In 2014, teachers from LSE’s Language Centre started exploring the use of technology to mark and provide feedback on students’ written work. After trying out three tools (Moodle, iPads and annotation apps, Snagit) with her colleague Catherine (see blog post), Lourdes Hernandez-Martin decided to focus on the use of iPads and worked on the project with Mercedes Coca.
Learning Technology and Innovation are pleased to announce the roll out of Turnitin originality check from within Moodle across the School from Tuesday 16th August.
Turnitin provides originality checks against webpages, library catalogues, journals and publications but also other student submitted work (within LSE and other institutions). By integrating Turnitin into Moodle, originality checking becomes more efficient, reliable and a robust solution in identifying matched text through the production of originality reports and scores (%); viewed directly within Moodle.
Learning Technology and Innovation (LTI) have trialled the integration at eleven departments across the School; liaising with ARD, GLPD, IMT, SU and TLC throughout.
We will roll out the integration across departments and are developing supporting material for teachers and students ranging from documentation, videos, FAQs etc.
For full details on the rollout and the resources available, please visit the Turnitin page.
This academic year, LTI funded two projects to integrate student-produced videos in courses through their LTI Grant scheme. Outcomes and findings from their evaluation provide some interesting reflections on how they can be used to bring added value to the learning – and teaching!- experience.
Using Film in Urban Planning Analysis – Nancy Holman, Geography and Environment
As part of the Urban Policy and Planning course, students produce written work alongside a group presentation and a short interpretive film of neighbourhood fieldwork. Film-making started two years ago with students using their own devices. Last year they were helped by an LSE alumnus who is now a filmmaker to better understand the process of storytelling and how to use the equipment. This year, Nancy applied for DSLR kits to improve the quality of the work produced. An evening screening of the 8 short films produced by the project groups was also organised at the LSE, at the end of which a panel of ethnographers and filmmakers judged the films and awarded three prizes: Best Overall Film, Best Cinematography and Judges Choice.
Narrating the Death (and Life?) of Multiculturalism – Jennifer Jackson-Preece, European Institute
Jennifer wanted to “enliven the end of term debate on multiculturalism” in her Identity, Community and the ‘Problem’ of Minorities course by replacing group presentations with short films narrating the students’ take on the theme. Instructor videos were made and presented during seminars and resources on making short documentaries were made available on the course’s Moodle page. Students then worked in groups for three weeks to produce their short films. The videos were screened during the last session of the course and were followed by a debate.
In the Geography project, the combination of written work and film allowed students to think about spaces both on paper and visually, which according to Nancy is ” a core transferable skill our students need to develop”. She also believes that the video exercise had a “knock on benefit” on students’ summative essays, which she observed were clearer and more thoughtful.
This is what she highlighted in the description of the project for students:
In the European Institute project, the resulting videos were used as a starter for a class debate. Videos were favoured in place of the usual presentations as Jennifer wanted students to approach the end of term presentations “from a fresh perspective that facilitates greater creativity and ownership of ideas“
In both cases video production have been a good way of engaging student with the course and material and resulted in a final product that can be used as a basis for discussion or examples and inspiration for the future cohorts.
“It would also enable student cohorts on EU 458 to ‘speak’ to each other across time through the creation of a permanent film archive on the EU 458 Moodle page” – Jennifer Jackson-Preece
They are also easy to be shared and presented to the wider institution and community. Students from the Urban Planning group attended the JustSpace conference on opportunity areas where they showed their films.
Students also got to develop useful transferable skills in the process: managing a group project, collecting/gathering/presenting information, video production and editing to name a few.
Embedding video-production into the course
Nancy’s project was seen as a way to “further embed […] practical experiences [walks, fieldtrips] within the programme” while it would “enable students to gain a different/complementary perspective on the concept of narrative” for Jennifer. It was thus important for both to integrate video production as (part of) a final task towards which students worked during the course instead of as a stand alone activity.
As highlighted in the description of the project, video production was gradually introduced in the Geography course. Students received the help from a professional filmmaker and were able to familiarise themselves with the equipment during a trip to Manchester in the first part of the year.
In Jennifer’s project, students received training in video-making face to face during seminars and through resources made available on Moodle.
Students were also made aware of the various ethical, safety and copyright considerations when filming, interviewing and using material other than theirs.
<= Resources on video production made available to EU458 students on Moodle
In terms of assessment, even though the video production exercise was formative for both projects, students received feedback on their work. Geography students received feedback on their overall presentation that included comments on the style and overall message of their video. Students from the European Institute course were given a template of the feedback form to be aware of the assessment criteria when producing their videos. They included design (style and organisation, creativity) and message (content, quality, overall impression).
Next year group videos will count as 50% of the EU458 summative assessment and adjustments will be made to the course to support this.
Interested in using student-produced content in your teaching?
Read about LSE Innovator William Callahan‘s successful implementation of student-produced videos in his IR318 Visual International Politics Course.
LSE has been awarded with the Campus Technology Teaching and Innovation (pg30) 2016 award for their innovative work on the Constitution UK project which ran in early 2015. The Campus Technology article on the award was published on 17 August 2016.
Constitution UK was a collaborative project that aimed to crowdsource and hack the UK constitution. The project, led by LSE Professor Connor Gearty of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) in partnership with Learning Technology and Innovation (LTI), invited individuals to share views and ideas on what should be part of a UK constitution in the 800th anniversary year of Magna Carta. The project generated over 1 million words, thousands of ideas and tens of thousands of votes and resulted in the writing of an 800 word crowdsourced constitution of the UK. Over 1500 community members took part in this large scale public policy and learning project, with over 20 LSE students acting as moderators.
The project utilized innovative methods of engagement, used techniques such as ideation, crowdsourcing, informal learning and gamification conducted through an online platform (Crowdicity) in order to generate engagement that increased over the duration of the course. We engaged social media organisations and special interest groups to ensure successful integration of learning outcomes and the effective and representative engagement of the community in the platform. If you want to know more about the project you check it out here.
This prestigious Teaching and Learning Innovator award by Campus Technology magazine (an industry, leading magazine for online and blended learning professionals) recognises the project in that it ‘…delivered both a public policy success as well as a significant and innovative approach to online learning and engagement.’
“… The awards represent excellence in experimentation, design, collaboration and implementation, and the projects they recognize expand the possibilities for individual campuses and the field of higher education technology,” said Dr. John Hess, program chair, Campus Technology Conference.
“We are extremely proud to have been nominated and then selected for this prestigious award. It recognises an incredibly innovative project that delivered far beyond our wildest dreams. It also recognises the hard work and commitment of many academic and professional staff at the LSE” said Peter Bryant, Head of Learning Technology and Innovation. “It remains the most remarkable project I have ever worked on.” noted Paul Sullivan, the Manager of the IPA.
In January, Tobias Pester, postgraduate students in the department of International History at the LSE, was awarded an LTI Grant for his project to “develop, document, and teach a Workshop for Sustainable Authorship for students of the LSE that familiarizes and equips them with the writing environment of Academic Markdown”. The workshop will take place on Tuesday, 7th June and a recording will be made available afterwards. Read about his experience of this handy tool.
In the spring of 2015 I finished my first year of American grad school. Coming from the German university system I knew it was going to be a Protestant re-education camp in terms of work load and ethic. By the end of that spring I had to write three sizeable papers in short succession and ‘time is of the essence’ took on a new meaning. Lucky for me some of my friends had just started using this writing set-up that streamlines all the things that take no brain but lots of time: citations, the bibliography, and worrying about the different format of citations when in footnotes vs. when in the bibliography.
Enter Academic Markdown and Pandoc. So-called markup languages like LaTeX have long been used by authors in the sciences. They’re great to handle formulas, diagrams and other sciences-specific requirements. For humanist writers, however, the upside to learning a markup language had been comparatively small. All we really need are basic formatting options, block quotes, and citations.
That’s where Markdown comes in handy. It’s designed to satisfy those requirements and be easy to pick up at the same time. It only takes five minutes to learn how to mark a header or a footnote as such and the text remains visually intact and perfectly readable in its raw form. And because formatting, citation management, and bibliography are almost entirely automated it affords an utterly distraction-free work flow. I work on crafting my text and crafting my text only. The last line in my manuscript is the header ‘Bibliography’. When I’m done pouring my blood, sweat, and tears onto the screen, I run it through a simple program called Pandoc once and, voilà, I get a ready-made ´pdf´ or ´docx´ with citations and bibliography according to whichever citation style language I specified.
Using that particular set-up last spring I became a writing machine. And the many hours freed from formatting could go into refining my argument or polishing my prose. I am since doing all my writing this way, from response papers to my dissertation, from personal letters to invoices. American grad school, however, still kicked my ass.
To share the benefits of this work flow I am developing and teaching a class with the generous help of an LSE Learning Technology and Innovation Grant. The workshop will take place on Tuesday, 7th June, 2-5 p.m. in 32L.LG.18 alongside the Teaching and Learning Centre’s Dissertation Week. Spread the word and join us!
Hit me up on Twitter at @philomonk. I’d love to hear your thoughts! #SmartWriting16
Everyday people rely on Google for answers to their most personal, important and most trivial questions. How do you know if the information is reliable? A good place to start is with an information expert. This post, from LTI’s Copyright and Digital Literacy Advisor Dr Jane Secker to investigate “Do games improve learning?” was originally posted by CILIP as part of their Ask a librarian series. It’s been re-posted here as LTI are currently funding a number of projects to investigate the value of games in learning as part of their IGNITE and LTIG funding streams.
I’ve been reflecting a lot on whether games improve learning, partly in the run up to LILAC 2016, where I’d rashly agreed to take part in the games competition Lagadothan, organized for the first time by the conference committee.
My interest in games and learning goes back several years but really started in earnest when I worked with Chris Morrison from the University of Kent, to help develop a game to teach librarians about copyright and the new exceptions to UK copyright law in 2014. It was a card game, you might have heard of it? You might have played Copyright the Card Game? I use this in the Introduction to Copyright workshop at LSE that I run each term and it’s changed the way I think about teaching people about copyright, for the better!
The game been downloaded over 2500 times, and the general consensus seems to be it’s a fun and engaging way to learn about copyright. But has it led to people retaining more knowledge about copyright and can they transform what they have learnt into practice? These are important questions to consider on the real value of games in learning.
There has been a lot of interest in the last few years in games-based learning in two of my fields of professional interest: learning technology and information literacy. I started off thinking that games were all about livening up your teaching, and finding a way of engaging students in what could otherwise be a rather dry subject. However, following the keynote at this year’s LILAC from Alex Moseley and Nic Whitton, I felt the time had come to do some serious research into whether games improve learning and why that might be.
I’d been intrigued to hear about the idea of a ‘magic circle’ where new rules can apply and failure is acceptable. I’ve also learnt that designing good educational games is really hard work, and takes a lot of time and effort. So are the rewards really worth it? I decided to turn my attention to what Google can find for us on this topic:
Successful projects funded through the IGNITE scheme are now underway. We had over 20 project applications put to the committee and after much deliberation projects were chosen for their innovation, scalability and alignment to the School’s Education Strategy. Here are the winners:
Enhancing Your Moodle
- Jennifer Jackson-Preece, European Institute
- (Re)designing Moodle courses EU450, EU457 and Eu458 to maximise their pedagogical aims and deliver with a more distinct look and feel with clear links to Mahara for professional skills development.
Online Blended Learning
- Lourdes Hernandez-Martin, Language Centre
- A multilingual platform of audio and audio-visual materials to develop students’ interactive aural skills and increase their language exposure.
- Nancy Holman, Geography and Environment
- Developing professional skills the use of Participatory Action Research to deliver a practice-based learning project which provides engagement, consultation and Research in Urban Geography and Planning, especially when partnering with organisations such as a local authority.
Feedback and Assessment with Technology
- Edgar Whitley, Management
- Developing a scalable feedback system that integrates with Moodle and works effectively for the three constituencies affected by feedback: students, faculty and professional service staff.
- Jose Javier Olivas and Jessica Templeton, LSE100
- Experiencing the Dynamics and Limitations of Market and Regulation through Gaming by incorporating game design mechanics and techniques aimed at encouraging knowledge, skills development, collaboration and discussions in reference to the academic literature.
- Andrea Pia, Anthropology
- The Long Day of Young Peng is a point and click serious game exploring key themes in the study of contemporary China through the eyes of a young Chinese Migrant.
“Learning Technology Ideas Exchange” is an opportunity to get inspired, meet colleagues, exchange ideas and discover ways to improve teaching and learning with technology!
Run as informal café-style presentations, LSE colleagues will share insight into technologies used for teaching and learning and explain the educational rationale behind their work. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss.
Posters from various LTI projects will be on display during lunch, which will be provided by LTI. Learning Technologists will be available to answer any questions throughout the event.
There will be a further opportunity to ask questions in a plenary before we wrap-up.
Sign up to the event via the training system (please note this is an event for LSE Staff only)
|Time||Programme||Themes and presenters|
|11.00 -11.10||Welcome||Tea and coffee provided|
|11.10 - 12.10||Café 1||Table 1 - e-assessment|
* Sara Geneletti (Statistics)
* Elisabeth Grieger (Mathematics)
|Table 2 - General Innovation
* Francesco Panizza, (Government)
* Kay Inckle (Sociology)
|12.10 - 12.20||LTI Update|
|12.20 - 13.00||Lunch (provided)|
|13.00 - 14.00||Café 2||Table 1 - Students as Producers|
* Jennifer Jackson-Preece (European Institute)
*Catherine Xiang (Language Centre)
|Table 2 - e-assessment
* Edgar Whitley (Management)
* Lourdes Hernandez-Martin (Language Centre)
|14.00 – 14.30||Plenary||Group discussion and questions|
|When||Monday 23rd May|
|Location||Lower Ground of Parish Hall (PAR.LG.03)|
The Summer of Student Innovation (SoSI) project, run by Jisc, is a competition encouraging innovative education technology ideas from students. The initiative focuses on engaging with students to improve creative design, research, entrepreneurial and project management skills.
This year Jisc are running two competitions, a summary of both is below.
Student Ideas competition:
Jisc are seeking ideas for using technology that could improve research, learning or student life and have the potential for wide use across higher and further education.
Your idea might be a small tweak to how things work or a big solution for a whole college, university or other learning provider – but you will be required to show that it could have benefits beyond your own context.
The successful teams each gain an initial £2,000 plus mentoring through a design sprint, and a further £3,000 if we select their idea to be developed as a product.
Supporting tech startup projects:
The supporting technology startup projects competition is for small teams who would like to pilot their existing product within colleges, universities or skills providers.
A £20,000 startup grants will enable five successful teams to turn their working beta into a functioning product. Your product should be at least a working beta; we don’t expect that you will have an existing customer base but some evidence of pilots with learners would be beneficial.
Closing Date for submissions:
The deadline for submission of ideas is just under a month away on 23 May, 23:30h.
Further information on both competitions, how your students can submit their ideas and links to promotional material you can use are included on the Jisc website: