We at the LTEU want to say a big thank you to everyone who got involved and attended our annual learning and teaching conference.
If you didn’t manage to attend not to worry, we are pleased to announce that all of the recordings are now live on the Annual Learning and Teaching Conference programme page.
If you attended this year’s conference, we would love to hear your feedback, please fill in our Annual Learning & Teaching Conference 2022 Survey. We are beginning our preparations for our 11th Annual Learning & Teaching Conference and your feedback will help us make it the best one yet!
The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is starting to work on our next project: the move to Blackboard Ultra. Over the coming months we’ll be using our blog to communicate project progression as well as important information.
Over the next year or so, you’ll probably hear the following phrases:
Ultra Base Navigation: the name given to the new design and navigation within Blackboard, before you enter a module or organisation.
Ultra Course View: a more modern design and easy-to-use interface for modules with some new tools that are not available in the Original Course View.
Original Course View: the design and interface we are currently using for modules and which Blackboard is retiring.
LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability): the external tools integrated into Blackboard such as Turnitin and Panopto.
There are advantages to using Ultra:
More intuitive course design and content creation.
Increased compatibility with mobile and tablet devices.
Benefits from Blackboard’s continuous updates and support.
Whilst we recognise these benefits, the change may be disruptive for colleagues and students but we will be working hard to ensure the rollout is as smooth as possible.
For colleagues, we’ll be running training sessions next year so that you are as prepared for this change as possible.
In this first blogpost, we’ll provide a summary of our first stakeholder engagement meeting which took place on Friday 16 September. Your departmental directors of learning and teaching along with other stakeholders were invited to the meeting.
Our client support colleagues from Blackboard gave attendees a tour of the Ultra interface from an instructor’s perspective and a day in the life of a student.
We have made the meeting available for everyone via Panopto.
Following the stakeholder meeting we will be working on the following areas:
When can we enable Ultra Base Navigation?
What will the course creation and copying process look like for colleagues?
How does Blackboard Ultra manage Welsh and English content?
Keep a lookout for further updates. If you have got any questions, do let us know (email@example.com).
The University has a site license for Vevox, a polling software, which means that we benefit from regular updates. You can view the March updates on this blogpost.
The summary of the updates for September are below:
Vevox interface available in Welsh
The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is pleased to announce that Vevox, the University’s polling software, now has an interface available in Welsh.
Since we procured Vevox we have been working closely with their Customer Services Manager to develop the system to meet the needs of our learning and teaching and we are really pleased to see this development.
Users can choose their language in the interface when they log into Vevox.
Click on the language icon highlighted below and select Cymraeg and Save.
New question type available
There’s a new ranking style question available – ask your students to rank things based on importance or put things in the correct order.
This question can either be marked as correct or used to generate user preference. From the poll, select the Ranking style question.
Aberystwyth University has once again run the Students Digital Insights Survey, a survey that asks learners the impact of online and technology implemented learning. This year over 600 students at Aberystwyth University took this survey.
The Key Metrics
The JISC survey has changed in the last year with some of the key metric questions being changed, for the questions that have stayed very similar or the same we can compare to last year’s results.
Supported use of own devices
Access to online platforms off-site
Online learning environment
Quality of online learning on course
In a majority of these key metrics we saw a positive increase with Aberystwyth University having improved from the previous year. This trend of improvement is mirrored throughout the survey results. In the case of questions which changed in the key metrics a lot of them are incomparable because of the changes made. For example, last year asked about ‘Well-designed’ online learning materials. This was changed to ‘Engaging and motivating’ online learning materials. With online learning trends questions relating to motivation are typically exceptionally more negative, making questions that use these adjectives much more negative.
We’re the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit. Based in Information Services, we work with staff across the university to support and develop learning and teaching. We run a wide range of activities to do this.
We’re really excited to announce our forthcoming Academy Forums for 2022-23. Building on the success of last year’s sessions, and based on feedback, we’ve increased the number of Academy Forums on offer, with 10 running across the academic year.
For those of you unfamiliar with Academy Forums, they’re informal discussions that bring colleagues together from across the University. In each session, we’ll look at a particular topic related to Learning and Teaching. We’ll facilitate the discussion and also provide resources and guidance following the Academy Forum. We then make these available on our webpages. Take a look at last year’s Academy Forum topics:
We’ll be starting our Academy Forums with a discussion around Student Induction. We’ll be thinking about how you prepare students to study. What types of activities do you run in week 1 of your module to familarise your students with the content? Also, we’ll be asking colleagues to share with us how you might use technology in these interactions.
We are looking forward to welcoming you to the 10th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, which is just over a month away, 12-14 September.
This year’s conference theme, Designing the Teaching of Tomorrow: Innovation, Enhancement, and Excellence: Celebrating 10 years of Aberystwyth University’s Learning and Teaching Conferences, aims to reflect the commitment that AU staff have to enhance the student learning experience and recognise a decade of conferences.
We’re pleased to confirm ourfull programme. We will have 2 online days (Monday 12 and Wednesday 14 September) and 1 in person day (Tuesday 13 September).
You can register for the conference by completing this online form.
We’re very excited to welcome three external speakers this year:
Now that the 2022-23 modules are available to staff, we can link them together at the module co-ordinator’s request. This process is known as parent-childing. Linking modules together is an effective way of dealing with separate modules with the same content so you don’t have to upload materials to two or more different modules.
This process makes one module the parent, whilst the other module(s) become a child. There’s no limit on how many modules you make a child but there can only be one parent.
If you’d like to parent-child your modules, and you’re the module co-coordinator, contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the module codes for the parent and child modules.
Examples from Aberystwyth
Many members of staff are currently using parent-child modules across the institution. Some examples are:
Modules are taught the same content but there’s a module available for different years
Modules with the same content delivered in English and Welsh
Modules that bring together different degree schemes and have different module IDs, for example dissertation modules
Essentially, any module that shares the same content is ideal for parent-childing.
This year marks the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit’s 10th year of organising the annual learning and teaching conference. To celebrate, we’ve made all of our materials from our previous conferences available on our conference webpage.
We’ve also been looking over our stats and brought together a number of facts for you.
Since the first conference in 2013, we have had:
Over 400 different members of staff and students from Aberystwyth University present at the conference
Over 1000 attendees
Most sessions by Department:
Our top 10 academic departments presenting at the conference are:
IBERS with 41 sessions
Education with 28 sessions
Lifelong Learning with 26 sessions
Psychology with 21 sessions
Computer Science with 18 sessions
Aberystwyth Business School with 17 sessions
International Politics with 14 sessions
Physics with 13 sessions
Geography and Earth Sciences with 12 sessions
Law and Criminology with 11 sessions
Most sessions by a presenter
We’ve got a tie for first place with the greatest number of sessions run by an academic member of staff. With a total of 8 sessions, we have Education’s Steve Atherton, Psychology’s Antonia Ivaldi and Gareth Norris. Tied in fourth place, with 7 sessions, we have IBERS’ Basil Wolf and Physics and the Graduate School’s Maire Gorman. Big well done to them.
We’re really looking forward to the next 10 years of conferences. We hope you can make the conference between 12 and 14 September with a mixture of online and in-person sessions. Book your place online.