As this is our last newsletter for 2018, we would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and peaceful festive season.
E-Learning Production Scheme – call for proposals
Do you have an idea for something you’d like to do with technology in your teaching but don’t have the time or resources to pursue it? The E-Learning Unit is looking for project proposals as part of the E-learning Production Scheme. Medium-scale projects will also be considered this round as along as evidence can be provided that projects will be completed by end of June 2019. The deadline for applications is Monday 7 January.
Digital Exam and Assessment Project (DEAP)
The Digital Examination and Assessment Project (DEAP) is now underway and we aim to procure a solution very soon so that it is available to our users in Semester B. The project aims to run as a pilot to explore the software, hardware, people and infrastructure factors required to deliver online and electronically managed exams at scale. We have selected some pilot users to conduct their formative and summative exams. Read more
Running our first ABC Learning Design sessions
In November we ran our first ABC Learning Design workshops with colleagues from the William Harvey Research Institute and the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science. We’d like to thank them for being our early adopters and for their hard work and enthusiasm. We are hoping to help some of them to take their designs further through funding for an E-Learning Assistant.
We are aware from our original call for expressions of interest that there are a number of staff who are very interested in the initiative but were not able to attend our first sessions. We are very keen to ensure that everyone who would like to participate can have the opportunity so we will be following up with everyone who expressed an interest to try to arrange dates for further workshops in the new year.
Please visit our ABC Learning Design page for more information about the initiative and how you can get involved.
January QMplus Update
On Tuesday, 15th January 2019, between 7am-9am, we will be making some updates to QMplus. These will fix some outstanding issues, enhance existing features and provide some new functionality. Highlights are:
- An extension to the QMplus anonymous marking functionality to make online grading easier
- The availability of a feedback snippet in Gradesplus
- Improvements to the physical coursework scanning and activity planning features
- A new tabbed course format
See our QMplus January 2019 release page for more information on all of the changes.
Date for your diary: Analytics for Educators, Monday February 18th 2019
On Monday February 18th 2019, the E-Learning Unit will be hosting the Echo360* user community event, “Analytics for educators: how can data be used to improve learner engagement, personal support and teaching practice?”. This event will feature talks from staff from QMUL and other institutions around the topic of analytics. There will also be the chance to find out what developments are upcoming in the Echo360 platform. Further details of the event including a more detailed agenda and instructions on how to register will be circulated in the new year.
*For those who may not be aware, Echo360 is the technology underneath Q-Review, our institutional lecture capture system.
Audience response systems at QMUL
There are a number of activities in progress around the institution which relate to the use of audience response systems. We are providing support to staff using the TurningPoint hardware solution and an update to the TurningPoint software on lecture theatre computers during reading week went smoothly and has improved the reliability of the system.
We now have a number of staff across all faculties making use of our trial licenses for the Mentimeter web-based system. Anecdotal feedback so far has been positive but we will be gathering more formal feedback at the end of the semester.
As the Mentimeter system does not allow mathematical notation to be included in questions, Dr Henri Huijberts, in the School of Engineering and Material Sciences, has been using a system called Pingo successfully in his teaching this semester. This system not only allows for mathematical notation to be included in questions but also has the advantage of being free.
If you are interested in knowing more about any of these systems, please get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bridging the gap: creating student-teacher rapport in distance learning courses
In a guest post published on the ADEPT website recently, Dr Helen Ringrow of the University of Portsmouth described how she adapted her teaching style to connect with students on her distance learning course. We have heard staff at QMUL express similar concerns around student contact when discussing teaching on distance programmes. Dr Ringrow provides some useful insights into the technologies she has been making use of to engage with her students. You can read her article Bridging the gap: creating student-teacher rapport in distance learning courses.
The ADEPT website is run by our colleagues in Educational Development and is an excellent collection of relevant, practical and useful resources (not always involving technology!) developed to provide inspiration and guidance for all colleagues involved in teaching at QMUL.
Staff development opportunities in January
We are running a number of workshops in January, all of these will be taking place in the E-Learning Studio in the Scape Building on the Mile End campus.
Getting Started with QMplus – a hands-on session aimed at staff who are new to our online learning environment, or those who would like a refresher:
- January 10th – 14.00-16.00
Introduction to Video Editing – We are very pleased to be able to start offering our popular video editing sessions again. These sessions are very hands on and therefore we are keeping the numbers of participants per session low, but we are offering the session multiple times in January:
- January 14th – 12:30-14:30
- January 23rd – 13.00-15.00
- January 28th – 12:30-14:30
Please see our online booking system for more information about the sessions we run and to book yourself a place.
Our last drop-in session will be on Tuesday 18th of December. Sessions will resume on Thursday 3rd January.
What are our users asking via The Helpdesk?
Common issues on the Helpdesk in November included questions about Turnitin assignment settings, enrolling colleagues on to QMplus module areas and how students view their grades and feedback on QMplus. You can find out the answers to these questions in our common support questions article.