TEL me more: May 2017


Image from Mark Manguerra shared under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As part of learning at work week the Technology Enhanced Learning team held a TEL me more session on Wednesday 17th May. These informal sessions provide staff with the chance to share practice and hear about how others are using technology to support learning and teaching.

Polling and Quiz tools

In the session we heard about how Kahoot, a way to provide quizzes and gather feedback from learners either face-to-face or outside of lessons, had helped to engage learners in lectures. The tool was found to be easy to use with at least a quarter of students in sessions where it was used having used it at their previous educational institution. A number of other attendees at TEL me more also commented they had seen this used for conferences and during the TEL Strategy Launch by the guest speaker Helen Beetham.

Quizlet was discussed which provides a series of flashcards which students can use to check their understanding and convert into interactive games. Students have also been using this to create their own quizzes and this would be a good activity to do with your students helping to use them as partners to develop learning content as well as develop their digital capabilities in using digital tools for learning.

Learning content tools for storytelling

Storymap was mentioned, which provides the ability to add pin points to maps with additional information. This could help to tell a story, provide information about an event either in the past or for planning as well as perhaps outlining a series of related events such as in a crime or missing person case. An example can be seen in this map outlining climate change in the US from Stanford University. A related tool called Timeline was also discussed which provides a way of adding additional information to a timeline making it easy to tell a story or outline a series of events. An example can be seen through the life of Nelson Mandela.

Academic Digital Champion

The University is looking to create a network of Academic Digital Champions who are willing to share their practice at the University, work in partnership with TEL to provide feedback about TEL developments, contribute and review the Digital Practice Handbook and work with Student Digital Champions. We are also keen to find specialist users of particular software or digital tools where they would be willing to share their knowledge and support others in developing their skills. We are keen to look at the recognition related to this role and some of the feedback we had from the group was that they would like to be aware of the impact their involvement would have e.g. how many people have gone away and tried an approach they shared?. If you are interested in being involved as an Academic Digital Champion then please complete the online form to express your interest.

We had lots of engagement within the session so there are probably technologies I have missed. Please feel free to comment below with any tools or key points from the event you want to add.

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

Using videos in forums for an online course’s student formative assessment


Yasu Kotera (left), Wendy David. UDOL Online Counselling. University of Derby Online (UDOL).

Students from around the world were studying on the University of Derby Online course in Counselling Skills. Part of the assessment involves students recording their counselling sessions for tutors to view and feedback on. Course Resources is limited in the way it handles large files, especially videos, so Yasu and Wendy were pleased to use Media Gallery (Kaltura) as a way of sharing video. In this case, students recorded a short video, usually on their phone, and shared it by embedding it into a forum. This allowed tutors and peers to comment on the video.


In this screenshot, the uploaded video is displayed over the forum which contains a dialogue between the student and tutor.

Yasu comments “I manage the counselling programmes at the University of Derby Online Learning. Our programmes include video assessments, where students record their counselling sessions and the tutors and peers make comments on them. We used to mail those DVDs to evaluate their counselling skills, but as the programme expanded, it just became unfeasible. Then we started to use a file transfer system, but it still took a lot of time to up / download the videos. We had been trying to find a scalable and secure way to conduct the video assessments, and heard about Media Gallery. Media Gallery enables students upload their video easily in a secure way, and the tutors and peers can see and make comments to improve their counselling skills. This is really crucial in the counselling studies online. We are planning to use Media Gallery more in our programmes

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 – 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 – 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.