Rubrics… So what are they anyway?

Recently in the Learning Technology Department we’ve been taking lots of calls and emails from staff wanting to use Rubrics in their teaching and learning but specifically, marking.

What are they?

Rubrics could also be called Grading or Marking Criteria.  I’m sure many of you are used to the grid system used to mark students work using ‘Scales’ (e.g. 1st, 2:1, 2nd etc… / Pass, Merit, Distinction etc…) and ‘Criteria’ (e.g. Knowledge, Presentation, Understanding, Content etc…)

If you translate your paper criterias into a rubric in Blackboard (or Turnitin) you can use them electronically to mark your students’ work quickly and efficiently.  There are of course some limitations (for instance you can’t annotate a rubric as some would on a paper copy) but once you learn to work with them and create your own departmental methods, in time it should become much quicker and easier.  The best bit is that it’s all saved alongside the submitted work so that students can always refer to it and staff can always cross check their marks or conduct second marking easily.

Rubric

Where do I set them up?

Rubrics are available in both Turnitin and with a number of Blackboard (Learning Edge) tools such as Blogs, Wikis, Discussion Forums and Assignments.

However! Turnitin only likes Turnitin Rubrics and Blackboard only likes Blackboard Rubrics.

If you create a rubric you can use it multiple times across different submissions, so for example; if you create a rubric in Turnitin you can use it across multiple Turnitin dropboxes.  The same goes for Blackboard tools.

You can also ‘share’ rubrics with others – so if you’ve created a rubric someone else can grab a copy from you to use in their own assignments (you export it, email it to them and they import it).

For details on how and where to find and set up Turnitin Rubrics check out the package created especially for just that: Turnitin Rubrics ePackageRubricsPackage

For Blackboard Rubrics check out the Blackboard help pages:
Blackboard Rubrics Guide

blackboardRubrics

So why should I use them?

Rubrics can speed up your marking and can also take away some of the extensive writing that you have to do when giving feedback.  If used well you should find that you write less ‘generic’ things and can focus more on specific student feedback.

Rubrics can also help with consistency – if all the module or programme tutors use the same rubric then students across that module or course will have more of the same, equal feedback so there will be less disparity.

Rubrics can be used alongside Quickmarks or comments and also general comments, audio feedback and the final overall mark.

We hope you find it useful and helpful to use rubrics in your practice.  Let us know if you have any comments about them or if you need any further support to roll them out.

LTD_Carol_Chatten

 

 

Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer

Collaborate Ultra now available to all courses

Earlier today we upgraded the University’s web-conferencing system, Blackboard Collaborate, to the new, user-friendly, ‘Ultra’ experience.

All 2015 courses have a link from their main menu to the Collaborate system – users simply need to click on the Collaborate button on the left, then Join Room buttons to launch the web conferencing system:

CollaborateTool

Blackboard’s Collaborate Ultra Tutorials provide a good overview of the updated interface. Take a look at this Blackboard Collaborate video to see what it looks like in action.

You can also use Collaborate Ultra as you own ‘Virtual Office’ – to meet with students or colleagues remotely.  Here is a guide and a video showing how to do this:

Support and Guidance

Remember, the Learning Technology Development are always here to help you with your use of technologies – so, whether you are an existing Collaborate user who wants to talk about how the upgrade will affect your current practice, or whether you are a first time user who wants to take advantage of the new Ultra web-conferencing interface, please do get in touch.

David Callaghan
Learning Technology Development Officer

Lecture capture … what’s in a name?

Image

That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

To paraphrase Juliet’s speech to Romeo, what matters is what something is, not what it is called. The term lecture capture is a case in point as it invokes a whole range of responses and assumptions. As Edge Hill are rolling out a 12 month lecture capture pilot, it seems timely to look at what it is, the benefits it brings, and how it will be applied here at Edge Hill.

LLecture capture Poster

Some of the benefits of lecture capture
This is not a new technology and the benefits have been researched in various institutions. Studies suggest that students can participate more actively in sessions when they feel able to focus less attention on taking notes. A BIS commissioned Equality Analysis published in December 2014 advised that lecture capture has the potential to assist autonomous learning. There is also evidence that students tend to review short passages rather than watching or re-watching entire recordings, suggesting that they tend to use the facility to review complex or important parts of the lecture. According to our academic colleagues in the FoHSC who tested the lecture capture software over the summer, it was both a positive experience and simple to use.

The elephant in the room …
One common argument against the introduction of lecture capture is that it will have a negative impact on student attendance at lectures. Although lecture capture might be expected to reduce attendance, there is little evidence of this among UK HE institutions. Most recently, the Times Higher reported how Queens University Belfast monitored the introduction of lecture capture and concluded that it did not impact on attendance.
Two short case studies from the University of Leicester also discuss the impact on attendance
http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/lli/tel/lecture-capture/case-study
http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/lli/repository/case-studies/lecture-capture-experiences

Lecture Capture at Edge Hill
The software is called Panopto and it will capture and sync audio and presentation materials. Video will not be captured by default but will be an option. The tutor controls what is recorded, when it is released and for how long it is available. Access to recordings will be password protected via Learning Edge and there is the option to stream content and therefore prohibit its download by others.

To start with, the software has been installed in all 9 lecture theatres on the Ormskirk campus but use will be on an ‘opt in’ basis for the purpose of supplementing students’ learning and development. It is not intended as a replacement for student attendance at sessions or as a replacement for face-to-face teaching.

Lecture capture is most often used as an extension of the classroom through a ‘flipped’ or blended learning approach, but also supports distance learning as a replacement for the traditional ‘live’ format. The software is ideal for the ‘flipped’ approach as it can also be used to make talking heads or narrated screencasts from your own computer.
In the coming weeks we’ll push out more information about the pilot and the many benefits we anticipate it will provide. Meanwhile, if you would like to know more, please contact [email protected]

Lindsey Martin Assitant Head of Learning Services

Lindsey Martin

 

Collaborate to be upgraded on Mon 16th November

We’ve listened to your feedback and will be upgrading the university’s web-conferencing system, Blackboard Collaborate, to a new, user-friendly, ‘Ultra’ experience on Mon 16th November at 2 am.

Improvement Highlights

  • Online sessions can be accessed easily and quickly from within the browser;
  • An intuitive and clutter-free interface;
  • Your course room stays open 24/7 allowing independent student work;
  • Live closed captioning features.

Take a look at this Blackboard Collaborate video to see what it looks like in action.

 

 

Blackboard’s Collaborate Ultra Tutorials provide a good overview of the updated interface and their release notes will tell you more about the Ultra Experience and the Ultra Changes.

Collaborate Briefing

Full details of the upgrade and planned improvements are covered in this Collaborate Upgrade Briefing Document.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support and Guidance

Remember, the Learning Technology Development division are always here to help you with your use of technologies – so, whether you are an existing Collaborate user who wants to talk about how the upgrade will affect your current practice, or whether you are a first time user who wants to take advantage of the new Ultra web-conferencing interface, please do get in touch.

David Callaghan
Learning Technology Development Officer