Back to school VITAL kitbag 2017

The new academic year looms and everyone’s thoughts instantly turn to VITAL, of course. It can be a chore to remember what buttons to click and what processes to follow when preparing the new year’s modules. This post includes reminders,  links and resources which we hope will make it a little easier to reacquaint yourself with VITAL. The main thing to be aware of in terms of changes to VITAL is that Turnitin GradeMark has been upgraded and given a new design and name, Feedback Studio. We are offering some short workshops and webinars on Feedback Studio in September and October and there are plenty of online resources. We are also running VITAL training sessions for people who are new to the system and again there are online support resources as well. The post below has help on:

  1. Course copy
  2. The VITAL Baseline
  3. New features 2017-18
  4. Known Issues and Bugs
  5. More help and training for VITAL

1. How do I copy content over from another module?

You do not need to re-make you modules from scratch. You can copy content from any previous module. The easiest way to copy the bulk of your content from another module (e.g. last year’s version) is to use the Course Copy facility. You need to be at the Instructor level on both the source and destination modules. Here is the latest version of our guide to the course copy process. The screenshot here shows you where to locate this facility on the Control Panel menu.

Once on the course copy page firstly in the very first section SELECT COPY TYPE make sure that you have selected the option ‘Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course’ (and not ‘Copy Course Materials into a New Course’)

Then use the Browse button to find the Destination Course ID (don’t type in the module ID) and do not  select the Include Enrolments in the Copy option (at the bottom of the copy page). There are also some useful tools and tips on course copy below this screenshot.

  • Course copy – useful Link-checker tool. See all of the weblinks in the copied module content on one page and check whether any are broken so that these can be hidden and/or fixed. Access this from the module’s Control Panel in the Course Tools section. When you click the Link Checker link the tool will start the checking process so there may be a few seconds until the results display.
  • Course copy – Date-manager tool. See all of the due dates, availability dates and date adaptive release rules for the copied module content on one page and adjust these for the new academic year (also useful if you need to make changes to the schedule of a module during term-time). Again, access this from the Control Panel in the Course Tools section. Click the Date Management link here. Select the List all Dates for Review option at the start of the process to see and adjust dates individually.
  • Course copy – Tidy up modules. Course Copy is also an opportunity to think about tidying up modules. For example, does every content area from the older module still need to be copied over? You can specify which sections you want copying and which to leave (and you can always come back and copy individual sections over if it turns out you need them after all). Thinking about the VITAL Baseline, are the sections you have copied over organised in a structure that is easy to navigate for your students and are folders, content areas and files clearly labelled? The VITAL Baseline guide below offers some advice on doing this. A word of caution though, there is no Undo facility in VITAL and if you delete anything it cannot currently be recovered.

Course copy – Video content. Something else to think about is any video content uploaded directly to your module. Firstly, please do not upload any further video content to VITAL modules, it is too large and the way that VITAL works means that students have first to download it before they can view it which can be highly problematic. Instead, where you own the copyright to the video then use the University’s streaming media service to host and to stream the videos. If the video is hosted on another streaming site (YouTube for instance) you can embed it in your VITAL module. For material broadcast on UK television you can use the Box of Broadcasts service and stream full programmes and extracts from here. For video that does not fall into these categories then please contact the eLearning Unit for help. Then for video content that is already in the module please have a chat with CSD technical team about moving your video content out of VITAL and storing and streaming it elsewhere. For advice on copyright of video please see this library guidance site.

Copyright

To ensure you remain copyright compliant in your teaching it is worth noting that before uploading anything to VITAL you should stop and think about the materials you want to upload.  Do you have permission to do so, or do you need to seek permission?

Important! Scanned journal articles/book extracts. 

The University of Liverpool holds a licence from the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA), which allows staff to scan either ONE WHOLE CHAPTER from a book / ONE WHOLE ARTICLE from a journal issue OR 10% of the whole publication, whichever amount is greater, from permitted copyright works and upload them to VITAL in order to support teaching and learning.

BUT you have to comply with the terms of the licence for each item uploaded to VITAL and show you have done so by prefacing each scan with a Copyright Notice.

There are 3 options for ensuring you meet the terms of the Licence:

1. Complete the online Digitisation Request Form – which will automatically check the terms have been met.

  • If copyright cleared, the Library will scan the item and return it to you with the required Copyright Notice.
  • If you already have a pdf of the requested chapter/article you can supply this with the form and the system will attach the Copyright Notice to your pdf for you.

Or

2. Use the Library’s Digitisation Service which will automatically check materials for copyright-clearance, digitise the materials and embed the scans within Reading Lists @ Liverpool (contact your Liaison Librarian to find out how). You may also use the link provided to the scan and Copyright Notice in VITAL.

Or

3. Complete a Copyright Notice Form – to show YOU have manually checked the terms have been met. You need to send this form to your Liaison Librarian for reporting to the CLA.

For details on the CLA process, digitisation, and for a comprehensive guide to copyright and VITAL generally this site from the library on copyright is an excellent resource. Follow the link and look at the Procedures for VITAL for a starting point. You can also contact your liaison librarian as another excellent source of help for any copyright questions.

2. What’s the VITAL Baseline again?

Once course copy is completed, check that the module will meet the VITAL Baseline. More has been automated for this academic year so that as well as the Module Overview page link and the Exam Resources section appearing by default in your module menu, you will also see that the link to your Reading Lists @ Liverpool list has been included in the default module template. This quick guide to the six elements of the Baseline shows you how to add this link and for you to check your module meets all six elements. The all-staff module VITAL help for staff includes a detailed section on the VITAL Baseline and how to meet it.

As a reminder there is also a default section in your module called ‘Stream Lectures’. If you are using Stream Capture to record Orbit-timetabled lectures then this is the section of your module where the recordings appear automatically.

3. Is there anything new in VITAL this year?

1. GradeMark redesign – Introducing Feedback Studio

The biggest change you will see is the new design for GradeMark, which also gets a new name, Feedback Studio. None of the current grading and feedback functionality will be changed or lost. There will only be small additions to the system, for example very simple formatting for text comments is introduced. Full guidance on the new design is available at the VITAL help for staff module here.

To have an introductory look at the new design, visit this interactive demo page. If you have used the GradeMark iPad app then you will already be familiar with this new design.

This video demonstrates the differences between the current GradeMark and the new design of Feedback Studio.

 

2. VITAL new features
This summer release sees some small but significant improvements to the main Blackboard system, many of which are relevant to electronic submission and grading.

A. Drag and drop file uploads. The Create Item tool now lets you drag and drop a file or multiple files to upload them to a content area. You’ll also be able to upload file attachments in this way to the Web Link tool and the Assignment tool. Students will be able to drag and drop to the Blackboard Assignment tool when submitting their file(s). Where you see this dotted line box you will be able to drag and drop a file or files for upload. 

B. Easier to email non-submitters for Blackboard Assignments. A new option for Blackboard Assignments, Tests and Self and Peer Assessments, with one click you can send a system-generated, generic reminder text to students who have not submitted, rather than selecting individual students to contact. Particularly useful for anonymised assignments where you cannot select students individually in the Grade Centre to email.

C. Needs Grading area improvement. If you use this feature, and have assignments which allow multiple submission attempts by your students, you will now only be shown the work you have specified (e.g. last attempt). This is a big improvement again for anonymised assignments to avoid marking multiple, similar submissions from one student.

D. Course Activity reports by groups. New in the Course Reports usage statistics area of the module, the report Course Activity Overview (which summarises all activity across the module for students) includes a filter which lets you select a report for a group or groups rather than all students.

E. Submit button is now always visible. Instead of chasing up and down the screen to find the button it will always be available at the bottom of your current view of the page when editing.

F. The VITAL default menu template now includes the Reading Lists @ Liverpool link automatically. If you do not use this tool you can hide it from your menu.

And a farewell to…

The old Chat and Virtual Classroom tools have finally been discontinued and are no longer available in VITAL.

4. Any problems you can tell me about now?

There is a regularly-updated Known Issues page here which also covers Turnitin and Campus Pack problems.

If you encounter a problem with VITAL which is not listed on the Known Issues page please do report this to the CSD ServiceDesk.

5. Where can I get some more help, training or online resources for VITAL?

VITAL help module.  Everyone is enrolled on the VITAL help for staff module which details how to meet the Baseline standard. If you come on one of our workshops you will also be enrolled on our workshop resources module which contains further guides, examples, case studies, research and more.

Guides. This A-Z guides page has functional help on setting up and using the toolset in VITAL. If you don’t see the guide you need just ask us and we’ll find something for you!

Workshops. We have some introductory workshops to limber people up for the new academic year (book here).

  • VITAL Essentials – a short, practical, beginner’s guide to VITAL (21st September and 27th September)
  • An introduction to Feedback Studio – Grademark upgrade workshop (19th and 26th September)
  • An introduction to Technology Enhanced Learning – a broader overview of  learning technologies at the University and planning to use these in your learning and teaching (25th October)

Watch out for other term-time offerings and the January 2018 Winter School (Mon 8th – Fri 12th).

Email and ‘phone support. Contact us for advice and help. We will also be running a bookable Studio Wednesday drop-in once we move back into our building in late October.

Is there anyone else out there I can talk to?

As well as the eLearning Unit and CSD Servicedesk (who will deal with all student queries and all technical problems like enrolments, error messages and so on) if you want help with the Reading Lists @ Liverpool tool or digital copyright then please contact your liaison librarian. There is also a University mailing list for people interested in learning technology where you can ask questions and get updates on what is happening with learning technologies around the institution; get in touch with the eLearning Unit if you want to join the e-learn.net. We also meet face-to-face at least once a term.

Dan

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Blackboard or Turnitin – our EMA decision-making flowchart

The team are fresh back from the now-legendary 2017 ALT conference, and bursting to share and connect with this  fantastic community. One of the things presented by Alex, Tünde and Dan which caught people’s eye during our session on the sometimes arduous road to EMA was Tünde’s ‘Blackboard or Turnitin’ decision flow chart.

It was designed to help staff decide what were the most important factors when they first come to choose whether BB or Tii is the best fit for their context. Behind it is the usual mountain of documentation, guides, caveats, sub-clauses and subtleties, but we had a think about what were the most-often asked questions from our staff and the priority they gave different requirements and used this to help map an easier route through the terrain.

As it looked useful to a few people, we’ve tidied it up, and given it a CC licence so please feel free to grab it from here and try it out with your own colleagues. If you want to know any more about our approach to guiding staff through the BB and Tii tangle then please do get in touch.

Creative Commons LicenseBlackboard or Turnitin Assignment by Centre for Innovation in Education, University of Liverpool is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

You can also catch up with our slides from the session here.

Something else that caught people’s attention, quite literally, was our percussion department for bringing the breakout discussion parts of our workshop presentations to order. ALT delegates are incredibly eager to get stuck in to a good conversation about any aspect of learning technologies, so you definitely need some serious help on your side as a presenter if you want to get a word in again! Here’s our kit, level 1 – the bell, level 2 – the castanets, and level 3 – our last resort – the slide whistle. We went all the way to level 3.

Alex, Tünde and Dan

Solstice Conference at Edge Hill University – Day Two

I attended the second day of the Solstice Teaching and Learning Conference at Edge Hill University. I’m not sure why I haven’t been to this conference for a number of years, I guess sometimes you overlook things because they are on your own doorstep. I’ll make sure I don’t make that mistake again. The topics discussed on this day admirably represented the current state of play in educational technologies, academic development, as well as the condition and purpose of the “University” at this tumultuous time. The notions of openness and space recurred throughout the day’s presentations. Beginning with Dr John Cater, Vice Chancellor at Edge Hill, addressing the audience with – as he described – his musings on the possible changes to the trajectory of Higher Education after the general election, it was great to see him pull up a table (no lectern or chair) and begin to share and respond to views about the responses around TEF and why we are at this point. He also did a little bit of future-gazing, sharing his ideas about the possible impact that a likely Conservative win would have on the Higher Education sector in general. This was an absorbing, passionate and inspiring talk and one I suspect doesn’t happen in other teaching and learning conferences around the country. Great start to the day.

The theme of openness continued with Prof Keith Smyth’s presentation on the ideas and approaches around the Porous (or leaky) University. Many will be familiar with his previous work and approaches to open practice via the 3E Framework and the Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice. The ideas around this talk weren’t unfamiliar to me. I’d been made aware of them through colleagues Mark Johnston and Sheila McNeil sharing their thoughts on Twitter. As I understand it, the Porous University is an exploration of openness and place – in particular third spaces as described in Ray Oldenburg’s The Great Good Place, the idea being that large amounts of learning can and does (and should?) take place in other spaces beyond the traditional classroom environment. With the increasing commercialisation of Higher Education in the UK, these ideas tend to be in tension with view of universities as a civic good and education as a mission, rather than a marketplace.  Keith went on to share a range of examples from across the country which look at alternative models of higher education as well as challenging the ideas of the current curriculum. What I found valuable about this work was the focus on connecting the University to local communities and other discrete groups in ways that would impact positively on both, becoming valuable to people in the activities it pursues and not just the revenue it generates.

The use of institutional tools came under scrutiny as being potential barriers for collaboration across modules, groups, interests and countries, suggesting that social media spaces are in a better position to encourage sharing and openness, while traditional VLE spaces are bound by transactional delivery of information. This theme was also picked up by Simon Thomson Head of Digital Pedagogy at Leeds Beckett University with his presentation “Disrupting the ownership model of educational technology”.

He has recently begun a project, supported by JISC, which pushes the idea that our digital spaces can be provided by the institution but the ownership, control and the data ultimately resides with the student. Working with his current VLE provider Blackboard, he is exploring ways to allow students to share from their social spaces into the VLE.  Taking IFTTT as his model, where you use existing parts of the web to plug into and connect services and profiles to be able function more effectively.  They are currently testing a product called Pulse which I’ll be keeping an eye (and finger! Boom boom!) on.

With a greater shift into digital spaces, there appears to be an increased level of questioning directed at educational technology providers. I’m sensing that people are no longer willing simply to accept what is presented to them, and adapt. Rather, interrogation of fitness for purpose appears to be becoming the new normal. Perhaps this is not too surprising when you consider that a number of universities in the UK are reviewing their digital spaces by undergoing or planning a VLE review. Continuing this theme was a presentation from Claire Moscrop entitled “Digital Accessibility in Higher Education: a Model for Improvement”. Set against the backdrop of changes to DSA support the talk highlighted a growing number of students that would need further support in the coming year. This context provided the basis of their research study looking into ways to provide guidance to create accessible content for adding to the VLE that would benefit all students.

It was not just the digital space that was being considered, the physical was also under discussion.  Federica Oradnini (University of Westminster) and Prof Peter Hartley (standing in for Prof Gunter Saunders) shared the substantial work being undertaken at Westminster to update and change a large number teaching rooms into effective learning spaces. The presentation highlighted a range of examples across the Higher Education landscape citing examples by Northampton, Leeds and Nottingham Trent Universities.

This project saw investment of £10 million over five years that would develop 260 standard teaching spaces at the institution. They are now in year three of the project and will have completed 100 rooms by the end of the summer. They presented pictures of the 5 different room types that emerged from discussions with staff. I would have liked to have spent a little more time in the session discussing these as a group as it seemed some of the choices were more geared to interactivity than others. Westminster had already adopted a number of in-class engagement tools to make the best use of these spaces including Poll Everywhere, Reflector and Padlet.  To help academic staff make the best of these new spaces Federica and her team created an online module to share good practice and ideas from within the institution.  The early stage feedback from staff and students who had used the room was positive but will be interesting to revisit in a year or two. Peter wrapped up with some considerations about the conditions and good practice needed to develop spaces like these. Key in this appears to be implementation “based on pedagogy not just capacity or efficiency”.

All in all this was a stimulating event with a great mix of workshops and presentations covering many of the key considerations of teaching and assessment in higher education at this current time. They also have ducks wandering around their campus. What more could you ask for? See you at Solstice 2018.

Alex

Summer School 2017 – June 7th – 16th

SummerSchool2017

We’re delighted with the line-up of sessions the team has put together for this year’s Technology Enhanced Learning Summer School. As well as our regular introductory sessions we’ll be looking at classroom polling technologies, getting started with Twitter for HE, tools and tips for visual presentations in lectures, introducing you to the new version of PebblePad, and our Multimedia Network will be meeting. It’s the final hurrah for our series of workshops on Turnitin and Blackboard Assignments which support the University’s policy on electronic submission so book in quick if you want to attend one of these (but don’t panic, these will return in revised guises next academic year).

The complete schedule follows below. This year, for bookings please email eddev @ liv.ac.uk if there are any sessions you want to attend. Full descriptions for each session are available on the CLL booking page here. You can also book from this page, but please bear in mind that this year bookings are being managed by email, so clicking the ‘book here’ link generates an email with the subject filled in with the workshop you want to attend.

2017 Summer School Schedule

Wednesday 7th June (13:00 – 15:00) – VITAL Essentials – Entry-level practical session on using VITAL also covering the VITAL Baseline, copyright and accessibility.

Wednesday 7th June (13:30 – 16:00) – An introduction to technology-enhanced learning. Looks at the technologies we have available centrally at Liverpool, their applications for learning and teaching, and highlights policy, strategy and guidelines relating to TEL. Reflect on your digital capabilities and that of your students within the context of your own discipline.

Monday 12th June (13:30 – 15:30) – Engaging Learners visually in lectures – tools, tips and tricks. Examining principles of communication and good design for the presentation materials we use in lectures. We will explore sharing approaches and tools that allow you to make engaging slides in PowerPoint, access Creative Commons images, and present data in appealing and engaging ways.

Tuesday 13th June (10:00 – 12:00) –  Multimedia Network – Production of Video in HE. NB This is not a training session. This is a usergroup network meeting and discussion on the use of video in education. See note below about contact details for joining this session.

Tuesday 13th June (13:30 – 15:30) – VITAL online tests – an introduction. We introduce the tool through the whole life cycle of running online tests via VITAL. The session will include practical experience of creating and managing tests and analysing test results, as well as taking a test from the student’s point of view.

Wednesday 14th June (10:00 – 12:00) – PebblePad – an introduction. Pebblepad is the University’s online system for a range of activities such as portfolios and student placements. This summer Pebblepad will be getting upgraded to Version 5 which will update the look and feel, become mobile friendly and have increased functionality. This session will introduce users to the new features and identify different ways the system can be used.

Wednesday 14th June (12:00 – 14:00) – The Turnitin Assignment tool for e-submission (part 1) and GradeMark for feedback (part 2). A practical session looking at how you set up and manage coursework submissions through the Turnitin Assignment tool (part 1) and how you can offer feedback electronically (part 2) using GradeMark. Stay for either or both parts of this session.

Wednesday 14th June (14:30 – 16:30) – The Blackboard Assignment tool for e-submission (part 1) and feedback (part 2). A practical session looking at how you set up and manage coursework submissions through the Blackboard Assignment tool (part 1) and how you can offer feedback electronically (part 2) using Inline Grader. Stay for either or both parts of this session.

Thursday 15th June (10:00 – 12:00) – Classroom Polling Technologies. A look at some of the classroom polling systems widely available and their applications. NB this session will use technologies and software which are currently not available centrally through CSD, but you will be shown low cost or free (but limited) systems which you can use in your teaching.

Thursday 15th June (13:30 – 15:30) – Wikis and blogs in VITAL. This practical workshop introduces using the VITAL wiki and blog tools. We will look at some case studies of the use of these tools for learning and teaching, as well as their built-in assessment and tracking facilities. 

Friday 16th June (10:00 – 12:00) – An introduction to Twitter in Higher Education. This session will provide an overview of the tool, demonstrate examples of how it is used in teaching to support learning, event hashtags and sharing of information.

Friday 16th June (13:30 – 15:30) – Stream Capture for screencasting, lecture capture and podcasting. Key concepts, practical considerations, examples and case studies, and how Stream Capture can be used in these contexts.

All of the workshops are listed on our booking site linked to here.

The main pre-requisite for the summer school sessions (apart from the introductory workshops) is that you are familiar with VITAL and using its main facilities, but please contact us if you want to discuss the suitability of any of the sessions. You are welcome to book on as many sessions as you wish, although we would ask that if you find yourself unable to attend to unenrol as soon as possible.

Please also remember that we are able to run tailored workshops for schools and departments (with a minimum of five attendees). Get in touch with the eLearning Unit to discuss this option.

Dan

Multimedia Network – Production of Video in HE – Usergroup meeting

This network and discussion on the use of video in education is aimed at staff working on all scales within the University, who either have direct involvement in Multimedia creation or have access to a team that create educational resources. We will look at a series of video resources, considering them in the context of the institution’s goals, before looking at what ‘free’ editing software exists on the internet to help achieve quality products that aid learning. Before this meeting you are asked to fill out a ‘pre session’ idea map that will help generate discussion for the start of the session.

If you’re keen to work together with a small group to improve the multimedia output of the institution then this Network group could be for you. We will have more meetings coming up. Feel free to email phil walker (pwalker1 @ liv. ac .uk)  for more details.

Report – Social media round table May 2017

When King Arthur sat with his knights in Camelot around his round table, would technology have impacted on the stories that make up his legend?

Round table meetings being arranged on What’s App, pulling Excalibur out of the stone captured on Periscope, the Holy Grail quest having a hashtag on Twitter and Arthur’s relationship status with Guinevere being updated on Facebook.

These were the strange images I was conjuring up when I was invited to the first Social Media round table, hosted by my eLearning Unit colleague Alex Spiers. Having worked alongside him, absorbing his knowledge and enthusiasm for mobile technology within higher education, he was a worthy Arthur to lead this session. My role felt like Arthur’s follower in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, running alongside and banging two coconuts together.

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Our Camelot was the Central Teaching Hub and our round table was a series of them in the GFlex. The worthy knights appearing for this summit came from a variety of backgrounds in the University.

The Library was well represented, digital leads from communication teams, teaching staff, PhD students, Education developers, study abroad, marketing and alumni staff.
This was all found out by our introductory task of going round the table and introducing ourselves to the group, with a description of why we were there. My own use of social media has been driven by my professional work.

I’ve never been a user of Facebook, but do use Twitter to keep connected to news and colleagues in eLearning and higher education. I also use LinkedIn to keep connected with people I’ve worked with in my career.

The reason I attended was to see how people were using social media in their own teaching, how it affects their own professional lives and to see if anyone was carrying anything new that I wasn’t aware of.

My reasons were echoed by everyone in the room and it seemed Twitter was the preferred tool of everyone when using social media. Hashtag for the day was #LIVUNISOCIAL, which helped keep us all connected in the virtual world of Twitter. We were all well fed with a selection of Tunnocks biscuits provided by Alex and Joanna from Education Development.

2017-05-05 10_25_55-#LIVUNISOCIAL - Twitter Search
Alex presented the group with a nice exercise of using our mobile devices in using Slido, which required us to login to a website, input a unique code and start using our mobile devices as a clicker and answering questions on our social media usage.

With Alex leading the pace and topics of discussion, it emerged that many people were using social media for communication, in particular targeting students. Whether it’s the whole student body, a group such as a class, or even potential new students – people put a lot of thought and effort into communicating.

2017-05-05 10_27_11-#LIVUNISOCIAL - Twitter Search.png
Twitter was the highest percentage from the Slido poll, followed by Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and LinkedIn. I was shocked that there were no users of Periscope, considering the high percentage of Twitter users, that nobody had used the video streaming app which complements Twitter.

slido pool types of sm
But that’s the point of this session, in time we will probably identify or see the opportunity a technology like Periscope can be used in higher education. The same can be said about other emerging apps like SnapChat and will be interesting to see in the future if these apps are used more widely.

For this session, the discussion revolved around mainly Twitter, how people were in control of departmental accounts and evaluating the pros and cons of communicating this way. Staff were sharing a department account under one name, yet to their audience the students see it as one unified voice, which was interesting to see how it was maintained.

The famous ‘laminated tweets’ provided by the library were fun to read and analyse too.  Some users used Canva to design their tweets which I hadn’t come across before and instantly bookmarked.

2017-05-05 10_27_27-#LIVUNISOCIAL - Twitter Search
Voices from marketing and communication raised interesting concerns about associating social media accounts to the university and what staff should be aware of publishing. In general, people were focussing on the fears of how they are perceived on social media, mainly by how students view them.

The emergence of new apps such as SnapChat was an interesting discussion. A member of the library suggested that as they were not a user of SnapChat, the use of it and language can come across as forced to the audience which were students.

With further sessions planned later in the year, attendees will be invited to hear people present case studies and their own experiences in using social media. But for this session, I enjoyed the open discussion of people sharing stories, ideas and networking.

It was opened up to the group of what they would like to cover in the future, again we used Slido to comment and then it was displayed to the group.  Common themes were understanding institution policy, how to implement social media in teaching practice, how to generate consistent content and how to share good practice.

I did feel the session met my needs, I made some good connections across the university and gained a better understanding of how colleagues were using social media in their own working lives. It was fun afterwards to check out the #LIVUNISOCIAL on Twitter afterwards to see how others felt the session went.

I’m looking forward to the future social media round table session and investing sometime in the emerging social media apps our future students will be using. Hopefully I can see my role change from coconut banger to possibly Galahad.

Ben McGrae

Twitter Moment

Slides

Social Media Roundtable #LIVUNISOCIAL

#LIVUNISOCIAL presentation slide

Social media in education expert Eric Stoller has suggested that “from student recruitment to alumni relations, social media has a place at every step of the student journey” https://www.jisc.ac.uk/news/why-educators-need-social-media-07-jul-2015  

We couldn’t agree more. At the University we have some fantastic examples of using social media which need to be disseminated more widely across the campus. So following a chat on Twitter (see below), staff from the e Learning Unit in the Centre for Innovation in Education (CIE) and colleagues in the Central Teaching Lab (CTL)  decided to set up a social media meeting together. The meeting will take place on Tuesday 2nd May 3pm – 5pm. For more details and to register contact eddev@liverpool.ac.uk 

I should also mention that this idea and name was inspired by the excellent work going on at my alma mater: University of Glasgow.

This inaugural round table event is aimed at University of Liverpool staff using social media to support and enhance the student journey. We’ll bring together examples of good practice and also explore new ways these tools can be used. Bring an open mind and a creative approach.

If you would like to book a place contact eddev@liverpool.ac.uk

Places are limited. There will be cakes.

Follow online #LIVUNISOCIAL.

Telling Stories: ULMS Social Media and External Engagement workshop

Social Media 01

Supriya Garikapti attended one of the eLearning Unit’s CPD sessions on the Use of Twitter in Higher Education. She contacted me soon after and asked if I’d like to share some of my work at an upcoming Social Media and External Engagement impact workshop in the Management School. I was only too happy to oblige. You can view my presentation here which is entitled Twitter Top Tips.

The basis for the workshop was to share a wide range of good practice from colleagues across the school. A great deal of work is already underway regarding maintaining the excellent standing of the school in the upcoming REF assessment in 2021. It is with the knowledge that Lord Nicholas Sterns’s recent recommendations look likely to guide the shape of the next assessment exercise that I’ve highlighted the three impact recommendations below:

Recommendation 5: Institutions should be given more flexibility to showcase their interdisciplinary and collaborative impacts by submitting ‘institutional’ level impact case studies, part of a new institutional level assessment.

Recommendation 6: Impact must be based on research of demonstrable quality. However, case studies could be linked to a research activity and a body of work as well as to a broad range of research outputs.

Recommendation 7: Guidance on the REF should make it clear that impact case studies should not be narrowly interpreted, need not solely focus on socio-economic impacts but should also include impact on government policy, on public engagement and understanding, on cultural life, on academic impacts outside the field, and impacts on teaching.

There is increasing evidence of the value of blogging about your work and sharing it to wider audience via social media channels such as Twitter. There are also plenty of handy tips to get you started and help you effectively promote your work. The eLearning Unit regularly run sessions on social media such as An Introduction to Twitter and Getting more out of Twitter. Get in touch with the eLearning Unit in the Centre for Innovation in Education to find out more. Right, that’s enough advertising!

HSS Press Officer Matt Hurst kindly didn’t speak to a PowerPoint presentation which allowed my #LIVUNISOCIAL event advert to gain maximum exposure! (I promise that’s the last advert!)

#LIVUNISOCIAL presentation slide

Matt informed the audience about the role of the Press Office in supporting staff to make the most of their press contacts, brokering relationships with major media outlets, providing media training for academic staff, as well as providing useful advice if things go wrong on social media. In the context of the events theme, visibility on news, radio and television is considered a pathway to impact and may be looked on favourably in the REF submission. To that end, they are in the process of setting up a state of the art broadcast suite in partnership with Globelynx.

Following on from this was Paul Sapple, Public Engagement With Research manager for the University. He impressed upon the gathered attendees the importance of impact and the support he provides in helping staff along that pathway.  He shared with us some of Supriya’s recent research its impact. The case study focused on empowering young girls in India to understand and manage their fertility.

Jennifer Johns shared her experiences of writing about Brexit for the online publication the The Conversation. For those unfamiliar with the name, it is an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and is publicly accessible online. Contributions from the University of Liverpool are high with over 130 academics and researchers. Publishing in this way opened up opportunities to further increase impact as it led to work on BBC radio and Slovak TV. The article was widely shared across blogs and Twitter and while this was a pleasing when looking at the analytics (1700 views), she stated that once published here it’s no longer in your hands. The drawback to wiring a piece on a contentious topic is the comments she received on the site. Comments on websites sometimes bring out the keyboard warriors and trolls who are only in it for the “lulz”.

My knowledge of the intricacies of the tariffs applied to the sale of alcohol in Canada increased tenfold after hearing about the internationally recognised work of Andrew Smith. He didn’t seem to need to use social media for impact, as his work was widely reported in the Canadian press as part of a major legal case. However, he continued to help keep the story alive on his regularly updated blog https://pastspeaks.com/

As the audience dwindled due teaching commitments, many people will have missed  what was certainly my favourite presentation of the afternoon. Nick Papageorgiadis shared how he used the openness and immediacy of Twitter to promote the research in his subject area: research on national Intellectual Property (IP).  He developed a new index that measures the strength of patent systems of 49 countries, annually, for the years 1998-2015. The index was published at the Journal of World Business and the scores and latest updates of the index are available on this website. His approach to using Twitter was very focused. He identified a clear audience for his work, only posted and responded to questions on his research and when retweeting the work of others, he always posted a short comment about the article. In particular, certain retweets of his work have driven traffic to his patent systems website, significantly so in Australia and Finland where his work has informed governmental reports. Summing up he suggested there are many pro’s to using Twitter. It’s very useful to share the work you have done and if used alongside a website, you can easily track the impact of your tweets. Having it all online aids the evidence collection process. According to Nick, there is a price to pay for working in this way. He states that it took some time to get started and maintain a presence on Twitter, and that the workload allocation model does not distinguish this activity as teaching or scholarship. This begs the question when will we get to a stage where our work activity on Social Media is recognised and supported?

Alex