Polling software: Mentimeter and Poll Everywhere

The E-leaning Group is looking into how polling software can be used in lectures and seminars. Polling software is a great way to increase classroom engagement as it provides interactive presentations ranging from multiple choice questions to live word clouds. With their personal devices (such as mobiles, tablets etc.), students will be able to answer questions, vote and ask queries,which will appear on the presentation slides.  The recent Digital Insights survey, overseen by Information Services, showed that fifty-seven percent of lectures already use some sort of polling software in the classroom.

Some examples of positive comments from students include:

 “Provided quick feedback on what lecture we needed help with”

“Online poll, on parts of the subject asking the class how much they understood. This made it so people put how they actually felt as they didn’t have to speak in class”

“Polls in lecturers keep the students interested”

“It was fun last year when we did online quizzes in the lecture, interactive with each other and then went through the answers question by question on the big screen”

“Method of reviewing prescribed reading material”

The E-Learning Group has found Mentimeter and Poll Everywhere to be especially accessible and reliable:

  • Mentimeter is best used for lectures with larger audiences as it has no limit on participants. With Mentimeter you can create: quick slides, questions and quizzes. There is no limit on the number of quick slides, however with the free version you only be able to create two questions and five quizzes.
  • Poll Everywhere caps its audience at twenty-five so can best work in seminars and workshops. Poll Everywhere provides much of what Mentimeter does with the benefit of having no limit on the number of questions/activities.

There is a guide to creating presentations with both Mentimeter and Poll Everywhere available on our webpages.

AU Digital experience insights survey for teaching staff 2018-19 now open

We have recently closed the Digital Experience Insights surveys for students where we asked about their experiences of digital learning and digital services. We would also like to know how teaching staff experience these services.

There are only about 20 questions that ask about your digital teaching methods and your experience of our digital provision. Please spare ten minutes and have your say so we can improve the digital experience for our staff and students.

https://staffinsights2019.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/aberystwyth-univeristy

Quizdom Virtual Remote (QVR) no longer available after December 2018

The licence for the Quizdom Virtual Remote (QVR) which allows students to use their own mobile devices for in-class voting expires in December 2018 and will no longer be available.

We are aware that some of you used it in your sessions, therefore we would like to encourage you to keep using interactive course activities and consider one of the options below:

  • Although it will no longer be possible to use the remote version of Quizdom allowing students to vote from their own devices, you will be able to use four sets of Qwizdom with a total of 118 handsets. Rather than using their own mobile devices students will have to vote using the handsets. If you wish to book the sets please email is@aber.ac.uk including the date(s) and time you wish to use the equipment and how many sets you wish to use.
  • The E-learning Group have been surveying the growing number of online polling tools available. Most of them are paid for services with different packages available depending on the types of tools, size of class etc. However, almost all have a free option which is a cut-down version of the paid-for service. All the services that we looked at are cloud-based – they don’t have software that you download, but you create your presentations via a web page and they are saved and run remotely.

Some of the polling software we recommend:

PollEverywhere

  • 40 participants, unlimited number of questions, 23 question types , PowerPoint integration

Mentimeter

  • unlimited number of participants, 7 questions per presentation (5 quiz and 2 other type), 10 questions types, Power Point integration

Socrative

  • 50 participants, unlimited number of questions, 3 questions types, reporting available

Please note that you will still be able to use the QVR in the first semester 2018.

Please contact the E-learning Group if you wish to get more information or training on using different classroom polling methods.

 

Anticipating AU’s 6th Learning and Teaching Conference: Stepping up Students’ Learning, 11 – 13 September

We’re very excited to announce that Professor Jonathan Shaw, Lauren Heywood and Oliver Wood from Coventry University’s Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL) will be giving the keynote address and providing workshops for this year’s Learning and Teaching conference. The DMLL’s Director, Professor Jonathan Shaw, is giving the keynote, while Lauren Heywood and Oliver Wood, DMLL Innovation & Community Producer’s, will be providing interactive workshops.

Coventry’s DMLL aims to “break and remake existing ways of doing higher education” and is committed to driving innovation and the adoption of cutting-edge curricula design and practices and educational technological initiatives. They also emphasise the value of play as “an important part of learning!” They make available a toolbox of strategies that aim increase interactivity, support problem solving skills and inspire debates. You can check out their toolbox here and you can view videos of their work here.

We are eager to hear the discussions, ideas and fun that Coventry’s Disruptive Media Learning Lab will generate and hope they can offer us some innovative tactics that we can apply directly to our teaching and learning.  Register for the conference here. Keep updated via our blog for further news about the conference. A draft timetable of this year’s conference, focusing on Stepping up Students’ Learning, will be available on our webpages shortly.

Image courtesy of the Disruptive Media Learning Lab, Coventry University

DMLL’s director, Professor Jonathan Shaw, drives innovation in curricula design, learning spaces and leads the “implementation of cutting edge educational technology initiatives”

Workshops led by Coventry’s DMLL’s Innovation & Community Producers

Oliver and Lauren promote flipped and playful learning to enable rethinking of traditional modes of teaching and learning. They work with teaching staff to help them generate “new, exciting, and rich educational experiences.

Welcome to the Aber E-Learning blog!

The E-learning Group help staff and students throughout the University to use technology to enhance learning, teaching and assessment. Aberystwyth University has been recently awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and the E-learning provision was mentioned as one of the institution’s strengths. For all those interested in how technology can make learning and teaching more effective please follow our blog. Each member of the E-learning Group will be writing posts about their area of expertise and interests. We welcome your comments and suggestions! 

Who are the E-learning Group at Aber? 

 

Kate Wright, E-learning Group Manager  

I am the E-learning Group Manager, and I have worked in e-learning since 2003. During this time I’ve seen a lot of changes; when I started, Blackboard was used voluntarily by interested staff and we spent a lot of time explaining to students that they couldn’t see modules in Blackboard because their lecturers weren’t using it. Since then I’ve worked on a number of change projects to increase the uptake of e-learning, including introducing the Blackboard required minimum presence, e-submission and e-feedback, and lecture capture. I have a particular interest in online assessment, and have been heavily involved in the use of Questionmark Perception at the university.  

I have been involved in a number of externally funded projects included HEA E-learning Benchmarking, HEFCW Gwella project, JISC RSC Wales Technology for Learning Small Grant, JISC Digital Student and Staff Experience Trackers. I have presented at several international conferences, I am the chair of the Blackboard Wales User Group, and have published co-authored article in the British Journal of Educational Technology. 

 

Dr. James Woolley, E-learning Enhancement & Engagement Theme Leader  

Hello, I’m Jim and I’m the E-learning Engagement and Enhancement Theme Leader. I joined the E-learning Group in February 2018 following the completion of a PhD, 3 years as a librarian and a few years before that as a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, all here at Aberystwyth University.  

My job entails working together with academic colleagues to provide the best possible support in using our portfolio of services. I organise our E-learning training plan and the annual Learning and Teaching Conference. I really want to hear from you if you’re doing something innovative with technology and learning or if you wish to experiment with some new technology. I’m looking forward to working with staff on projects to enhance E-learning provision and learning. I have a particular interest in how E-learning provision supports more collaborative modes of learning. 

If there’s a training session that you think we should be doing or would like to meet with us, drop us an email. 

 

Robert Francis, E-learning Support Officer  

I support the practical use of a wide range of TEL tools at Aberystywth University. In addition to our Blackboard VLE this includes; Panopto, Turnitin for assessment and Questionmark for online examination. I am directly involved in providing technical support and solutions for Staff and Students using this software. I aid in the implementation of the University strategy relating to TEL, accessibility, provision of training, consultation, support materials and technical support.  

I have a background in teaching History and English in the UK and abroad.  I enjoy experimenting with new technology. I have worked in the HE sector providing technical support since 2010. 

I speak Welsh as my second language and I am passionate about its use. 

 

Susan Ferguson, E-learning and Training Assistant  

As E-learning and Training Assistant I support staff and students using e-learning tools, including supporting Blackboard, Questionmark Perception, Turnitin, Panopto, and Qwizdomamongst others, via phone, email, and face-to-face.  This includes supporting staff in using the equipment in teaching rooms, providing training sessions, investigating new equipment and software, and creating user guides. 

 

Anna Udalowska, E-learning Support Officer  

I started working with the E-learning Group in 2017 as graduate trainee. Drawn by innovative and problem-solving nature of the job I applied for the E-Learning Support Officer position which I currently hold. 

For past months I have been working on the promotional campaign and findings analysis of the Student Digital Experience Tracker which ran at Aberystwyth University for the first time. Along with the E-learning Group Manager, Kate Wright I have presented the findings of the AU Digital Tracker at the national conference DigiFest18 organized by JISC. I have been also working on implementing the Component Marks Transfer Tool.  

As part of the E-learning Group I support staff and students who use Panopto, Blackboard and Turnitin as well as oversee smooth running of the online exams using the Question Mark Perception system. I am particularly interested in how technology helps in providing alternative, dynamic and inclusive methods of communication, learning and teaching.