Mini Conference Materials Available

Before the vacation, the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit ran their final mini conference of the year.

The theme for the mini conference was using polling software to enhance learning and teaching. If you were unable to make the event then check out the recordings on our Mini Conference webpage.

Since the University procured a licence for Vevox polling software earlier this year, we’ve seen a whole host of colleagues making use of it. In semester 1 1873 polls have been run by 136 staff members with 6485 student responses.

If you want to know more about polling software then we’ve got a Vevox webpage which has all our guidance. Kate and Jim led a webinar for Vevox on our implementation and how colleagues have made use of it in their teaching. Check out the recording on YouTube or Vevox’s own website for other case studies. You can read about Vevox’s latest updates on our recent blogpost.

The conference kicked off with a session run by Dr Christina Stanley from Chester University. Christina gave us an overview of how she’s been using polling software to boost student confidence and promote inclusivity.

Next, our client managers from Vevox, Joe Probert and Izzy Whitley gave us an update on future developments with Vevox polling software and some product enhancements that will be coming down the line.

Then we moved onto colleagues from Aberystwyth University who shared with us how they are using polling in their teaching. Dr Maire Gorman who teaches in the Graduate School and the Physics Department gave us an overview as to how polling software can be used in statistics teaching to facilitate peer learning and inter and intra-cohort bonding.

Next, Bruce Fraser Wight, from the Business School demonstrated how he has been using polling software for ice breaking activity. We were grateful to hear from two of Bruce’s students to find out how they found using polling software.

Finally, Dr Jennifer Wood from the Department of Modern Languages outlined how polling software can be used for language learning and encourage engagement.

If you’re doing something interesting with polling software, we’d love to hear from you for a potential blogpost – drop us an email on lteu@aber.ac.uk.   

Vevox updates December 2021

One of the advantages to having an institution subscription is that we can benefit from enhancements and updates.

One of the recent enhancements was to the word cloud style question. Previously only one word was able to be submitted to the word cloud style question, but now participants can provide multi-word submissions as well as single words. Word clouds also accept non-English characters and emojis. Vevox has also been working on the accessibility of the word cloud question and the colour scheme has been enhanced to improve its display.

We’re really pleased at how colleagues are making use of Vevox. If you’re after some ideas on how you can use it in your teaching, then Kate and myself recently presented a webinar on Vevox’s behalf. As well as giving an overview of our rollout of Vevox since we procured it in March, we also outlined some exemplary practices taking place by colleagues:

  • Module Evaluation (Dr Emmanual Isibor and Dr Chris Loftus, Computer Science)
  • Stats generation (Dr Maire Gorman, Physics and Graduate School)
  • Anonymous Q and A (Dr Megan Talbot, Law and Criminology)
  • Peer assessment and word associations (Dr Michael Toomey, International Politics)
  • Asynchronous Q and A (Dr Victoria Wright, Psychology)
  • Pin on image and session impact (Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit)

Thank you for the colleagues above for sharing their practices and experiences with us. A recording of the webinar is available on YouTube.

We’ve also got our Mini Conference on Thursday looking at how polling software can be used to enhance learning and teaching activities. There’s still time to book onto that. We’re grateful to be joined by Joe and Izzy from Vevox, as well as our external speaker, Dr Christina Stanley from the University of Chester.

Vevox guidance is available on our webpages. If you’ve not used Vevox before then sign up for the Zero to Hero sessions which are run every Tuesday at 3pm. We’re also re-running our training session Designing Teaching Activities using Vevox on 16 March 2022 at 10am. You can sign up via our Course Booking page.

Mini Conference Programme Announced

Mini Conference Logo
On Thursday 16th December, the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit will be hosting the second Academy Mini-Conference online of this academic year.  

The theme will be ‘Using Polling Software to Enhance Learning and Teaching Activities’. Since we procured Vevox earlier this year, we’ve seen a proliferation in the use of polling software in learning and teaching activities.  

The Mini-Conference will run from 10:30-15:00. We’re excited to confirm our programme:  

Dr Christina Stanley – keynote (Chester University): Polling to boost student confidence and promote inclusivity
Joe Probert & Izzy Whitley: Vevox
Dr Maire Gorman (Physics & Graduate School): Inter & Intra-cohort bonding (and peer learning) in statistics teaching
Bruce Wight (Aberystwyth Business School): How much does a Polar Bear weigh? Enough to break the ice! Using Vevox for Icebreaker Activities
Dr Jennifer Wood (Modern Languages): Is there anybody out there? Using Polling Software in the Language Classroom: Breaching the void.  

For session abstracts and timings, please see the programme on our webpages.

We hope that you will be able to join us.

You can register to attend the Mini-Conference by clicking on this link.  

If you have any queries, please email lteu@aber.ac.uk.

Our top tips for organising Online Conferences

Keynote announcement banner

Since the pandemic, many conferences have shifted from face to face to online events. Here in the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit we’ve run two annual learning and teaching conferences online as well as some mini conferences and Academy Forums. In this blogpost, we’ll be offering you some of our top tips to help you organise your event.

1.      Choose the right platform

There’s a lot of video conferencing software to choose from, but here at AU we use Teams as our default video conferencing tool. We do have a limited number of licences for Zoom but these are reserved for functionality that can’t be achieved in Teams. For example, for simultaneous translation, or for sessions with more than 250 participants.

You can set up Teams meetings for the sessions from a calendar. Alternatively, you can set up a Teams site but this will be limited to .ac.uk domains so be aware of that, especially with External Speakers.

We like to put our links on a webpage so that we can quickly pass the sessions onto anyone who signs up late. Alternatively, you can use a word document or an email that has the links embedded.

Read More

Mini Conference: External Speaker

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We are pleased to announce that our first external speaker joining us at this year’s Mini Conference, Using Polling Software for Learning and Teaching Activities, is Dr Christina Stanley.

Dr Stanley’s session will be entitled Polling to Boost Student Confidence and Promote Inclusivity.

Dr Stanley is a Senior Lecturer in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and is MSc Programme Lead and the University of Chester.

Booking for the event on Thursday 16th December is open alongside our Call for Proposals.

Keep an eye on our blog as we release further information on the event.  

Save the Date: Annual Learning and Teaching Conference

The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit are excited to announce the date for the 10th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference. The conference will be taking place between Monday 12th September and Wednesday 14th September 2022.

Look out for Calls for Proposals and the announcement of the conference theme. As usual, we will be updating our Learning and Teaching Conference Webpages and also our blog to keep you up-to-date with how things are progressing.

We also have a Conference Steering Group who help with the organisation, design, and publicity of the conference. The Steering Group meets a couple of times a year. If you want to join the Steering Group for next year’s conference, then please email lteu@aber.ac.uk.

Mini Conference: Using Polling Software to Enhance Learning and Teaching Activities

Mini Conference Logo

The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit is pleased to announce that it’s next Mini Conference will be taking place on Thursday 16th December, online via Teams.

We’ll be taking a look at polling software – a tool that can be used to engage students in their learning and drive-up understanding of complex topics. This year, the University procured Vevox, an online polling tool, that is fully integrated in Teams and can make your face to face activities interactive.

Call for Proposals:

We’re looking for colleagues that make use of polling software in their learning and teaching to present at the Mini Conference. Potential topics might include:

  • Using polling for induction and ice-breaker activities
  • Polling for gamification
  • Polling for driving up learning
  • Making in-person teaching sessions interactive
  • Polling for asynchronous activities

Submit your proposal online before Friday 19th November.

Booking for the one-day event is already open – book online.

We’ll be joined by some external presenters at the event so keep an eye on our blog as we announce our programme.

If you’ve got any questions, let us know: lteu@aber.ac.uk.

Resources from the Annual Learning and Teaching Conference

Hector, our AberForward who has been working with us to support the Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, has pulled together a list of resources inspired by the talks at the conference. If you want to watch any of the sessions again, then you can do so on our webpages.

Conference Keynote: Dr Chrissi Nerantzi

Our conference keynote was definitely a highlight. Chrissi asked conference attendees the following questions. Below are the results from our conference delegates:

Mentimeter poll result outlining how much colleagues agree with the following statements:

I am feeling more creative since the pandemic broke out (3.8)

My students react more positively to create tasks since the pandemic broke out (3.2)

I find it easier to be creative in my teaching practice during the pandemic (3.3)

Being creative means risk lowering my evaluation scores linked to my teaching (3)
Mentimeter word cloud results answering the following question: What is your main driver to innovate in your practice?

Most common answers:

Engagement
Student engagmeent
Fun
Curiosity
Inclusivity
Learning

If you’re interested in reading more about Chrissi’s work, then take a look at the following webpages:

Read More

Annual Learning & Teaching Conference 2021 recordings and resources now available!

That’s a wrap! with over three and half days of back-to-back presentations given by over 40 presenters and over 150 delegates in attendance. We at the LTEU want to say a big thank you to everyone who got involved and attended our biggest annual learning and teaching conference to date.

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 2021 Survey. We are beginning our preparations for our 10th Annual Learning & Teaching Conference and your feedback will help us make it the best one yet!

This week, I will be writing a couple of blogs about the conference, so if you haven’t yet, take a look at our blog and sign up for updates from the LTEU team. Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the presenters and delegates, we couldn’t do it without you!

Vevox webinar: How to use Vevox in your hybrid classroom

We’re really looking forward to seeing many of you at our forthcoming annual learning and teaching conference – the second time that we’ll be running it online.

We’ve had a slight to change to proceedings. On the 30th June, 2pm-2.45pm, we’ll be linking to Vevox’s webinar on how to use Vevox polling software in a hybrid classroom:

In this interactive webinar, we will be discussing how Vevox can be used in hybrid classes to support active learning wherever the location of your students. Joining us on the panel are Carol Chatten, Learning Technology Development Officer at Edge Hill University, Dr. Robert O’Toole NTF Director of Student Experience and Progression, Faculty of Art at The University of Warwick and Carl Sykes SFHEA, CMALT Senior Learning Technologist at The University of South Wales.

We’ll be looking to share customer success stories and examples to show how Vevox can support a blended learning environment and how you can maximise student engagement, interaction and feedback in a hybrid setting. We’ll being looking at the theme of versatility and how important this is to being able to provide a truly inclusive learning experience.

You can book online to attend the conference: https://aber.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/aultc2021

Our full programme is available online.

You can read more about Vevox, our recently procured polling software: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/it-services/elearning/polling-tool/