Adventures in Technology Enhanced Learning @ UoP

Category: TEL Training

Reflecting on the TEL Tales Blended Learning Festival

As you are probably aware by now, the TEL Tales Blended Learning Festival was a week long festival looking at developments in educational technology with learning and teaching. How the sudden shift to online and blended learning has put a strain on many academics workloads and more often skill perceptions. I say this as what the current situation has shown is people are far more capable than they ever gave themselves credit for

Across the week the range of subjects was impressive and comprehensive. All the sessions were recorded and can be found on both the TEL Tales Blended Learning Festival website and YouTube on this playlist.

This post though, is just a brief look at how the week felt to me. The first point to note of every conference is that if you are presenting, you don’t really get to attend. Except with a fully digital conference, I am able to go back and revisit the sessions. This is a real pleasure as there were a few sessions that conflicted with mine that are of benefit to my training and personal interest (now just to find the time to watch them all back)!

The second area for me is the adrenaline rush, even just being sat at my desk. The first day saw a few technical issues that made it all the more exciting to diagnose and solve as part of a team. It got rectified very quickly, and by the 4th session of the day the hangover from the problem was gone. The team came together, set goals, allocated tasks and we did it. The reason I bring this up is not to talk in depth about the issue but to say how great it was to work with the whole team, we were able to overcome obstacles together and  provide a smooth experience to those that attended. 

My third point is that it was great to have another person to present with and to a large crowd (for most sessions) to bounce ideas around and get people involved with the process. It was a shame that my session with Andy Clegg wasn’t a little longer to be able to run the activity in full, which would have essentially been ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’. Throw some ingredients at us and let us help solve a problem on the fly. This did take place with Mike Wilson when we ran beginner and advanced Moodle demos and were able to just show people answers to questions they had. It was live, specific and not fitting a normal conference where you may not get what you actually hoped to see. It is something that I hope to be able to do more of going forward, working with colleagues on sessions that can be fun, engaging and promote creative discussions for those that may not normally see the benefit of what we do in the department.

My final reflection is that I am so proud of what the team and colleagues have done. Watching Stephen Webb and Shaun Searle demonstrate principles of content capture and talk about how quickly they have had to deal with the implementation of Panopto, it makes you proud to be part of something so proactive (maybe a little reactive in this case) and so professional. The whole conference was put together quickly with people quickly developing sessions and actually we all learned of ways to develop our specialisms into the wider field of what the department does. 


From the feedback I and others have received, it was a great success and I hope to do something similar in the future. It has opened my eyes to ideas that can run across the year and not just in one day. How my training online could be the way to go (don’t get me wrong I love face to face experiences) but actually online, I know people have a device and I can be more creative with what was once a demonstration type session. 

This festival was a pleasure to be a part of, and I was sad it finished. I was also glad at the end as it was intense, mildly hectic and not really a sustainable solution to training especially with trying to help manage a family in lockdown (I was lucky not to be attacked by children!). However, my feeling going forward, even after the worst of this current isolation is over, is that the conferences that we run and organise could and should have more online elements to really engage everyone that wants to attend. It opens up other possibilities that physical locations can’t. The best part of this whole experience though was this tweet from @Drstuartsims. Even in lockdown, conference food is questionable …

Credit Image: Photo by Stefan Spassov on Unsplash

Credit Image: Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

Guest Blogger: Carole Phillips – Old Dog – New Tricks

Blog following TEL Training sessions:

The saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks isn’t quite true in my case.

I am a 50-something senior lecturer PT and an Advanced Nurse Practitioner PT. I have spent the whole of my nursing career gaining knowledge to develop my clinical skill and then passing them on through clinical teaching. I ventured into HE back in the early noughties … only to find I missed clinical practice. This was at the start of online resources for teaching and learning – I thought, “bugger that, I want to be hands on…” Fifteen years later, somewhat at a loss having done clinical practice full-time, I found I missed my students and formal teaching – and landed a PT role here at UoP (#Nursing).

The last year has been a massive learning curve for me. Gone are the big lecture theatres; instead we have small lecture rooms, with satellites and facilitators, and more online activities and learning. I thought, “Oh no, I’m too old to learn how to do that – keep a group of students in another room engaged with my lectures whilst not actually in the room!”

Then I found the TEL training sessions and Tom. He’s not quite a knight in shining armour, but he’s definitely taught this old dog new tricks.

I am about to embark on a PhD (well an EDD, but you know what I mean) in using online activities in undergraduate nurse education (“OMG” you cry; me too!). But I am so enamoured by all the resources I am keen to learn and use this in my teaching – my head is spinning!

I couldn’t do all the TEL sessions in order as I’m PT, but that doesn’t seem to matter. Tom has been patient and listened to me, and I’ve been developing lots of activities through Moodle to enhance my teaching.

I have been promising a blog for a few months – so here is the first, and hopefully not the last. And whilst I’m an academic, I’m not your traditional academic – and over time, if I continue with blogs, you’ll find out why. So keep reading!

Image credits: Photo by McDobbie Hu on Unsplash

New Features of Moodle and Bespoke TEL Training Sessions

During August TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning) will be offering New Features of Moodle 3.5 and bespoke training sessions only. The usual timetabled TEL training sessions will resume in September.


New Features of Moodle 3.5 sessions

Each year new features are added and old tools are upgraded to improve functionality. The New Features of Moodle sessions will look at the latest features of Moodle that have changed since the roll over. Any updates or new features of our latest Moodle will be included in the session to help you keep up to date with the workings of the system.

To view our training sessions, please see the TEL Training Calendar.

Bespoke Sessions

Informal 1-2-1 sessions can be held at your desk, or if there are several of you interested in a session we have a room available where you can request a more structured group session. Topics for bespoke sessions can be based around our traditional TEL programme, or we can tailor the session to answer any specific questions or needs that you require.

Please complete a Bespoke Training Request form (see below) and simply tick the box next to the session you would like training on. If you tick ‘Other’ please give a brief explanation of the topic you wished to be covered in the session. Complete with the date on which you would like your training session to take place, along with your preferred time and finish it by clicking ‘SUBMIT’.

Please click here for the Bespoke Training Request form:

Bespoke Training Request Form

Once we receive your form, a member of  the TEL team will contact you to confirm your training arrangements.

NB: Bespoke TEL training sessions can also be arranged throughout the year.

Background image credits:

© 2024 Tel Tales

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑