Dec 16 2014

Ideas for course design in the new academic year structure

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To complement TLC’s ideas for the new academic year structure, LTI offer some additional ideas for what to do during the ‘reading weeks’ from 2015-16 onwards.

  1.  Students As Producers projects – students can be asked to work collaboratively to create content.  Using technology specifically designed for group collaboration enables students’ to work online and in their own time.  LTI have limited numbers kits containing iPads, iPad mini’s, podcasting equipment and Digital SLR camera’s which can be applied for as part of LTI grants projects. You can also ask students to bring in their own laptops/phones/tablets or other devices or to create collaborate documents and platforms such as Padlet and Paperli. More ideas can be found on our Padlet and from the recent NetworkED talk given by the UK National Teaching Fellow Helen Keegan. Building on TLC’s note on introducing more creative forms of assessment the completed content could count towards an assessment (formative or summative) and depending on how far you want to take the project could be combined with peer marking – with students commenting on each other’s projects.  For example Social Policy carried out peer assessment using WebPA and Teammates and more details can be found in a video with Dr Irene Papanicolas.
  2. Flipped lectures – Ask your students to prepare for week 6 by watching pre-recorded lecture or alternative resource.  The contact time is then used to get students to do something more interactive. LTI run a course on flipping lectures, and places can be booked online

  3. E-Assessment – Use the new academic year structure to rethink how you approach assessment and feedback. LTI are currently running an E-Assessment pilot project with various departments. We would be interested in working with departments to trial new technology for exams in week 0 or in the summer term, and to work on E-Submission and E-Assessment.  To hear some ideas from other academics at LSE and elsewhere, watch the Show and Tell event on E-Assessment we hosted in November this year.
  4.  LTI Grants – we offer Learning Technology and Innovation Grants to encourage individuals and departments to explore the use of new technologies in teaching and learning.  We are seeking applications under the three strands of “E-Assessment”, “Students as Producers” and “Innovation”.  We will hold a third run of grants at the start of the Summer term which will invite applications to be planned over the summer for the 2015/16 academic year.

We look forward to discussing your ideas well in advance of next academic year.  Email LTI.Support@lse.ac.uk

Posted by: Posted on by Geraldine Foley

Dec 5 2014

The new copyright exceptions – what do they mean for LSE staff and students?

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I <3 2 read by Kate Ter Haar

I <3 2 read by Kate Ter Haar

In 2014 there were a series of amendments to the 1988 Copyright Designs and Patents Act in the UK, following The Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property. The final wording of the exceptions were subject to wrangling between the bodies representing authors, publishing, music and film industry and those representing libraries, museums and the cultural heritage organisations. However, we finally in June and October saw the amendments passed in parliament. In addition, just a month or so ago the Intellectual Property Office launched a scheme to licence ‘orphan works’ (which are works that where a copyright owner cannot be traced).

My role at LSE is to provide advice and support to staff wishing to use materials online to support their teaching, which often involves discussing issues of copyright. In October I attempted to summarise the main changes to the law on a copyright amendments webpage. However, I appreciate that copyright is not everyone’s favourite topic and sometimes not the easiest law to understand. In this blog post I’ll explore a few of the new exceptions and what they might mean in practice for staff and students at LSE.

Continue reading

Posted by: Posted on by Jane Secker

Dec 4 2014

Open data & education – hacking the archive

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Our NetworkED seminar with Marieke Guy on 26 November was on open data in education. Marieke gave a broad overview of the topic of open data, discussing the different ways that open data is currently being used, who is using it and how it could be used in the future. Marieke gave lots of interesting examples of projects that have used open data and pointed out various open data tools such as Histropedia which allows users to timeline and tag data from Wikipedia or equipment.data which allows HE institutions to sharing educational equipment and facilities.

One of the most interesting aspects of the talk for me was the idea that we should be doing more with open data in the classroom. Marieke advocated using real data sets in teaching and learning as a way to engage students and get them to apply concepts, theories and critical thinking to real world issues and to help them develop their digital literacy skills. This leads in nicely to our upcoming NetworkEDGE seminar with Professor Matthew Connelly which will be on ‘hacking the archive’.

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Professor Connelly will be talking about his course ‘HY447 – Hacking the archive’, which uses big data from various International History databases and teaches students new tools and techniques to explore various the vast array of material available online. Students are encouraged to rethink historical research in the digital age as older primary sources are increasingly becoming available online alongside newly declassified information and ‘born digital’ electronic records.  Interdisciplinary research is becoming more essential with academics collaborating across disciplines and with the broader public in order to mine extensive amounts of online data.

Matthew will be speaking at NetworkEDGE on Wednesday 14 January 2015, at 5pm

networkEDGE.fwThe event is free to attend but places are limited so will need to be reserved via the staff training and development system or by emailing imt.admin@lse.ac.uk.  All our talks are live streamed and recorded for those who can’t make it.

See the slide share of Marieke Guy’s presentation here: http://www.slideshare.net/MariekeGuy/edtalk2 and go to the LTI Youtube channel for the video of the event and to watch previous NetworkED and NetworkEDGE seminars.

 

 

Posted by: Posted on by Geraldine Foley

Dec 3 2014

Weekly Roundup in Education Technology: Twelve Apps of Christmas, The Quantified Student and More

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20 apps and resources that do cool things with your social data - The Next Web

Besides the many concerns about privacy, another frequent criticism of social media is its lack of educational value. Indeed, making sense of the huge amount of data produced through social media can seem to be an almost impossible task. Building on the notion of exploring the potential for learning from and through social media, this is a fascinating list of social data analytics apps.

Twelve apps of christmas - Regent’s University London

In a promising attempt at online learning / MOOCs, Twelve Apps of Christmas aims to provide basic and advanced tips for using 12 educational apps.

Each post will contain instructions on a different app, together with tailored suggestions of how to use it with your students and how it might work effectively for you in your professional context.

The programme runs for 12 days and consists of short daily tasks taking no more than ten minutes of time, making it ideal for all of those too busy to follow a long-term course. While designed for staff at Regent’s University London, the course is free and open to everyone interested.

The quantified student - Marketplace

A day in the data-driven life of the most measured and monitored students in the history of education

Mentioned in Marieke Guy’s NetworkEd lecture last week, this fascinating infographic highlights some of the concerns and challenges of data collection in education. In addition to legitimate concerns around student privacy, we need to address the question of how we can best make use of the data available to enhance learning. Rather than seeing it as a threat, we should seize the opportunity to responsibly use technology and learning analytics to offer a more personalised and effective learning experience.

Sharing research equipment in Higher Ed - equipment.data

Too often universities view themselves as competitors in Higher Education. Focusing on collaboration instead, this laudable initiative seeks to provide a searchable UK-wide database of Higher Education research equipment. Sharing equipment can enable institutions to make more efficient use of the funds available and thus improve their overall research (and, indeed, learning and teaching) capacity.

Open education: a study in disruption - Van Mourik Broekman et al.

Does open education really offer the openness, democracy and cost-effectiveness its supporters promise? Or will it lead to a two-tier system, where those who can’t afford to pay to attend a traditional university, or belong to those groups who prefer not to move away from home, will have to make do with a poor, online, second-rate alternative education produced by a global corporation?

A free book (the full version of which can be downloaded using the link above) that seeks to critically engage with online education and its promised benefits. Especially the analysis of MOOCs in their political context makes for a promising read. We will feature a more detailed blog post on the topic in the coming weeks.

* Education technology is rapidly moving, sometimes divisive and always interesting, especially to us working in Higher Education. Every week, we share and comment upon a selection of interesting articles, posts and websites relating to education and technology we stumbled upon during the week. Do comment, recommend and share!

Posted by: Posted on by Malte Werner Tagged with: , , , , ,

Dec 2 2014

Celebrating innovation – LTI Grant winners from 2013/14

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LTI Innovation grantsLightbulb Last academic year seven applicants were successful in their bids to be awarded grants to develop teaching and learning with technology. Some of the winning projects detailed below, demonstrate the variety of ways that individuals are rethinking traditional teaching models by flipping lectures and gamification, and getting students to think about lecture content through the use of social media. 2013 Awards included:

HappyAppy Title

A project to examine the use of mobile devices as inclusive accessible technologies for students with disabilities.  http://tinyurl.com/pzmlb2n Simon has developed surveys for students and teachers asking them about student use of mobile devices for learning. Questions asked include how students currently use technology to help them organise their studies and how teachers regards the use of technology in the classroom by students. The survey is currently open and ongoing. Along with Sebastiaan Eldritch-Boersen, Simon has developed a short course comprising of four sessions that will start at the end of October, finishing with a revision and review session in the lent term.  More details can be found on the training and development system:  http://tinyurl.com/LSEHappyAppy

Dr Susan Scott  Dr Ela Klecun

Business Transformation and Project Management
Dr Susan Scott and Dr Ela Klecun – (Department of Management)

Dr Scott and Dr Klecun enhanced the MG208 course through the use of a flipped-lecture format, computer-based simulation, scribing (collective note taking which was collated along with photos of concept map discussions) and self-assessment via Moodle quizzes. They produced a series of filmed interviews with industry experts, which were delivered to students in advance of taught sessions as preparation for structured Q&A’s with the invited speakers. A class field trip to the Level39/Innotribe innovation lab at Canary Wharf was filmed for the benefit of future cohorts.

The various teaching approaches that were tried were evaluated by capturing student feedback. If you are interested in flipping your lectures LTI run workshops on Flipping, go to the Training and development system to book see when the next session is planned and book your place: https://apps.lse.ac.uk/training-system/ More information on flipping can be found here: http://youtu.be/4a7NbUIr_iQ/

Dr Elena Gonzalaz-Polledo

Developing video resources for active learning in MY421: Qualitative Research Methods
Dr Flora Cornish & Dr Elena Gonzalez-Polledo – (Department of Methodology)

To bring vivid practical examples to the lecture theatre, Dr Cornish & Dr Gonzalez-Polledo, with the help of LTI technical expertise, created videos for students to observe and analyse. Following the course theme of urban environments, they made a film of customer interactions at a fruit and veg stall at Ridley Road Market, Hackney. This provided material for a student exercise on making observations and writing participant observation field-notes. Further footage was also recorded of participant interactions in research focus groups.  Both films have been used in taught sessions on MY421 and the intention is to continue with, and further develop, their use.

The success of the project has meant that further work is planned to capture a short interview with the market stall holder from Ridley Road.

LTI grants

The second round of 2014/15 LTI grants is now open with the deadline of Friday 12 December.

Applications are invited for initiatives that make effective and innovative use of technology in teaching under the three strands below.

E-Assessment -
projects that enable innovation in assessment through the use of technology, these can include formative and or summative e-assessment, e-marking and e-feedback.

Students As Producers - projects that allow students to collaborate and create content, these can include filming and digital story telling using ipads and cameras

Innovation grants
 - projects that rethink traditional teaching models and use technology to encourage active and collaborate learning, these can include flipping lectures, gamification, using mobile devices or social media.

The LTI grants provide an opportunity to revisit course design for the new academic year structure, to introduce alternative assessment types and to investigate methods to improve student feedback.  Applicants are advised to discuss their ideas with LTI before applying (email: LTI-support@lse.ac.uk) and more information can be found on the LTIwebsite: http://lti.lse.ac.uk/about-lti/LTI-grant.php

Posted by: Posted on by Geraldine Foley

Nov 26 2014

Weekly Roundup in Education Technology: Action Games and Learning, Openwashing and more

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Open data or openwashing? - Audrey Watters

Open data is undoubtedly a hot topic, raising issues that go beyond just technology and stretch to education, privacy, human rights, transparency and many other topics. Our event with Marieke Guy today (livestream available; see also our Q&A on open data) will be touching upon some of the relevant issues when discussing open data in education.

In a timely intervention, Audrey Watters criticises the ambiguity attached to the word “open” and highlights the frequent abuse of this ambiguity for business purposes (“openwashing”):

We use “open” as though it is free of ideology, ignoring how much “openness,” particularly as it’s used by technologists, is closely intertwined with “meritocracy” — this notion, a false one, that “open” wipes away inequalities, institutions, biases, history, that “open” “levels the playing field.”

If we believe in equality, if we believe in participatory democracy and participatory culture, if we believe in people and progressive social change, if we believe in sustainability in all its environmental and economic and psychological manifestations, then we need to do better than slap that adjective “open” onto our projects and act as though that’s sufficient or — and this is hard, I know — even sound.

Is it time to start the debate about what we mean by “open” with the larger picture in mind?

Mapping Change: Case Studies on Technology Enhanced Learning – UCISA

This report (the full version of which is available here) presents case studies of institutional approaches towards technology enhanced learning across the United Kingdom. One of the themes emerging is the increasing importance of assessment with technology; an area that we will be covering in more detail on this blog in the weeks to come. Rather than just streamlining procedures and reducing administrative efforts, technology can support new pedagogic approaches and assist in improving the quality of assessment significantly. For a first glimpse into the efforts undertaken by LSE in this field have a look at our summary on LTI’s latest Show&Tell on assessment with technology.

Innovating Pedagogy 2014 - Open University

This year’s report by the Open University highlights ten trends in education for many of which technology is either an integral aspect or can enhance the learning experience. Whether learning through storytelling, massive open social learning (post the MOOC-hype), flipped classroom or any of the other trends address, the report makes for interesting reading and offers plenty of topics for further discussion and analysis.

Information and digital literacy: It’s not all about technology - CILIP Information Literacy Group

Responding to the interim report on “Digital Skills for Tomorrow’s World” by the UK Digital Skills Taskforce, LTI’s Jane Secker and Stephane Goldstein from InformAll pose a perhaps somewhat unexpected criticism. While generally praising the report and its intention, they criticise it for focusing too heavily on technological skills:

We feel that this suggests too narrow an approach to the relationship that individuals, in a knowledge-based society and economy, need to develop with information. 

Instead, they argue for a broader definition of digital and information literacies, which encompasses the skills needed to survive in the digital world:

Equipping people with the knowledge, understanding, skills and confidence that they need to search for, discover, access, retrieve, sift, interpret, analyse, manage, create, communicate and preserve ever-increasing volumes of information, whether digital, printed or oral

Headshot: Action video games and learning - Gizmag

Few of us would think of action video games as improving our learning. Perhaps even too few of us? This recent study suggests a link between action games and the development of learning capabilities. It will be interesting to observe when (and if) education seizes the potential offered by games for both learning and learning capabilities on a larger scale.

* Education technology is rapidly moving, sometimes divisive and always interesting, especially to us working in Higher Education. Every week, we share and comment upon a selection of interesting articles, posts and websites relating to education and technology we stumbled upon during the week. Do comment, recommend and share!

Posted by: Posted on by Malte Werner Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Nov 25 2014

Open Education’s Fantastic SHED Show

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On 24 November I attended the joint SHED (Scottish Higher Education Developers) and JISC event on Open Education, in Glasgow. Speakers from various Scottish universities (and other educational organisations) presented on a range of topics related to the idea of making higher education available to all.

The highlight for me was Sheila McNeill from Glasgow Caledonian University, who explained how her team had created GCU Games On, an online learning ‘event’ centred on the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, and done so within a matter of weeks. An off-the-cuff suggestion, made in a meeting on 11 June, had become an online space with activities ready to start on 10 July. Although the resulting ‘event’ was modest in scale, it indicated a can-do attitude and absence of organisational barriers that I found most encouraging.

The event included:

  • Course content taken from various subjects related to the Games, e.g. sports science, some of which was converted into interactive activities;
  • A mix of social media channels to allow participants to contribute, including Twitter, Gmail, Trello and Padlet;
  • Use of Open Badges (see later in this post) to reward completion of activities.

There were no blogs or discussion forums, since there was no staff resource to support such things. A total of 211 people took part over 3 weeks, sending 424 tweets, and reaction was good, particularly the way participants embraced the idea of badges. Sheila admits that the enterprise was “pedagogically suspect”, but they learned a lot by turning around such an event in such a short time, and are now ready to do something more interesting next time.

I liked this not so much because of the event itself, but just in seeing a working example of “event-based learning”. I think LSE could do something very interesting in this area, with online learning focused on specific political and world events (elections, summits, outbreaks, wars), aiming to provide a space where people can learn about the background to events as they unfold, while contributing to a live debate around them.

Another interesting presentation came from Kerr Gardiner of the University of Glasgow, who gave an overview of Glasgow’s foray into MOOC provision. Glasgow’s are working with FutureLearn, and followed this process:

  • Initial staff meetings to gather ideas and discuss approaches
  • Call for bids from academics and departments
  • Selection of successful bids done by the senior management team, thus guaranteeing buy-in
  • £15K allocated per MOOC – but see below for more on costs
  • Production done by local teams, but with centralised oversight and media production

The interesting aspect of all this was the cost. That £15K covers copyright costs and GTA wages amongst other things; but it doesn’t include the costs of in-house media production, nor an awful lot of uncosted academic effort. It’s clear therefore that the figure of £15K is a red herring, and Kerr hopes to look into this further, to estimate the “true hidden cost” of a MOOC.

Another lesson was the need for specialised copyright support. Since MOOCs are so visible, developers need to be extra careful about obtaining rights. The fact that MOOCs were being done by separate groups, and the lack of centralised copyright expertise, meant that it all proved expensive.

Finally, Celeste McLaughlin from the (soon-to-be-defunct) JISC RSC for Scotland talked to us about her use of Open Badges to incentivise and accredit CPD activities. Open Badges can be awarded for achievement of certain criteria, and those viewing a person’s badge online can click it to find out what those criteria were.

Some examples used for online courses were “Completer” and “Influencer” badges. Completer is given for finishing an online course, but only upon completion of a post-course reflective summary, based on a template. The template asks questions such as “what ideas will you take forward from this course into your work?” and “what challenges do you anticipate in using these skills?”. Full engagement is encouraged by the use of minimum word counts, completed exemplar forms, and negotiation with the participant.

The Influencer badge, meanwhile, was awarded to those voted by their peers as having contributed most meaningfully to an online course. The promise of achieving this badge seems to have increased markedly the level of contribution to courses.

Sheila recommended the JISC Open Badges Design Toolkit as a good place to start.

Overall, then, more fantastic than bobbins: an interesting and varied day, attended by a friendly and helpful community of practitioners – much like the M25 Learning Technology Group that we have here in London.

Posted by: Posted on by Steve Bond Tagged with: , ,

Nov 25 2014

LTI grants for Lent Term 2015

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Following our successful first round of grants for Michaelmas term, applications are now open for the next round of applications.

The deadline for proposals is Friday 12 December 2014 and more information about the three strands; E-AssessmentStudents As Producers and Innovation grants can be found on our website: http://lti.lse.ac.uk/about-lti/LTI-grant.php

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Posted on by Geraldine Foley

Nov 21 2014

Q&A with Marieke Guy

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You can watch the video recording of the Marieke Guy NetworkED seminar on our LTI Youtube channel and a Q&A with Marieke can be found below

 


networkED03

 

Marieke Guy
Marieke Guy from Open Knowledge

 

 

 

Ahead of her NetwokED seminar talk on Wednesday 26 November Marieke Guy answered some questions for LTI on open data in education.
Q1. How would you define ‘open data’?  How does this relate to ‘open access’ and ‘open education’ ?

We’re very lucky to have an excellent definition of open data from Open Definition, which specifically sets out principles that define “openness” in relation to data and content:

“Open means anyone can freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose (subject, at most, to requirements that preserve provenance and openness.”

So we are talking about data that is available for people to access and can be reused and redistributed by everyone. One of the important points to make is that openness does not discriminate against commercizal use. Open data is definitely a friend of open access and open education! Publicly funded research publications should not only be open access but the data behind them should also be shared and openly available. At the Open Education Working Group we see open education as a collective term that is used to refer to many practices and activities that have both openness and education at their core. Open data is an important area, along with open content, open licensing, open tools, open policy and open learning and teaching practices. This is becoming even more the case with the rise in online learning, MOOCs and the use of learning analytics.

Q2. Who typically uses open data and what does it get used for?

Anyone can consume open data as an end-user benefitting from openness, but there are two main groups who have a specific interest in dealing with open data. Data providers (such as the government or your institution) may be interested in releasing and sharing data openly. Data handlers are interested in using the data available, maybe by developing an app or service around the data, or by visualising the data, or by asking questions of the data and mining it in some way. A nice easy example here is the Great British Toilet map,

GreatBritishToiletMap

The Great British Toilet Map

where government data was combined with ordnance survey and open street map data to provide a public service app that helps us find the nearest public convenience. You can also add toilets you find to the map, allowing the data that is available to be improved on.

Obviously people who want to get their hands messy with data will need to be data literate. One of our core projects at Open Knowledge is School of Data. School of Data works to empower civil society organisations, journalists and citizens with the skills they need to use data effectively in their efforts to create more equitable and effective societies.

Q3. What are the pros and cons of open data?

The main benefits for using open data are around transparency (knowing what your government and other public bodies are doing), releasing social and commercial value, and participation and engagement. By opening up data, citizens are enabled to be much more directly informed and involved in decision-making. This is about making a full “read/write” society, not just about knowing what is happening in the process of governance but being able to contribute to it.

Opening anything up makes organisations more vulnerable, especially if they have something to hide, or if their data is inaccurate or incomplete. There is also a cost to releasing and building on data. Often this cost is outweighed by the social or economic benefit generated, but this benefit can develop over time so can be hard to demonstrate. Other challenges include the possible misinterpretion or misrepresention of data, and of course issues around privacy.

I personally see open data as being in the same space as freedom of speech with regard to these challenges. We know that open data is the right way to go but there are still some subtleties that we need to work out. The answer to a ‘bad’ use of open data is not to close the data, just as the answer to a racist rant is not to remove our right to freedom of speech.

Q4. Do you have any examples of projects that have involved using ‘open data’ and if so what advantage did ‘open data’ bring?

Earlier this year Otavio Ritter (Open education data researcher, Getulio Vargas Foundation, Brazil) gave a talk to our Open Education Working Group. He mentioned a case in Brazil where the school census collects data about violence in school area (like drug traffic or other risks to pupils). Based on an open data platform developed to navigate through the census it was possible to see that in a specific Brazilian state 35% of public schools had drug traffic near the schools. This fact put pressure on the local government to create a public policy and a campaign to prevent drug use among students.  Since then a collection of initiatives run by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have made a huge impact on the drug traffic levels near schools.

Q5. What does Open Knowledge do?

Open Knowledge is a worldwide non-profit network of people who believe in openness. We use advocacy, technology and training to unlock information and enable people to work with it to create and share knowledge. We work on projects, create tools and support an amazing international network of individuals passionate about openness and active in making, training and promoting open knowledge. Our network is global (we have groups in more than 40 countries and 9 local chapters) and cross-domain (we currently have 19 working groups that focus on discussion and activity around a given area of open knowledge).

Marieke Guy will be talking at LSE on Wednesday 26 November at 5pm in NAB2.06.  To book your place go to the staff training and development system or (for those without access to the system) email imt.admin@lse.ac.uk

Have a look at previous talks on our Youtube channel.

Posted by: Posted on by Geraldine Foley

Nov 13 2014

LTI Show and tell on assessment with Technology, 11 November 2014

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assessment with technologyLTI recently held a show and tell on assessment with technology with colleagues from LSE, UCL and Westminster. The event was well attended and provided an opportunity to find out the varying ways that technology is being used in to innovate assessment.

The show and tell event is part of the work that is being done by LTI to promote assessment with technology at LSE. The project aims and outcomes outlined by LTI learning technologists Athina Chatzigavriil and Kris Roger can be seen here.  If you are interested in being involved in the working group on e-assessment or have examples of e-submission, e-marking or e-feedback and e-return then please get in touch by emailing lti.support@lse.ac.uk

A lecture capture recording of the event (slides and audio) is now available here (LSE login required) or you can read a brief summary of the presentations below.

Alternatives to examinations

Professor George Gaskell started off the event with a brief outline of the changes that are taking place in LSE100, the compulsory course for Undergraduates at LSE. The LSE100 Director explained that the course team are currently investigating alternatives to exams. Using the learning outcomes of the course as the basis for assessment they have been developing a portfolio of activities that will allow students to demonstrate their appreciation of apply social scientific methods, concepts and theories to real world problems. Assessments will have to allow for ‘exit velocity’ and let students to take risks in their first year and allow for the progress of learners over their two years at LSE, while also preventing strategic planning by requiring all components to be completed. The process is still in the developing stages so watch this space for updates.

Peer assessment

papanicolasIriniSmallDr Irini Papanicolas, from Social Policy gave the second presentation on her work with Steve Bond in LTI on peer assessment. Dr Papanicolas discussed how she changed assessment on the course SA4D4 from 100% exam, to 50% exam and 50% presentation. She used ‘WebPA’ to enable students to rate their peers’ presentations using the course mark frame. Although peer assessment was an optional part of the assessment all the groups volunteered feedback and there was a positive response to the process with it creating discussion within the groups on the assessment criteria.

Dr Papanicolas will be using ‘TeamMates’ for this year as it will allow students to not only rate their own groups’ presentation but the individuals contributions within the group.

From peer assessment to peer teaching and learning….
Kevin Tang then reported how ‘Peerwise’ has been used at UCL. Kevin has been working with Sam Green & Stefanie Anyadi in the department of Linguistics to use the platform with 50 undergraduate and 50 postgraduate students. PeerWise allows students to create, answer and discuss questions. Students can rate feedback and are scored on their own contributions, at UCL these contributions are then worth a small percentage of their summative mark for the course.

Research into using the interface indicated that it was important to provide support for students to ‘think like an examiner’ with example questions and training on giving constructive feedback. Academic staff attitudes also played a crucial role in student engagement along with setting regular activities and deadlines.

As most examiners will know it is quite hard to create good questions so UCL asked students to devise questions in groups and found that the questions improved over time with the students in mixed ability groups appearing to benefit the most. The platform provided a space for interaction as students provided detailed feedback for each other which was then used to work on future questions and students were still using the system leading up to the exam for revision purposes.

Games and assessment in Law

Dr Vassiliki Bouki, Principal Lecturer, University of Westminster talked about the use of games in assessment. Dr Bouki demonstrated the ‘law of murder game’ which was developed in ‘Articulate storyline’ and was used as an alternative to coursework for a second year criminal law module. The game was used to demonstrate a real life scenario and assess critical thinking and allowed students to experience role playing to think like a lawyer. Students are given two hours to complete several small tasks in an open book environment. The game is currently in use so data and feedback from students will be available later in the year.

Word processed timed assessments and online feedback

Sunil KumarDr Sunil Kumar, Lecturer in Social Policy & Dean of Graduate Studies, talked about his experiences over three years on the course ‘urbanisation and social policy’. Concerned about how much students were actually learning with the traditional model of examinations, Dr Kumar introduced a 2 hour online formative assessment into his course. Students typed up their answers to short answer and long answer questions in examination style conditions. Dr Kumar was then able to read and mark submissions on his iPad and then upload the anonymised assessments with annotated feedback for all students to see on Moodle. The formative assessments have had 100% attendance with students being able to then learn from other students submissions, encouraging them to review topics they have not yet covered in preparation for the summative examination.

More information about the project can be found on our blog post.

Posted by: Posted on by Geraldine Foley