Thursday, 20 July 2017

Journal Paper on TELFest

Lunchtime Networking at TELFest 2017
I recently carried out some research into TELFest, our week long festival, here at the University of Sheffield. As part of the research I explored the role of TELFest in supporting the adoption of TEL across our institution and ways in which the event could be improved. Having introduced TELFest to our institution in 2014 and as the popularity of the event had begun to grown, I was keen to better understand: (1) The perceived impact of TELFest? (with an emphasis on changes to practice), (2) The ongoing barriers that are preventing changes to practice?, and (3) How  the long-term impact of TELFest could be improved and sustained?

Over the years we have been dedicated to improving TELFest and the findings from our previous attendees, synthesised with academic research has directly influenced the last two events. One of the things that we have tried to do is to support and further strengthen the community of practice that has grown through TELFest. For example, we have an accompanying online community and earlier this year we set up a 'reunion'. To prevent our community from becoming too insular we have invited colleagues from industry and other institutions.

To find out more, you can access the full paper, which has been published in the Research in Learning Technology Journal:
LATIF, Farzana. TELFest: an approach to encouraging the adoption of educational technologies. Research in Learning Technology, [S.l.], v. 25, July 2017. ISSN 2156-7077. Available at: Date accessed: 19 july 2017. 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

TELFest App Swap Breakfast

During TELFest I led a really great App Swap Breakfast, which saw colleagues swapping tips on mobile apps used in learning and teaching, accompanied by muffins and coffee.

As promised here is a summary of all the apps that were discussed:

Adobe Capture - A quick and easy way to get a colour palette from a photo, which can be imported for use inAdobe Creative Cloud.

Castbox - A one stop shop for finding and listening to free podcasts

Coggle - Interactive mind-maps.

Co-spaces - An easy way to create virtual reality experiences on a phone or tablet.

Edmondo - Social media-style space for educators to communicate with peers, students and parents.

Flipboard - An attractive and intuitive news aggregator.

Forest - An anti-procrastination app where you grow a virtual tree, which dies if you navigate away from your task, and can be added to your productivity forest, and even add to a real-world tree-planting programme.

Google Keep - A very useful list-making and note-taking tool.

Gravity Sketch - A 3D sketching tool for iOS.

Habitica - A productivity app that uses a retro-RPG feel to make it fun to achieve goals with inbuilt rewards and punishments.

Headspace - A mindfulness app to reduce stress and anxiety (with the great tip that this is free for anyone with a half-price NUS Extra Spotify premium account).

Homeboy - A home security app, but discussed as a possibility for learning and teaching, by setting up a motion-activated "diary room" for student reflection.

Librivox - Free Public Domain audiobooks.

Marvel - A really useful collaborative prototyping app, to create working mockups of systems from screenshots.

Mediaspace Go - The app for viewing and interacting with Kaltura content.

Netvibes - Creates a personal dashboard with all your favourite news, social media, websites and smart devices in one place.

Newsela - Categorises news articles, rewritten for different reading levels, with the ability to add assessment in the form of quizzes and write prompts.

Padlet - Easy way to create a virtual whiteboard for ideas and collaboration.

Piktochart - A quick and easy way to create Infographics.

Post-it Plus - Great app for recording real-world post-it notes virtually.

Quizizz - Quick and easy way to create fun, meme-themed competitive quizzes for classroom interaction.

Sketchfab - A way to share and find 3D models for use online and in VR.

Sock Puppets - Allows you to create and share lip-synched animations.

Tinycards - An app from the makers of Duolingo, which allows teachers to create flash card-based games for learning languages, vocabulary or visual images.

Waterlogue - Turns any photo into a beautiful watercolour painting!

As you can see a huge range of useful apps across the course of the session - and thanks to all the app-swappers! If you've used any of these apps in your learning and teaching, or have some ideas how they can be, then let us know.


Friday, 7 July 2017

TELFest 2017 - Day Five

TELFest 2017 has come to an end, finishing with another day of fun demonstrations and sessions as attendees got their last taste of the University's technology enhanced learning festival. 
Here are our highlights of the final day:

In the breakfast session, attendees got to share the mobile apps they have been using in teaching and learning, giving them the chance to demonstrate to colleagues and hear from others.
Andrew Middleton (National Teaching Fellow) and Ian Glover, both from Sheffield Hallam University, then presented on Active Learning Spaces, discussing the challenges and approaches you can use to make your teaching more active and interactive.

Mr Middleton then talked to us about his session and about TELFest in general.

Attendees then had some fun with Google Cardboard and Virtual Reality, getting the chance to try the budget VR goggles and hear how these can be applied to teaching.

For TELFest's closing keynote, Professor Mike Sharples of the Open University came and discussed in depth the annual Innovating Pedagogies report which he helped to produced. His talk approached many of the major topics in Technology Enhanced Learning and we'd like to thank him for attending.

Mr Sharples spoke to us about the Open University and much much more.

TELFest finished with Innovation Corner, an exhibition demonstrating the latest technology already being used in teaching and allowing attendees to interact with the technology of the future. Stands displaying VR, augmented reality and 3D printing gave attendees one last chance to interact and talk with staff from other departments and institutions.

The week-long competitions finished as well with Michael Trikic winning a GoPro and the daily top tweeters winning medals.

We also spoke to Steve Rowett who came from the UCL to sample TELFest, and he told us why he was so impressed.

Thanks to everyone who attended TELFest this year, and to everyone who presented. We hope everyone found the week as enjoyable and useful as we did and that people will take what has been discussed and implement it in their teaching and learning.
See everyone next year!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

TELFest 2017 - Day 4

TELFest 2017 is nearly over. With just one more day of technology and learning filled fun, lets look at the highlights of Day Four:

The Thursday started with two sessions introducing PebblePad and building workbooks as well as a hands on practical session on exemplary course design.

Today was also the final day of drop-in sessions for Mole Refresh, the project aiming to help staff get to grips with the new features being added to Mole for 2017/18.

Gamification has been a real talking point at TELFest 2017 and today three teams presented case studies about their experiences applying elements of game-playing to teaching.

Firstly, Stephen Davie and Greg Stewart demonstrated some interactive material to engage students in career planning.

A 301 team of Oli Johnson, Jessica Keen and Amy Mollekin then discussed the use of a skills audit and piloted a scavenger hunt-style app.

Finally Olaf Scroth, Paul Buck and Thom White from the Landscape Department told us how 360 degree cameras and drones can explore sites and be used for teaching students.

A TEL Frameworks panel discussion then took place, with Helen Rodger (Sheffield Hallam University), Peter Holdridge (Information School) and Sofia Mansfeld (Student Ambassador) exploring how implementing frameworks around technology in learning both benefits and stifles teaching.

Graham McElearney, Senior Learning Technologist in the TEL team, also spoke to us about Kaltura, the video creating and sharing resource that was launched on Monday.

And after four days of Tweeting, the four daily winners of Top Tweeter were Elena Rodriguez-Falcon (@ElenaRF), Amy Mollekin (@TheFirstAmyM) , Emily Goodall (@DrEmilyG) and today's winner Nicki Newman (@Nicki_newman). The overall winner will be announced tomorrow during the keynote.

We hope to see you all tomorrow for the last day of TELFest 2017, it should be a great final day!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

TELFest 2017 - Day Three

Day Three of TELFest 2017 saw more discussions and demonstrations on technology enhancing our students learning, looking at social media, online learning and much more. Here’s what happened:

The breakfast session was led by Mark Bradley from the Department of Journalism Studies. He explained how he had been using social media as a learning, teaching and assessment tool and offered suggestions to attendees as to how they could implement this in their own teaching. One idea was the use of Facebook Groups being used to monitor and encourage student group work.

Mr Bradley offered his top social media tips.

Ian Glover came from the Sheffield Hallam University to talk and lead a practical session along with Simon Warwick about different teaching and pedagogical methods. He led an extremely productive discussion as attendees shared the methods and practices they had been using. The ‘Teaching Approaches Menu’ was also launched.

Ian Glover told us more about what he was trying to achieve.

There were several sessions dedicated to the new features of Mole and TELFest held its first ever Poster Exhibition.

Andy Tattersall then chaired a stimulating panel discussion on Openness in education. The discussion looked at how to increase your openness with educational content and why this is important to do so. The Panel consisted of Dr Anthony Rossiter, the head of Faculty Engagement at the University of Sheffield Library Gavin Boyce and Mark Morley of CiCS.

The day ended with some case studies, with Claire Beecroft and Luke Miller (ScHARR) talking about engaging online learners and online communities and Sarah Moore and Layla Croll talking about how to facilitate discussion in an online environment.

And from the Twitter leaderboard, Day Two’s top tweeter was Amy Mollekin (@TheFirstAmyM) and Day Three's Emily Goodall (@DrEmilyG).

We are now over the half way point of TELFest 2017, so don’t miss our final two days of technology and teaching.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

TELFest 2017 - Day 2

TELFest Day Two has come and gone, and with it another host of thought provoking events. 

Here's some of the highlights from Tuesday.

The first session of the day saw Louise Robson discussing Encore (the new name for Lecture Capture at the university) and her journey using this technology in her Department, Biomedical Science. She described how capturing lectures had benefitted her students and not led to any decrease in attendance, as well as talking about interesting features such as the pause button and the ability to edit certain parts of lectures. James Slack and Laura McNally then gave an overview of how the lecture capture works. This is a growing system that is quickly expanding across the University.
Meanwhile attendees were given the chance the play with creative media kits in a session about creating content on your phone. There was also a guide about how to present yourself on camera, with a focus on audio and controlling body language. Attendees Fiona Campbell and Angie Rees told us what they took away from the session: The highlight of the day was the CrysTEL Maze as TELFest used another TV gameshow classic to inform people about the potential of gamification in teaching as well as discussing accessibility in learning. Richard O’Brien aka Graham McElearney played the enthusiastic host role as teams ran around the Diamond in the name of friendly competition. And there was the all-important catering… Sabrine Little closed the day with the launch of her University of Sheffield Enterprise Grant funded project, aiming to aid staff and encourage staff to consider the wider implications and disseminations of their work. And news from the Twitter leader board: Elena Rodriguez-Falcon (@ElenaRF) won yesterday's Top Tweeter prize! See you tomorrow for TELFest Day Three!

Crys-TEL Maze Session at TELFest

Monday, 3 July 2017

TELFest 2017- Day 1

TELFest 2017 has arrived! The Technology Enhanced Learning Festival is back once again with five days of exciting events hitting the Diamond. This year has seen a record 400 people from the University of Sheffield and now numerous other institutions sign up for an action packed week of lectures, sessions and discussions. And more, there are competitions and prizes for attendees throughout the week.

Farzana Latif, Technology Enhanced Learning Manager at the University of Sheffield, warmly welcomed everyone to the opening day of TELFest:

First up was Graham McElearney who got the festival underway with the launch of the Kaltura Digital Media Hub, a new platform that allows students to submit assessments via video and allows staff to submit video and audio feedback. The launch aims to encourage the increased use of video across teaching and learning, enabling students to engage more directly and discursively with feedback. We were shown a glimpse of what Kaltura can do for learning as academics from Journalism, Law and Architecture gave presentations about their experiences piloting the platform.

After lunch, Vice President for Education Wyn Morgan officially launched TELFest before successfully donning the persona of Les Dennis for the Faculty Fortunes competition. A team of staff and a team of students faced off, trying to guess the results of a survey asking staff and students how they use technology in learning and the audience being invited to guess too. In the end, the student team won a decisive victory three rounds to one, and the session highlighted some of the major differences between how students and staff use technology to enhance their learning.


The Digital Commons Retreat held a session run by Chris Stokes where academic staff are encouraged to propose a digital problem and a team of technicians, other academics and more work together to solve the problem. This is a full two day event and allows the team to check in on the progress of previous projects.
Mr Stokes explained more of what the Digital Commons Retreat is about:

The final event of day one was a session targeting the problems of engaging learners in large classes. There were three presentations offering examples and ideas of the best way to engage large numbers of students through technology. The interactive session discussed many promising ideas, from the innovative use of apps such as the word cloud AnswerGarden to Explain Everything which allows students to control an interactive Whiteboard.
We spoke to an attendee at the session about what ideas she took away:

That was day one, and we'll see you all again tomorrow for day two of TELFest.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

This morning we updated Turnitin to now use their Feedback Studio service. This brings together the originality report and GradeMark elements of Turnitin into one overall service.

You will notice there is a change to the look of the document viewer, feedback elements and originality reports.

Some of the changes it will bring includes:
  • Improved navigation, bringing together the originality reports and feedback tool. The combination of these is called Feedback Studio.
  • More formatting options for the comments tool. Now includes bold, italic, underline and hyperlinks.
  • Easier to add annotations to the assignment. Clicking directly on the page will show the different annotation types available. You previously had to toggle between the comment types.
For more information on these changes please see the overview of changes.


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