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Showing posts from February, 2011

Open, peer-reviewed web journal: First Monday

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First Monday is one of the first openly accessible, peer–reviewed journals on the Internet, solely devoted to the Internet. Since its start in May 1996, First Monday has published 1,097 papers in 175 issues, written by 1,399 different authors.

I've registered for their monthly email round-up of articles and it's also worth having a look at the archives - or carrying out a search. I searched on 'wiki' and 'teaching' and got 32 results, some of which look very useful (including 'Student engagement in distance learning environments: A comparison of threaded discussion forums and text-focused Wikis', 'Learning in and with an open wiki project: Wikiversity’s potential in global capacity building' and 'A critical examination of Blackboard’s e-learning environment').

Find First Monday here: http://firstmonday.org

Wiki Training

What is it? A wiki is a website that allows the easy creation and editing of any number of web pages - without any technical knowledge! They are often used to create collaborative wiki websites, and are especially good for student project or EBL work. By the end of this session you will have created, played with (you can add text, tables, images, documents, videos, columns, pages...) and shared your very own wiki.

Who is it for? Anyone who wishes to find out just what a wiki is or to be able to create and use one to support students in their project work - or any other way you envisage using a web site.

What will you need to do before the session? If you have a specific idea for a wiki site, then bring the details/files along – otherwise, you can just play in the session and do the real thing in your own time.

When? There are two chances to take this session:

Wednesday 2nd March 12.00-13.00
Wednesday 9th March 13.00-14.00

Click here to download a calendar of all elearnCAL training sessions …

e-Learning Ideas Exchange

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The central e-Learning team, part of CLAD, are offering a series of very interesting lunchtime sessions open to all staff to discuss a variety of e-learning topics. Each topic will be introduced by a short presentation, but the emphasis is on discussion. For a trial period, two topics will be covered in each one-hour session. Details of forthcoming sessions can be found below in this message.

Although it is not essential, booking will allow the team to gauge the level of interest and notify you in the event of a cancellation. The booking form can be found at: www.weblearn.bham.ac.uk/ideas_exchange/

Turnitin Training

What is it? Turnitin is an Internet-based plagiarism-detection service; students submit essays to the Turnitin website (via WebCT), which checks the documents for plagiarism. This session will explore:

adding Turnitin links in WebCT
submitting documents to Turnitin (the student experience of the site)
using Turnitin - guided tour and originality reports.

Who is it for? Anyone who wishes to be able to set their own Turnitin assignments submissions link or simply to read Turnitin reports.

What will you need to do before the session? If you have a specific student assignment to set up in your own WebCT section, then bring the details along - otherwise, you can just play in the session and do the real thing in your own time.

When? There are two chances to take this session:

Wednesday 23rd February 12.00-13.00
Wednesday 2nd March 13.00-14.00

Click here to download a calendar of all elearnCAL training sessions this term.

Where is it? G42, Arts Building

See you there!

Teaching + Technology = Impact (morning event: JISC)

A half day workshop to explore how learning providers in the post-16 education and skills sector are using current processes and systems to gather evidence for the impact of technology on teaching, learning and training activity. This is a joint event

More details and booking here

The dangers of multiple blogs...

Oops... sorry about that last post - shouldn't have been here, it should have been down at the old Bull and Bush (push push)!

Go to Weblearn only for WebCT from approx 5pm - 8pm Today

Essential maintenance is being carried out on the my.bham portal today from 17:00. It is expected that my.bham will be unavailable for approximately three hours. During this time, WebCT will still be accessible from the webLearn website. You might want to let your students know: http://www.weblearn.bham.ac.uk/

Wimba Voice Email Training

What is it? Students and teachers can send vocal email messages to anyone, and recipients simply reply by sending their own voice email. The email address used is the user’s own University account which is registered with WebCT. This session will explore how to create and use a Wimba Voice Email.

Who is it for? Anyone who wishes to communicate with students by voice-to-email.

What will you need to do before the session? If you have some feedback to offer to students, then bring it along and try out this easy-to-use voice email system - otherwise, you can just play and do the real thing in your own time.

When? There are two chances to take this session:

Wednesday 16th February 12.00-13.00
Wednesday 23rd February 13.00-14.00

Click here to download a calendar of all elearnCAL training sessions this term.

Where is it? G42, Arts Building

See you there!

Activities for the Reading Experience Database

UK Reading Experience Database (RED) is an open-access database housed at The Open University and containing over 30,000 easily searchable records documenting the history of reading in Britain from 1450 to 1945. The OU have produced some great looking (open-access) tutorial activities to work with the database:

History of reading: An introduction to reading in the past
History of reading tutorial 1: Finding evidence of reading in the past
History of reading tutorial 2: The reading and reception of literary texts – a case study of Robinson Crusoe
History of reading tutorial 3: Famous writers and their reading - Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Vernon Lee

When I am immortal, I will do all of the OU courses from start to finish...

Historical Characters (and Periods) Murdered in Songs Shock

The Spanish Inquisition done to the Human League's Fascination, Leonardo da Vinci done to Dear Prudence, Napoleon to the Violent Femmes... YouTube Channel 'History for Music Lovers' (sic) - this is one of the oddest treatments of history that I've seen and the people behind it have clearly put a lot of work into it and I've absolutely no idea if it has an educational use... any suggestions?

Anyway, my fave is The Canterbury Tales done to California Dreaming - Pilgrims leavin' town/on a long journey - sing along!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBa5nN_JyPk

Jisc Copyright and Digital Media Seminar

Can a student display a piece of art in a University public gallery that contains sampled commercial music?

What are the legal implications of renting DVD's bought from Amazon to students in our library?

Who owns the copyright of research output? Researchers? Institutions? Journals?

Where do I start in ascertaining rights of a collection of images I wish to digitise?

How can I easily get students permission when recording them in lectures?


These are just a short selection of questions which arose during the last JISC Advance Copyright and Digital Media Seminar. There's another coming up in about a month, and it covers real world case studies of practitioners tackling right issues, and offers a chance for questions relating to your own projects to be answered.

So, there are apparently still a few places left at Jisc's next Seminar in London on the 9th of March.

Effective assessment in a digital age

I went to an interesting JISC workshop about assessment yesterday. The workshop started from where the participants were - what are our assessment strengths and what the challenges, going on to a good look at the links between assessment and learning (that we should even do that tells its own story!). In the afternoon, there was a look at two case studies around technology-based approaches - and we were asked in what ways technology can help you rethink your curriculum design in relation to assessment and feedback.

I was expecting to come away with some nifty tech treats to think about and implement on return, the definitive e-feedback tool or something - instead, because I ended up grumpily challenging much of what I was finding, I came away with a more considered global view of some of the 'challenges' of our educational system. JISC state that assessment lies at the heart of the learning experience - I would qualify that by saying it SHOULD lie at the heart of the learning e…

PowerPoint Training

What is it? This session will explore how to create a basic PowerPoint presentation, looking specifically at:

Slide Layouts & Inserting extra slides
Inserting Text & Images
Slide Design & Set-Up
Printing and Running the Slide Show

Who is it for? Anyone who wishes to produce a slideshow or presentation using PowerPoint (please note: more advanced features using multimedia will be explored at a later session, PowerPoint Multimedia, on 9th & 16th March).

What will you need to do before the session? If you already have either a PowerPoint File, or specific text or image files that you wish to use in your presentations, then please bring them along. Don’t worry if you don’t, we can use generic materials on the day.

When? There are two chances to take this session: 

Wednesday 9th February 12.00-13.00 
Wednesday 16th February 13.00-14.00

Click here to download a calendar of all elearnCAL training sessions this term.

Where is it? G42, Arts Building

See you there!

Sending Files over the Internet

There are a lot of different file hosting sites on the Internet.


Here's one flagged by the good people of JISC - which, as they point out, is particularly suited to educational purposes.  It's called ifile.it and it's perfect for distributing files such as articles or assignments that don't need to be accessible forever, or for sharing documents between colleagues.

Once you've created a free account you simply upload your file.  When the upload is completed you are presented with three links, a short, Bit.ly-style link that you can send to your intended recipients, a full link (for the sake of completeness) and a link that will delete the file.  A button allows you to post the short link on Facebook, tweet it or notify others about it with minimal effort.  And that's it.  People don't need an ifile.it account to download your file.  They just click on the link you supply them, confirm the download and that's it.

Files can be up to 300MB in size and there i…