Category: Open Educational Resources

Designing learning: from module outline to effective teaching

I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat waiting for the new, updated Butcher, C., Davies, C., & Highton, M. (2019). Designing learning: from module outline to effective teaching ( 2nd edition). Routledge.

You’ve been waiting a long time. The last one was written in 2006. Writing with Chris and Clara has been just like old times.

You’ll be thinking loads has changed in the techniques of learning design and use of technology to support learning and teaching……

For most teachers the main technology to support teaching on campus is still the VLE, but in this edition I’ve managed to include up to date examples from lecture recording, maker spaces, OER, online reading lists, diversity in the curriculum, inclusive design and learning analytics.  Course leaders still need a really good grounding in learning design though, if their teaching is going to be successful. We have  a Learning Design Service at Edinburgh which is growing from strength to strength.

Bridging the gap between theory and practice, this fully updated new edition of Designing Learning offers accessible guidance to help those new to teaching in higher education to design and develop a course. With new considerations to the higher education context, this book uses current educational research to support staff in their endeavour to design and develop modules and degree courses of the highest quality.

Offering guidance on every stage, from planning to preparing materials and resources, with a focus on the promotion of learning, this book considers:

  • Course design models and shapes, and their impact on learning
  • How the external influences of learning and teaching are translated by different institutions
  • How to match the content of a course to its outcomes
  • Frameworks to enable communication between staff and students about expectations and standards
  • Taking into account the diverse student population when designing a course
  • The place of Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), communication tools and systems for monitoring students’ engagement
  • The importance of linking all aspects of the taught curriculum and wider co-/extra-curricular activities to support learning
  • Ways to evaluate and enhance a course and to develop oneself as a teaching professional in HE.

Providing advice, illustrative examples and case studies, Designing Learning is a comprehensive guide to designing a high-quality course. This book is a must-read for any academic looking to create or update their course or module.

 

open to movement

Next week I’ll be back in Madrid at the OOFHEC 2019 conference of open universities.

The OOFHEC2019 conference will focus on trends and high impact factors in the global and European higher education.

In a combination of plenary keynotes by key players in higher education at institutional and policy level and parallel presentations and workshops, OOFHEC2019 will cover latest developments under the following topics:

  • Blended and online education
  • Micro-credentials for continuous education and MOOCs
  • European university networks, internationalisation and virtual mobility
  • Learning bots
  • Equal opportunities and inclusion

It’ll be lovely to see so many European colleagues again. I’ll be keynoting about the progress we are making at Edinburgh in online and distance learning. There will be much talk of The European Commission’s eU.University hub for “online learning, blended/virtual mobility, virtual campuses and collaborative exchange of best practices” is now built by the OpenU consortium, led by Panthéon Sorbonne Paris1, in which University of Edinburgh is participating. This hub will connect European universities to facilitate ubiquitous access and free movement of students and learners. It will also empower European university networks for collaborative online education and virtual mobility.

They say:

Blended and online education is a main factor of innovation and change in European higher education, as is shown by the Changing Pedagogical Landscape studies. It creates new possibilities for teaching large groups of students and at the same time to intensify education in small learning communities. New learning formats support the mission of universities to link education, research and to enhance the quality of education. Innovation contributes as well to a balanced use of resources and cost-effectiveness if accompanied by organisational change and support.

(International) micro-credentials are already awarded to  programs worldwide (Micro-Masters, nano-degrees ) organised by universities and MOOC platforms.  Jointly with the growth of blended and online education, innovative modes for mobility are created as a complement to physical mobility enhancing the learning experience and opening new opportunities for intensive collaboration between universities.

The European Commission is supporting this innovation. In the Erasmus+ 2019 call, virtual mobility is defined as “a set of activities supported by Information and Communication Technologies, including e-learning, that realise or facilitate international, collaborative experiences in a context of teaching, training or learning”. Blended and virtual mobility is stimulated in many Erasmus+ actions, in particular in the “European universities” initiative, “strategic partnerships”, “knowledge alliances”, “sector skills” and “capacity building”.

Equal opportunities and inclusion in a diverse society are a continuous task in European society, especially with regard to gender, disadvantaged groups, migrants and refugees. This requires specific measures at all levels of education, last but not least in higher education. This is to be realized by specific organisational support for these groups, mobilizing expertise across the institution.Above all, this requires that equal opportunities and inclusion are considered as a core dimension in the design of courses by paying attention to enough flexibility and personalisation.

Open universities have a unique and long tradition in this, while they are also continuously innovating policies, organisational frameworks and teaching and learning in this respect.

what not to do with lecture recordings

lecture recording guidelines
Excellent guide by Emily Nordmann et al

At University of Edinburgh, now that we have near-comprehensive coverage of lecture recording facilities, we plan to give students across the University guidance on how to use recordings in their studies.

The excellent guide has been created by colleagues from other universities cited below.  I recommend it. It’s available for adaptation and we have added to the ‘Do Not’ section:  ‘Do not share, publish or sell recorded lectures outside the University of Edinburgh.’

 

Please cite these guides as Nordmann et al. (2018).Lecture capture: Practical recommendations for students and lecturers  Preprint: https://osf.io/esd2q/

Emily Nordmann1, Carolina E. Kuepper-Tetzel2, Louise Robson3, Stuart Phillipson4, Gabi Lipan5 and Peter McGeorge5
1 School of Psychology, University of Glasgow, 62 Hillhead Street, Glasgow, G12 8QB
2 Department of Psychology, Scrymgeour Building, University of Dundee, Dundee, DD1 4HN
3 Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN
4 IT Services, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL
5 School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3FX

Corresponding author:
Emily Nordmann
emily.nordmann@glasgow.ac.uk

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

leading institutions to change

I am delighted that we are able to host the Echo360 conference in Edinburgh next week.

I’ll be speaking at the conference about how important it is for leading institutions to change.

The implementation of lecture recording at University of Edinburgh was an innovative project to equip up to 400 teaching spaces and automate the recording of lectures at scale. The University has targeted an improved student digital experience by investing several million pounds in a state-of-the-art lecture recording system that has covered all the campus lecture rooms. Our approach is based on being widely flexible and enabling choices of formats and pedagogy.

The demand for lecture recording at University of Edinburgh was designed to in response to student feedback. The ability to watch lectures again as an aid to revision is immensely popular with our students already, video and audio recordings of lectures supplement the rich set of online resources that already exist to support learning.

The project was managed by a well co-ordinated team and delivered to a high quality specification, on time and in budget. The team demonstrated an outstanding commitment to delivering a high quality service for the institution. Over the last 12 months the team have successfully handled complex academic development, policy implementation and technical challenges with considerable skill and sensitivity. All throughout this time they retained a core focus on supporting an excellent student experience, championing accessibility and inclusive practices.  This work has opened up critical conversations that go beyond technology to discuss the value of lectures, the value of recordings and why we teach the way we teach and has been accompanied by evaluative research into the impact and value at institutional level.

The team has been particularly effective at incorporating research findings to continually improve the service and respond to the needs of users. As an organisation we learned a huge amount from the process: academic insight, student satisfaction, new research, communications strategies, technical know-how and a field-tested working model of how to complete a project of this size and ambition.

The Lecture Recording Project at Edinburgh University is one of the largest upgrades of AV technology in teaching rooms to take place in an educational institution anywhere in the world and it was done across an historical and rapidly expanding estate.  We now have the capability to record close to 100% of lecture activity within the institution. We   offer a consistent experience for all students and support our diverse student community. Many of our students have complex lives and are balancing study alongside caring responsibilities, or the need to work to fund their studies. Recordings of lectures can lessen anxiety about keeping on top of study, and provide a safety net when life circumstances prevail.

The team delivered transformational aspects of lecture recording by:

  • Supporting a programme of evaluation and engagement activities which has opened up critical conversations about the role of the lecture and why we teach the way we do.
  • Running a pro-active communications campaign around opting-out of lecture recording, to be sensitive to concerns raise by academic colleagues.
  • Working with course organisers and professional staff to develop highly usable scheduling software based on timetabling information, to automate the recording of lectures at scale.
  • Equipping 400 teaching spaces, including our innovative camera and recording solution for capturing chalkboards in Maths and Physics.
  • Improving the use of microphones in lecture theatres and increasing awareness of accessibility and inclusion issues.
  • Integrating the new lecture recording service with the University’s VLEs offering safe and secure access to recordings.
  • Training 40 student helpers across the campuses during the first week of teaching in each Semester to provide immediate advice on use of the recording equipment.
  • Offering comprehensive training programme to support academic colleagues to prepare teaching materials for lecture recording.
  • Delivering a system designed to be as user-friendly as possible and to have minimal impact on the presentation and delivery of lectures.

There are many proven benefits to making recordings of lectures available including supporting students for whom English is not a first language and ensuring that our face to face lectures are available in an alternative format for students who require it. Not having to take notes at speed allows students to focus more on what is being said and use valuable contact time to ask questions, knowing that notes can be reviewed and improved later.

This work at Edinburgh has had a wider impact across the sector, we have involved commercial partners, external advisors, learning technologists, academic developers AV specialists, trainers, researchers and staff and students from across all disciplines to deliver one of the most successful large scale roll-outs of learning technology across a large institution with a challenging physical estate.

2018/19 Academic Year: Recordings made/scheduled: 24,000, Student views (year to date): 528,000. Hours watched (year to date): 527,000

We gratefully acknowledge all the colleagues and practitioners in other institutions who have shared their practice with us. Much of our project has been built upon the lessons learned by others. We believe that by considering the widest possible range of technical, academic, policy, and social factors around lecture recording, we have achieved a model for lecture recording, and indeed other learning technology implementations that others could copy. A large part of our ethos has been to work as openly as we possibly can, sharing and reflecting on our practice. With that in mind we have tried to make as many of our guides, training materials, research, evaluation, processes and planning as possible available openly online for the benefit of the wider sector.

developing data skills for all

You’ll be aware that we have been running ‘Developing Your Data Skills’ Programme for staff and students at University of Edinburgh this year. The programme has been very successful and we have now had more than 100 learners complete. Since our staff live and work in Edinburgh and the region, I think this can be seen as part of the investment we are making in retraining and upskilling in data skills for the city. We have evaluated the programme and gathered feedback, so we will be able to report on the ISG KPIs.

We have designed the course to fit with participants’ busy working lives and thought specifically about how to attract mid-career learners to upskill in this area.

https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/help-consultancy/is-skills/programmes-courses-and-resources/development-programmes/data-skills

Participants have enjoyed the programme:
‘There are many data courses out there. Having a course which is specifically designed and at the correct level was time-saving and encouraged me to finish. I loved doing the course and I’m keen to get started on the next level. I would not have been able to do this without the course format, nor the tutor with her helpful, caring approach.’.

There have been many more comments from participants that echo these sentiments along with a real thirst from learners to go on to study all 3 levels of the Programme.

We will be having a ‘graduation ‘ celebration for all the staff and students who completed the programme on Monday 1st July. If you would like to come along to hear more about the successes and how they plan to apply their new and improved data science skills, please let me know by reply and I will send you a diary invitation.

and it’s only Wednesday

This is turning into a very nice week for me. Not only is the weather splendid and the outlook unobstructed, but I have also received/achieved two nice awards.

The first is Fellowship of CILIP, The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, the second is a student research excellence award.  These are linked, because becoming a student again after about a million years has required me to keep a research diary and reflect on the skills I am developing.

I’ve had to learn to use Endnote and to use library catalogues properly and stick to a referencing style. I’ve even had to manage my research data. Returning ( and struggling) again to these research and information management skills caused me to think about my own skills development over the years and the CILIP portfolio offered a good structure for pause and reflect.

For those of you who like open practice and enjoy reading such things, I’ve put the outline of my CILIP portfolio here on my blog. The actual full thing has to be built within the CILIP VLE. Don’t start me on how frustrating it is trying to learn a new VLE. I shall reflect.

Doing research into management and leadership  has been challenging too.  At the Business School Research Conference today a panel of academic colleagues mused on how  it is that so little of their research is ever taken up, or even read, by leaders and managers  in practice. I pointed out that some of us were here doing research which was useful, relevant and likely to have an impact simply by virtue of our questions being questions we had been sufficiently motivated to research on top of doing a full time job.  There was some nodding.

Anyway, its only Wednesday. The rest of the week includes menopause and massive financial planning, so it could go either way.

 

teaching matters

Cool graphic designed by our cool LTW graphic design service

Teaching Matters is the University of Edinburgh’s website, blog and podcast about learning and teaching, for sharing ideas and approaches to teaching, and for showcasing our successes, including academic  and professional colleagues who are leading the way in delivering brilliant teaching.

ISG’s LTW staff are regular contributors. Here is a selection of our writings:

Networking around technology and teaching – assessment and feedback

voices from the institution

This blog is for Amber because she wants to know about institutionally provided technologies  #openblog19

At University of Edinburgh we know that our people are our strength. This is a place of knowledge creation, and a place of knowledge sharing.

As Director of Learning, Teaching and Web Services I am lucky to have responsibility not only for the institutionally provided learning technology, but also the institutionally provided Web. You know me, I like to have a strategy for such things.

Our Web strategy addresses how the university uses web technologies to enhance our
students’ experience, disseminate our best research and engage with our diverse audiences.

The University’s web estate and use of online channels has evolved largely organically, which has led to gaps in corporate knowledge and exposed the institution to significant risks. Its no secret that there is fragmentation of technology, working methods and standards, which leads to uneven and, in some cases, broken user journeys.

We try to address these issues, with a tight focus on the University’s vision to deliver impact for society through leadership in learning and research. While University websites, including the corporate website (EdWeb) and MyEd portal, are at the core of the strategy, strong consideration is also given to online channels as a point of user acquisition and engagement.

Whether delivered centrally or locally, there is a clear need to empower our staff by providing them with the intelligence, tools, standards and resources to attract and engage users.

Our vision is founded on a need to work together in the use of web technologies to achieve business goals across the University, developing the operational agility to take advantage of the most promising online opportunities.

Our web strategy aligns with the University’s Vision 2025, Corporate Plan and other significant institutional and national strategies, and complement initiatives such as Service Excellence and Digital Transformation. This strategy was developed in the manner in which it should be executed – collaboratively – with strong senior leadership and active engagement from publishers and practitioners across the University.

One theme of our strategy is that of ‘Influential voices’. We aim for:

  • Increased online visibility for the work of staff, students and, ultimately, the University
  • Improved profile and visibility for the University across search and online channels
  • Well-trained staff and students who effectively and safely manage their online identity
  • Improved cooperative working online with partners from the commercial, third and public sectors
  • Enhanced partnership syndication of University content
  • Investigation into the development and deployment of a centrally-managed website publishing platform
  • Development of policies, processes and quality control mechanisms to support staff and student publishing
  • Development of content syndication and sharing  tools
  • Creation of training materials and investment in associated communities of practice

The development of and launch of an academic blogging platform and Domain of One’s Own is a big part of what we are doing in this theme of our web strategy. You can read more about this in blog posts from Anne-Marie and Lorna. And once Jonathan is in post, you can meet our new Head of Web Strategy to find out more about each of the other themes.

University of Edinburgh Web Strategy 2018.

 

Playful and PlayFair

Lovely illustrations for our playful engagement website by the LTW Interactive Content Team

 

One of our innovation projects over several years was to develop a Playful Engagement Strategy for ISG and to test some playful approaches. We know our Information Services Group (ISG) staff are innovative and creative, and they have developed a variety of fun, creative, and engaging ways to provide and deliver our technologies and services.

We want to ensure that this continues and that ISG fosters an environment, and culture, where innovation, playful learning, and creative engagement are embedded in our practices. This is in line with the University’s aim to offer an educational experience that is inspiring, challenging, and transformational.

To this end, we have established playful engagement themes, strategy and goals.

Our goals are to:

  • Facilitate the development of playful innovators, researchers, and creators
  • Promote creative, playful, and innovative use of technologies and tools in ISG services
  • Utilise our world-class libraries and collections in innovative and engaging ways to enrich our services
  • Support a healthy work life balance, and a positive, engaging and inclusive work environment
Lovely illustrations for our playful engagement website by the LTW Interactive Content Team

Our 6 themes are:

  1. Digital technologies
  2. Libraries museums, galleries and collections
  3. Communities of practice
  4. Reflection, development and innovation
  5. Exploration and innovation
  6. Work–life balance

I am very pleased that Charlie has been able to spend the time to really think about what playful engagement could mean for a large IT and libraries service.  Her work draws upon a whole raft of  team, game, maker, challenge and enjoyment activities which all combine to make working here much more fun than it might otherwise be.

She and I will be presenting about this at the UCISA leadership conference in Edinburgh.

Read more about it: https://thinking.is.ed.ac.uk/playful-engagement/

International Women’s Day 2019

We are taking the opportunity of International Women’s Day to rename our Boardroom in Argyle House after Brenda Moon, the first woman to head up a research university library when she was Librarian here at the University of Edinburgh in the 1980s and 90s.

Brenda played a major role in bringing the University into the digital age, as Edinburgh became the first major university library in the UK to tackle and deliver a computer-based service.

In addition to Brenda Moon, we will also be renaming three of our IT training rooms after notable Edinburgh women – Irene J Young, Marjorie Rackstraw and Annie Hutton Numbers. These are women who have been celebrated in our university archives and showcased by our Equality and Diversity Images Intern, Francesca.

Also on the day we will be hosting an ‘Edit-a-thon’  for staff, students and friends of the University to create Wikipedia entries for notable women currently missing from the encyclopaedia site, and  a ‘Sketch-a-thon’ using images from the Centre for Research Collections’ Special Collections. All artistic abilities welcome!

There will also be copious badgemaking.

 

Wikipedia Editathon – Women of Edinburgh:

This event is open to staff, students and friends of the University and is an opportunity to help add more notable women associated with Edinburgh.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:University_of_Edinburgh/International_Women%27s_Day_2019

Sketch-a-thon:

Learn about the lives of some of the incredible women in the archives of the Centre for Research Collections at the University of Edinburgh, while putting your creative side to use in a relaxed learning environment!

This event will enable you to portray the work of pioneering women through a series of fun, fast-paced challenges that will help you flex your sketching muscles and experiment with daring colour-combinations, silly caricatures and speedy doodles. No drawing experience is necessary to join us, and all students and staff are welcome. Materials will be provided, but please do feel free to bring your own coloured pencils or felt-tip pens if you wish. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/international-womens-day-sketchathon-tickets-55208621473?fbclid=IwAR2krJRic9Q0qPV3GUtDni2Qr4fNXW0ww5yvhmhawQvPIKNyqqC1QESBEuA