Tel Tales

Adventures in Technology Enhanced Learning @ UoP

Listening to the Student Voice | an Overview

 
Melita Sidiropoulou

The University of Portsmouth places the student experience at the centre of its philosophy and vision. The University’s vision as expressed in its education strategy 2012–2017 is: “To provide an excellent, inspiring and challenging educational experience underpinned by research, scholarship and professional and ethical practice, through which our students will be able to achieve personal, academic and career success”. Since the University strives to provide an excellent student experience, it creates and follows policies that promote ways in which such an experience can be facilitated. Such ways include teaching and other staff practices, support services, mechanisms that enable student participation in the shaping of University policies, student surveys, and other forms of feedback that allow the student voice to be heard.

In order to improve its standards, various teams are involved in undertaking research and conducting surveys. The Department for Curriculum and Quality Enhancement (DCQE) plays a major role in these activities. Other departments that are involved include the Academic Registry and the Graduate School. In addition to working with its people (staff and students), the University of Portsmouth often works closely with other institutions, the government, and bodies such as the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

With both external and internal support and participation, the University of Portsmouth conducted a number of student experience surveys over the last few years, including the:

  • annual National Student Survey (NSS);
  • biennial Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES);
  • biennial University of Portsmouth Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (UPPRES);
  • biennial Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES);
  • International Student Barometer (ISB);
  • UK Engagement Survey (UKES)
  • Mres Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (MPRES)
  • JISC Student Digital Experience Tracker
  • Unit Satisfactions Questionnaires (USQ); and the
  • University of Portsmouth Student Experience Survey (UPSES).

Furthermore, the University participates in various student experience projects, such as the Postgraduate Experience Project (PEP) and policy change projects that focus their efforts on the student experience, such as the Transform Project. These among other surveys and projects explore aspects of the student experience and educational excellence which revolve around the key areas of ‘teaching quality’, the ‘learning environment’, ‘student outcomes’, and ‘learning gain’ (as stated in the Teaching Excellence Framework). Overall, the University of Portsmouth promotes and achieves a student experience of a very high standard which results in a number of desirable outcomes: it places us very high up in the national rankings; encourages the pursuit and attainment of teaching and learning excellence; offers an equally rewarding experience to its staff; and contributes to the academic ethos that the University strives for.

The very existence of such a variety of student experience surveys and projects reflects the values that the University puts on a quality student experience – values that are upheld in the University’s policies. The high performance of the University – as presented in reports following these surveys and projects – as well as the subsequent action taken in response to such surveys demonstrate this. The University will continue to undertake research and conduct surveys in order to promote its values and strategies; provide first class educational opportunities to its students; improve its standards for and with society; develop the potential of its areas of strength; and gain a better understanding of areas in need of improvement.

Ten steps to creating great lecture capture!

 

One – Don’t be scared, just give it a go!

Embedding video content within your own Moodle course can be a great way of engaging your students and enhancing their learning experience.

Two – Think about your audience

Think about what it is that you want your students to learn from engaging in this video – will it add value to their learning experience? Is this the most appropriate way of delivering course content? Will watching the video deepen students’ subject knowledge? How will the content delivered in the video tie in with the course learning objectives?

Three – Planning out your recording

You may have lots of ideas of what you want to talk about in your video – whether it be a new topic you are introducing or an old topic you are revisiting. However, plan exactly what it is you want to say and when, and then break this down into bite-sized chunks. You can create a storyboard to help you do this. This will help you to refine your presentation and add structure.

Once you have done this write a script; read it out aloud so that you can hear what works and what feels too forced. Having a script also means that you have a readily available transcript document, therefore providing an alternative format for those students that have accessibility issues when watching videos.

Four – Using visuals

To help make your video more interesting and engaging use images and graphics along side your presentation to illustrate key points and explain complex concepts. However, don’t go overboard and send you students into visual stimulation meltdown, as too much can also distract the audience from the point you are trying to make – keep it relevant!

Five – How to add interactivity

Following on from the video why not set up a discussion activity that allow students to apply what they have learnt from the video. You could also create some questions that test students’ understanding of the information that has been delivered.

Six – What about the length?

The length of your video is really important. When possible try to keep recordings to a maximum of 10 minutes or create pauses to give your audience a chance to digest and reflect on the topic you are presenting about. Studies have shown that students do not engage with video lectures in the same way as face-to-face lectures

Seven – Be Copyright smart!

Make sure that any material used in your videos is copyright cleared – this means using sites like Creative commons and Flickr creative commons or gaining permissions directly from the original owner of the material.

Eight – Using equipment

Tripod: If you are not using an integrated lecture capture system then you need to consider  using a tripod for your recording – wobbly footage can cause quite a nauseating effect in your audience!   

Best possible lighting: Unless you are recording in a professional studio you will need to think carefully about the quality of lighting in your chosen recording location. Good lighting will maximise the picture quality – think about whether there is enough natural light from windows or whether the room has adequate lighting.

Microphone: sound is a really important element of your recording… if the audio is bad then your audience is not going to be able to engage with it and will very quickly lose interest in what is being presented!

Nine – Location, location, location

Choose the space wisely! You’ll need a quiet location where you know you won’t be interrupted or disturbed. Locations that suit the topic you are presenting on are great. However, be wary on how practical the location is to record and be aware that you may need permission to be there!

Ten – You; The presenter!

Rehearse and practice before pressing the record button…

  • Be yourself!
  • Dress in neutral clothing
  • Avoid fast movements and fidgeting!
  • Be natural and informal in your delivery – try, when possible, to bring humor and your own experiences into your presentation
  • Speak clearly and using short sentences and don’t panic if you get your words muddled… just carry on as if you would do in a lecture theatre!
  • Make eye contact with the camera in order to connect with your audience

UbiCast Lecture Capture

 

https://www.ubicast.eu/en/products/campus-automated-lecture-capture-elearning-moocs/

Jerry Collingwood

The University has selected the UbiCast Lecture Capture system for producing high quality recordings of lectures. The system has been designed to be seamless to use, with your only input being to start and stop the recording, or to request in advance that the lecture is recorded – in which case the entire process can be automated for you! You then need only do what you would normally do in that room to begin your teaching, such as ensuring the microphone is switched on and can be heard by the audience.

The system captures audio from the desk and/or tie microphone depending on the room configuration and plays it back to users alongside the content you have projected for the students and/or the output from a video camera. To make the video of your presentation more engaging, the camera can digitally track you as you move within the presentation area. The compiled output will also sense when it is appropriate to display either the camera or the presented content in full screen mode to draw the viewer’s attention.

Although the high definition camera is fixed in each room, our editing software automatically recognises upper-body shapes within the defined presentation area and frames (tracks) these as they move about, hence the final output is similar to that achieved by a camera crew filming the event. To achieve the best results, we recommend wearing clothes that will contrast against the backdrop in the room. If possible you should also remove any ‘shapes’ from the presentation area which may interfere with the recognition process such as empty chairs.

Once the recording has been stopped it will automatically render and upload to our Media Server, which is accessible at https://mediaserver.capture.port.ac.uk/ using your UoP login details. You should then contact the TEL team at elearn@port.ac.uk with details of your presentation (title, date, time, room) and we will make your recording available to you. Ultimately, we hope that all you will then want to edit on your recording is to trim it, though  before you actually trim anything we recommend that you watch through all the parts that you intend to use and let the TEL team know if there are any issues with camera tracking as we can fix these first. You will have access to trim the recording yourself, whether this is just top and tailing or cutting out sections from the middle is up to you, you can then merge all of your parts together as one recording or split them into separate videos should you wish. Once you are happy with your recording, let the TEL team know and we will ‘publish’ the video making it accessible to other users on the server. Should you wish you could also then embed the recording within Moodle.

UbiCast is currently only available in a limited number of rooms across campus – Eldon West 1.11, Park 2.23, Richmond LT1, Dennis Sciama 2.02 and The Graduate School 4.09 in St Andrews Court. We also have a mobile unit that the TEL Team can set up in suitable rooms around campus –- but please contact the TEL team well in advance to check room suitability.

If you like UbiCast spread the word, as we can then look at an investment proposal to expand the service.

Chromebooks

 
Mandy Harcup

Have you ever wanted to incorporate some online activity into your session, but don’t have the facility to do so?  Here, in the TEL department we have 30 Chromebooks which are available for morning and afternoon sessions or can be booked for the entire day.

So how do Chromebooks work?
The Chromebooks have two preset profiles that can be assigned through the admin panel. The first is defined as “Classroom mode”, the second is “Exam Mode”.

In Classroom mode the Chromebooks loads a Google login box where the users university details are added. Chrome OS then loads and allows the user to access their work Chrome profile, this will include access to email, drive and any other documents within their Google profile.

Exam mode is much more stringent, and automatically logs into the device and displays the exam landing page. The student would then choose the exam they are expected to take, at which point they are then asked to sign into Moodle with their credentials. They are taken to the title screen of that exam which will display start time, end time (if set) and duration of the exam.

Should there be another requirement for a different Chromebook profile then through discussion with IS it may be possible to create one that would suit the potential need. As an example: Science made a request for exam mode to be enabled with access to a shared Google Drive document that still limited any other web access. This took over a month of testing and development between Science and IS to get the framework working and in place to use. Some requests that have been made however, were not possible and subsequently implementation was not possible.

Unlike standard Chromebooks or laptops, the TEL Chromebooks require a University of Portsmouth Google account as they’re subject to authentication  by Google.  So if you’re thinking of borrowing the Chromebooks to use with external participants, IS will need at least 72 hours notice to give them time to create dedicated accounts. If you required a large number of external accounts you would need to contact IS directly: servicedesk@port.ac.uk

Booking the Chromebooks
If you would like to borrow the Chromebooks we would require you to complete the TEL Chromebook Booking, Enquiry Form

This form asks:

  • How many Chromebooks do you require?
  • Which mode do you require?
  • Session Date
  • Session Start Time
  • Session End Time
  • Session Name
  • Session Location

You’ll need to complete an individual form for each session that you require the Chromebooks for. To make sure that the Chromebooks are in the correct mode we require a minimum of 72 hours from your initial booking to when you require the devices. Chromebooks are transported in wheel-able flight cases (15 Chromebooks per case), therefore it would be your responsibility to get them transferred to where you need them.  We’ll make sure that they’re ready at least 30 minutes before your session starts, for you come to collect them.

If you’re interested in borrowing the Chromebooks, but not sure in what capacity and would like further explanation or demonstration then please contact elearn by either telephoning extension 3355 or email us at elearn@port.ac.uk and we can provide some advice on how they have been used before around the University.

TechSmith Relay

 
Jerry Collingwood

Many of you will be aware of the TechSmith Relay service as the University has been using it for a number of years, but are you making the most of it for your students? The service is available on all UoP machines via MyApps and you can also download the software free from our TechSmith Relay server (log in with your UoP details) for use on any other compatible machine – see https://relay.port.ac.uk/relay/ClientDownload.aspx

TechSmith Relay allows you to record your screen with an audio voiceover, which is currently considered suitable to meet the requirements of the Disabled Student Allowance. Incorporating TechSmith Relay into your teaching need not be just about meeting these requirements however, as all of your students can benefit from being able to hear what was said during contact time. Students’ attention can be disrupted while making notes during a lecture, and knowing they can refer back to the recording rather than having to rely on their own notes afterwards means students can concentrate fully on the lecture.

To use this software in a lecture theatre you will require a microphone to be connected to a PC, in some rooms the desk microphone has been linked up in this way, but not all. To ensure you can record your session in this way we recommend the purchase of a USB microphone which you can quickly set up in the various teaching rooms.

This can take the form of a simple USB wired microphone if you do not stray too far from the microphone during your lecturing, such as:

http://support.logitech.com/en_gb/product/usb-desktop-microphone

Or, if you like to wander around the presentation area, a microphone such as the RevoLabs X-Tag could prove useful although it will cost significantly more:

https://www.revolabs.com/products/microphones/wireless-microphones-systems/usb-wireless-microphone-system

Of course, rather than recording your entire lecture, if you do have time at your desk to create a lecture summary suitable for revision then this may well prove more effective to complement your teaching. Research has shown that short recordings of 5–15 minutes are far more effective for student engagement and learning.

PLEASE NOTE that it can take a few minutes to upload your recording (particularly at the end of a lecture) so allow 3–4 minutes before logging off the PC otherwise your recording will not complete uploading even if you receive a message saying it has been ‘submitted’.

You may also find Relay a helpful tool for providing feedback. When marking an essay you could have the essay on screen and use the mouse as a pointer whilst talking about an assignment, thereby providing audio feedback in addition to written feedback. Why not check out the Assessed Video tool!

Turnitin – Multiple Markers

 
Tom Langston

Turnitin, as we all know, allows students to submit their work electronically and get a ‘similarity report’ – a comparison of the submitted work against a vast database of existing papers and websites. Academics have access to the similarity reports, which can be a great help in cases where they suspect a student might have committed plagiarism. Turnitin, through features such as comment banks and drag-and-drop comments, also works well for marking work electronically.

While we have been using Turnitin at Portsmouth for many years, the interface has changed somewhat; it’s now called Feedback Studio.

Feedback Studio has a much cleaner interface than the classic version of Turnitin, and it now works within a mobile device without needing to install the Turnitin app (which is only available on iPad).

The newest feature to become available is Multiple Markers, which is currently in beta. Multiple Markers helps with second marking. A marker’s initials are placed next to any comment or quickmark that has been placed into the document. As you can see from the image, there are three comments here: two from the first marker (with initials PQ; you can see the bubble comment and quickmark added to the text) and one from the second marker (with initials TL; the initials are placed next to a bubble comment). Any plain text comments or strikethroughs are not initialled.

Multiple Markers is a great feature for academics who need the ability to share marking or do second marking, while students can quickly and easily see where different markers have annotated their work.

Guest Blogger: Mary McKeever – New Personal Tutoring Platform

 

Dr Mary McKeever (SFHEA) is a Principal Lecturer in Higher Education and is the Lead Assessor for the Academic Professional Excellence Programme (APEX) and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  She is the Co-ordinator of the Graduate Students’ Professional Development Programme (GPROF) and she developed and co-ordinates the online programme for part time lecturers (ALPROF).

New Personal Tutoring Platform Launched in Creative Technologies and Architecture

A group of staff from across the University have collaborated on building a new personal tutoring  platform that uses technology to bring together key student information for personal tutors and a personal tutoring google site that informs and signposts personal tutors to academic and pastoral support for their personal tutees.

The platform and website is being piloted in Architecture and Creative Technologies. It has been built in collaboration with personal tutors from the two schools. The consultation with staff has proved invaluable – in each school the tutors discussed the difficulties they have in accessing key information about their tutees, which is held across different systems and can be difficult to access when required. Staff drew up a wishlist of the information about their students and student support services that would be most helpful for them to have, in order of priority.  The two wishlists were then combined and the platform was built using an agile methodology of working through the priority list and sending it back to the schools for testing. This proved to be  a very successful collaborative effort with IS, DCQE and academics all working together to meet a very tight deadline.  

The project is part of a HEFCE-funded project entitled Raising Awareness, Raising Aspiration: A Targeted Personal Tutoring Support Programme for Narrowing Gaps in Student Achievement and Ambition (RARA). We are partners with King’s College London and The University of Sheffield in the project, both of whom have already got platforms. Working as part of the national project, has allowed us to catch up in a very short time but using the latest technology and drawing on the best technical expertise.

Alana Aldred from Technology Enhanced Learning designed the website taking inspiration from the King’s Personal Tutoring Platform.

John Newland designed the front end of the platform database to bring together the key data sources requested by personal tutors in an accessible and attractive interface.

Daniel Tung put in long hours on the technical build, working alongside Andrew Johnys, a contractor employed from the HEFCE grant. Paul Ramsay brought together personal and academic student support service details so that personal tutors would have all the signposting information they need at their fingertips.

The Personal Tutoring Platform and Google site have now been launched in the pilot faculties, giving personal tutors access to photographs, contact details, stage of study, year groups, marks achieved across all years and courses, ECF applications, attendance at key compulsory lectures and workshops, and submission of work. Most important for our diverse student body, personal tutors can now access the contact details of all the student support services (locally and centrally) so that personal tutors can make early referral for the development of key academic and technical skills essential for student academic success and referral to sources of personal support as necessary.  

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Digital Capabilities?

 
Adrian Sharkey

Why do digital capabilities matter?

In 2015 the House of Lords published a report on the need to improve the country’s digital capabilities, Make or Break: The UK’s Digital Future. It was an eye opener and didn’t pull any punches. Among the findings, the report stated that 35% of existing jobs would be automated over the next 20 years and that higher education had not responded to the urgent need for re-skilling. The report goes on to outline that digital skills are all encompassing, affecting all areas of the economy including industry, agriculture, health care, financial services as well as public and consumer services.

Added to this is the expectation of students now paying £9,000 a year in tuition fees. Higher education is seen as much more of a transaction and students expect to be given the skills that make them employable. With expectations from government and students, higher education has a large responsibility in providing the relevant skills for a successful digital economy, to both staff and students.

What are digital capabilities?

Higher education agencies like UCISA and Jisc have come up with a definition and a framework for digital capabilities:

‘Digital capabilities are those that fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society.’

 

 

Digital capability covers a wide range of areas and is embedded in all teaching and learning. There is a big assumption that students these days are computer ‘savvy,’ and while they may spend a lot of time online and be comfortable with different applications and devices, that doesn’t necessarily translate to being able to evaluate information, analyse data, having a credible online identity etc.

The six elements of digital capability:

ICT Proficiency

Be comfortable using different devices, applications and services and know which ones to apply to particular tasks. An ability to keep up to date with ICT and deal with problems when they occur.

Information, data and media literacies

Being able to evaluate information, analyse it and present it in different settings, use data in applications like spreadsheets and databases to query it and run reports. An understanding of laws around data, like copyright and data protection. An ability to interpret and a critical approach to media messages.

Digital creation, problem solving and innovation

Present work and ideas using blogs, web pages audio and visual tools etc. Understand different digital research tools, analyse and present the results. Use digital tools in different settings to present ideas.

Digital communication, collaboration and participation

Effectively use forums, social media and other digital communication tools. Collaborate on projects and work with people from different organisations and backgrounds using productivity tools like G-suite. Use digital tools, social networking etc. to participate in online learning, professionally and personally online.

Digital learning and development

Be able to learn online, monitor progress and showcase achievements. To teach and design online learning opportunities.

Digital identity and wellbeing

Be able to project a positive digital identity across different profiles and understand the reputational risks and benefits of participating online. Use digital tools to pursue personal goals, manage work life balance online.

What next?

  • Digital capability needs to be seen as an institute wide responsibility, across all departments.
  • One of the first steps is to assess your own digital capability, this can be done using the Jisc Digital Discovery Tool, while this is aimed at staff, some institutions have used it with students also. There should be a student discovery tool in early 2018.
  • All opportunities should be taken to embed digital capability into the curriculum, staff and students should be encouraged to co-create digital resources.
  • Example digital capability profiles for staff (including support staff) and students. Jisc have made a start on this.
  • Make digital capability part of everyone’s Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and Performance Development Review (PDR).
  • Look at certification and accreditation.
  • Encourage digital good practice, offer rewards for innovative digital teaching and for student achievement.
  • Provide the digital infrastructure and university wide tools to allow students and staff to develop digital capability.

Further resources

Technology Enhanced Learning Team in DCQE

The IT Training Team in IS

Jisc – Building digital capability

The 2017 UCISA Digital Capabilities Survey Report

Jisc – Student digital experience tracker 2017

Dame Martha Lane Fox – Richard Dimbleby Lecture

@adrianjsharkey

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Degree Apprenticeships

 
Stephen Webb

A couple of years ago the government made it clear that they wanted universities to offer a new type of programme: degree apprenticeships. These programmes would offer students the opportunity to achieve a full bachelors or masters degree as part of their apprenticeship. Apprentices would be employed throughout the programme, but spend part of their time at university – on a day-to-day basis or in blocks, depending on the programme and the requirements of the employer.

There are a number of attractive aspects of degree apprenticeships:

  • Apprentices will gain a degree without needing to pay student fees.
  • Apprentices are employed, so they get paid a wage throughout the course. (So student debt, which we hear so much about, is much less likely to be a problem for those who take a degree apprenticeship.)
  • Apprentices will gain a head start in their chosen profession.
  • Apprentices will acquire the graduate/postgraduate level skills they need for the world of work.
  • Employers can attract – and retain – new talent.
  • Training costs are co-funded by the government and the employer.

In May 2017, the “apprenticeship levy” was introduced to fund apprenticeships. The levy is an 0.5% tax on the wage bill of any employer with a salary cost in excess of £3 million per year. The levy is expected to generate about £3 billion per year – money that can only be spent on approved apprenticeships.

Given the clear attractiveness of these programmes to prospective students it seems certain that universities, in order to stay competitive, will need to offer an increasing range of degree apprenticeships. The University of Portsmouth has responded quickly to this changing environment by appointing several new members of staff to promote and support the development of degree and masters degree apprenticeships.

One challenge facing our new colleagues is the need to develop learning that fits around work commitments – flexible learning modes such as day or block release, and distance or blended learning. Indeed, it seems increasingly likely that online learning (to enable distance or blended learning) is going to play a key role in the development of degree apprenticeships. It won’t be appropriate for all such programmes – the military, for example, would probably prefer paper workbooks to Moodle-based courses! – but for the majority of employers the offer of an online option will be a prerequisite.

So the appointment of three new online course developers to support degree apprenticeships is highly welcome! These OCDs – Andy Taggart, Daren Cooper and Becky Holman are located with the TEL team in Mercantile House. But they’ll be working with colleagues in the faculties to develop exciting new degree apprenticeship programmes. Initial indications are that they are going to be extremely busy!   

A little bit about the new OCDS

Andy Taggart

Andy Taggart

“Hi everyone, my name’s Andy Taggart and am really excited about joining the TEL  team as an online course developer, working on the Degree Apprenticeships. Originally from Liverpool, I live in Southampton and have done so pretty much since graduating from university there in 1983. Though I did work for a year in Brussels where I met my wife (we got together after I helped rescue her from a fire in the school where we were both working).

Before joining the University I worked for many years in the sixth-form sector, first as a teacher of History before moving into eLearning, specifically Moodle course development. In relation to online learning, I am particularly interested in exploring how technology can support less able students especially those groups of students who tend to underperform.  I have worked with many staff over the years, using the interactive features of Moodle, to help improve student attainment and to help students in general learn in an interesting and innovative way. After many years of working with teachers in helping them prepare their students for university – it’s going to be interesting to work on this side of the fence.

As part of my OCD work I am hoping to also explore the game elements in Moodle as a way of making online learning fun, engaging but academically rigorous at the same time.

Aside from the actual use and creation of online courses I am also interested in the underlying pedagogy of online learning – how it impacts on learners, how it compares to other methods of learning and how it can support approaches to teaching and learning such as flipped and blended learning. I am also keen to work with academic staff to create videos that can then be embedded into Moodle courses, past experience shows that students do find short instructional videos to be particularly useful.

Outside of work I’m married, have two daughters, two dogs and my interests range from playing the ukulele, reading (mainly history, politics and Scandinavian crime) to real ale.

I am passionate about the use of technology in education and looking forward to contributing to the development of online teaching and learning for degree apprenticeship academics and students.”

Daren Cooper

Daren Cooper

“Hello all, my name is Daren Cooper and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead working as an Online Course Developer (OCD) for the new apprenticeship degrees.  I am hoping to help create some interesting materials and use some of the skills I have acquired from my time as an OCD in  SSHLS to create attractive interactive content.  Prior to working at the University of Portsmouth I was also a student here and got my degree in Video Production, which I have put to good use since working at the University.  

In the past I have made educational videos and promotional videos for the Faculty of Humanities and have since gone on to produce websites for research projects in various subjects. I’ve worked within education for about 10 years including primary and secondary schools, college and now university.  

I have had a varied career over the years but working in developing online courses has been the job I’ve stuck to the longest (it’s better than bingo calling, the second longest job!). When I am not at work my special powers include carpentry, DIY, video editing and tending the allotment.”

Becky Holman

Becky Holman

“Hi all! My name is Becky Holman and I will be joining the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team from October as one of the Online Course Developers (OCDs) focused on the University of Portsmouth’s new Degree Apprenticeships.

I’ve worked at the University of Portsmouth for over 10 years now, starting off as an receptionist and working upwards to the role of Administrator. Although I’ve enjoyed all of the roles I have undertaken over the years I have always had a real interest in digital technology and was always keen to move my career forward into a direction where I could pursue that interest. At the beginning of this year an opportunity arose for me to be seconded into the TEL team as an Online Course Developer. I had great feedback from my time in the role and I enjoyed my secondment so much that I began applying for any OCD role that became available… and now here I am!

I am really excited to be joining the TEL team and am looking forward to helping give students the best online learning experience possible by creating interesting content which is also accessible. I am especially looking forward to experimenting with H5P to achieve this.

When I’m not at work I love to read, work on my garden, play video games and (occasionally) run. I’m married and have one dog, who absolutely rules the roost! When I have time I also like to take part in MOOCs but I would really like to be able to undertake a degree apprenticeship myself in the future.”

We would like to welcome Andy, Daren and Becky to the TEL team and look forward to hearing more from them about degree apprenticeships in the future!

Skills4StudyCampus – online study skills support

 
Alana Aldred

Many students who arrive at the University often fall short of the necessary study skills required for them to achieve their academic goals. With the support of the Academic Skills Unit (ASK) students are able to enhance their skills by attending workshops and one-to-one sessions, as well as receive paper handouts. However, the University have also invested in a licence for the Palgrave MacMillan resource Skills4StudyCampus which is available to our students online.

Skills4StudyCampus is an interactive online tool that allows students to prepare for studying at university level and to help them develop their study skills. There are 6 modules: Getting ready for academic study; Reading and note-taking; Critical thinking skills; Writing skills; Exam skills; and Time management.

Skills4StudyCampus Moodle site ‘Skills4Study@Portsmouth’

Students can access this resource by logging into Moodle and selecting the site Skills4Study@Portsmouth from the ‘Useful Sites’ drop-down menu.

Students are then free to actively participate in activities as and when they need to. The modules include: diagnostic tests to help students recognise areas in which they need to improve their skills; self assessment tasks to help them gain a deeper understanding of their knowledge and skills; interactive activities to help reinforce the skills and knowledge they have learnt; and module assessments to test understanding of what has been learnt. Students can also use the My Journal feature which allows them to make notes and reflect on their learning.

The modules have been designed to suit different types of learners and has been created to support students with accessibility issues.

Embed Skills4StudyCampus into your Moodle course units
Skills4StudyCampus modules / sections can now be easily embedded directly into a Moodle course unit using the External tool activity.

To find out more on how to embed sections of this resource into your Moodle course unit, log into Moodle and select ‘Staff Help Site’ from the ‘Help Sites’ drop-down menu. You will then find a section that will provide you with guidance along with the generated embedding links.

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