About Lindsey Martin

Assistant Head of learning Services (Learning, ICT and Media Technologies)

The 7th EHU Student eLearning Survey is Live!

EHU students have your say, and the chance to win up to £100 of Amazon vouchers.

The 7th, yes 7th eLearning Survey has just gone live. This bi-annual survey aims to develop an understanding of our students experience, expectations and use of technology-enhanced teaching and learning.

Over the past 10 years, your generous feedback received through the survey has really helped improve our services to you and this year’s responses will continue to inform new developments and improvements.

What we learned from the 6th survey led to us developing the new Learning Edge course template, which (we hope) gives you a consistent and organised view of your courses and materials and helps you find information and course resources more easily. Another example of developments is that in previous surveys, students have highlighted that they would find the recordings of lectures very beneficial, and we now have lecture capture software to give students access to recordings.

If you are an Edge Hill student, please complete our survey. There is a prize draw to win up to £100 worth of Amazon vouchers (1st prize £100, 2nd prize £50 and 3rd prize £25).
You can access the survey via their Blackboard course homepage, or from edgehill.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/elearning-survey-2016.

We plan to close the survey on 23rd January 2017.

Photograph of Lindsey Martin Assitant Head of Learning Services

Lindsey Martin

Understanding our student and staff experience of learning technologies

‘Nothing endures but change’. Heraclitus. So true.

This time a year ago I was urging students to complete the 6th EHU Student e-Learning Survey and a whopping 798 actually did. Today I am able to publish the full report and recommendations based on the analysis of that survey’s results. We are very grateful for our students’ generosity with their time and feedback. It is our hope that we repay them with year-on-year improvements that show we are actually listening to what they are telling us.

students using a laptop. Cover of survey report

Cover from survey report

 

The survey’s findings shed light on a number of topics:

  • Access to technology
  • Trend analysis in the use/ experience of Learning Edge since 2008/09
  • Positive and negative features of Learning Edge
  • What students think makes for an ‘ideal’ digital learning environment

 

But there’s more …

 

In addition to publicising the student survey findings, this post is also a call for feedback via its sister survey into academic staff engagement with technology, library and services to support teaching. The survey is currently live until midnight on 29th January [now extended to midnight 5th February] and can be accessed from the Learning Edge home page. We’ve even been able to secure three lots of £15 Amazon vouchers for a free prize draw for entrants.

Please complete the survey and help us to better understand your experience of using technology and the services that underpin it. We have learned over many years that success in providing and supporting learning technologies doesn’t come from following a ‘how to’ guide, but is highly context specific, dependent upon properly understanding how people use them – and what it feels like to use them. Tell us how it is for you and contribute to the ongoing improvement.

Lindsey Martin Assitant Head of Learning Services

Lindsey Martin

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 lecturecapture@edgehill.ac.uk

Lindsey Martin Assitant Head of Learning Services

Lindsey Martin

 

Students, technology and study – still time to have your say!

The 6th EHU student eLearning Survey is an important means of gathering large-scale, detailed feedback on how students experience technology in teaching and learning. Past surveys have contributed massively to our development and support of technology-enhanced learning. The current survey has a couple more weeks to run but the responses already reveal interesting trends that I thought worth sharing. Do these reflect your own experiences? There is still time to complete the survey at http://surveys.edgehill.ac.uk/elearning_2014 (and be in with a chance of winning up to £100 in Amazon vouchers).

Trend 1. Mobile devices are essential tools to support your studies

This isn’t really surprising when you think that your smart phone has more computing power than Apollo 11 when it landed a man on the moon. Apart from money, your phone is the one thing you probably won’t leave home without. Survey responses so far tell us that smart phone access to Learning Edge now seems to be a mainstream activity for accessing notifications, presentations and course content. Just under a quarter of you are using Apps to support study – RefMe, PC Availability, Dropbox, Socrative, barcode scanners and note-making apps to name a few.

Table 1 shows how mobile access to Learning Edge has increased year on year alongside other activities. Table 2 shows the types of devices that are being brought onto campus (%).

Table 2. Devices students bring onto campus.

Table 2

 

Table 1. How students use mobile devices for study

Table 1

 

 

 

 

 

Trend 2: Accessing Learning Edge on and off-campus is a much-improved experience

The 2012/13 survey revealed fewer number of you were experiencing technical difficulties when using Learning Edge on and off campus – but oddly, the most dramatic improvement was in the reduction of off campus technical difficulties.

This prompted us to take a fresh look at on-campus access to Learning Edge and I’m pleased to say that it looks like the many #getconnected roadshows and promotion of Eduroam for reliable WIFI access on campus have had a big impact. Early data from the current survey shows a significant improvement in your on campus access to Learning Edge as illustrated by tables 3 and 4.

on campus access to Eearning Edge

Table 3

 

Off campus access to Learning Edge

Table 4

 

 

 

 

 

Trend 3. Learning Edge is essential for 27/7/365 access to your course

Past surveys told us that each year more of you agree with the statement that Learning Edge enhances knowledge and understanding gained at taught sessions. Early indications are that this year is no different – but with a pleasing improvement on 2012/13. There has been a similar improvement in the response to the statement ‘my tutors regularly update Learning Edge with course information and materials –currently 93.4% of student responses agree with this statement (tables 5 and 6 illustrate).

Table 5. tutors regularly update Learning Edge

Table 5

 

Table 6. Learning Edge enhances my learning

Table 6

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst much data has been obtained by this survey so far, it is important to capture the widest sample of experiences and feedback possible. This isn’t a vanity exercise – although praise is always welcomed. As well as the good, we also welcome the bad and downright ugly! This survey is an important part of our commitment to keep listening to you so we can continue improve year on year on what we do.

Lindsey Martin Assitant Head of Learning Services

 

 

Lindsey Martin, Assistant Head of Learning Services (Learning, ICT & Media Technologies)

 

 

The 6th Student eLearning Survey (and Prize Draw)

StudentSurvey

Where does the time go? The sixth EHU student eLearning survey is now live. Telling us your experiences and expectations of the technology you use to support your learning helps us to understand what works and what doesn’t.

The survey isn’t just a tick box exercise, it drives change – as well as the good, we want to know the bad and the downright ugly so we can continue to improve the features, access and support of EHU systems like the Learning Edge virtual learning environment. Since the last survey we have, amongst other things, dramatically improved the look and feel of Learning Edge based on your feedback – including 1-click access to its home page from the Go Portal and enabled access to your subject library resources.

If you are an Edge Hill student, please (please!) complete our survey. We realise that your time is precious – especially with end of term assignment deadlines looming – and so we have added a sweetener of a prize draw of  £100, £50 and  £25 Amazon vouchers.

The survey may be accessed from the home page of Blackboard, or direct from http://surveys.edgehill.ac.uk/elearning_2014. We plan to close the survey on 23rd January 2015 and in the meantime, we look forward to hearing from you …

Lindsey Martin Assitant Head of Learning Services

 

 

Lindsey Martin, Assistant Head of Learning Services (Learning, ICT & Media Technologies)

Abandon survey fatigue and tell us what you think!

Academic Staff Survey

Learning Services have run an annual student e-learning survey since 2008. This year we thought we’d do something different and focus on the academic staff experience instead.

You may have seen slides on the plasma screens or received a flyer exhorting staff to take part in the Learning Services survey … and to date 70 of you have very kindly done so. We want to hear about your experiences of Edge Hill’s virtual and physical teaching environments, Library and resources. We also want to get a better understanding of how you like to keep up-to-date with our new developments and how you engage with Learning Services learning technologists, librarians and classroom support staff.

We know it’s a big ask but can you take 5-10 minutes and fill the survey in? You can access it from http://surveys.edgehill.ac.uk/staff_survey

Your responses will be used to improve what we do, for example, we have used the feedback from the annual student e-learning survey to inform major Learning Edge developments including Mobile Learn, the recent addition of Community, 1-Click access from Go, and our Get Connected student Roadshows. We have also used your feedback from the 2012 Audio Visual Technology survey to identify and upgrade classrooms in need of new AV.

 Lindsey Martin Assitant Head of Learning Services

Lindsey Martin
Assistant Head of Learning Services (Learning, ICT & Media Technologies)

Can someone explain what’s going on here?

The 5th EHU Student eLearning survey still has just over a week or so left to run but I thought  I’d share with you an interesting and unusual finding from the large number of responses we have received so far.

In the survey we ask students to respond to the statements On/off campus I sometimes have difficulties accessing Learning Edge and not surprisingly a lot of students agree or strongly agree. The responses to these statements are important measures of how well or otherwise the Learning Edge systems and student support are performing. They are also indicators of how effective Learning Services have been in identifying and resolving Learning Edge technical issues. So it is reassuring to note that since we started collecting data on this question and used the feedback to inform improvements, that the numbers of students experiencing technical difficulties have declined year on year.

Which brings me to the interesting and unusual finding illustrated in the two graphs below (click on a chart to make it bigger).

This positive trend shows students are experiencing significantly fewer technical difficulties with Learning Edge both on and off campus but surprisingly the most dramatic improvement is the reduction of off-campus technical difficulties. This reduction is even more marked in the current student responses and begs the question ‘What is going on here: why isn’t the rate of improvement as dramatic with on-campus technical difficulties?’

Obviously, we’ll be investigating this anomaly in our continuing efforts to improve the student experience of Learning Edge. As a starting point, it would be really helpful if student readers could use this blog’s comments facility to provide some pointers by letting me know where, when and on what devices you tend to experience Learning Edge technical issues. It would also be helpful to learn more about what types of technical difficulties are experienced both on- and off-campus.

Finally, if you have not yet had your say about your experience of technology to support your learning at Edge Hill, there is still just over a week of the EHU Student eLearning Survey left to go. Give us your feedback and enter the prize draw for £50 and 2 x £25  Amazon vouchers. Every 20th participant also wins an attractive 1G USB wristband.

Lindsey Martin eLearning Strategy and Development Manager

Lindsey Martin Assistant Head of Learning Services (Learning, ICT and Media Technologies)

Students have your say – and win Amazon vouchers #2

My last blog post focused on last year’s student eLearning survey winners so I thought this time it  would be helpful to explain why we think the annual survey is so important.

The Student eLearning Survey is now 5 years old and is an important means of finding out how technology supports student learning at Edge Hill. It isn’t just a tick-box exercise; we want to know the bad and the downright ugly as well as the good so we can continue to improve the features, access and support of EHU systems like the Learning Edge VLE. Since the last survey we have, amongst other things, improved the look and feel of Learning Edge based on your feedback. We also redesigned the log in page to make access and support easier, made Campus Pack (personal blogs and Wiki spaces in Learning Edge) available and released the Edge Hill Central app.

So what did we learn last year? We already knew that Learning Edge (Blackboard) is heavily used, but thanks to the survey, we also know that many students rate it as important, with 78.7% agreeing that it enhanced the knowledge and understanding they get from lectures, tutorials and practical sessions.

While technical and access issues with Learning Edge still occur both on and off campus, the trend over the past 4 years is, thankfully, downward. Facebook was frequently cited as a student ‘owned’ technology to support informal learning where they can email, send notifications, use instant messaging, share documents and course information – I think of it as the Facebook ‘Hub’ compared to the Learning Edge ‘classroom’.

I could go on … but if you want to know more, have a look at the results of last year’s survey at http://www.eshare.edgehill.ac.uk/1341/

Finally, if you are a student and want to get your views about technology at Edge Hill heard, then why not complete the survey http://surveys.edgehill.ac.uk/elearning2012 Don’t forget there is a prize draw for £50 and 2 x £25 Amazon vouchers as well as a 1G USB wristband for every 20th response – we’ve already given away loads and would love to give away more!

Lindsey Martin eLearning Strategy and Development Manager  Lindsey Martin, eLearning Strategy and Development Manager

Students – have your say and win Amazon vouchers!

EHU’s fifth student eLearning survey was launched this week and in exchange for your  views and experiences of technology we are offering one £50 and two £25 Amazon vouchers in a prize draw. We know how precious your time is, so as an additional thank you for completing the survey, we are also giving away a Learning Services 1G USB wristband to every 20th student who takes part.

Here are a couple of photos of last year’s prize draw winners – note the wristbands too!

Matthew Cooper and Lindsey Martin

First prize to Matthew Cooper, Human Geography and Management pictured with yours truly.

 

Daniel Campbell

Runner up, Daniel Campbell, Computing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current students, you can complete the survey. It will close on Friday 25th January 2013.

Here is the link http://surveys.edgehill.ac.uk/elearning2012

Keep an eye out for a blog post coming soon on how we use the feedback from the eLearning survey to make a difference.

Lindsey Martin eLearning Strategy and Development Manager Lindsey Martin, eLearning Strategy & Development Manager

Making things happen: behind the scenes (part 2)

In our last post we focused on the Learning Services team and their roles in the technical development and staff training for Blackboard 9.1. This time, we thought we’d introduce the colleagues who work with our Learning Technologists, David Callaghan and Adrian Cain: Kevin English (Assistant Registrar, Data Management & User Support Team, Academic Registry), Kevin Molyneux (Senior Business Systems Officer, IT Services) and Victor Iriarte (Complex Hosting Manager, Blackboard).

This cross-University/Blackboard group have been working over the past few months to ensure that integration between existing University systems and Blackboard 9.1 has enabled the automatic creation of course areas and student enrolments in Blackboard. The collaboration has resulted in a robust integration and provided timely and consistent availability of courses and student enrolments into Blackboard. It wouldn’t have happened without the excellent teamwork from all involved.

Our offer of a high-quality group photo to accompany this post was gently refused so we have included an image of the 9.1 ‘concept’ highlighting the integration aspect instead. The aim is to illustrate that without effective systems integration, none of the other benefits of Blackboard 9.1 can be realised.

The final post in the ‘Behind the Scenes’ series will introduce you to faculty colleagues who have key roles in the roll out of Blackboard 9.1 to staff and students …