Interactive Blackboard Tools Case Studies – Wikis

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This case study is based on and includes extracts from the Student-led Planning of Tourism and Hospitality Education: The Use of Wikis to Enhance Student Learning book chapter written by Dr Mandy Talbot (Aberystwyth Business School) and published in the Routledge Handbook of Tourism and Hospitality Education.

What tool do you use and how? 

Dr Mandy Talbot used Blackboard wikis to facilitate a student led, collaborative learning project (…) on the second year, bachelor degree module: international tourism development. (…) The module course work required students to work in small groups to identify and evaluate the tourism development strategies that were being followed in given tourist destinations and to compare these with approaches being taken elsewhere. Due to the collaborative and interactive nature of the assignment the most suitable web tool was the wiki.’

Why did you choose this tool? 

Before implementation of wikis ‘students undertook the exercise by creating and delivering a group PowerPoint presentation of 15 minutes to the class, with a further 10 minutes for questions.’ Dr Mandy Talbot changed the format of this assessment in order to:

  1. ‘Improve the cohesiveness of student group work: The wiki format provides a collaborative work space for students to develop their work’
  • ‘Provide students with more opportunity to interact with the work of other groups: The wiki format enables students to visit each other’s’ presentations over an extended time period. Wiki pages also have comment boxes which enable students to pose questions and engage in discussion on the other sites.’
  • ‘Develop student IT skills: Students will learn how to create and structure web pages’.
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So Long, and Thanks for All the…

…challenges, suggestions, and insights into many different departments at the university! The last 11 months have been an absolute blast working with the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit as an Online Learning Specialist.

Having started with the 2020 Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, it was wonderful to be able to be a part of the 2021 instance of the same event towards the end of my time in this job. This time round, I even presented (albeit in my role as Lecturer in Theatre and Scenography with TFTS) – you can find the recording of that paper here. Those two events bracket an intense time of learning and teaching for me: alongside my lovely colleagues, I designed, developed, and delivered training sessions on everything from Blackboard to Vevox. I supported staff from all kinds of departments in the switch from in-person to blended learning, to online-only, and back. It is no exaggeration to say I am in awe of the dedication, determination, and ingenuity displayed by colleagues all over the university. I am sure that the resources produced by the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit will continue to support staff as we head towards another academic year potentially full of necessary adaptations. Keep an eye on the Staff Training pages – I for one will be sure to make use of them.

As my Online Learning Specialist colleagues and I move on to other challenges, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all Information Services colleagues, and especially the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit, for being so welcoming and allowing me to gain a much deeper understanding of and appreciation for the many-facetted work of that department. Diolch o galon i gyd!

2020/21 External Speakers and Resources

As part of this year’s CPD programme, we hosted a number of external speakers who provided us with new perspectives and unique expertise in various aspects of learning and teaching. In preparation for the upcoming year, we would like to briefly remind you of some of the topics discussed and the resources available to you. We hope that by building on these and other sessions the Unit organised this year you will feel fully prepared to adapt and innovate your teaching in the upcoming year.

Professor Ale Armellini: The Journey towards Active Blended Learning

Last summer’s conference keynote speaker, Professor Ale Armellini, shared his insights and advice on learning innovation and online pedagogy.

Recording


Dr Naomi Winston: From Transmission to Transformation: Maximising Student Engagement with Feedback

In the first mini-conference of the year, we had an opportunity to listen to Dr Naomi Winstor who argued that maximising students’ engagement with feedback is fundamentally an issue of design, where opportunities for students to develop the skills required for effective use of feedback, and opportunities to apply feedback, can transform the role of students in assessment.

Recording


Frederika Roberts: Flourishing at Aberystwyth – Putting Positive Education into Practice

In this mini-conference keynote speech attendees learnt about key elements of positive psychology in the context of higher education and practical strategies for enhancing their own wellbeing.

Recording


Kate Lister: Online Communities and Student Well-being

Kate Lister from Advance HE explored how to create effective digital communities that can support students’ sense of belonging and purpose, facilitate meaningful connections, and provide support without relying on a campus environment.

Recording


Dr Kate Exley: Taking your (PowerPoint) Lectures Online

Dr Kate Exley was invited to deliver a workshop on moving our lectures, previously delivered in large lecture theatres and classrooms, to online platforms.

Summary


Dr Sally Brown & Dr Kay Sambell – Improving assessment and feedback processes post-pandemic: authentic approaches to improve student learning and engagement.

During our Mini-Fest on assessment, Dr Sally Brown and Dr Kay Sambell led a workshop designed to build on lessons learned during the complex transitions academics made last year and explore the concept of authentic approaches to assessments.

Link to recordings & resources


Professor Mick Healey & Dr Ruth Healey: Engaging students through student-staff partnership

We invited Professor Mick Healey and Dr Ruth Healey to deliver a workshop on student-staff partnerships and consult them on engaging students in projects and provisions we currently deliver.

Recording

Dr Dyddgu Hywel: Blaenoriaethu Iechyd a Lles Staff

The first external speaker of this year’s Learning and Teaching Conference talked about prioritizing the health and well-being of staff.

Recording


Andy McGregor: What will assessment look like in five years?

We also had an opportunity to listen to Andy McGregor from JISC on the future of assessment. A talk based on JISC’s paper: The future of assessment: five principles, five targets for 2025, which ‘sets five targets for the next five years to progress assessment towards being more authentic, accessible, appropriately automated and secure’.

Recording


Dr Chrissi Nerantzi: Breaking Free

Lastly, our keynote speech for this year’s conference was delivered by Dr Chrissi Neratzi who talked about open and flexible pedagogies.


Joe Probert & Izzy Whitley: Using Vevox to engage learners.

Joe Probert and Izzy Whitley from Vevox, our university polling software, delivered a session on how to make effective use of polling to engage learners.  

Recording

Course Copy 2021-2022

Every year, the E-learning Group create new modules in Blackboard ready for next year’s teaching. For the academic year 2021/22 departments decided internally  whether modules would be blank or have content copied over. Modules for 2021-2022 will be available from the beginning of August. 

Staff in Geography and Earth Sciences and IBERS will have modules created blank. We have prepared these FAQs with detailed guidance on copying different elements from one module to another in Blackboard.

All other departments will have their modules copied. As part of the course copy process, the following tools and content are not copied:

  • Turnitin submissions  
  • Blackboard Assignments  
  • Announcements
  • Blogs
  • Journals  
  • Wikis
  • Panopto recordings and links
  • Teams meetings. 

We would like to assist staff with preparing their modules as much as we can. We are happy to arrange a consultation over Teams. To do so, send an email to elearning@aber.ac.uk

Exemplary Course Award Winners at the Annual Learning and Teaching Conference

Exemplary Course Award image

It was great to see so many faces at this year’s virtual Annual Learning and Teaching Conference. One of the highlights for me was to be able to celebrate our 5 Exemplary Course Award Winners. Since the start of the pandemic we haven’t been able to acknowledge our winners at graduation like we have done in previous years, so the ECA winners session is a way to share the fantastic and innovative practices taking place.

We’re about to start our course creation process for the academic year 2021-22. So, if you want some inspiration, take a look at the module tours linked from the text below.

Winner:

Dr Hanna Binks, Department of Psychology: PS11320: Introduction to Research Methods

This core, first year module equips students with the skills that they need for their duration of the degree in Psychology. The innovative assessment design, bilingual content, consistent organisation, and clear communications with students saw Hanna win this year’s competition. If you want inspiration on how to tie together learning outcomes, assessment, and content then take a look at this module.

Take a look at the PS11320 module tour.

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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!

My placement with the LTEU as a Conference Support and Impact Officer

Hi all, I’m Hector, a first-year undergraduate student at Aberystwyth University studying International Politics and Climate Change. I’m excited to be joining the LTEU team for the next three-weeks for the Annual Teaching Conference 2021.

Prior to beginning my degree in Aberystwyth, I worked as a Support Worker for the charity Leonard Cheshire. My key areas of interest lie within sustainable development, climate change politics and charity work. I have volunteered three times with the youth-led sustainable development charity Raleigh International in Nepal and Costa Rica, as part of Expedition programmes and the Government backed International Citizen Service. I’m a keen advocate of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and am always looking for new ways to engage with and support them. As an Aberystwyth University student, I am an active member of AberHike and will be undertaking my Mountain Leader training over the summer to enable me to lead future hikes for the society.

I have recently worked as a Zoom Steward for the Annual Conference for the Association for Science Education. I really enjoyed this role so when I saw the opportunity to gain more experience in a similar position with the LTEU, I applied. I’m undertaking this placement as part of the AberForward 2021 programme. My role as the Conference Support and Impact Officer will be to offer a student perspective on the various talks given throughout the conference. By undertaking my placement with the LTEU, I am hoping to further develop my organisational and analytical skills. I also want to continue to gain practical and relevant work experience, which this placement helps me with.

I feel as a student we never really get to fully appreciate the amount of effort and thought which goes into every aspect of our learning experience, this has been abundantly demonstrated by the brilliant work which I have seen from my time so far with the LTEU. We have a fantastic and broad range of talks lined up for this year’s conference. If you are yet to book your place, you still have time! Hope to see you there!

Weekly Resource Roundup – 27/6/2021

As leader of our PGCTHE programme, I keep an eye out for resources to help staff teach effectively. These include webinars, podcasts, online toolkits, publications and more. Topics include active learning, online/blended teaching, accessibility/inclusion, and effective learning design based on cognitive science. Below I’ve listed items that came to my attention in the past week. In the interest of clarity, our policy is to show the titles and descriptions in the language of delivery.   

Online events and webinars

Resources and publications

Other

Please see the Staff Training booking page for training offered by the LTEU and other Aberystwyth University staff. I hope you find this weekly resource roundup useful. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact our team at lteu@aber.ac.uk. You may also wish to follow my Twitter feed, Mary Jacob L&T.  

Weekly Resource Roundup – 16/6/2021

As leader of our PGCTHE programme, I keep an eye out for resources to help staff teach effectively. These include webinars, podcasts, online toolkits, publications and more. Topics include active learning, online/blended teaching, accessibility/inclusion, and effective learning design based on cognitive science. Below I’ve listed items that came to my attention in the past week. In the interest of clarity, our policy is to show the titles and descriptions in the language of delivery.   

Online events and webinars

Resources and publications

Other

Please see the Staff Training booking page for training offered by the LTEU and other Aberystwyth University staff. I hope you find this weekly resource roundup useful. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact our team at lteu@aber.ac.uk. You may also wish to follow my Twitter feed, Mary Jacob L&T.  

Annual Learning and Teaching Conference: Third external speaker – Dr Dyddgu Hywel

Keynote announcement banner

We are delighted to announce our third external speaker to this year’s Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, Dr Dyddgu Hywel, senior lecturer in Education at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Dyddgu studied BSc (Hons) ‘Design and Technology Secondary Education leading to Qualified Teacher Status’ at Bangor University, where she graduated with first class honours. Her early career started as a Design and Technology A Level lecturer at Coleg Meirion Dwyfor, before being appointed as a Design and Technology teacher at Rhydywaun Comprehensive School.

She has now been working at Cardiff Metropolitan University for the past seven years, working as a senior lecturer in the School of Education, with expertise in innovative teaching, student engagement and health and well-being. Following 8 years of playing rugby for her country in the red shirt, she has adopted several effective ways of living healthily, maintaining a positive mindset, and mastering a work-life balance.

Dyddgu’s workshop will focus on prioritizing the health and well-being of staff. The workshop will benefit all academic staff at the university, to identify effective ways of protecting their personal health and well-being, as well as providing pastoral care for all students.

Workshop objectives:

  • An opportunity to reflect on your personal health and well-being
  • Consider the right balance between everyday life and work pressures
  • Identify the role of educators in student health and well-being
  • Identify personal stress management, attitude and positive thinking
  • Adopt time management and prioritization
  • Promote Welsh-language resources for effective relaxation and reflection

Dyddgu will be presenting online through the medium of Welsh and we will be providing simultaneous translation.

The ninth Annual Learning and Teaching Conference will be held online between Tuesday 29 June and Friday 2 July. You can book a place by completing this online form.