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.

C7gw-A1WsAAt5UJ

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

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Old and New: Highlights from the Durham Blackboard Users Conference 2017 #DURBBU

Total Architecture

As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m no stranger to the Durham Blackboard Users Conference (now in its 17th year!) having attended and presented on number of occasions. However, this was my first visit in my new role at University of Liverpool and also the first visit to the new location at the Durham Business School. Very impressive venue located a little further out of town but close to the excellent Oriental Museum.  The conference began with a warm welcome from the new VC Professor Stuart Corbridge. Then we were back on familiar ground with Malcolm Murray introducing us to the conference theme (Better Assessment & Feedback) and using the Lego figures to settle us into a great couple of days.

The Keynote was delivered by Dr Susie J Schofield from the University of Dundee. Translating evidence-based principles to improved feedback practices” using the “interACT” study she co-authored. The main focus of the presentation was a review of the literature on a range of feedback models and principles (Gibbs, Nicol, Carless, Barton) and draw out some commonality. She shared the view that students can avoid bad teaching but they cannot avoid bad assessment. Stating how a shared understanding of assessment criteria is crucial to student success. I wonder how often there is the time and space in the curriculum to allow students to get a real grasp of this.  Sounds like a good opportunity for students to get involved and co-create their own assessments and criteria.

Wayne Britcliffe presented us with a useful overview of the breadth of tools being used at the University of York, to support assessment and feedback. Many of which are familiar to Blackboard users, although it was interesting to hear that they are a Google University He also shared some useful tips in and a few ‘gotchas’ This was a thought provoking and refreshing topic as it sums up the learning technologist experience at the moment. We are all dealing with similar issues and complexities of electronic assessment. This has certainly been the case for me. A deeper understanding of electronic submission and e-marking approaches have been at the centre of my working practice particularly as these methods gain wider adoption within institutions.

Patrick Viney from University of Northumbria presented a novel approach to using PebblePad V5. Not as an ePortfolio but to manage the dissertation proposal process for over 800 undergraduate students. A common problem to many institutions. The process was based on the workbook functionality in Pebblepad. This allowed students to submit proposals electronically and and select keywords to identify the topic and allow it to matched to an appropriate supervisor.  The effect of this change resulted in a speedier matching of supervisors to students. Reducing time taken from 2 weeks to 1 day! As well as time saving befits, this approach is paper free and auditable. Non submitters can easily be identified and contacted. I’m sure this process could be adapted to support a range of subjects at our insitution, and perhaps lead to greater adoption of the system.  Kudos to Partick for going live into the Pebblepad to demonstrate it. Always valuable to see it live if possible.
I’ve always been a big fan of screen-capture and I use screencast-o-matic a lot these days, since Screenr passed away a few years ago. I’m also very interested in visual learning, so I was keen to hear how University of Reading Lecturer, Emma Mayhew, used this technology to enhance student assessment.  Using Camtasia she developed a range of study support videos which quickly gained popularity, so she ended up creating more and using other tools such as Powtoon to get the message across.  Then applied this to her feedback on assessment. The video feedback reminded me of the useful qualities of audio feedback. Students get more feedback – quantity and detail, but also feed-forward suggestions about what can be done better next time. Staff demonstrate empathy and encouragement more clearly, but also visually identify issues where the student needs help. The process is necessarily efficient for the lecturer but is overwhelmingly receives positive responses from the students. An excellent presentation from an enthusiastic academic making positive changes.

Finally,  it has always been a bit of a tradition for Blackboard to share new advances in their technology at Durham. Nicholas Matthij was excited to share the work he’s been doing on a new product called Ally. This is another Blackboard acquisition and looks to be platform agnostic. The functionality that Ally provides is to make  course content within the VLE more accessible. The tool guides academic staff on how they can make their content more accessible and offers alternatives while keeping the original files. Clever eh? In addition it also has an interesting analytics dashboard that could make it easier for staff to recogise popular content and patterns of use. Developed in part as a response to the changes in legal requirements,  Blackboard will make this service available in Q2 2017. Sadly this will not be appearing in the product as standard but can be purchased separately.

Anyone that is using Blackboard or its associated products would be well served in attending this conference. I know I always have been. Its not just because I keep winning prizes (iPad mini in 2012, £50 amazon voucher this year), although that helps! The community is the crucial element of the conference. Enthusiastic people presenting, sharing and openly talking about issues they care about to help change and make things better. Now that sentiment never gets old.

Other blog posts
 Alex

Winter School 2017 – Week 2 Workshops – 16th – 20th January

The Winter School began today with a great session on engaging students visually in lectures with loads of ideas for presentation materials. There are a number of other sessions in the first week , which you can read about here and still book the last few places here.

This year we are also running a second week of sessions (Monday 16th to Friday 20th January) looking at technologies for learning and teaching beyond VITAL and a number of which are designed to tie-in with the online Bring Your Own Device for Learning 2017 events. All sessions listed below and bookable at: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/cll/booking/

  • Monday 16th Jan – An introduction to Twitter (2 – 4pm)
  • Tuesday 17th Jan – GoMobile user group meeting (1 – 3pm)
  • Wednesday 18th Jan – e-submission and e-marking workshops
    • An Introduction To Electronic Submission Of Coursework (9:30 – 11am)
    • The Turnitin Assignment Tool For e-submission (Part 1) And GradeMark For Feedback (Part 2) (12 – 2pm)
    • The Blackboard Assignment Tool For e-submission (Part 1) And Feedback (Part 2) (2:30 – 4pm)
  • Thursday 19th Jan – Student as co-creators (11am – 1pm)
  • Friday 20th Jan – Advanced Twitter (2 – 4pm)

Finally, after these two weeks are a couple of events which might interest you.

  • Wednesday 25th Jan – Building good VITAL modules – a practical session looking at ways of building on the VITAL Baseline to create well-designed modules.
  • Thursday 26th Jan – eLearning Network meeting. In this meeting we will be getting a first look at the new Turnitin Feedback Studio.

All sessions bookable at: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/cll/booking/

winter-school

Turnitin GradeMark on your iPad…

…and hurrah! it includes a facility for working offline.

This summer the iPad app for Turnitin GradeMark was generally released after a long period of Beta-testing and a lot of anticipation.

Available free from iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/turnitin/id657602524) this app will let you carry out all of the grading and feedback functions you are used to with GradeMark.

Before you can use the app you will need to make a settings change which is detailed in this FAQ from our VITAL Self Service tool (click the link). The FAQ also explains how you create a class code so that you can link from the VITAL module containing the assignments to the iPad app.

We’d be very interested in hearing any reports from staff trying this app out so please do get in touch with the eLearning Unit to discuss your experiences.

Augmented Reality

Imagine hovering your smartphone camera display over a poster on a wall and seeing a video appear on screen related to the content of the poster. Augmented reality (AR) works in this way. See the video below for an example. It merges content created virtually (videos, images, animations, graphics) with real world environments. This virtual content is layered over a real-life object, whether that is a picture, a person or even a building, the options are endless. Viewed through the camera display on a smartphone or tablet device, these AR ‘overlays’ can be triggered by a GPS location, a sound, or through the recognition of an image (usually a photograph, graphical display, painting or poster). This is dependent on the application used but if content is synchronised, using an AR app, then content can ‘overlay’ information, for example, onto a famous landmark, or help someone to navigate around an a city area.

Newspapers, magazines and advertising agencies have already made use of AR. I’ve seen one app used to animate logos and text displays in the headlines of newspapers. It is fun seeing an advertisement in a newspaper come to life as an animation, however, this use of AR appears, in my opinion, rather gimmicky and the ‘fun’ effect was one that quickly waned. In terms of using two forms of media together, I think that comes down to preference. Certainly in my own experience I’m unlikely to use my phone or tablet for AR purposes whilst simultaneously reading a newspaper. AR in the context of entertainment will inevitably face practical questions as to why audiences should use AR in conjunction with other firmly established forms of media. Will the technological development of AR echo the anticipated rise and now more recent fall of the 3D TV? I do believe AR has a place that, once identified, will integrate it into certain elements of everyday practice. My hope is that this practice includes education and the interactivity found in learning environments.

AR in Education

It’s hard to know where to start when choosing an app to work with AR. A brief search through the Google Play and online App stores reveals an explosion of AR apps all focusing on different types augmented experiences. This ranges from live virtual views of someone’s location, using map software, to producing music using a hand-drawn piano layout.

After trying a lot of different AR apps, I came across Aurasma. Aurasma is a smart device app that was demonstrated by Judy Bloxham at the e-Assessment Association hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University in November 2012. Judy’s involvement in an AR project, supported by JISC and their RSC Northwest Network, is powered by Aurasma and has utilised AR for the purposes of enhancing educational content. The project compiled a series of posters that aided formative assessment and became interactive when students used the Aurasma app alongside them. This helped students to engage in a reflective thinking process drawing upon some of the key principles they had covered in their learning of the subject. Using AR and interactive content like this can also provide an ideal entry point for a learning activity to begin – with options to break down content into a series of options that students can choose to follow.

A good example is outlined in the poster below (provided by Judy Bloxham), allowing the user has to use Aurasma to interact with a series of buttons and videos to see which is the correct shelf for storing raw meat in the fridge.

fridge[Link to the original website for this poster:  http://tinyurl.com/dxhnbhm]

You can use Aurasma’s image recognition tool and see how this poster can trigger interactive learning content. This can be tested on a computer screen or using a printed version of one of the posters linked below. There are two ways to do this depending on the smart device that you are using. Some instructions are outlined below.

Android devices:

1. Visit the Google Play store to search and download Aurasma
2. Open Aurasma and press the ‘A’  icon at the bottom of the screen
3. This takes you to the Explore section. Press the magnifying glass at the bottom of the screen to go to the Search page.
4. Type in RSC Northwest to find the RSC Northwest Channel. Click the image and then click the ‘Following’ button on the next screen.
5. Now press the bracket icon [ ] on the bottom line to return to the camera view. Then view over one of the posters below.

Apple devices:

1. You can download Aurasma in the same way as above (for the Android devices) and follow the options to connect to the RSC Northwest channel.
2. Alternatively, search RSC Northwest in the App Store and install it to your Apple device.
3. Use the camera view and hover one of the posters below. Make sure the whole of the poster is displayed on your smart device.

hazards-v2.1

[Link to the original website for this poster:  http://tinyurl.com/dxhnbhm]

hearing

[Link to the original website for this poster:  http://tinyurl.com/dxhnbhm]

These are examples of how an image can trigger an Aurasma ‘aura’. Open one of the PDF files to full screen and hover your smartphone device over the image. If the app has joined the channel correctly the image should trigger the interactive ‘aura’ content. Do let us know in the comment box below about your experiences using this app.

To read more about the use of AR used in education then visit the following sites below. These were recommended by Judy Bloxham, who I would like to thank on behalf of the eLearning Unit here at the University of Liverpool, for allowing us permission to make use of the above posters, demonstrating the use of Augmented Reality in education. Her work in raising awareness about the potential benefits of AR in education is ongoing and well worth following. Below are some further links related to the information above and to other AR projects, if you would like to delve further.

https://sites.google.com/a/jiscadvance.ac.uk/augmented-reality/home

Guardian Blog Post – http://www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education-network/blog/2013/feb/11/augmented-reality-teaching-tool-trend

Scarlet Project – http://teamscarlet.wordpress.com/

cARe Project http://blogs.city.ac.uk/care/

Living Learning: Plumbing from Kendal College https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/living-learning/id549156508?mt=8

written by Phil Walker

An Eye on the Future

Orthoptics LabThe eLearning Unit have been working closely with the Directorate of Orthoptics and Vision Science within the School of Health Sciences over the last few months.

The overall aim of the collaboration is to enhance the student experience within the department with the effective use of technology. We hope this will have an impact on attracting new students to the Orthoptics course and produce a more stimulating and innovative teaching experience for existing undergraduates.

During an Orthoptics post application visit day event in February pen drives were distributed which Touchscreen Computerscontained a variety of files and resources highlighting the enhanced learning experience offered at Liverpool. Prospective students will be able to view a video advert, an eye test flash animation, a recent range of photographs taken in the Orthoptics lab (some of the images displayed in this post) and a presentation which contains interviews with current students and alumni from the course.

The interactive animations currently being developed will allow students to practise and simulate the range of tests performed to detect a wide variety of eye defects and conditions. Some of the conditions can be quite rare so a student may never have an opportunity for the real life testing experience during placements. The animations will assist a student in refining their core skills and becoming familiar with rarer conditions.

The animations have been designed in consultation with Dr Anna O’Connor who eye animation demoapproached the eLearning Unit for support after seeing a range of oncological surgery animations produced for a postgraduate module. A test version of the Orthoptics animation is available here. The resource is still under development but this version should give an indication of the range of interaction and functionality aimed for.

Future plans include potential extra funding to support the production of more advanced animations, 3D eye modelling creation and a NHS bid to fund the purchase of a suite of tablets which will help to enhance undergraduate student placements.

The resources produced could become commercially viable as theeye website planned functionality would be unique in the HE sector. At the moment there are only a few resources publically available such as this website which simulates eye motion and demonstrates the effects of disabling one or more of the eyes muscles and one or more of the cranial nerves that control eye motion. However, resources like this only highlight a few elements of the eye movement disorders and do not completely reflect a true clinical picture. Any online resources produced at Liverpool would be a welcome addition to the current material available supporting academic staff and undergraduate students.

If you are interested in further details about these developments or if you would like to share an idea, request support or ask a related question please get in touch with the eLearning Unit at elearning@liv.ac.uk.

Ophthalmoscope Digital Letter Chart 9 times moving light_7 big eyes

(Photographs by Phil Walker)

Here are some further images captured by the eLearning Unit, in the Orthoptics lab on the Liverpool campus, which will be used as the background for future interactive animations.

Paul Duvall

eLearning Network Meeting 13th July 2011 – Apps for L&T

The last eLearning Network meeting of 2010/2011 took place on Wednesday 13th July and the focus of the meeting was on Apps for Learning and Teaching and mobile stuff in general! Yet again we were really pleased with how many people turned up and contributed to the session.

After a quick update on some e-learning activities (including the upgrade to VITAL on 18th July) we entered a lively discussion about the use of Mobile technologies at Liverpool and where it might go in the future.

Craig Goacher from CSD kindly brought along a few different mobile devices for people to  try. Thanks to Steve McKinnell too for bringing his iPad to demonstrate.

We looked at the Blackboard Mobile Learn app for VITAL on the iPad and discussed what it could and couldn’t do. We then turned out attention to other apps that may be useful for staff and students. Most of the apps on the list that follows have been tried by someone in the group and found to be useful – but please be aware, except for Blackboard Mobile Learn, none of these are “officially” recommended…

Examples of more apps can also be found at  Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.

Note taking:
Evernote
Simplenote

MS Office type:
Quickoffice

Pages
Keynote
Numbers
Mobile Office
Documents to Go

Reading:
Goodreader
Flipboard
Zite
iBooks

Mind maps/concept maps:
iThoughts
MindNode
MindMeister

Reference managers:
Papers
Mendeley

Accessing the University:
Citrix
Remote Desktop
Splashtop

Blogging:
WordPress

File storage:
iCloud
Dropbox

I’m certain I’ve missed some that we discussed so please feel free to add to/discuss this list via the comment facility below.

If you’re thinking about an Android mobile device, Peter Miller has looked into the Tabtech (manufacturer Eken) M009s 7″ resistive screen, Android 2.2: http://amzn.to/pFgdBS and kindly provided some details below…

Note that at this is very much a low-end machine compared to the iPad, i.e. significantly slower, but consideration may highlight some of the support issues associated with Android and help distinguish features that are essential as opposed to desirable, e.g. it lacks GPS, accelerometer, phone-asssociated functionality, ability to display direct to external monitor. Some common apps may not be available, e.g. if the hardware is absent. The resistive screen needs a firm press and does not support pinch-zoom gestures requiring multi-point touch. Supports 16 GB microSD card.

Connectivity
Wifi (not EduRoam as yet). Comes with 30pin-to-USB (x2) and -RJ45 connector for USB memory stick/keyboard/mouse, 3G dongle (some, not all), ethernet. Also direct link to USB port on PC. No display to external monitor.

Known to run (after ~12 days use of device!) — all at no additional cost, some as supplied with device, others as freeware, freemium or adware
— Google Docs and Reader (for RSS etc)
— Documents To Go (viewer for MS Office and PDF files; limited editing)
— Adobe Acrobat viewer
— eBooks: Kindle app; Aldiko app (for Calibre)
— YouTube

— Web browser with support for Flash, iPlayer; can run Xerte learning objects

— Evernote (not tested; required Market cache flush before it appeared as an option)
— AK Notepad (sync with Catch.com as lightweight Evernote equivalent; supports use of Share to pipe output between apps)
— PubMed Mobile
— Instapaper for archiving web pages for later reading (also Web Scrapbook)
— Seesmic (for Twitter)
— Bb Mobile Learn (attached files need to be saved and viewed separately; haven’t tried editing)
— Thinking Space (commercial Pro version supports Mindmeister API)
— AndTidWiki app for generating personal wiki
— Clipper clipboard manager
— ASTRO File Manager

— DropBox

— WApedia (Wikipedia)

— join.me app for screen sharing (http://join.me/ to get PC version)

There are no apps for MindMeister or Prezi as yet though you can view files after a fashion using the respective Flash-based web viewers. No app for Splashtop.

Thanks

Debbie