Whether it is for formative or summative purposes, Weblearn Tests is the perfect tool for academics that want to proactively measure student understanding throughout the development of a module, gauge their overall progress, participation and engagement, as well as, gather data for research or publication purposes. Advanced features such as “Column and Attempt statistics”, as well as, “Item Analysis”, empower academics to monitor overall class performance, average and individual scores and distribution of student responses for each question. Continue reading
Over the past 8-months, we have received some very interesting success stories that involved the use of Technology-Enhanced Learning and Teaching tools before, during and after class at London Metropolitan University. This blog post will focus on the use of Padlet and will attempt to showcase and celebrate some of the projects that our academics were able to develop over the past academic year.
After the immediate release of Padlet’s new features, our team created a Padlet and embedded a video guide asking academics to contribute to the canvas by using the new recording function. This video not only assisted participants navigate through the technical part of recording and uploading their own Reflective Vidcast, but also invited them to reflect on the underpinning pedagogies of the tools by answering 5 nominal questions:
- Name one (1) thing you and your students really liked in Padlet
- Name one (1) thing you and your students learned in the process
- Name one (1) thing that went wrong
- Was the training sufficient and empowering enough?
- Will you use the tool in the future?
Naomi Roberts was one of the “early adopters” of this new tool, and soon after she completed the basic training on the technical aspects of setting up, deploying and monitoring her Padlet interactive canvases, she engaged with our Learning Technologists on possible future use and underpinning pedagogies of this simple; and yet powerful tool that adds so much value in Learning and Teaching. Naomi, with great success, designed and implemented a TELT intervention in the following taught modules SE6035/4003/5003. Please click on the image below to access her reflection video and get a better idea of the immense added value that she was able to bring into her classrooms by investing on an hourly training with our learning technologists team.
Amongst other things, Naomi highlighted the rather intuitive interface that enabled her to delve right into using Padlet with the only technical difficulty being in embedding a “live Padlet window” directly in her Weblearn module content areas. However, and perhaps the most important element in her feedback was that Padlet provided the tool to evidence student engagement in the reading material, when naomi deployed “flipped classroom” activities that involved her students having to do some work before they attended her classes.
Another very interesting point in her reflection video was that Naomi was able to bypass the issue of some students not having their own device in class by deploying group work activities that used one device. In more simple words, Naomi was able to truly introduce and enhance engagement, gamification, collaboration, group work, polyphony and cross-fertilization by allowing one device per group – and thus pushing her students to collaborate verbally, in written text and in by making posters and then present their findings to the rest of the classroom by using a Padlet canvas to embed a photo of their poster, a sample text, a word document or a simple sentence/argument.
Berhane Dory, was responsible for overseeing all efforts concerning the use of Padlet in both face-to-face and distance learning modules within her team and was also the first one to actually use Padlet in her classroom. In her reflection video Berhane, cited the importance of using simple solutions that add immediate value in our teaching contexts. During her first attempt to deploy a padlet activity in class, she was seconded by a leaning technologist that provided onsite support, making sure that all activities went well and that the student experience was positive. Berhane was so impressed by the use of new technologies that decided to invest time and effort and ”drill down” in other technology-enhanced learning and teaching tools, such us video quizzes, the use of badges, interactive tests, audience response tools, webinar polling, blogs, discussion boards and journals. The four new Distance Learning modules SE6003/5004/5058/5060DL that Berhane and her team are currently “polishing up” have incorporated the latest TELT solutions with students welcoming and embracing the renewed course syllabus, structure and overall method of delivery.
Last but not least, the top triad of best use testimonials must include James Steventon’s project Google Vs Student. Foundation students at The Cass have been using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to test and help develop their own creativity. In this ingenious project, students were challenged by their tutor James Steventon to demonstrate they are more creative than AI. As such, students played the adversarial part in an iterative sequence where they subverted Google’s Image Search algorithm to create new, unexpected images. Each step of the process was uploaded to a collaborative online Padlet. The project culminated in the use of further AI algorithms where students created their own digital poster images. These were then graded by another algorithm to instigate discussions about aesthetics and creativity.
James, amongst others said in his reflection video: “This was a project about how technology can encourage creativity so using Padlet was entirely appropriate and helped take it to a new level.” He then continued on to say that “It also helped me focus my teaching on students who needed my help more immediately than others, as well as reaching students in several different parts of the university all at once.” To watch each complete video reflection just click on the each corresponding image and then when you’re done, click on the “back arrow” situated on the upper, left hand corner of your screen.
Weblearn offers great choice when it comes to promoting social communication within student cohorts. Using Blogs, Discussion Boards and Journals is a great way to assist learners develop their ability to locate and share/display content and individual work, engage in a lively academic debate via the use of arguments, counter arguments and rebuttals and finally engage in pre and post work reflection that creates the necessary cadre for developing their own voice, criticality and ultimately their professional awareness.
This short blog post will attempt to outline the similarities and differences between these three great tools in Weblearn and via a recent case study that took place within the Early Childhood Education department, it will illustrate possible uses, advantages and pitfalls. Continue reading
Today we look at a tool that can be used to record lectures, but also to generate rich media for sharing via Weblearn
We appreciate that creating online resources can be time-consuming, and the outcome can be short-lived if the content goes out of date quickly.
That is why using a centrally managed resource can take the pressure off academics. It means you direct your students to it in the knowledge that you don’t need to verify, maintain or update the content. Weblearn plays host to a number of student resources which can be repurposed within your learning and teaching.
Today we look at a tool that can be used to record lectures, but also to generate rich media for sharing via Weblearn
Creating simple video using Techsmith Relay
At every desk and in every classroom, lecturers have at their disposal the tools to create lively and engaging videos. Techsmith Relay, available across the network, is software which records the computer display and submits the resulting video to MEDIAL – the London Met media server. Typically, the tool is used to capture lectures, but it used to produce simple videos combining anything displayed on your computer screen with a spoken commentary recorded via the PC’s microphone. If you have a webcam on your desktop computer, you can also create ‘Talking head’ videos.
Today, we explore a feature which may be a crucial part of your assessment design, but is also a quick and simple way to manage your assessment, marking and communication with students.
Weblearn Tools for learning and assessment
Essays, presentations and tests are not the only way for your students to communicate what they have learned. Weblearn has several alternative tools that student can use to document or construct their knowledge: blogs, journals, discussion boards, wikis, and portfolios. These are perfectly suited to continuous assessment, and can be used for either formative or summative assessment.
An important aspect of learning in higher education is working in groups. Group work can improve critical thinking problem-solving, collaboration and communication skills.
Creating groups in Weblearn allows students to work on projects together, where they can communicate via group discussion boards and blogs or use other tools, such as Wiki’s, so students can on collaboratively.
Groups in Weblearn are often used when there is a group assignment for students. In such cases, a group is created which allows for the group to submit one assignment for the whole group. When creating these groups, they are made visible to the students so they can see who else is in their group and collaborate accordingly.
However, groups can be created and utilised by staff as a student management tool, where students are unaware that the groups have been created. For example, groups can be created that match seminar classes, research partners, peer groups etc. Watch the video to find out more.
As part of the countdown to the festive season, the VLE team and CPED are sharing their ideas for simple tools or techniques that can make life easier for lecturers and their students. So far, we’ve explored some of the extra functionality of Weblearn: Collaborate, Ally, Student Preview, and Grade Centre Smart Views. We also demonstrated some software suitable for classroom use: Nureva Span.
Today, we consider how you already have a platform at your disposal to increase course cohesion, and minimise repetitive publishing of material across Modules.
Weblearn is not just host to Module areas for distributing learning materials, or receiving electronic submission of assignments. Weblearn is also host to Course Sites –areas dedicated to each London Met course. Membership of the Course Site encompasses all students in all levels of your course. In addition, staff involved in delivering or supporting the course can be added. This means that Course Sites are the perfect channel for communicating with all the course stakeholders.
If you have procedures or guidelines that are common to many modules on the course, you can post these on the Course Site instead of repeatedly uploading them to separate module spaces. You may wish to promote an event or opportunity to all students. Alternatively, you can publish information about careers on the Course Site; it may be of particular interest to finalists. However first and second years can preview this in readiness for later in the course.
By default, Course Sites also include several Help and Support pages that gather the latest advice and guidance for all students. You will never need to investigate the Academic Regulations, or library opening hours, or the contact details of the gym in order to share this with your students, because the information is maintained centrally.
A Course Site can be used to forge a sense of shared identity that extends beyond the level of the module-lecture or seminar-group. It can be used to celebrate the achievements of continuing students and set expectations for new students.
If you would like more information on how to get the most out of your Course Site, please contact email@example.com .
As part of the countdown to the festive season, the VLE team and CPED are sharing their ideas for simple tools or techniques that can make life easier for lecturers and their students. So far, we’ve explored some of the extra functionality of Weblearn: Collaborate, Ally, Student Preview, and Grade Centre Smart Views.
Today, we consider one of the cool bits of software that is not part of the VLE, but which may be an exciting or interactive addition to classroom teaching.
If you are in the habit of distributing post-it notes to your students, in order for them to write a note and display or group it on a wall, then you may be interested in a digital platform that can do this, and much more.
Nureva Span software enables active student collaboration via a shared panoramic canvas. The canvas acts as a surface onto which you can attach notes and photos, as well as hyperlinks, sketches or large text blocks. Watch this video overview for more information.
As part of the countdown to the festive season, the VLE team and CPED are sharing their ideas for simple tools or techniques that can make life easier for lecturers and their students. So far, we’ve posted suggestions about Collaborate, Ally, and Student Preview. Today, the spotlight is on a little-used feature of the Weblearn Grade Centre.
On some modules, there are a large number of students together with multiple assessment points. This can make the Grade Centre in Weblearn difficult to navigate. A Smart View in Weblearn can be created to display a subset of the Grade Centre The Smart View focuses on students and/or assessments results that meet certain criteria.