ALT

Are you supporting international students with Learning Technology? - We are seeking input from ALT Members for UUK

ALT News - 27/05/20

ALT are seeking input from Members on behalf of Universities UK (UUK), in a call for case studies. 

UUK are looking for case studies or examples of the following, where universities have:

  • Worked with overseas partners to manage a move to delivering in-country online learning (for international students who are not now in the UK, and may not be able to return in September)

Categories: ALT, News

Audio-visual event report Technology-enhanced active collaborative learning

#ALTC Blog - 27/05/20

Post Authors – Neil Dixon (ARU) and Jennie Dettmer (University of Bedfordshire)

With testimonial contributions from Sarah Crudge from the University of Cambridge, Anna Judd-Yelland from University of Bedfordshire and Florence Dujardin from UEA. Video and photos by Neil Dixon and Jennie Dettmer.

In the video you’ll hear Neil and Jennie from the ALT East England organising committee report on ‘Technology Enhanced, Active Collaborative Learning: Challenges and Solutions’, an event held on 21 February 2020 at ARU Cambridge. 

The event started with a TWALK tour of ARU Cambridge’s learning spaces led by Andrew Middleton (Deputy Head of Anglia Learning and Teaching). The day included a mixture of workshops and short presentations, all giving innovative ideas for collaborating with technology such as sensory circuits, digital storytelling, backchannels and more. 

Watch the video (6:07 in length) on YouTube

For the schedule on the day and to view the slides please see ALT East England’s website.

Details of content and images  [00:00 – 02:09] 

Jennie starts by describing ALT East England, giving an outline of previous events held at the University of East Anglia and the University of Bedfordshire. 

Slide 1 photos (going from left to right) – Slide from Digital Games and Interaction Design for Active Learning and attendees at ARU Cambridge, Helen Barefoot, Robe Howe, Nicholas Botfield, all presenting at the University of Bedfordshire and Kari Morely presenting (with an escape room prop) at UEA. 

[02:09 – 3:48] 

Neil describes two sessions which were his highlights from the event on 21 February 2020. 

Slide 2 photos (going from left to right) – Matt East, sensory circuits, ARU logo, Lord Ashcroft building (ARU Cambridge), Faculty of Science and Technology (ARU Cambridge).

Slide 3 photo – Wendy Garnham presenting to the audience at ARU Cambridge on active essay writing.

[3:46 – 5:53] 

Jennie reads out some testimonials collected from attendees at the ARU Cambridge event which included:

Sarah Crudge from University of Cambridge said, “I greatly enjoyed the digital storytelling session, I admired the speaker for taking a hands-on approach with such time constrictions, and I’m definitely going to follow up on the technologies she used, as these seemed quite accessible.”

Anna Judd-Yelland from University of Bedfordshire said “using a digital storytelling approach is really relevant to our healthcare and social work students who are often required to write care study assignments. Using this approach allows them to also develop as digital natives embedding ILT into their curriculum in a meaningful way.”  

Florence Dujardin from UEA said, “Dr Garnham’s session on active and creative essay-writing was an inspiration. As an academic developer, I could see how I could use her approach in a workshop with lecturers, to give them ideas about supporting their students’ writing, using different technologies along the way to manage the process.”

[5:54 – 06:07]

Neil outlines ALT East England’s next online event on 11 June from 11am. Get details from ALT East England’s website.

Neil Dixon, Anglia Ruskin University
Jennie Dettmer, University of Bedfordshire

If you enjoyed reading this article we invite you to join the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) as an individual member, and to encourage your own organisation to join ALT as an organisational or sponsoring member.

Categories: #ALTC Blog, ALT

Compatibility in lockdown

#ALTC Blog - 25/05/20

In this blog post we have tried to carry out an interesting compatibility test! We are husband (Anshul) and wife (Swati). We’ll start by introducing ourselves:

Anshul Lau (CMALT, SFHEA): I am a Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) professional with diverse experience in the Higher Education, Armed Forces, Hospitality and Charitable Sector. My role as E-Learning Technology Manager at the University of Nottingham involves leading the innovation practice, development, management and quality assurance of diverse courses, emphasising learner-centered design. 

Swati Virmani (PhD, FHEA, ALT Associate Member): I am a Lecturer in Economics at De Montfort University, and have been teaching in HE since 2010, using varied technologies to enhance students’ learning and engagement. I am a keen learner of pedagogic approaches and am interested in accelerating digital capabilities of staff and students. 

Due to our work commitments we have always lived in different cities, and would meet on weekends, fortnightly or while on leave. Lockdown gave us an opportunity to live together, while also being confined to only one another’s company! We carried out this exercise as a fun exploration of our emotional patterns and whether we are a match. The post below is based on our data analog reflections.

Inspired by the ‘Dear Data’ project, we collected data on our emotions around activities carried out during COVID-19 lockdown. The idea was to assess our compatibility based on our mental and emotional health! We decided to accumulate data around our emotions across activities carried out each day between 30th March – 26th April 2020 (a month long), and covering every hour from 10am to 10pm (inclusive). The activities included our work-related tasks, household chores, dining, outdoor walks and tasks, entertainment, and rest and sleep. The activities we did apart mostly included our work-related tasks, some household chores and rest hours. Otherwise, we did a number of activities collectively or were together during particular hours; for instance, our outdoor walks in the evening; being together while one is cooking and the other is just accompanying. It was especially interesting to note how and whether we both differed emotionally even while conducting the same task or despite being in the exact same situation and space. 

For the entire period, we kept the data private to avoid deciphering one another’s emotional pattern and forming any prejudice. We did analog data drawing for the first week – using colours and patterns for activities and emotions. For the remaining weeks we switched to Microsoft Forms to accumulate the data; the tool has allowed us to have descriptive statistics to form a behavioural pattern for both of us. Collecting the data around emotions also enabled us to connect with ourselves and introspect our thoughts at a much deeper level. 

One benefit of the exercise was that it kept us busy during this challenging time. It allowed us to become more inquisitive about our thoughts, and also emotionally cognizant. We could connect with self and also appreciate the little things we did every day. Finally, on a more refreshing and delightful note, this was a very unique way of checking our compatibility to test our rapport after being in relationship for several years. 

Irrespective of the lockdown and our associated emotional turmoil, we are two opposite personalities. Our nature, working style, approach to situations, temperament, experiences, and behaviour do not match. Our relationship is a living example of ‘opposites attract’! So, this exercise could tell us whether at least our emotional pattern showed any similarities during times when we only had one another’s company or did we stick to our normality state of being inverses of each other! And hence forming an essential objective – finding a different strand of compatibility. 

Below are the lists of our respective main activities and emotions. Following that is the descriptive pattern of our behaviour and our compatibility assessment – the key outcome! We also showcase our analog drawings for the first week of data recording in the appendix below.

Anshul’s Activity List

  1. Work – meetings, video-chats, emailing, office tasks 
  2. ACF – army cadet force work
  3. Food – lunch, dinner, snack breaks
  4. Outdoor – campus walk, supermarket
  5. Chores – cooking, housework, cleaning, miscellaneous
  6. Entertainment – TV, Netflix
  7. Rest – relax, chill
  8. Sleep
  9. Discussion/ argument/ conversation with partner

Swati’s Activity List

  1. Work Category 1 – teaching, training, emailing/ admin 
  2. Work Category 2 – research/ CPD
  3. Food – lunch, dinner, tea break
  4. Outdoor – walk, grocery
  5. Chores – housework, cleaning, laundry, miscellaneous
  6. Entertainment – TV, Netflix
  7. Rest – relax, chill
  8. Sleep
  9. Discussion/ argument/ conversation with partner

How we felt? – List of Emotions

  1. Sad/ Nostalgic
  2. Worried/ Anxious/ Nervous
  3. Mad/ Angry/ Irritated
  4. Bored
  5. Calm/ Neutral/ Okay
  6. Quite Happy/ Joyful
  7. Productive/ Positive
  8. Silly/ Tipsy
  9. Excited
  10. Stressed/ Tired

Here are the resulting graphs:

Figure 1:  Anshul’s Emotional Score  Figure 2: Swati’s Emotional Score

And voila! Even our emotional scores, during a rather unique time, depict our opposite temperament! Comparatively, he appears more joyful, productive/positive, excited; and she is more worried/anxious, calm/neutral, stressed. While doing the same activity together, our behaviour has shown both similarity and disparity. For instance, on 30th March at 10 pm, both were doing ‘entertainment’ together and both showed the same two emotions – calm and joyful; whereas on 2nd April at 10 pm again ‘entertainment’, but this time he was quite happy, while she was irritated. There were also situations, when both had the same emotion despite doing different activities – 3rd April at 10 am, both irritated while he was doing office work and she was doing household chores. The appendix depicts these cases. 

One emotion that appeared consistent was being bored! A disparity in interpretation came in case of ‘productive/ positive’ emotion. He emphasised more on the aspect of positivity and she emphasised more on only work-related productivity – hence a reason her score is much lower for this emotion. Nonetheless, our traits suggest two distinct people – creating a rather balanced household! 

This exercise was not undertaken to reveal our individualities or bring out any negatives but to carry out an interesting task during a completely different, difficult and strange living environment. We want to depict that data collection could enable us to introspect our emotions using an offline approach where the focus is on our everyday routine. The need really was to slow down, do self-analysis, reflect and finally connect with ourselves. This exercise has not made us self-conscious or awkward of our actions, but rather has enabled us to lay importance on our emotional well-being and be more appreciative. 

Ours is only one story! Thanks to the ‘Dear Data’ project, we consider that this type of exercise has huge potential and can be carried out at an individual, pair or group level. It is a chance to not just know someone else, but also to connect to your own deeper level. The exercise could be carried out (even anonymously) between family members, colleagues or students. Especially when we are foreseeing an environment of online and virtual communication and teaching, this could be used as a reflective tool for engagement, pastoral care, well-being and community building. Probably a next stop would be to try a task with students in the introductory week!

Appendix: First week’s hand drawn data entries. Anshul’s data analog Each cell depicts the activity and corresponding emotion for a given hour during the day. Rows mention days, and columns mention time. The top shaded part of triangle depicts emotion and symbol underneath depicts activity. A different colour is identified for each emotion, and a different symbol is used for every activity. Anshul’s key to symbols and colours Swati’s data analog Each cell depicts the activity and corresponding emotion for a given hour during the day. Rows mention days, and columns mention time. Coloured lines at the bottom of rectangle depict activity and the coloured zig zag pattern running on the right-hand side (top to bottom) depicts emotion. In the top left corner of the rectangle, a single person outline suggests being alone in that hour, and two outlines suggest being together in that hour. A different colour is identified for each emotion, and a different colour is also used for every activity.

Anshul Lau is E-Learning Technology Manager at University of Nottingham. Email: Anshul.Lau@nottingham.ac.uk | Twitter: @LauAnshul. Swati Virmani is Lecturer in Economics at De Montfort University. Email: swati.virmani@dmu.ac.uk | Twitter: @swativirmani8

Anshul Lau Swati Virmani

If you enjoyed reading this article we invite you to join the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) as an individual member, and to encourage your own organisation to join ALT as an organisational or sponsoring member.

Categories: #ALTC Blog, ALT

Crisis support: Weekly Drop-in - everyone welcome

ALT Events - 18/05/20

We will be holding weekly online Members' Assembly Drop-In’s to help members share expertise, ask questions and come together to support each other. These Drop In’s will take place in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and are open to all. To join these no registration is needed. To join follow the weekly drop-in link . 

 

We support our community during this crisis. Our members are under exceptional pressure as institutions plan and implement social distancing measures within learning and teaching. We are regularly updating this page and linked resources. Find out more.  

Categories: ALT, Events

Peer-graded individualised student homework in a single-instructor undergraduate engineering course

RLT Journal - 15/05/20

This article reports on the implementation of a programme of individualised, peer-graded homework assignments in a large-scale engineering course, with minimal resources. Participation in the programme allows students to receive grades for problem-solving work in a setting more conducive to learning than the traditional final examination. The homework programme was designed to support the ordinary course work and examination preparation of students along the semester, rather than an expansion of the curriculum. The implementation is carried out using a series of scripts on a local computer, for speed of deployment, portability and privacy protection. Data relevant to instructors are provided, showing that the programme integrates well within an existing grading system, at a relatively low time cost for the instructor, resulting in a relatively large enhancement in the students’ learning experience.

Categories: ALT, Publication

Copyright, Fair Dealing and Online Teaching at a Time of Crisis

ALT Events - 15/05/20

Weekly online meeting with Jane Secker and Chris Morrision for those interested in talking about copyright challenges at the current time and how we can address them. Jane and Chris have published a summary page full of resources, which includes links to content from previous sessions. No registration is required to join this event which will be hosted in Blackboard Ultra. Follow this link to join the session at the appropriate time.

The webinar will run in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. If you have not used Collaborate Ultra before, it may be helpful to consult our webinar FAQs

Categories: ALT, Events

Calling Notice for ALT Annual General Meeting 2020

ALT News - 13/05/20

ALT’s members are invited to attend this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held online at 10am (BST) on 24 June 2020. The AGM will be open to all and all eligible Members will receive joining instructions and information about how to vote the week prior to the AGM.

Categories: ALT, News

Co-creation of knowledge using mobile technologies and digital media as pedagogical devices in undergraduate STEM education

RLT Journal - 12/05/20

Digital media assignments are a widely used method of assessing student learning in higher education. Despite their common use, the literature on digital media assignments has many gaps regarding theoretical frameworks to guide their design, implementation and evaluation. This research paper focuses on student attitudes towards the use of mobile technology and digital media assignments in undergraduate STEM education. The study used a set of novel theoretical frameworks to identify training needs in digital media production, development of assessment weightings, marking rubrics and student training and resources. Longitudinal data were captured over a period of 4 years (n = 1724) using a mixed-methods approach. Validated questionnaires measured student attitudes to digital media support and attitudes to technology, understanding of the assignment, knowledge construction and digital media for learning and career development. Open-ended questions helped gather suggestions from students for improving the assessment task. Questionnaire data were analysed by using descriptive statistics and qualitative data with thematic analysis. The results suggested that students enjoyed group work, found learning with digital media to be engaging and developed critical thinking and digital media skills. In conclusion, STEM students had a positive learning experience repurposing mobile technology as pedagogical devices that present knowledge by using a multi-modal approach mediated by digital media.

Categories: ALT, Publication

EDITORIAL: Special collection on mobile mixed reality 2019 update

RLT Journal - 11/05/20

This special collection of Research in Learning Technology explores the development of the state of the art of Mobile Mixed Reality (MMR) in education. The special collection was established in 2018 to provide research-informed exploration of this emergent and rapidly developing arena of educational technology through the lens of Scholarship Of Technology Enhanced Learning (SOTEL). The special collection update for 2019 includes four articles that cover self-efficacy and motivation of MMR users, analysis of student experiences of MMR, and a selection of case studies on designing and implementing MMR in educational contexts. The range of articles illustrates the further development of MMR as a platform for designing authentic learning environments in both formal and informal learning situations. The articles also highlight attempts to address the issue identified in the 2018 collection of a general lack of engagement with new learning theories and models in the use of MMR to design transformative learning experiences.

This editorial is part of the special collection ‘Mobile Mixed Reality-Enhanced Learning’ edited by Thomas Cochrane, Vickel Narayan, James Birt, Helen Farley and Fiona Smart. Read all articles from this collection here.

Categories: ALT, Publication

Online Winter Conference 2020

ALT Events - 11/05/20

The Online Winter Conference will take place online 25-26 November, 2020. Now in its 7th year, the ALT Online Winter Conference is back to showcase some of the best Learning Technology from ALT Members from across sectors.

The conference is a platform for you to find out more about ALT Members work as they showcase what they have been involved with and gain feedback from peers. As with previous years, the conference is designed to be a festival of learning with the aim of increasing the impact of Learning Technology for the wider community. 

Categories: ALT, Events

Important Update: ALT Annual Conference 2020

ALT News - 11/05/20

Due to the global pandemic, ALT will hold an Online Summer Summit this year - bringing together Learning Technology practitioners, researchers and policy makers to share strategies for the next academic year and the new challenges now facing us. 

Categories: ALT, News

Important Update Re: ALT s Annual Conference 2020

#altc 2020 - 11/05/20
  Due to the global pandemic, ALT will hold an Online Summer Summit this year – bringing together Learning Technology practitioners, researchers and policy makers to share strategies for the next academic year and the new challenges now facing us. Putting the health and wellbeing of our Members and staff first, ALT will not hold […]

ALT Online Summer Summit 2020

ALT Events - 11/05/20

Due to the global pandemic, ALT will hold an Online Summer Summit this year - bringing together Learning Technology practitioners, researchers and policy makers to share strategies for the next academic year and the new challenges now facing us.

Registration will open in June.

Categories: ALT, Events

Publication of the ALT Annual Survey Report 2020

ALT News - 07/05/20

The report and data from the sixth ALT Annual Survey have now been published and shared openly in the ALT Repository. The ALT Annual Survey reports are designed to:

Categories: ALT, News

Important news for Members

ALT Announce - 06/05/20
*Dear Members*
In these uncertain times, it is particularly important for ALT's governance
to be effective and the Board of Trustees is working hard to ensure
continuity.

Yesterday, the Chair of the Board, Sheila MacNeill, wrote to Members with
the announcement that Professor Helen O'Sullivan has been appointed to the
Board of Trustees as incoming Chair.
See
https://www.alt.ac.uk/news/all_news/professor-helen-osullivan-appointed-board-trustees [...]
Categories: ALT, Announcement

Call for nominations for the 2020 Trustee elections

ALT News - 06/05/20
Subheading: 

We invite nominations for a Trustee to serve an initial three year term as President of ALT to be elected by Members.

Categories: ALT, News

Crisis support: Weekly Drop-in - everyone welcome

ALT Events - 05/05/20

We will be holding weekly online Members' Assembly Drop-In’s to help members share expertise, ask questions and come together to support each other. These Drop In’s will take place in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and are open to all. To join these no registration is needed. To join follow the weekly drop-in link . 

 

We support our community during this crisis. Our members are under exceptional pressure as institutions plan and implement social distancing measures within learning and teaching. We are regularly updating this page and linked resources. Find out more.  

Categories: ALT, Events

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