Looking back at TEL in 2016

As we begin the new year we wanted to take a quick look back at some of the projects the team have worked on in 2016.

elearning & TEL Help Site

In Spring 2016 the elearning and TEL help site was set up using Edublogs to provide an easily navigated and searchable collection of help materials for staff and students on the technologies, software and systems used at the University. The majority of these guides also contain a short screencast and are all downloadable in a pdf format for printing.

This has grown hugely over the last year and now contains over 130 guides covering everything from Turnitin for staff and students to setting up blogs using Edublogs and accessing the VPN.

 

The site is accessible from the homepage and top links section of LearningSpace and new support material will be added regularly throughout the year.

Marjon Mobile

In September 2016 the new Marjon Mobile app was released. This bought with it a big visual overhaul alongside new and updated features including dynamic news feeds, notifications and quick access to important sites including LearningSpace and Academic Skills.

The app allows students and staff to quickly access their customised timetable, navigate around campus with the interactive map, view library items and print credits.

The updated app has been very successful and we have received great feedback, which has allowed us to update features such as showing 4 week timetable information. If you have any feedback about the Marjon mobile app, please let us know. You can send feedback directly to us through the app itself.

If you haven’t downloaded the app or want further information please visit the elearning and TEL help site for further information.

Increased use of Socrative in Teaching

We have seen an increase in the use of tools such as Socrative in teaching at the University in 2016. This includes its use as a formative assessment tool and also as a tool for engaging students with lecture content.

Socrative is one of many tools available which can enhance learning and teaching, however, as with any tool it works best when used in a purposeful context to compliment teaching.

To try and share good practice and give examples of how tools can be used within teaching we have started getting together with academics to record short videos demonstrating how TEL tools have been used in their teaching. Have a look at our video below with Vicki from the Sports Faculty and keep an eye out for more videos in the coming months.

If you have a tool you use in your teaching we would love to hear about it, equally if you feel that an area of your teaching could be enhanced by using a new tool then we can help you achieve this.

Use of Edublogs in modules and assessment

Edublogs is a blog and web creation platform designed for education using the WordPress interface. It is hugely versatile and can be used to create anything from simple blogs to complete websites, for example our elearning & TEL help area was created using Edublogs.

Marjon gives students and staff the opportunity to create their own blogs and by using the built in Classes feature blogs can be set up for students which are private and accessible by the lecturer and other students. Edublogs can help students gain practical skills using an industry standard interface, as well as encouraging them to develop their digital presence.

During this year we have started to see Edublogs used as a tool within integral areas of modules and they are currently included as part of assessment in both Sport and Education programmes.  As a result we have been delivering sessions on the use of Edublogs for students and have also worked closely with staff members to get the sites set up for students using specific templates.

If you are interested in knowing more about the use of Edublogs in modules or are interested in setting up your own Edublogs then please have a look at our guides or get in touch with the team to discuss it.

File encryption for students on placement

In October of 2016 we were asked to look into the use of encryption for the transfer of sensitive files for students on placement. This was something a little different for our team and involved testing software and hardware based encryption methods, including encrypted USB memory sticks (which was the method finally decided upon).

During the testing stage, we came across various challenges when trying to create a robust system with few steps involved, which could also work seamlessly between student computers (including PCs and Macs) and Marjon systems.

It proved to be an interesting project for the team and included us providing support materials for students using encrypted USBs. If there is anything that you would like to achieve within your teaching using technology but aren’t sure what to use or if it can be done then please do get in touch for a chat.

Introduction of Mendeley

More recently we have helped with the introduction of Mendeley at the University. Mendeley is a web and desktop application which can help with finding and collating references, as well as correctly inputting references into documents.

It has a lot of great features and we have put together a large number of guides on the software with the help of Ben Jane from the Sports Faculty. Ben has used Mendeley within his own research and with his students. We also helped Ben put together the video below showing the main features of the software.

This is only a quick round-up of some of the projects the MeLT team worked on in 2016.  If you would like to know more about using any of the tools mentioned here (or other TEL tools you are interested in), then please get in touch. We are always keen to chat to staff about how technology can be used to enhance their teaching. 

Contact MeLT – elearning@marjon.ac.uk | ext 5673 | A Block Room 108 and keep up to date with the work of the team on this blog.