The Learning Technologist Group is for Queen Mary staff whose work centres on using technology to enhance learning. The group enables them to share information, ideas and good practice between all schools and departments of the college. It meets monthly in The Learning Institute and uses a networking group on QMplus Groups and Portfolios to communicate between meetings.With thanks to Jess Hewson for writing this month’s report on the meeting
July’s meeting was the busiest meeting so far! It was also conducted in a more informal manner than usual, however this allowed for a lot of helpful and interesting group discussion:
Group discussion: QMPlus on phones and tablets
CampusM (name is yet to be finalised) is the new QMUL student mobile app. It will be available towards the end of 2013 for iPhone, Android and Blackberry.
CampusM brings together a variety of services such as lecture timetables, maps, PC availability, staff directory, bus and tube times etc. It also offers the ability to access QMplus.
Those attending this month’s meeting liked:
- Once set up, there is automatic QMplus authentication
- Ability to download documents to your device to browse offline
- Ability to access and respond to forums
- Ability to upload files directly to your My files area in QMplus
Things people attending found limiting:
- Unable to participate in many QMplus activities including Quizzes, Feedback, Choice
There is a meeting to discuss how CampusM can be tailored to suit Queen Mary’ requirements shortly, where this will be addressed.
Jess Hewson, an e-learning assistant from The Learning Institute talked about the Turnitin assignment submission with email acknowledgement
Although Turnitin has previously been a function within assignment submissions, it is now also available as a separate activity. The Turnitin advanced options allow student papers to be stored and specify when to generate reports. The advanced options can also check submissions against stored student papers, internet and journals/periodicals/ publications, with the option to exclude the bibliography and quoted materials. Enrolled course leaders can then be added to an assignment as a ‘Turnitin Tutor’ giving them the ability to grade assignments. Although Turnitin assignments can be graded in Gradebook as usual, you can also grade assignments through Turnitin’s own grading function. Within the grading window, you can simply click and drag common pre-set comments and feedback anywhere onto the assignment. If the pre-sets do not apply, or a lecturer simply wants to add their own personal comments, clicking anywhere on the assignment will create a new, blank comment box. To give a grade, a numerical figure is simply entered in the grade box in the top, right-hand corner. Lastly, Turnitin assignment submission has been created to send an email to students when they submit their assignment. The email acts as confirmation of submission for the student, as well as a receipt.
Brett Lucas, of The Learning Institute talked about the updated Module Info Block, Currently in development but to be released end of August
Brett demonstrated the new and improved version of the Module Info block that will be laid out across QMPlus. The new Module Info Block will give the module convenor or organiser a lot more choice in what they want the block to display by making it easier for them to add extra information or change various details. One feature of the improved block will be the ability to add more module convenors/lecturers and their contact details. Multiple module convenors/lecturers can be added under various different titles, which will ultimately make it easier for students to find the contact details for the academic staff. The module convenor can also choose the size of their picture from two options, the current size and a larger size. All this extra information will be displayed in a concertina format, so as to not overcrowd and overpower the block.
Brett Lucas, of The Learning Institute talked about the new Landing pages, currently in development but to be released end of August
Brett also revealed the new concept of Landing Pages. A Landing Page offers a home page for different departments (or sub-categories within departments) rather than the existing QMPlus home page. When logging in, a user will be taken straight to their department Landing Page, whether a student or lecturer. When logged in, the Landing Page will display a student’s schedule through a block function. The aim is to make students feel as though they belong to their department rather than just the vastness of Queen Mary. A Department can edit and personalise their Landing Page, choosing what links, news and pictures to display. Landing Pages can be viewed by guest users as well as users from different departments. A department does not have to have a Landing Page; it is instead an interesting option that can be implemented.
The August meeting will take place on Thursday 29th August 2013 andwill feature the new enhancements to QMplus that are scheduled to be added at the end of August.