit videos prior to attending facilitated problem-solving class sessions.


How will this development make a difference to your department?

As a department, one of our main goals is to produce physics graduates who excel in problem solving, setting them apart from non-Sheffield graduates. The development of a problem-solving toolkit, accessible to all of our students as they progress through their degree would be a major step forward in helping to achieve this goal. The 2-day retreat provides an ideal opportunity to kick-start this important activity.


Retreat Objectives


The goals of the 2 day retreat are:

  1. Develop a standard workflow in creating animated videos comprised of technical content (physics, maths etc)

  • Identify tools for this workflow



  1. Create a useful example video with duration 5-10 minutes


Once we have finalised the team, Mark hopes to start identifying the key tools we could use and in the interim start drafting a script for an example video.

Digifest – Birmingham 14-15 March 2017

2 Glorious days in the second city 

Digifest report


Day 1

Plenary session

explore what a digital revolution of learning and teaching means, and set the scene for how, through Digifest, we can make that revolution a reality. IDL

Some of the questions and answers from the plenary session. I thought that it was interesting the reflection that you can not use data on its own you will always need a person to interpreted the data and take decisions. DV

How does technology-enhanced learning contribute to teaching excellence? DV


Technology Enhanced Learning in Higher Education (John Branch, Paul Bartholomew, Claus Nygaard)

Rethinking Learning for a Digital Age (Rhona Sharpe, Helen Beetham, Sara de Freitas)

Idea that TEL should be based in Persons rather than Technology, should be seen as a social process.

What aspects can be enhanced? Speaker was focusing in :

  • Teaching quality
  • Learning Environment
  • Student Outcomes

All enhancement requires evidence of effectiveness. Another discussion is how can we produce those evidences.


TEL strategies should include:

  • Convince colleagues of the pedagogic value of TEL and support them to create new pedagogies
  • Build confidence in using technology
  • Encourage exploration and experimentation


3m apprenticeship target: how technology can support delivering at scale   IDL

This session had a lot to do with analytics and reporting .and we were able to feed directly into JISCs project and input into future activity to develop tools to support apprenticeship delivery, tracking and reporting at scale

In terms of scale Dudley College have 3000 apprentices

Tools used


The JISC Discover Tool NH DV

More informatin on this link:

They introduce the survey beta tool that evaluates the digital capacity based in 6 areas. This tool produces results on an individual basis creating a graph where you can see where your gaps are and could be useful to check if a strategy has been successful comparing those results every year.

It was interesting to see parts of the functionality that they are working on where you can compare different institutions or different areas of your department (this functionality is not ready yet). I thought that the comparison tool was really useful as you can find gaps in digital capacity that other members of the department can help with.

I will definitely have a go at doing the survey and maybe we can compare our results if more people is interested. DV

Loving the alien – robots and AI in education (slides available) SW

Robots and AI – looking at what’s being used and the future uses. Interesting more than useful but good to see the advancements

Plenary and keynote from Geoff Mulgan  IDL

Flipped laboratory teaching incorporating online assessments IDL / SW

Will be talking to them about some engineering labs

Virtual lab simulations in practice – what do students gain? SW

Dancing from a distance, two halves of a whole: international collaboration in teaching and learning through videoconferencing SW


Flipping, pedagogies, mobile and more: case studies from the Hull Digital Technologies Network IDL


Attendance monitoring in higher education DV


Two case studies talking about the implementation of attendance monitoring. Both cases were based on student card technology so students had to swap their card or put them close to a beacon that is just at the entrance of the room. One of the solution was done in house as a project lead by the computer department with the help of students.

Only major problem was finding enough data points to connect those boxes and they had two developers working on the code to make the interface possible.


Digital technology is fundamentally changing learning and teaching in higher education  Debate  IDL / NH / SW / HC / DV


Day 2

Social Media DV

Interesting session by a very good speaker (Eric Stoller) on good uses of social media and how twitter could be used as an example in extending communication in the HE. I like the idea of having a student in charge of the social media for a day and using twitter as a platform to share their views.

More Institutions are introducing twitter as part of their CPD programme.

JISC Business Intelligence System NH


Doing better things: transforming how we use Turnitin for learning IDL / SW / DV / HC


Colour coded feedback – traffic light system – like we tried did at Law

Video links in the quickmark comments

Audio feedback with background music (new one on me)

Idea – show students the comments and feedback then let them work out  the mark (could be done as peer exercise I guess)


I found this a very useful session.


Interesting the way that they collect the feedback from students with sessions like guess your mark where they need to read the feedback and see if they can guess their mark, it makes them understand better the feedback given and the improvements that they need to do to have a better mark. DV

Idea that all feedback should provide instructions on how to improve, is not enough on saying what they have done wrong students should see what they need to do to improve and have a better mark next time. DV


What does a next generation learning environment look like? Debate IDL


Ultimately I came out feeling a little subdued. Like we are getting nowhere fast .


Samsung: innovation in education – E Board  IDL / SW / AT / DV /HC


Nice demo, however nothing that Prowise don’t already do, and the software on prowise works better in my opinion


Ditto from me though it may be a cheaper solution at £2K v £4K  but the prowise hardware looks better as does the collaborative software  IDL


A Google-powered classroom IDL /AT


I thought that she was an excellent presenter (Natalie Mcguinness) and lots of food for thought about where we use google suite v where we use VLE . She certainly was an advocate


Google Classroom still very limited compared to the fully fledged VLE but….


Closing plenary and keynote from Lauren Sager Weinstein  IDL / AT / DV

Fascinating amount of data they work from at TFL..learning analytics on steroids


It was really interesting how they can connect information from different methods of transport, the traffic lights and cameras that are reading car plates. Also the idea that some of these information is going to be accessible by API for other companies to produce apps or for students to play with it and maybe understand the relation between data or how to show these data in ways that are useful. DV

Stalls visited


Blackboard   IDL


Just went for the freebie but no ticket for Milan


Cerebriam SW

Video cameras for lecture capture / broadcast that move with the lecturer – works on full body recognition – like the swivl but enhanced


I had the impression of being very similar to swivl but with the capacity to broadcast and being more compact. DV


Clickview IDL


We already have echo and kaltura but i could see some use for the type of material we use with the apprentices flipped learning so open mind still


HoloLens SW

AR layered over your environment so you can see around you as well – alternative to fully submersive VR


Labster SW

Pre lab simulations, pre lab testing etc


Solution Path SW

Analytics that sync to VLE, and include swipe card attendance monitoring


Turnitin IDL
Nothing new to report from Turnitin. Some changes to the roadmap . Waiting for an update on that





Thoughts from TELFEST.

Ill leave the long review to the blog team on here
And the program is here,  if there is anything you would like particular feedback on give me a shout and ill try.
I couldn’t attend everything I wanted as some workshops clashed with when I  was presenting about pebblepad and on the panel for discussing how we reuse MOOC content. Id much rather have been at “pedagogy of 360 degree video” but never mind its nice to be asked to present.
I was impressed with the adobe connect demo and now its been embedded in MOLE I can see it being used on our program for virtual classroom, office hours or online seminars.
Content creation on iPads seemed to be a recurring theme. I did a session on explain everything for creating learning material with staff from Politics and Dentistry. Im doing it again at the flipped learning worksop in engerrimng next week as a hads on session  .
dentistry use it in the classroom as a portable white board to take to the student groups and explain concepts by zooming into images (teeth in this case but I can see ways we might use it).
It must have been reasonably successful as 4 people went and bought copies of the app at the end of the session . guy from materials science called Nick was one
A first for me was adobe spark, once again a great way to create flipped content quickly
This seemed to be the year of padlet, to the point when it was getting used a bit too often
Another recurring them was lecture capture and recording. There was a representative from Manchester University where they have captured all lectures for 3 years now. Lots of talk about pros and cons
Creative media team were present all week and another theme was its all very well creating nice looking material but the students want good sound quality above all else.
I attended the VLE consultation workshop with ideas about features we how we would like in MOLE (blackboard) or its replacement .
A room 101 session. As I remember the suggestions included the university managed PC system, those audience response clickers that have become so popular at events, marking submissions on a computer screen when there is a turnitin app that lets you mark away from the desk (as you would with paper) and the “teacher traps” those being new bits of technology that you just cant seem to turn on (eg projectors that you cant reach)
TEL through students eyes which was basically saying the students want good looking MOLE course with a common feel to them and not too many clicks. Also that they have just about abandoned email
Lastly for this update a session on ways of evaluating practise and toolkit we might use.

AMRC Foundation Degree Update 1

progress on the degree. Ran a blackboard (Mole) exemplar course session with the lecturers at the training centre on Thursday 9th June . Excellent support from Danny Monaghan and Pete Mella and plenty of ideas to incorporate.

Attended the Eng Faculty TEL meeting and EATS session which mostly dealt with Echo360 lecture capture .

Started purchasing our recording equipment for the flipped learning so it feels like we are moving forward a little.

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