Lynda.com is Becoming LinkedIn Learning

Computer UserMany of you have used the Lynda.com video library to help you learn how to use new software, or perhaps to help you develop other skills.

You might also know that Lynda.com is owned by LinkedIn, who have been developing LinkedIn Learning as a new place to access the video courses.

Edge Hill University will be upgrading from Lynda.com to LinkedIn Learning on Sunday the 20th of January. You will still have access to the same resources, and LinkedIn Learning will look very similar to what you are used to. Following the upgrade you will be asked to agree to set-up a new account on LinkedIn Learning, and you can even link this to an existing LinkedIn account.

Things to remember:

  • The resources will be unavailable on Sunday 20th January 2019, while the upgrade occurs.
  • When logging in after the upgrade, you will be prompted to upgrade your account.
  • Any web links pointing to Lynda.com, will redirect to LinkedIn Learning, however we would recommend updating your links as soon as you have time.
  • Improvements following the upgrade include the ability to add links to external resources to playlists, and we will promote these developments in more detail after the upgrade.

Please get in contact with me if you have any questions.

Thanks


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Peter Beaumont
Learning Technology Development Officer

Playful Learning Conference 2017

I was fortunate enough to attend the Playful Learning conference over the summer. We explored how playfulness can be included in adults’ learning experiences, which involved things such as playing games that were being used in Higher Education, making things, and experiencing escape rooms.

We were all given cuddly toys with which we were to undertake certain activities, to encourage playfulness in the conference. One of the tasks was to create a twitter profile for the toys, and in the end it was pointed out that these toys had ended up acting as avatars for us on the #playlearn17 twitter hashtag, allowing behaviour that might otherwise have been considered odd or bad.

Nikki Woods talked about her work with Blast Theory, and their experiences of the consequences of play. It brought up ideas about how it is important to remember that not everyone knows when ‘play’ is taking place, and that people will perceive it differently.

There were quite a lot of escape rooms, which were fun. They have been used as ice-breakers, or as activities for the students to create themselves.

Geraldine Foley, Sarah Leach, and Aggie Molnar from LSE guided us through playing their ‘Capture the Market’ game. It presented some themes like monopoly and diversification, that could later be discussed. It brought out the tension between learning and gameplay, as some players wanted the game to be more complex and open to mastery through playing it several times, while others thought it was designed well for a game that was only played once to start conversations in the classroom.

Amid all the lego, sandpits, and giant playing cards, Rikke Toft Norgard was exploring the theory of play, how we can encourage play to connect “to the deep structures of pedagogical ‘how to’ designs” and to be “embedded in the virtues emanating from the ‘why-ness’ of education?”, and presenting a framework for a playful university. I recon everyone loved it, and Rikke’s slides are available.

Finally we heard from Deborah Bullivant, who set up Grimm & Co in Rotherham. She talked about their amazing work encouraging children to write through creative, playful environments. She talked about similar projects such as London’s Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, San Francisco’s Pirate Supply Store, and Brooklyn’s Superhero Supply co.

I’ve never had more fun at a conference, and it left me with plenty to think about. It is easy to be playful at a conference where it is explicitly expected. It’s unlikely that people attending will get annoyed, or be cynical and not pay along. How is that expectation set out in university? I’ve seen the occasional students say “I’m not doing that” when a session moved away from the standard lecture or seminar format. Is the solution to be clear about the reason for doing things differently?

Playfulness and games are different things, that don’t always overlap. Games can be taken very seriously, and some types of playfulness affect game mechanics in a negative way.

This year’s reading includes:

You can explore further using #playlearn17 on Twitter, or Alex Mosely’s Storify of the conference days (day 1, day 2, day 3)



All images from:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/144603711@N05/sets/72157686737802183.
Used under a Creative Commons licence.

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Peter Beaumont
Learning Technology Development Officer

Getting Your New Course Ready: Three Things to Remember

Many of you will be getting your Learning Edge courses ready for the 2017-18 academic year, so here are three things to hep you.

1. Don’t copy Turnitin dropboxes

The Blackboard ‘Course Copy’ tool can be used to copy a whole course over, but we’d recommend that you take a moment to consider what you need to copy over. Turnitin dropboxes should never be copied over. They are linked to a particular area, and if they are copied to a new area it could potentially lead to loss of data.

A Turnitin dropbox link

If you are using the Course Copy tool, you need to avoid copying areas with Turnitin dropboxes in, for example the ‘Submission Dropbox’ Content Area.

Submission Dropbox link

2. Release the course to students when you have finished

Course areas are hidden from students by default. If you see the message ‘Course is unavailable to students’ at the top left of your course, you still need to make it available.

Course is unavailable to students message

To make it available go to Control Panel > Customisation > Properties.

Properties link

Under ‘Set Availability’ set ‘Make Course Available’ to ‘Yes’, then click the ‘Submit’ button.

Set Availability options

3. Consider how you can make your resources and practice more inclusive

It is important to consider the needs of all our students when creating online resources, and planning for the new year. On the Learning Edge ‘Staff’ tab, there is now an ‘Inclusive Digital Practice’ section, linking to resources on this topic.





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Peter Beaumont
Learning Technology Development Officer

68 Things to Help You Find and Use TV and Radio Broadcasts

I don’t know if any of you have wanted to share broadcast materials with students. When I started working at Edge Hill the only legal way to do this was to get in touch with Jim in Learning Services, who would record the programme and put it on a VHS tape for you to show in class.

Box of Broadcasts Guide Page

This system has now developed into a much more advanced online service called Box of Broadcasts, which allows you to link to programmes from, and embed them directly in, Learning Edge.

Instead of having to find out about the programme beforehand and ask someone to record it, the main channels are now recorded automatically and kept indefinitely. You can use the website to request programmes on other free to air channels up to 30 days after they air.

Programme Embedded in Learning Edge

Once you find a programme that you want to share, you can share it using what is called a WAYFless link that takes students directly to the EHU login screen, or you can embed the video in Blackboard. If only part of the programme is relevant you can create a clip and share that, and you can add programmes and clips to playlists and share those.

To help you get started we’ve put together a document with (at the time of writing) 68 playlists, tips, links to articles and guides, etc.


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Peter Beaumont
Learning Technology Development Officer

Learning Technology Highlights: October 2016

Lynda.com Logo
All Edge Hill University staff now have access to the Lynda.com video training library. You can use it to help you develop your skills in areas as diverse as music, social media marketing, animation and Office 2013.

This resource would cost you over £300 per year if you paid yourself, so it is well worth a look. We have a guide to logging into Lynda.com, should you need help.

If you think that it would be a useful resource to use with your students, get in touch with us at ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk. We have limited student accounts, and need to keep track of use, but we can provide you with guides and support as you and your students learn to use the resource, and to help you integrate it with Blackboard.

Plickers logo
We saw the first use of the Plickers sets that we laminated this month; Sarah Wright used them with a group of students.

Plickers are another option when you are choosing student voting systems. Students respond to a multiple choice question by holding up a code card, and they can rotate the card to select their response. The lecturer/facilitator uses an app on their phone to detect the responses.

You might want to use Plickers instead of online solutions like Kahoot:

  • where you do not want to expect all students to have a charged mobile device
  • when you do not want students to have their mobile devices switched on
  • in locations without a wireless network

If you want to know more or use Plickers with your students, get in touch with us at ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk.

Box of Broadcasts logo
Box of Broadcasts (BoB) has returned from its summer redevelopment, and as of October 31st you should find all the features that you are used to, including embed code for the videos so that you can embed them in Blackboard.

BoB makes it easy for staff and students to request the recording of programmes from the TV and Radio, to access and share those recordings, and to access millions of other recordings that have been made using the service.

Our Box of Broadcasts guide should help you get started, as will the BoB video tutorials.

NMC Horizon Report – 2016 Higher Education Edition

topicsThe NMC’s Horizon Report Higher Education Edition aims to identify emerging technologies that a panel of experts think will impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in Higher Education over the next five years, along with key trends accelerating adoption, and challenges impeding that.

There is a project wiki which allows exploration the creation of the report, and if you want to see how previous predictions worked out you can see the previous reports or Audrey Watters’ admirable overview.

The report contains an overview graphic which shows the topics covered this year. How you use the report will depend on your focus. I liked the ‘master set’ of technologies that the report creators had looked at as it gives a wider view of emerging technologies and strategies, and how they fit together. The Makerspaces section looks interesting; the idea of having a place that any students and staff could go and use laser cutters, 3D printers, and make things with Arduinos, seems exciting.

Have a look at the report and see what you find interesting. If there are one or more topics that anyone wants to talk about, we can easily arrange a meeting of interested minds online using Blackboard Collaborate.

Record and Share TV and Radio Programmes Online with Box of Broadcasts

BoB Logo Box of Broadcasts (BoB) is an online service which makes it easy for you to legally record programmes from the TV and Radio, and to make them available to your students online.

Not only that, but you can access the recordings others have made, and students have access to record and share programmes themselves.

You can access BoB by going directly to the website at http://bobnational.net/, selecting ‘Log In’ and typing ‘Edge Hill University’ as the organisation name. You will then be prompted to type in your Edge Hill username and password.

Alternatively you can access the Edge Hill Library Catalogue and search in there for ‘Box of Broadcasts’.

We have put together a guide which covers how to record, create clips and playlists, embed videos in Blackboard, and get notifications of upcoming broadcasts on a topic.

 

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Peter Beaumont
Learning Technology Development Officer

ALT-C Conference 2015: Some things to consider

ALT-CALT-C is the main annual conference for the Association for Learning Technology. It is a great environment in which to see what others are doing, and to think about some of the big ideas that affect education.

In this post I’ll share some of the messages from the conference that I personally would like to consider further.

Keynote: Steve Wheeler
Key Message – Students could help us think in different ways.

Steve Wheeler from Plymouth University explored how learning is changing, and how we may need the help of students to help us think in new ways.

It can be difficult for us to notice the opportunities that new technology offers us; things change fast and we have little time. I was reminded that in around 2008 there was a short time when students often complained that they couldn’t get on campus computers to do work, because almost every computer was logged into Facebook. It was the consequence of a time just after the growth and adoption of social media, but just before everyone had smartphones that could be used to access the social media tools. These sort of odd things happen, and almost before we can react properly they’ve changed again. If these situations (both opportunities and challenges) are difficult to predict in the short term, then in the long term it is impossible to think what might change and how the collection of those changes working together might affect our context.

We could learn from each year’s intake of students about how technology could be used. Steve used the example of interactive whiteboards where early users just used them like blackboards, but someone without the experience of using blackboards who was given time to explore, might discover the possibilities.

In the past the learning technologies we had such as videos, and TVs, were primarily transmission tools, but now networked technologies can help move us towards student centered learning.

Teachers are often nervous about using technology, because there can be aspects of technology use that they think the students understand better than them. Even Steve’s students reported feeling like this when they went into school to do teaching practice and became the teacher, so the nervousness doesn’t seem to be related to age and experience with the technology. Personally I feel the same in induction sessions with the students when you advise a student to solve an issue one way, and other students come with other (sometimes better) solutions. I feel like I’m losing the position of ‘expert’, but as Steve is saying, perhaps we have to accept that in a complex changing environment there is no alternative.

On the topic of where the technological expertise lies, Steve pointed out that the ‘Visitors’ and ‘Residents’ theory is better than the much criticised ‘Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants’ theory if we are going to understand the way staff and students approach technological tools and spaces.

Keynote: Phillip Long
Key Messages – Cognitive Science can tell us a lot about learning. Performance and learning are not the same.

Phillip Long from the University of Texas at Austin spoke about the importance of using what we know from cognitive science when designing learning activities and environments.

First he talked about Soderstrom and Bjork’s work on the difference between learning and performance, where “Learning reflects the relatively permanent changes in behaviour or knowledge that support long-term retention & transfer” and performance is the “temporary fluctuations in behaviour or knowledge that can be observed and measured during or immediately after the first acquisition process”.

He discussed how there are different techniques for practicing in learning (e.g. distributed practice), and how some will work better for short term performance and some for long term learning. This can cause problems when working with students as they can really enjoy the results of short term performance gains and find aiming for these motivating. Long term learning methods with initially poor results can cause them to react badly.

He talked about EdX’s use of Cerego (see Jessie Brown’s overview) which is software that learns your personalised memory decay curve and aims to use this to optimise learning and methods of practice. Also if we want to encourage students to do important, but potentially tedious learning activities there is evidence that introducing transcendent purpose can help students, especially those with poor grades to start with.

He finished with the question “How can we bring good learning science into elegant learning environments that fit your institutional culture?”

Keynote: Laura Czeriewicz
Key Message – Online learning can play a role in reducing inequality.

Laura Czerniewicz spoke on the effects of online learning on inequality. She notes that we saw $1.87 billion (£1.22 billion) in ed tech funding in 2014, which means the effects cannot be large, including the effects on the developing world. She referred to Therborn’s 2013 book that looks at types of inequality to consider.

To face challenges in this area, she mentioned that we need to be aware of:

  • how online learning benefits some groups more than others
  • how learners need help so that they are prepared to learn in the online environment
  • how access to electricity and the internet affects any strategy
  • how mobile may be the answer if the price of data can be reduced
  • how verification of learning rather than learning alone is required for people to get jobs
  • how colonial attitudes need to be avoided and pluralistic epistemologies considered

Other Things of Interest
Key Message – Technology is not neutral.

The work P.A. Danaher was presenting was based on Affordance Theory (Gibson, 1979) via Actor-Network Theory (Wright & Parchoma, 2011). He mentioned how these theories say that technology is not neutral but shapes and is shaped by its users and occupants, and how effective research needs to respect that.

Key Message – Learning Technologists should be agents of change.

Peter Bryant from London School of Economics talked about the ‘Middle Out’ approach to institutional change. This was a concept taken from politics about the importance of creating growth through the middle classes, but in his focus on institutional change he says that there is a problem when Learning Technologists end up just maintaining the status quo by just supporting existing practices and not innovating new ones.

Peter argued that Learning Technologists should see themselves as agents and leaders of change at a strategic level and that we should aim for “a role where the learning technologist argues, lobbies, supports and resources change and where they work to break down functional barriers and silos between academic and professional services, in order to seek change through the development and celebration of a collective identity”.

Key Message – Technology affects power dynamics between teachers and learners.

Jonathon Worth spoke about his experiences as a photographer, how he learned to take advantage of the open nature of the web, and the resulting open course he ran. He discussed ethics around loss of privacy, changes to power within a class, cultural and technological barriers that might emerge, and how technology might affect trust. The idea that students should be asked to give informed consent around their use of ‘the digital’ is a challenge.

Key Message – Virtual field trips are possible, but require a lot of initial development.

Work from the School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds was presented, where they had created a field trip environment (works best in Firefox) using the Unity game engine. This allowed field trip activities to be undertaken without the travelling, and allowed disabled students to participate more fully in them. The level of detail was only really suitable for undergraduate study, and they are looking at the possibilities of developing it in more detail for post-graduate learners. Adding hand drawn field sketches to the simulation alone took 80 hours work, which indicates the time taken up by the project.


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Peter Beaumont
Learning Technology Development Officer

Your Digital Tattoo: What the web says about you! – For Staff

DT_square_smallIs how you present yourselves online important? When people search for information about you what might they find, and how does that affect your reputation and employability? How can you take control of what people can find about you online?

Over the last few years we’ve spoken with hundreds of Edge Hill students about issues these questions bring up, and we’ve helped many to develop their online presence to make it look more professional. Now it’s your turn to look at your own online presence, your ‘digital tattoo’ as some call it, and to think about how you could talk about this important subject with your own students.

We’re running a session on Thursday 5th March 2015 from 12:00-1:00pm, in the LINC ICT Training Room (room G2 on the ground floor).

Please book on the session via the Staff Learning and Development booking system.

Quotes from previous attendees:

  • “I think this is a session that everyone can benefit from and provides useful information that we can pass on to students with regards to developing a positive online presence.”
  • “I really enjoyed the opportunity to discuss the elements of this presentation / session and the potential impact for myself and the student experience. A thought provoking session”

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Peter Beaumont
Learning Technology Development Officer

What Does Your Blackboard Course Look Like to Students?

The Enter Student Preview buttonAcademics sometimes want to check what students can see and do within their Blackboard Courses. One way to see a student view is to select the ‘Enter Student Preview’ button at the top right of the screen.

An alternative is to set up a student account for long term use. This can be done using the ‘Add Test Student’ tool, which is available from Course Tools in the Control Panel.

The short video below talks you through the options.

Viewing Your Blackboard Course as a Student video

Test link