Monday 28 January 2013

Advanced Power Search - Google MOOC

Google is running another one of its MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course), this one is titled "Advanced Power Searching" and covers:

Register now to sharpen your research skills and strengthen your use of advanced Google search techniques to answer complex questions. Throughout this course you’ll also:

  • Take your search strategies to a new level with sophisticated, independent search challenges.

  • Join a community of Advanced Searchers working together to solve search challenges.

  • Pose questions to Google search experts live in Hangouts and through a course forum.

  • Receive an Advanced Power Searching certificate upon completion.

Not sure if you’re ready for Advanced Power Searching? Brush up on your search skills by visiting the Power Searching with Google course.

Advanced Power Searching with Google begins on January 23, 2013!

As you can see the course has already started, by its nature you can still register and participate.

Click here to register for the MOOC.

I participated in the previous "Power Searching" MOOC, and it is a real eye-opener to the huge amount of functionality in Google.

Friday 25 January 2013

Would you like to better understand how to enhance your teaching through technology? If yes, this MOOC is for you ...

If you'd like to better understand how you might enhance your teaching through the better use of technology, the Association of Learning Technologists (ALT) are running a MOOC (Massive open online course) starting in April 2013 which addresses this very question.

This course is free and online. To find out more information and to register visit >>>

The emerging ideas and content are very exciting and map nicely to the emerging offering from UCS.

The question you might ask is why register? what is in it for you?

I'd suggest there are a number of really positive outcomes;

  • a better appreciation of the opportunities which technology can offer your teaching

  • opportunities to develop connections with people across UK HE

  • opportunities to discover resources which you can use within your teaching and assessment

  • chance to transfer the delivery and learning model of the MOOC to your course design(s)

If you do register, it would be great if you emailed the Elevate Team to inform us. We could then arrange a cross institutional meeting to see about how people can take their ideas further, and also discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of the MOOC style deliver.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Infuse technology the right way..

Read a nice simple blog post this morning, it encompasses one of our 'mantras' for the use of technology in learning.

I thought i'd bring this to the surface to reinforce the stance that even though technology now currently surrounds us in the classroom, in our pockets, on podiums and forced into our laps.. The technology falls flat on it's face if it isn't aligned to a properly constructed learning activity that infuses technology effectively. To simply use the technology because it's there is a futile attempt to adopt e-learning.

Lets scale things back and look at the learning design first and foremost. If you wish to discuss this topic in more detail, don't hesitate to contact us :)


Monday 14 January 2013

Back to Basics.

We (Elevate Team) have recently been approached by a member of our lecturing staff who had students raising concerns over not being able to find information on their module in LearnUCS, it transpires that one student was sourcing the relevant information after trawling the online module and posting that information onto a Facebook group.

After meeting with both the student representing the group and the lecturer and spending some time going over the issues, a couple of elements were highlighted;

  • The module wasn't structured efficiently

  • No communication lines had been laid down between lecturer and students

The first port of call to combat these issues was to create a dummy module with what a student would expect to see, but within the realms of what the lecturer has time to manage and keep up-to-date. This wasn't an exercise on how to design a pretty or rich media packed module, this was more of a proverbial mowing of the lawn, cutting back the un-necessary, streamlining navigation and guiding the end-user, in this case the students.

The lecturer noted that the main adoption of LearnUCS was to use it as a dumping ground for powerpoint presentations and notes, however admittedly that there was no direction or method to this approach.

Labelling, this was a major key across the whole module, simply adding a sentence to a folder noting what is inside that particular folder makes all the difference. We ended up with four menu options, Module Guide, Learning Materials, Assessment Submission and Announcements. Module Guide being the first place you land when entering the module.

Module Guide is a welcome to the module, an explanation of where to find things, instant access to the module timetable and handbook all readily available from the first screen you get to.

The rest was more going over some expectation management between the lecturing staff and students, who do they contact and how, will staff look at the discussion boards and if so when? Would there be a dedicated or allotted time period when there would be discussions online? These were left for the lecturer and students to work out.

The demo module will be looked over, and if the feedback is positive, may well steer our default module roll out for September 2013 modules.

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Higher Education Academy: 2013 Events

The following list of events is worth a quick scan. The link is to the Higher Education Academy (HEA) Event page

The HEA arrange a large number of events which focus on enhancing your teaching, learning and assessment. These are pitched at both lecturers, and support staff and cover all experiences and abilities. The Events page allows you to search by thematic theme, discipline or simply browse.

The Elevate Team would be very happy to discuss the appropriateness of the technology enhanced teaching and learning workshops, and would be really happy to work with you to implement your ideas after attending. Simply, drop us a line.