In this series, the Educational Technology team will be providing an insight into existing practice using technology for learning and teaching at Falmouth University and also at projects being undertaken within the wider HE sector.Our first installment looks at the process of Feedback.
Feedback is a process that aids learning based on a dialogue about an assessed activity, this could be through a face to face tutorial, email, commenting on a google doc, could be a one off or a continued discussion and could be between lecturing staff and students or amongst peers. The NUS charter on Assessment & Feedback calls for a choice of feedback methods for students and that it is timely. Use of learning technologies can support this.
We’ve discovered some great examples of use of technology in the feedback process at Falmouth; from peer assessment activity in the VLE, through use of iPads and bespoke computer programming to speed up the process and use of video to aid lesson observation in the PGCHE. The Educational Technology team also piloted the use of Turnitin’s Grademark facility with some courses at Falmouth University and received positive feedback from staff and students about it’s use.
This presentation from JISCs assessment and feedback project showcases a couple of approaches towards using technology to support the feedback process and details some of the issues faced and lessons learned. Of particular interest is the suggestion that values and approaches towards dialogic feedback and reflection should be introduced to students early on in HE to aid understanding of the process.
A study undertaken at the University of Liverpool to replace text with audio feedback found that it was successful in meeting student expectation and led to more detailed feedback and timely response. Apps like audacity, soundcloud, audioboo and kaizena for google docs support the use of audio as feedback. The University of Sussex are currently undertaking a three year project to encourage adoption of online submission and feedback methods and are also making use of Grademark. Their site informs staff and students about the process.
A timely #LTHEchat took place in January around the language of feedback and conversation arose around feedback in formative and summative assessment and use of feedforward to help students understand how they might do better in future assessment.
These are just a few initiatives and conversations around feedback in higher education, please feel free to send us a link to your own project and Falmouth Staff are welcome to contact the team about any of these examples they might like to apply to learning and teaching in their own areas.
Last week with help from The Compass we set out to gather some feedback from students on the apps they would most recommend to others to aid study at University.
Recent statistics reveal that educational apps are the second most downloaded category in Apple’s app store, but what constitutes as an educational app? Often apps that aren’t typically seen as educational can be assistive in University study, so using the speak-board on Penryn campus helped us gain further insight into the apps our students found useful and would recommend to others.
Referencing apps were the most recommended of all the apps posted on the board, RefME in particular received praise; the free app syncs to your RefME account and allows you to scan resources using your phone or device to create citations, reference lists and bibliographies. EasyBib was also noted as a good app with the pretty much the same functionality as RefME, however this doesn’t support Harvard referencing.
Video based apps were also those featuring high on recommendations, especially those which involved an element of learning; You Tube and Ted Talks were seen as good apps for watching content on the go, SciShow, VSauce, Crash Course were specific You Tube channels which were put forward as being particularly educational and interesting to watch. Khan Academy was also mentioned, this app features a host of educational materials available for free.
Needing some music to help with studying? Spotifyis a music streaming service which puts millions of tracks at your finger tips. 8tracks was another recommended app which featured on our feedback board, described as the peoples playlister, users are able to create mixtapes of 8 tracks or more to share with the online community.
Of all the types of apps posted to help with studying, organisational tools were by far the most recommended. Document organisation tools such as Evernote and Google Drive were suggested, also note taking and list apps: Todolist, Keep Notes (which featured in our recent Tools to Support Research post) and Reminders. There are an abundance of these tools available for phone and tablet, it’s easy to see why they’re popular especially when it comes to University study. HabitRPGcame highly recommended from a few individuals, the ‘gamified’ to do list app aims to ‘make habit building fun’ by rewarding points when you complete day-to-day tasks.
The University of the West of England also features in our list of recommended apps with SAM,a tool to help understand and manage anxiety. It’s free and allows you to visualise your anxiety profile and connect to with a wider community who use the app.
For those wanting to make apps for your device Aris was one tool mentioned last week, one student has used the platform to create a campus tour for fellow classmates, built as user-friendly and open source it has all the resources to get you started.
To accompany the feedback received from students we are holding an apps event for staff to come and share tools they find useful as part of their teaching at University (12:00, 11th February, Peter Lanyon, Seminar 7, Penryn Campus).
Thanks to all who took part in the speak-board, if you’d like any more information about any of the apps mentioned or you’d like to talk about using apps as part of Learning and Teaching at Falmouth University please get in touch – email@example.com
Here’s the full list of recommended apps from the speak-board:
Last Thursday saw Mark, Steph and myself don our finest and head out to the annual Staff Excellence Awards. We were fortunate enough to have been shortlisted for the Exceptional Contribution to the Student Experience award.
As a team we are really proud to be nominated for this award. Student experience is at the heart of what we do and so to be recognised in this area is a real achievement for us.
The event was a great opportunity to meet others at the University who had been nominated in additional categories such as Rising Star, Outstanding Contribution to Research and Innovation and Service Excellence.
With the DIME core team being nominated for the International Collaboration of the Year award it meant that Damien found himself in two categories on the night.
Each shortlisted entry was accompanied by a short video outlining the nominated team, individual or project. It was really great to hear so many testimonials from staff at the University passionate about the shortlisted entrants.
Judging finished earlier on in the evening and Rosie Sellwood picked up the Exceptional Contribution to the Student Experience award. Well done Rosie!
Congratulations also to the DIME Team (including ET’s Damien Hogan) for winning the International Collaboration of the Year Award.
It was a great evening and one we hope is repeated year after year!
Part of our function is working in collaboration with our academic departments to support appropriate use and research of technology in learning and teaching. Some of these projects might prove beneficial to and benefit from the input of other team and individuals.
When these projects are in review, the questions we often return to are “How do we share these great and innovative practices within the institution?” and “How can we get other people involved?”
The recent staff survey reported that “70% of respondents say, on the whole, the different parts of the University do not communicate effectively with each other”
So as a response to these questions and concerns, let us introduce you to TeamET+
Team ET+ documents our current and past collaborations within and external to Falmouth University. With a simple breakdown of the What, Why, Who, When and Where of each project accompanied by relevant multimedia and documents, we aim to make it easy to understand who to talk to and how to get involved with our collaborative work.
If you’re working on a learning or teaching project that might benefit from advice and support in using technology get in contact.