Details of forthcoming workshops and links to LTI workshop resources and presentations.
What if all of London were a networked University?
What do we do when we gate-keep our spaces?
What if everyone could work in everyone else’s spaces?
What if there were no tiny little islands in London?
Or, in a University?
Digital can be a mechanism for breaking down barriers-learning spaces are digital and physical. Let’s talk about the present, and see what it might tell us about what’s possible in the future of teaching and learning.
Introducing Dr Donna Lanclos
Donna Lanclos is an anthropologist working with ethnographic methods and analysis to inform and change policy in higher education, in particular in and around libraries, learning spaces, and teaching and learning practices. She is Associate Professor for Anthropological Research at the J. Murrey Atkins Library at UNC Charlotte.
Her research includes how students and staff engage with the nature of information and knowledge, how ethnography and anthropology can be used as tools in academic development and can influence policy and practice in higher education, physical and virtual spaces in academia, and how technology impacts learning, teaching and research. She collaborates with librarians, engineers, anthropologists, sociologists, education technology professionals, architects, and designers.
Dr. Lanclos has conducted anthropological research on academic practice in libraries not only at UNC Charlotte, but also University College, London. She collaborates with colleagues in the US and the UK investigating the nature of learning landscapes and academic taskscapes, so as to better contextualize the behaviors that take place and problems that erupt in library spaces. She has conducted workshops for professional development at Imperial College, Kingston University, NUI Galway, Parsons the New School (NYC), and Carnegie Mellon University.
Details about this work and other projects can be found at www.donnalanclos.com
Dr Lanclos will be presenting a NetworkED seminar ‘NetworkED 2020: The London University’ which will discuss these themes on Wednesday 16 September at 3pm in Parish Hall, room PAR.2.03. The event is free to attend and places can be reserved on Eventbrite
Tweet your questions and join the debate #LSENetED
The recording of the event can be found on the LTI Youtube channel
In a few weeks LSE will be rolling out a fleet on new MFDs (multi-functional devices) that allow printing, photocopying and scanning and I have been advising the project team on copyright issues. As part of this project IMT have a range of new marketing materials to promote copyright education across the School including posters, postcards and fortune cookies! This project coincides with some work I’ve been doing with my counterpart at the University of Kent, Chris Morrison, to investigate levels of copyright literacy among UK librarians and related professionals. Last week we wrote a blog post on why copyright is a fundamental part of digital and information literacy on the CILIP blog. We feel copyright education is often perceived as being dry, boring and all about telling people what they can’t do. We are trying to change that to equip people with the knowledge and skills so they can see how understanding copyright and licensing might be empowering. We worked together earlier this year to develop a new game-based approach to copyright education which has been transforming our copyright training sessions. Tomorrow at 2pm there is an opportunity for LSE staff to play Copyright the Card Game as part of an IMT Tech Talk. There is still time to book a place, so if you are interested email IMT.email@example.com. If you would like to find out more about copyright then also look out for the new guides to Copyright for LSE staff which are available from LTI from the end of the week. And do look at our guides to copyright pages. Queries and bespoke training is available on request. And don’t forget – don’t just copy – copy it right!
LTI show and tell on students as producers projects took place on the 30 April. Some common themes emerged amongst all the presentations which highlighted the importance of integrating the academic with the practical and embedding the projects into the assessment process.
Lecture capture of the event can be watched online and a summary of the presentations with the slides can be found below.
Professor Bill Callahan from International Relations presented on the changes to the Visual International Politics course IR318. Students were asked to work in small groups to produce and edit their own documentaries in order to combine academic analysis with the practical skills of documentary film making and give students an insight into the visual politics of IR. Professor Callahan worked with LTI to deliver five seminars on film production and gave students access to editing facilities. The final films were shared on a Vimeo group and showed in a final ‘film festival’ seminar. Feedback from the students was positive but many would like to increase the weighting of the film component from 25% to 50% of the final mark.
‘I have really enjoyed this course. The topics were very intellectually stimulating. I enjoyed the practical aspect the most although it was very challenging.’
Dr Hyun-Jung Lee from the department of Management discussed the use of video in group work projects. Students on the post graduate courses ID419 and MG463 were put into groups with mixed backgrounds and had the option to create a short video to demonstrate case studies and theories on cross-cultural management.
Sarah used the Moodle Wiki to enable students to write collaboratively. This worked well although it took some time to check and edit student responses once they had completed their submissions.
Peer assessment using Moodle workshop tool
She used the workshop function on Moodle to get students to provide peer feedback on assessment. Each student was randomly allocated another students work and asked to mark it using the course assessment criteria.
Online feedback via the assessment tool
She also gave students the option of uploading writing exercises that they had done in class to a online assessment in order to receive feedback. The students really enjoyed being able to develop their writing skills in class but were reluctant to submit their assessments online. There was some discussion on how they could be encouraged to submit (by making the assessment anonymous for example).
Dr Pete Manning from the department of Sociology shared his experiences of getting students to produce and curate material as part of their group presentations. Students used Prezi and Padlet to collect material on virtual pin-boards. The resources could then be used for exam revision and essay preparation. The students were asked to peer assess each presentation and were also asked to submit a self reflection on the exercise. The students enjoyed being given freedom to explore a subjects of their choice and it allowed them to share real world examples of concepts in a very theory heavy course. However the task did not count towards their final mark and did require extra work so ideally it would replace a summative task in the future.
Dr Catherine Hua Xiang from the Language centre was awarded an LTI grant with kit to enable students studying Mandarin Chinese on LN808 and LN814 to work collaboratively to produce news reports on a global event or an interview on a current issue topic. The students were required to film themselves speaking Mandarin Chinese and then apply English subtitles to their finished project as part of their continuous course assessment. This project was very successful and the films can be used as a resource for future cohorts.
‘Although I spent a lot of time on the project, I really enjoyed it as we have real product and we have also been awarded a grade’
Siva Thambissetty from the department of Law gave students the option to submit a short video or series of images on Prezi or Slide share that explains an aspect of copyright infringement. Student feedback was generally positive with 60% recommending that the assignment continues next year.
‘Quite refreshing after three years of essays!’
If you are interested in developing your own ‘students as producers’ project then you might want to apply for an LTI grant see our blog page for more details and contact us at LTI for some advice and to discuss your idea LTI.Support@lse.ac.uk
The NetworkEDGE seminar on Wednesday 20 May will be a ‘Women in technology panel’ which will discuss ‘The role of education in encouraging women to work in technology’
Dr Ellen Helsper, from LSE will be chairing the panel so we caught up with her to find out why she is taking part in the discussion and her views on women in technology.
Can you tell us why you are chairing the ‘women in tech panel’ for networkEDGE?
When LTI asked me if I wanted to chair this panel I did not hesitate for a moment because I think the issue of why there is unequal participation of women in both the study of technology and career trajectories in IT is an extremely important one to consider. I have been simultaneously concerned and fascinated by the question of why, after several waves of feminism and women now making up a majority of the students in higher education, we are seeing a stagnation and even drop off in women taking up STEM subjects as students and in professional careers. I think it should be a societal concern that women are less likely to enter, are more likely to drop out and not return to careers like these and are much less likely to take up leadership roles in these fields than in others that have not historically been male dominated. Our everyday lives are increasingly being lived and shaped by IT and the lack of women in the design of these environments is extremely worrying. Not because I think that women are necessarily or inherently different than men but because I think it’s a great tragedy to lose the participation of such a large section of highly skilled individuals in our society with the wealth of knowledge and experience that could change our organisational cultures and output for the better. The reasons that push a lot of women out of this sector are also likely to influence many others to leave or not engage, others who might have a different way of doing things and a different, perhaps more inclusive approach to IT design and regulation. Looking at this is also important because it shows that there are still inherent inequalities and unconscious biases that steer the way in which resources and participation are distributed in our society and by being confronted with this we are forced to look at our own practices and beliefs and how they contribute to these patterns.
How does your own academic work link to the topic of the panel discussion; ‘The role of education in encouraging women to work in technology’
My work focusses on the links between social and digital exclusion. I research how existing patterns of inequality in offline resources such as economic, cultural and personal capital and individual well-being, are overcome, replicated or amplified with the digitisation of our society. An important aspect of this is the patterns of inequality in digital literacy and participation in a range of different online activities and environments. My research focusses on how the social and the digital context influences how comfortable people feel in engaging with ICTs. Thus, an important question for me to ask is how the design of platforms and content leads some people to feel more confident in engaging with digital and in digital environments. But also important is to ask how organisational and social structures influence how individuals see technologies and their own capabilities of and motivation to interact with and on digital platforms.
Sadly, most research to date shows that a replication and amplification of offline inequalities is likely in increasingly digital societies. For example, a recent report we published showed that women are less likely to be able to translate Internet use into tangible offline benefits because of disparities in digital skills levels between men and women (see http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/61807). This is partly to do with differences in confidence but is also likely to be caused by differences in the ways in which appropriate use of technologies are seen by men and women. My work looks at the causes, consequences and potential solutions for these patterns of linkage between social and digital exclusion.
What can formal educational institutions do to encourage more women to work in technology?
Of course one of the things that formal education can do is to encourage more women to study STEM and IT related subjects. Secondary and Higher education should incorporate training in digital skills as a matter of practice across all subjects. It is important that these are not just technical, coding skills but a range of skills that is needed to participate and work in increasingly digital environments (see http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/publications/Measuring_Digital_Skills.pdf).
However, that will not be enough. Formal educational institutions need to collaborate with external stakeholders to create a society in which technologies are not seen as alien, where in fact they are related to everyday activities and seen as a common aspect of many different activities in our professional and personal lives: a society in which work in IT is not removed from all the other things that we do but one in a range of many options. One of the problems I see is the alienation or ‘technification’ of all things digital and technological. Instead of looking at the application and the usefulness of these technologies in everyday lives, careers in IT are often painted as an amazing world for geeks unrelated to the realities of what people do in their everyday lives. Instead of focussing on what we can do with technologies and how we can design technologies to make our everyday lives better many IT career campaigns focus on the technology and the world of inventors and entrepreneurs which are consistently imagined as white, middle class, middle aged men. A change in this vision of what IT is for and what an IT career can do, is not something that would only encourage women but also a range of other groups of individuals who feel excluded from that world. In addition, formal higher educational institutions can, in their research and teaching, try to change the work cultures in this field by influencing the ideas of people who will work in this field in the future and by making organisations aware of their existing practices and offering practical solutions for change.
Why do you think there is an unequal division of labour within the tech sector, with certain types of tech and management roles filled almost exclusively by men?
This is a hard question to answer, because there is something specific about the tech sector, where women are less likely to return to work after, for example, maternity leave even more so than in other STEM sectors. Work cultures in IT are often described as gruelling, competitive, long, and socially isolated working lives without much mentoring or support for those who do not fit in neatly. The Athena Factor report published in the Harvard business review (http://tinyurl.com/pft7s42) shows that work culture is one of the main factors keeping women out of careers in STEM subject, more so than the fact that they are taking on a greater burden in care and household responsibilities and are still lower paid. I would guess that this work culture is even stronger in the IT related careers and that there is a lack of awareness of what the real causes are of women feeling uncomfortable or unwilling to take up leadership roles within these environments.
The idea of meritocracy and choice in career progression in these industries is strong. The idea is that if you don’t make it to the top it’s because you were either not dedicated enough, did not have that bright idea or because you made a choice not to. I find the idea of choice particularly problematic, if it is really free choice why is it that certain groups of individuals in our society are much less likely to take up careers and proceed up the ladder in the tech sector than in other sectors? There must be more structural, cultural factors that explain this.
What can organisations that employ people in technology do to change the unequal gender participation in and division of labour in technology field?
This goes back to what I commented on before when discussing what formal education can do, there needs to be a change in work culture and a serious effort needs to be made to understand what really causes drop out amongst certain groups such as women. Quota’s and targets of getting more women into leadership positions are one part of it but this needs to be combined with a serious look at why these paths are not naturally taken or open to women and other groups. Quota’s help because people are more likely to hire and feel comfortable around people like them and are more likely to apply to positions and feel like they belong in environments that are not homogenous in a way that’s different from who they are. More transparent promotion and mentoring processes within companies are a fundamental part of this alongside reviews of working practice and clear action points to improve the culture.
Dr Ellen Helsper is Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor Media and Communications Department LSE
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter:@ellenhel
The NetworkEDGE women in tech panel discussion will take place on Wednesday 20 May at 3pm in R01. LSE staff can book places via the online training system. Guests are also very welcome to attend and can book a place by emailing LTI.Support@lse.ac.uk. For those that cannot attend the discussion will be recorded and livestreamed onto this blog.
LTI are holding a show and tell event with academics from various departments on Thursday 30 April, 12:00-13:45 in NAB.2.14. Presenters will discuss their individual experiences of allowing students to create and share subject related materials. An outline of some of the projects can be viewed below:
Dr Peter Manning – Department of Sociology
The Social Construction of Human Rights Violations: e-Bricolage Project’ – MSc Human Rights course.
Dr Manning asked students to work in groups of five or six to produce and curate digital resources to demonstrate a social construction of a human rights violation of their choice. They were then required to present and explain the ebricolage. The interactive resources produced by the students were then made available as a resource for exam revision and essay preparation.
Dr Hyun-Jung Lee – Department of Management
ID419 & MG463 – Group projects
Dr Hyun-Jung Lee gave students the option of producing a video to accompany their group presentations on cross cultural management.
Siva Thambissetty – Department of Law
LL251, Intellectual Property Law – The Remix and Copyright Infringement” project
Siva Thambissetty gave students the option to submit a short video (under 5 minutes); or series of images presented on Prezi or Slide Share that explains an aspect of copyright infringement.
Dr Catherine Hua Xiang – Language Centre
LN808 and LN814
Dr Hua Xiang applied for one of the LTI students as producers grant kits so that students on Mandarin Chinese courses could work on a collaboratively to produce news reports on a global event or produce an interview on a current issue topic. Students were required to film themselves speaking Manderin Chinese and then apply English subtitles to the finished project.
Dr Bill Callahan – Department of International Relations
IR318 – Visual International Politics
Dr Callahan’s IR318 course asked students to work in small groups to produce, film and edit their own documentaries.
Sarah Patterson – Department of Law
LL4AK – Insolvency Law: Company Liquidation and Stakeholder Interests
Sarah Patterson used the Moodle Wiki and workshop tool to get students to write collaboratively.
You can reserve a place at the show and tell event via the online training system.
More details about “Students as producers” can be found on our blog. If you are interested in applying for a LTI grant to try out some students as producers take a look at our blog page https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lti/lti-grants/students-as-producers/ and padlet for some ideas: http://padlet.com/lti_support/SAPs
LTI Grants 2015/2016 – opportunities for funding
Now that we have reached the end of term we hope that you have some time to catch your breath and reflect on your teaching in order to think about any changes that you might like to make for the next academic year.
In order to help with this process LTI are currently accepting applications for Learning Technology and Innovation Grants. Funding will be awarded to projects which make effective and innovative use of technology in teaching, learning and assessment.
The deadline for applications is Friday 29 May 2015 and more information about the various application strands can be found on the grants’ page.
Practical advice on using technology in your teaching
LTI are running a number of workshops that give practical advice on using technology in your teaching. The workshops below will involve working with other academic staff; sharing your teaching practice and selecting and developing new teaching approaches. They will also give you an opportunity to try out some of the technology and ask any questions that you may have.
Thursday 26 March 10:00-11:30am 32LG.15
‘Flipping’ is taking content delivery out of the classroom and putting it online so that the students get the content before they meet up and the face to face time can be used to allow them to do something with that content. Participants on this workshop will explore:
- Alternative ways of delivering course content
- Interactive use of face to face time
- Preparing students to get the most out of this new way of learning
Encouraging active learning
Thursday 26 March 11:30-13:00 32LG.17
This practical workshop is an opportunity to explore and evaluate a range of learning technologies and their possible role in fostering active learning in your teaching. These technologies will include: computer based simulations and games, audience response systems and more advanced use of Moodle for active learning including quizzes, use of groups, wikis, glossary tool and discussion boards.
Writing collaboratively with wiki’s and Google docs
Wednesday 13 May 12:30-13:30 R08
Collaborative writing can:
- improve efficiency of group work & quality of interactions between students in group
- help with self reflection and critical thinking
This workshop will give participants an awareness of the issues that must be considered when using collaborative writing tools. It will also equip participants with the skills required to enable them to think about how they might incorporate collaborative writing tools into their teaching.
Book a place via the LSE training system
Assessment with technology
(date to be confirmed)
What is online assessment? What are its benefits? How can I move my assessments online? This workshop introduces online assessment, considering
- methods of assessing and grading online
- improving feedback and
- helping students to avoid plagiarism.
This will be a discursive session and will not cover training in how to set up eAssessment. We will introduce the systems available at the LSE and discuss the best way of bringing them together.
We will be publishing more ideas and case studies which contain examples of how technology can be incorporated into teaching, learning and assessment so watch this space for ideas of ways you could use an LTI grant.