Thursday, 30 June 2011

TRACK D: iPadagogy: Using Apple iPads within the Assessment and Feedback process

Hosted by: Agi Ryder, David Westwood

Agi and David hosted a lively and informative session, in two parts; an introduction and brief report back presentations from project participants, followed by Q&A and discussion to share wider experiences of using iPads. As Agi explained, funding was secured to purchase five iPads, “distributed to schools to use in teaching practice”. The timing of this dovetailed with the e-Assessment initiative and the resulting aims for the iPad project became - how iPads can be used: as a tool for mobile marking, to deliver timely feedback and to deliver audio feedback. The five presentations came from a variety of disciplines across the schools; Nursing, Sports, Psychology, Finance and ICT in Education.

Venetia Brown (HSSC) compared the iPad, in terms of both efficiency and convenience, to traditional methods when marking text based assessments. They found that it was efficient and also lighter to carry around. Using the iPad as an e-reader for dissertations was “great”. On the negative side was connectivity – 3G was essential 3G rather than wifi and the lack of Flash on the iPad meant Turnitin couldn’t be accessed.

Phil Barter (HSSC) and colleagues went for a different approach. They wanted to improve feedback across their programme and increase the variety of format. Their aim was to upload videos of students in action, to the iPad, annotate them and email screen shots back to the student. After much trial and error two apps appeared that enabled this video annotation (ScreenChalk) and also, marking during student presentations via a click through rubric (Vernier Video Physics). Both enabled feedback to be emailed to students immediately after presentations and performance, which the students really liked. Students felt better equipped to progress to the next year of study.

Ellie Franklin (BS) was positive about its portability and ease (“I love the iPad”), although felt that battery life could be improved. Her aim to use it alongside PebblePad for feedback was thwarted as it doesn’t support Flash. An app called SoundNote, which records audio tracks note taking, enabled her to mark a mock test with audio and written feedback, to email directly to the students as a PDF. She recommended using a pencil instead of purchasing the stylus, as preferable to touch screen typing.

Stephen Nunn and Nollaig Frost (HSSC) also found the typing difficult over time. They did find the iPad useful as a “second screen” – allowing portability whilst reading the essay and returning to a computer to mark it. A different application of the iPad, using the app Audio Memos, enabled them to mark student poster presentations, recording both verbal and written feedback – all within one session. The results were immediately emailed to the students so there were no carry over tasks for the tutors.

Gary Meek (A&E) completed the report back presentations by highlighting that the iPad doesn’t arrive with a manual or any useful software, which leads to heavy use of the apple store for “must-have” apps, in this case, note taking software. He found the iPad useful as a less intrusive device in classrooms when observing trainee teachers – an environment he wouldn’t take a laptop in to - you can “wander around the room taking notes”. Connectivity was an issue but Gary temporarily used his mobile phone as a wireless network. His recommended apps were: Documents to Go, Nebulous Notes and SoundNote.

This led neatly into the discussion, where topics included: useful apps, technical clarification on being able to link the iPad to a screen for presentations, the university infrastructure for supporting full connectivity and easy set up and use of equipment, security of data stored in cloud computing, the need for a policy covering the control and distribution of recorded media and training for using the new technologies.

To continue the discussion beyond the session, it was requested that participants add their comments, requests, ideas and issues to the eAssessment wiki, in order for them to be addressed by CCSS. David rounded the session off by pointing everyone towards the wiki and said that a ‘toolbox’ of recommended apps was in the pipeline.

Louise Merlin
e-Learning Content Producer
Centre for Learning and Teaching Enhancement

Staff development sessions

Please do take a look at the excellent resources and reports from the staff development sessions here.

Showcase of wiki session participants work.

Track B: Employability

TRACK B - Rea Prouska, Mike Mimirinis : Empowering Students by Enhancing Employability Skills: The Case of the BA Human Resource Management Programme

This informative and interactive session from Mike and Rea highlighted an approach from the BA Human Resource Management programme on how to focus students on identifying and developing their employability skills through the use of e-portfolios. Both Mike and Rea were interested in; the wealth of skills and attributes students enter into higher education with, how these skills are added to and develop during their time in HE and how they continue to develop skills after HE. The use of e-portfolios with first year students helped to engage students in both thinking about employability but also to reflect upon and evidence the skills they had and furthermore think about the skills they wished to develop.

It was lovely to see firsthand some e portfolios presented by two HRM students who discussed their experiences of, the benefits and uses they felt creating the portfolio had and the different ways in which the e-portfolios had been used (to apply for jobs, share resources between students, etc). It was interesting to note that students on this programme had been encouraged to engage with the e-portfolios with the incentive of marks, however not all students chose to produce or engage with the e-portfolios. Those students who did engage with the e-portfolio found it to be beneficial in numerous ways; in boosting confidence in identifying skills, in helping to articulate and evidence their skills and helping them to reflect on their experiences and identifying learning from their experience. Within the session the common problem of ‘how do we engage the students that are not engaging?’ arose, particularly as the engaged students cited many benefits. Learning from this year, Rea is making the use of e-portfolios compulsory for first year students within HRM and discussion centred on what more can be done to encourage students to engage with e-portfolios throughout their studies. No definite answers as yet but we look forward to hearing more as the project progresses.

Deeba Parmar
Senior Researcher
Centre for Learning and Teaching Enhancement

Track G: e-Assessment Case Studies

TRACK G - E-assessment project case studies: the triumphs and challenges
Presenters: Nicky Spawls (School of Arts and Education), Thomas Bending and Toby York (Business School)

This session showed the perspectives of three different departments (Education, Economics and Maths, Accounting and Finance) involved with the e-assessment pilot project. The e-assessment project asked for representation from all departments for modules to take part in e-assessment in the form of e-submission and e-feedback. Thomas, Toby and Nicky all showed the approached their areas had taken to e-assessment and highlighted some of the benefits identified and challenges encountered.

Toby talked of 7 pieces of assessment and how the ‘cloud’ has been used in encouraging student to collaborate on projects together and furthermore start to work on assessments as a process over time. However, it was shown that students were still deadline driven and less discussion and engagement between students occurred than was originally hoped for. However, from his own evaluation of his students’ experiences, 91% stated that they preferred the e-assessment – a strong indicator of his students’ satisfaction with the e-assessment method.

Thomas, from a financial mathematics programme, discussed electronic submission of a group presentation requiring the inclusion of text, tables, possible use of graphs and formula in one single document. A practice opportunity was provided although this was not taken up by all students. He did state that marking online did take slightly longer than marking by hand although more detail was able to be provided in the feedback that was given by compiling a bank of common feedback comments that could be cut and paste into the required feedback document. It was felt that the take up of feedback was better as it was delivered via email rather than left in an office waiting to be collected. There were challenges of students unsure of submitting work (due to a lack of receipts) and the additional time taken for getting used to marking online but overall students found submitting and receiving feedback electronically to be positive.

Nicky discussed the benefits and challenges that she and staff had encountered using the institutional VLE, turnitin and grademark. High praise for the support given by the educational technologists was mentioned highlighting the important link between central services and Schools in delivering such an initiative. Nicky highlighted the practical challenges (not having correct access on certain computers or facilities to work remotely, wifi, etc) and pedagogic challenges (interpreting Turnitin reports accurately) in changing practices in this way. She stressed that although staff were initially resistant the experience had made staff more positive to the move to e-assessment.

It was important to note that although challenges were identified all 3 examples showed that students were overwhelmingly positive to e-assessment.

Deeba Parmar
Senior Researcher
Centre for Learning and Teaching Enhancement

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Delegate video feedback

Jackie Meredith, School of Health and Social Sciences, Middlesex University

Simbo Ajayi, Learner Development Unit, Middlesex University

Jonathan Garnett, Institute for Work Based Learning, Middlesex University

Toby York, Business School, Middlesex University

Track C: Computer Games for Maths Support

TRACK C - 1+1=3 The Added Value of Computer Games in HE Maths Support.
Presenters: Julie Kevill (Maths, Stats and Numeracy coordinator) and Hayo Reinders (Head of LDU).

Hayo started the session by pointing out that although the computer games industry is huge, the use of games in teaching and learning is limited. He dispelled the myths that games were for males and the young; and referred to recent statistics that indicated 46% of females play computer games and that the most popular users of computer games were people in their 30s.

When Julie took over the presentation she revealed that students with very low maths skills were more likely to be unemployed. She also referred us to the low results of the LDP (Learner Development Profile) for maths and the need to address maths and numeracy skills at MU.

We were then invited to try out the interactive maths computer game; Manga High which Julie explained was free, available over the Internet and at differentiated levels. At the end of the session, we evaluated Manga High.

As a learning tool for students, there is the opportunity for students to review questions and see the correct answers, and the opportunity to learn from mistakes. Students also have access to different maths topics and can have fun learning maths. Manga High could also be very useful for revision as there are thousands of questions, and time limits are set on challenges.

The ability for teachers to set global levels for their student cohort and compare results within and outside their departments makes Manga High an ideal teaching tool. Manga High also enables teachers to compare their student results with the national average.

My feedback:
I felt the two presenters were absolutely fantastic and were in control of the session despite technical difficulties with the projector. The sessions were well facilitated and I personally learnt a great deal about the potential of Manga High as a combined learning and teaching tool for maths. Thanks for organising the sessions.

Simbo Ajayi
Peer Assisted Learning Manager
Learner Development Unit (LDU)
Middlesex University

Track E: ePortfolios

TRACK E – ePortfolios for eReflection and eMployability

Ellie Franklin’s enthusiastic presentation of PebblePad for ePortfolios raised awareness of an important method for students to build a web-based store of personal ‘assets’. Focusing on employability, the presentation highlighted PebblePad’s versatility as a tool for building an electronic portfolio that could be used at the point of applying for work and aid students in the application process. Rather than a heavy (loseable) folder, students have their own web pages which can be viewed online or exported to disk or memory pen if desired.

Through ‘gateways’ students can submit work/assets electronically and receive feedback and assessment likewise. PebblePad also features an Action Plan ‘wizard, which takes them step by step through action planning and setting their own targets. This can be adapted by tutors to fit their particular situations.

The tutor encouraged use of Pebblepad for eReflection by linking it specifically to employability and awarding marks (admittedly only one per session) for engagement with the tool. After a year of using the tool for reflection both tutor and students found a number of advantages. The tutor had more insight into her students by reading their eReflections and the students found it ‘helpful’ ‘enjoyable’ and ‘useful’ although one or two felt it was an ‘invasion of privacy’. Overall – Pebblepad was seen as a really useful tool for articulation and an easy and efficient way to e-submit, e-assess and give e-feedback.

Celia Cozens
Centre for Learning and Teaching Enhancement

Delegate video feedback

Ross Brennan, Marketing and Enterprise Department, Middlesex University 

Michael Seignior, Programme leader PGC Higher Education, Middlesex University

Janet Rix, Head of International Educational Development, Centre for International Education. Middlesex University

 Paul Smith, Educational Development Unit, Centre for Learning and Teaching Enhancement

Judy Wilson, School of Engineering and Information Sciences/Centre for International Education, Middlesex University

Track A: Digital Storytelling

TRACK A – Using Digital Storytelling to Enhance Student Skills in Thinking About Quality Improvement in Public and Community Services

Trish Hafford-Letchfield and Asanka Dayananda’s well-attended workshop on digital storytelling proved stimulating, enjoyable and a really hands-on experience. Trish and Asanka have developed digital storytelling as an assessment tool on the Service Development and Quality Improvement module – attended by a range of professionals in public and community services as part of their CPD. The brief includes ‘creativity’ as well as ‘enhancing skills in communication technology’ so Trish ditched the conventional essay format for the more exciting and innovative ‘digital story’.

Students are encouraged to take one aspect of an issue to do with improving public services and, using images, music and voiceover, to create a resource for others to access. Unsurprisingly, the students actually look forward to carrying out their assessment, just as we enjoyed the practical workshop.

The course is delivered and structured through OASISplus, using weekly online activities and discussion boards. Students download the free ‘Photo Story 3’ software and, with supported sessions in the lab, create their own digital stories.

After looking at some impressive examples, we split into groups and tried to storyboard a short video. Unfortunately time ran out but it was abundantly clear what a creative, motivational and useful tool this was – albeit with some ethical and copyright issues to iron out with respect to photos and video clips.

Celia Cozens
Centre for Learning and Teaching Enhancement

Josie Taylor - feedback

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Delegate feedback

I just wanted to write and say how delighted I am once again with the conference. Last year was my first time and I didn't think it could be beaten, but this year the organisation has been superb, the sessions and facilities excellent and registration handled extremely well.

The gift bags and contents are a great choice and the refreshments have been excellent - so important when an organisation wants to attract a broad clientele to acknowledge that people need somewhere to relax and recharge the batteries. But the icing on the cake for me has been the provision of WiFi access - seamlessly accepted by my iPad - this is as good if not better than international conferences I have attended.

Well done to everyone!

Dr Jackie Meredith
School of Health and Social Sciences

Delegate video feedback

Apologies for the poor sound quality on some of the clips - some people were enjoying themselves noisily over at the tea and coffee table!

Aleksandra Cichocka, Learner Development Unit, Middlesex University

Dr Peter Ryan, School of Health and Social Sciences, Middlesex University

Albert Odro, School of Health and Social Sciences, Middlesex University


Adam Edwards, School Liaison Manager, Engineering and Information Sciences/Institute for Work Based Learning/Business, Learning Resources, Middlesex University 

Eva Szatmari , Lecturer in Numeracy Support, Learner Development Unit, Middlesex University

Joseph Kelly, Question Mark

Morning Coffee

Keynote: Josie Taylor - Assessment, Technology and Learning: Who is in the Driving Seat

Keynote slides
Report on keynote address
Josie Taylor started by reminding the audience that the OU’s Institute of Educational Technology was set up to train staff when the institution was operating in the “broadcast model” – education in the middle of the night! She then floated the idea that Higher Education needs to open out and allow people to move about in academia. Although the OU is heavily into Open Educational Resources (OER), Josie also made the point that it's more than OER that she is propounding. After describing the Open Learn project she pointed out that social learners are less motivated to work through masses of content, and she espoused formal materials delivered in an informal way. However, she acknowledged this would produce issues at the institutional level. From the institution she envisaged such questions as: What is a University for? Who determines what is of value? Who says what is worthy (or not)?

After revealing a previous life as a teacher of Prologue programming, Josie discussed ecological space, affinity space and informal space (for learning). She gave a good overview of research in the area, before detailing work at the OU on an automated formative assessment tool – which they are working on presently. I will close this short report with direct quotes from her that struck a particular cord: “learners are emancipating themselves…” and “… affinity spaces can be spontaneously formed around any topic”.

The slides and video of this keynote are available should be referred to for more detail, including a comprehensive reference list. An excellent keynote and introduction to the theme, which was referred back to by other speakers and the panel discussion at the end of the day.

Steve Chilton
Educational Development Manager

Delegates arrival & coffee

Monday, 27 June 2011

IPadology - Track D: Phil Barter

IPadagogy: Using Apple Ipads within the Assessment and Feedback process

Phil is an experienced senior lecturer in biomechanics at Middlesex University (MDX). Phil teaches on the Sport and Exercise Science programme which he also leads. Phil has been at Middlesex since 2009 and this year oversaw a revalidation of the suite of Sport and Exercise Science undergraduate courses. He has been lecturing for ten years at a couple of institutions, which has increased his experience and knowledge of curriculum design and the effect on students learning and teaching environment.

Phil Barter
Phil’s teaching areas are Performance Analysis, Biomechanics, Health & Fitness, Research methods at MDX. Phil is currently involved in various research projects within the London Sports Institute including research into potential performance and injury issues associated with the athletes ‘footedness’ and how to measure pressure in football to a degree where goal scoring changes can be created. Phil has a keen interest in the use of performance analysis to enhance athletic performance and prevent injuries.

Phil has been examining using the iPad to utilise various forms of media to enhance the feedback experience in the Sports and Exercise Science sessions, both in a practical and theoretical concept, so attendees to the iPadology session can learn about the apps that have been tested and think about possible application in their areas. 

The main resources Phil has used during the project include the Apple app store and various sport science journals and websites which mention new developments.

In terms of tips for successful e-Assessment, Phil recommends thinking about the size of the feedback sheet attached to a piece of assessment and also types of media, to make the impact as mobile as possible, for example, he has lowered the quality of the videos used and shrunk the size of pages use to ensure that they can be read on any mobile format as students are increasingly likely to read or utilise feedback on their phones.

Final preparations

The conference will close tomorrow with a panel Q&A session. The panel will comprise our two keynote speakers (Josie Taylor, Bob Rotheram) and the Middlesex University Director of Teaching and Learning, Nicky Torrance with the Dean of the School of Engineering and Information Sciences, Martin Loomes.

Throughout the day you will be invited to post your questions around the theme: "e-Assessment - Are we untangling the (k)nots?" into our 'Question time' style box and via twitter (please ensure you precede tweets with #mdxaltc)

Presenter profile - Track A: Trish Hafford-Letchfield, Asanka Dayananda

Asanka Dayananda: Using Digital Storytelling to Enhance Student Skills in Thinking about Quality Improvement in Public and Community Services

Digital Storytelling
As part of the summative assessment of the Service Development and Quality Improvement module, students were asked submit a digital story. Find out how students were guided through online activities and lab sessions to create their digital story. We will share our experience of using this method of e-assessment, and will feedback on student impressions and the hurdles we had to overcome.

In this hands on workshop you have an opportunity to plan and create your own digital story.

Asanka Dayananda, Educational Developer, Centre for Learning and Teaching Enhancement, Middlesex University

As part of her role, Asanka is involved in looking at ways of encouraging Educators to consider the benefits offered by e-learning practices. This usually involves examining teaching, learning and assessment strategies employed for appropriateness of alternative online practices that could enhance and improve the student learning experience. Involvement in recommendations often requires supporting staff through five stages; staff training, planning implementation in teaching, delivery to students, dealing with any issues that arise and finally evaluating practice, process and student experience.

Delivering experiential knowledge and skills online is one of Asanka’s current interests. This has given rise to an online staff development course that gives lecturers an opportunity to experience a number of alternative online teaching practices. The online course runs over three weeks and takes around 5 hours to complete. Through hands on experience of both teaching and learning perspectives, it gives educators a taste of reusable learning objects, e-assessment and feedback, online discussions, e-workbooks, e-reflections and audio feedback. Each alternative approach is compared to traditional practice, and learning is encouraged through hands on experience. The course is embedded with walk through video demonstrations, research findings, discussions, reflections, planning exercises and guided activities. The course targets programme teams in collaborative online learning. It is hoped that this method will encourage non-enthusiasts to engage in staff development and also seeks to increase participation by utilising the flexibility afforded by anytime, anywhere online learning.

Asanka's co-presenter: Trish Hafford-Letchfield

Friday, 24 June 2011

Presenter profile: Track G - Toby York, Thomas Bending, Nicky Spawls

Thomas Bending: E-assessment project case studies: the triumphs and challenges

Thomas Bending
Thomas is the Director of Economics and Statistics Programmes in the Business School. His department has a varied set of teaching duties, teaching both specialist economists and statisticians but also large numbers of general business students who need some convincing that quantitative subjects can be useful and enjoyable! He teaches mathematics and statistics at all levels, both on his department's modules and elsewhere.

Thomas is a combinatorial mathematician who's begun to venture into statistics. He is interested in ways of using ICT to facilitate and improve teaching and give learners independence.

There's a big debate across the University about the pros and cons of marking work electronically. Thomas is admittedly a technophile, but his experiences with electronic marking have been surprisingly positive, particularly in terms of an improvement in the feedback he can provide. Come and be enthused!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

IPadology - Track D: Venetia Brown

Venetia Brown: IPadagogy: Using Apple Ipads within the Assessment and Feedback process

Venetia is the Director of Progammes for Post-qualifying (PQ) Nursing and one of the HSSc Learning and Quality Enhancement leads. The main focus of her work involves taking an operational lead for PQ Nursing provision which includes responsibility for the development, delivery, quality monitoring and enhancement. Venetia works closely with other Directors of Programmes and the Head of the Institute of Nursing and Midwifery and with NHS Trust partners to ensure that the study days, modules and programmes that we deliver enable nurses and midwives to improve their practice and to provide high quality, evidence based care for patients, clients and service users.

Venetia has a particular interest in working towards enhancing the experience of student life for non-traditional students i.e. CPD/part time students who are in employment. Being part of the e-assessment project has given her the opportunity to review how and whether e-assessment works for our CPD students. Other areas of interest are around how and whether accessing CPD provision enhances employability prospects for those already in employment.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Presenter profile - Track H: Franco Raimondi

Franco Raimondi: Using Turnitin: From Plagiarism Detection to E-assessment

Franco Raimondi
I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering and Information Sciences at Middlesex University. My research interests include:

Model Checking for extensions of temporal logics.
Multi-agent systems.
Modal logics.
Formal methods.
    I teach Fundamentals of Programming and Management of Information Security. I am a member of the Learning and Teaching Strategy Leaders team for the School of Engineering and Information Sciences. In my session I present my experience with the use of Turnitin as an anti-plagiarism tool and as a tool to support e-assessment.

    Tuesday, 21 June 2011

    IPadology - Track D: Gary Meek

    IPadagogy: Using Apple Ipads within the Assessment and Feedback process

    Gary Meek is a Senior Lecturer PGCE ICT Middlesex University, who previously taught Modern Languages, Computing and ICT in secondary schools in North London and Berkshire. His interests include: ePortfolios, iPad, e-Assessment, ICT in MFL, music!

    Gary Meek
    Gary trains Secondary ICT teachers at post graduate level, and in addition, supervises students on the MA Education (ICT). As a former languages and ICT teacher he has a special interest in ICT and MFL.

    People should attend the IPad session because it will be an exciting opportunity to find out how a small machine can give a big return and add value to the assessment of your students. Gary has used the iPad in every classroom based observation for the past 6 months. Using just Word Processing software (Pages) and notes (Soundnote) he has been able to provide instant feedback based on written observations with additional sound recording and transfer via Bluetooth or wireless LAN.

    Gary's current research includes Computing Research Grant from TDA, the use of IPad for e-Assessment and Pebblepad for ePortfolios.

    A recommended resource is:
    This store is potentially dangerous to your bank balance or credit card. There is always an app that you just have to buy.

    Monday, 20 June 2011

    Presenter profile - Track B: Rea Prouska, Mike Mimirinis

    Mike Mimirinis: : Empowering Students by Enhancing Employability Skills: The Case of the BA Human Resource Management Programme

    Mike Mimirinis
    I am an Educational Developer at the Centre for Learning and Teaching Enhancement, Middlesex University. I have previously worked as an educational consultant and researcher on a number of  projects for organisations such as the European Union, JISC, the Higher Education Academy as well as national organisations in Eastern Europe, Japan, South East Asia and the Pacific. My research interests include phenomenographic methods of research in student learning in higher education, students' approaches to learning in blended learning environments and the pedagogy of portfolio-based learning and assessment. I am delighted to present at the Annual Learning and Teaching conference, an event that has been going from strength to strength; I will co-present with Rea Prouska on the enhancement of students' employability skills through embedded e-portfolios. We are hoping to bring students' voices to the fore and to open up the discussion on programme-level approaches to employability.

    Mike's co-presenter: Rea Prouska

    Panel Discussion - Chair: Jan Williams

    Jan Williams
    Since 2005 I have been Dean of the School of Health and Social Sciences. My early background is in Nursing. I was fortunate to enrol on one of the first module schemes and qualified in the late 1970s before eventually becoming a Sister in the Intensive and Coronary Care Unit of a London Teaching Hospital. I enjoyed the contact with students who were on placement in a stimulating yet emotionally demanding learning environment and decided to take the Sister Tutor Diploma that was validated by the Institute of Education. In fact I did the last of the 2 year 'remedial' courses for nurse teachers before joining the teaching staff of Bloomsbury College of Nursing. When it became clear that all nurse teachers would have to have a degree, I joined Middlesex Polytechnic as a mature student and entered the third year, courtesy of AP(E)L, of the BA Contemporary Cultural Studies. This was my introduction to Higher Education and I have not looked back.

    I joined the teaching staff of MU in 1993 and have had a variety of jobs before this one, including a brief time working with Barry Jackson as the University's Learning and Teaching Coordinator and being Director of Curriculum, Learning and Quality for HSSc. The subject range of HSSc suites my interests very well. For me Middlesex University epitomises opportunity at all stages of life. Middlesex is prepared to take a risk and work with people to achieve.

    My particular academic interests concern the impact of gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status on health and well being.

    I am committed to collaborative working and to enhancing opportunities for staff and student exchange, to learn from each other in different contexts and settings. One of my proudest achievements is working with five European academic institutions and individual professional bodies where I led the successful validation and delivery of the European Nursing Degree. This was the first of its kind in the UK, allowing our students to spend an academic year with one of our partners, thus expanding the scope of their learning and practice experience to achieve both academic and professional recognition at the end of their programme.

    Assessment as a tool to promote and enhance learning rather than only as a means of testing any learning is a passion of mine. The development of peer assessment and trusting students to do in the classroom what they are required to do in practice and to have those judgements count towards their degree classification was another achievement that I am proud of. That this work was strongly supported by the Educational Development Unit of Middlesex University in the mid 1990’s only demonstrates the rich legacy of educational development at MU that we are building on today.

    Friday, 17 June 2011

    Presenter profiles - Track P: John Koushappas, Betty Sinyinza

    John Koushappas, Betty Sinyinza: Wikis

    John Koushappas

    John Koushappas, Learning Technologist, Educational Development Unit, CLTE

    John supports the University’s core e-Learning technologies: Oasisplus, Turnitin and Middlesex Wikis. Middlesex wikis have experienced substantial growth in the last two years, each year seeing an increase of over 60% in demand. John has been developing the use of the technology within the University, implementing robust administration, sound pedagogy and providing training and induction to staff and students. He is also working on research into the value of wikis in Higher Education.

    Betty Sinyinza

    Betty Sinyinza, Learning Technologist, Educational Development Unit, CLTE

    Betty supports the University’s core e-Learning technologies: Oasisplus, Turnitin and Middlesex Wikis. Betty is interested in exploring the digital literacy skills required for students to successfully use and participate in online learning, focussing on the skills needed to fully engage with web 2.0 technology including turning dialogues into meaningful information.

    Middlesex University Learning and Teaching Conference 2011: e-Assessment: Untangling the (k)nots - 28th June, 2011

    Staff Development Workshop: Wikis – Time: 1:00pm – 1:30pm – Location: Room C118

    Facilitators: John Koushappas and Betty Sinyinza

    A wiki is a powerful online collaboration tool which can facilitate group work and team building.

    Used for group assignments, it can facilitate the development of a wide range of social and professional skills in students, improving their employability.

    Wiki usage is gathering pace as an online collaborative tool in education because of its unique ability to always display the latest version of the material being written by a team of authors.

    It is a tool which is very simple to learn and to use.

    The workshop will quickly cover how wikis can be used in e-Assessment scenarios, and participants will get hands-on experience of using a wiki to develop a page using the built-in page editor.

    The workshop will be a fast, fun taster of what can be achieved by a team. Come and join us.

    Thursday, 16 June 2011

    Presenter profile - Track J: Kate Vasili

    Kate Vasili: Copyright
    Kate Valisi (3rd from left)

    Kate Vasili LLB, has been the Copyright Officer and Licence Co-ordinator at Middlesex University for 12 years, providing guidance and advice in all areas of a copyright. Regular staff workshops are hosted to assist staff in compliant creation and delivery of student resources and Kate has also delivered presentations at JISC, CPD25 events in addition to other Higher Education institutions.

    Kate is currently completing an LLM specialising in Intellectual Property Law.

    If you'd like to know more about Copyright and the Licences in HE, go to the Middlesex University, Learning Resources, Copyright Guidelines at:

    Presenter profile - Track B: Rea Prouska, Mike Mimirinis

    Rea Prouska: Empowering Students by Enhancing Employability Skills: The Case of the BA Human Resource Management Programme

    Rea Prouska
    I am a Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management (HRM) and Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) HRM at Middlesex University Business School. My research interests include, among other areas, student and graduate employability. Prior to joining Middlesex, I was a research assistant for University of Manchester funded research projects relating to (i) career aspirations and career skills of British and non-British students, and (ii) cultural differences between Chinese and British students in their selection of working environments and recruitment. I have recently been awarded a Learning & Teaching fund from the Business School for the purpose of exploring the ways in which the use of e-portfolios can enhance student employability.

    The workshop will have a unique feature. It will partly be run by students who have participated in an e-portfolio project with the purpose of showcasing their work and reflecting on the e-portfolio process and their overall experience. The session will also explore the meaning of e-portfolios and employability, as well as show how e-portfolios have been used for the purposes of assessment. Main research findings from this project will also be incorporated into the discussion.

    Rea's co-presenter: Mike Mimirinis

    Presenter profile - Tracks I, K & O: Paul Smith, John Parkinson

    Paul Smith: Personal Response System (PRS), Grademark & PowerPoint Narration

    Paul is an Educational Technologist in the Educational Development Unit, CLTE at Middlesex University. His interests are in web-based learning systems, Web 2.0 technologies in teaching and learning, classroom technologies and games-based learning.

    Paul Smith
    The sessions Paul is in involved in running explore varying themes within e-assessment and e-feedback.
    • The Personal Response System workshop will offer colleagues the opportunity to experiment with an engaging classroom technology which can help to provide immediate feedback to students based on their answers to quiz questions, and discuss the pros and cons of the use of such technology for formative assessment.
    • The Grademark workshop (led by John Parkinson) will give attendees a hands-on experience of an extremely useful online tool which allows academics to read, manage, and leave comments on students’ electronically submitted work.
    • The Adobe Presenter session will demonstrate one of the many methods of enhancing your presentations by adding audio to the slides. Participants will be encouraged to relate their own experience of using similar tools and to discuss features that they feel would be useful in the context of using this kind of software to assess and provide feedback to students.

    Paul’s experience with various e-learning technologies has proved to him one thing above all else: there is no substitute for practice. Whether you are asking students to submit electronically, or expecting colleagues to mark using certain technology, always make sure you have a trial run before the deadlines are looming. This way both students and staff can concentrate on the tasks at hand rather than struggling with new technology.

    Paul's co-presenter: John Parkinson

    Presenter profile - Track D: Dave Westwood, Agi Ryder

    Dave Westwood: IPadagogy

    Dave Westwood Is a researcher within the Educational Development Unit of CLTE. Dave has a background in Psychology and holds an Msc Cyberpsychology. Within MDX he is currently working upon a number of projects including: Introducing Second Life simulations to MDX; The new Student Portal; Evaluating the role of the VLE within a 21st century University; The E-assessment project; Evaluation of the Personal Progress reviews and the Ipad exploration project.
    Dave Westwood
    External to these institutional projects Dave is interested in Mobile learning and augmented reality; Connectivism and pedagogies for the digital age; and new and emerging literacy’s pertaining to web 2.0 and the use of Games within education.

    Within the Ipadagogy session we will look to explore the ways in which this new hardware can augment and enhance the assessment and feedback process. Topics covered will include: ‘live’ Audio feedback; on screen marking and Video analysis for sport. We aim to involve all audience members in a lively and constructive debate triggered by a number of short presentations, which we hope will prove useful and engaging.

    Wordle: Ipadagogy Project

    Follow me on twitter @DavidsWestwood

    Dave's co-presenter: Agi Ryder

    Wednesday, 15 June 2011

    Presenter profile - Track A: Trish Hafford-Letchfield, Asanka Dayananda

    Trish Hafford-Letchfield: Using Digital Storytelling to Enhance Student Skills in Thinking about Quality Improvement in Public and Community Services

    Trish is a senior lecturer for inter-professional learning within the Department of Mental Health and Social Work in the School of Health and Social Sciences. Trish initially qualified as a nurse then social worker and following a long career in social work, spent her last ten years managing services for older people within a local authority. Her last post before academia was as an organisational learning and development manager where she was responsible for workforce development and developing learning partnerships in South London. Trish joined Middlesex University in September 2008 having been at London South Bank for a number of years. Trish became a Teaching Fellow in 2010. She has been active in Age Concern Greenwich since 2003 as a Trustee, and in the Association for Education and Ageing. Trish also plays the violin in an amateur orchestra and this is her absolute favourite pastime!

    Trish Hafford-Letchfield
    Trish has a variety of interests connected to learning and teaching. Her main subject area is leadership, management and organisational development and she is an active management mentor in the voluntary sector. She has written a number of key textbooks in this area. Her most recent was 'Social Care Management: Strategy and Business Planning' with Jessica Kingsley in 2010. Trish also has expertise in adult social care, particularly in the area of safeguarding and has a special interest in helping students to work more holistically with older people. She is also very active in promoting issues of sexuality and sexual identity in learning and teaching and has again published quite widely on these topics in relation to widening participation. In 2011, she co-edited a book with Priscilla Dunk-West 'Sexual Identities and Sexuality in Social Work: Research and Reflections from Women in the Field' published by Ashgate Press.

    Within public and community services, the need to find ways of engaging the community and providing quality information is an essential skill. It seemed appropriate to assess students capacity for designing and using technology to improve the ways they might develop aspects of information about their services. These are also linked to the concept of quality and service improvement within the module, by adding another dimension of how these issues are perceived and received. Teaching students to use just one small aspect of technology such as digital storytelling was however challenging as well as enabling such skills to be assessed alongside more traditional methods of assessment. Our workshop aims to share some of our early experiences with you so far in our teaching and assessing of students skills in using the technologies associated with digital storytelling. We have designed a series of online teaching activities to encourage an incremental approach to students learning towards assessment. You will be given the opportunity to try out digital story telling including creating a storyboard and using the software. Hopefully this may stimulate your own interest in how digital story telling could fit with your own assessment methods.

    Trish is particularly interested in using the arts and technologies to improve learning and teaching. She has experimented with music making, comedy, drama and literature which she believes can promote deeper learning, particularly with managers in health and social care where the contexts may be very challenging and demanding. She has published some of the outcomes of these methods using small scale evaluation and impact studies. Trish recently completed a Doctorate exploring the lifelong learning of older people using social care services focussing on the knowledge and skills that older people need to direct their own care.

    A recommended resource related to the session is RUDE Old People: A digital resource exploring sexuality in older people. This was made through a series of two one day workshops with social work students which were filmed and edited using digital story software. These are reusable learning objects that can be used in learning and teaching:

    With regards to e-Assessment, Trish recommends that students be given an opportunity to practice uploading their work before the real thing. Don't be too prescriptive and allow students to be creative. Take some risks and refine as you go along. Provide opportunities to develop the skills needed in an incremental way throughout your module.

    Presenter profile - Tracks I & K: Paul Smith, John Parkinson

    John Parkinson: Personal Response System (PRS) & Grademark

    John Parkinson
    As a member of the eLearning Support Team John contributes to the development, maintenance and good health of several key online systems within the university. As a graduate of the arts John is always on the lookout for novel and interesting approaches to the delivery of learning and teaching.

    The session I am jointly hosting with my colleague Paul Smith explores the functionality of the Grademark tool found within Turnitin. Following the introduction of the eSubmission/eFeedback initiative across the university I feel this workshop offers colleagues a timely opportunity to get some hands-on experience with a very useful bit of technology. Attendees will get to play with the system and develop a feel for the functionality within in a low-pressure environment.

    John's co-presenter: Paul Smith

    Presenter profile - Track N: Carole Davis, Agi Ryder

    Agi Ryder: Audio Feedback and IPadagogy

    I work as a senior researcher in the Educational Development Unit, Centre for Learning and Teaching Enhancement. I’m interested in how people learn and how best to teach them with the help of ‘e’ stuff. My research interests revolve around introducing innovative and creative ways of educating people both in formal and informal settings.

    Projects I’m involved with at the moment: Programme Progress Reviews, institutional e-assessment project, rethinking the VLE project, audio feedback, Middlesex Journal of Educational Technology as editor, ipads in HE. I’m also working on my doctoral thesis on the role of virtual worlds, like Second Life, in education. I’m exploring what students really think about these virtual worlds and how these environments contributing to their learning.

    At this conference I will be leading two sessions:

    1. Audio Feedback: Carole and I have started working together 3-4 years ago on the PGCert Higher Education programme and began experimenting with audio feedback soon afterwards. The aim of our session is to offer participants a taste of post teaching observation feedback and lead a useful and thought provoking discussion around the highs and lows of audio feedback.

    2. Ipadagogy: This session will summarise the lessons learnt from the ipad project:
    Participants will have the opportunity to listen to and have a short discussion about the personal experience of lecturers who have received ipads in order to investigate how these popular portable tablets might be used for e-assessment and learning and teaching.

    What I have learnt from students re: e-assessment - Reduce the stress of online coursework submission by letting your students practice the act itself before the big deadline. Set up a practice dropbox or a small formative assessment where students can get familiar with and gain confidence using the system. This will let them concentrate more on what goes into the essay rather than how the essay will get to you.

    Agi's co-presenters: Carole Davis and Dave Westwood

    Presenter profile - Track F: Carl James Reynolds

    Carl James Reynolds: From Tasks to eRequirements

    I am a principal lecturer in the School Engineering and Information Sciences, a university Teaching Fellow and Director of u/g Computing and Multimedia Technology programmes. My area of teaching is in uses of networks for business and communication (Network Support Technologies) and I have taught on many multimedia/computing modules over the last 15 years at Middlesex. I take pride in ensuring that my feedback on submitted work is fast and useful (normally within a week) and that students have several opportunities to fail assignments in the formative stages of the work. I supervise many student projects and have a passion for audio synthesis and controller technology for all media processing. I am also involved in a great deal of outreach and  marketing work and find that involvement with schools and international students gives me greater insights into the diversity of our student intake, their backgrounds and experience.

    Currently my assignments for year 3 students involve working for a medium sized international company in a consultancy role, ensuring that the company makes effective use of emerging technologies. Working with the students and the company has given me greater insights into areas such as requirements analysis and also into the need for change management and sensitivity to institutional culture.

    My session is about eliciting information from the participants about the practice and culture of assessment by use of role play and interrogation. This will allow a rich picture to be developed which will help in the design and prototyping of assessment tools that support existing practice. The results will be published online at the beginning of September.

    As an e-coordinator, I have tried over the last year a mixture of marking for each of my assignments. I have found that for short formative pieces of work and  logbooks that marking electronic copies is fast and effective, with students very happy to receive generic feedback via e-mail and more specific feedback in lab session or at the end of lectures. I have found that standardising file formats is important and will be using PDF for next year.

    Monday, 13 June 2011

    Presenter profile - Track N: Carole Davis, Agi Ryder

    Carole Davis: Audio Feedback
    Carole Davis is Principal Lecturer in Teaching & Learning at Middlesex University in London with direct responsibility for the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education and MA in Higher Education. She is also an Educational Facilitator for The London Deanery which is responsible for postgraduate medical and dental training in London.

    Carole L Davis
    Carole is passionate about the enormous potential the teaching observation experience offers academic staff and clinicians, in particular the power of dialogue and feedback in improving staff morale and student engagement.

    The aim of this session is to learn more about the role of audio feedback in assessment, to consider whether it might be relevant for your work and to be inspired to have a go yourself. These are challenging times in Higher Education and any strategy which saves time whilst making people feel more confident and empowered has to be a good thing.

    Her current research seeks to explore the dialogue between observer and observee in teaching observation experience.

    Carole's co-presenter: Agi Ryder

    Friday, 10 June 2011

    The Power of Twitter?

    Yesterday @timbuckteeth aka Steve Wheeler, one of our keynote speakers at last years conference, tweeted the details of this years conference. Within hours we had this enquiry.

    Monday, 6 June 2011

    Presenter profile - Track C: Julie Kevill, Hayo Reinders

    Hayo Reinders
    Hayo Reinders: 1+1=3 : The Added Value of Computer Games in HE Maths Support

    Dr. Hayo Reinders ( is Head of Learner Development at Middlesex University in London. He is also Editor of Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, and Convenor of the AILA Research Network for CALL and the Learner. Hayo’s interests are in CALL, Autonomy, and out-of-class learning.

    His most recent books are on teacher autonomy, teaching methodologies, and second language acquisition and he edits a book series on ‘New Language Learning and Teaching Environments’ for Palgrave Macmillan.

    The aim of the session is to learn more about the potential of computer games in education. You will hear hear theoretical arguments, as well as get a chance to try out 'Manga High' for yourself.