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Your Digital Education Advisor can work with you to offer any session you need (within reason), tailored to your colleagues' contexts - here is an indicative list.

Inductions to UCL learning technologies

Going deeper - sessions we offer on demand

These sessions are typically in-person, hands-on, participative and experiential.

Resources allowing, the Advisory team offer these on demand, ideally working with other parts of Digital Education and the E-Learning Champions in your department to tailor them to your needs. We do ask that you can guarantee your colleagues' participation, within reason.

Sessions work particularly well when run for teaching teams or colleagues in a department. That way you can talk through the considerations together, come to decisions and, ideally, leave having put something in place that you were planning to do anyway.

Need something else? If you have interests or needs not met by these session outlines, get in touch with your school's Digital Education Advisor and let us know.


Arena Blended Connected (ABC)

Linking the following elements together is Arena Blended Connected. Undertaken by teaching teams on 60 modules in UCL (as of Feb 2016) the ABC curriculum design method uses an effective and engaging paper card-based approach in a 90 minute hands-on workshop. It is based on research from the JISC and UCL IoE and designed to help module teams design engaging learning activities. It is particularly useful for new programmes or those changing to an online or more blended format. More information.

Meet the UCL E-learning Baseline

In July 2017 UCL Education Committee made a policy that every Moodle course space be reviewed with reference to the UCL E-Learning Baseline. The emphasis is on accessibility, usability and consistently high quality within diverse Moodle spaces. 

The policy is that:

  • The e-learning presence for every taught module will be reviewed against the UCL E‑Learning Baseline as an institution-wide activity in 2017/18.  The review will be repeated every three years, with the exception of those modules which fail to meet the Baseline, or are new or substantially revised modules, which will need to be re-evaluated the following year.
  • There will be a checklist and HoDs will be responsible for sending back a report.
  • Lecture materials will be made available in advance.

In this session you will use the checklist to review your Moodle space, recorded lectures, and other digital education resources and activities. You will be able to do this either with colleagues or individually. UCL Digital Education staff will be on hand to help you take immediate action. You will leave the session having made practical steps to meet Baseline requirements.

This session is best attended by both academic and professional services colleagues, working together on the operational and educational aspects of Moodle spaces.

Today’s burning questions in digital education

A discursive session where we collectively invite different perspectives on burning questions such as: how can we manage the disruptive influence of social media on students' attention? Why is there such a qualitative gulf between institutional technologies and the technologies students use outside institutions? How can this be squared with students?  Is the era of the typed word a 'Gutenberg parenthesis', about to yield to the visual era? How can we recognise the contributions of individuals within group projects? Which digital practices are transforming my subject area and how might they be brought into the curriculum? What works? - and given the no-significant-difference phenomenon with digital education, should we bother? How do print media or online media influence our encounters with different materials?

Why we have a Moodle Baseline.

The Moodle Baseline responds to students' reports about feeling disorientated within Moodle spaces. It consists of a number of principles which promote consistency in some key respects while allowing plenty of leeway for diversity. This session will be mostly hands-on with Digital Education staff on hand to help you interpret and enact the principles of the Baseline in your own Moodle spaces.

Accessible digital design

A hands-on workshop in which you will learn practical techniques for developing spaces and resources which meet the widest possible range of needs. After introducing the principles and challenges of universal design, we will look at colour contrast checking, organisation and navigation, screen readers (you may wish to bring a blindfold), and more. We will also preview emerging captioning and transcription technologies.

Newer kinds of authoring

Students make websites: getting started with MyPortfolio

MyPortfolio is a space at UCL where all staff and students can work with different materials to form pages, small sites, groups and more. It is increasingly used for assessed work at UCL. The reasons:

  • Contemporary kinds of assessment. 
    The web has brought new forms of academic communication alongside the traditional ones. MyPortfolio lets students author and present in different media (and, where required, work within a group space).
  • MyPortfolio is brilliant for laying things out.
    You can organise different elements and media exactly as you want.
  • MyPorfolio is flexible. 
    You can make, upload, link to or embed materials elsewhere eg Padlet, YouTube, Zeemaps, Vimeo, SoundCloud, Prezi, TimeGlider, Flickr, Google Maps, infographics software, mind maps, calendars, quizzes and others. You can lay out your work in infinite combinations of rows, columns and blocks.
  • Equity.
    Unlike third party environments, UCL can support staff and students using MyPortfolio. This means that staff and students with less technical ability aren't disadvantaged in modules where this isn't a central learning objective.
  • MyPortfolio is hosted at UCL.
    This means that it is governed by UK Data Protection laws. You own your own work, and UCL will not claim that it is our intellectual property nor make use of it without your permission. MyPortfolio isn't commercial, so no adverts will be shown on your pages.
  • UCL can apply deadlines. 
    We wouldn't be able to guarantee to do this equitably on third party software outside UCL.
  • If something goes wrong with MyPortfolio, UCL can make allowances.
    If everybody were working on different third party environments, UCL could neither guarantee continuity of service, nor verify any interruptions to that service. With MyPortfolio, if something goes wrong with the service UCL verify this and take measures such as extending the deadline, without having to demand proof from students that there was a service interruption.
  • In short MyPortfolio helps us strike a balance between institutional needs and the good stuff out there on the wider web.

We can tailor this workshop to your circumstances, but it is broadly orientated to:

Blogs & blogging – windows on the world

The word 'blog' may seem old-fashioned in the world of Twitter & YouTube, but the practice is definitely not. Blogging can help students find their voice, give each other attention, and gain insights about their own work. Writing for an audience other than one assessor, once, can bring out the best in students. What blogging opportunities does UCL offer for students in formal and informal contexts?

Wikipedia and wikis as a worldly learning environment

Social learning is an important aspect both of the move from didactic to more constructivist approaches to learning. Well-conceived group work promises to contribute to the graduate attributes agenda, bring personal contact and companionship to courses, and provide forums for students to negotiate new understandings in their subject area. However, creating conducive environments, activities and ethos for group work is neither intuitive nor straightforward, particularly when the group work is expected to coalesce in a shared object such as a wiki or blog. Pitfalls include bargaining (cooperation without collaboration), ‘social loafing’ and its counterpart ‘diligent isolation’, difficulties maintaining awareness, disorientation, and evidencing and recognising members’ respective contributions. Over the course of this interactive workshop participants will consider the requirements for what Graham Gibbs terms a ‘healthy learning milieu’ for groups, and design a group task within this scenario. For the purposes of the session we will take wikis as the site of collaboration, but the principles we draw upon will have wider relevance on and offline.

Outward-facing digital assessment and feedback

At UCL the Connected Curriculum emphasises outward-facing assessments in which students master a variety of skills to engage their intended audience. At the same time, smartphones, social media, and a Web which is written as well as read by its public are displacing print media as the dominant medium for academic communications. Repositories of openly-licensed digital materials have prompted new pedagogies of abundance in which students' task is to make sense of this wealth of information and artefacts. Assessment methods are a major influence on what students learn, so for students to gain these practices they need to be incorporated into assessment. Academics are becoming interested in students working multimodally (using different voices on different media). This may involve social media (blogs, timelines, maps, wikis), audiovisual recordings, a website, or combination of these. In this session you will:

  • Hear about some UCL examples of multimodal assessment.
  • Gain an overview of the technology and support UCL offers students, tutors and professionals.
  • See some ways of giving contextualised feedback on video, audio, images and web pages.

Tales from the web beyond UCL: education-friendly platforms and practices

A smorgesbord of apps (all available without creating an account) eveloped from: https://prezi.com/7oite89tmb8z/technologies-you-dont-have-to-sign-your-privacy-away-for/

Assessment & feedback technologies

Turnitin from every angle

ELE has set up a demo environment that lets you experience the process of submitting, marking, returning marks and managing records from different perspectives. During the session you’ll log in in different roles and be able to follow a piece of work through Turnitin from all angles. You’ll submit a piece of your own writing in a student role, then ‘mark’ that work in a tutor role. We’ll also discuss second marking, moderating, external examining and record keeping, with reference to UCL’s new marking policy. We’ll take look at the different ways Turnitin enables you to give students feedback, and how Turnitin can provide feedback itself.

Peer marking - how Moodle can help

UCL priorities for assessment and feedback focus on student attitudes (as expressed in the National Student Survey), student engagement with feedback, and managing staff resource. Peer assessment activities - feedback only or with numeric grades - have potential to meet these priorities. Moodle has a dedicated activity called Workshop, and Turnitin offers Peermark. Peer marking works well when carefully designed. It is important to be clear about educational principles, instructions and communications. Based on experiences with CALT's Arena One programme and drawing on the literature around peer marking, we will show you the stages of the Moodle Workshop activity and outline the considerations at each stage. Participants will then plan a notional online peer marking activity in their own setting.

For some of the ideas introduced in this session see:


The powerful attraction of a Moodle Quiz

When you think of tests in Moodle, you probably think of multiple choice tests. You may be wondering about the educational benefits of circumscribing possible answers, or have concerns about the ethics of offering students the choice to make a wrong answer. You may be thinking that confidence-based marking introduces a gender bias. Nevertheless, we have observed that knowledge tests exert a powerful attraction on Moodle users, staff and students alike, from the most senior to the most junior, and it is worth considering whether there are ways to harness this enthusiasm. Moodle's Quiz activity offers many question types beyond multiple choice types, many of which offer immediate, fine-grained feedback beyond what could be offered by a stretched teaching team. Some of these types can cope with degrees of right and wrong. Moodle Quizzes can be used to motivate, self-benchmark, gauge prior knowledge or signal desired prior knowledge. They can be sites of of practice and vehicles for individualised feedback. They can respond to frequent misunderstandings. Moodle question banks allow questions to exist separatedly from the test itself, so they can be crowd-sourced, shared and reused among colleagues. The settings allow for many different configurations of  marking and feedback.

In this session we will introduce some uses in UCL, and you will have a chance to tinker with an existing Moodle Quiz and create and share your own question, and then encounter a Quiz from a student's point of view.

We will liaise with you in advance to identify some question types which suit your subject area.

How to keep clean on the assessment mud run

Assessment workflows can get very complicated. Sometimes Digital Education become aware that this is because staff have been unaware of something the technology can do to relieve the burden. Sometimes there are ways to make the process more efficient.

This session is best for teaching teams. We will sketch out your assessment workflow and consider whether and how technologies can help.

A more positive, practical version of: https://prezi.com/yyhtr9zgae-5/how-we-keep-clean-on-the-e-assessment-mud-run/

Assessment feedback: from provision to engagement, in the time you have

A close look, with reference to the literature on feedback engagement, at some of the different ways Moodle and Turnitin assignment types allow markers both to provide feedback and promote students' ability and willingness to relate it to the marking criteria. In Turnitin we will show how a marking crid (criteria plotted against levels of achievement) can be reproduced and knitted into the comments you can make directly on student work. In Moodle we will show some different marking capabilities and, with reference to the literature on peer marking and evaluations here at UCL, show how Moodle's peer marking activity type can help students both understand the criteria and empathise with markers as humans making sometimes difficult judgements. You will have the chance to get hands-on from a student and marker perspective.

Students' digital reputations.

Outline to come.

Moodle and graphics do not repel

Moodle certainly makes it easier to include text than graphics. Graphics used well can animate and invigorate a space - but they can also slow down page loads and interfere with other elements on a page. This hands-on workshop will show you how to bring graphics into your Moodle space - from sourcing them, editing them, and including them in different ways (banners, galleries, &c) which work across platforms.


Ways with online communication for learning

When students are reluctant to participate in educational discussions, what is to be done?

Moodle as a communication hub

Find out more.

Fully-online & blended learning

Comparing distance learning, blended learning, in person learning

Outline to come.

The morphing world of Moocs


Learning analytics – questions, directions and what you can do now

Tracking student engagement in Moodle

Find out more...

Particular technologies

PowerPoint: must the show go on?

Why do we use slideware? What are the attributes of slideware? What does the research say about slideware use? What are the common pitfalls of slideware which interfere with learning? How can these be avoided?

Ways with Twitter in education

Outline to come.

Group consensus-building online

An introduction to Nominal Group Technique using wikis.

Classroom technologies

Attention! Lecturers v. social media

 Find out more.

Flipping education: principles, questions, and challenges

How are flipping practices evolving in higher education, and what does the research say about educational outcomes?

Classroom technologies and practices for larger groups

90 min formal session plus 30 min playtime.

Reasons to avoid an 'information transfer' approach in large group settings can be summarised as follows. Adult attention to an information flow tends to be limited to 15-20 minutes, beyond which it tends to lapse and continues to fall as a session progresses; it falls to lecturers to intervene to re-energise students' attention. Current science of learning emphasises opportunities for students to make sense of new concepts in the light of their existing understandings. For this reason lecturers are looking for opportunities to punctuate their large group sessions with periods where all students are engaged in activities.

This session will introduce and compare some participative practices with technologies including:
  • UCL's Electronic Voting System with (EVS) with handsets (clickers);
  • EVS with own devices (Ombia);
  • EVS with no devices (Plickers);
  • LectureTools - students interacting with a live PowerPoint presentation.
  • At a distance: active learning in Blackboard Collaborate; PollEverywhere.

We will touch on what types of active learning these technologies do and don't support. We will also ask how we might evaluate them - aspects to consider might be students' energy; inclusivity; ease of use; cost.

Further information








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