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E-Learning Newsletter – August 2019

2 September 2019 Posted in: News By: Manoj Singh

QMplus September Release

On Tuesday 3rd September between 7-11am, we will be making some updates to QMplus. These updates will fix some outstanding issues in QMplus since the summer upgrade and will also include some new features:

  1. Updates to the H5P plugin for creating interactive content.
  2. A new plugin called Level Up which allows you to add “gamification” features to your QMplus areas.
  3. Integration with Sensus Access, a tool used to create accessible content.

You can read more about the changes on our September release page and you can also see a list of outstanding issues.

The School of Medicine and Dentistry E-Learning Showcase

On Wednesday 11th of September, the School of Medicine and Dentistry E-Learning User Group will be holding their annual E-Learning Showcase and invite anyone who is interested to attend. The event is a mixture of short presentations and workshops and this year features accessibility, distance learning, creating interactive content, creating video and more. It’s a good opportunity to meet others involved in E-Learning and refreshments will be available.

The showcase will be held in the Old Library in the Garrod Building on the Whitechapel campus from 10am until 1pm. You can download the E-Learning showcase flyer.

Digital Exams for 2019/20 – Get Involved

As part of the Digital Exam and Assessment Project (DEAP), the E-Learning Unit has successfully piloted 6 digital high stakes exams in the last exam period, using our newly acquired software, WISEflow. We are now looking for more participants for the January 2020 exam period, and we are keen to support some digital mid-semester tests in 2019 too.

Benefits for staff include easier to read student answers, automatic marking and statistics for multiple choice questions, new question types, question banking, no need to collect paper scripts, remote moderator/external examiner access, and many more! Students like it too.

If you are interested in taking part in this pilot and setting a digital exam in 2019/20, please complete a quick online form and we will get back to you.

If you have any questions about the project, please email digitalexams@qmul.ac.uk.

Reflecting on our ABC Learning Design activity

At our annual event on July 3rd we ran 3 activities based around themes that are of particular interest at QMUL right now. One of these themes is ABC Learning Design which is a rapid design approach for blended teaching. As we were short of time we ran a small activity called “the technology wheel” which introduced people to the main concepts of ABC Learning Design. In a decidedly lo-fi approach involving lots of paper and card, we encouraged participants to think about the ways in which various technologies can support different learning types.

The activity went very well, some great technology wheels were produced and there were some great conversations around the room. You can read more about the activity and see the outputs in our Reflecting on the technology wheel activity article on the E-Learning Unit website.

We’d like to thank everyone who came along to the event and engaged with all the activities with such enthusiasm.

Adding captions to your videos on QMplus Media

It is now possible to request automatic captions for any video that you upload to QMplus Media. It’s straightforward to do and is one way that you can improve the accessibility of your teaching materials. Once captions are available, viewers can turn them on and off in the QMplus Media video player and an interactive transcript of the video will appear below it allowing viewers to search for specific parts of the video and jump to them. The transcript can also be downloaded as a text file.

The captions are not 100% accurate so you are likely to need to do some tidying using the QMplus Media online caption editor. For this reason we are not automatically generating captions for all videos on QMplus Media, if you would like captions on your video, you must explicitly request them.

You can read more about this in our Adding captions to your videos on QMplus Media article.

Staff development opportunities in September

As we approach the beginning of a new academic year we have some opportunities for you to get your online teaching materials ready. We are running a number of hands on Getting Started with QMplus courses and we are also increasing the number of drop-in sessions available in welcome week and the first week of semester A.

Workshops

Our Getting Started with QMplus courses are a hands-on session aimed at staff who are new to our online learning environment, or those who would like a refresher. We are running 3 of these in September:

  • 16 September 2019, 2pm
  • 19 September 2019, 10.30am
  • 30 September 2019, 2pm

These sessions take place in the E-Learning Studio, room 0.09 in the Scape Building on the Mile End Campus. Please see our online booking system for more information and to book yourself a place.

Drop-in Sessions

Drop-in sessions run every Tuesday and Thursday from 1-2pm in the E-Learning Studio on the Mile End campus for any member of staff who needs help with the use of technology in their teaching. There’s no need to book, just turn up on the day and a member of the team will be available to help.

Please note that the drop-ins will run every day for two weeks commencing welcome week, 16th September.

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