TEL Me More about…PebblePad

At April’s TEL Me More session, Kevin talked to us about student’s creating webpages using Wix for one of their assignment. The idea of the assignment was to encourage students to apply the knowledge they had learned in their neuropsychology module and then write guidance and information for a specific audience on a disorder, for example a carer, a relative of a sufferer, an A-Level Student, or an expert in the field of neuropsychology.

Student’s are used to being asked to write essays and reports, but this allows them to be more creative and think about the type of language needed for their audience, the layout of the information and the type of information they’d include. Although this assignment was looking at neuropsychological disorders, it could be used for almost any discipline, where an “expert” is asked to interpret specialist information for a member of the public.

Although the overall lay out and presentation of the work is very important, the students are not marked on their web design skills, but on the content of the website, ensuring they have included theories, critical evaluated treatments available, used language their target audience would understand etc. These are all very relevant work-place skills, but drawing on the students academic knowledge.

Kevin was exploring the use of Wix, a free website building tool as it’s something he used himself, students were also given the option of using the Blackboard in-house wikis. However, there are other tools available, for example we are currently trialing the latest version of PebblePad and will be making this more widely available across the university from September 2016.

Some of the key features of PebblePad that could be applied to this type of assignment include the creation of portfolios.  As with Wix students can add multimedia, such as video, images and audio.  These can be made be public and shared with anyone who has the link.  As PebblePad is an internal system students can submit their work to lecturers and lecturers are able to archive students submissions so that they always have a copy of the students work to refer to in the future.

Other features of PebblePad include a blogging tool, templates and workbooks that can be created for students to complete.  Students can also request for a free Alumni account that permits students to continue using PebblePad once they have graduated the University and ‘take with them’ any work that they have created whilst at University.

If you’re interested in exploring these types of assessment further, then contact the TEL team on

TEL me more about…….Periscope

At the TEL me more event in March we were fortunate to see Louise Hart talk about periscope and how she has been using it when teaching her ESOL students. Periscope is a live video streaming app which is available for iOS and Android which although similar to services like Blackboard Collaborate requires less setting up with the user being able to be up and running in a matter of seconds. Whilst Periscope is not designed to replace any lecture capture of existing video conferencing tools it could compliment them being able to allow video conferencing where there is no suitable technology for the existing technology.

As with Twitter you have followers (for example, your students) who when you start broadcasting (or scoping to quote the terminology) will receive notification that you have started your broadcast or users can integrate the system looking for live broadcasts. You can however lock down your scoping to just your followers or just a chosen few users.
Although not a two way communication tool like Blackboard Collaborate or GoToMeeting, viewers can send messages and can send “hearts” as a form of appreciation.
Whilst scopes will be deleted 24 hours after first broadcast by default they can be saved for later use.

How to use Periscope

  • Virtual Campus tours
  • Live practicals or demonstrations in the classroom, lab or workshop
  • Icebreaker activities where small groups of students interview each other, and share in the class

Other resources

Periscope vs. Facebook Live: Is the battle over live streaming heating up?

GoPro goes live with Periscope

12 Ways to Use Periscope to Build Your Personal Brand!

TEL me more about…Twitter

Twitter icon

Image from: Jurgen Appelo shared under CC BY 2.0

At the last TEL me more event in February Debbie Alston talked about how she has been using Twitter to engage her students with learning content on her module. Often Twitter is referred to as a microblogging site where users are able to post short (140 characters) messages which are then shared with those who are following them or view their profile on Twitter. Some topics may be linked together using hashtags (words or phrases prefixed with #, e.g. #TELmemore).

You may already be familiar with Twitter but just in case you aren’t this useful video provides an overview of what Twitter is and how it can be used.

Twitter has long been used in higher education and other education sectors. Below are just a few articles from around the web with ideas on how it could be used to support learning, teaching and assessment. Some of the articles also discuss the pros and cons of using this type of technology, helping you to consider how you might introduce this technology to your students.

You may also find it useful to look at the Universities Guidance for Academic Practice with Social Media.

Also as Twitter has been around for a while there are a number of different research papers which also investigate the impact the use of Twitter has on learning.

If you would like to know more about how you could use Twitter with your students, please contact the Technology Enhanced Learning Team on or ext. 1865.

TEL me more – February 2016

Picture of pancakes

Image from: rob_rob2001 shared under CC BY-SA 2.0

At this month’s TEL me more session we talked about quite a range of topics this included being able to see what the student sees in Course Resources (Blackboard), getting students to create posters using PowerPoint, the use of video case studies for formative and summative assessment, the quiz tool Socrative and the use of Twitter to engage students.

A common problem for academic staff when trying to assist students with their use of Course Resources is not being able to see what they see. As a tutor there are many more options available to you than as a student, so when you try and talk them through how, for instance, they access their feedback or apply for an EEC, it can be difficult to do. However, there is a way academic staff can see how a module area in Course Resources looks from a student’s perspective using student preview. To access student preview, go into the module and then click on the student preview icon near the top right hand corner.

Student preview icon in Course Resources (Blackboard)Once you have finished using preview mode click on Exit Preview on the yellow bar. Further support resources for students on using Course Resources, Udo and eSubmission can be found on the Guides page on UDo.

Attendees also talked about getting students to create posters using PowerPoint and whether there are any support resources to advise students on how to do this. You can access poster templates within PowerPoint itself using the method described in this help guide from the Study Skills Team. This works in both PowerPoint 2010 and 2013. There are also some useful video tutorials online via YouTube. it is worth having a watch of a few to see if they cover the key points you want to communicate to students. Here is a useful one on how to make a research poster! You can also get students to create infographics, visual representations of information, which help to communicate information, knowledge or data quickly and clearly to others. There are a number of different online tools you can use to create infographics, however you can also use PowerPoint. Here are some useful templates and some instructions on creating infographics in PowerPoint.

Rob Higson from the Technology Enhanced Learning team also talked about some recent examples of how video case studies have been used to support formative and summative assessment. This was particularly relevant for the attendees as they are looking at using the forensic house for a safeguarding children activity with students and would be interested in how this could be filmed and utilised again at a later date. The examples from the College of Health and Social care use videos to bring to life a case study, where students are required to use the skills they have previously learnt within the course to make a judgement about a scenario and this is then discussed within the class for formative assessment or as part of a summative assessment where students receive a grade and feedback about their performance. Previously, many of these activities have utilised paper resources to communicate the case study, where as the use of video has brought this to life and positive feedback has been received around increasing levels of student engagement.

Debbie Alston who came to the last TEL me more in January talked about how after the event she had gone away and used the quiz tool Socrative with her students. This had gone really well with engagement from a large (73) group of students in OL1. Debbie started by getting her students used to Socrative, asking them some simple questions about whether they had encountered particular terminology used within the course as well as the technology she was looking to use to support their learning. This helped her to get to know her students and ensure she introduced any technologies students were not familiar with. She also set up questions in advance of the session and then got students to contribute their responses to share these with the group. This not only helped to engage students outside of the session but also to help formatively assess what students had picked up from the lecture content. Debbie found the system simple to use and students seemed to get a lot out of it. It was great to hear from someone who had taken away and implemented a learning technology discovered at TEL me more!

Finally, Debbie also shared with us how she has been using Twitter within her module, encouraging students to post resources, articles and pictures related to the course and using the modules code as a hastag. She has embedded this feed within her Course Resources (Blackboard) module to make this information available to all her students rather than just those who use Twitter. In addition, she has found that since starting to use Box of Broadcasts with students they have now started to tweet links to programmes which are available via this service.

If you are interested in exploring any of the technologies mentioned in this summary, feel free to come to the next TEL me more event on the 2nd March or contact the Technology Enhanced Learning Team at, ext1865.

TEL me more about…Aurasma

At the last TEL me more session in January a number of people were interested in the augmented reality app Aurasma. This was featured at the TEL Christmas Market in December and people were interested in how this could potentially be used for teaching and learning. So what is Aurasma?

Aurasma creates an augmented reality where the real world is enhanced digitally. It uses a real-world element, such as a poster or image, to trigger the display of digital content e.g. video, image, 3D graphics and links to online documents or services. It combines the use of an online website and the mobile app to create and then deliver the interaction.

The below video provides you with an idea of how this might look. Although the examples within the video utilise mostly video content, Aurasma provides many options as to the types of digital content it can link to.

So how could this be used in learning and teaching?

There are many ways this technology could be used to support learning and teaching and here are just a few ideas.

  • Students augment their physical posters to trigger video or audio of them discussing its contents.
  • Triggers placed around the classroom/lecture theatre link to short videos which prompt discussion within the group. This could even link to content within the Box of Broadcast service available at the university.
  • Students use the app during induction to discover key information related to their studies hidden around campus.
  • Triggers next to specialist equipment link to a video on how this should be used for specific tasks.
  • Whilst getting students to complete a group task use a trigger to link to an online resource such as a Padlet wall for them to record their notes.

A blog post alone can not really fully explain what Aurasma is capable of and how this can potentially enhance the students experience. If you would like a demonstration of Aurasma and to discuss how you could potentially use this with your students then please contact us at or ext. 1865.

TEL me more – January 2016

Have a Very Bokeh Christmas

Image from: Brandon Warren shared under CC BY-NC 2.0

The first TEL me more event of the new year took place on the 6th January where we discussed the use of an interactive quiz tool called Socrative (previously covered in other TEL me more sessions for November and May), Box of Broadcasts to provide students with access to free to air television programmes and Aurasma an augmented reality tool to provide links to learning content and activities within physical spaces.

One of the challenges discussed during the session was how to encourage engagement during large group teaching sessions. One of the suggestions was to use a tool like Socrative and Maggie Gale, from the College of Life and Natural Science, talked about how she has used this tool to engage students on the subject of moral reasoning. Starting by providing them with a scenario to consider, a multiple choice question is then posed from which they can then choose, the answer is then debated within the session. Maggie also provided some tips like asking students before the session to bring along a mobile device so they can interact with session content (this can be done in Course Resources Announcements), have two screen available for you to view, so one can display the presentation slides and the other responses from Socrative and finally check the room in which you are presenting before the session to see what equipment and connections are available for connecting additional devices like tablets and laptops.

Another approach was also discussed called ‘Think, pair, share’ where students are given a question which they answer, they then work in a pair to discuss which answer they consider to be correct and why and then students are asked to re-vote on the original question to see if their response has changed. It is at this point that the academic then reveals the correct answer and explains why this is. This could be done using Socrative but could also work with just using post-it notes where the student chooses a post-it colour based on their answer and sticks this to their forehead, allowing others to talk to someone who chose a different answer from the one the chose.

Box of Broadcasts (BoB)

The potential use of Box of Broadcasts was also discussed with Debbie Alston, College of Life and Natural Sciences, talking about how she has used this to provide students with access to programmes which discuss climate change including the film ‘An inconvenient truth’ and programmes with David Attenborough. Links to these resources have been provided in Course Resources. Box of Broadcast has also come in useful during live sessions with clips from programmes being provided during sessions of a maximum of 15 minutes duration. An article was mentioned which provides details about how video can affect student engagement with the shorter videos proving to be more engaging.

Suggestions for learning activities for using BoB included:

  • Students searching for relevant programmes outside of sessions and bringing this back to discuss or posting these to discussion boards within Course Resources.
  • Add a link to a relevant clip or programme within an announcement in Blackboard and then discuss this clip within a face-to-face session. to send out.
  • Create a playlist of programmes and then share this with students as a resource for the module (this could include clips as well as full length programme.

Useful features of the tool identified within the TEL me more session included:

  • The ability to search the transcript which then highlights the use of a word within the recording so you can navigate to this.
  • You can add up to 10 clips from one programme and this then creates one clip. You can then create up to 5 clips a day.
  • BoB also provides reference information for programmes and this can then be adapted into the required format by the student.


Aurasma was also discussed, as the academic staff who attended had seen this demonstrated at the TEL Christmas Market and felt there was lots of potential to use this tool with their students. In particular how this could link to video which can provide additional help with a learning resource. Some ideas for use included:

  • Embed triggers within a journal article to link out to video which helps to support the analysis of the resource.
  • Interactive posters where Aurasma triggers the students talking about the poster content or links to related video such as videos of a fashion show.
  • Using a door sign on an academic office door to trigger a video talking about the areas of interest they have for research to help students choose their dissertation supervisor.
  • Triggers on laboratory equipment which to help remind them how to use this when they actually use them.
  • Provide different triggers to students so they see different resources and then get them to share their opinion about the different resources in pairs or groups.
  • Link to BoB resources to show relevant video clips to students.

Other tips

  • Add the trigger into Course Resources
  • If using video the students prefer to see the informal you rather than a polished well rehearsed video which does not seem real.

Hopefully you have found this post interesting and don’t forget to come to the next TEL me more event on Wednesday 3rd February 12:00-13:00.

TEL me more about…OneNote

4. DiaryOne of the tools discussed at the last TEL me more event was OneNote a Microsoft tool which enables you to create digital notebooks which you can then access online either via an App on your mobile device or via an internet browser. The University has this available as part of Office365 and using these login details you can then access OneNote and create notebooks which are then saved securely within your user area. OneNote can be used to collect thoughts and ideas, to-do lists, capture images of documents, whiteboards, or take clips from websites all organised within a Notebooks.

So how can this be used for learning and teaching?

The tool itself has a wide range of applications for eduction and the TEL team are only just starting to explore what its potential is for supporting learning and teaching. Some ideas from the team so far include:

For students:

  • Collaborative note taking of lectures
  • Organising group work
  • Building a portfolio
  • Collecting research notes
  • Writing a reflective journal
  • Planning an assignment

For staff:

  • Providing templates to students for them to complete for assessment (e.g. portfolio template)
  • Recording feedback of student presentations based on a pre-defined template
  • Adding hand written notes alongside types notes

If you would like to explore further how OneNote could be used for learning, teaching and assessment please contact

TEL me more – December

The Solitude of WinterDecember’s TEL Me More was attended by several people and rather than presentations a general discussion was held.

We talked about media based scenarios which can be used for formative and summative assessment. For example we had a demonstration of the Substance misuse videos that were created for Health and Social Care students by the TEL team.  These videos allow students to explore carefully constructed scenarios that help them build up an understanding of a case study.

We also discussed a range of apps that could be used to support learning and teaching such as OneNote and The TEL team will be promoting a wide range of apps in the New Year, look out for our ‘Appy Mondays campaign.

This month’s TEL Me More also coincided with our first College based TEL Me More session, where Socrative was demonstrated by an academic in the College of Life and Natural Science, who had been using it with her students after seeing it demonstrated at a previous TEL event. Socrative was used to poll the group on a range of TEL related topics as part of the demonstration on how to set it up and was then use to tie in an important question raised by the College Dean as part of Dean’s Question time.

TEL me more about…Poll Everywhere

Image from: Ciaran Roarty shared under CC BY-SA 2.0

Image from: Ciaran Roarty shared under CC BY-SA 2.0

At the last TEL me more session Keith Perch talked about his use of the tool Poll Everywhere getting students to identify keywords from their readings and collaborate to create news headlines using these words.

Poll Everywhere allows you to create a variety of question types (Multiple Choice, True False, Free response, clickable images and brainstorming poll) and pose these live to students. Students can then respond via SMS message, a website or the app and the results will then appear live on the screen. This can be done on the website, in Google slides (via a Google Chrome extension) or within your PowerPoint presentation (although this requires the PollEV Presenter App to be installed and this is not currently available on University machines). The free version allows you to create as many polls as you want but you can only receive 25 responses per poll.

Some educational institutions have purchased a site wide license for Poll Everywhere which allows them access to tools which can provide reports, grading, moderation options and even team competitions. Here is an example from the University of West London where a lecturer has been using Poll Everywhere to enhance lecture sessions on teaching sessions about research methods. Jayne Morgan from City University London has also used it during an UG Diagnostic Radiography programme. As it is science based a lot of explanation is required but with a large cohort of 60, it can be hard to see if you are losing their understanding in some cases. For this reason Poll Everywhere is used for revision after topics have been delivered in lectures. Jayne uses Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and open ended cluster questions, although she finds it is best to hide the response to MCQs initially until most have responded, otherwise students copy the answer of the majority. Cluster questions are useful as they can show wrong answers which imply misunderstandings and therefore any issues can be addressed in class. The overall impression is that students find it very useful and have asked for more.

Currently Learning Enhancement are reviewing a number of the polling tools available to investigate whether there is a need to make a tool like this available for staff to use and which of these tools provides the right features to fit the needs of learning and teaching staff here at the University.