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ALT East England: Digital badges - Where do we go from HEAR?

17/05/24

Many institutions are seeking new methods to acknowledge and reward valuable contributions from staff and students. This can include achievements in academics (curricular), extracurricular activities, or co-curricular programs. Examples include information literacy workshops, employability skills development, internships, community service projects, or volunteer work.

This session will explore how digital badges and certifications can be used as a recognition tool for these contributions and accomplishments. Digital badges are verifiable online tokens that represent a skill learned, an accomplishment achieved, or a completed program. Compared to traditional paper certificates, they offer greater accessibility and shareability.

The online session will feature experiences from three institutions that have been piloting the use of digital badges. Following this, there will include a general discussion about digital badges and certification, with the presenters and audience.

Presenter bio/description:

Peter Harrison (Head of Academic Practice and Education Excellence, Cranfield University)

Peter’s session, The backroom to our badging strategy will describe what Cranfield wanted to achieve with their badging initiative, why they went with a commercial registrar, how to give badges value and managing growth and change in badge portfolio.

Bernadette Martin (Learning and Teaching Librarian, Library and Learning Services, Open University)

The Open University is creating a badged online course on Digital & Information Literacy. Tailored to different degree levels, it will teach information research, critical thinking, and other digital skills. The course repurposes existing resources and offers easy access for students and staff and is aligned to the Digital and Information Literacy Framework. The course will be offered to all OU students through our VLE from September 2024.

Cory Saarinen (Assistant Director - Technology Enhanced Learning, Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge)

The Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) has been working on a pilot project around the implementation of Digital Certificates and Badges in partnership with Accredible. Since January Digital Certificates and Badges have been implemented across ICE’s non-award bearing Online Course portfolio, with progress being made on bringing onboard all non-accredited courses in time for the 2024 Academic Year.
 

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Test Event Circle ITSM-1873 (2)

01/05/24

Testing

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ALT South Group webinar – Getting the most out of online learning & teaching

12/04/24

Ben Ferris, Head of Law School Training & Development at BPP Law School will be joining the ALT South #TechThursday event on Thursday 25 April. The session will explore how we prepare online students for the challenges they face and how tutors can enjoy themselves in the online classroom! The talk is open to everyone.

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ALSIG: Creative Momentum Around Active learning

08/04/24

Following on from their recent blog post Creating Momentum Around Transformative Active Learning, Dr Theresa Nicholson and Dr Carmen Herrero will share their aspirations and strategy for developing an institution-wide Active Learning Community of Practice (ALCoP) at Manchester Metropolitan University. We will provide a contextual overview of the strategic background to ALCoP, and progress so far.

The interactive part of the webinar will then focus on exploring:

1. Different perspectives on the scope of 'active learning', and

2. Strategies for building communities that (a) foster creativity and innovation, (b) offer support, mentoring and professional development for practitioners, and (c) provide practical routes for resource development, dissemination, scholarship and publication.

There will be lots of opportunities for participants to share their experiences, ask questions, and learn from each other.

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ALT North West England Members Group - May Meeting

28/03/24

We're excited to invite you to our next meeting, taking place on May 22nd at Edge Hill University. This meeting is set to be a dynamic and informative session, with talks on a variety of topics.

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s on the agenda:
1. Digital Assessments: Innovations and Challenges
• Discuss the challenges and best practices for implementing digital assessments in educational settings and learn from case studies.
• Interactive Q&A session with experts in the field.

2. Creating Custom GPT Models: An Educator’s Guide
• Introduction to Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT) and their potential in education.
• Step-by-step guide on creating custom GPT models tailored for educational purposes.

3. Networking Sessions
• Opportunity to connect with fellow educators and technology enthusiasts.
• Share experiences, collaborate on projects, and discuss innovative ideas.
• A mix of structured and informal networking activities to maximize engagement.

This meeting promises to be a great platform for learning, sharing, and networking. We look forward to seeing you there and engaging in these exciting topics together!

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CPD Webinar Series 2024: Co-Creating the Future: Empowering Students in Technology-Enhanced Learning

18/03/24

This interactive webinar will explore the exciting potential of student-staff partnerships in designing technology-rich learning experiences. Offering critical insights into various pedagogical partnership projects from the facilitators, the session will showcase how co-creation could ignite student engagement and foster a culture of innovation in higher education.

Grounded in established theories of student engagement and co-creation models, the webinar will provide a strong theoretical ground to establish the significance of fostering meaningful student collaboration within co-curricular and extra-curricular initiatives. Participants will engage in reflective activities designed to explore practical strategies for integrating student input into their own practices, considering their specific professional contexts. This CPD session is expected to equip attendees with actionable insights and practical strategies to utilise the power of digital tools for collaborative learning and to effectively involve students in co-creating technology-enhanced learning experiences, fostering a dynamic partnership that empowers both educators and learners.

Speakers: Nurun Nahar & Sue Beckingham 

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ALSIG: Assessments - What to avoid with cheating and how to create new types of assessments using GenAI

13/03/24

The webinar will be presented by Dr. Helen Crompton is the Executive Director of the Research Institute for Digital Innovation in Learning at ODUGlobal, Professor of Instructional Technology, and Director of the Virtual Reality Lab at Old Dominion University, USA. Dr. Crompton has achieved a place on Stanford's esteemed list of the top 2% of scientists worldwide. This presentation addresses the escalating concern of student cheating facilitated by artificial intelligence, in particular tools, such as ChatGPT. Strategic measures are presented to mitigate these challenges. Furthermore, we will explore the use of AI for new approaches to gauge student understanding by creating assessments that are resistant to manipulation and foster genuine understanding.

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How The Use of Multimedia Enhances Teaching, Learning and Research

12/03/24

Join us on Thursday 11th April for an enlightening webinar hosted by
Learning on Screen, on how the use of multimedia enhances today’s
educational landscape.

Learning on Screen, a charity and membership organisation, firmly believe that
multimedia (including moving image and sound) is a cornerstone of engaging,
dynamic learning, and teaching. With a focus on ensuring post-16 students excel
and thrive in their educational journey, they are on a mission to help shape the
future of education.
They are doing this in part with their revolutionary platform, Box of Broadcasts
(BoB), a resource with access to over 3 million on-demand broadcasts across
various channels, including TV programmes, documentaries, and news. BoB goes
beyond traditional resources, providing educators with the tools to access and
curate content and seamlessly integrate it into their teaching, fostering a
dynamic and inclusive learning experience for all students.
In this webinar, you'll discover:

• How multimedia enriches your teaching and learning experiences.
• Practical strategies for integrating BoB into your research and
teaching to support learning outcomes.
• Exclusive insights on the benefits of multimedia learning.
• Real-world examples of how BoB is transforming education across
various disciplines.

Join us for a captivating webinar and discover how BoB can revolutionise your
teaching and unlock the full potential of multimedia learning for your post-16
students.

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CPD Webinar Series 2024: Supporting climate action through digital education

29/02/24

This CPD webinar will be led by Leigh-Anne Perryman from the Open University. 

A new free course from The Open University is supporting educators from multiple sectors and subjects around the world in addressing the climate crisis in their teaching, responding to teachers’ widespread calls for training that will help meet their students’ demands for relevant and effective climate education.

The 16-hour, OpenLearn-based course - Supporting climate action through digital education - is unique in focusing on multiple subject areas – including science, visual art, literature, geography and health. There’s an emphasis on supporting young people in participating in climate action, and in engaging with local communities to tackle climate crisis-related problems. The course aims to support educators in schools, colleges and universities in designing and delivering online, blended and technology-enhanced teaching and learning through a pedagogy of hope and care that supports students of all ages in understanding the causes and impacts of environmental collapse and addressing them through global citizenship, individual and collective direct action, and democratic participation. Completing the course gains participants a digital badge.

In this webinar, course leader Dr Leigh-Anne Perryman, Associate Director (Curriculum) at The Open University’s Institute of Educational Technology, will give an overview of the course and share how it was created by a team of passionate educators working across disciplinary boundaries.

A discussion will follow, exploring how teaching in different subject areas can help support students in climate change mitigation and adaptation, and how collaboration across disciplines and across generations is essential. 

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CMALT accelerator workshop

27/02/24

This 1-day standalone workshop is designed to help CMALT candidates fast-track work on their portfolio in order to submit it to peer review. The workshop will provide tailored support for individuals as well as peer support in a group of CMALT candidates all working towards CMALT accreditation. 

The workshop will be delivered by experienced CMALT Assessors.

Pre-workshop activities

When you register for the workshop, you will be asked to complete a short profile including what accreditation pathway you are on (CMALT, Senior or Associate), which sections of the portfolio you would like specific help with and how far you have progressed overall. 

In the week before the workshop, you will receive pre-workshop activities to complete to start progressing your portfolio. 

Workshop day

The workshop day has both live sessions and asynchronous activities scheduled from 9.30am to 4.00pm and concludes with networking opportunities with other candidates. The first half of the day will be focused on strategies for writing specific portfolio sections, including practical examples from accredited portfolios. The afternoon session will provide time for individual support and a peer review exercise. 

Post-workshop support

Following on from the workshop day, you will receive the workshop materials to support you as you complete your portfolio. 

Who should attend?

Anyone registered for CMALT who is keen to complete their portfolio more quickly, candidates who are working towards CMALT looking for more support and anyone looking to revise a referred portfolio. 

If you are not already on a CMALT pathway, you can find out more information, including details on how to register for the accreditation process, here.

Registration will close on Thursday 18 April at 16:00 BST.

Feedback from our workshop participants

 

Costs

Registered CMALT candidates discounted rate: £149

Everyone else: £166

For block bookings please contact cmalt@alt.ac.uk.

Cancellations

If the minimum number of registrations has not been met by Thursday 25 April, this workshop will be cancelled. Registered delegates will be notified and refunded in full.

Cancellations made in writing, to cmalt@alt.ac.uk, on or before Thursday 18 April will be refunded in full. Cancellations made in writing, to cmalt@alt.ac.uk, after Thursday 18 April will be refunded in full minus a £25 cancellation fee. 

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ALT WM Cuppa and Catch Up

23/02/24

Put the kettle on and join us for 45 minutes of lovely learning-techy chatter to start your day. This informal online meeting of ALT WM is a chance for you to come together with other Learning Technology professionals in the region (and beyond) to network, share ideas, get advice, debate hot topics and more. There's no agenda, so the topics for discussion are very much in your hands! However, we'd really love to hear from you if you are attending JISC DigiFest or other learning tech focussed events in the coming weeks to share your key takeaways with colleagues who couldn't get out of the office to attend.

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ALSIG - Reflecting on supporting staff and students to develop critical AI literacies for active learning

15/02/24

Following on from their recent blog post “Third-space reflections on how we channel the explosion of generative AI into respectful active learning communities”, Dr Catherine Elkin, Leanne Fitton and Dr Chris Little with further explore the work they have undertaken at Manchester Metropolitan University to provide support and guidance to both staff and students about generative AI.

In this interactive webinar you will have the opportunity to share how you have approached supporting staff and students to develop critical AI literacies. What has worked well? What challenges has it presented? How can we overcome them? We will work together to collate a set of resources and strategies that we can collectively draw on. As explained in the blog post, this can be a challenging topic to navigate, so let's use this webinar as an opportunity to support one another.

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ELESIG - The Masterypath – Facilitating learning and transition with an online centred approach.

13/02/24

Educators have begun to transition to a learner-centred approach, aiming to put individual student needs and interests at the forefront (Alamri et al., 2021). As a result, higher education institutions are increasingly employing technology to personalize students’ learning and master their expertise (Lesser, 2016). Indeed, according to Kara and Sevim (2013), the opportunity and capability to integrate digital tools into the teaching and learning process have truly transformed higher education. The use of such practices has been accelerated, in part, by COVID-19 (e.g., O’Dea and Stern, 2021) as well as pedagogical research (e.g., Armellini and Rodriguez, 2021) and institutions (i.e., Advance HE) advocating for a hybrid and/or blended approach to learning. Such driving forces have subsequently witnessed adaptive learning technologies being classified as one of the six most promising technologies emerging within the higher education setting worldwide (EDUCAUSE, 2020), bringing opportunities to explore new venues for teaching and learning. Many adaptive learning technologies can be implemented by educators in a bid to facilitate student learning. Mastery paths, which can be incorporated into the virtual learning environment of Canvas, are one such adaptive learning technology that has emerged within this practice. The Mastery Path initiative has been running for three years across three subjects and has amassed data from over 1,200 students. The results have been fascinating, with students responding positively and demonstrating the same levels of understanding (and, in some cases, more). However, our focus over the last 12 months has centered on how this initiative has impacted student transitions into tertiary education.

 

Reference list: Alamri, H.A., Watson, S. and Watson, W. (2021). Learning Technology Models that Support Personalization within Blended Learning Environments in Higher Education. TechTrends, 65, pp. 62-78.

Armellini, A., and Rodriguez, B.C.P. (2021) Active Blended Learning: Definition, Literature Review, and a Framework for Implementation. In: Rodriguez, B.C.P., and Armellini, A. (eds.) Cases on Active Blended Learning in Higher Education. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Pp. 1-22.

EDUCAUSE. (2020) 2020 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report: Teaching and Learning Edition. [Online] Available at: https://library.educause.edu/-/media/files/library/2020/3/2020_horizon_r... (Accessed 13th February 2024)

Kara, N., and Sevim, N. (2013). Adaptive learning systems: Beyond teaching machines. Contemporary Educational Technology, 4(2), pp. 108-120.

Lesser, M. (2016). Why we badge: The potential for digital credentials. Education Digest, 81(5), pp. 43–48. O’Dea, X. C., and Stern, J. (2021) Virtually the Same?: Online higher education in the post Covid-19 era. British Journal of Educational Technology, 53(3), pp. 437-442.

Profiles: Matthew Hindmarsh and Clay Gransden

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ELESIG - Getting into Action: Building Skills for Action Research

13/02/24

Join Becky Quew-Jones, Principal Lecturer and Learning and Teaching Coordinator, as she leads an interactive workshop on building skills for action research. Becky will share experience using action learning and action research to enhance degree apprenticeship programs and promote academic integrity initiatives. In this session, you will have a hands on session in an attempt to resolve our own workbased wicked problems. This will be through small group activities, you will formulate research questions and develop action plans. Whether you are new to action learning or want to sharpen your skills, this workshop provides a thorough yet accessible introduction. You will come away with new knowledge and concrete strategies to implement action research projects within your own practice. Join us and start taking your ideas into active solutions today! Useful reference Rebecca Quew-Jones (2022) Enhancing apprenticeships within the Higher Education curriculum – an Action Learning and Action Research study, Action Learning: Research and Practice, 19:2, 146-164, DOI: 10.1080/14767333.2022.2056135 Profile

https://www.port.ac.uk/about-us/structure-and-governance/our-people/our-staff/becky-quew-jones

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ALT South Group webinar - Using AI to facilitate qualitative research

12/02/24

Dr Sam Penrice, Associate Professor and Tommaso Bendoni, Analyst, both from BPP’s School of Technology will be joining the ALT South #TechThursday event on Thursday 29 February. They will speak about the Machine Learning discipline Natural Language Processing and its real-world applications in research and identifying language bias. Tommaso will illustrate how he used this new methodology to demonstrate the language differences inherent in tweets to male and female tennis players. The talk is open to everyone. Join us online Thursday 29 February 12.00pm - 1.00pm

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CPD Workshop Series 2024: Adoption of Graduate Attributes through the use of Badges

01/02/24

Presented by Daniel Villalba Algas. Most universities have been working on identifying skills that their graduates will achieve after graduation, regardless of the programme of studies. Some examples of those skills are teamwork, communication, critical thinking, etc. Employers have identified those skills as essential in the current job market.

Those skills are typically called graduate attributes, and in the case of The University of Sheffield, there are 12 graduate attributes and 3 sub-attributes for each, making the total sum of 36 skills.

One of the problems that we have discovered is that because of the number of attributes and how some attributes are described, they are difficult to identify, and students don’t know when they have achieved them. In this practical session, I will demonstrate how self-made badges have been used to make students and staff aware of those graduate attributes and identify what activities are working towards achieving them.

This session is aimed at Learning technologists, Course Designers and Employability Managers who seek ways to promote those graduate attributes among their students through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This project is an example of the use of internal badges and how those can evolve so they become a tool that can help students outside the university environment; it is also a case study where the VLE has been used to increase student engagement and add extra functionality.

After this session, you will be able to start using badges to identify soft skills and possibly apply the same or similar approach to your institution.

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